|What is Henshin!Online?
August Ragone started "Kaiju Productions" in 1974, as a company name in which to produce his amateur Super 8mm films (starring his Bullmark Vinyl Monsters, some of them gave their lives for his art)... Bob Johnson and August kept the name on their first official event in December of 1979. They were rallied by legendary TV Horror Movie Host Bob Wilkins (KTVU-Ch. 2's "Creature Features"). This was their first of several progressively larger "Japanese Fantasy Film Fares." Fans were amazed to see Godzilla films, ULTRAMAN, STARBLAZERS, BRAVE RAIDEEN, SPECTREMAN, MIRRORMAN, and more -- all on one program. Since we covered both live action and anime; these events are considered as the first of their kind in America, and the first anime event outside of Japan. This was a precursor to what are now standard screening rooms at comic book and science fiction conventions all across the country.
Although they had talked about starting a fanzine of sorts, it wasn't until August's return from living in Japan in the late 1980s that he and Bob began to work in earnest towards creating "Markalite: The Magazine of Japanese Fantasy." With a distribution of 6000 copies per issue, "Markalite" was sold throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. Copies of the magazine also made their way to Australia and Asia. Although it was a three-issue magazine, it is still referred to and referenced in many major books and publications covering the genre.
Through their involvement with "Markalite," Bob and August soon formed strong ties with the creators of Ultraman: Tsuburaya Productions and their now-defunct stateside office, Ultracom, Inc. Ultracom used an abridged version of an article on Tsuburaya Productions' "Ultra Series" from "Markalite" #2 as the official press release overviewing the series. In 1995, they assisted Ultracom in publicizing Ultraman at the Shrine Convention in Los Angeles, by staging a battle between the silver superhero and Powered Baltan (Bob in disguise)! The battle was choreographed with precision by August (with talents he used in creating "Incredibly Strange Wrestling"). It was during this period that Kaiju Productions was hosting screenings and panels at large SF conventions. Kaiju Productions continues to host panels at conventions, as well as film screenings at events such as "The Thrillville Review."
As for their writing endeavors, Kaiju Productions went back to basics in 1994 and started small with "Henshin! Newsletter." Offered free to fans, the newsletter packed "more information into eight pages than most full magazines." Only a handful of issues were produced when it suddenly evolved into the Internet Age with its own web page, "Henshin Online!," originally hosted by Aaron Smith's Godzilla news site, "Monster Zero." Now, Henshin! Online goes out on its own, expanding its coverage and undergoing an entirely new design!
The Japanese Fantasy Film is far more than just A Fistful Of Godzillas, and Henshin! Online plans to open this world to you, as only Kaiju Productions can. With a staff of talented writers, graphic artists and web designers, Kaiju Productions is expecting to shape Henshin! Online into the premiere website for news, information and reviews of everything from Kaiju to Karatekas, Mutants to Madmen, Superheroes to Samurai, Yokai to Yakuza, Science Fiction to Cult Fiction, and everything in-between.
Let the magic begin!