Friday, July 25, 2014

G-Fest XXI: Part 3


Sunday started out a bit hectically, trying to get all our clothes and toiletries and cooler (bringing a cooler full of cereal bars and lunch meat and milk and orange juice saved a fortune on food), plus purchases from the art and dealer rooms packed up and safely back to the car with no broken claws or bent prints and nothing forgotten in the room, and then checking out before the events started for the day.

First up was arguably the main event of the whole Fest (and arguably so only because the concert was so goddamn awesome), the Terror of Mechagodzilla reunion panel with Katsuhiko Sasaki and Tomoko Ai sharing memories of the production. The panel did tend to devolve into Ai giggling as Sasaki talked about how cute he thought she was and was shy to talk to her and also getting in trouble for talking to her because he had just gotten married before production started, but once they started showing clips of the movie for the stars to talk about, the panel sped by and I was sad to see it end. Both stars had lots of memories of the shoot and were very talkative and funny.

After the panel, the kids and I got in line for autographs once again. The tickets for these two each included a free 8 ½ x 11 photo, and I had bought the kids reproduction movie posters (I love my kids, but I'm not spending $200 apiece for authentic posters for their rooms when I won't even drop that kind of scratch on one for myself) and I had Ai sign the killer Terror of Mechagodzilla print I picked up from Jeff Zornow on Friday.

By the time everything was signed, it was time to get in line for the awards lunch, the highlight of which was Bob Eggleton receiving the Mangled Skyscraper Award. Here's a guy who has won piles of major industry awards, but saying that this one meant more to him than all of those because it was given with love by Godzilla fans. I was proud to have been there.

The weekend was pretty well over by this point, with just a couple of smaller panels left to go. Phoenix wanted to attend the one on writing kaiju stories, so we went to check it out. It was a fun and lively discussion, but Phoenix lost interest in the technicalities quickly, Isabella didn't care to begin with, and the advice given seemed to be mostly for people who had never strung together a paragraph outside of a school assignment, so it didn't do much for me. However, one of the panelists had to leave early to try to sell a few more copies of his book in the dealer room before it closed. When he described the book to the audience before he left, it sounded fascinating, and so we followed him back upstairs to buy a copy. His name is Timothy Price, the book is Big In Japan, and having just finished reading my copy, I can say it's a hoot. Put the movie Rockstar, a handful of bonkers 70's tokusatsu shows, and about six pots (yes, pots – not cups, pots) of coffee in a blender and set to puree. That about sums it up. I also found out he's originally from Minnesota, not even two hours from where I live, so we wound up chatting about that and writing for a bit, and then the kids and I made one more pass through the dwindling toy tables. I snagged an original mold Bandai Gigan, you know the black one with only two back sails and a weird-shaped head (I love almost-but-not-quite figures like this one, they're almost cooler than ones that are detail-perfect to the movies), and we headed to Kaiju Konfessions.

Kaiju Konfessions is the traditional farewell ritual of G-Fest, wherein a compilation of songs from monster movies, MST3K episodes, and mash-up music videos are played along with lyrics so the whole crowd can dance and sing along. I don't know if it's been included before or not, but if we manage to get back next year (or any year, really) I hope they put “Mothra” by Those Darn Accordions in the rotation.

Joyce warned me that it's addictive, and that if you come one year you pretty much have to come every year. It's kind of like B-Fest in that regard. I can see how this could easily become more like B-Fest to me in that you come the first time for Godzilla, but come back more and more for the people you meet and the feeling of family you get from hanging out for three days with a bunch of people who love monster movies as much as you do.

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