I was recently introduced to a killer book. It was a gift, but not for me, so tempers flared when I got my grubby mitts on the hardbound book, but fear not I handled it like the gem it proved to be.
Killer Kaiju Monsters: Strange Beasts from Japanese Film was released in 2009 and compiled by Ivan Vartanian. I must say that Ivan did great job in developing this love note to Kaiju, which is simply translated from Japanese as ‘monster’. Now, I’ve been working on a pop-up project with monsters for a number of months now, but none of these bad boys ended up in the encyclopedic book. I’m talking about the ones from the 1950’s film that would play on Sunday afternoons in my youth. I’m talking about…oh my god…what is that….GODZILLA! I miss the simple pleasures of youth, yet I digress, so back to the book.
Not only is this book filled with classic movie stills and great photos but also other expressions of the kaiju culture. These include cut-away cross sections of Gamera and his gang, dissections of kaiju creations split on sheets of transparent paper, funky cut paper drawings, and a great papercraft lizard. Karikuri Kaiju was designed by Keisuke Saka who creates very inventive paper automata and some mind-boggling paper sculpture.
Anyone with fond memories of Godzilla battling Mothra would be proud to own this title, and I would be proud to call them a friend. Now let get out of this miniature cardboard version of Tokyo before he returns!