Larry Brackney (left) and John Weber give a modeling demonstration in the display room at G-Fan's 1997 Convention.

Panel Discussions

      One of the best changes from last year's convention was the large number of panel discussions that were held. At any given time, in the morning and afternoon, there were usually a couple of discussions going on, most with plenty of audience participation.

The first panel I attended was a discussion of "Godzilla as a Parenting Tool". This was led by Randall Osborne, who used his son Joseph (shown, at the right, with a friend) as an example. Randall explained how he used Godzilla movies and toys to help Joseph with counting, reading, organizing and writing. In addition to these basic skills, he showed how the movies and toys could be used to teach important lessons in life, such as: handling bullies, learning to ask for help, delaying gratification. (Yes, you guessed right, Randall teaches Psychology). It was a lighthearted start to a great weekend.

Some of Joseph's drawings are shown below. If anyone got a picture of Joseph in his Godzilla costume, I would love to get a copy!

Marc Cerasini (left) and Bob Eggleton talk about working with Toho during "Godzilla Invades Random House". Mark has written two Godzilla novels, one already published and one due out in November, and the text of a 3D Godzilla book.
Bob did the covers for both of Marc's novels as well as for another Godzilla book from Random House. The difficulties of working with a cultural icon with 22 movies under his belt as well as working with the parent company (did you know that it is expressly forbidden to have Godzilla face Superman?) were covered as well as a discussion of future Godzilla books.

      Stan Hyde discusses working with Godzilla models. The model he is woking on, above, is a model of Jirass from the Ultraman series. Stan set up a table in the Display Room where he, Larry Brackney and John Weber (shown at the top of this page) worked on models and answered questions. (Click HERE for a close up of the Legion soldier kit that Larry is working on.) Stan also led discussions on "Godzilla Design" (with Ed Godziszewski), "Modelmaking Tricks and Tips", "Lost Worlds and 8th Wonders" and "Coming Out of the Closet: Why We Love Minya".

"Author's Panel" featured David Kalat and Stuart Galbraith IV, who have each published critical book on Godzilla and Japanese sci-fi in general. The discussion included why Godzilla movies have such a struggle in the US, how the Japanese feel about Godzilla and science fiction films. David also gave a talk on "Godzilla Girls" while Stuart discussed "Godzilla and Japan's Golden Age of Filmmaking".

      These are just some of the discussions that were held. Others included: "Ask me Anything" with Don Glut, "Godzilla's Fabulous Foes", "On Location with Tristar's Godzilla", "Drawing Toho Monsters", "Starting a Kaiju Club" and "Vinyl Models: A Beginners Guide".