Art Trades: Closed
- Salaruis Wins: -various edits and future campaigns- *ongoing*
- Hydrune -pending-
- DCOFL: 'compiled narrative and synopsis conclusion'
- Joust Commentary -nearing completion
Salaruis Wins is a cross fictional, multiversal, satirical collab project between me and *SirKaijuOfVaudeville
You can check it out here:salaruiswins.blogspot.com/
Wow guys, it's been a long freaking time hasn't it? I drop an experimental bit of 'fanart' into my gallery and just disappear again. Well, it's a sign of things to come as I've now got a bit of an idea on how to organize and create future works into something I can actually use; wider audience appeal if you will. DA will always be that spot that I really came into my own and learned a lot of valuable things but now more than ever its a hidden nook for my personal work. I've been neglecting anything resembling professional work for a long time. Partly because the trials and errors of figuring out commission work and partly because I'm a procrastinator extreme with his head in the sand and still have very little idea on how to make this…'talent' work for me. It's been a sore spot of mine for over three years and I'm now beginning to grasp at it. All these many different 'projects' of sorts are more or less taken up for me to find yet another excuse to NOT make professional work and open that horrific little door called 'risk'. I've been plugging away at them but really, they aren't good for me. Some obviously hold a lot more meaning and importance than others for various reasons but a lot of them are time sinks that do exactly as described, sink time. I've discovered this issue twice before but ignored it as letting life go was just easier and there was ALWAYS something to do here whether I made it myself or it was given to me. Some of those projects I still have plans for and at least one will be finished before New Year so help me god. It should have never taken this long for something so inane. I have this terrible habit of taking something minor and just elaborating the ever loving shit out of it. Why? So that I throw time into it and 'keep busy'. I've been thinking like an old man and it really isn't helping me and now that I've recognized it, I going to start doing something about it. What that means for this gallery is CHANGE; both of time and what's going into it. That extends to the three 'clubs' I've been looming over like weathered gargoyle. Honestly I hardly do anything but watch the kaiju club regurgitate information regarding the new Godzilla film (what the fuck has it become? A blog?), see random villain OCs I don't know come and go into the DA Villains Guild and give an occasional kick to the horse in a coma that is KAS. Not much is gonna change here considering that I hardly do much with any of those clubs anyway lol. So, things are going to be different around here and I will no longer be just handing my time out to anyone who asks. Because reality is knocking and I gotta answer the door with SOMETHING to say sometime. So if you're wondering why I've been so quiet as of late, this transition is why.
But enough about my personal shit, that's not why you're reading this journal.
Nope, you want to hear about what this journal has to do with Daikaiju. Well 'kaiju' is a bit of buzzword now these days isn't it. We went from obscure and campy to 'Oh my fucking GOD BOATSWORD' in just a month. The interest has been rekindled and we now have an influx of genre activity. Yes, I saw Pacific Rim. No I'm not going to go into an in-depth analysis or review which has been done at least three times already in our community alone. What needed to be said has been said. I will say that I had FUN and enjoyed the hell out of it regardless of its pacing, predicable archetypes and my extreme eye fatigue coming out of the theatre from having to process all of that. What it wanted to convey was conveyed and at a pace and depth that was acceptable. If you want something pretentiously artsy, deep, or thought provoking, go attend a film festival. Daikaiju will never be for you because you're inner child is DEAD and its bloated corpse is floating in a retention pond called SHLOCK & FAIL. Sorry folks, you won't find any canned comedian humor, inspirational historical fiction about minorities or really anything that has had 'gripping' in its after opening night viewing advertisements. But the thing I'm really interested in today isn't about those seeing the first bonafide Daikaiju film in the west what feels like a decade but what has come to the surface recently in the Daikaiju community itself.
As Kaiju Fans, we have gotten used to defending our obscure and strange call back to the foggy wonder years of our youth where Asians didn't sync mouth movements with their words and men in rubber suits played the role of neigh indestructible titans hellbent beating each other to a pulp. And those of us that actually watched and researched notable and iconic films that founded the genre come away with an understanding of what makes it tick and why; the limitations and the innovative creativity that comes with a limited budget and a lot of vinyl. Even better, you understand why these specific kaiju and characters used throughout various series are the way they are and what made them unique even back then. You have new fans, and you have old fans. Fans that are in it for the fights and the power levels, fans in it for the message and the prestige and fans that see the potential in the setting and wish to explore its potential themselves. All sorts of other genres apply themselves to Daikaiju, from comedy to horror and back again. Daikaiju has become something unique unto itself and it writes its own rules. So you have people who having to defend their interest and its history insist that Daikaiju stands apart from everything before and after it. That Daikaiju doesn't need explanations, relevancy to today's changing knowledge of the world that frequently attempts to undermine it, or dependence on a united standards and mediums. The ultimate validation is that Daikaiju don't have to explain shit because they are Daikaiju and being explained as anything else only deconstructs what they are into something mundane and vulnerable. As with many things in life, this isn't exactly right nor entirely wrong. The reasoning is however quite flawed.
People are often introduced to Daikaiju via the label 'giant monster movie'. This sets a precedence for just accepting everything that happens in the film or work as 'giant monster movie' and that its rules and idioms are only subjective unto itself and within itself. Some accept this as gospel, others with less patience and with their caps on backwards insist that this should be 'corrected' and modernized so that its potential 'awesomeness' can be fully displayed as something credibly 'fun'. Neither of these two types of fans get it, both being elitist in their own way. Both lose sight of what makes Daikaiju what it is and where it comes from. The stubbornness and ignorance exhibited by either side of that particular issue bottle up an already rather small community; and some pretentious individuals actually like it that way in order to validate their private clique complex. Daikaiju is strange in that it rebuffs people that take it too seriously and scorns others that can't see its hidden depths. Like a cornucopia it never focuses on one particular aspect of itself over the entire horn of its entirety. Some aspects are larger than others but not necessarily dominate, supported and framed by smaller issues around them. Fans who have gone to make their own settings and stories within Daikaiju frequently trip and struggle over the balance of these many, many aspects. The project becomes much more complex and frustrating than initially thought. Sometimes the variety overwhelms a weak central focus or Unity within the work and runs itself into a rut…over and over and over and over again. Many such stories collapse repeatedly upon themselves as a result, but that's the nature of fiction. Countless drafts are written before something resembling a final work reveals itself. Daikaiju is bit more forgiving than other genres when it comes to this though. Daikaiju has a lot of freedom and possibility in what occurs inside its boundaries. It is the possibility that is more important than the freedom.
The reason for this is despite its isolated nature, Daikaiju is a child of Science Fiction. Science Fiction is a genre that is as a storied as it is innovative. Countless branches spreading into many other possibilities and Daikaiju is one of them. No matter how much one would like to assert that Daikaiju is its own entity, it still has that SciFi pedigree all the way down to its miniature smashing booties. Science Fiction is always dancing on the edge of plausibility, the definition and boundaries of which fluctuate and change every year. Science Fiction is a genre in a constant state of forward motion and while it celebrates its past, it's always thinking about the future. The 'rules' are always being repurposed and adapted with the times. Pushing the limits of what people consider feasible. It differs from its sister Fantasy in that Science Fiction plays with what's plausible today; Fantasy deliberately invokes what isn't in order to convey something deeper than the surface reflection. One could say that Daikaiju's unique perspective comes from a strange union of Science Fiction and Fantasy. You have this fantastical entity that comes into the world through plausible circumstances and interacts with the modern world in destructively feasible ways until the world makes sense of it and defeats it. That's the essence of classic Daikaiju. One of the many foils of Daikaiju is the so called 'square cubed law' and its older companion 'suspension of disbelief'. SCL is a factor in reality and so one has to make a choice. One can ignore it, thus becoming Fantasy or one can explain it and it becomes Science Fiction. The same applies to SoD; If its Fantasy but it still feels like it belongs, than it is accepted; If it's SciFi and bothers to explain itself with something that appears to be possible than it is accepted. Daikaiju has always gotten a lot of sass because for one reason or another it doesn't do either of these things...well. Daikaiju, like a lot of its fans, is a very awkward genre. It struggles to fit in that realm between the feasible and the acceptable illusion, struggling to do either very convincingly and beating itself up over it. However, if Pacific Rim is any indication one of Daikaiju's actual strong suits is 'crazy awesome'. Basically, it doesn't matter if it 'could' work or harmonizes with the entire setting if it's taking pride in how over the top it is. Daikaiju can be deep if it wants to, say something important if it wants to, but most of the time Daikaiju is most comfortable indulging its inner child and making giant critters blow shit up. Daikaiju plays fast and loose with 'gravity' of any given situation and often times it works just fine like that.
Saying that Daikaiju doesn't have to be feasible at all is just as much of a disservice as saying it must look as modernized and aesthetically identifiable as possible. Neither play to Daikaiju's strengths which is the carefully balanced merger of the fantastic alongside the plausible to create something truly awe inspiring. It was once said that Kaiju are tragic beings. The essence of tragedy is something that could have been avoided but becomes inevitable due to the flaws of the characters within the setting. It's that dynamic which creates the sense of loss we associate with tragedy. Ironically the number of times kaiju have legitimately been displayed as tragic figures within their own genre can be counted on one hand. This is because the less plausible a Kaiju's existence appears, the more campy it becomes. There is this necessary feedback of recognition that is needed for the audience to embrace the kaiju as a character. Just like a background or origin is the fundamental part of any character. At least, in a serious capacity, when played for laughs Kaiju can be as ridiculous as required. Still, being a living, animate being despite its circumstances is one of the major things that make a Kaiju.
So, when it comes to this genre I'd like the community and fans within that community to take a step back and understand that Daikaiju IS of Science Fiction (and possibly an incestuous relationship between that and Fantasy) and that denying half of its heritage just weakens the whole sum of it. It's not something one can just ignore in favor of screwing the rules because they have creativity. If approached correctly it has the real chance of being a powerful driving factor in how the genre is executed and brought to life for its audience. Nostalgia goggles are only good for looking at and understanding the past. You can't look critically at the future with those things on. You also can't critically look at a work within that genre with them on either. One has to look at the time the work was made or what time period it's trying to invoke before deciding if it's flying its Kaiju shaped plane out of the hanger without parachutes.
That all said, this is just my perspective of late. Have a grain of salt in hand while you mull over it. I'll be working to tidy up and actually finish my various little pet projects before getting some legitimate work done.