Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Killer Kaiju Monsters: Strange Beasts of Japanese Film (Ivan Vartanian)(HarperCollins)(2010)

Source: HarperCollins

Killer Kaiju Monsters is the ultimate ode to the legendary monsters of the Japanese golden era of special effects movies and television shows, beginning with the granddaddy of them all—Godzilla. Featuring graphic full-color illustrations of the most notable kaiju along with descriptions of their strengths, weaknesses, and special powers, as well as information on the heroes and heroines who prevented kaiju attacks, and the creators who designed these magnificent monsters, Killer Kaiju Monsters is the definitive guide to these strange beasts of Japanese cinema.

Graphic full-color illustrations of the most notable Kaiju are featured in this beautifully designed book, along with descriptions of their strengths, weaknesses and special powers. Also featured are the heroes and heroines who prevented Kaiju attacks, the creators who designed these breathtaking beasts, and a breakdown of the central, defining plot and story structures of Kaiju dramas and battle sequences. A Kaiju research section that assembles data, charts, and figures—valuable scientific findings that will aid in the battle to save humankind is also included, and artist Mark Nagata will render cross-sections of a Kaiju to show the skeletal and muscular construction of these monsters.

Ivan Vartanian is an author, editor and the founder of Goliga Books, Inc., a book-packaging company specializing in art, photography, and design. His publications on art include: Full Vinyl: The Subversive Art of Designer Toys, an overview of hundreds of the world's most popular miniature collectible figures and the inspired creators behind them, Andy Warhol: Drawings and Illustrations of the 1950s, which traces the artist's ten years of work as a commercial illustrator before his re-invention as a pop artist and impresario, Egon Schiele: Drawings and Watercolors, a comprehensive chronology of the artist's rapid development as a master of human expression before his death at the age of 28, and Drop Dead Cute: The New Generation of Women Artists in Japan, a survey of contemporary drawing in Japan. His design books include: Now Loading . . . : The Aesthetics of Web Graphics, a survey of cutting-edge web design, Graphiscape: New York City and Graphiscape: Tokyo, a series of books about “found graphics“ that define the graphic sense of major cities, and TypoGraphics, a look at the overlap between graphics and type. His photography books include the monographs Studio Portrait: A Documentary of Yoshitomo Nara, Kamaitachi: Photographs by Eikoh Hosoe, and the anthology Setting Sun: Writings by Japanese Photographers. Ivan Vartanian lives in Tokyo, Japan.

Outside Review: We Review Killer Kaiju Monsters
By Tim Janson

Killer Kaiju Monsters takes a look at Japan’s greatest export to the world (Toyotas notwithstanding), giant monster movies. Editor Ivan Vartanian treats fans to a fun and informative look at the monsters and films made famous by studios like Toho and Toei. The Kaiju craze was kicked off with 1954’s Godzilla, the first of 28 Godzilla films made through 2004. Vartanian doesn’t go into a lot of depth about the films themselves other than some brief notes and a filmography but he rather concentrates on the monsters themselves.

Each chapter highlights one of the great Kaiju monsters including Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah, Rodan, Gamera, and others. The chapters provide a list of the films that each monster has appeared in as well as creative notes about the monster’s creation.

Vartanian includes cross-section drawings of various Kaiju made by Shoji Ohtomo, a noted writer, editor, and Kaiju expert. These drawings show fans the inner-workings of the monsters so now you can see where Gamera’s various flame-spewing abilities are stored inside of his body.
For fans and collectors of Kaiju memorabilia, among the most popular items are the myriad of soft-vinyl toys that have been produced over the decades and Vartanian dedicates one chapter to these as well. Made by companies like Marusan and Bullmark, these figures have now become highly sought after by collectors.

Killer Kaiju Monsters doesn’t have enough detail to be considered an academic look at the genre but it’s a lot of fun and filled with dozens of gorgeous black & white and full color photography. Grade B

Read More

See Also: "The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan" In Tokyo / Mushroom Clouds And Mushroom Men - The Fantastic Cinema Of Ishiro Honda (2010)(Peter H. Brothers)

No comments:

Post a Comment


Burbank, CA – March 29, 2010 – Legendary Pictures announced today that they will develop and produce a new film based on Toho Company’s famed GODZILLA character. Through the terms of the agreement, Legendary Pictures has acquired the rights to produce a movie inspired by Toho’s Godzilla, a franchise the Japanese company created and has nurtured for over fifty years.

Toho’s GODZILLA franchise boasts one of the most widely recognized film creatures worldwide, resulting in a series of books, television programs, video games and more than 25 films worldwide. Legendary intends to approach the film and its characters in the most authentic manner possible. The company will, in the near future, announce a filmmaker to helm the film for an intended 2012 release. The film will fall under the company’s co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. Toho will distribute the film in Japan."

"Godzilla" is coming back -- this time, with Legendary Pictures taking the lead, co-producing and co-financing with Warner Bros. for release in 2012.

Legendary announced Monday it had obtained rights to the iconic monster character from Japan's Toho Co., which has overseen more than 25 "Godzilla" films. Toho will release the pic in Japan.

Legendary said it's planning to announce a director shortly.

In addition to Legendary, producers on the new film will be Dan Lin, Roy Lee and Brian Rogers. Yoshimitsu Banno, Kenji Okuhira and Doug Davison will exec produce.

"Godzilla is one of the world's most powerful pop culture icons, and we at Legendary are thrilled to be able to create a modern epic based on this long-loved Toho franchise," said Thomas Tull, Chairman and CEO of Legendary. "Our plans are to produce the Godzilla that we, as fans, would want to see. We intend to do justice to those essential elements that have allowed this character to remain as pop-culturally relevant for as long as it has."

Legendary noted the film will fall under its co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. Legendary's productions with Warners have included "The Dark Knight," "300" and "The Hangover."

Speculation about a new "Godzilla" has been active since last summer. The Bloody Disgusting web site reported in August that the project was in development.