Weekend Heller: Godzilla, Astro Boy, Ultraman, Kikaider and Company

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A few weeks ago I published an item about Crazygon, a series published by Chris Capuozzo that presents research integral to the production of his artworks, as well as showcasing original work by influential artists who share similar pursuits. Regrettably at the time there was no way to order the latest. But life is full of second chances. And before the summer passes, here is a chance to order it now that Capuozzo has conjured up a website.

At over 100 pages, the current book, Crazygon #3, pays homage to the brilliant world of vintage Japanese Tokusatsu. Tokusatsu is film and television that features fantastical stories, copious special effects and actors wearing rubber monster suits (think the likes of Godzilla, Astro Boy, Ultraman and Kikaider). The sampling offered in Crazygon #3 is culled from Capuozzo’s archive of images from eBay auctions and blogs.

On an eBay auction page, to best describe an item for sale, a seller will post a suite of images, dust, scratches and all. For Capuozzo, there is beauty in these images; they’re loaded with energy that comes from the sort of indifference implicit in their original purpose. For example, detail closeups reveal blasts of color, abstraction and in the case of some of the headshots, a degree of pathos. Forgotten images of heroes from a bygone era. Some images are cleverly laid out, while others are clumsy and comical—especially funny are images using regular household items as props, such as an old cardboard box used as a backdrop, or a dollar bill used for scale.

Mimicking the ways that these figures were packaged and sold, Crazygon #3’s special packaging includes labels, header card and a resealable plastic bag.

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