The following photos were taken at G-FEST XXII! These were all entries in their annual model contest!
Many (if not all) of us adult Godzilla fans first became enthralled with the “King of Monsters” back when we were kids. Director Masaaki Tezuka is no exception; tracing his love for Japan’s greatest unnatural resource at the age of seven when his parents took him to see King Kong vs Godzilla. From then on he’d dream of one day making his own Godzilla film before finally seeing his ambitions realized nearly forty years later when TOHO Studios handed him the reigns of Godzilla vs. Megaguirus. He would go on to direct two more Millennium (1999 – 2004) Godzilla films and I remember my son and I anxiously awaiting G-FEST XI when we’d get a special big screen sneak peek of his last one, Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. Fast forward eleven years and Tezuka would become G-FEST’s Guest of Honor and participate in a two-hour Q&A with us fans. Here are some highlights from that momentous occasion…
Once again fans of Godzilla and giant Japanese monsters converged on the Crowne Plaza hotel in Rosemont, Illinois to celebrate G-FEST (Godzilla Festival). This marked its twenty-second gathering and my twelfth in a row as what started out as a fun event to take my Godzilla-obsessed six year old son, Alex, to had since become a family tradition. My last three kids would follow in Alex’s footsteps and over the years we’d partake in just about everything the convention had to offer; art contests, kaiju poetry, costuming, model-making, and the film festivals playing at the nearby Pickwick Theater.
Day two of G-FEST XXI began with me snoozing soundly in the comfy hotel bed before getting the distinct impression I was being stared at. I cracked open an eyeball to see my ten year old son, Luke, looking at me intently. “Shouldn’t we be getting downstairs to the convention?” he asked. I checked my phone and it was 5:30am. “Um…go back to sleep!” But at that point it was too late…we were up. Thank God the room had a coffee machine.
We ate breakfast which I’d packed along and then I got ready (Luke was already dressed of course) and, by 9am, I’m pretty sure he’d asked me “is it time to go down yet?” somewhere in the double digits. Patience is definitely not his strong suit. Finally we headed downstairs so we could get him signed up for the Godzilla video game tournament before the big competition began later that morning. This gave me time to check out the Art room (which you saw in the last post) and then, my favorite G-FEST feature of them all, the model room!
Here are some of the great works of art featured at this year’s G-FEST!
My ten year old son, Luke, and I arrived today for G-FEST XXI . In the ten years I’ve attended the Godzilla Festival, I’d never seen the registration line so long on a Friday. Last year I attended over ten conventions, most outside of my sweet home Chicago with poor G-FEST getting a quick stop-over on its final day. This year would be the opposite as I vowed to avoid virtually every other event and focus solely on one of my favorites.