Kaiju in American comics-from Jack Kirby to present.
If there is one thing that PACIFIC RIM has proven to the world it is that the Kaiju formula is evergreen. Not that every Kaiju movie is good or worth seeing, but that it is a legitimate genre open to different approaches that can tell different kinds of stories within it while still succeeding at the box office. ( to me what makes something a genre- like say westerns is a genre- is that you can do more than one thing with it. DJANGO is pure nihilistic violence while SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL GUNSLINGER is pure comedy, RIO GRANDE is a romance and tribute to the army etc. Kaiju is a true genre because you can play it straight like GODZILLA make it scary like CLOVERFIELD make it for kids like SON OF GODZILLA go for laughs like DEEP SEA MONSTER RAIGA or turn the whole thing on its head like YATTERMAN. No one has done a Kaiju romance yet but give them time.)
But Kaiju in comics has always struggled in America. Jack Kirby invented the American Kaiju comic- as he invented practically everything in American comics -back in the 1950s when Marvel was still called Atlas. The problem with Kirbys 'giant monster' comics is that the monsters were never really allowed to destroy anything or kill anybody and had to be dispatched by some trick or gimmick in a dozen pages or so. One of the reasons FING FANG FOOM is such a well remembered and loved story out of this group is because he actually does go on a rampage knocking things down and brawling with the Chinese army. It alright to kill commie solders under the comics code, but not civilians or American solders, I guess. There have been several publishers that have tried to bring Godzilla to American comics but despite the big guys enduring popularity these efforts typically flounder after a few dozen issues. I think the problem there is that everyone knows going in that Godzilla can't be killed or changed, none of his classic friends can be killed or changed, and none of them is going to really go on a block leveling destructive rampage because American publishers are squeamish about the implied carnage against civilians. So with all that ruled off limits readers anticipate boredom and stay away.
I published my first kaiju comic, BIG MONSTER FIGHT back in 1995 and attempted to change the rules from what was allowed. My first monster was an acid vomiting giant called REGURGITO and he goes on a destructive rampage with lots of implied loss of life, gets in a brawl with giant robot ROBO GOG who does lots of street fighting moves not normally seen from good guys (like stomping on Regurgitos head when he's down and jumping on his back with both feet...) and then dies a violent, gory death when Robo Gog reaches down his throat and pulls out his spine. This being a self published indy it only lasted 2 issues, but that was due to low orders from stores that hadn't seen it yet and not due to reader reaction which is very hard to judge in something like this. but I still believe that I was approaching the issue right and have received a lot of positive feedback about those 2 issues over time. They are out of print but I offering them to people who donate to my new project PUNK ROCK COMICS # 1 on Kickstarter. I will add the link so you can check it out if you want. I should mention that this comic is not about music it is also a Kaiju comic. El Hijo del Cthulhu comes out of the ocean in the beginning and battles Robo Gog in the climax of the first issue. I won't give it away except to say that El Hijo del Cthulhu is planned as an ongoing character, the first of a group of Kaiju giants that will rampage through this series, so you can expect him to survive his encounter with Robo Gog. The question is will Robo Gog survive? As for the comics title, I won't go into that here, if you are interested click over to proposal, I go into that fully there. I hope you take a look even if you have no intention of donating- sharing the info is free and also much appreciated if you like what you see.
---Sandez Rey http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...-rock-comics-1