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!
Is it time for G-FEST XXVII yet?