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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Japan's First Evil Scientist

Back in 2009 - just as I was setting about creating this blog, I co-created Evil Scientist Quarterly with my buddy Steve Guzelis for our publishing empire Strange Fun Comics, to hawk at the upcoming Chicago Wizard World comic con.

Actually, I wrote the material for this comic magazine—aimed at providing the latest in fashion and health tips to the up-and-coming Evil Scientist, as well as the more established dyed in the wool version. Mad scientists - Hawcccccch-ptooeie! - need not apply. 

Yes, I clearly delineated a difference between the Evil Scientist and the mad scientist. Hawcccccch-ptooeie!

Conceptually, it was meant to be GQ for madmen in the scientific community.

I wrote damn near everything, and Steve, he humored me like a good little Igor, and found a plethora of artful black and white shenanigans to apply all over the magazine to make it look legit as two poor artsy Evil Scientist wannabe’s could be.

The issue contained such impactful information as:
  • the four correct types of evil laugh permitted;
  • helpful hints to avoid troubles with villagers;
  • the Evil Scientist workout;
  • Fashions for Evil Scientist, including smocks, cloaks/capes, shoes/boots, cravats/ascots, socks, pants, belts, underwear, googles, and shirts;
  • Five things the beginner needs to become a true Evil Scientist, including digging up an Igor.       
I bring this up, because I think that the material I wrote back then was extremely funny.

And… despite it being initially created months before I actually started Japan—It’s A Wonderful Rife, there is a bit of Japan in it.

For a column entitled DESTROY ALL HUMANS! A List of Infamy, I wrote down my Hall of Infamous Evil Scientists, complete with bio and explained WHY they were the originator of a particular terror… or what made them famous (it had to be a first).

It was all meant to be a semi-serious look at fictional characters and their place in the Evil mythos… 

While most of the Infamous on my list are legitimate fictional creations found in literature, I did create a few of my own. Such as:

Kyoju (Professor) Yakamura Kenji: 1901 - 2006
Professor Kenji Yakamura is not only an Evil Scientist of Japanese extraction, he is also one of the first scary individuals to harness the fiery forces of nuclear power solely for the purpose of revenge, when he created the uncontrollable nuclear monster—Gojira (aka Godzilla), the self-styled King of the Monsters.
After the bombings of his native Hiroshima and sister city Nagasaki (Nagasaki’s sister city is actually St. Paul, MN, USA), Yakamura toiled to create a form of revenge on the U.S. of A.
After a mere 10 years of planning and feeding daikon radishes irradiated from the atomic fallout over Hiroshima to a Kimono Dragon (a Japanese robe-wearing version of the Komodo Dragon reptile), Yakamura succeeded in breeding a walking, stomping, radiation-breathing 50-meters (167-feet) tall monstrosity that, unfortunately, preferred destroying Yakamura’s own beloved country rather than that of his enemy.
Yakamura’s monster was the precursor for the 50-Foot tall woman.
Claim to fame: Created vastly underrated children’s amusement park, Monster Island, on the largest of Japan’s Ogasawara Islands (nee Bonin Islands). Due to numerous manifestations of giant flesh-eating beetles, the park was closed and turned into a volatile zoo for his other hideous creatures: Mothra, Anguirus, Rhodan, Gorosaurus, Baragon, Varan, Manda, Kumonga, and when captured, Godzilla and his son Minilla.


Strangely enough, here I was eight years previous writing about the Bonin/Ogasawara Islands, which I just did a few days previous. Yes, Monster Island is supposed to be on the main Ogasawara Island… back then, it had just been given back to Japan and was otherwise uninhabited. Except for the Europeans and Americans… aka food for the giant beetles and kaiju (movie monsters).

By the way, that photo above is mine, from a 1930s-era photo album I purchased in an Utsunomiya garage sale back in 1991 or so. It shows a kid hugging a giant daikon radish grown in the volcanic fallout from the still-active Sakurajima volcano at Kagoshima. Obviously, the radish photo was inspirational.  

Andrew Joseph
PS: By the way, I wrote my editorial for the initial ESQ (Evil Scientist Quarterly) under the false name of M.T. Graves, for obvious reasons.
PPS: Seriously... wasn't it worth it just to learn about the kimono dragon?!  

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