Above: Mechagodzilla

Above: the Jabberwock from the Alice books

Above: a monster theme park, Boardwalk and Baseball, Florida (now lost)


Skip Peel
Q & A
Daikaiju! story: "Park Rot "

When did your interest in daikaiju and other giant monsters begin? What inspired it?

A love of animals led to a love of dinosaurs, which led to a love of giant monsters, and then led to a specific love of Japanese daikaiju -- all by age 5!

Perhaps you can tell us something of your career to date.  

As regards fiction, I have penned two novels, a children’s book, several short stories, and co-authored a full-length play, none of which have seen publication. I have written numerous dramatic, comedic, and puppet skits that have been performed for local educational, church, and community interests. My biggest success lies in being the creator and author of the long running Rex Summeral series, printed over the past 10 years in G-Fan Magazine.

How many giant monsters stories have you written/had published?

Though some where multi-part stories, 47 Rex Summeral tales have so far appeared in G-Fan.

What would you consider your major work to be? 

One of my novels, titled The Love Potion.

Where does your fascination for giant monsters come from (if you have one)? 

Monsters are inherently fascinating because they are one of the most pure forms of creativity. If animals are among the apex of natural creation, then what are monsters but new animals man creates with his imagination?

Different people have different ideas as to why the giant monster genre holds such power? What is your take on it? 

The genre takes an already engaging concept, the monster, and places it on a grandiose scale.  The visual imagery of this is simply iconic and irresistible.

What is your favourite giant monster film? Why that one? 

Five or six Showa era Toho films always battle in my mind and heart for this honor. In recent years I have said it is Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla ’74, primarily for its energetic and brutal style set to the pounding rhythms of Taiko drums, but Destroy All Monsters still holds a strong place with its army of marching monsters. The original Mothra would likely be my sure favorite for its beauty, charm, and whimsy, if only it had Godzilla in it.

Are there any written stories or novels featuring giant monsters that you would particularly recommend? 

In Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass there is a giant crow that is not significant, but I am forced to mention it because it is my all time favorite book. [How about the Jabberwock? -- ed.]

What lies ahead for you? 

As regards my fiction, perhaps someday I’ll find someone with enough chutzpah that I will hire them to go with me into New York and force some agent or editor to take on my work.

Can you tell us how you came to write your story for the DAIKAIJU! anthology? What thoughts lay behind it? 

I love Disney theme parks passionately and have intimate experience with them, but one can follow the recent headlines on Wall Street and know that all has not been well for the past 10 to 15 years.

The daikaiju genre (such as it is) has been very film-focussed to date. Did this prove a problem when you came to writing your story? 

Somewhat, because I believe monsters are by far their best in a visual medium, so I knew there had to be some other hook to the story.  The monsters became more a unique method of expounding upon other ideas and themes.

What would you say to those new to the idea of daikaiju films and stories? 

Don’t fall into the mundane and common trap of “growing up.”  Experience monsters without adult prejudice and embrace the wonder, beauty, and spectacle they so readily offer.

March 2005


The anthology is published by Agog! Press.

You can email the editors at <daikaiju@roberthood.net>

but read this first!