Monday, August 31, 2009

Mad Scientist Magazine #8 "Destroy All Monsters"

Thanks to eBay, I recently came into possession of Mad Scientist #8, which is no longer available as a back issue. Published by Martin Arlt, this high-quality fanzine was digest-sized at this point in its history.

Issue 8 is a kaiju fan's dream come true, beginning with the front cover, a nice pen and ink illustration by Martin Arlt, in which the announcer of Destroy All Monsters is finally proven right in his assertion that Baragon is attacking Paris!

The introductory page is a winsome rationale for the Mad Scientist "kaiju issue." Then it is right into a mammoth eleven-page feature on "Half Human" by Peter H. Brothers. What I find most impressive about Mr. Brother's writing is that there is no redundancy between this article and the one that appears in G-FAN #69, and yet they both have volumes to say about the best Yeti film ever made. The accompanying lobby cards, stills, and artwork by Mark Jiro Okui (Calling Monster Island) enhance the article perfectly.

Next, Martin Arlt offers his picks for the "Top Ten Kaiju Battles." It is a strong list, including monster skirmishes from every era. I had to chuckle at the inclusion of Guiron vs. Space Gyaos, because I had just watched that Gamera movie again, and it is a truly audacious bout. I was pleasantly surprised that Godzilla vs. Baragon (GMK) was ranked so highly (#3) and I would not disagree with its placement near the top. The only change I would "argue" for would be the addition of one of Godzilla's dust-ups with the '74 Mechagodzilla--in particular when Mecha lets loose with every missle and beam at his disposal.

The issue continues with a filmbook of Destroy All Monsters, also by Martin Arlt. Many worthwhile insights are offered, such as Ishiro Honda's original vision of a more scientifically comprehensive Monsterland. I also "second" Arlt's aprreciation of the outstanding musical score, composed by Akira Ifukube. Again, the photos are excellent, especially the production stills.

Rounding out issue 8 is a tantalizing article about a promotional Godzilla vs. Megalon comic book that has the distinction of being the first liscensed Godzilla comic book produced Stateside. I had never heard of it before--and that, my friends, is the beauty of the fanzine. There is always something new to discover and consider.

I picked up my first Mad Scientist at this year's G-Fest and I am sure glad I did. Martin Arlt is to be commended for creating an incisive 'zine for fantastic film lovers everywhere.

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