The Official Godzilla Compendium

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The Official Godzilla Compendium
The Official Godzilla Compendium
Author(s) J.D. Lees,
Marc Cerasini
Publisher Random House
Publish date March 24, 1998[1]
Genre Reference
ISBN ISBN-10: 0679888225
What's green, 400 feet tall, and eats trains for breakfast? If your answer is Godzilla™, you're wrong, and you need this book!

— Back of the book

The Official Godzilla Compendium is a 1998 informational book written by J.D. Lees and Marc Cerasini, illustrated by Arthur Adams, and published by Random House, profiling the Godzilla franchise from the Showa series to the Heisei series.


The Official Godzilla Compendium is 144 pages long and was released on March 24, 1998, published by Random House. The book was written by J.D. Lees and Marc Cerasini, with original illustrations by Arthur Adams and guest essays by Kenneth Carpenter, Randall E. Osborne, John J. Pierce, and Randy Stradley. It was compiled and edited by Alice Alfonsi and the cover and interior design were done by Susan Lovelace. Stills, posters and official concept art are included in the book's pages from Toho.

The book contains an introduction, information and images from all 22 of the Showa and Heisei Godzilla movies, profiles of the main series' monsters, an overview of the Dark Horse Godzilla comics, the Random House Godzilla books, the Godzilla suits, guest essays titled "A Dinosaur Paleontologist's View of Godzilla," "Godzilla at Dark Horse Comics," and "Godzilla as a Parenting Tool," a filmography table of the Godzilla movies, and the trademark icons of many of the monsters.


Beginning with his birth in the heart of a nuclear explosion in the 1954 film Godzilla: King of the Monsters, The Official Godzilla Compendium has everything you ever wanted to know about the King of the Monsters. Published in cooperation with Toho, the Japanese studio that produced Godzilla's first 22 films, it takes an intimate peek behind the cameras and a nostalgic look at all of his movies. It even compares all of Godzilla's giant monster friends and foes by height, weight, wins and losses! Packed with photos and illustrations, movie summaries, and entertaining essays that cover all aspects of the last 40 years of Godzilla, this is the only official compendium published in America. Written by J. D. Lees, editor and publisher of G-Fan magazine, and Marc Cerasini, a New York Times best-selling author of nonfiction.


Errors and inconsistencies

The Official Godzilla Compendium contains a few instances of inaccurate information or information that is largely inconsistent with other official sources before and since its publication.

  • The book's profile for Anguirus raises the possibility that the Anguirus which fought Godzilla in Godzilla Raids Again either "revived" or "another of its kind returned" in subsequent films. Other sources unambiguously state that the Anguirus featured in Destroy All Monsters and onward is a separate individual, with the previous one having perished in its fight with Godzilla.
  • Baragon's profile provides his height as 25 meters and, like many sources, does not distinguish between the heights of the First and Second Generation Baragons. It also states that Baragon was seemingly killed by Frankenstein only to later turn up on Monsterland, while canonically the Baragon on Monsterland was a separate individual.
  • Ebirah's profile says that "no one knows what caused Ebirah to attain such a tremendous size, but rumors of heavy-water leakage from the Red Bamboo's reactor persist to this day." Other sources typically present runoff from the Red Bamboo's activities on Letchi Island as the definitive cause for Ebirah's creation.
  • Gabara's profile says he "seems derived from no animal known on Earth," even though he is canonically a mutated toad.
  • Gigan's profile suggests he is still lurking in space following his defeat in Godzilla vs. Megalon, while he canonically perished at the hands of Zone Fighter during the events of the Toho television series Zone Fighter.
  • Godzilla's profile does not acknowledge the fact that the 1954 Godzilla and the Godzilla featured in the remainder of the Showa series are separate individuals. It also treats the 1984-1989 Godzilla and the 1991-1995 Godzillas as separate creatures, when they are actually both the same Godzilla.
  • Much like Baragon's, Gorosaurus' profile says he was "seemingly killed by King Kong" only to later appear on Monsterland by the events of Destroy All Monsters. It goes on to say he has "grown to nearly match Godzilla in height." In actuality, the Gorosaurus in Destroy All Monsters is a separate individual of the genus from the one which fought Kong in King Kong Escapes. Furthermore, despite appearances, the Second Generation Gorosaurus possesses the same height as the First Generation individual.
  • This book spells Jet Jaguar's name in English with a hyphen as "Jet-Jaguar." It is not the only piece of official media to use this spelling, though the character's official trademarked name lacks the hyphen.
  • Manda's profile says he was once the protector of Mu before being imprisoned on Monsterland, seemingly ignoring the fact that the Manda from Atragon and the one from Destroy All Monsters are separate individuals.
  • The Showa and Heisei Mechagodzillas are distinguished in their profiles by a parenthetical "1" and "2," with the Heisei version also addressed as "Mechagodzilla II" in BabyGodzilla's profile. The practice of addressing the Heisei Mechagodzilla as "Mechagodzilla II" or "Mechagodzilla 2," likely in reference to the English-language title of its debut film, subsequently became common outside of Japan to the point of being used in all of Pipeworks' Godzilla fighting video games. However, these designations are typically used by Japanese sources to refer only to the rebuilt Showa Mechagodzilla in Terror of Mechagodzilla.
  • The Showa Mechagodzilla's profile states that it has a flamethrower in its mouth, while in actuality it possesses an attack called Desto-Fire which involves launching flaming bullets from its nostrils, though it never uses it onscreen.
  • The Heisei Mechagodzilla's profile states that it successfully killed Godzilla rather than simply paralyzing him.
  • MOGUERA's profile states that it was constructed "after the failure of Mechagodzilla," even though canonically the two were constructed side-by-side, with MOGUERA simply being completed last.
  • Rodan's profile provides the same stats for the monster throughout the Showa series, ignoring the different weight and wingspan often assigned to the First Generation Rodans. It also says that the Rodan featured in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster onward is a surviving individual from the monster's debut film. While this is treated as a possibility in many other official reference books, these books typically also suggest that this Rodan may instead be an offspring of the mated pair from the previous film.
  • The book refers to the island home of LittleGodzilla in Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla by the romanization "Birth Island" rather than "Baas Island" as used in the film's onscreen location supers and English dub.
  • Varan's profile seems to make reference to the events of the heavily altered U.S. theatrical version of his debut film rather than the original Japanese version of it, calling his worshipers the "cult of Obake" and stating that he emerged from his lake due to toxic pollution. It also does not distinguish between the First and Second Generation Varan, providing only the original incarnation's measurements and claiming Varan was captured and contained on Monsterland after being repelled by the JSDF in his debut film.




This is a list of references for The Official Godzilla Compendium. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]


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