Height: 75 Meters
Weight: 10,000 Tons
Special Abilities: Grows as he read more books, breathes fire, writes with his tail
Temperature of Fire Breath: 451 degrees Fahrenheit
Favorite Book: Hell by Robert Olen Butler
IN THE BEGINNING, a tiny green lizard with an oddly but endearingly misshapen head was an experiment subject in an underground Tokyo laboratory. One day, the scientists overextended their electricity use, causing a mass evacuation-except for the poor little lizard, who was still trapped in his glass case. A test tube flew into the case from above, and the little lizard used it to escape out of the case and into the air duct. After some traveling through ventilation shafts and sewers he found himself in a public library, where he spent many days reading about far-off lands. One such place was the mythical land of Decatur, a town rumored to hold host to one of the largest gatherings of bibliophiles, book-lovers and reading enthusiasts. As soon as the little lizard read about this, he knew he wanted to see it for himself!
So he scurried to an airport and latched himself onto the underside of a wing using his BookJaw™, almost all the way to the Atlanta airport. Sadly, he fell off right near the end and plummeted into the Chattahoochee River, where Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin found him, saw his endearing little BookJaw™, and right away knew where to take him-to Decatur!
Shirley handed him to Decatur Mayor Bill Floyd, who patted the little lizard on the head and told him that, someday, he would help the book festival grow bigger than ever before! He let the little lizard loose in the DeKalb County Public Library for three years, where the lizard read and read and read, growing as he took in more stories and knowledge from each page he looked through. (Even though the library patrons sometimes tried to catch him or shoo him out.) Finally, three years later, he had grown very much-even taller than Mayor Floyd!-and thus earned the name that those who would witness him rampaging around downtown Decatur would later call him, a mere hint of the bookstrosity he truly is: BOOKZILLA! BOOOOOOOOK!!
Length: 18 meters
Wingspan: 25 meters
Number of Newspaper Clippings in Wings: 3000 News Articles, 200 Advice Columns and 5000 Cartoon Strips
Mass: 1,500 Tons
Abilities: Absorbs Daily News and Local Events, Excellent Public Screeching Skills
Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice (But he likes reading newspapers the most!)
First Appearance: Decatur Book Festival (2009)
Second Favorite Awesome Labor Day Weekend Event: Dragon*Con!
WREEEEEEEAD!!! Look! In the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a superhero! No, wait, it's... Read-an!! Run for your lives! Save the books! Save the newspapers! Weighing in at 1,500 metric tons and with wings made from abandoned paper maché school projects, printed DBF programs, and back copies of the AJC, Read-an is not only a fright to behold but also provides a rather extensive and enjoyable overview of the day's noteworthy news. He was hatched from an egg wrapped in a wrinkled copy of the AJC that mysteriously appeared in an Atlanta newspaper stand. The stand's owner kept the egg warm in a hot dog stand's heater rack next door until Read-an hatched out of the egg, broke out of the heater's glass and ungratefully grabbed a bite from a tabloid rag hanging on the stand before taking to the skies to begin his reign of biblioterror!
MIGHTY CARL JUNG
Height: 10 Meters
Weight: 400 Tons
Special Abilities: Have you SEEN those gigantic arms?! (He's a good climber, too.)
Hideout: Roof of the Old Courthouse
Favorite Book: Curious George
"OOK! OOK! BOOK! BOOK!" AIIIEEE! It's Mighty Carl Jung! A Zoo Atlanta escapee, MCJ got out of the big city. Instead of finding himself wandering into a circus tent or freak show, he found a little used book store on the side of the road and wandered inside to keep out of the rain. The kindly old man who ran the store took him in, using MCJ to carry loads of books and fix pesky roof leaks whenever it rained and threatened to get the books wet. Finally, MCJ just got too big to fit in the book shop, so he headed back into Atlanta to bring more books home to the bookshop by the road. He acts real tough, but deep down he's just a sometimes-curious, sometimes-furious little monkey who likes to climb up skyscrapers to find nice, cozy spots for curling up and reading.
Length: 30 meters
Wingspan: 100 meters
Mass: 8,000 tons
Abilities: High energy beams from her antennae shatter writer's block
Favorite Book: Lord of the Flies
First Appearance: Decatur Book Festival (2009)
This literary Lepidopteran spent the last four years in a silk paper cocoon sustained on a diet of intravenously administered fair trade coffee. She is pumped about retiring some of those terrible tropes (monocle-wearing villains, e.g.) and starting a book with "It was a dark and stormy night." Authora is her name, and helping writers struggling figure out how to get their protagonist from Point A to Point B is her game. As thousands of book lovers, public speakers and world class authors descend on downtown Decatur come Labor Day weekend, our benevolent avenger of the written word will take to the skies to keep a watchful eye over the city.