Interview with IDW Artist Jeff Zornow
Author The Great MM
Friday - January 17, 2014 8:13 pm
How and when did you join IDW for their Godzilla run? Did you go to them or did they come to you?
Well, I had worked for IDW previously on some projects, most notably “Gene Simmon’s : HOUSE OF HORROR, and anthology I was able to pencil , ink and color my own work in.
When I had heard that IDW announced obtaining the Godzilla license I IMMEDIATELY e-mailed Chris Ryall asking to participate in the book in anyway I could.
Chris then had me draw sample pages ( like an audition) from a 3 page script they had prepared ( and I later found out that Chris Mowry wrote!) I drew 2 pages from that and then had to get approval from Toho to be an artist on the series.
About 3 weeks later Toho had approved me, and maybe a month or so after that I was given my first variant covers for GODZILLA: KINGDOM OF MONSTERS.
Have there been any talks about you heading your own comic run like others have in the past, besides just doing a few issues here and there?
There was once talk of a possible anthology one-shot, wich unfortunately never came to light. In discussion for that book I was asked to propose short story ideas from 3-10 pages in general length. IF the book had happened I would have been able to Write and illustrate my own 4 page Godzilla story..but like I said it was a project that never came inot being.
If you could do your own run, do you have any storyline ideas that you’d be willing to share?
Well I’m not gonna reveal any story ideas I have because of the old clause “ hey you never know…”
Also If I never contribute to the writing side of Godzilla I can always use these ideas for my own Giant monster stuff further down the road.
However in a perfect fantasy world where I would be allowed to do my own Godzilla comic in my own way..it would rock.. it would be very similar in vein to what we are already doing in GODZILLA: RULERS OF EARTH, tho I would def do something with lots of space monsters, and UFOs( yeah I know its already been done but this is my fantasy book) .I would do my best to invoke everything I love about Godzilla and also focus on making one of his main villains a primary arch-villain, with a resulting mega-battle between Godzilla and said villain monster.
Are there any monsters that you like to draw for the comics more than the others?
I like drawing my favorite monsters ( just like anyone else) Gigan has always been a top fav, as well as Baragon, Hedorah, King Caesar, heck, ALL the monsters from the 70s are my favorites, that and I’m a sucker for the Millennium series.
Are there any monsters you wish you could draw more of for the comics?
Really wish I could have gotten some more Baragon in there…
Are there any monsters from the Toho franchise that IDW doesn’t have the rights to that you wish/hope they will soon get?
I can’t think of any really.. Maybe the villain monsters form the heisei Mothra series would be rad!
If you had the opportunity to cross Godzilla over with any of the other IDW properties, do you have any idea which you’d choose and why?
None…and the reason why is because I’m not a Godzilla fan who really ever thinks of crossovers.. Godzilla and the Toho universe are their own special thing and NOTHING else should be allowed in …or out.. KING KONG vs Godzilla was the one exception, but then Toho had the rights to their own Kong movies at the time so it ALMOST does’nt count as Toho-Kong is almost an entirely different monster.
But essentially what I’m saying is the whole Toho-verse does’nt ever need to be tainted by any other outside franchises.
The ONLY exception that could even really work in my nerd-eyes is Tsuburaya Productions’ Ultraman/ Ultra-universe..as they “kinda” had Godzilla and Ultraman fight back in the day, and the 2 companies had such an incestuous relationship when Tsuburaya first started out.
Do you think the upcoming Legendary Godzilla film will factor into the comics at all?
Not really sure …I have no way of predicting that.
Since you’ve worked with Matt Frank on some previous issues of Rulers of Earth, are there any other artists that you would like to work with on the Godzilla comics? Such as Art Adams, James Stokoe, or any other artist?
Honestly I have been impressed with how well the Godzilla: RULERS OF EARTH creative team has gelled together, so I’d be un-willing to want to rock the boat. Plus I’ve known Matt personally for a couple years now, and prefer to work on books with friends whenever possible, its much easier that way, and normally the final product turns out better in the end.
Plus as an Art Adams fan, doing a book with HIM would be sorta pointless as he would totally overshadow me hahah.
You have done some truly amazing covers for every major Godzilla series for IDW and, personally, it’s hard for me to pick out a favorite. Do you have any favorites of your own work that was used?
The King Ghidorahvs Godzilla and Maser corps cover from G:KOM, the Jet Jaguar cover from G:ROE Titanosaurus smacking Rodan with the train for “Godzilla”. The Biollante cover for G;ROE, King Caesar vs Megalon cover for G:ROE #9 ( wich I also draw the interiors on!) Gargantuas cover for G:ROE#10, and my upcoming cover for G:ROE #11 noone has seen yet is pretty rad.. tho I still have not done the cover for issue#12 so who knows if that one will be another fav or not.
This list was in no real order either..
After going through your Deviant Art page, I can see you’re also a bit of an Ultraman fan. So who do you think would win in a fight: Godzilla or Ultraman?
Honestly I’d have to go with Godzilla on that one…as much as I LOVE ULTRAMAN, and do agree he is one of the GREATEST SUPERHEROES EVER CREATED…he has that whole time limit thing on earth…and no way can I see Ultraman beating Godzilla in the time allotted.
How long have you been a Godzilla fan and what are your favorite kaiju and movies?
Honestly I’ve been a DIE-HARD Godzilla fan since before I have a memory, and my memory stretches as far back as when I was 2 years old. So I somehow discovered and LOVED Godzilla before that… I have no memory of how this happened.. neither does my Mom..but there is no way she would have taken me to see GODZILLA ON MONSTER ISLAND ( aka vs Gigan) or THE TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA in the theatres when I was a tyke and they were in re-relase unless I had asked her to take me.
And speaking of my favorite kaiju movies..sigh…not sure how else to answer this but to list them all off, this really is in NO PARTICULAR ORDER
GODZILLA VS GIGAN
TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA
GODZILLA VS MECHAGODZILLA ( 1974)
ok nevermind if Mechagodzilla is in it.. it’s a favorite kaiju film)
SO ANY MECHAGODZILLA MOVIE
GODZILLA VS BIOLLANTE
GODZILLA VS HEDORAH
GODZILLA VS MEGALON
GODZILLA VS MEGAGUIRUS
DESTROY ALL MONSTERS
FRANKENSTEIN VS BARAGON
WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS
KING KONG ESCAPES
WRATH OF DAIMAJIN
THE RETURN OF DAIMAJIN
GAMERA VS BARUGON
GAMERA VS GYAOS
GAMERA: GUARDIAN OF THE UNIVERSE
GAMERA 2 : THE ADVENT OF LEGION
GAMERA 3:THE REVENGE OF IRYS
GAMERA VS ZIGRA
ULTRAMAN: 100 MONSTER MEGA-BATTLE
ULTRAMAN ZERO: THE REVENGE OF BELIAL
ULTRASEVEN: OPERATION SOALR ENERGY
ULTRAMAN: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS ( ANIMATED TV PILOT THAT WAS A FEATURE-LENGTH MOVIE A RAD CO-PRODUCTION BETWEEN TSUBURAYA AND HANNA-BARBERA CAME OUT IN 1987 AND AS FAR AS I CAN TELL ONLY AIRED ON TV ONCE…I WAS LUCKY TO HAVE SEEN THE LISTING AND TAPED IT THAT DAY)
ULTRAMAN VS KAMEN RIDER ( DOCUMENTARY WITH AN ORIGINAL FEATURETTE THAT TEAMS UP ULTRAMAN AND KAMEN RIDER!!)
JUMBORG ACE AND GIANT, aka: GLI UOMINI DI MARTE MARS MEN( im listing this only because I just recently obtained a copy, and its soo strange I cant stop watching it! A Japanese/Thai/Italian co –production a “sorta not” Jumborg Ace movie made in Thailand where he teams up with a thai-majin statue-god to fight kaiju and aliens!! Totally IN-SANE!)
WAR OF THE INFRAS ( MAY NOT COUNT AS A KAIJU FILM, BUT SUPERFICIALLY AND UN-OFFICIAL SEQUAL TO INFRAMAN, BUT IS A WEIRD JAPANESE/TAIWAN/GERMAN CO-PRODUCTION , ESSENTIALLY A KAMEN RIDER FILM..BUT EVEN MORE INSANE..
KAMEN RIDER V3 VS THE DESTRON MONSTERS
KAMEN RIDER X: FIVE RIDERS VS KING DARK
SHIN KAMEN RIDER
KAMEN RIDER ZO
SCIENCE NINJA TEAM GATCHAMAN: THE MOVIE ( 1978 ANIMATED COMPILATION FILM NOT THIS NEW LIVE-ACTION ONE)
GEHARA: THE LONG HAIRED MONSTER