Greg Shoemaker meets Akira Takarada in 2010. Photo by Brett Homenick.
The editor and publisher of the Japanese Fantasy Film Journal, the first and perhaps the best Godzilla/tokusatsu fanzine in the U.S., passed away on July 19.
In late 2009, I was pleased to conduct an interview with Greg about the history of JFFJ. The interview can be found here. To be honest, I was shocked that no one else tried to document the history of this ground-breaking fanzine (despite all the lip service many in the fan community paid to it), but I was honored to be the one to do it.
Yours truly with Greg Shoemaker in 2010.
I was also privileged to meet Greg in person in July 2010. I was able to introduce Greg to Akira Takarada when I was assisting Mr. Takarada during his first con appearance in the U.S. I had a few moments to share with Greg, but I wish I had many more.
However, I'm pleased to report that the JFFJ legacy lives on. In February of this year, I was contacted by the clearance coordinator for a new Netflix series that wanted to feature issues of JFFJ in the series but wanted permission from Greg to use them. Naturally, I provided his contact information. I certainly hope permission was granted and that JFFJ will be exposed to a whole new generation of fans.
Rest in peace, Greg. Thank you for paving the way for the rest of us.