Kodoja Interview with Keith Foster

by Rob Caprilozzi

A giant biomechanical monster created by the government activates three years after being shut down by the government's Special Weapons Division and begins a swath of destruction across the countryside. While the 20-story goliath continues its rampage, questions are asked around the activation and the ostracized staff of Special Weapons is tasked to monitor the beast. Meanwhile, something darker and more sinister seems to be at play.

We caught up with writer, Keith Foster to talk about Kodoja: Terror Mountain Showdown.

Horror News Network: How did you come up with the concept for this series?

Keith Foster: First, thanks for having me here, it’s an honor! The concept actually grew out of an album my band (Big Pimp Jones) made – we initially wanted to package it as a “lost Godzilla soundtrack” of some sort but once the music was coming along I thought ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if we had our own original monster to go with it instead of just associating it with Godzilla?’ Once we decided we wanted to do it the overall concept of the series was a fusion of four things: (1) The main influence of Tokusatsu stuff – Godzilla, Gamera etc. and TV shows like Ultraman and Kikaida; (2) HP Lovecraft, (3) TV shows in the vein of Lost / X-Files in terms of character evolution and sheer volume of plot threads, and (4) the anime Death Note for the back-and-forth mind games (that actually happen here between one of the characters and Kodoja itself).

Horror News Network: Can you catch us up on what has happened so far in the series?

Keith Foster: Sure, the story starts with an auxiliary team of the government’s Special Weapons Division racing to deal with Kodoja (a bio-droid created the department and shut down three years ago because it was becoming too strong and powerful). Kodoja just ‘awoke’ from this shutdown an hour ago, stomped Headquarters of Special Weapons Division and is now ripping through cities on its way north up the Pacific coast. Around the same time, the Secretary of Defense – during two separate briefings on Kodoja – acts strangely and then finally snaps, pulling out a gun and killing himself on camera in mid-press conference. As Special Weapons (and then the larger groups of military) continually engage Kodoja in hopes of taking it down, the Secretary of Defense’s replacement calls an old friend turned enemy, hinting that something larger and darker may have played into the prior Secretary’s suicide. Around that point, we get insight into an unreported event from earlier in the day where a person had a strange dream that definitely foretells of something.

Horror News Network: Can you tell us a bit about Kodoja’s power level? Just how destructive can he be?

Keith Foster: I’ve always wanted to say this, but the point of Kodoja is we wanted something that was ridiculously powerful; something that could kick Godzilla’s ass. Kodoja has weaponry of all sorts – distance weapons hidden in locations in the body, laser eyes, plasma cannons and many other goodies. Kodoja can do so many impressive things it tends to create more than a few “Oh sh*t it just did that?” moments. But more than just being powerful, Kodoja is smart. It’s the best piece of Artificial Intelligence anyone has ever created – it can out think you AND reduce a building to dust. As an example: in issue 2, Kodoja is confronted with attackers from the front, rear, left, right and above – and manages to take out all of them simultaneously. How destructive can Kodoja be? The end of ‘Terror Mountain Showdown’ will provide more detail but Kodoja has weapons that can measure high on the Richter Scale.

Horror News Network: What other type of monsters will we see Kodoja battle it out against?

Keith Foster: Well one of the major posits of this story is that Lovecraft was a historian. The current theory put out by one of the characters is that millions of years ago, asteroids and space debris came in contact with the earth and are now buried in the earth’s crust. Along with that space debris are million-year old ‘elder monsters’ buried beneath us right now, and they will rise from the Earth when the time is right.

Horror News Network: Will we see more of Kodoja after the series wraps up or is this mini-series all that you have planned?

Keith Foster: Definitely more! We’re going to make at least three five-issue arcs for Kodoja, for a total of 15 issues. Once we finish up ‘Terror Mountain Showdown’ we’ll move right along to the next arc and keep the story moving.

Horror News Network: Has the success of Pacific Rim or the hype of the upcoming Godzilla movie help increase awareness about Kodoja?

Keith Foster: Yes, in terms of increased awareness we’ve definitely seen an uptick in interest in Kodoja surrounding the release of Pacific Rim! I loved Pacific Rim and am pretty much at a fever pitch for Godzilla even though it’s 10 months away as I write this. It’s been great to see Pacific Rim get people back into a genre that’s been largely inactive (movie-wise) for 10 years, and I think Godzilla will get even more people thinking about / remembering what makes giant monsters so cool.

Horror News Network: Has there been any interest yet in Kodoja for films or video games? The character seems to be a perfect fit.

Keith Foster: Thank you for that! We are having discussions with people on both fronts currently, but nothing as of yet. I personally think Kodoja would work well as an animated series / anime (a la Adult Swim), Rory’s artistic style for the series has an anime feel to it.

Horror News Network: Where can our readers find out more about this series and purchase the book?

Keith Foster: We’re always putting new stuff up on both Kodoja.com and our Kodoja Facebook page – announcements, art from the next issue, videos…all kinds of stuff.

In terms of getting the book, if people don’t live near a Comic Retailer that stocks Kodoja they can always purchase Kodoja goods through our site (www.kodoja.com) – we have a web store there with all of the current comics, art prints and music for the project.

Oh the music! I want to mention that Kodoja: Terror Mountain showdown has its own soundtrack – I’m in a funk band and we set out to create the funkiest Kaiju soundtrack we could to accompany the comic. Take Ifukube scores from old Godzilla films and stir hard funk in and you get the idea. Good to not only read Kodoja to, but also chill out to or even put on while you’re watching your favorite giant monster films.

Horror News Network: In closing, what would you like to say to our readers about Kodoja: Terror Mountain Showdown?

Keith Foster: We’re passionate about this and we think it shows on every page; if you like giant monsters, Lovecraft or just good stories with good art then Kodoja is for you. Give it a try!

Horror News Network: Thanks for your time, Keith! Best of luck with Kodoja!

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