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How I Learned To Love a 50 Meter Tall Monster

Sunday - April 10, 2011

The Godzilla fans among you might know that IDW recently released the first issue of their new series Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters. I got a call a few months ago asking if I wanted to color the series. I believe my response was something along the lines of "hell yeah!" Now I admit to being a complete Godzilla neophyte up to this point, but of course I know who he is, and I jumped at the chance to be part of the iconic franchise.

Once I embraced Godzilla, he was everywhere. On my next trip to the comic shop, the window was filled with Godzilla figures, and one small section was devoted to toys, movies and books. Were those always there? One figure came home with me (hey, it's reference) and now sits on my desk in all his 8" ferocious glory. Days later, a trip to the second hand store yielded an enormous 12" Godzilla figure in perfect condition for a mere $2. Score! You can never have too much reference.

Then came the movies. In the supermarket of all places, a Godzilla DVD for $6! I'm told I picked one of the worst of the genre (Final Wars) so it remains shrink-wrapped until I work my way up to it. The next trip to the comic shop netted Godzilla: Monster Zero. I loved it! Credit goes to friend and colleague Brian Roe who has spent the last couple of years teaching me to appreciate the charms of classic B movies. And Monster Zero definitely charmed me. Who could possibly resist Godzilla's lord of the dance routine? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMxrXMjPMcc

The more I research, the more I realize the enormity of the Godzilla franchise and the amount of media out there. I think the new comic is a great jumping on point for long time fans as well as newbies like myself. It dives straight into the action of man vs. monster, no back story given or required. The art by penciller Phil Hester and inker Bruce McCorkindale is a pleasure to work on, and if I may say so, the colors aren't half bad either.

I would characterize the art as very clean, graphic and bold. This is something that I have to be aware of since it can be far more challenging to convey an idea with less; if you are only making one line, it had better be the right one. The same goes for my colors; if I'm only making one shadow or one highlight, it has be accurate. It's my job to work with and enhance what is there, not busy it up and detract from it. There are places where the simplicity of the art borders on the stylized, and while it looks marvelous in black and white, it can be a bit more challenging to color. But I like I a challenge, and if I've done my job well, the pairing is seamless and as a viewer you just think: wow, that's nice art.

I haven't spoken to the other creators on the Godzilla team, but I suspect we're all having a lot of fun with this one. I hope it shows.

~Ronda Pattison


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