"There is so much writing in English on Japanese cinema that can't be accepted at face value — not because the writers are careless, but because the differences in culture and language are just too intricate. When I see August Ragone's name on a piece of writing, it gives me permission to place my faith in it completely. Among Japanese fantasy film historians, he's the best working in English." —Tim Lucas, Video Watchdog

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Kill Them All, Let Godzilla Sort Them Out!

It's that time of the year... The fandom miasma that is the San Diego Comic-Con International! I've returned to one of my favorite towns to sign the last remaining copies Chronicle Books has of my first book, EIJI TSUBURAYA: MASTER OF MONSTERS, which is almost entirely sold out — which is amazing, considering that the original print run was 15,000, bumped up from 10,000 when it became the most coveted book previewed at Comic-Con 2007 (at least, that's what my editors told me). This doesn't include copies that are on the shelves of bookstores around the world — from Tokyo to Paris — or those remaining with distributors. But, if you're at Comic-Con this weekend, I'll be happy to sign your copy, and destroy any resale value it could have had! But, that's up to you!

Aside from EIJI TSUBURAYA, I'm also hosting a presentation celebrating Shout! Factory's acquisition and release of the eight original Gamera films, produced between 1965 and 1980, spearheaded by the late director Noriaki Yuasa. I was hired as a Special Features Producer for this series of releases, and the first two have already been unleashed on an unsuspecting populace: Yuasa's GAMERA, THE GIANT MONSTER (1965) and Shigeo Tanaka's GAMERA VS. BARUGON (1966), the later of which featured visual effects helmed by Mr. Yuasa. These first two releases will also be available during Comic-Con at the Shout! Factory booth (#3749), and those who pick up either title will receive a free set of eight postcards, reproductions of the original Japanese hand-tinted lobby cards, representing scenes from each of films.

Here's the rundown of what's going down with me at Comic-Con 2010 (besides the usual off-duty chaos):

Thursday, July 22nd

12:00-1:00pm GAMERA, THE INVINCIBLE! — Author August Ragone (Chronicle Books' Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters) presents a visual tribute to Godzilla's No. 1 rival, the original Mutant Flying Turtle himself: Gamera! This program celebrates the first official DVD release of the original 1960s–1970s film series from Shout! Factory, with commentary on how Gamera was created and how the films were made, as well as rare, behind-the-scenes photographs and clips. Find out if Gamera is really full of turtle meat in the Q&A and win copies of Shout!'s latest release Gamera vs. Barugon — all in one colossal presentation guaranteed to knock you right out of your shell! Room 32AB

Friday, July 23rd

2:00-3:00pm EIJI TSUBURAYA: MASTER OF MONSTERS Book Signing — Author August Ragone will be on-hand once again to sign copies of his life and career biography of the man who brought Godzilla to life and created Ultraman, visual effects pioneer Eiji Tsuburaya! This session will be taking place at the Chronicle Books booth (#1506-1508), one day only!

Through this event that feels like one is riding on a tidal wave of terror, I hope to see some old faces and meet some new ones at this year's overwhelming psychotic cavalcade of electrifying horror known as the San Diego Comic-Con International! SEE! Dynamic Violence! SEE! Savage Action! SEE! Spectacular Thrills! It is seriously more fantastic than any written by Jules Verne! Seriously.

For more information on Comic-Con 2010 and to see this year's full schedule of events, click here!


xenorama said...

I'll be at the Gamera panel!

Prof. Grewbeard said...

loving the Gamera dvds!

August Ragone said...

David, thanks for coming — it was great to see you! Professor, thanks! I hope you continue to enjoy the subsequent releases as well!