So with Toho beating the drums about a new, upcoming Godzilla movie, I can’t help but look back at my lifetime obsession with the big grey guy. Yes, I said grey, because, let’s be frank, G-man is grey, not green, and calling him green risks you receiving a tongue-lashing from the fans.
I remember when the first big Godzilla revolution hit our shores, and the waves it made. This was back in the day of the ill-fated Tristar Godzilla, known surreptitiously among the G-fans as “GINO”–Godzilla in Name Only. The movie was something of a legendary kaiju-fail, but its presence did get Godzilla on the fiction shelves, however briefly. Though aimed toward young adults, these books caused adult fans to crowd the fiction shelves in Wal-marts all across the country–at least, in a time when readers of any type crowded shelves. Below, I’ll talk a little bit about the books.
Godzilla by Kazuhisa Iwata and Mike Richardson is something of an introductory guide for Godzilla virgins into the wild and wacky world of kaijudom. It chronicles the “return of Godzilla” and reads a bit like a literary version of the film Godzilla 1985, only with teens. It’s a good enough book, though it treads no real new ground.
Godzilla 2000 by Marc Cerasini is a bit more fun and chronicles a secret government experiment intent on training teens to defeat monsters using super hi-tech (for their time) weapons and vehicles. I highly recommend it for action aficionados.
Next we have Godzilla at World’s End by Marc Cerasini and Godzilla Vs. the Space Monster by Scott Ciencin, which came out pretty much simultaneously and calls back to the old Showa (1960’s and 1970’s) series of “big battle” Godzilla, whereby Godzilla goes up against some very familiar (and popular) foes like Biollante, King Ghidorah and others.
Finally, we have Godzilla Vs. the Robot Monsters by Marc Cerasini which sort of rounds out the whole collection by calling back to one of Godzilla’s greatest and most dangerous foes, Mecha-Godzilla.
There are many other books, of course, both on the history of kaiju as well as fiction books for all different kinds of readerships, but if you want a solid place to start, and you can find them (I would check Ebay and set Google alerts to the book, if you’re interested) I suggested starting with the above book. And yes, I own them all. Forever and ever and ever. 😉
With the newly revised interest in Godzilla, we can only hope that a new collection of kaiju books will hit the shelves–or Kindle readers, be that as it may. We need more Godzilla weighing the shelves, and let’s be frank, who wouldn’t want Godzilla on their e-book reading device these days?
–K. H. Koehler
K. H. Koehler is the author of her own ongoing kaiju series, The Kaiju Hunter, as well as being an open kaijuoholic. https://khkoehlerbooks.wordpress.com/