By Jason Strangis
It's a dream job for any monster fan. For the past two years Chris Mowry has been the writer of the comic book series Godzilla: Rulers of the Earth for IDW publishing. As fans would expect, there's plenty of action and monster fights galore. But after 25 issues the series will reportedly be concluding in June of 2015 with an epic finale. In any event, it's been quite a run for Mowry and artists Matt Frank and Jeff Zornow. Mowry recently took time to do the following interview.
Chris Mowry: I've been working on "Rulers of Earth" for a little over two years now. I've been at IDW for nearly nine years now and I had bugged them consistently to go after a Godzilla license. When we finally did I had a number of things I pitched, but was passed up because they didn't think a book like that would sell without a well-known creator attached to it. So years later, they finally gave me a shot and well, here we are… about to be the longest running Godzilla comic ever.
JS: What do you enjoy most about working on that comic book series?
CM: I like that from the start we've been able to work with nearly all of Toho's monsters. They appeared in previous "ongoing" series from IDW such as "Kingdom of Monsters" and "Godzilla." So since "Rulers of Earth" is sort of the third chapter of those ongoing books, the monsters have made appearances already. But some of them we got to introduce such as Jet Jaguar. Being able to get all those things into one series has been really rewarding.
CM: Very standard answer but it's the truth… since I can remember. I saw my first movie at a very young age and since I already had a love for dinosaurs, this just added to that. I was lucky enough to grow up when the Saturday movie marathons were on every weekend, so I got a lot of exposure to Godzilla, Gamera, and some other classic Sci-Fi films.
JS: What are some of your favorite Godzilla films?
CM: DESTROY ALL MONSTERS for sure. That one just has about everything you'd want. After that I enjoy a number of them for various reasons, but ones that really stand out to me I guess would be GOJIRA, GODZILLA VS MOTHRA, GHIDORAH THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER, GODZILA VS HEDORAH, GODZILLA VS MECHAGODZILLA, GODZILLA VS DESTOROYAH, GMK, TOKYO S.O.S., and the new Warner Bros. one to some degree.
JS: Any other monsters you think are cool?
CM: Well, I don't think you can like Godzilla and not like Gamera, too. He's just a lot of fun. I love the Daimajin films, too. Most of Godzilla's rogues gallery are very cool both in design and how they act. But King Kong (not Toho Kong) has a very large spot in my heart.
JS: The 1998 Godzilla film didn't get great reviews. In comparison, people seemed to like the 2014 version of the Big G a lot better. What are your views on those two movies?
CM: The 1998 one to me was just too much flash and spectacle at the time. I mean, Emmerich and Devlin make some entertaining movies… for the first half. Then their films just go to hell. What the 2014 movie did was sell it without over-hyping it. People got the sense of a very dark tone to it, although I don't think the finished product was really that dark at all. Hands down, the 2014 film is a better one.
CM: I'd like the Warner Bros. franchise to introduce new monsters. I thought the MUTOs were cool, but there's a chance for some new monsters to spin out of that series so why not do that? But if Toho or WB need to go back to the gallery, then I'd like to see King Ghidorah return for sure. And why not Hedorah while we're at it.
JS: The Smog Monster seems to be one of the most popular creatures in the G-Universe. What is the appeal of Hedorah?
CM: I think he's just cool. He's a giant, globby pile of sludge with some wacky abilities. And he stands for all of mankind's failures in regards to industrial progress and how we treat the environment. He's a monster with a message!
JS: This seems to be the ultimate monster fanboy question, a lot like who is stronger between Thor and Hulk. If Godzilla and King Kong were roughly the same height, who would win that heavyweight battle?
CM: Hmm. Good question. I would have to say Kong. Brute strength and intelligence for sure. However, if Godzilla had Kong at a distance and hit him with his breath? Well, then I guess we know how that would go. Really tough battle to call.
Jason Strangis is a freelance writer who enjoys superheroes, sci-fi, and attending comic book conventions. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org