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Article: 8
Date: 7/04/08
Last Update: 07/07/09
Current Count: 9 Submissions (1 New Submission)

A collection of information about and pictures of magazines that reference or deal wholly with Toho entities (listed in chronological order of issue).

Famous Monsters of Filmland
 Issue: #114
 Length: 100 Pages
 Language: English
 Release Date: March, 1975

Without a doubt, one of the most famous non-G-Fan Godzilla-based magazine issues has to be #114 of Famous Monsters from 1975. This 100-page special issue concentrates entirely on the Big G and his monstrous co-stars, along with other Toho-made monster movies of the time. Nowadays, this issue is quite rare, and a mint condition issue of this can fetch a rather hefty price. The front sports an awesome shot of Godzilla and Rodan, and Godzilla's design eerily foreshadows the character's general 1989-1994 appearance.

The issue, as advertised on the front cover in big letters, is all about Japan's Monsters. It takes a few pages to get into the monster stuff, but when it begins, it doesn't let up. The first kaiju-based part of the magazine is titled "Godzilla! King of the Creatures!". This section, spanning a decent 11 pages, details the events of the original 1954 movie in small chapter-style paragraphs. The next big article, "Monsters From Japan: Out of the East, Beast after Beast", centers around the various kaiju that have emerged from Japan (mostly Toho) from the time period. It features several photos and also reveals information on different monsters, movies, and even includes a rather long list of the films in which the monsters star.

What's so interesting about this issue, especially given the time, is that it doesn't use the American titles of the films, but instead the International ones. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974) isn't titled Godzilla vs. The Bionic Monster and, miraculously, it uses the Godzilla Raids Again (1955) title as opposed to Gigantis, The Fire Monster.

Moving on, a two-paged spread from Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974) features a four way fight between Godzilla, Anguirus, King Caesar, and the villainous Mechagodzilla. Another nice thing I noticed in this issue is the use of the kaiju names. Gigan isn't once labeled as a "giant chicken", for example. In fact, the magazine goes out of its way to give out the true (at the time) name of Minilla: Minira (or Minya as it follows) instead of the obnoxious "Tadzilla" (which is used a few more times, but in a joking manner). One minor complaint about the names is that Mechagodzilla is labeled Mecha-Godzilla and Mechani-Kong is simply called Mecha-Kong.

Page 40 begins a detailed article centered entirely around the timeless classic Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965), known as Frankenstein Conquers The World in the United States. This article is split into chapter-like parts much like the prior Godzilla one, but also features many publicity shots of the two monsters (even some information about the Giant Octopus cut scene is included).

The issue then splits into two parts centered around King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) and Mothra (1961) and then veers into its crown jewel: "The Return of Ghidrah" (that, shockingly, uses the "Astro-Monster" name). Once again, this section is put together in chapter-like sections and also features many pictures. This then leads into a similarly constructed section all about Destroy All Monsters (1968). The issue proceeds to fall back to its normal course and displays covers of past issues, ordering instructions, and prices.

Credit: Joshua Reynolds
Famous Monsters of Filmland
 Issue: #131
 Length: 72 Pages
 Language: English
 Release Date: January, 1977
Not much here, but in an article chronicling monsters from the deep, various Toho kaiju flicks receive mention. Varan, Godzilla, and Ebirah (as “The Sea Monster”) all manage a nod. There is even a picture showing the infamous scene where Godzilla lifts Ebirah up into the air. Part of the article quotes Raymond Burr, word-for-word, when Godzilla rises up from the sea to strike in the American version of the original G-film.
Credit: Joshua Reynolds

Famous Monsters
 Issue: #141
 Length: 90 Pages
 Language: English
 Release Date: March, 1978

A basic magazine from the '70s, Famous Monsters #141 features a 10-page focus on the monster king himself, Godzilla. Reading through the first page, any diehard Godzilla fan can easily note the obvious mistake where it is claimed that Godzilla (1954)'s Japanese release was 1955. The article covers many grounds throughout the Godzilla series, and then some. Rodan, King Kong (the Toho versions), and the original Mothra all get a brief nod in the article entitled "Godzilla vs. All Comers".

Not only does this article get the original's release year wrong, but several others as well. Godzilla Raids Again (1955) is said to have been released in Japan in 1959, and it even says Anguirus is "another fire-spitting monster." It could be said in defense that the dates simply refer to the American versions, but even then, the article jumps back and forth between them. At one point, self-contradiction is painfully apparent with the release of Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964) (at one point listing the Japanese release date and then later on posting the American release date, never with any clarification as to which is which).

On a side note, Minilla is referred to as "Tad"... and not in a joking manner either. Ugh.

Credit: Joshua Reynolds

Those Cracked Monsters
 Issue: Unlisted
 Length: 50 Pages
 Language: English
 Release Date: July, 1980

What is Those Cracked Monsters? Well, I'm not too sure myself. I'm gathering its some type of MAD Magazine-type that features MST3K-style jokes, but most of the time they just aren't all that funny. Take the Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965) one. Get it? Italian food? Not Mexican food... Italian food? Ha-Ha-Ha! Classic. Out of curiosity, I wonder if any previous or following issues brought up the “Mothra's small body, massive egg” joke.

Credit: Joshua Reynolds

G-Fan
 Issue: #15
 Length: 66 Pages
 Language: English
 Release Date: May/June, 1995

Before I go into this particular issue of the infamous G-Fan, let me say that this was my first issue... and last issue for a long, long time. Originally found by my dad when I was only six years of age, the issue was quite some time ago. When I discovered that G-Fan was still running strong, it was an issue I just had to get back. There were several parts of the magazine I desired to see again, including the awesome cover and the nifty fan-made stories on the inside. Recovering the issue, there was one major thing that I noticed that I had never knew before, and it wasn't one of the major articles...

Printed on page 5 is an article based around the Trendmasters line of figures. Some of the figures are well known considering that they were actually produced... yet there were some who had not earned such a distinction. Did anybody else actually know that Trendmasters also acquired the rights to Kamacuras, Gabara, Manda, Hedorah, Ebirah, and Baby Godzilla? I know I didn't. Also featured on page 5 is a short article about the Dark Horse comics; and then comes the first big article of magazine: "Gamera vs. Godzilla", written by Ed Godziszewski.

This section spans a grand total of two pages and, for the most part, compares Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994) to Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995). For anybody wondering, Gamera is the decided winner overall. Following this, not surprisingly, is another Gamera-based article written by Steve Ryfle.

After these two articles, the issue kicks into the fan mail and offers answers along with some nifty artwork. Speaking of the artwork, there is one particularly awesome image on page 15 that features a good handful of Showa Era monsters, including Godzilla. This section then breaks way into "Godzilla in America - Part 5: Monster Island!" I can only guess that the previous installments were featured in previous issues. This six page section focuses on Destroy All Monsters (1968) and All Monsters Attack (1969).

After this, the issue comes into its shining glory. Entitled "Battles of Godzilla", Godzilla's 1974 battle with Fake Godzilla is recreated perfectly (in comic form)... climaxing with the inevitable reveal of Mechagodzilla's true form.

Fan art of Biollante and Miki from Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989) is featured in the center, with subsequent fan fics including "Ebirah vs. the Giant Chef from Space", "Power Rangers vs. Godzilla", and "Legend of King Kong vs. Mothra". In coming years, the fan fiction section would inevitably find itself removed due to legal snafus.

The last major entry in this issue is "Bigger than Life! An interview with Henry G. Saperstein". This issue concludes with fan mail, info on "The Attack of the Super-Allosaurus" (which is supposedly a book-length Godzilla adventure written by Neil Riebe), and finally reviews of collectibles and VHS releases.

Credit: Joshua Reynolds

Entertainment Weekly
 Issue: #454
 Length: 100 Pages
 Language: English
 Release Date: October 16, 1998

This issue of Entertainment Weekly puts the big gray guy at number #28, which is pretty significant when you take into account that the issue is listed as "The Galaxy's Top 100". In other words, taken in context, Godzilla is (was) considered more important then even Jurassic Park (1993) which came in at number #29. In fact, since the top 100 takes into consideration not only films, but books, magazines, comics and even video games, Godzilla is one important icon in the history of Science Fiction. At least, he was considered thusly way back in the latter part of the 20th century, by the then editors of Entertainment Weekly. The cover even features the Big G in all his glory from the 1984 remake. The interior article, along with a shot of that famous paste-up of Godzilla (with the train in his teeth) relates his importance as being a proxy for man's foibles with nuclear energy (nothing new here) and how they preferred suitimation to the computer generated iguana of the 1998 Tri-Star remake (there was a remake?).
Credit: CommanderJoe

G-Fan
 Issue: #41
 Length: 66 Pages
 Language: English
 Release Date: September/October, 1999

Starting with the front cover, this issue of G-Fan sports a very attractive picture of a recreation of the battle between Godzilla and Hedorah. The magazine, however, focuses mostly on two things: Godzilla 2000: Millennium (1999) and G-Fest 1999. Starting with the first few pages, issue #41 offers several production photographs of Godzilla and Orga from the first Millennium Series movie. Unfortunately, besides having an enriching amount of photographs, this opening falls short on any basic information about the film.

This leads into a very lengthy interview with legendary composer Akira Ifukube that spans several pages and then bleeds into a short biography about the man behind the marvelous music. Afterward, the entire mid-section is all about G-Fest and has a ton of information about the convention; this isn't surprising either, considering J.D. Lees, the owner of the magazine, is the father behind the gathering. The next section goes into a sort of documentary on the subject of the original Godzilla being a representation of America at the time. The decided answer is "no".

A shocking part of this issue is another interview, but the interviewee is Volker Engel. For those of you who don't know, he was the Godzilla SPFX supervisor for the 1998 remake. Apparently the man had been present at G-Fest '99, but, interestingly, there is no mention of the reception he had received. After the interview, we go into basic fan fiction work, this one entitled "The Journal of Dr. Rex Summeral: To Catch a Kaiju (Part 7)". I never got a chance to read the other parts, so I'm at a bit of a loss as to what it is exactly about.

The next part of the magazine is a sort of Gamera autobiography that goes over the flying turtle's own career (both Showa and Heisei) through his own eyes. This then leads into several reviews for books (including Japan's Favorite Mon-Star).

The last bang we get in #41 is also the best thing it has to offer: "Battles of Godzilla". This issue features a gorgeous, and I mean gorgeous, remake of Godzilla and Megalon's battle. The fight is brutal and the art easily rivals, and in some way surpasses, that of the Dark Horse comics. Megalon is given a great, Heisei-style redesign and for your viewing pleasure, I have scanned a sneak preview. Gabe McIntosh really has a great gig going with this battle. Besides the remaining pages of fan mail, the issue comes to a close at the common count of sixty-six.

Credit: Joshua Reynolds

G-Fan
 Issue: #60
 Length: 114 Pages
 Language: English
 Release Date: January/February, 2003

This super-sized edition of G-Fan just so happens to be the 10th Anniversary Issue, for those of you keeping track! The cover sports a beautiful image of the GMK Godzilla thrashing a city, while the back shows off the atomic saurian towering over an ever-so-doomed metropolis. Spanning 114 pages, this special issue begins with various articles, including a piece on Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002) and some information about the famous monster's appearance on the Minneapolis TV channel: Horror Incorporated. This leads into a Japanese toy magazine article, which is closely followed by a brief look into American Kaiju (especially fan-made homages, including one monster dubbed "King Komodo"). A little bit further into this issue, and a series of pictures and information on Toho, Kadokawa (then Daiei), and Tsuburaya props are shown on display at different locations. This is my favorite part of #60, since it features a great deal of never-before-seen photos of everyone's favorite kaiju on display for the public. Gamera and Iris can be seen, and so can King Joe and Baltan from Ultraman. Even mechs and space creatures, like Moguera, Mechagodzilla, and SpaceGodzilla, show their faces. This part of the magazine even covers ground on Kamen Rider.

Moving along, a synopsis involving Yoshimitsu Banno is included, and then some much-needed appreciation for the Giant Octopus is brought center stage. Then there's a bit of fun: Frankenstein vs. King Kong, a look into the idea that was destined to eventually bring about the greatest clash of the previous century (King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)). We are then treated to a nice six-page article on The Return of Godzilla (1984) (with nifty publicity material to boot). A four page spread appears next, centered around the fan favorite reptilian, flying squirrel: Varan.

The magazine continues with collectors checklists, a look into fan made suits, and even an interview with a Heisei-era suit actor. Finally, this issue comes to a close with a chance to enter a contest to win... an autographed DVD from the Heisei series!

Credit: Joshua Reynolds

Famous Monsters
 Issue: #160
 Length: 74 Pages
 Language: English
 Release Date: January, 1980

Nothing overly spectacular here, but Godzilla does receive brief mention in an article about filmland's famous Tyrannosaurus rexes. Covering numerous movies and versions of the dinosaur, from The Valley of Gwangi (1969) to the Rex in Land Unknown (1957), this article also manages to cover two of Toho's films. Godzilla is featured at the bottom of page 46 (along with Anguirus) in Godzilla Raids Again (1955). It's a production still; meaning you can see Eiji Tsuburaya giving ole' Goji some instructions, while some technicians help Anguirus' actor get into the suit. On Page 47, it lists King Kong Escapes (1967) as the sequel to King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), a common mistake among casual and non-fans alike. Nevertheless, it is interesting that Gorosaurus receive a nod (not by his true name, as he is dubbed "Toho-saurus" here). Sadly, the commentary on the fight between Kong and Gorosaurus is, shall we say, less than nice.
Credit: Joshua Reynolds