Above: Godzilla doing his victory dance in Monster Zero

Above: Assorted Shogun Warriors

Above: Minya ("Baby Godzilla") blowing smoke rings

Above: Mothra's twin fairies ... and Mothra


J.M. Shiloh
Q & A
Daikaiju! story: "Main in Suit!"

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

When I was around 9 or so, a local TV station played an after-school Godzilla film festival.  Every day that week, I rushed home to watch bizarre rubbery creatures tear up cardboard Tokyo, ignore certain laws of physics, spurt blood like water hoses, and do little victory dances when an opponent was vanquished. To a 9-year-old boy, this was all the entertainment one could ask for. Actually, that pretty much remains true now that I'm 30.

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

My first publication was a story called "Staring Game" in the Spring 2004 issue of Zahir (www.zahirtales.com). "Man in Suit!" is my second publication. Hopefully there will be a third. 

What would you consider your major work to be?

Whichever story happens to be assembling itself in my mind at the moment. Unfortunately, as soon as an idea is put to paper, it loses something -- your perfect vision converted into clunky words on a page. But my Daikaiju! tale came through the translation fairly well.

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

Probably it's an ancillary of my fascination with giant robots, which predated my introduction to Godzilla and was originally inspired by Mattel's "Shogun Warriors" toy line. Yes, they stripped-down and revamped the original creations by Japanese masters like Go Nagai, but all is forgiven; the Shoguns were for many of us gaijin a portal into the wide, weird world of Jumbo Machines and their Daikaiju enemies.

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

For some reason, giant anythings are just automatically cool. When I was a kid I had a book called The Giant Jam Sandwich, about a town that was plagued by wasps and decided to create an enormous sandwich to trap them all in. (This is, of course, the default response to wasp threats.) It was just mesmerizing. Now, if an oversized sandwich can hold that much fascination, how much more so an oversized monster? Monsters are way cooler than sandwiches, after all.  I have yet to meet anyone who disagrees with that.

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

Any of the really wacky, multi-monstered, what-were-they-smoking-when-they-made-this? movies will do.  You know, the Godzilla Vs. Everybody and His Radioactive Brother flicks. I figure if you're going to make a movie about giant monsters, why hold back on the absurdity? Baby Godzilla breathing atomic smoke rings? Some ask why. I ask, why not? And of course you can't go wrong with two miniature women singing to a giant moth.

What lies ahead for you?

I have always depended on the kindness of editors.

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

I have a particular liking for stories that start off as one thing and then slowly twist themselves into something else . . . a light-hearted tale that surreptitiously becomes something more serious, or a horror story that becomes comedic, etc.  In real life, comedy and tragedy are always "switching masks", and if you can capture this weird phenomenon in fiction, you have something memorable.  I tried my best with "Man in Suit!" and hopefully it worked.

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?

Not really, for reasons that should become apparent when one reads the story.

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

I would recommend being 9 years old.  But if you're a late-bloomer, you'll just have to pretend.

February 2005


The anthology is published by Agog! Press.

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

but read this first!