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‘The Godzilla Art of Kaida Yuji’ (review)

Written and Illustrated by Kaida Yuji
Published by Titan Books

 

Godzilla and I go way back.

My first Godzilla movie, around 1969, was Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster. Not really the best to start with but hey, wasn’t my idea. It was on Creature Features one Saturday night. Before long I was catching reissues of Monster Zero and others on the big screen. Then we started getting brand new ones like Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster and Godzilla vs. Megalon! I wasn’t into models but I kept the Aurora Godzilla model displayed in my room for years.

Eventually I had all the Godzilla movies on VHS—even bootlegs of a few not then available in the US. When our son came along in the late 1990s, his first favorite movie (OK, second, after 101 Dalmatians) was Destroy All Monsters! We bought him kaiju toys and there were even Godzilla children’s books around that time!

So yeah, me and the big G have a history.

Maybe that’s why it was so much fun just poring over the consistently marvelous color paintings and illustrations in the new art book, The Godzilla Art of Kaida Yuji. The artist is interviewed at the rear of the book and tells of his own history with the monsters, as well as his own thoughts on illustrating them.

Many of the paintings seen here—a great many done in Photoshop!—were first published in various other places over the years but others make their debut in this volume. There’s a great section towards the back giving details about each and every painting. If I have a complaint at all about this book, it’s having to go back and forth from the main body to the back to read about each image.

If you aren’t a Godzilla fan, you won’t even glance through this book. If you are, however, or ever were, the nostalgia is palpable as every era of the great creature and his Toho pals is lovingly represented.

My son’s 25 now and next month he’s coming home from college. Can’t wait to show him The Godzilla Art of Kaida Yuji.

Booksteve recommends.

 

 

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