My Life with Godzilla

I came across this photo of my parents and I while helping my mom sort through some old CDs of digital files. My mom was quick to point out my Godzilla figure which managed to join our family portrait in the lower left hand corner. That Godzilla toy is my most treasured childhood possession. It is my Rosebud sled.

The figure has now found a permanent home in my mom’s kitchen atop her cabinets. It’s surrounded by other Godzilla figures and a giant Virgin of Guadalupe statue. A very telling sight of our cultural influences.

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Godzilla movies have had a huge influence on my life. One of my only memories as a newborn is watching a Godzilla movie on television while being held in my mother’s arms. In the first five years of my life I went to see plenty of movies with my parents in theaters. The very first movie they took me to see because I wanted to see it was Godzilla 1985. It was playing at the Lumiere theater on California street and I’ll never forget the day we went. Sitting there in the cool dark theater watching Godzilla lay waste to Tokyo blew my five year old mind.

It was such an pivotal moment in my life. My childhood obsession with Godzilla heavily influenced the drawings I made at the time. I would draw ultraviolent landscapes with scenes of futuristic artillery battling giant monsters. Those drawings disturbed my mother so much that she made a series of artworks about them entitled Rio’s Room. I wish I had a scan of the drawings to share but the actual movie poster for Godzilla 1985 gives a good sense of what they encompassed.

In my life as an adult, I’ve only manged to incorporate Godzilla once into my artwork. He popped up in a comic strip I did in 2007 entitled True Story. It brings together Godzilla and another icon of my, Subcomandante Marcos of the EZLN.

Okay, now that I’ve pretty much forsaken any sex appeal I might have had in talking about my nerd passion for Godzilla I’ll leave you with something I discovered recently that made my day. There hasn’t been a proper Godzilla movie since 2004′s Godzilla: Final Wars but a recent comedy film from Toho (the studio that has produced all of the Godzilla films) has him in a cameo appearance. 2008′s Always Sunset on Third Street 2 features an incredible sequence that presents him completely in computer animation.


I have to say, the production values on this short sequence top anything that’s ever been done with Godzilla before. I still like the rubber suits but nothing has been as cinematic or well produced as this clip. There are no new Godzilla films planned on the horizon but this definitely gives a look into what might be to come.

Peace,

Rio

4 thoughts on “My Life with Godzilla

  1. I know I’ve said this before, but I really love that portrait of your family.

    I don’t think a love for Godzilla forsakes sex appeal. It’s just another quirk, and the fact that it started in early childhood is pretty cool.

  2. Godzilla brings me back memories too, although I grew up on the ’90s version. I also have a few Godzilla figures on my blog if you’d like to check them out. Under my recommended links, there’s also a website with what I think has to be the largest Godzilla figure collection to date. If you love Godzilla, you gotta check out that website.

  3. Few things have meant more to my life than Godzilla. My father used to attend sci-fi and model conventions and return with bootlegged tapes of the 90s series, which at the time hadn’t been released in the U.S. I was in high school, and instead of going on dates or hanging out with friends I’d sit at home, alone in my room and watch hours of Godzilla flicks in their native language, of which I didn’t speak a word. I’d kind of have to make up the stories myself, but it was still great fun. I mean, it did take my years to figure out that one chick was supposed to be psychic, but buildings being crushed and burned by giant monsters are fun no matter the language.

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