Sunday, May 22, 2011

Akira Takarada's Autograph

This is the page of G-FAN #87 that Mr. Takarada was kind enough to sign for us. It was great to watch him leaf through the magazine, finding himself in old stills, and marvelling at the fact that there even was such a magazine to leaf through.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Return to G-FEST XVII: The Final Chapter

A story so great it took ten months to tell...

The Awards Luncheon is a fun event. Among other things, it means 'sit down' food as opposed to fast food, which is a welcome change come Sunday afternoon. But it meant far more than that to us this past year.

When doors opened, we took a seat near the front podium, and to cut right to the chase, we ended up sitting with Akira Takarada, R. Scott Field, Brett Homenick, Tom Tvrdik, and a couple other lucky G-FANS. I sat next to Brett, and enjoyed getting to know him a little bit better. In fact, while we were eating, he asked me to help him come up with a line for his introduction of Mr. Takarada, and I happily obliged. Brett actually did use it later on, and it got a nice reaction, which was a very cool moment. I also ran Brett's video camera for him while he read some letters of appreciation from colleagues and friends, and participated in the Mangled Skyscraper presentation.

Brett also facilitated Mr. Takarada's signing of our copy of G-FAN # 87. It was fascinating to see Mr. Takarada pore over our issue before signing. Brett's thoughtfulness also meant that we had the rest of the afternoon free, and wouldn't have to wait in a long line to get an autograph. Mr. Takarada also graciously posed for pictures with everyone at our table, and made sure everyone got the shots they wanted before moving on.

It was fun, if more than little surreal, to chat with Mr. Takarada over lunch. He asked about Andy and how he was doing in school. I got the impression that he was surprised by the reception he received from his North American fans, and I am glad to have had the opportunity to convey that same goodwill to him.

What a memory! Ten months on, I am truly amazed that my son and I had lunch with the human face of the Godzilla franchise, who just so happens to be a warm and classy individual (not to mention Android M-11, and our friend Tom, Godzilla artist extraordinaire). I'm grateful to Brett for making sure we had an unforgettable time. It was great day to be a Godzilla fan, among fans and friends.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Two Months from the Fest

With two months to go before the next G-FEST, anticipation here is beginning to build. Moving has certainly had an impact on our fan activity, as the infrequency of posts here suggests. But the information coming in is beginning to light the old fires of interest, starting with the movie lineup.

It has been announced that Thursday's first film will be the original Mothra, a movie that took me an absurdly long time to see. It is an exciting choice, and I am really looking forward to seeing it on the movie screen. Mothra is considered by many to be a classic of the genre; even so, I believe that it is somewhat underrated. Mothra is thought-provoking, humorous, and amazing to behold! Can't wait!

Following on Mothra's heels will be Gamera: Super Monster, which I have never seen. It is sort of universally panned for basically being a Gamera clip show, but I think G-FEST will be the perfect place to screen it. According to the G-FAN website, this will be its North American theater debut. I find nothing to dislike about any Gamera movie, really, so this should be fun.

Things get rolling Thursday evening with Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla 2. This is a movie that I've always wanted to like more than I do; I can't really put my finger on just never has held my attention like some others. It'll get another chance to make a good impression soon.

The other film announced as of this writing is the classic Gamera: Guardian of the Universe. Lots of ink has been spilled about the excellence of this one. It was a creative reboot of the Gamera franchise, and it proved that, at least in the 1990s, a straightforward kaiju flick was a viable entertainment option. "Guardian" deserves all the props it has received, and it will be introduced by its special effects director, Shinji Higuchi.

On a related note, new Cuyahoga Kaiju Club t-shirts will likely be available at G-FEST. The Tom Tvrdik design can be seen on Facebook--just search for the CKC page.

Time to count the days until G-FEST! It's a great feeling!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Moments with Mothman

The Mothman statue in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, stands as a tribute to a series of extremely strange events that took place there in the late 1960s. More on this fun little side trip to come...