“This is my book. I mean, it’s a book I’m gonna write in the future!”
Well, it might’ve taken three decades, but that future has finally arrived…
Hello, GNP readers, and welcome to… wow, almost halfway through December already? Time really does fly, which is an appropriate sentiment given the Godzilla film celebrating its anniversary today.
It’s truly insane to think that 1991’s Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah is now 30 years old. I first saw it around 20 years ago, a few years after it made its North American home video debut. The impact it left on me was nothing short of fundamental; from its crazy time travel plot to its wonderfully entertaining story, I was completely hooked. In fact, I was obsessed. I spent hours as a child contemplating, unraveling, and immersing myself into its plot. I reenacted the battles with dinosaur toys, ripped off a few story elements for tales I was writing, and practically memorized the script.
Of all the Godzilla films, this one might’ve had the most profound impact on my burgoning fandom outside of the duo of films that introduced me to the character: 1999’s Godzilla 2000 and 1964’s Mothra vs. Godzilla. All these years later, it remains near and dear to my heart, and a film that I’ve wanted to celebrate as part of the GNP ever since launching the project nearly four years ago.
And – as you’ve likely been able to gather from the fact that this post exists and you’re currently reading it – today is that day.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, the GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT is proud to present the beginning of a new story: a full-length, in-depth recreation of “The Birth of Godzilla” by Kenichiro Terasawa, the book seen in the film that lays out the theory of Godzilla’s origins.
In addition (as discussed in a previous update), the text also contains working editorial notes from Terasawa as he struggles to write a book that fate dictates must exist in order for the future – and the past – to unfold as intended.
This story has been a joy to write, and with at least six more chapters to go, there’s still plenty of fun to be had! If you’ve ever wondered what was in that dusty old book the Futurians brought back in time and handed to Terasawa, I think you’ll like what’s in store for you…
It’s hard to believe that 2021 is almost in the rearview mirror. And for Godzilla lovers, it’s been a landmark year in many ways. Godzilla vs. Kong stomped into – and helped save – theaters across the world, a veritable avalanche of new merchandise was released, and multiple films in the series (and beyond) celebrated major anniversaries. Toho celebrated the 50th anniversary of Godzilla vs. Hedorah with plenty of bravado, and the original 1961 Mothra crossed the 60-year threshold in July.
But before 2021 can officially end, there’s one more Godzilla film that must be celebrated. A film that had a huge impact on audiences when it arrived in Japanese theaters an amazing 30 years ago this December. And – if I may be personal for a moment – a film that was crucial in the early years of my G-fandom, and an entry in the series that I’ve carried with me and deeply cherished for two decades.
That film is, of course, 1991’s Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. And I’m incredibly thrilled to announce that the GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT will be celebrating its 30th birthday in style.
And by style, I mean one of the most in-depth, complex, and downright unusual stories ever tackled by the project in its nearly four-year history. Allow me to explain…
While a full novelization for Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah will definitely be coming to the GNP one day, I felt that beginning the book wasn’t quite the way I wanted to celebrate this particular anniversary. I wanted to do something a bit smaller and more contained, but still part of the world of the film. I also wanted to do something that has (at least to my knowledge) never been done before, and something that explores the rich (most might say convoluted) time travel aspect of the story.
And boy howdy, did I ever find an idea that excited me. It’s actually an idea I began working on a year and a half ago, but with this December marking a major anniversary for the film, I figured that this was the perfect time to get started.
But enough of the cryptic talk. Let’s dive into the details…
Cast your mind back to the early events of the film, specifically the sequence in which sci-fi novelist Kenichiro Terasawa is summoned by the Japanese government to take part in the Futurians’ mission to remove Godzilla from history. After arriving, he is presented with a most remarkable object: a book called The Birth of Godzilla. A book that Terasawa will one day write, but one that his present-day self has only just begun to research. Terasawa soon learns that in the distant future, the book will become the basis of the Futurians’ entire operation; in the year 2204, the power-hungry terrorists discover the book and come to believe Terasawa’s theory that a massive theropod dinosaur – witnessed on a South Pacific island during WWII – eventually mutates into Godzilla due to exposure to nuclear fallout in the 1950s. Their belief in this theory is what leads to the concoction of their evil plans, namely the supposed “erasure” of Godzilla from history, the rise of King Ghidorah, and the subjugation of the Japanese people.
In other words, The Birth of Godzilla is one deeply significant bargain-bin hardcover.
Aside from being significant to the plot of the film, the book itself seems like it would be a fascinating read for any Godzilla fan. In addition to Terasawa’s “Lagos dinosaur” theory, the book would’ve also likely been packed with paleontological information (courtesy of Katsuhiko Sasaki’s character, Professor Masaki), photographs of both Godzilla and the Godzillasaurus from the collection of Lagos Garrison survivor Yasuaki Shindo (Yoshio Tsuchiya), and possibly even interviews with Shindo and fellow Lagos veteran Masukichi Ikehata.
It’s absolutely a book that most G-Fans would want in their collection. And if you’re such a fan, I have good news for you…
On December 14th – the 30th anniversary of Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah – the GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT will proudly present the first part of an extensive, fleshed-out recreation of Gojira Tanjo, a.k.a. The Birth of Godzilla. The novella will be the first attempt (again, that I’m aware of) to actually fully reproduce this artifact from the movie, complete with all the historical, theoretical, interview, and photographic content mentioned above. I’m even planning to recreate the cover art seen on the prop book in the movie.
Pretty cool, right? Well, I’m not done yet. Because – just like the movie itself – there’s a complex twist to this project…
Cast your mind back – once again – to the movie, and take a moment to step into the mind of Terasawa himself. Imagine that visitors from the future have handed you a book that you have yet to write, and you come to learn a couple of key things about that book:
You eventually write it and nail almost every part of the theory, but not all of it
After all your hard work, the book never becomes a bestseller, and ultimately fades into obscurity
Its creation and future discovery by terrorists will lead to the creation of a destructive monster, the deaths of countless innocent Japanese citizens, and the loss of important people in your life like Mr. Shindo
Heavy stuff, no?
With all of that knowledge now in your possession, what do you do? Do you choose not to write the book at all? Do you choose to write it differently in an attempt to change the future and therefore the past?
Or do you make the unprecedented decision to write the book exactly as history dictates it must be written as a means of preserving a future that, while tragic, must come to pass in order for events to play out the way they were meant to?
While the film itself doesn’t take the time to explore these concepts, if you stop and think about it, Terasawa is a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders. He’s cursed with knowledge of the future, and the book he has yet to write will play a crucial part in that future. With everything he knows by the end of the movie, he could just as easily decide to not write to book. Likewise, he could also choose to write it differently, perhaps correcting his errors (like the erroneous idea that the 1954 and Heisei Godzillas are somehow the same beast, which they’re not) or documenting the fact that the Heisei Godzilla was born due to a nuclear submarine crash in the 1970s. Heck, the guy could just print the words “THE FUTURIANS ARE EVIL, DON’T TRUST THEM!” across all the pages and be done with it.
But he doesn’t. The fact that the book exists in 2204 for the Futurians to find is proof that Terasawa did eventually write the book, regardless of any reservations or fears he may have had. If time travel in the Heisei Godzilla universe really does function as a closed loop in which history cannot be changed, that means Terasawa has to write the book. Perhaps he has no choice. Perhaps the concept of “choice” is only an illusion; maybe cosmic forces beyond his control are compelling him to write it in an attempt to course correct and prevent paradoxes. Maybe he’s only a pawn in a larger temporal chess game.
What would that kind of pressure do to a person? How does someone deal with the knowledge that they must create something which will lead to suffering, something that must exist in order for the future to play out as intended?
Quite a lot of heavy questions for a movie about a nuclear dinosaur fighting a three-headed dragon, isn’t it?
Well, that’s what I do best: think way too hard about monster movies. And with this project, I intend to put all of that hard thinking to good use.
So, here’s the deal: the GNP’s recreation of The Birth of Godzilla won’t just be a simple recreation. It will also include working notes, ideas, concepts, and writings from Terasawa himself as he goes through the process of writing the book. Think of it as a cross between a history tome and a journal; the reader will see Terasawa doubt himself, cross things out, leave notes on things that have to be corrected (or even written intentionally wrong in order for history to be fulfilled), and ultimately go on a journey to play his role in preserving the future.
The end result will be a “working version” of The Birth of Godzilla, the book equivalent of a film work print. All the words are there, all the pictures are there, but it has yet to be polished. Part scientific exploration of Godzilla’s origins, part psychological exploration of a man compelled to craft a book that is destined to exist, whether he wants it to or not.
So, there you have it! Obviously, this concept is a lot to take in. It’s bizarre, it’s twisted, and it’s a bit complicated. But hey, so is Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. And that’s why we love it.
I’m genuinely excited to get this crazy idea out of my head and onto paper (well, metaphorical paper), and I’m even more excited to be able to share it with all of you. It’s out-of-the-box ideas like this that really fire my creative engines, and I hope you’ll come along for the ride as I begin this new story!
Again, the first part of The Birth of Godzilla drops on the GNP website on December 14th.
(Also, remember: Patrons of the GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT get early access to information, excerpts, and entire chapters before anyone else. In fact, all of the information above was shared with Patrons over the weekend! If you’re interested in supporting the GNP, visit the project’s Patreon page and join the club for as low as $1 a month!)
Thank you all for reading this huge announcement. If you made it to the end, you’re a trooper. Stay tuned to the website and to the GNP’s social media pages for updates on this project as December 14th gets closer, and spread the word to your fellow G-Fans so they know this is happening! I’ll see you all for the next update. Stay happy, stay safe, and remember: have your Dorats spayed or neutered to prevent any and all unexpected nuclear-fueled biological fusions. You’ll thank me later.
It’s no secret that this is my favorite time of year. there’s a certain chill in the air, and the nights are filled with the promise of monsters. Okay, I know that’s a bit dramatic, but cut me some slack. It’s Halloween, and I’m excited!
And that’s not all I’m excited about. This Halloween, I made it my mission to resurrect an old GNP favorite and continue a story that’s been left dormant for far too long…
In late September, I put out a call to GNP readers to see if there was interest in bringing back one of the project’s oldest short stories: ”Casefile: Matango: The Testimony of Kenji Murai”. Begun in 2018 and shelved since early 2019, the story has been on hiatus for nearly three years, and I thought that this October was the perfect time to bring it back. Readers agreed, and so, after a heck of a break, I’m happy to say that ”Casefile: Matango” is back with a brand new installment, just in time for Halloween!
In Part 6, the castaways find themselves stalked by a mysterious, mushroomy visitor during a stormy night. It’s a tense sequence in the film, and I hope I did it justice with my adaptation!
Hey there, and welcome to… bad joke incoming… updeighty-one!
I’m not sorry.
Anyway, today’s update is just a quick note that a long-overdue update has finally come to the Press & Appearances page here on the GNP website! This is a page that archives everything from GNP-related interviews and podcast appearances to magazine articles, live-streams, and even voice acting. It had been a while since I’d added new appearances to the page, and I’m glad to say that this has now been remedied!
Items/links added to the page in this update include:
A recent(ish) interview conducted by the always-lovely Kaiju Kim, who invited me onto her YouTube show to ask me questions about the GNP and nerd out on Godzilla
Three appearances on The Monster Island Film Vault, including co-hosting an episode on Gamera: Super Monster, doing some voice acting, and co-presenting a live-stream
A co-hosting gig on Kaiju Weekly, in which I joined host Michael Hamilton in discussing the original 1968 Planet of the Apes, a film with approximately ZERO kaiju, but a film that I treasure and never turn down an opportunity to talk about
Links to support Kaiju Ramen magazine, which I’ve been lucky enough to write two pieces for (an original kaiju short story for issue #1 and an article on the enduring legacy of Ray Harryhausen for issue #3), as well as serving as editor for all three issues
If you happen to be one of the awesome folks listed above, I’d like to thank you once again for inviting me to take part in your creative projects. Being interviewed, co-hosting podcasts, and writing/editing for magazines are all things I never thought I’d get to do in my life, and I deeply appreciate all of you for giving me the chance to do so. It truly means a lot.
Hey there, and welcome to the 80th GNP update! (Or, as I’m choosing to call it, “Updeighty”! Yeah, I’ve definitely been waiting 79 updates to tell that lame joke…)
I teased today’s big news yesterday in my Status Report, but now it’s finally time to make it official…
I’m thrilled to announce that the first episode of the GNP’s Monster Musings podcast is live!!
This new Patreon-exclusive podcast will take deep dives into topics related to the development of the GNP’s stories, offer behind-the-scenes looks into how I create the books, address creative challenges as they come along, answer questions from readers (as well as occasionally invite readers on for monster-centric chats) and even delve into historical, production, cultural, esoteric, philosophical, or random topics related to Godzilla and kaiju. Pretty much anything is on the table, including episodes about the creative process, balancing work with personal life, the importance of constructive criticism, inspirations and influences, and more.
Patreon funds go toward helping me procure necessary research materials, letting me hire/pay for the services of translators, and allowing me to work fewer hours at my day job so that I can dedicate more time to GNP writing. It also gets me closer to realizing my goal of pursuing creative writing as a fulltime occupation.
To those of you who would consider supporting, and to those whom have done so already, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your help is deeply appreciated and humbling, and I endeavor every day to be worthy of your continuing trust and readership.
If you’re a Patron, follow this link below to check out Episode 1! This week is all about Mothra, with topics including the significance of the original 1961 film, the awesomeness of screenwriter Shinichi Sekizawa, what the character means to me and the Godzilla fandom, and how/why I wrote the GNP’s latest short story, “The Tiny Beauties and Mothra,” the way I did.
Happy listening, and I’ll see you all soon for the next update!
It’s that time of year again; the weather is particularly steamy, Halloween decorations are starting to pop up in grocery stores, and a brand-new edition of the GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT’s patented (and long-winded) STAUS REPORT is ready and waiting to be read!
Since the fall of 2018, I’ve used these bi-annual reports to keep all of you updated on every aspect of the project, provide insights into how each ongoing book/story/timeline/other project is going, and to take stock and look at the progress that’s been made. Some of these updates have had more things to discuss than others, but I’m happy to say that this report has some pretty exciting things to discuss, as well as a HUGE announcement that’s been a long time coming!
So sit back, get comfortable, put on your reading glasses (if you’re lucky and don’t need reading glasses, feel free to skip this step), and check out the status of every GNP project, as well as what’s in store for readers like you in the coming months! Let’s dive in.
GODZILLA: THE UNOFFICIAL NOVELIZATION
Not much to say here, except to reiterate that crafting Chapter 3 has been a bit of a creative challenge! I’ve discussed it elsewhere, but in short, the next few chapters of this particular novelization will be unique challenges that I’ve been slowly tackling over the last few months. Due to currently focusing on other novelizations, work on this particular adaptation has been slow. However, this is a book that I get asked about frequently, with many readers telling me that this is their favorite adaptation on the site. So if you’ve been waiting patiently for Godzilla: Chapter 3, don’t worry… it’s coming!
KING KONG VS. GODZILLA: THE UNOFFICIAL NOVELIZATION
As I said in the last status report, the adaptation of this film (which is based on the legendary original Japanese cut of the film, unavailable in the United States until recently) has been a unique and exciting opportunity for the GNP. To be able to present Honda and Sekizawa’s original, hilariously satirical vision to western readers is truly an honor, and it’s something I’m definitely taking my time on.
Only Chapter 1 has been completed and posted thus far, and my continuing research into the period (specifically the Japanese “Economic Miracle” and its effects on television, advertising, and big business) has prevented me from converting my outlines into further chapters. However, this remains another popular adaptation on the site (despite consisting of a single chapter!), so once I feel satisfied with the research, work on the next chapter can continue.
MOTHRA VS. GODZILLA: THE UNOFFICIAL NOVELIZATION
As mentioned last time, the next chapter of this adaptation (and the next “in universe” newspaper article penned by Akira Takarada’s character, Ichiro Sakai) has already been outlined and given a fair amount of research. The next part of the story will begin with the Sakai article, and then move into the examination of the “monster egg” by our heroes… and one very smarmy villain. This isn’t one I’ve worked on for a while, but I’m hoping to dedicate some time to it soon. Stay tuned!
ALL MONSTERS ATTACK: THE UNOFFICIAL NOVELIZATION
Two chapters in, and this adaptation remains a joy to write. The most recent chapter was received very well, and work on the next one is on-again, off-again. Research into the tumultuous era that produced this unique story is ongoing, and putting this oft-derided film into its proper historical context remains a massively important part of this adaptation. Since the last chapter’s publication, I’ve done a lot more research into Japan’s late-1960s “Traffic Wars,” and even wrote an in-depth article on the subject that got a shout-out from Steve Ryfle! I’m not sure when the next chapter is coming, but I hope it’s soon.
GODZILLA VS. HEDORAH: THE UNOFFICIAL NOVELIZATION
Ah yes, the big one. As of this update, this adaptation remains the longest novel on the site, currently sitting at seven chapters. In fact, this particular book is dangerously close to nearing the halfway point of the movie! The chance to take a film so infamous for is visuals and translate it into the written word is a thrill, and often times a serious challenge. But I’ve been enjoying it immensely, as is evidenced by how much work has been done on the book. I still consider it the frontrunner for becoming the first finished GNP novelization, and with this being the 50th anniversary year for the Godzilla vs. Hedorah, you can expect more chapters to be coming between now and the end of the year!
GODZILLA VS. GIGAN: THE UNIFFICIAL NOVELIZATION
Talk about a fun novelization to write! I’ve always loved the characters in this film, and having the opportunity to explore them deeper is a true thrill. That fun has been reflected in this novel’s progress; at four chapters and counting, Gigan is now the second longest book on the website! Readers have really been enjoying this one, and I’m happy to announce that the next chapter is being written as we speak.
GODZILLA VS. MEGALON: THE UNOFFICIAL NOVELIZATION
Godzilla vs. Megalon is another book I’ve put on the back burner over the last few months. While readers were enjoying it, I hit a few snags and decided my creative energies were best directed elsewhere. That said, Chapter 2 is still being converted from an outline/notes to actual chapter. I’m not sure when to expect this one, but rest assured, it’s coming!
GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA: THE UNOFFICIAL NOVELIZATION
Unfortunately, the status on this book remains the same as the last time progress was shared a few months ago. Much like Mothra vs. Godzilla, a surprising amount of research is required to make this novel authentic. Specifically, knowledge of the history of Okinawa, its past and then (1974) current relationship to Japan, and its unique religious background are all necessary in presenting an accurate portrayal of the setting of the story.
The good news is that research into these topics is going well, if slowly. Once I have acquired the necessary knowledge to accurately portray the setting of the film, then work on the next chapter will resume.
GODZILLA VS. SPACEGODZILLA: THE UNOFFICIAL NOVELIZATION
This is the most recent novel started on the site, and as of this writing, it is planned to be the last for some time. As mentioned elsewhere, the focus of the project is now squarely on crafting new chapters for already started books. The entire idea behind having multiple adaptations being worked on at the same time was to give the site some variety during its early days, and after two-and-a-half years, I felt that the variety I was looking for was finally in place.
That said, the adaptation of Spacegodzilla has been wonderful to work on, as it’s always been a personal favorite film of mine in the franchise, as well as a film that I feel is far better than its reputation. I haven’t dedicated much time to Chapter 2 lately, but I’m hoping to jump back into it after doing a bit more work on Hedorah.
GMK: THE UNOFFICIAL NOVELIZATION
Without getting too much into the story here, this is a particularly special adaptation for the GNP. This book was a special request from a wonderful Godzilla fan named Josh, a young man whose bravery in the face of life-altering health issues continues to humble me. More than two years after #GodzillaforJosh started trending on social media, I couldn’t be more thrilled that Josh is thriving and remains both loved and supported by Godzilla fans far and wide.
First and foremost, this book is for him. The next chapter will be coming before too long, and I can’t wait for both Josh and all of you to read it.
GODZILLA AGAINST MECHAGODZILLA: THE UNOFFICIAL NOVELIZATION
As mentioned elsewhere, this story is a unique one for the project as it is being told from MULTIPLE perspectives, including jumping between first-person accounts of the film’s events (such as the Prologue taking Akane’s perspective) and traditional third-person chapters. The final result should make for an interesting (and hopefully coherent) read that continues to be an exciting challenge to write! The next chapter will assume a new perspective as the events following Godzilla’s initial nighttime attack are seen through the eyes of the government, specifically Kumi Mizuno and Akira Nakao’s characters.
THE SHORT STORIES
This one – no pun intended – has been an interesting case. The story – told as an “in-universe” testimony delivered by the film’s sole survivor upon his rescue – currently consists of five parts, plus an introduction. After dedicating a lot of time to writing what I estimate to be half the story (meaning that you can expect it to clock in at ten parts once it’s done), extenuating circumstances in my life caused me to stop for a while, and when work on the GNP resumed, I began working on another adaptation instead. With much of my focus on other books at the moment, this is one of the stories I haven’t touched in a hot minute. Rest assured, however, that Part 6 has been fully outlined, and half written, so this tale of madness and mushrooms should be continuing soon…
THE TINY BEAUTIES AND MOTHRA
Since the last status report was published in February, this story has become the latest addition to the GNP’s collection of shorter tales. It was a joy to write, and since it was all written in one go, it stands as a complete story that will receive no further updates, additional chapters, or future tweaks. Unless I spot a formatting issue or a typo, of course. But other than that, it’s done and ready to read!
Ever since launching the Timeline section of the site, I have been absolutely blown away by the amount of attention it has gotten. Even on days when the novelizations receive little web traffic, all of the timelines get an often shocking number of views. It’s been humbling to see that all the hard work that goes into researching, cataloguing, and writing the (sometimes obscure) facts in these timelines is being appreciated and enjoyed by fans!
Work on the timelines has slowed in recent months due to focus on other projects, but work is still being done behind the scenes on research for future updates. Look for events from several drafts of the shooting script for the 1998 film (which has led to some interesting discoveries!), several publications released to promote the film, both the adult and junior novelizations, episodes of the animated series, two Godzilla: The Series comics, and even the GameBoy game coming to the Sony Timeline in the near future!
The Anime Timeline continues to be one of the site’s most popular pages, even with more than two years having elapsed since the release of the final film in the trilogy. Expect additions pertaining to the events of Planet of the Monsters to be published to the timeline sometime soon.
The MonsterVerse Timeline is long overdue for an update, especially with Godzilla vs. Kong having been released since the last status report. Researching and updating this timeline is an ever-evolving process, especially with the bevy of new lore that’s come out surrounding Godzilla vs. Kong. Info on the events of Kong: Skull Island and new details about the ancient war between Godzilla and the Kongs is due to hit the timeline at some point soon.
Lastly, there’s the Showa Timeline. This project has been a long time in the making, and when it was finally launched last year, the response was… well, overwhelming. I’m talking HUNDREDS of hits on the website within the first few days of its publishing. Talk about an amazing reception! I’m not sure when the next update will be coming, but I’m hoping it’ll be a big one to make up for the long wait!
THE “MONSTER MUSINGS” BLOG
Remember that big announcement that I mentioned above? Well, it has to do with the new direction that I’m planning to take the Monster Musings blog. I’ll jump into my plans further down in the update!
As always, there’s a LOT more going on behind the scenes of the GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT than it might seem! There are a ton of chapters that have been outlined, and a number of concepts that have been documented for future use. Research on various aspects of the series continues on a daily basis, and new opportunities for collaboration and promotion are manifesting for the project, including merch production, potential audio books, and more!
In the past six months since the previous report, the GNP has published several new chapters, an entire new short story, and has collaborated with a bunch of other kaiju-related creative endeavors to continue spreading the love for giant monsters. I’ve appeared on the Monster Island Film Vault podcast twice, discussed Planet of the Apes (which is definitely not a kaiju film, but absolutely a film I love talking about) on Kaiju Weekly, did a bit more voice acting, edited two new issues of Kaiju Ramen magazine, and wrote an article on Ray Harryhausen for the most recent issue. Also, a low-budget kaiju film I acted in hit Blu-ray in the United States a few months ago, which was particularly exciting!
Through it all, I’ve been blown away by how supportive each and every one of you continue to be. Whether you’re a casual visitor to the site or one of my wonderful Patreon supporters, it’s your kindness, dedication, and willingness to take time out of your day to read my work that truly fuels this project. You’ll never know how unbelievably grateful I am for each and every one of you.
And speaking of Patreon…
IT’S TIME FOR A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!
Before I end this progress report, I wanted to make an announcement that I’ve been super excited to share, and it has to do with Patreon, the Monster Musings blog, and a decision that’s been a long time coming…
If you’ve kept up with my previous progress reports, you’ll know that the Monster Musings page on the site is a page that doesn’t get a lot of updates. While I’m proud of the material that I’ve published for the blog, keeping up with all of the writing, re-writing, editing, and formatting needed to create each one while also writing full chapters, short stories, timeline updates, articles for magazines, and non-Godzilla original books/stories that I’m developing is just too time consuming for me at the moment.
That said, abandoning the Monster Musings blog is absolutely not something that I want to do. Quite to the contrary; I really want the idea of behind-the-scenes blogs (and general pontifications on all things kaiju) to be a bigger part of not just the GNP, but of my overall contributions to the Godzilla fandom.
This desire ties into something else that has been a big priority for the project: updating the GNP’s Patreon offerings. Transforming Patreon into a more exciting place where the community of readers that has sprung up around the GNP can gather, support the creation of the books, discuss the stories and Godzilla in general, and have fun in a positive space is something that is deeply important to me.
And so, with that in mind and after months of nailing down the idea, I’ve finally found a solution that I really think could be the beginning of something new and fun for the GNP and its readers…
THE GNP IS OFFICLALLY LAUNCHING A PODCAST FOR PATRONS!
Yep, you read that right. The project is throwing its hat into the kaiju podcasting ring! Allow me to explain…
Earlier in August, I put out a call to my Patrons and general readers asking for feedback on the idea of a new podcast made especially for supporters of the project. The consensus from Patrons and non-Patrons alike was that the idea was absolutely worth pursuing, with one reader even saying that they’d gladly become a Patron just to hear such a podcast. Talk about flattering!
And so, after experimenting with a de-facto “Episode 0” several weeks ago, I decided that enough interest existed among readers to give this a shot. And so, I’m happy to announce that, at long last, the Monster Musings blog has officially been resurrected in podcast form!
Here are the important details: beginning right now, access to this podcast will become a perk for ALL Patreon supporters of the GNP, meaning that as little as $1 a month will grant you access to each episode! The show will run weekly (or bi-weekly, it’ll depend on what frequency you guys want), with new episodes being posted exclusively to Patreon on weekends. What exactly will this podcast talk about? Well, a bunch of things! Mainly, the podcast will do what the original Monster Musings blog did: take deep dives into topics related to the development of the GNP’s stories, offer behind-the-scenes looks into how I create the books, address creative challenges as they come along, answer questions from readers, and even delve into historical, production, cultural, esoteric, philosophical, or random topics related to Godzilla and kaiju. One episode might discuss the writing process behind the GNP’s adaptation of Godzilla vs. Hedorah, and another might talk about how awesome Orga from Godzilla 2000 is. Pretty much anything is on the table, including episodes about the creative process, balancing work with personal life, the importance of constructive criticism, inspirations and influences, and more.
I even had one reader — longtime supporter and good friend Michael Hamilton from Kaiju Weekly — offer to come onto the podcast to just chat about Godzilla-related stuff, so having discussions with GNP readers and other creative people within the kaiju community is also something that I’m hoping to do!
If all of this sounds exciting, here’s some more good news: the first episode of the newly rebranded Monster Musings podcast will be dropping for Patrons TOMORRROW, August 28th! This kickoff episode will cover the development of the GNP’s latest short story, The Tiny Beauties and Mothra, and will feature topics including the significance of the original 1961 Mothra, the awesomeness of Shinichi Sekzawa, what Mothra means to the Godzilla fandom as a character, and how/why I wrote the story the way I did. I think it’ll be a fun way to start the podcast, and I hope readers will consider supporting the project for a chance to listen to the episode and all future instalments!
Whew, we made it! Another GNP status report is now in the can, and if you made it this far down the preceding wall of text, I thank you for sticking with it until the end. I feel it’s important to keep you guys in the loop, so hopefully these reports are appreciated.
That said, I’d like to wrap up by, once again, thanking you all for your support, your encouragement, your patience, and your faith. Being able to pursue this dream is an incredible gift, and doing it without readers would be a difficult challenge, to say the least. It has been one heck of an amazing three-and-a-half years, but I assure you, we are just getting started. There will be much more to read, more camaraderie to be enjoyed, and (hopefully!) more fun to be had. I hope you’ll all continue to come along for the ride.
Thanks to you all! Stay happy, stay safe, and, as always, Long Live the King!
Happy Friday, readers! And more importantly, happy Mothra Day!
As I’m sure many of you are already aware, July 30th marks the 60th anniversary of the original 1961 Mothra. And in the last update, I announced that the GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT was going to be doing something special to celebrate. Well, today is the big day, and as promised, a shiny new story is ready and waiting!
In honor of Mothra gracing cinema screens for an amazing six decades, the GNP is proud to present a brand-new short story: “The Tiny Beauties and Mothra: A Nitto Press Exclusive.”
As explained in the previous update, this story takes the form of a two-part, long-form newspaper report written by the film’s lead character: journalist Senichiro “Snapping Turtle” Fukuda (Frankie Sakai). Along with a series of photographs taken by Michi Hanamura (Kyoko Kagawa), the report details the specifics of the the entire Mothra incident: from the expedition to Infant Island and Clark Nelson’s kidnapping of the Shobijin fairies to the advent of Mothra and her struggle to rescue her priestesses.
As a lifelong Mothra fan (and a huge admirer of screenwriter Shinichi Sekizawa, to whom this story is dedicated), writing this “report” was a huge (and incredibly fun) labor of love. I hope that all of you find as much enjoyment in reading it as I found in creating it.
As most of you are no doubt aware, 2021 is a hugely significant year when it comes to kaiju-related anniversaries. Beloved G-series mainstays like Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971), Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991), and GMK (2001) are all celebrating major milestone anniversaries with big/satisfying round numbers, and believe me, the GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT will be celebrating ALL of these films over the rest of the year.
However, 2021 is also a major anniversary year for another Japanese monster film. A film that not only stands as one of the finest examples of the kaiju genre, but also redefined what kaiju eiga could be. And that film is, of course, the original 1961 Mothra.
It goes without saying that Mothra is legitimate masterpiece, and a rare example of a film in which every aspect of the production clicked to create a near-perfect experience. From Ishiro Honda’s tight directing and Eiji Tsuburaya’s astounding special effects to the perfectly cast characters and the genre-defining screenplay by Shinichi Sekizawa, Mothra is a film that shines from beginning to end. It’s also an endlessly entertaining motion picture, featuring unique visuals, a one-of-a-kind fantasy atmosphere, and a gleeful, childlike sense of wonder that has captivated audiences around the world for nearly six decades.
And then there’s Mothra herself. There’s a lot I could say about how unique a creation Mothra is, or how much the character means to me as a fan of Japanese fantasy/monster films. But chances are, if you’re reading these words right now, you don’t need me to spell out why Mothra is so special. And if you’re anything like me, she holds a particularly important, nostalgic, and reverent place in your heart.
2021 marks not only the 60th anniversary of the original Mothra, but 60 years of Mothra herself. Over the years, Mothra has become one of the most well-known and identifiable characters in the entirety of Japanese pop culture, and her onscreen escapades include everything from beating Godzilla on multiple occasions to going back in time to the Cretaceous Period! She even got her long-overdue Hollywood vehicle in 2019, and will surely be returning in future movies, TV shows, comics, and other forms of media in the coming years.
But while it’s always exciting to look forward to the newest things, I wanted to take the time this month to look back at Mothra’s past, and specifically to the film that started it all. I wanted to find a way to celebrate the film and its beloved mon-star in a fun and (hopefully) entertaining new way. And that meant only one thing… it was time to get writing.
I’m incredibly happy to announce that, on July 30th (the date that Mothra first released in Japanese theaters in 1961), the GNP will be publishing a brand-new short story entitled The Tiny Beauties and Mothra: A Nitto Press Exclusive!
This short story will take the form of a 1961 long-form Japanese newspaper article that details the story of Clark Nelson’s infamous kidnapping of the Shobijin twins, the attack of Mothra, and the return of the fairies to their goddess. It’s been a proud tradition of the GNP to present the project’s short stories and novellas as “in-universe artifacts” like newspaper reports, diaries, journals, police reports, and even translated ancient tablets! This story will continue that tradition, and will also once again be told from the perspective of a character from the film. And who better to guide the reader through a retelling of Mothra than ace reporter and noted mouse wrangler Senichiro “Snapping Turtle” Fukuda, known as “Bulldog” in the American English-dubbed version!
That’s right: good ol’ Bulldog himself, who witnessed nearly every aspect of the Mothra story unfold, has returned to Japan following his rescue of the Shobijin in New Kirk City and, armed with his journalistic bravado, the memory of several near-death experiences, and the photographs taken by his trusty partner Michi Hanamura, has taken it upon himself to pen the ultimate account of the entire incident. The end result is the events of the film as seen from his perspective, and spiced up with a bit of his trademark wit and aggrandizement.
The finished short story will also mark a big first for the GNP, as I also intend to showcase the photography work of Michi Hanamura within the text. No newspaper article would be complete without Pulitzer-worthy pictures, and with Michi taking plenty of snapshots throughout the film, I felt it wouldn’t be right to leave them out. So yeah, expect some cool old-school photographs to go along with the story!
Pretty exciting, no?
If you can’t tell, this is a project that I’m incredibly excited to be working on. As a huge fan of the original 1961 Mothra, it’s an absolute privilege to be stepping into the world of the movie and putting a unique GNP twist on adapting it to the written word. I’ve had a blast working on this story, and I hope that all of you will enjoy reading it, as well.
Remember, the story is set to drop on July 30th, Mothra’s 60th birthday! (And also remember: if you’re a supporter of the GNP through Patreon, you’ll get to read the story before anyone else! I’m also planning to share plenty of sneak peeks, behind-the-scenes info, and even a few pictures with Patrons over the next few weeks, so if that’s something you’re interested in, check out the GNP’s Patreon page and select a tier!)
That’ll about do it for this update, but before you go, I wanted to thank all of you for making it through the preceding wall of text. As always, the support I get from readers like you never ceases to amaze and humble me, and I sincerely hope that you enjoy the new story when it drops!
Take care, stay safe, and long live the Queen of the Monsters!
First of all, happy July! It’s crazy to think that we’re already smack in the middle of summer. Time seems to be moving both incredibly quickly and simultaneously at a snail’s pace. I’m not sure what’s up with that, but all I know is that I’ve never been more grateful for a functioning air-conditioning unit.
This update is LONG overdue, so before I get started on the fun stuff, I wanted to apologize for the delay. Back in May, life threw me a pretty significant curveball that has occupied way more of my personal time than I would’ve wanted. Thankfully, things have settled down significantly since then, and I’ve finally been able to get back to what I love doing the most: writing stuff about movie monsters.
I’m happy to report that the remainder of the month is set to be a fun one for the GNP! I’ll be back with a second update in a few days to help get the hype going, but for today’s update, it’s time to turn the spotlight off of me and onto something much more important and awesome: all of you!
If you’ll remember, the GNP ran a giveaway contest back in May that offered some super-cool kaiju goodies to GNP readers who took the time to write reviews for the project. It was the first contest I’ve run in the nearly four years (!!!!) since launching the GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure how it was all going to go. Would readers actually leave reviews? Were my prizes cool enough? Did I have enough bubble wrap? You know, lots of important questions.
Well, I’m happy to report that the answer to all three of those questions turned out to be YES. Almost immediately after announcing the contest, GNP readers started sending me their reviews. Whether by Twitter, Facebook, or email, you guys took the time out of your day to sit and write some incredibly thoughtful and lovely things about the GNP and why you enjoy it so much. Maybe it was the allure of possibly taking home that neat Mechagodzilla Funko Pop that did the trick, but whatever the reason, I ended up with a decent collection of reviews! Even better, eight of those lovely reviewers ended up winning a prize, and as of this writing, all of those prizes have been safely delivered to their respective recipients!
And yes, in case you were wondering, I did have plenty of bubble wrap.
When I announced the contest, I promised that I’d include a selection of those reviews in a big update on the site, and, if you haven’t already guessed, this just happens to be that update! So now, without further ado, I’ll be turning the rest of the update over to all of you, and presenting some of the nicest reviews the GNP received during the contest! Let’s begin…
Lloyd Cary had this to say on Twitter:
“GNP is awesome I was raised on godzilla and all the others it’s great to see the love for all things kaiju. It brings back so many great child hood memories.”
“Gojzilla” also chimed in on Twitter with a particularly flattering rating for the project:
“10/10 all of your stuff dude. I’m partial to the first few chapters of Godzilla vs. Hedorah you’ve done. 10/10 amazing work. I love your respect for Banno and all of the source material.“
Longtime supporter GorillaWhale Productions had this to say:
“10/10 my favorite has to be the GMK Novelization! It’s my all time favorite movie & despite it being partially done, the placement of words in each sentence describing the events taking place in ’54 all the way to if Japan can handle all 4 kaiju really gives you that scared feel.”
Another longtime reader (and a super-creative guy), Logan Blakeslee, said:
“Your adaptation of Godzilla vs. Gigan really made me appreciate the story to a G film that I do not like very much. 8/10.”
As I mentioned in my announcement of the contest, a review could be as short as one word and I’d still count it! Some of the sweetest reviews I got were the shortest, including this one from longtime GNP fan Riley Roberts:
“I really like your novelizations. Keep up the good work.”
However, the award for the shortest review goes to “Feral Furby” on Twitter, who when asked about his favorite project on the GNP, responded with:
“All of it!”
Reader Rodolfo Vilchis sent in this awesome review via Facebook:
“I have to say that the project seems incredible to me, a good way to take Godzilla into another medium, and your passion for this world is to be admired! GvH is being interesting and fun to read. Keep up the good work!”
As you can see, these wonderful GNP fans had a lot of lovely things to say! I’m particularly flattered that so many people have singled out Godzilla vs. Hedorah as a personal favorite; that book has had a lot of work and love put into it, and seeing fans react to it so positively means a lot to me.
To wrap up, here are two more reviews, starting with a few kind words from my pal and host of the Monster Island Film Vault podcast, Nate Marchand:
“Godzilla vs. Gigan is the most underestimated G-film, and Danny’s novelization brings out its hidden brilliance. He fleshes out the wonderful characters and the cultural context in which the film was made. At the moment, this Novelization is my favorite, and I look forward to every new chapter. Sekizawa (and Kimura?) would be proud.”
He then went on to give the novelization five stars, which I’m given to understand is a resonably positive rating!
And finally, here’s an incredibly humbling review from longtime supporter, my collaborator on Project: KAYAMA, brilliant artist, and good friend Robert Monsarrat:
“Daniel DiManna’s passion for the King of the Monsters shines through in every word of the Godzilla Novelization Project. The research he’s done for each novel is impeccable, showing great knowledge of not just Godzilla but Japan itself. So descriptive are they, that the novels feel like something Toho Studios themselves would produce! His timelines of the different Godzilla universes are equally stunning, the Anime Trilogy being a particular favorite of mine for how illuminating it is towards those movies. If you’re a junkie for Godzilla content like I am, the Godzilla Novelization Project is the ultimate fix!”
Wow. Just… wow.
No matter how many times I sit and read these reviews, their impact on me never lessens. It absolutely blows my mind that so many people out there have been touched by my work on this project, and it’s even more amazing to me that a handful of those people took the time out of their busy lives to share their thoughts and let me know that they — that you — are enjoying what I do. What began as a fun way for me to engage with all of you and pay back some of your kindness via prizes has come full circle and, once again, reminded me of how unbelievably lucky I am to be doing this.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank each and every one of you for your kind words. The GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT has the best fans, and always remember: you complete this project. Books are nothing without readers to read them, and I couldn’t ask for better readers. Your support never ceases to humble me.
If you’re one of the readers whose review is now enshrined above, I hope you appreciated seeing your words on the GNP website! I still have plans to create a review-specific section (or sections) on the site in the future, so don’t worry… your reviews will probably get even more mileage!
That just about wraps up this post, but keep your eyes on the website (and your email inboxes, if you’re getting these updates sent to you) for a new update in the next few days. As some of you might already be aware, the GNP has an exciting new project dropping at the end of the month, and… let’s just say it has a lot to do with a certain beloved monster character’s 60th birthday…
Today’s update is a big one, because it’s less of an update and more of an announcement. More specifically, it’s an announcement for something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long, long time: a genuine, bonafide GNP giveaway contest!
Ever since I started the project back in 2018, giveaways were something that I really wanted to see happen. Over the last three years, readers like you have given me so much to be thankful for; from reading and sharing the project to sending me kind messages about what you’ve read, the GNP community has kept me motivated and humbled in equal measure.
And so, I think it’s about time I paid a little of that kindness back to you while also giving you a way to share your love for the project in a brand-new way.
On that note, I’m excited to announce that as of today, that the first ever GNP GIVEAWAY is up and running! I’m pretty excited about this, and once I lay everything out below, I think you’ll be on board to! (Hint: being on board involves the possibility of winning free stuff.)
Here’s how it all works:
I currently have in my possession a collection of awesome kaiju-related goodies that all of you will have the chance to win via raffle! These prizes include toys, comics, a Blu-ray set, and even a few of those ever-elusive Godzilla vs. Kong Funko Pops. You’ll find a complete list (including some snazzy pictures) of the prizes below.
So, how exactly do you get your hands on one of these prizes? It’s simple: all you have to do is write a review of the GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT! Let me explain…
For a while now, I’ve been considering adding a new section to the GNP website that would include reader reviews. Since launching the project, I’ve had many readers send me their thoughts on specific books/short stories/timelines/blogs/etc., and I think it’s high time these reviews were given a home on the site. You know how books often have little review blurbs on the back cover or before the first chapter? It’ll be like that, only on a dedicated webpage!
So here’s the deal: if you’re interested in writing a review of the GNP (whether it be for a specific book/story, or for the project as a whole), all you have to do is write one up and send it to me! Your review can be as short as one sentence or as long as a paragraph, and you can even include star ratings if you’d like! All I ask is that you keep things family-friendly and that things stay on the positive side. While critiques and constructive criticism of my work are always welcome (and I always encourage my readers to bring critiques, concerns, and suggestions to my attention), those criticisms might best be addressed via personal correspondence. That said, if you choose to write a more critical review, just be sure it’s done in an overall positive tone. Like I said above, I welcome all opinions!
Sending your reviews to me can be accomplished through multiple options. If you have a Facebook account, you can write a review right on the GNP Facebook page. You can also tag me on Twitter and write your review there, or send it to me via PM on either Twitter or Facebook. You can leave your review via the comments on the GNP website itself (this post will have a comments section that you can use!), or email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No matter which method you choose, make sure you include your name! Not only would I like to credit you alongside your review, but including your name also lets me enter you in the most exciting part of all of this: the raffle!
Starting now and ending on Friday, June 4th, the names of everyone who writes a review for the GNP will be collected. After June 4th, those names will be shuffled and put in a bowl. I’ll then draw eight names, and the lucky kaiju fans attached to those names will receive one of the prizes!
And speaking of prizes, it’s about time I showed you what they are. As mentioned above, I have a whopping EIGHT kaiju prizes to give away!
Here’s what you have a chance of winning:
Are you looking to accessorize your keys? This adorable little Mothra keychain from Monogram was sold in a blind bag in 2020, and if you missed it, now’s your chance to own one without the stress-inducing risk of accidental double-dipping! (This is the actual keychain you will receive.)
Maybe you’re more of a “space monster” kind of fan. This Orga keychain from Monogram might be the coolest figure in their third wave of classic Toho monster keychains. (This is the actual keychain you will receive.)
Where’s a stick of butter when you need it? The third and final Monogram keychain in this giveaway is for the horror of the deep himself, Ebirah. (This is the actual keychain you will receive.)
The Playmates Godzilla vs. Kong figures have been notoriously difficult to track down this year. Thankfully, I was able to snag this super-cool Godzilla w/Heat Ray, and he can be yours if you win the raffle! (This is the actual figure you will receive.)
If you’ve been wanting to catch up on the latest adventures of Ultraman, now’s your chance to add the first three issues of Marvel’s The Trials of Ultraman to your collection! (These are the actual comics you will receive; issue #4 wasn’t available at the time of this giveaway.)
Now we’re cookin’. If you’re an Ultra fan, Mill Creek’s Blu-ray of Ultraman R/B is a must-own set that includes the complete series and the movie. (This is the actual Blu-ray you will receive; the plastic wrap was removed to make sure that the collector’s booklet was included, which it is!)
Yeah, that’s right. Now you can (politely) tell those eBay scalpers to shove off, because this is your chance to add the elusive Mechagodzilla Funko Pop to your shelf! (This is the actual toy you will receive, mint in box and NOT the price of a used car.)
Last but not least, it’s time for the Big Kong from Funko to make his entrance. This 10-inch Pop is hard to find in stores and online, so now’s your chance to get one free of charge! (The Pop in the above picture is my own Kong; the one you will receive is mint, sealed in an Amazon box, and ready to ship!)
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! (I’ve always wanted to say that…)
If you’re one of the lucky GNP readers who gets to take home one of the above prizes, you’ll also get…
To celebrate this giveaway, I figured it was finally the right moment to experiment with GNP-specific merchandise! This fun little sticker is just the beginning of what I’m hoping to do in the realm of GNP swag, and if you win a prize, you’ll be the first to get a taste of what I’m planning. Consider this a test run for the cool stuff I’ll be producing exclusively for my Patreon supporters in the near future…
Whew, we made it! Not a bad lineup of prizes, If I do say so myself! I know some of them might not be that exciting to some fans, but I hope that at least one or two of these cool kaiju collectables inspire you to send in a review for the GNP!
So, if any of these prizes sound cool to you, be sure to send in your review via one of the above-mentioned methods, and remember to include your name! After June 4th, I’ll draw a random winner for each prize. Be sure to keep your eyes on the GNP website and social media for the names of the winners, and if you won, reach out to me with your mailing information and I’ll get your prizes out to you ASAP!
(Before I wrap this up, it’s time for the obligatory disclaimers:Only contestants who have fulfilled the above requirements (written a review, posted or sent it to me, and included a name) will be entered in the raffle. The first eight randomly drawn names will be the winners. There are NO SUBSTITUTIONS for prizes; what you win is what you win. All decisions are final. If you fail to reach out to me following the drawing with mailing information, you will forfeit your prize and another name will be drawn. The GODZILLA NOVELIZATION PROJECT is not responsible for errors (typos, timing, internet connectivity, etc.) on the part of giveaway entries that can affect participation and qualification. So there.)
Well, I think that just about does it! You have all the information you need, and the clock is ticking to get your reviews submitted! You have two weeks from right now(May 21st, 2021) to write your reviews on Facebook, Twitter, the GNP website, or via email. Remember to include your name, and be sure to spread to word so more fans have a chance to win some cool stuff! It all ends on June 4th, 2021.
And remember, after all of the reviews are collected and the prizes given out, I’ll make a post including all of the reviews you write and add it to the site! Even better, select reviews (or snippets of them) will also be included on a brand-new page on the GNP website dedicated to reader reviews!
I hope this small token of my gratitude is appreciated, and that you all have fun with this giveaway. It’s the absolute least I can do for all of you after all the generosity, kindness, and support you’ve shown me for the past three years. The GNP is nothing without its community of readers and Godzilla fans, and as always, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
If you have any questions about the giveaway that aren’t answered above, hit me up on social media or send me an email, and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.
Thanks for reading, and I can’t wait to see what all of you have to say over the next two weeks! Let the fun begin!