MIKE: From a young age (six) I've been an ardent fan of horror, SF, and monster movies, particularly those made during the 1950s. I love the Universal Horror entries of the thirties and forties, as well as Hammer's early efforts. And, of course, I'm also fond of giant monster movies, be they good or bad.
In addition, I enjoy writing both fiction and non-fiction. I'm hoping to eventually get a novel or two (or ten) published, and in the meantime, I do a lot of article writing for Scary Monsters Magazine and G-FAN. I'll also have a new movie review column that will begin in Castle of Frankenstein #34, which will be out early next year. I'm heavily into "oldies" music, particularly the sixties, though I also enjoy groups like U2 and Jars of Clay. On occasion, I go through song-writing bursts. (I once had the ambition of being a lead singer in a rock band, but at my current age, that seems decidedly unlikely.) A lot of people say it's best never to speak about politics and religion, but I think our worldview says a lot about who we are and what we think. So, politically I'm a moderate (conservative on some issues, liberal on others), and I'm also a Christian.
Q: How did you get involved with giant monsters?
MIKE: The first movie I can remember having seen is RODAN, which I saw on TV circa '61 or '62. I loved the sight of the giant flying monsters blasting the city to smithereens, as well as everything else about RODAN. That began my life-long addiction to giant monsters. I also well recall seeing the newspaper ads for KING KONG VS. GODZILLA in 1963. Those ads sparked my imagination, and I drew my own mini-comic of KKvs.G at the age of seven, even though I hadn't seen the movie, and wouldn't see it for many years. From the KKvs.G ads alone, I became a Godzilla fan for life, especially after seeing the Big G for the first time in 1964 in GODZILLA VS. THE THING and the following year in GHIDRAH, THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER. As a kid, I used to make up my own giant Japanese monsters, such as Beetilus, a foe of Mothra's, and Monstro, a creature that combined the most powerful aspects of all the Japanese monsters.
As an adult, I finally got the opportunity to actually write about giant monsters (and get paid for it!) when I wrote the article "Confessions of a Japanese Monsters Fanatic" for WONDER #10 (great Big G cover by Jim Peavy). Later, I wrote several articles on giant monsters for Scary Monsters Magazine. I also discovered G-FAN, but I only gradually warmed to the concept of writing fiction stories about giant monsters. Marc Cerasini's terrific (and, sadly, out of print) Godzilla novels for Random House convinced me that fiction about giant monsters could be just as much fun as movies about giant monsters. So, on occasion, I've penned an occasional story about a giant monster or two, such as "Getting Your Wish," a short story on the American Kaiju website in which I explore what Japan might be like if there really was a Godzilla.
Q: I really like what I've seen of the King Kong Vs. Godzilla graphic novel, pretty damn cool. How did that project come about? And what has the reaction been from people who've seen it?
MIKE: I have to give the credit to Todd Tennant. Though we'd never met, Todd took the initiative to find out my e-mail address and then write to let me know he really liked my article on KING KONG VS. GODZILLA in Scary Monsters #27 1/2, especially the ending where I fantasized what a cool battle between the great ape and the oversized lizard might look like. He asked if he could use my speculation about a bout between Kong and Godzilla, and I said, "Sure."
Then Todd revealed to me his ingenious idea of how to bring the original RKO King Kong into Toho's Godzilla universe, which was to have Kong exposed to the first A-bomb blast and mutate, just as Godzilla is supposed to have mutated due to Pacific H-bomb tests. Our collaboration just took off from there, and each of us added parts to the story until we had an entire plot and characters worked out. The key, though, is Todd's great art. His conceptions of Godzilla and Kong are great. I've seen some of Todd's upcoming panels for our KING KONG VS. GODZILLA saga, and I can say that readers/viewers are in for a treat. Of those who've seen what's currently posted for KKvs.G, I've only heard positive reactions.
Q: Who is your favorite kaiju?
MIKE: That would have to be Godzilla, claws down. King Ghidorah might be second, with Rodan, Mothra, and Gorgo tying for third.
Q: Anything you want to ad?
MIKE: Just to ask your readers to occasionally (or frequently!) check out the American Kaiju website. Todd already has some terrific art and comics up, and I know there are more to come. I hope to be posting some new fiction stories as well. Also, I'd just like to wish you and your readers the best of dreams in pursuing your own hopes and goals.