Monday, June 6, 2011

G-FAN Magazine # 95: Surprises Inside

It has been too long since a G-FAN review appeared here. Time to correct that.

What one notices immediately upon opening the distinctive Daikaiju Enterprises envelope is the cover; another remarkable work of art by Rudy Gardea. Two details I really enjoy: Godzilla is about to unleash a blast and "Gardea" appears on the plane in the foreground.

The G-Force news and notes section is highlighted by a number of stills of Tom Tvrdik's next American Greetings Godzilla ornament, and Matt Frank's Mothra artwork for the IDW comic book.

Fabien Mauro, who we met briefly at G-Fest last year, checks in with two offerings, one an interview with the one-and-only Akira Takarada, and the other a meditation on Ishiro Honda's work, focusing on Matango (Attack of the Mushroom People).

Mark Justice's "Save the Earth' continues his consideration of the ecological messages embedded in Toho's monster movies, persuasively demonstrating that these films have been ahead of their time when it comes to sending a "green" message to viewers.

Brett Homenick contributes an interview with West Side Story's George Chakiris, who traveled to Japan for the filming of Flight from Ashiya in 1964. Brett once again manages to glean interesting tidbits about Japanese culture, especially the Japanese film industry, from his famous conversation partner.

G-FAN Junior returns in this issue, always a welcome addition (my eight-year-old son says). An article about monster appearances and locomotion, kid-generated artwork, a discussion of all the alternate movie titles, and a "Spot the Difference" photo game comprise this section of the mag.

Then, just when one thinks that there's not much more to be said about kaiju, G-FAN cracks open a whole new realm. Jolyon Yates files a report about giant monsters in Thai cinema--a subject about which I knew absolutely nothing before reading this article. What an excellent surprise!

Stalwart G-FAN contributors Lyle Huckins and Skip Peel each provide the type of writing for which they are known; thoughful analysis and inventive fiction, respectively.

Stan Hyde gives readers the details on the Revoltech line of extremely posable figures that feature Baragon and Gamera. The toy love continues with James Bond's "Godzilla Vinyl Market Update," a cogent description of what creature figures are going for these days and--most insightfully--why they are fetching those prices. As if that didn't set one's collector's blood a'boilin', Steve Agin throws gas on the fire with his enthusiastic toy reviews (accompanied by copious full color photographs), all of which is more than enough inspiration to pinch those last few pennies before hitting the G-FEST Dealers Room.

G-FAN continues to honor the creativity of kaiju fans, which seems to spring from an endless source. An impressive variety of fan reaction is the calling card of this publication, and articles like "Thai-ju: Giant Monsters in Thai Monsters in Thai Films" keep taking us to new places and unpacking new worlds of imagination!

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