Friday, July 24, 2009

The Library's Link to Giant Monsters

Growing up in the late seventies and eighties, the local library was a vital link to all things Godzilla. Before the internet era, information about the movies that would air from time to time on our local independent station were hard to find. They simply didn't exist anywhere I knew of--except for the library.

Pictured above is "Godzilla" by Ian Thorne, which during my second grade year became a precious tome--the archive of all monster archives. I have distinct memories of reading Thorne's book in a laundromat in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and being the happiest kid on earth. Even though some of the information is of dubious quality, it is still jam packed with amazing still photographs, and I use inter-library loan to borrow it for my son and me. It is mind-blowing to consider how very little Godzilla information was out there for a youngster to find in those days, in contrast to everything that is available now. The lack of "hard data" allowed the imagination to fill in the blanks, and resulted in homemade stories, self-drawn pictures, and the like. There was an exotic quality to Godzilla--it was as if you were always "on the hunt" to find a sign of him in American culture. That spirit of liking something that barely registers with your peers--that He is your little (gigantic) secret--goes a long way in explaining my continuing enthusiasm for the kaiju realm.

So here's a tip of the cap and a hearty thanks to those libraries that kept our Godzilla daydreams alive. Where they were a lifeline before, they are a treasure trove now, and they're there for us and our communities to enjoy. The Imperial Godzilla (1985) that you see here is an active member of our children section's hands-on dinosaur collection. And I am happy to report that our library has a dog-eared copy of J.D. Lees' "Official Godzilla Compendium" that is often checked out (not necessarily by me). That is a good sign for G-fandom, don't you think?

1 comment:

  1. It's a great book, and one I added to my own Movie Monsters book collection a while back... and I'll be featuring it in, I believe, October as part of the month-long Halloween Countdown at the Random Acts of Geekery ( -- it should be the Children's Book Theatre feature starting on October 24th!

    I'd like to invite you to participate in the Halloween Countdown, while I'm at it -- all it takes is a committment to daily posting of anything Halloween -- which your entire blog fits in with!