Thursday, April 3, 2014

New Work!

I can trace my life-long fascination with hybrid creatures to the early 1980s when I saw my first episodes of Ultraman during the Captain Cosmic hour on KTVU Channel 2. The giant monsters were a bizarre amalgamation of glowing eyes, crustaceans, insect, amphibian and reptile parts and always captured my attention. I know there was a man inside, but there was enough action during the fight scenes with the star of the show for me to ignore the low-budget effects and feel the sense of power and dread when the monsters seemed to get the upper hand.

I've been toying with the idea of creating my own series of kaiju-inspired creatures for a series of children's book illustrations that feature a tiny character known as "Cocoa Cub". Cocoa Cub is on a mission to learn about the monsters in his world by asking deep, personal questions without getting eaten or smashed. During a recent rewatch of the original Ultraman series, I was surprised to see how much the writers seemed to want to instill feelings of compassion for the kaiju, many of whom were interstellar outlaws, but also sentient beings.

I'm also tempted to submit one of these new concepts to the recent AAU Children's Book Club call for entries in spite of its nascent weirdness. Why not? Let's see what happens.

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