Sunday, July 7, 2019


Let’s start with the info on the convention website:

G-FEST is the largest regular gathering of Godzilla and Japanese monster fans in the world. Held each summer, it typically attracts more than 1000 attendees, but has seen a gradual increase in attendance over the past few years. G-FEST 2018, its 25th anniversary, was the most successful convention to date, bringing in more than 3000 Japanese science fiction and fantasy film fans!

G-FEST is a family-oriented convention which caters to a wide variety of interests within the kaiju genre. G-FEST features presentations and Q & A sessions by actors and crew from the Japanese Godzilla films, fan presentations on topics of interest, contests and gaming, new and classic kaiju movies, the western world’s largest kaiju-oriented dealers room, and lots of fun and camaraderie.

G-FEST XXVI will be held from July 12th to July 14th, at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare.

Special guests for G-FEST XXVI include actor Akira Takarada; director Shusuke Kaneko; actress Peggy Neal; director Yoshikazu Ishii; modeler Takuji Yamada; Sonoe Nakajima, the daughter of Haruo Nakajima; animator Philo Barnhart; and writer Tony Isabella.

The G-FEST double double feature film festival is returning to the Pickwick Theatre. The Kaiju Eiga Film Fest consists of Godzilla’s Revenge and Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster on Thursday afternoon, with The X From Outer Space and Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack playing on Thursday evening. The Friday and Saturday main features are Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Monster Zero. Sunday will feature a recent example of Shusuke Kaneko’s non-kaiju work, Linking Love in the evening.

G-Fest and promoter J.D. Lees, publisher of G-Fan magazine, is very kind to me. He lists me as a special guest or guest presenter when I attend the convention and honors me with the real guests at the event’s opening ceremony. I can’t say enough nice things about this convention and, even if I could, this column would be longer than War and Peace.

My special presentation this time around will be CHEESY MONSTERS RAID AGAIN! A few years back, I did a Monsters of Syfy slideshow. It was a surprise sensation. It was the last panel of the event and we filled a large ballroom with our images of the wacky creatures of the SyFy channel and a good-natured fun at the expense of those critters. So we’re doing something like it this year.

From the official G-Fest schedule...

Cheesy Monsters Raid Again

(2:00 PM, Ballroom 1) - A world in extreme danger...of laughing our butts off. We love our monsters, even when they’re dripping with cinematic cheese. Join comics writer Tony Isabella as we examine over fifty of the crazy creatures that we remember so fondly.

I had a ball putting together this year’s creature features list. Some of these movies are well-known. Others, I suspect, are films you’ve never heard of. One of them is so obscure and recent that I have no images for it, just a title card.

Besides the amazing programming, G-Fest has much to offer fans of Godzilla and other kaiju. There will be an amazing model room with sensational examples of creativity. There will be the usual packed-to-the-walls-with-great-stuff dealers room. Artists Alley will have some wondrous works of art, including some comic-book and graphic novel debuts. Celebrity autographs and photos will be available at very reasonable prices. G-Fest swag will be sold...until it sells out, which it usually does.

The Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hara hotel is one of the friendliest and finest convention venues I know. The hotel loves having G-Fest and goes the extra mile to make everything run smoothly. In addition, the hotel turns over one of its TV channels for 24-hour airing of a wide variety of Japanese movies and TV series, most of them in Japanese. You could literally experience kaiju all day and night. Sleep is highly overrated.

My son Eddie and I will be arriving at the convention on Thursday. Except for when Eddie is indulging his love of Italian beef - and Chicago has some of the best - we’ll be at the convention. If you want to meet up with us, catch us at the convention. If you want to set up something in advance, e-mail me.

NOTE: I do not travel with a computer. I’ll be offline while I am at G-Fest. So, unless you e-mail me before we leave on Thursday, I will not receive your message.

Because we’re driving to G-Fest, I’ll be bringing a box of various Black Lightning and Tony Isabella books. I won’t be set up in the dealers room or Artists Alley, but, if you want to buy a book from me and get it signed, it’ll be a simple matter for me to go to my room and get it for you.

That’s all for now. I’ll be posting a preview of my upcoming visit to San Diego’s Comic-Con in a day or two. Watch for it.

© 2019 Tony Isabella

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