Special thanks to reader Andrew Schmidt who posted this awesome photo to Facebook. I love it!
And another very special thanks to the folks who’ve reviewed Kill All Monsters on Amazon so far. There are currently three reviews – all of them 5-stars; none of them by my mother – and Jason and I are so very grateful. Whatever the star ratings, it would be awesome to have some more reviews there. If you’ve had a chance to read it and wouldn’t mind leaving some feedback on the Amazon page, that helps a lot to let new people find the book.
By way of a disclaimer for my thoughts on Pacific Rim, I have to tell a quick story. My son loves giant monsters and giant robots. He’s a fiend for Godzilla movies and something like Pacific Rim would normally be right in his wheelhouse. But whenever someone’s asked him if he’s excited for Pacific Rim, his response has been to shrug and say, “I wish it was Kill All Monsters.” I can’t say I blame him.
Anytime I analyze a movie, I try to follow Roger Ebert’s advice about considering what the movie wants to be instead of what I wanted it to be. That can be difficult, but it’s especially so when I’ve already created my own take on the genre. By definition, Kill All Monsters is what I want from a story about giant robots fighting giant monsters, so to the extent that Pacific Rim mirrors that, I’m thrilled. To the extent that it’s different, I wish it wasn’t. That doesn’t mean that I think KAM is quantifiably better than PR, it just means that I’m too close to the genre to be an impartial judge and that you should take any of my criticism with a Jaeger of salt. It would feel more weird for me not to write about it though, so – as objectively as I can make myself be – here we go:
First of all, I really like the movie. There’s a ton of stuff it does well and some things it does extremely well. The world-building is excellent and I love the origin of the monsters. It marries a couple of common kaiju origins in a unique way that leaves room for further exploration if we want it. The look of the Jaegers is cool and I also dug Guy Davis’ monster designs (though I wish they’d been rendered in a way that differentiated them more: different colors or something). The two scientists are great comic relief and Ron Perlman’s character may be my second favorite role he’s played so far (after Hellboy). It’s an exciting movie with everything I wanted to see in giant robots fighting kaiju.
I didn’t totally love it though. Some of my problems were just aesthetic, like the silly-looking, synchronized movements of the mind-linked pilots. But there are story elements I wasn’t fond of either. We’re now entering SPOILER TERRITORY, so beware. It’s awfully convenient for Pentecost to be able to drift with anyone just by clearing his mind. And I never felt a connection between Raleigh and Mako. I wanted more than just a sparring match and someone telling me that they’re compatible. There’s no chemistry between them and their relationship doesn’t earn Mako’s reaction over Raleigh’s death. Mako’s relationship with Pentecost felt more real, but even that could have used more development. I guess the unifying element of my complaints is that the movie took some shortcuts and would have been better if it had added some run time to flesh out some characters and spackle over rough spots in the plot.
Overall though, Pacific Rim is an exciting, fun film that’s better – and certainly more original – than most other blockbusters. Had it paid a little more attention to its characters, it could have been great, but it’s still a worthy film and one of the best kaiju movies I’ve ever seen.
According to Diamond, Kill All Monsters, Volume 1 should be in comic book shops tomorrow (July 17)!
If you’re a Kickstarter backer, keep watching your mailbox; I’m getting them shipped as quickly as I can sign and sketch in them. That’s right, each Kickstarter copy comes with a sketch by me. You’ll immediately understand why I turned my creative focus to writing, but hopefully it’ll be a fun, rare thing to have in your Kill All Monsters.
Regardless of how you get your copy, it would be completely awesome if you could go to Amazon and leave a review. We’ve got one already (5 stars!), but the more the merrier. I’d love to hear what you think and it also helps people find the book when there are lots of reviews.
Finally in this roundup of KAM news, Otis Frampton finished his Kill All Monsters piece and it’s so fantastic. Thanks again, Otis! This has to go in Volume 2!
My friend Otis Frampton is an incredibly talented writer and artist who not only makes comics, but also works on a lot of the How It Should Have Ended videos. So I’m thrilled that he digs Kill All Monsters enough to want to to do a piece featuring the KAM characters. He recently posted this photo of the in-progress drawing and I can’t wait to see it finished. We’re definitely going to have to include a pin-up section in the back of Volume 2.
Kill All Monsters, Volume 1 shipped from the printers last week, which means a couple of things. First, it means that it’s available for pre-order on Amazon (they don’t list a release date yet, but stay tuned) and since Diamond should also be getting their copies, it should also be in comic book stores soon.
The good news for Kickstarter supporters is that I just got my copies, so I’ll be starting work on getting those out next week. They don’t really fit with my kitchen decor anyway.
While you’re waiting, enjoy this interview that Jason and I did at C2E2 with Robert Million and the fine folks at Con Men:
[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AYOTtgAC.x?p=1 width=”500″ height=”350″]
I updated the Kickstarter page a week or so ago, but just realized that’s the only place I’ve mentioned that Kill All Monsters has gone to press. If all goes according to plan, it should be on its way to distributors (including me, for Kickstarter supporters) in another week or two. After that, it’ll start its journey to supporters and stores. I’ll of course keep you updated as we hit milestones.
(Image from the awesome Dateline: Silver Age)
Frankie B. Washington (Robot God Akamatsu) went and colored that RGA/KAM piece he did a while back. It’s gorgeous and available as a print from Frankie’s DeviantArt page.
Also on DeviantArt is this great piece by Daniel Mead. I didn’t realize how excited I would be to see Dressen’s SkullBot standing next to classic giants from Mazinger Z and Ghostbusters. It’s the tenth in a series of giant-related pieces, so check out Mead’s gallery for the rest.
He also did a SkullBot solo…
…and one of Spencer’s LionBot too.
Really cool work by both of these guys!