IN March, the world finally saw the meeting of Godzilla and King Kong in Godzilla vs. Kong, a cinematic event that took six years to make.
Several Weeks After The Titans Clashed On The Big Screen, Legendary Comics Released Kong, a graphic novel that serves as a prequel to the events of the film.
The novel was illustrated by Malaysian artist Yazid Kamal Baharin. Written by Marie Anello, the novel is also the sequel to another entry in the Kong series on which Yazid worked.
“(This is part of) a collection of Legendary’s Kong: Skull Island (and the previous series of four issues) Skull Island: the birth of Kong. So I was hired to represent the titan at the time, ”Yazid told The Sun.
Credited as Zid, the artist said he had been professionally involved in the comic book industry for around 15 years.
“I started doing my own personal comedy projects sold at conventions during my graduate years. Then I started doing freelance comics in my senior year as a ghost artist for a studio like Mill Vanilli, and I finally landed my own international gig in 2012 ”.
Gather a King
Yazid recounted that in 2013 he was vying for a Godzilla prequel graphic novel that would eventually be named Godzilla: Awakening.
“I didn’t get the project. So when Legendary approached me to take on Kong, it was a second chance for me, ”he said. “Kong was actually an opportunity to prove my worth.”
Detailing how he approached Kong’s drawing and illustration, from the monkey’s imposing physique to the smallest details like the fur, Yazid said the concept came from ‘working on my own’.
While Kong wasn’t his first contact with detailed creatures, it was still a challenge, he added.
“For Skull Island: the birth of Kong, the only reference I had was snippets from trailers and raw concept art. It wasn’t Legendary’s fault as they had to keep it tight to avoid potential leaks.
For this project, Yazid had video files broken down into multiple screenshots and recorded as many angles as he could find of Kong for reference.
“Kong was stricter, because everything was so secret. I was only told that Kong was much older and bigger, and that he had a beard, ”Yazid said.
Kaijus (giant monsters in Japanese), or “Titans” in Legendary’s MonsterVerse vocabulary, are undeniable strengths of monster movies, even though human characters are present.
The same applies to Kong, as the original Titan opponent is featured for Kong, which Yazid created.
“Camazotz was a late addition to the project as they were working on a meeting point between books and films. They had several rogue gallery archetypes. Eventually, Camazotz was launched to bring in an element that was not represented in the MonsterVerse – darkness, ”Yazid said.
The artist was approached by Legendary to create something canonical to the lore. Yazid sent hundreds of sketches for approval.
“To this day, I still cannot comprehend the surreal honor and responsibility that (accompanies the creation of Camazotz),” he said.
“The pressure was intense. The name Camazotz alone spawned a plethora of iterations in popular culture, so the challenge was to be unlike anything designed before.
The resulting Camazotz became an aerial Titan inspired by Mayan mythology, and literally “a bat out of hell”.