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G-FEST XXII: A Look Back

Written by Zechs on Tuesday, July 14 2015 and posted in Features

G-FEST XXII: A Look Back

Zechs Raids G-Fest Again. Yes, he chose this over SDCC. He loves the Kaiju-Genre that much.

Once again, I found myself at G-Fest (the great midwest or is it US Godzilla/Kaiju Convention), though, this time, I decided to expand the small sampling that I had last year. This time, I promised myself I'd go two days, go to some panels, and get a feel for the con in general rather than a by-the-numbers quick hit like I did last year. Also, it helped that I stayed there for a night instead of just running to hell and back to like a madman (aka what I do at C2E2). But the biggest road-bump was, of course, that this was taking place at the same time as SDCC. Of course, I was distracted by a certain moment from that con when it popped on my feed via my smart phone (the joy-stroke is still ongoing mind you. I really should go see a Doctor about that. That can't be healthy.) So what was it like to be in everything Kaiju-related?



Everything I experienced the previous year was heightened ten-fold with what awaited me this year. First off, I had to see the amazing artists of Godzilla: Rulers of the Earth (and if you think a review or "Look Back" is sooo not out of the question, you're right!! ONE IS COMING!!): Matt Frank and Jeff Zornow. These two are amazing artists and it's so darn fun to watch them do their thing. Though I will confess I am the evil bastard who took Frank's final 50th Anniversary Gamera print on Friday. I was also lured by Mr. Frank's original artwork and purchased a page of his from Godzilla: Rulers of the Earth (what page? Why, Showa King Ghidorah's first ever comic appearance. MINE! MINE! MINE! No one is taking it from me!!).

Zornow, as always, had a cornucopia of prints, and I bought a ton plus got two sketches from him of my favorite kaiju: Jet Jaguar and Gigan. He was also a great highlight at the panels: Kaiju Comics (which also had a few creators whose books I need to get, save Josh Finney. I already own his World War Kaiju Vol. 1 Graphic Novel. It rules!!) and Remembering Rulers: Kaijucast Live Show (which had him and Frank talking about being apart of the longest running Godzilla comic book EVER!!!).


The other big fun highlight was attending Kaiju Gaiden (moderated by Mark Jaramillo) and seeing trailers to movies I knew partially about and others I didn't have a single clue about. Of the bunch, my personal favorite was JJ: The M11 Project (a fan film that has Robert Scott Field reprise his role as the Android M11 where he and Jet Jaguar just battle each other with some human emotion thrown in there too. It looks amazing. I also saw one for a Chinese Kaiju film that has the cutest giant evil cold-blooded alien ever taking on a Soviet-made robot that utterly fails, and then a Chinese Deity getting in on the fun. It was insane. It was amazing. I want more!! Then, of course ,the reason I went in the first place: more footage of Godzilla vs. the Woflman (a fan film made by people who've worked on numerous Toho films). It's as crazy as it sounds, a movie that looks straight out of the early 60s Showa-Era Godzilla films with a Godzilla suit that harkens back to that age, a man transforming into a werewolf (in a very American Werewolf in London way), a lot of homage shots of the giant Wolfman that harken to War of the Gargantuas (1966), and, of course, the creatures of super science and super natural going at it. Supposedly, a full version of this film will screen at G-Fest next year (along with another Kaiju movie). Count me in on seeing that.

But with all the careful planning and fun, there were some hiccups and the unpredictability of life. Originally, Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989) was to show at 9:45 pm, before it was bumped to 11:00 pm due to a Symphonic Harmonic conducted by Kow Otani (composer of Heisei Gamera films, GMK (2002), and did music for an tiny anime called GUNDAM WING). To go to that symphony was REALLY tempting, and it didn't help that I kept running into one of people selling tickets and we traded barbs along with her trying to convince me and a friend to buy a ticket. We probably would have gone if Pickwick Theater didn't decide to change their policy this year in purchasing movie tickets. Unlike last year, where we could go to the theater and buy a ticket several hours ahead of time, this year, one had to wait until thirty minutes before showtime. Yes, that means the poor folks who saw the symphony had to go back in line to get tickets. THEN go back in the other line to wait for the theater to open their doors again.

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.... Yeah... But due to careful scheming, myself and my friend were the first two in the theater. Plus I had first dibs for a refill (the Pickwick's popcorn is so damn addicting and good). YES! Those who exited the theater or saw the idiot person who was first in line: IT WAS ME! Of course, in the end the ticket person saw me and decided to award me with a ticket too. A ticket which I'll keep and add to my Book of GODzilla (which is full of Kaiju prints and sketches yeeeesss). As for the experience of seeing a Godzilla movie I've seen countless times, but now on the big screen with fellow Kaiju fans? Utterly priceless!

So overall, this was a fun time. My only regret is I wish I spent more time there, but that's the breaks when one only has two days to kill instead of three or four. Still, I enjoyed what fun those two days brought me and wouldn't trade it for the world. Nor, finding out randomly at night the hotel I stayed at (the Crowne Plaza which held G-Fest) had a channel dedicated to all things kaiju (I watched a few episodes of Ultraman and I know of the film, but it's name I'm forgetting, but it was famous for its' climax with a ninja fighting a giant witch). All I can say is: when can I sign-up for G-Fest XXIII?


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About the Author - Zechs

Zechs is the lord and master of The Toy Shed, Moment of the Week, and Durnkin Reveewz. He's also the official whuppin boy at the Outhouse. So he'll get stuck seeing stuff that no mere mortal should ever see. If there's any greater quality to Zechs, it's that he's an avid fan of comic book characters and would defend them to the bitter end against the companies that use them wrongly. He's also brutally honest. Zechs walks the lonely path in Chicagoland area.


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