Monday, August 29, 2011

Postcards from G-FEST 18: Kaiju Kids

If you are a Godzilla fan, you either are young or young at heart. It is pretty gratifying to see the "next generation" get excited about Japanese monsters and superheroes. It's even better when friendships develop around said movies and characters. Here's Jake, Jadon, and Andy, also known as the Cuyahoga Kaiju Kids, enjoying a moment in the Dealer's Room.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Postcards from G-FEST 18: Toybox Treasures

Ever since seeing an Eiji Tsuburaya vinyl figure in the book "So Crazy Japanese Toys," I've wanted to add one to the collection, but never really thought I'd see one in person, much less get my hands on one. Leave it to Linda at Chibi Goji Toys to come through for us! This is far and away my favorite purchase from this year's Dealer's Room--the Eiji Project Bset, featuring Mr. Tsuburaya and Godzilla, Gomess and Jiras. Truly spectacular!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Postcards from G-FEST 18: Mothra!

It seems to me that the single most heavily attended event at G-FEST is the Costume Parade. Entries such as this spectacular Mothra explain why. Contestants include everything from kids wearing masks and pajamas to suits that are almost indistinguishable from the "real thing."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Postcards from G-FEST 18: Silent Auction

One unheralded element of G-FEST is the chance to give charitably to good causes. "G-Fans helping G-Fans" collects funds to help families dealing with autism, and this year there was a special collection for Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief. One exciting way this works is through a silent auction, through which we won two really cool items. Kudos to our friend Dave Nunes, who coordinates this part of the Fest!

G-Fans raised nearly $5000 for Japan and over $2700 for North American families this year.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Postcards from G-FEST 18: Tokasatsu Room

"Tokasatsu" is Japanese for "special effects," and G-FEST now has an entire "thread" devoted to creating self-produced special effects films. This portion of the G-FEST experience evolved naturally from the Costume Contest thread, and now short films have been produced by G-FEST attendees that can be located on You Tube.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Postcards from G-FEST 18: Model Room IV

Biollante takes on Godzilla in this incredible diorama. If I'm not mistaken, this was voted the "People's Choice" award winner.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Postcards from G-FEST 18: Kaiju Quilt!

The creativity one encounters at G-FEST is sometimes downright jaw-dropping. Take, for instance, this Godzilla quilt. I stood up on a chair to take this picture, looking down at the quilt that was resting on a table. Wouldn't you love a whole bedroom set like this? Well, I would.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Andy got this Ultraman bank on eBay from a seller in Hong Kong. Since returning from G-FEST, our Ultraman viewing has gotten a somewhat predictable "bump." We've watched the latest Ultraman Zero movie, the Ultraman Gaia movie shown at G-FEST, and episodes of Ultraman Ace, UltraSeven X and Ultraman Mebius.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Postcards from G-FEST 18: Model Room III

This wondrous piece captures the conflict at the heart of the very first Ultraman episode. Bemular has risen from the lake, and Ultraman has saved Hayata's life. Now the battle is about to begin.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Video Postcard from G-18 Dealer's Room

This GMK Godzilla was on display at the Chibi Goji Toys Booth. I don't know if anyone purchased it, but it received a great reaction from everyone who saw it in action.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Postcards from G-FEST 18: The Dealer's Room

The Dealer's Room continues to be a great draw for us. Walking into it still overwhelms the senses; it's a monster kid's lucid dream. What is really neat is that we've become familiar faces to many of the dealers, and many of them have gone out of their way to be kind to us. Sue spent her volunteer hours this year being the Dealer's Room gatekeeper, and was able to see quite a few people get their "first ever" looks at the place.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Postcards from G-FEST 18: Model Room II

Another great selection from the model room: Gorgo with the diving bell. I'll never forget watching "Gorgo" under the stars with my Cuyahoga Kaiju Club friends.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Postcards from G-FEST 18: Coloring Contest

This was Andy's entry in the Minya's Place coloring contest. Rodan was a popular pick among young artists. It was fun to encourage the kids to give it a try.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Postcards from G-FEST 18: Mad About Monsters

On Saturday, I had the privilege of sitting on a panel called "Humor in Godzilla Films" with a number of super G-fans, including Martin Arlt, who edits and publishes Mad Scientist magazine. I was able to mention my favorite humorous scene ("I'll take a picture, and then we'll run" from GMK), so I considered it a success. It was lots of fun; all the different perspectives expressed were fascinating. Pictured here are Pam and Martin Arlt with Andy and me.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Postcards from G-FEST 18: Model Room

Later Saturday morning, models were on display. One of my favorites was this Hedorah figure.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Postcards from G-FEST 18: Minya's Place

Saturday morning is always a happy time at G-FEST; lots of fun has been had and there's lots more on the way. This year I volunteered in Minya's Place on Saturday morning. Minya's Place is an arts-and-crafts Sollgel Island paradise, with all the designs by kaiju artist Ron Lipecky. Here's Andy with just a couple creations available to young crafters. Part of my job was to encourage youngsters to enter the coloring contest, some examples of which will be appear here soon.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Postcards from G-FEST 18: What a Day!

Can't resist one more shot from Friday's foray to the Field Museum. All the guests of G-FEST 18 are here, from top to bottom: Shinji Higuchi (striking an artistic pose); Horoshi Sagae; Noriko Higuchi; Hiroyuki Watanabe; the M.O. Matzkes; with Robert Scott Field safe at home!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Postcards from G-FEST 18: Allow Me to Introduce...

Friday evening is traditionally the time when the special guests are introduced at G-FEST. Here you see G-FAN's J.D. Lees (far left) making opening remarks, as (left to right) Robert Scott Field, Shinji Higuchi, and Hiroyuki Watanabe look on. At this point, we were still sort of stunned that we had spent part of our day with the guests of the Fest!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Postcards from G-FEST 18: CKC in the Place to Be

Tom and Don were on hand in the Dealer's Room, offering new CKC and Android M-11 T-shirts (and other kaiju goodies) to Fest-goers. It is really cool to go to G-FEST knowing that you'll see people you consider your friends there.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hiroyuki Watanabe on the Drums

Mr. Watanabe and Mr. Matzke had a little hands-on fun at the Field Museum.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Postcards from G-FEST 18: Backseat Buddy

This photo, taken with Hiroyuki Watanabe's cell phone, is a fun reminder of the whirlwind Friday we spent with the guests of G-FEST 18. Andy brought out the "Dad" in Mr. Watanabe; one of my penultimate memories of this experience will be the two of them doing Donald Duck voices on the way back to the Crowne Plaza. I'll always be grateful to G-FAN and G-FEST for making this special day possible.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Postcards from G-FEST 18: Fest Guests at the Field Museum

Talk about making a memory; here's the entire group that enjoyed the Field Museum on Friday. Left to right: Robert Scott Field; Carl, our other driver and Chicago street expert; Hiroyuki Watanabe; master sculptor Hiroshi Sagae; Andy, Mark, and Sue Matzke; Shinji and Noriko Huguchi.