Thursday, June 20, 2013

G-FEST Junior: A Look Back

This heretofore unpublished article looks back at last year's G-FEST Kid's Thread. This year's thread will have nearly three times as many offerings for young participants!

G-FEST is an event that nurtures the child in each participant; at the same time, a growing number of the participants are actually still children. With that in mind, G-FEST XIX featured coursework aimed right at our youngest students. The half hour sessions informed and entertained kaiju kids and their families in a classroom filled to capacity.
First up, the Dean of Kaiju U., J.D. Lees, gave a crash course in Japanese language, with an emphasis on monster nomenclature. Students spoke the names of their favorite creatures, and Mr. Lees explained their Japanese roots. One fact that delighted the class was the revelation that "Hedorah" can mean "to vomit." It was an enlightening way to start the school day.
Next, Tom Tvrdik, whose work has repeatedly graced the pages of G-FAN, delighted each aspiring artist with the gift of a Far East Monsters coloring poster and turned them loose. The Crowne Plaza's Haneda room became a makeshift studio, as kids and parents alike unleashed their creativity. Mr. Tvrdik actively shared tips for coloring and shading, but also let each artist experiment for him or herself. His generosity made for a very memorable session.

Doctor of Ultraman Studies Tim Bean began his presentation with many students still engaged in activity, but he quickly commanded attention with a video presentation of Ultraman toys. The classroom was soon transfixed by images from Japan's Bandai Museum and Mr. Bean's own extensive collection. The discussion took an even more interactive turn when he produced an authentic Beta Capsule and ray pistol. The questions and answers were flying--our instructor successfully fanned the flame of interest in Ultra collecting!

Finally, associate professor of kaiju history Mark Matzke provided the ambitious "Diary of a Kaiju: All of Godzilla's Films in Thirty Minutes." Accompanied by a slide for each movie, Mr. Matzke filled the air with fun facts about the entire Godzilla series, only occasionally stopping to breathe. Students had the chance to remember favorite flicks or look for new movies to view. 

Then, all too quickly, school was out. Nevertheless, it was great to witness the proficiency and enthusiasm of the students in attendance. Many thanks to the faculty of Kaiju University for sharing their expertise with a new generation of G-Fans!

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