Monday, July 25, 2011

Monsters Are Attacking Tokyo!

Monsters Are Attacking Tokyo!: The Incredible World of Japanese Fantasy Films by Stuart Galbraith IV is a fascinating book on the Japanese monster movie genre that is now sadly out of print. This isn't going to be a review of that book. Rather, this is a story in which the book plays a crucial role.

My father passed away in May 1998, and that was probably the lowest point of a period of about two-three years that I would not number as among the great times of my personal life. Still, eventually I had to come back up, and I had already started that climb. It was slow, but it was happening. In this environment, I had a birthday. It was my 26th birthday, for the record.

I had the day off, and I went out with my mom and my sister. We ate out, went shopping, and just had the chance to spend time together. One of my informal presents was receiving a copy of the book Monsters Are Attacking Tokyo! at the bookstore. Since I wasn't driving, I was eagerly perusing my copy shortly after purchase.

I was floored. My name was on the Acknowledgments Page! I had corresponded with Mr. Galbraith a little, but I had never dreamed I had helped him enough to warrant getting my name in a book! And yet, there was "Chris Elam" listed among a great many names I recognized and respected.

I have had many birthdays in my life, and hopefully will have many more to come. The surprise and delight I experienced on July 25th, 1998 when I first learned that my name was in an honest-to-goodness book will probably rank it as among the most memorable. The book thing was shocking enough, but to find out on my birthday? Crazy!

Thank you, Stuart Galbraith IV, for unwittingly making my day 13 years ago. Thank you Mom and Amy for being there to share it with me. And thank you to all my friends and readers, for sharing this birthday with me.


  1. Reading this post really hit home for me,Chris;when I discovered both ''OWARI''&''XENORAMA'' simultaneously through J.D.Lees' 'Wild Fanzines I Have Read' column in ''G-FAN'' back in early Fall of 1994,that started my correspondence(&friendship)with both yourself&David.This truly helped me through a grievous loss of my own as my grandfather had passed away not too long before that(on my older brother's birthday,August 4th of that year.)I've felt honored,humbled&blessed to call you&David my friends ever since.Happy Birthday,my friend!

  2. Happy birthday, man! I know this is probably meaningless coming from a guy who's barely more than anonymous and posts infrequently-at-best in your comments, but Owari really is one of the blogs that I look forward to visiting every day, and I truly appreciate the entertainment you've provided me with in the year or so since I discovered it.

  3. @Danny - Wow, I don't think I knew that. I'm glad to have helped you through those times. Thank you!

    @Travis - Man, don't sell yourself short. The fact that someone I don't even know apart from this blog finds it worth reading means a lot to me. Thank you!