‘Playing In A Giant Sandbox’ – Talking With Chris Mowry Of Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth At San Diego Comic-Con

By Octavio Karbank

One of the many aspects about Comic Con, San Diego Comic Con especially, that I enjoy, is the ability to meet creators and talk about comics. Case in point, had I not attended last week, I wouldn’t have gotten the chance to speak with Chris Mowry. A writer for IDW, he’s best known nowadays for his work on Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, which just ended this last Wednesday. The two of us had a chance to sit down and discuss the book.

comics-godzilla-rulers-of-earth_361013Octavio Karbank: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. To start off: in five words or less, why should somebody pick up Godzilla: Rulers of Earth?

Chris Mowry: Five words or less? Fun, fun, popcorn entertainment, fun. I guess I should probably replace one of the funs. But yeah, it’s not too serious, we don’t try and take it too seriously. We just try and have a lot of fun with it. I would say it’s geared towards hardcore fans, but it’s a way to hopefully get new readers into Godzilla.

OK: I know we talked about some of this last year at New York Comic Con, but going in, how much research did you have to for writing about Godzilla and all the monsters?

CM: Actually, I didn’t have to do too much research. I grew up with it. At five years old I watched my first Godzilla movie and I’ve been a fan ever since. I’ve gone into debt numerous times adding to a collection of continually growing stuff.

OK: You expanded the [Godzilla] universe with new aliens. How did that come to fruition?

CM: What we did was that we had an idea in mind, but we also had restrictions for our contract with Toho. So we had the opportunity to bring on new alien races or new monsters. We jumped to that, and with all of us being big fans we were able to say, “This is familiar enough to have that feel of Godzilla.”

OK: I’m sure you’ve addressed this before, but I’m curious about the genesis behind Godzilla: Rulers of Earth?

CM: For a while we weren’t going to renew the series or the license, and it was sort of like this might be the last series that we’ll do and they were like, “Chris you and Matt have been really supportive and are really big fans, maybe this is your chance to do the series.” Originally it was going to be a mini series with him [Matt Frank] doing an issue and me doing an issue. And I thought him and I, we could do really special, it could be a good opportunity to do something fun and throw caution to the wind with a crazy thing.

OK: You and I, along with countless others love Godzilla. What’s the level of responsibility you feel for writing such an iconic character that is loved by millions across the globe?

CM: I felt like the responsibility was to be true to the license and to be true to Toho, who was gracious enough to work with on this. The approach I’ve always taken is that I love this stuff, and so of course I respect it and want to do my best with it. But I also understand that not everyone’s interpretations are the same. It’s like Batman, some people like campy Batman, while some people like the gritty, dark, violent Batman, so with Godzilla it was trying to find a balance between that and that’s what I think we did with the series. I love the Showa films, the classic and more goofy movies, and we wanted to do something with that kind of fun but with some modern updated stuff. I’m happy with it. I think it worked.

OK: I’m really curious when I talk to writers with how they feel about writing as a whole. For you, what does it mean to be a writer?

CM: For this series, it means having a lot of responsibility. It’s more than just deadlines, it’s really making sure everything matches up, making sure we’re not going to do anything that goes against our contract with Toho, making sure things aren’t going to be irritating to fans. The actual process was a lot harder than I thought it would be. It was an opportunity to play in this giant sandbox. It’s almost like playing with my toys again as a kid, but on a different level. It’s definitely intimidating at times, but it’s been a lot of fun.

OK: Final question. Now that you’ve completed Godzilla: Rulers of Earth, how does it feel to have completed such an epic series and what’s next for you?

CM: It feels good, having finished a run on what is now the longest-running Godzilla comic series, but I know there are many things I personally could have done differently. Pacing, character development, etc. Just stuff to not dwell over, but to just be aware of should I get another chance to write a series that goes that long. As for future projects, who knows really? There are a few unannounced things that I’ve been talking with the appropriate people about, but nothing announced yet. None of them are Godzilla-related, but it’s possible the big G and I will meet again some day.

OK: Thank you for your time!

Octavio Karbank is a writer and bona fide Whovian. Living in Massachusetts, you can find him on Twitter @TymeHunter and his blog www.cozmicventures.com

About Hannah Means Shannon

Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. Independent comics scholar and former English Professor. Writing books on magic in the works of Alan Moore and the early works of Neil Gaiman.

twitter   facebook square   globe