Bookzilla SketchOnce upon a summer’s day, Daren and Tom, the masterminds that run the Decatur Book Festival, asked Lenz to create the identity for the 2009 festival. They wanted the imagery to be a departure from the previous year, which was a serene, fertile literary garden of Eden. This year’s festival is going to be filled with surprises, twists and turns, and unexpected events. Obviously, this was not going to be your run-of-the-mill book festival.

Daren and Tom told me that the 2009 festival was going to rock Decatur like a book hurricane and attack the downtown area like an H. G. Well’s story.

What would this festival look like? Apocalyptic imagery started racing through my mind. Attack of the 50-foot Woman, the marshmallow man that almost killed Bill Murray, King Kong clinging to the Empire State building, the 80’s video game Rampage, and of course the long-legged Martian machines that emerged from the ground.

You know who else emerges from below? Godzilla!

I could see a hipster poetry-slamming Godzilla emerging from his slumber in Lake Avondale blazing a path down College Avenue to destroy Decatur with a hail of firey adverbs. Sounds great, right, but how would I take the Godzilla imagery and apply it to a literary event? Easy. I’ll just give ol’ Godzilla a book for a head with razor-sharp pages for teeth, the kind that would give you one heck of a paper cut. I added the wayfarer style glasses for a nice scholastic, yet hip flavor. The menacing bookmark tongue was the perfect way to finish off his noggin. Of course, he ended up with book spines and a fountain-pen tail.

My monstrosity needed a name, and Bookzilla was it.

Since I created a monster, Bookzilla needed something constructive to do, or rather destructive. Bookzilla decided to go directly down to the Decatur Square and mow down some of Decatur’s most beloved landmarks. The Old Couthouse, the Gazebo, a drinking establishment, etc. Total Decatur Demonic Destruction from above!

I quickly sketched the idea in my trusty sketchbook—handcrafted by Daren Wang himself—and showed Daren, Tom, and Mary Flad the grisly scene. It was complete with soccer moms running for their lives. Since they all have a unique sense of humor, they really seemed to like it. Bookzilla was born!