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  • American illustrator takes inspiration from Japanese monsters in his work for ‘Godzilla’

American illustrator takes inspiration from Japanese monsters in his work for ‘Godzilla’

The illustrator said his interest in anime and Japanese giant monsters stemmed from his childhood. (Supplied)
The illustrator said his interest in anime and Japanese giant monsters stemmed from his childhood. (Supplied)
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24 Aug 2020 04:08:58 GMT9
24 Aug 2020 04:08:58 GMT9

Amin Abbas Dubai

American Illustrator Matt Frank, known in Japan and the US as the ‘Kaiju King,’ worked on popular comic series Godzilla.

Frank also worked as an artist for The Transformers.  He has been creating new art for the Japanese releases of IDW’s Godzilla comics, including collaboration covers with famous Japanese artists. In 2019, he worked on the new Power Rangers: Heroes of the Grid tabletop game and has been creating new “Ultra Sketch” books celebrating the history of the Ultra Series from “Tsuburaya!”

The illustrator said his interest in anime and Japanese giant monsters stemmed from his childhood when he was especially fascinated by the “mythological size and scale of dinosaurs.”

“Kaiju and by extension tokusatsu felt like a natural evolution of that love and admiration in a media format. (Kaiju) to my young mind were just like dinosaurs, but here they were moving and living and breathing, and they had spectacular powers and rampaged across the modern world freely,” he explained.

Frank told Arab News Japan that he admired Mahiro Maeda, who is a “master of kaiju design.” He said he “handled the look of many creatures like the 90’s Gamera, various Ultraman kaiju redesigns, and Shin Godzilla.”

He started his career when he was young and was inspired to draw monsters and dinosaurs.

“I also had a deep love of anime and manga, and certain artists inspired me greatly,” Frank said. “Many Japanese artists like Shinji Nishikawa and Akira Toriyama were big influences too.”

Speaking on the challenges he faced throughout his career, Frank said: “For Redman Volume 3, I completely ran out of time and had to make almost 80 pages in the course of two months, which lead to injuring my shoulder from over-use. Schedules are inherently difficult for an artist…and it’s extra difficult when we aren’t feeling inspired. Thankfully that wasn’t the problem with Redman – I was very inspired on that project, but all the inspiration in the world can’t help you when you don’t schedule yourself properly.”

Frank said he is working on new covers for Japanese releases of several American Godzilla comic books. His artwork is also being featured on the packaging of the new Gamera Blu Ray collection. Frank said he is working on a project from Tsuburaya Productions that will be of great interest to fans in Saudi Arabia.

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