When did your interest in drawing/creating kaiju begin? What inspired it?
To quote myself from the American Kaiju site, "I have loved big monsters since I was six years old". One of my earliest memories is seeing the trailers for Godzilla, King of the Monsters, and Gigantis, the Fire Monster a few years after that. Seeing what/who would be eventually referred as 'The Big G' for the first time made an indelible impression on me ... one from which I have never recovered.
Perhaps you can tell us something of your career to date.
Of course, I was very much inspired to draw the giant monsters I saw on TV as a kid, and made many little booklets with their stories attached. As I grew into my teens, my interests changed and I became a rock and jazz drummer, putting all of my efforts into those pursuits. Later on, I gravitated back to employment involving artwork, and eventually evolved into an illustrator. Although I have been a professional illustrator for 26 years, you could describe me as somewhat of a "late bloomer" as a Kaiju-Artist, having only been actually involved in that genre since around 2000. I started the original American Kaiju website in 2002 for the purpose of displaying my art and comics, as well as the fiction of my creative partner, Mike Bogue (who writes our AK-comics stories). Since then, we lost our web-host due to a "hostile takeover", but were gloriously rescued by Brandon Waggle and his very kind staff of www.kaijuphile.com (formerly Rodan’s Roost), and given our new home. My "career" is still a "labor of love", although Mike and I are hoping that we will reach pro-status upon publication of our graphic novel King Komodo. Perhaps 2005 will be "the year of the KOMODO" ... but we’ll just have to wait and see.
What would you consider your major work to be?
That would have to be King Komodo -- the largest and deadliest of all our American Kaiju. KK is an atomically mutated Megalania, whose DNA has been spliced with that of other prehistoric animals, resulting in his unique and upright-walking appearance. You can discover much more about him in his own section at our AK site.
What are your aims in regard to the art of giant monsterdom?
My main goal is to become a full-time kaiju-comic illustrator. I'm grateful for the architectural rendering work I've been doing for so long, but my heart longs to release all of the American Kaiju upon the world (on a monthly basis) through the comics and graphic novel print media. From there, we plan to knock on Hollywood’s door in hopes of film, cartoon or television opportunities ... is that ambitious enough for you?
Where does your fascination for giant monsters come from?
That’s simply one of those unexplainable things that I myself haven’t yet been able to figure out. I just can't help it ... I love kaiju (or giant monsters if you like)! I've always reasoned that they might be easier to hide from than their more human-sized counterparts ... maybe that's it!
Different people have different ideas as to why the giant monster genre holds such power. What is your take on it?
That would have to go back to the early exposure to giant monster movies I spoke of earlier. Virtually every other Godzilla or Kaiju-fan I have ever spoken with has shared similar experiences.
What is your favorite giant monster film? Why that one?
Probably The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, with the original King Kong coming in as a close second. I choose Beast because it was re-released in the early '60s when I was old enough to really appreciate and understand that genre of movies. Also, I've always loved dinosaurs (just a little more than giant apes) and Beast was definitely one of those "critters".
Currently there is considerable buzz going around in regards to King Komodo. What can you tell us about that?
My guess is that you are referring to "King Komodo, The Trailer". Earlier this year I was describing an idea I had for a "trailer" with a Canadian film-maker friend of mine (Dan Tapia), should KK ever become a feature film. He liked what I described, and encouraged me to storyboard it -- which I did and then sent on to him. Dan then put those illos together as an "animated storyboard", which you can download at our site. Since then I was contacted by Vancouver SPFX-man Vince Akira Yoshida, who also graciously volunteered his services to the production of this trailer. [Vince has worked on many film productions up in Vancouver, including Freddy vs Jason, Lake Placid, and I, Robot.] Dan has filmed the "live action" for the trailer up in Toronto, and will soon be presenting a "making of" mini-documentary that will be up at American Kaiju after some finishing touches have been made. Vince is busy at work on the models, armatures, and SPFX to finish up this little production. After that, we are hoping to capture the attention of either Hollywood (or Vancouver) through Vince’s professional contacts.
Where do you see your career going from here?
I will continue to develop kaiju-comics stories with Mike Bogue in hopes of finding a publisher, but may try seeking investors for self-publishing. Other than that, I am also open to working with other writers interested in producing graphic novels involving Daikaiju.
Can you tell us a bit about your picture for the anthology?
[the picture for Daikaiju! was right here so I could show you ... but, sorry, it slipped out of my hand somehow ... honestly! Oh, well. I guess you'll have to check it out in the book itself...]
Actually, I don’t want to give too much away about that; but I will say that it involves four giant monsters from Frank Wu’s very cool and very edgy daikaiju story, "The Tragical History of Guidolon, the Giant Space Chicken". The only other thing I’ll reveal is this: when you first see the illustration, it will look like one scenario is happening, but once you read the story, you’ll discover that something else quite different is actually going on. Intriguing, no?
What would you say to those new to the idea of daikaiju films and stories?
Try and forget any preconceived ideas you might have regarding both Japanese and Western giant monster movies, and simply relax and enjoy them as a new and fun experience ... really!