World War Kaiju Interview!
Sunday - July 14, 2013 7:56 pm
It was my pleasure to get a chance to interview two of the creative team behind the upcoming graphic novel: World War Kaiju!
I hope you all enjoy this interview, and seriously consider donating to their kickstarter campaign. They are very close to getting the funding needed to make this happen. With the help of Kaijuphile's faithful members, we could help push this project over the funding goal!
Without further delay, I'd like to introduce two of the creative forces behind the project: Josh Finney (author and artist) and Patrick McEvoy (artist)...
How did the ideas for World War Kaiju come about?
JOSH: The initial concept took shape sometime after completing book two of my Titanium Rain series. A futuristic war story, that book had taken me to some dark places. Frankly, I needed a break. So I went on a classic kaiju film binge! While immersing myself in all things kaiju I began to see recurring symbols—the most obvious being the monsters as analogs for international tensions. Sure, its common knowledge that Godzilla was a metaphor for the bomb, but seeing these films again as an adult I became acutely aware of just how much kaiju cinema was born out of the nuclear fears of the mid-twentieth century.
So how can there be a war of the kaiju? In terms of our graphic novel, it all comes down to one basic premise: In World War Kaiju the atom bomb was never created. When the atom was split at the Trinity Test Site in New Mexico, what crawled out of the smoking crater was a towering beast of pure destruction. Codenamed Fatman, the Second World War came to an abrupt end when the U.S. unleashed this beast on Tokyo. This marked the dawn of the Kaiju Age.
Fast forward to five years later and every major world power is caught in the grips of the Cold War. But unlike the Cold War that plagued our history, the unrelenting arms race of World War Kaiju isn’t about atomic bombs. It’s all about atomic monsters—who has them, who doesn’t, and who is willing to use them. It doesn’t go well.
What inspired you to become an artist?
But as with most artists, it's mostly a matter of seeing great art and saying "Hey, why don't *I* do that too?"
JOSH: I always tooled around the arts in my teens and later in college, but wouldn't say I was anywhere near professional caliber back then. It was after completing my BA in creative writing at San Francisco State that I chose to refine my art skills. And as much as I enjoy art, the truth is, that choice was made on the knowledge that to get published in comics, the best route was to illustrate them yourself. While I do occasionally create “art” in the traditional sense, most of my stuff exists as a means to an end in terms of storytelling. So while I like creating art and feel I'm even decent at it, I wouldn’t consider myself a true “artist” in the way Patrick is.
What is your favorite kaiju movie, and why?
JOSH: This question is always difficult to answer because there are so many enjoyable kaiju films out there, but the original Godzilla/Gojira stands alone as a cinematic triumph. To say anything less would be disingenuous. But beyond Gojira? The 90’s era Gamera series deserves a lot of credit. Those films did a wonderful job of making kaiju relevant to the modern era. The drama was honest, the characters engaging, the science-fiction concepts were solid, and most importantly, the destruction wrought by these monsters had meaningful impact. The 90-era Gamera marked an end to the campy, bloodless-spectacle that defined kaiju for so long. Plus, they were just extremely well written and executed. In a very human sense it showed the consequences of a world where hulking titans walked among us.
How did the creative team behind WWK come together?
JOSH: In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire...ummm, never mind. Just figured that sounded lot better than, “I called Patrick and he said yes.”
Your Kickstarter campaign is rolling along strong, with over 50% funding. What would you say to convince those who might be on the tip of donating?
JOSH: As I type this the Kickstarer is rapidly approaching the 80% funded mark, so far things have been progressing well. For anyone who is considering getting on board with the project and taking this unique journey with us, here's something to take to heart—
Most entertainment created today is made to hit the broadest audience possible. Film, music, television—the mainstream tries to be all things to all people, which results in niche audience being ignored, or at least VERY disappointed. Sure, every once in a awhile we'll be surprised and get something great like Pacific Rim, but it's not the norm. The beauty of Kickstarter is it allows graphic novels like World War Kaiju to be created specifically for a niche audience. Out graphic novel is written specifically for the kaiju community, for those who love the genre. In short, this book was written for you.
Kaijuphile would like to thank Josh and Patrick for their valuable time, and wish the entire World War Kaiju team good luck as their project advances. Please consider donating any amount you can afford to their Kickstarter project and be a part of something special!