Friday, February 26, 2010

Cuyahoga Kaiju Club Lives On

At an "undisclosed location" in Northeast Ohio, the Cuyahoga Kaiju Club continues to celebrate all things Godzilla. Andy and I were fortunate enough to be invited to a meeting recently and had a great time, thanks to the hospitality of "Don Kaiju" and his family and friends.

The CKC has been around for over fifteen years, and these days their meetings take on the atmosphere of a family reunion. Father and son kaiju fans know they're in the right place when (1) within a minute or two of making introductions with folks, you're playing Godzilla Unleashed on Wii; (2) someone asks you if you have seen "Orochi: the Eight-Headed Dragon" (3) everyone gathers around to watch GMK while making MST3K-like commentary (without, mind you, making a "ha ha...their lips don't match their voices"-type crack).

It was also enjoyable to meet Tom, a founding member of CKC and the artist behind the American Greetings Godzilla ornament collection, Far East Monsters products, and tons of kaiju artwork and models seen in the pages of G-FAN. He kindly allowed me to page through his CKC archival material, which included a photograph of the CKC on the set of "Big Chuck and Little John," a longtime Cleveland television staple. I would've loved to have pored over the material in that binder, but not wanting to look like a total geek, I flipped through the pages rather quickly. That material, though, is a really cool document of an exciting time in American G-fandom, by someone who has made things happen within it. Tom is so down-to-earth, he'd probably downplay that statement, but I think it's true.

As for the afternoon's activities, we ended up watching a Monster Movie clip show, an episode of the BBC sci-fi show "Primeval" and GMK (Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah) before Andy and I had to head home. There's talk of a summertime "kaiju campout," and some of the other G-fans I met are planning to be at this year's G-FEST, so I am looking forward to our paths crossing again. It has been said many times in the pages of G-FAN, by J.D. Lees and others, that Godzilla fans are some of the nicest people you will ever meet, and I was pleased to discover that is certainly true of the Cuyahoga Kaiju Club.

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