During the Wondercon @ Home event, Legendary Pictures' comic book division, Legendary Comics, had a thirty minute panel regarding the Monsterverse. During this panel, the guests at the panel revealed new information on the new Kong and Godzilla graphic novels, The Art Of Godzilla art book, and the Godzilla vs Kong art book for kids. There were art pieces for the new graphic novels, but it was stated that the art shown may not be final. Here is what was revealed.
Untitled Godzilla Prequel Graphic Novel Of Godzilla vs Kong:
The first piece of information on the new Godzilla graphic novel is that the story will be in Godzilla's point of view. Artist, Drew Johnson, comments, "I really gotten to exercise the monster muscles in the design work we've gone through and started to work through the book. The thing I am having fun with is doing the actions of Godzilla versus being with Godzilla in Godzilla's point of view in this one and to show character in Godzilla. You know? There is actually like much more acting on the part of Godzilla. It has put me inside Godzilla's head.
It's interesting to see how Godzilla reacts when he is attacked and it's interesting to see Godzilla at peace. It's intriguing because I don't think we have seen monster stories very often, if ever, where we're in those kind of intimate moments of the monster's being, you know? I hope that makes sense."
When asked about his favorite moment of writing and/or drawing Godzilla, writer, Greg Keyes, answers, "Well, you know. It's what we've been talking about. I really enjoyed, kind of, getting into his [Godzilla's] head. My background is an anthropologist, actually. That is where my degrees are in. Specifically, in the mythology/belief of religion and I found the opportunity to kind of reach deep into some of this really mythic substrata. I think to imagine Godzilla and at the same time I have been absorbing the lizards in my yard and the territories they patrol. I'd sit outside and watch all of this and I have to say it was kind of inspirational to watch what they do. To watch two of them to have this sort of…well, they were kind of basically threatening each other and it almost came to a fight, which was very interesting. It was an old, old lizard, possibly on its last legs, and the other was kind of an up and comer. The old one won that fight, but then I never saw him again. But yeah, just trying to get inside this gigantic thing, this ancient thing and imagine what it would be like."
Following up, Johnson answers his take to the question. "It's interesting because I've drawn some iconic characters at the other companies before and it's interesting because Godzilla is one of those iconic characters. I don't think I have shifted gears that much because it is still kind of that same situation with the bigger than life character. It's an interesting take on the character on a giant, heroic figure with a different set of morals or lack there of, I am not sure. I guess Godzilla does have a sense of morals.
It's funny because I was looking through Godzilla: King Of The Monsters yesterday for some references for a scene and watching Godzilla in that movie you do see a protective side or a heroic side come out that I think it is more pronounced than I think have seen in other monster movies and even in other Godzilla movies where Godzilla seems to be like the protector of the planet. I'm digging that we can kind of get into that a little bit more in this book."
In short, the story of the new Godzilla prequel novel to Godzilla vs Kong will concentrate on Godzilla's thoughts on the world he protects and where he stands in terms of his morals. We learned in Godzilla: King Of The Monsters he was once worshipped as a god and protected the people that worshipped him. So maybe we will see a then and now of how Godzilla sees the world and where his morals lie in the graphic novel.
Untitled Kong Prequel Graphic Novel Of Godzilla vs Kong:
Last year, when Legendary Comics announced the new Kong graphic novel they also revealed the new monster, Camazotz, which will be Kong's next arch enemy. In this panel, they reveal more info about Camazotz and a new woman character whose name has not been revealed yet.
One of the first pieces of info the panel tackled was the new woman character in the graphic novel. Legendary Comics' editor, Nikita Kannekanti, explains that she found the writer, Marie Anello, from her work on the Shout Out anthology comics by Toronto Comics. Marie Anello introduces herself, "I originally went to school for music. I'm an opera singer, actor, I have also branched out into musical theater and cabaret, and I started writing comics in earnest probably about five or six years ago. I have originally started doing book reviews of comics and web comics online because I enjoyed them and enjoyed doing them and started getting more and more involved in the comics community. Now, I am really really stoked about doing this. It's a really exciting project."
Kannekanti continues, "One of the reasons we wanted a female writer on this is because we are bringing voice, bringing life to this really cool female pilot character."
Kannekanti hands the reigns over to Marie to explain the new character. "This is a really exciting opportunity to write a woman who is struggling with a lot of baggage. A character who is both a very fierce pilot and someone who is also very vulnerable. She is a fighter pilot and that is a very cool experience to be able to do the research into that. Also, consider how a fighter pilot sort of compares to these larger than life creatures and how that would get involved giant monster fights."
The next piece of info in the panel was the process of creating Camazotz. Artist, Zid, breaks it down. "The challenge was to create something that is not really echoing something that has been done before in terms of giant monsters. I believe that there are many iterations of giant monsters that came up in not just the Monsterverse, but in many other Kong adaptations, animations, and in comics. I really hope that the visuals will do the talking especially in the comics."
When complimenting Zid on his art and how everybody was excited when Camazotz was revealed, Zid added that he was surprised by all of the different fan art with some being really close to actual design.
When it comes to writing Camazotz in the graphic novel, Marie Anello was asked about the challenges of writing Camazotz. She comments, "Camazotz is interesting because when you think about the really famous monsters of this franchise, even going back to the original Toho monsters and everything, they all had this very stark like kind of silhouettes and this really clear cut concepts behind them. So you know like Rodan is all fire, Ghidorah is like electricity, and so this thing [Camazotz] is darkness and that is a really cool concept to play with. From a story-telling perspective, too, he is sort of this embodiment of nightmares. So how do you approach that from a visual standpoint? How do you approach that from a character standpoint with the human characters that may interact with him or how does Kong interact with him? How does he carry himself? What kind of feelings does he instill? So that was a really cool thing to kind of let it bubble up to the surface."
Zid jumps in and adds, "Every artist who is a fan of the genre…the hardest thing is bringing giant monsters come to life and believable. It's comics, but you know, the way I approach it is this. The suspension of disbelief means to be grounded, to make it look the scale of it, and how the character reacts. It's easy to just draw giant monsters and fighter jets and the human characters, but to make it look as if this is all on the same plane it's the most fun I can have. Like playing with miniature toys.
The biggest thing for me is being able to draw Kong and trying to see(?) his emotion, somewhat. When you see the movies he doesn't really talk. His actions speaks louder than words."
From how it sounds, the new Kong graphic novel sounds like a battle between light (Kong) and dark (Camazotz) probably perceived by the new woman pilot character. She is described to carry baggage and being a vulnerable person, which sounds like someone with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). But what traumatic experience did this character have to be vulnerable? Did she have a partner get eaten by a Skull Crawler? Or did Kong attack her thinking she was a threat? Or could it just be from her experiences with fighting against monsters? Answers are unknown, but they seem to affect the outcome in the story.
Kong Picture Book:
As you are aware, there was a listing on Simon & Schuster's website for a children's book called Godzilla vs Kong: Sometimes Friends Fight. This children's book has no relation to this new Kong picture book. The Kong picture book is a new project being worked on by Legendary Comics. This is more for kids than anything else. The picture book will be illustrated by Nidhi Chanani, who is known for other picture books such as Pashmina and I Will Be Fierce!, and will be written by author Kiki Thorpe, who is known to write Disney spin-off picture books such as My Name Is Dug and The Never Girls.
There are no pictures from the book as of yet. The whole panel was just Nidhi and Kiki expressing their excitement on doing the project. No information on what the Kong picture book is about and their ideas for this picture book.
The Art Of Godzilla vs Kong:
After the Legendary Comics portion of the panel concluded, the panel was handed down to the executive editor of Insight Editions, Chris Prince. He starts off explaining that the publishing company works on artistic books based on pop culture properties such as Game of Thrones, Star Wars, and Harry Potter. They even published Godzilla: The Art Of Destruction, the art book of the 2014 movie.
If you have read one art book for a movie, then you know that these books tell stories behind the scenes and making of these movies. They tell how the idea of the story was inspired by something and how the characters had to look and the themes that go into the movie. These books interview everybody that worked on the movies and The Art Of Godzilla vs Kong does the same thing.
Right now, you can pre-order The Art Of Godzilla vs Kong on Amazon for $45.00 and is currently slated to release November 17th.
Overall, I thought that while it was nice that Legendary took the time to talk about four upcoming books, I feel as though the two graphic novels should've been the only books the panel needed to talk about. What are your thoughts on the Monsterverse panel? Are you happy with the information that was given? Do you think they gave too much or too little? Leave a comment in the comments section on your thoughts on the panel. Make sure to follow me on my Facebook, Twitter, and Minds pages to stay up to date for more news, reviews, and discussions.