Sunday, January 21, 2007


(click on image to enlarge)

I have had Japanese kaiju on the brain lately. It seems that every spare moment that I have I am thinking about kaiju, doing sketches of kaiju, and even taking pictures of kaiju. This illustration of Godzilla is the result of too much spare time and a combination of photography, drawing and Photoshop. I took a picture of my manager's "Wide Spread Panic Godzilla" (That is what she calls it, not sure why.....) and then the illustration just took off on it's own. I did set out to see if I could make a vinyl toy come to life in an illustration, but that is about as much thought that I had put into it. I think that the end result turned out pretty nice.

I have always loved Godzilla, especially the very first movie that was directed by Ishiro Honda in 1954. It is really amazing how much this movie affected me as a child. I can remember dreaming of visiting Japan so I could see where Godzilla lives. I wanted to walk in his footsteps, visit Monster Island and see the shores where he came out of the ocean. I was going to make sure when I visited Japan for the first time, I was going to visit those places and realize those childhood dreams.

During my first trip to Japan, my wife and I were riding the "Shinkansen" or bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto to visit her Aunt and Uncle. When we arrived in Kyoto, we stepped off the train and the first thing I see is this HUGE wall poster:

I asked my wife to translate and she tells me that it is an announcement that there will be a show for Godzilla celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Daimaru department store at Tokyo Station. Thankfully we would be traveling back up to Tokyo before the show ended.

So, we spend time in Kyoto and Hiroshima and I had a wonderful time getting to meet all of my wife's family. But deep in the back of my mind there was the thought that I would finally get to see Godzilla in person.

We say goodbye to my wife's family and we travel back up to Tokyo station on the Shinkansen. We exited the train and walked over to the Daimaru department store. We had to stand in line to purchase a ticket, which I didn't mind because I was so excited to see this show. Once we got in the front door, there was a long hallway that had all of the Godzilla movie posters hanging in chronological order and a brief history next to each poster on how that "Gojira" (that is what the Japanese call him) movie was conceived. After looking at all of the posters, I turn the corner and the hallway opened up into this very large room where there are all of the props and rubber monster suits on display from almost all of the Gojira movies. I was in heaven...........I walked very slowly from one display to the next, taking pictures and observing as much as I could.

It was an unbelievable moment for me. I got to be that little kid again.......

I want to thank my wife for putting up with me on that day. I don't really think she knew how excited I was to see this and how important this moment was to me.

Thank you Pecochan, for helping to make a little kid's dream come true.


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