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The daikaiju genre has existed for almost a century and during its tenure it has garnered a massive following. The community of daikaiju fans is referred to as a fandom. The term can be used to describe anyone who enjoys the genre, young and old, no matter their level of knowledge.
The most common collective noun used to refer to daikaiju fans is G-fan. Although this is most commonly associated with the Godzilla franchise, it has been used to refer to fans of everything from Gamera to Ultraman.
Before the internet
Daikaiju fandom has existed for as long as the genre itself has, but the first true annals of what can be considered "fandom" came about during the early 1960's when magazines focusing on horror, science fiction, and fantasy films gained popularity. U.S.-based magazines such as Famous Monsters of Filmland, The Monster Times, and Castle of Frankenstein often contained articles pertaining to the latest daikaiju films releasing from overseas. The earliest recorded daikaiju-related article was published in issue 19 of Famous Monsters of Filmland, released in September of 1962, with a feature on Mothra. Though more famous daikaiju such as Godzilla were not heavily featured on the cover of Famous Monsters, the title character from Frankenstein Conquers the World was featured on the cover of Issue #39, dated June of 1966.
As monster magazines continued to thrive throughout the late 1960's and early 1970's, one fan, Greg Shoemaker, began publishing a magazine of his own based out of his love for Eiji Tsuburaya films and a disdain for the general public's perception of Japanese special effects films. Titling it The Japanese Fantasy Film Journal, Shoemaker's first issue of the magazine was published in 1968 at a run of only twenty-five copies which were distributed through other fan magazines with the hopes of attracting readers. Shoemaker's magazine eventually managed to secure a stable fanbase, including Hollywood directors like Joe Dante. A number of contributors to JFFJ eventually went on to produce their own daikaiju-related content or even obtain jobs in the entertainment industry, arguably making Shoemaker's magazine the foundations that modern daikaiju fandom was built on.
While Shoemaker's publication was small, Godzilla and other kaiju began making more frequent appearances in popular genre magazines as the years went on. Godzilla, a character shockingly unseen on the covers of Famous Monsters, made his debut with the 114th issue in March of 1975 as a special issue dedicated to Japanese giant monster films. The first issue of the popular Fangoria magazine, published August 1979, featured Godzilla prominently on the cover along with an in-depth article surrounding the character's 25th anniversary.
Throughout the 1980's and into the 1990's, daikaiju movies began to grow in appreciation, as many prominent Hollywood filmmakers at the time began citing the films, particularly Godzilla, as influences for their careers and work.
G-FAN and the Rise of the Internet
With giant monster movies resurging around the early 1990's thanks to Toho's Heisei Godzilla series and the rise of the Internet in households around the world, the fandom began to grow larger and more distinct than ever before. The first Godzilla-centric magazine began publishing in 1992 under the name of "G-FORCE" before switching to G-FAN around issue 9. Published by J.D. Lees, the magazine began as a small newsletter before growing larger in subscriptions. G-FAN is widely considered the central hub of the American daikaiju fandom in the 1990's due to its extensive bi-monthly publishing schedule and wealth of information and submissions from fans.
With the arrival of the Internet and the World Wide Web, fans could interact with each other no matter the distance and instantaneously without the use of letter mail. Possibly the earliest recorded interactions of kaiju fans online is through the alt.movies.monster Usenet group. Mark Meloon's Godzilla Page is generally regarded as being the first Godzilla-centric website having been posted sometime in mid-1994. Meloon's website was notable for being one of the first internet sites with information on the Heisei series being released in Japan at the time. Some Godzilla-dedicated websites created with the rise of the internet include Barry's Temple of Godzilla, Rodan's Roost (Now called Kaijuphile), and Toho Kingdom.
The new millenium
Daikaiju fandom today
Adopted fan terminology
Fans gone official
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