WonderCon '11: Godzilla

Godzilla's highly anticipated (at least for me) return to comics came just a couple days before WonderCon. The Godzilla panel was during the second day of WonderCon and a lot can happen in those few days between the comic's debut and the panel, especially when its concerning Godzilla. I'll come back to that shortly, but first, let's start this off like the panel and list monsters that will be appearing in the series.

If you can't see the photo of the slide, it lists Anguirus, Battra, Destoroyah, Gigan, Hedorah, King Ghidorah, Kumonga, MechaGodzilla, Mothra, Rodan, Space Godzilla, and Titanosaurus. Those are a lot of monsters that will be terrorizing Earth. And IDW doesn't want to tease the monsters; They want to get them in as soon as possible. Once you start reading, look for monster after monster to be appearing each month.

Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters was IDW's highest print run ever AND it sold out the fastest. Most if not all of the 70,000-ish issues sold out that first day. That's really impressive. I expect things like their Infestation crossover to sell out, but I kind of thought Godzilla might almost be more of a niche title; I'm glad I thought wrong. It's great to hear that there is still a lot of love for the big G.

There is also lots of love from the artists IDW asked to about the project. Many times when artists were asked to join IDW, the artists said they were too busy with other stuff. However, when once the artists were told about Godzilla, they would try to figure out how to re-arrange their schedules so they could be a part of big G's return to comics. Various slides of covers, art, and sketches were shown off as the goodness of Godzilla was discussed.

IDW had a Store Smash program where if comic shops ordered a huge amount of issue #1, then a special cover of the comic shop would be drawn on a cover of Godzilla smashing the comic shop under his foot. 75 comic shops signed-up for the promotion for the first printing, with 19 more on board for the second printing. Some shop owners took issue with how they looked on the covers, even along with some IDW staffers did, but they really needed to lighten up about it. There was a limited amount of time to get all the covers completed in time for the big launch. Aside from all the shop-specific covers, there are also 4 IDW staff covers, 1 Dynamic Forces cover, and the WonderCon exclusive cover. That's 100 covers for issue #1. I guess any less than that just wouldn't be enough for Godzilla. There was also mention of a special Japan disaster relief issue coming out.

Along with the flagship title, There will be the Godzilla: Gangsters and Goliaths mini-series. Gangsters and Goliaths takes place in a different continuity than the main title. So, much like the different versions of Godzilla in the movie continuities, there will also be so in the comics. There will also be stand-alone spotlight issues, like the Transformers Spotlights. However, it was joked that these won't feature a monster with an inner-monologue, like more than a few of the Transformers Spotlights do.

The panelists asked the audience what monsters they would like to see in the series by showing a slide and the applause each one received. There were a lot of slides shown including fan-favorite Jet Jaguar and, curiously enough, the Gargantuas. Only two received any boos. If you're a Godzilla fan, it's easy to guess which two were booed... yes, the boos were for Minilla and the American Godzilla. While Minilla did get a few cheers among the booing, American Godzilla was nothing but boos. Serves him right.

After the slides was a Q&A, so here is a handy list of other things mentioned.

-The story begins in Japan, as it should. However, new monsters will appear over the world, so many of the big countries will have to deal with their own monster problem. Of course, the monsters will meet at some point, which will just raise new problems for mankind.

-IDW is in talks with Legendary regarding the new movie, but nothing is for sure right now.

-Toho was apprehensive to let their monsters out and about at first because Toho is very protective of its monsters. They realized that if they wanted to continue the brand and keep Godzilla in people's minds that they would have to do something eventually. All the art also needed to be approved by Toho. If something was ever off they would give feedback, such as that monster can't lift his arms that high.

-There will not be a massive crossover like Infection. it is still too early in the title's life and they just want to focus on the core title and mini-series.

-There is a possibility of continuing the continuities of the movies, but for now they just want to focus on the core title and mini-series.

-There will be lots of physical monsters fights and each one should show off a new move, but the tail slide will probably not make it in.

-Some monsters will form alliances, like they need to in some of the movies, but we won't see them high-fiving.

-We will get to see characterization in the monsters, however no monster will ever have a word balloon.

-There will not be any new monsters. They don't want to, but maybe way down the line, maybe.

-A jackass reporter in San Diego tried to put a negative spin on IDW releasing the Godzilla comic so close to the earthquake and tsunami disaster that occurred in Japan. There is lots of death and destruction in the comic, and it all starts in Japan, but Toho told IDW to go on as scheduled. Besides, all this was scheduled months in advance of the disaster.

-MechaGodzilla will be in the series, but it will be a newer MechaGodzilla that takes design cues from the all the movie versions.

-There series is a more realistic take on Godzilla, so they are still exploring how to approach the Mothra twins.

-They will get to the Global Defense Force and some of the space races, like the Xiliens, but they will be different than in the movies.

-Will King Kong make an appearance? No, because the right are incredibly difficult to obtain, even more so than the approval of Toho.

-The original title of the comic was Godzilla: Monster World, but it had to be changed because of legal reasons. Kingdom of Monsters is a much better title anyway. The Monster World title was on the free posters that were handed out at the IDW booth on the show floor, so hang on to those posters if you got one. It could be worth something someday somewhere to someone. I grabbed one, but that's just 'cause I love Godzilla.

At the end of the Q&A was a trivia session. Those that answered correctly got either a Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters #1 RI cover or the WonderCon cover. Most of the kids, including some young'uns, got the answers right. There were some easy questions, sure, but there were some actually tough questions in there, too. Nice job, kids. You make me feel like there is hope for humanity after all. Also, on the show floor it certainly seemed like there was a greater amount of Godzilla figures than previous years, which is definitely a good thing for everyone.

- Shawn - 4/5/11