UPDATE #54 (1/1/20): 2019 in Reflection: A Look Back at This Last Year’s Accomplishments, and a Look Forward to an Exciting 2020!

Salutations, dear readers! Happy New Year, and welcome to 2020! We’re a few hours into the new decade, and so far, so good!

While I’m planning a more in-depth status report for the GNP that’ll hit the site in late February (the 2nd Anniversary of the project!), I wanted to take a brief(ish) moment to reflect on this last year, and to take stock of just what was accomplished in 2019. And it was quite a lot! New books started, new chapters published, new timelines launched, a few cosmetic upgrades, G-FEST panels and podcast appearances… it was a heck of a year! And, with hindsight being… 2020… there’s plenty to look back on with happiness.

And no, I will not be apologizing for that joke.

Anyway, let’s get started!

Since the beginning of 2019, the GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT has:

Whew! See? That was a lot!

And folks, all of that – plus the previous year’s work – is just the beginning.

2020 is going to be a big year for the project, and for other monster-related endeavors I’ll be embarking on during the coming year. Those will be announced at a later time (and I cannot wait to discuss my plans with all of you!), but in regard to the GNP, it’s my personal goal to have (at least) ONE full GNP book in the can by the end of the year. How’s that for a New Year’s Resolution? It’ll be a tall order (especially with a number of changes in my personal life barreling toward me), but with your encouragement and support, I think it’s entirely possible. Besides, for all your patience (and aforementioned support), you deserve it!

So yeah, this next year is set to be a fun one. Busy, but fun! I cannot wait to continue on this journey, and I hope you’ll continue to join me as we enter the new year.

Happy 2020 to you all, and I’ll see you soon in the next update!

UPDATE #53 (12/10/19): SPACEGODZILLA Turns 25! Let the Novelization Begin!

Happy December, readers! Hard to believe we’re already closing in on the end of 2019, and getting close to the second anniversary of the GNP! We really are growing up fast…

Anyway, I’m here to talk about a FAR more important anniversary than mine, and, as I often tend to do in these updates, to tell a story that makes the subject of today’s addition to the site particularly special…

25 years ago today, Toho released their 21st Godzilla film, and the film that itself signified the 40th Anniversary of the franchise: Kensho Yamashita’s Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla.  It was a tale of psychics and space travel, of mechas and monsters, of cute baby Godzillas and even a bit of romance.  Despite the reputation the film has (some might argue unfairly) developed over the years, this entry in the Godzilla series has always been one of my favorites.  I am fully aware that by saying this I have delegitimized myself to a certain sect of the fandom, and should be expecting an angry mob to descend on my home with torches and pitchforks.  But you know what?  I simply don’t care.  Bring it on, I say!  I fully intend to die on this hill, proudly waving a banner that says, “SPACEGODZILLA IS UNDERRATED!”

Whew, glad I got that off my chest.

Anyway, back to business.  I mention all this for two reasons, and upon the first of those reasons hangs a tale…

As I talk about briefly in my introduction to the GNP, the idea that would eventually become this project first started back when I was in high school.  I was 17, and got it into my head that adapting the Godzilla series to the written word would be a fun project to tackle, and in my excitement I produced at least two fully written prologues to potential novelizations.  One of those prologues was for Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla, and it was the one I thought turned out the best.  It was a brief retelling of the film’s opening moments: a series of bright lights shoot through space, followed by the imposing form of a monster.  The lights crash to earth, explosions ensue, Godzilla roars… it all rolled out of my mind and onto the spare notebook paper I kept in my homework binder.  Ah, youth.

Needless to say, a follow-up chapter never materialized.  The pressures and stresses of being a teenager ultimately took precedence, and your humble author shelved the project, secretly hoping the day would come when I could dust it off.

That was ten years ago.  How time flies.

But obviously the project did get dusted off.  Over the last two years, it has evolved beyond anything I ever could have dreamed of in high school.  And in that time, that prologue for Spacegodzilla remained in the back of my mind, waiting to become an official part of the GNP…

Which brings me to the second reason I’m telling you all this: that prologue has been sitting on my computer – fully polished, re-written from its previous “written by a teenager” form, and ready to publish – for over a year!

So why did I wait?

Because releasing it on the 25th Anniversary of the film seemed like the perfect way to celebrate a film I love, regardless of how many gatekeepers attempt to insult or dismiss me.

So, without further ado, the GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT proudly presents the beginning of Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla: The Unofficial Novelization.

Read it here, and stay tuned for more soon!

Catch ya next time!

UPDATE #52 (10/31/19): Shigeru Speaks! Celebrate Halloween 2019 with a Spooky New Short Story!

Happy Halloween, readers! As a certain Transylvanian Count once intoned, I bid you welcome!

I don’t know about you guys, but Halloween is my favorite time of the year.  After all, October is the one month when being a monster fanatic is socially acceptable!  While watching monster movies and enjoying a good spooky story is a year-round obsession for me, its hard to deny that such ghastly goings on just feel more right on Halloween night.  The weather is gloomy and dark, the leaves on the trees are in that perfect state of half living, half dying, and there/s nothing better than curling up under a warm blanket to partake in a creepy movie or book.

Last year, the GNP celebrated Halloween in style, going all-out with a social media celebration of terrifying tokusatsu flicks, all leading up to the publication of a brand new short story: Casefile”MATANGO”, based on one of Ishiro Honda’s most chilling creature features.  Well, I had so much fun doing it that this year, I decided to do it again!  If you’ve been following along on Facebook and Twitter, the GNP has been counting down 13 DAYS OF TOKU TERROR, all leading to October 31st for a special spooky surprise… and whaddya know, that’s today!  So, without further ado, its time to reveal the GNP’s newest scary story…

In 1956, Toho released its first color kaiju eiga, a brilliant and masterfully constructed spectacle of destruction and horror about a series of ghastly murders in a mine, a race of ravenous giant insects, and a duo of flying reptiles hell bent on the destruction of mankind.  The film was Sora no Daikaiju Radon, or, as its known outside of Japan, Rodan.  I could go on and on about how much I love this film, or about how great it is.  But I’ll spare you all that and just say this… in addition to being entertaining and ultimately tragic, its also a film guaranteed to creep the heck out of you!  Seriously… mutilated bodies fished out of flooded mines?  Giant insects that rip people apart like madmen?  Giant Pterosaurs reducing jet pilots to piles of bloody clothes and simply flying over a building to tear it down? This is scary stuff!  If ever there was a giant monster film that could be called a true horror flick, this, my friends, is it.

In other words, it was the perfect film to adapt for this year’s Halloween story!

Using the plot and flow of the original Japanese cut and combining it with the memorable narration dialogue written for the American version (in a similar fashion to The Steve Martin Report), this new story – which will be presented in two parts to reflect the structure of the film itself – is told in the form of an extended letter written by the film’s main character, Shigeru, played memorably by the great actor Kenji Sahara.  With all the character went through in the film, including watching his friends die and being so traumatized by witnessing Rodan hatch that he looses his memory, I thought his perspective would be an interesting one to view the film through.  I’m pretty proud of the end result, and I hope it will be entertaining for you all to read!

With that said, I think its time for me to stop talking and let you all read!  Happy Halloween to all of you, and I hope you enjoy the first part of the GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT’s newest short story: Sora no Daikiju: An Excerpt from the Writings of Shigeru Kawamura.

Read it here.

See you all in November!

UPDATE #51 (9/18/19): It’s Mothra vs. Battra in the GNP’s Newest Short Story!

Greetings, readers! Hard to believe it’s already September, isn’t it?

Before I begin this long overdue update, I’d like to sincerely apologize for the lack of new content as of late. As I mention in the site’s introduction, long stretches of inactivity like this are sometimes unavoidable, and these last few months have thrown enough at me in my personal life that finding the time to write was difficult.  I’d like to thank you all for your patience and continued support, and once again apologize for the long wait between updates.

That said, I’m happy to report that the drought is officially over, and the GNP is back in action with a brand new short story! And what a story it is…

As long-time GNP readers will know, I have a habit of crafting my shorter tales as “in-universe” artifacts. For example, The Steve Martin Report was posited as the actual report crafted by Raymond Burr’s legendary character shortly after the events of 1956’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Casefile: MATANGO is presented as the actual testimony delivered by that film’s sole survivor to the authorities. It’s become a tradition of sorts for me to write the GNP’s short stories and novellas in this fashion, and this newest story definitely falls into line with this pattern while tackling the presentation of the prose in a new (and hopefully entertaining) way.

For me, the origin of this newest tale goes all the way back to my childhood, and to my formative years as a Godzilla fan. Some of my fondest memories from this time include watching three particular films from the franchise practically on repeat: 1991’s Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, 1993’s Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, and last but not least, 1992’s Godzilla vs. Mothra, better known in the US as Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth. To this day these three films hold an incredibly special place in my heart, and the ’92 take on the immortal character of Mothra remains one of my favorites in her long history. In particular, the tantalizing bits of backstory for her and Battra sprinkled into the script captured my attention. An ancient civilization of Mothra worshippers? Arcane machines that siphoned the life force of the Earth? An ancient battle between Mothra and her dark twin Battra? To me, this felt like it’s own movie just waiting to be made, and my fascination with the storytelling potential of this unexplored period in Mothra’s history is still very much present in my mind today.

And so, in lieu of making an actual film depicting and fleshing out these events (hey, maybe if I were a millionaire!), I decided that such a tale had great potential as a new addition to the GNP’s growing catalogue of “in-universe” short stories. Not only did it allow me to finally put a story that I had been formulating since childhood down into words, but it FINALLY gave me a chance to produce some Heisei era content for the site, which has been long overdue!

And so, after some thinking and planning, I decided to approach the story from an angle not yet used in a GNP project. I reasoned that the tale should be written as an ancient text, in a style similar to a biblical book or ancient epic. For a story set 12,000 years in the past, such an approach seemed like a natural fit. In the end, I think it gives the final product a unique feel that once again proves just how eclectic this site can be in its storytelling styles!

Ultimately, this is a story I’m happy to have told, and while certain elements did have to be invented to flesh out the story, I believe the finished “ancient text” is both true to, and respectful of, the film upon which it’s based.

So, without further ado, the GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT is proud to present its newest short story: The Cosmos Apocrypha!

Follow this link to begin reading!

Once again, each and every one of you reading these words has my eternal gratitude for your patience, your patronage, and your support. I hope I can continue to be worthy of the trust you place in me, and that you continue to be entertained by the GNP’s efforts both past and future.

Happy reading, and stay tuned for more announcements soon!

UPDATE #50 (8/19/19): Help Support the GNP with Amazon Affiliate Marketing Links!

Hey there, readers!

It’s been a while since the last update, but rest assured, exciting things are happening behind the scenes! All will be announced in due time, but today, it’s time to reveal one of the bigger things I’ve been working on since G-FEST ended…

On various pages of the website (most notably on each novel’s Contents page) can now be found links to Amazon.com, specifically to items (DVD’s, Blu-rays, books, and more) hand picked by me to appeal to Godzilla fans/kaiju lovers! By clicking these links and purchasing said items, the GNP receives a small monetary percentage of the sale!

Welcome, dear friends, to the wonderful world of affiliate marketing!

Why is this a thing? Much like Patreon, this is a way for the GNP to acquire funds for research material, translators, and the future production of merch for supporters. Affiliate marketing purchases from readers like you might not produce a lot of money at first (perhaps as little as a few cents per purchase), but that money adds up with more clicks and purchases, and the resulting revenue is, like Patreon donations, reinvested right back into the project.

In other words, by using one of the links found across the website (and on a special master list linked below) for your next kaiju-related purchase, you’re not only adding new Godzilla goodies to your collection, but you’re helping the GNP continue to create content at no extra charge to you!

Just as with Patreon, any support via affiliate marketing is immensely appreciated, and to those who would consider using the GNP’s new links to order (or pre-order) their G-swag, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Check out the master list here, and if you see something you like, follow the link and get to buyin’! (Note: this list is still a work in progress. Expect more additions in the future!)

See you soon for the next update, and as always, thank you for your continued support!

UPDATE #49 (7/21/19): A G-FEST XXVI Post Mortem and Exciting Updates!

Happy Sunday, Godzilla fans!

It’s now been almost a week since I safely returned home to GNP HQ after five glorious days in Chicago, where I was ecstatic to be attending my TENTH consecutive G-FEST. As is the case every year, the period immediately following the end of the con is always a sad time, as it means saying goodbye to friends, leaving behind a community of like-minded fans, and not seeing the majesty of the Dealer’s Room for another 12 months.

However, while the conclusion of G-FEST – and subsequent return to the “real world” – is always hard on fans like me, I’m glad to say that, as with last year, the amazing time I had promoting the GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT, chatting with readers, and making important research/merchandising connections more than made up for those pesky post-G-FEST Blues.

From co-hosting a panel and dispatching business cards like ninja throwing stars, to connecting with fellow writers, meeting loyal supporters of the project, and even executive producing the Kaiju Crescendo concert (!), the GNP was VERY busy at G-FEST XXVI. And I loved every second of it!

For those curious, here’s a rundown of this year’s highlights:

1) As previously mentioned, friend/fellow writer Nate Marchand and I teamed up to present one of the first panels at this year’s con: an in-depth look into the lives and careers of the Showa era’s unsung writing heroes Shinichi Sekizawa and Takeshi Kimura. It was my first ever panel at G-FEST, and the fulfillment of a ten-year-long dream to one day be part of the convention that had given (and continues to give) me so much happiness. It was a surreal thrill to be at the front of the Crown Plaza’s Kennedy Room, talking to and engaging with an incredibly generous and interested audience.

And speaking of the audience… it was quite a large one! We literally filled that room to capacity. By the time we started our discussion at noon, it was standing room only! I was completely blown away; in ten years of attending G-FEST, I have never seen that particular room so full. It was beyond humbling to see so many Kaiju lovers interested in what we had to say about these two remarkable men.

But the flattery didn’t stop there, as when I introduced myself as the creator of the GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT, I received a completely unexpected, nearly ten-second-long round of applause! I was speechless, and, I’ll admit, a bit emotional at the reaction my introduction received. The fact that nearly the entire room knew who I was blew me away, and gave me a massive dose of validation. It was all I could do to keep the waterworks from starting.

If you were among those who attended our panel, I truly thank you from the bottom of my heart. Not only was it amazing to be so warmly received for my own creative endeavors, but it was fantastic seeing so many people interested in learning about the two men we were there to shed some much needed light upon. We had a blast presenting the panel, and we hope you maybe learned something new!

For those who missed it, or attendees who would like to see it again, follow this link to give the panel a watch!

(Also, at the conclusion of the panel, Nate unveiled and launched his exciting new podcast, The Monster Island Film Vault! Be sure to check out the show’s website and give his promo a listen!)

2) As with last year, I was able to talk about the project with fans and readers in person. It was incredibly humbling to see so many people interested and supportive of the idea, and excited to check it out! (At last count, I think I went through something like eighty business cards!) It was also wonderful conversing with Twitter/Facebook followers and even several Patreon supporters, who were wonderfully generous with compliments and suggestions, as well as excited to chat sans computer screen!

3) Again, as with last year, I was legitimately RECOGNIZED for the project on several occasions! Being told “Oh yeah! I’ve heard of that!” or “Wow, I’ve read your stuff and I love it!” is remarkably humbling, and it meant a lot to discover that word of the project is continuing to spread! One of the nicest surprises I got this year was being asked about the project’s progress by none other than Kyle Yount, creator/host of the Kaijucast and a thoroughly awesome dude. Pretty dang cool, if you ask me!

4) I got to meet with fellow writers (many of them with far more experience in writing kaiju stories than me) and pick their brains for tips and tricks on how to make my own novels better. I also met a number of amateur writers who shared their work with me and even expressed interest in future collaborations! I saw a LOT of talent on display this year in the writing department.

5) I made some important and exciting connections with researchers in the field of kaiju history, and reconnected with others whom I had met previously, including the incredibly generous John LeMay, author of several exhaustively researched books on the history of Japanese giant monster films. (Seriously, if you haven’t read The Big Book of Japanese Giant Monster Movies: The Lost Films, PLEASE DO. Its essential reading for any kaiju lover.)

6) Like last year, I was able to connect with some potential merchandising partners! The production of GNP-related swag (t-shirts, keychains, coffee mugs, stickers, etc.) is on the horizon, and several Patreon supporters have expressed interest in upping their pledges to include the above items! Thanks to a few generous individuals who’ve expressed interest in helping me, things are looking good for GNP merch!

7) Last but not least, I was honored to see my name printed on the official program book/poster for the historic Kaiju Crescendo concert as an Executive Producer. Thanks to Kickstarter, I was able to play a small part in helping to make a night of powerful, emotional music a reality, and it’s no exaggeration to say that I was moved to tears by the experience. To see Michiru Oshima lead the orchestra in the performance of her incredible Godzilla scores was transcendent, and John DeSentis was fantastic, as always, as he conducted suites from composers Akira Ifukube and Masaru Sato. The performers all knocked it out of the park, with the highlight (at least for me) being the vocal performance of King Caesar’s song from Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974). It was a night I’ll never forget.

………………………………………………

Whew, I think that’s enough of an update for today! If you made it down that wall of text, good on ya!

Before I go, I’d like to once again express my sincere gratitude to everyone who took interest in the GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT over the weekend, and to all of you reading these words right now. Your support truly means the world to me, and I hope I can continue to be worthy of it.
Expect more updates soon as this wonderful, crazy journey continues!

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Is it time for G-FEST XXVII yet?

UPDATE #48 (7/11/19): Its GNP vs. G-FEST!

Greetings, all!

That magical time of the year is upon us again… the time when thousands of kaiju lovers converge on Chicago to celebrate a mutual love for all things Godzilla! Panels will be attended, movies will be watched, autographs will be signed, and wallets will be dramatically depleted.

And we fans will love every precious second of it!

I’ve been fortunate enough to have attended G-FEST for the last 10 consecutive years, and it is truly the BEST weekend of the year for Godzilla enthusiasts. This year is set to be another fantastic experience, and once again, I’ll be representing the GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT at this most special gathering of like-minded fans! As with last year, I cannot wait to discuss the project with my fellow attendees, and I hope that I’ll be able to meet some of my readers in person!

However, that’s not all I’ll be up to this weekend. This year, as I mentioned in a previous update, I’ll not only be attending the con, but I’ll be a part of it, as well!

On Friday, July 12th at Noon (tomorrow at the time of this update!), the GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT will join forces with friend/fellow writer Nate Marchand for an in-depth discussion on the careers and lives of two pivotal players in the history of Godzilla/Kaiju films: screenwriters Shinichi Sekizawa and Takeshi Kimura.

Once again, here’s the official description of the panel:

Most of Toho’s classic tokusatsu films started with scripts penned by the Showa era creative team’s unsung heroes, Shinichi Sekizawa and Takeshi Kimura. Join Nathan Marchand (professional writer and co-creator of Kaijuvision Radio) and Daniel DiManna (creator/author of the Godzilla Novelization Project) as they explain how these polar opposite storytellers revolutionized the kaiju genre.

Sounds fascinating, no?

If you’re attending G-FEST this year, be sure not to miss Nate and I delve into the careers of these two titans of the genre! It’ll be a fun time, and hopefully it’ll shed some much needed light on two guys who tend to be overshadowed by the Ishiro Hondas and Eiji Tsuburayas of Kaiju history.

(Also, be sure to watch for my name in association with the KAIJU CRESCENDO concert! Thanks to Kickstarter, I’m an Executive Producer on the event, and I couldn’t be more thrilled! Be sure to secure your tickets while you can and witness this historic performance!)

So, yeah… this G-FEST is definiteiy shaping up to be a memorable one! Between co-hosting a panel and having my name associated with a live Kaiju concert, the GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT will be receiving a ton of exposure, hopefully bringing in more readers, fans, and supporters!

I hope to see you all here at the con! If you’re at the show this year, be sure to look for a guy in a “Godzilla Novelization Project” shirt, and stop me if you want to chat!

Let the fun begin!