"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 14, 2011

Ragone Invades G-Fest XVIII

Preview of Matt Frank's illo of the author and Reionyx Team Silver!

Well, it's that time of the year again in Chicago... G-Fest, North America's only convention devoted to the Kaiju Eiga (or Japanese Monster Movie) milieu returns to the Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare in Rosemont, Illinois this weekend — right outside of Chicago — now in it's 18th year (!). This year's guests include actor Hiroyuki Watanabe (Gamera Trilogy, Ultraman Gaia, Karate Robo: Zaborgar), Director and Visual Effects Wizard Shinji Higuchi (Gamera Trilogy, Sinking of Japan, The Last Princess), Miniature Builder and Toy Sculptor Hiroshi Sagae, Android M-11 himself, Robert Scott Field (Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah), and yours truly.

Other notable celebrities will include award-winning artist Bob Eggleton (where do we start with this guy?), illustrator Matt Frank (Godzilla: Legends!), Damon Foster (Oriental Cinema), and Edward Holland (Monster Attack Team).

Here are some of the presentations which I will be participating in over the weekend, besides the usual zany antics:

Friday, July 15th
•2:00 pm: The 50th Anniversary of Mothra
Jay Johnson, Kevin Horn, Martin Arlt, and August Ragone (Hall 1)
•4:00 pm: 45 Years of Ultraman!
August Ragone and Edward Holland (Hall 2)

Saturday, July 16th
•1:00 pm: Japanese Superheroes
Jay Johnson, Lenell Bridges, and August Ragone (Hall 2)

Sunday, July 17th
•11:00 am: Lost In the Translation... and Space! (Hall 1)
Damon Foster, Ed Holland, August Ragone, and John Grace
•2:30 pm: Yokai Monsters: Japan’s Groovy Ghoulies (Hall 1)
August Ragone and Edward Holland

I will also be giving out swag from Kaiju Empire for their upcoming city-smashing, award-winning video game (and it hasn't even been released yet), Kaijuland (while supplies last). Not to mention the annual Godzilla Blood Party that takes place after the convention closes on Sunday night (don't ask)! I hope to see a lot of you there for the chaos! Next week, I'll be back in San Diego for this year's Comic-Con International! I only hope that I remember most of it once the dust settles...

For the full scoop on this year's G-Fest XVIII, please visit the official G-Fest website!