So in really thinking about that, I decided I couldn’t ignore my need to draw crazy, giant monsters anymore. I HAD to commit them to ink on paper. It was crucial to my artistic survival. That and - this may sound dramatic and art-thesis-y - I like to think there comes a spot in the creative path where the direction you should go is shown clear. It still has hazards and whatnot, but all paths do. That’s a given. But this path, it just seems automatic and you feel ready to work.
And so you do. You work your ass off (in this case for the better part of a year) and then you have a thing to show for it at the end. You have a real, tangible thing that you can hand to someone who asks, “Why do you like giant monsters so much?”
“Because I got to do ... *make dramatic eye contact* ... THIS!”
The 100% best part about making Kentucky Kaiju for me is that I got to work with my homies, Tressina Bowling and Shawn Pryor, all the way. And that’s important. When you can make a thing with your friends and everyone is feeling it and enjoying the process and thinking of it in a fun way, there’s nothing better. And when said thing involves creating weird-ass monsters and freaky creatures called Kentucky Kaiju, then ... Hell’s bells, man ... no question.
The conversation I had with Tressina and Shawn went like this: “It’s a book about giant monsters who –”
Kentucky Kaiju clocks in at over 100 pages. Double-page spreads of artwork created by myself and Tressina fill the book with accompanying text by Shawn. From their places of origin to what kind of poetry they enjoy, we give you the rundown on 50 great beasts that roam the bluegrass state.
Not from Kentucky? No worries, you’ll still enjoy it. Think of it as a “fantasy field guide”.
Kentucky Kaiju is available for pre-order from Apex Book Company and comes signed by all the creators along with extra artcards you can’t get anywhere else. One of which features a kaiju NOT in the book. So by pre-ordering, you’ll actually get the scoop on 51 kaiju. And THAT ... is really fucking cool.
Kentucky Kaiju will be released October 18th!
About the Author/Artist
Justin Stewart is an illustrator, cartoonist and graphic designer. He lives in central Kentucky with his wife, daughter and two dogs.
About the Book
by Shawn Pryor, Justin Stewart, and Tressina Bowling
Kentucky Kaiju is the ultimate field guide to the kaiju of the bluegrass state. From 29 foot beavers roaming the forests of Black Gold, KY, to thunderous trees walking Thousandsticks, to a gigantic robot that fell from another galaxy to Future City, KY, this book has it all. Though photographic evidence of kaiju is rare, each one presented in this guide has been artistically rendered by Justin Stewart and Tressina Bowling, with descriptions of their creation, location, and proclivity to violence penned by Shawn Pryor.
Kentucky Kaiju lets you travel deep into the hills of Kentucky and uncover all of its monsters without ever leaving the safety of your home.