Essential American Godzilla Books

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Essential American Godzilla Books

Postby Jorzilla » Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:49 pm

I've recently acquired both David Kalat's Godzilla filmography book, and Japan's Favorite Mon-Star by Steve Ryfle. Aside from Guy Tucker's Age of Gods, is there any english language books that you would consider ESSENTIAL to a print collection from a quasi-intellectual level?

(Note, I already own Godzilla on my Mind and the Official Godzilla Compendium).
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Re: Essential American Godzilla Books

Postby canofhumdingers » Thu Jul 31, 2014 6:28 pm

I don't know that it exactly meets the criteria you laid out, but the recent kaiju movie poster book that Sean Linkenback put out is rather spectacular. I got it recently and am loving the heck out of it. It's informative and has the most comprehensive collection of theatrical posters and lobby cards from pretty much every country that made them that I've ever seen. And there's a lot of rare stuff that I've never seen or even knew existed. It's great!
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Re: Essential American Godzilla Books

Postby Jorzilla » Thu Jul 31, 2014 6:50 pm

canofhumdingers wrote:I don't know that it exactly meets the criteria you laid out, but the recent kaiju movie poster book that Sean Linkenback put out is rather spectacular. I got it recently and am loving the heck out of it. It's informative and has the most comprehensive collection of theatrical posters and lobby cards from pretty much every country that made them that I've ever seen. And there's a lot of rare stuff that I've never seen or even knew existed. It's great!



Yeah, I just remembered that I picked that up as well. I also have the 1st and 2nd editions of August Ragone's book on Eiju Tsuburaya.
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Re: Essential American Godzilla Books

Postby klen7 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 7:57 pm

Jorzilla wrote:I also have the 1st and 2nd editions of August Ragone's book on Eiju Tsuburaya.
That would be have been my suggestion
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Re: Essential American Godzilla Books

Postby H-Man » Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:40 pm

Monsters Are Attacking Tokyo by Stuart Galbraith IV is really good. Basically the history of Japanese genre films as told by the people that made them.
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Re: Essential American Godzilla Books

Postby MouthForWar » Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:50 pm

Cody Himes wrote:Monsters Are Attacking Tokyo by Stuart Galbraith IV is really good. Basically the history of Japanese genre films as told by the people that made them.



Yup. This one is the gold standard, IMO.

Also, Ed G's Encyclopedia of Godzilla. But good luck finding that at a decent price.
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Re: Essential American Godzilla Books

Postby lhb412 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:12 pm

The only serious behind-the-scenes book I have is Ryfle's (oh, and the Art of book for the new film). Looking forward to getting August's book on Tsuburaya. I might buy it this month to read at the beach.
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Re: Essential American Godzilla Books

Postby ebirahsmeg1 » Fri Aug 01, 2014 2:04 am

The top of List would have to include Godzilla On My Mind by Bill Tsutsui, which to this day remains one of the most ground-breaking G books ever published...

....said no one in the history of mankind. :wink:


Anyways, time to get serious. In regards to Essential American Godzilla books, I've never been all that fond of David Kalat's book and found it highly overrated (alot of his views/insights, such as his hilarious rant on the lack of strong female characters in a film such as Godzilla vs Megalon, are eye-roll inducing and laughable :roll: :lol: ). To his credit, as least he has updated it to cover the Millenium series as well, which sadly makes it one of the few up to date English G books as most were written in the mid-late 90s. Otherwise, if I want to read silly, pompous reviews on films of the genre, then I'll pick up G-Fan and read film reviews by the likes of Peter H. Brothers and co. (though in fairness to Kalat, he's not near as bad as Brothers in that regard).

My unofficial list to English Godzilla books (not much to choose from):

Steve Ryfle's Japan's Favorite Mon-star (which is in dire need of an updated edition)
Ed G's The Illustrated Encylopedia of Godzilla - Good luck finding it for a decent price. As much as I like it, I might consider selling mine someday considering the insane prices I often see this go for, but until something better comes along, it stays :mrgreen:
Guy Tucker's Age of the Gods - Don't own it, but have met several acquintences who had and let me look through it...it is indeed worth the hype.
August Ragone's Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters, which focuses on the man's entire career work and not just Godzilla/Ultraman.
Godzilla: The Art of Destruction that goes along with the most recent film.

Honorable Mention:
Stuart Galbraith's Monsters are Attacking Tokyo - A very solid book, though like Kalat's, I find it just a tad overrated.
I know it gets picked on alot (and rightfully so in some cases), but the Godzilla Compendium is not all that bad if found at a low price.
Any edition of Japanese Giants or early issues of G-Fan.

Hopefully Ed G and Ryfle's upcomong Honda book can be added to the list someday...if it ever comes out that is.


If only there were English translations of some of the Shogakukan Japanese books..... :oops: :(
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Re: Essential American Godzilla Books

Postby MouthForWar » Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:27 am

Yeah I'd definitely add Art of Destruction to the list.


And Galbraith's first book Japanese science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films is also really good. It's outdated now but when I was a kid and didn't have the internet, that book was basically my bible.
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Re: Essential American Godzilla Books

Postby Crowzilla » Sun Aug 03, 2014 4:55 am

ebirahsmeg1 wrote:Any edition of Japanese Giants or early issues of G-Fan.


Japanese Giants #9 has the most scholarly information you will ever find on GMK,
and #10 is the same for Godzilla 1954.

Each is 64 pages entirely devoted to a single film and you can't find better information.
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Re: Essential American Godzilla Books

Postby H-Man » Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:23 pm

Ed G's Illustrated Encyclopedia is pretty good, but I think Mon-Star covers almost all of the same material in more detail. I'd still recommend Illustrated Encyclopedia for the behind the scenes sections although a lot of the information, photographs, and concept art have been online for years.
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Re: Essential American Godzilla Books

Postby Gojilove » Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:24 am

I'd kill for a copy of Age of the Gods.

damn.
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Re: Essential American Godzilla Books

Postby klen7 » Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:47 am

Apparently the B&W collection of Marvel comics fits the criteria of "Essential"
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Re: Essential American Godzilla Books

Postby Jared » Tue Jul 28, 2015 4:54 am

ebirahsmeg1 wrote: In regards to Essential American Godzilla books, I've never been all that fond of David Kalat's book and found it highly overrated (alot of his views/insights, such as his hilarious rant on the lack of strong female characters in a film such as Godzilla vs Megalon, are eye-roll inducing and laughable :roll: :lol: ). To his credit, as least he has updated it to cover the Millenium series as well, which sadly makes it one of the few up to date English G books as most were written in the mid-late 90s. Otherwise, if I want to read silly, pompous reviews on films of the genre, then I'll pick up G-Fan and read film reviews by the likes of Peter H. Brothers and co. (though in fairness to Kalat, he's not near as bad as Brothers in that regard).

I havent read any of David Kalat's work, but his Criterion audio commentaries are fantastic and insightful, and I really dig his tone and sense of humor.
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