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Meet the Man Building Kudzilla

Scott Lucas | October 31, 2013 | Lifestyle Story City Life

We find amazing projects on Kickstarter nearly every day. But we hardly ever seen anything as mind-shatteringly made of win as Kudzilla, a proposal to build a 40-foot-tall monster made of kudzu, the fast-growing vine that ate the South. The project is only days old, but has already raised over $10,000 dollars. We recently caught up with the project's mastermind, Chris Lindland, the founder of San Francisco clothing company Betabrand.

Most important question. What the hell is Kudzilla?
It is a Godzilla made of Kudzu. Kudzu is a vine that envelops trees, telephone poles, and buildings throughout the South, so why not build a T-Rex-like structure for it to lovingly blanket? The result: KUDZILLA.

Aren't you tampering with powers beyond man's control? Wouldn't Kudzilla smash and/or eat us puny humans?
Kudzilla informs me that he will only eat or smash you if you don't back his Kickstarter. His words, not mine.

Why the Kudzilla design? Couldn't we have a King Kudzu Kong or a Kudzu Trogdor?
We considered Spanish Mossra. But Mothra is far less popular than Godzilla and has fallen to the fire-breathing beast in many important battles.

Who was crazy enough to join your team?
I'm running this project with my best friend, Anthony Jaffe, who lives in Atlanta, home of Kudzu. Aside from that, I'm joined by a number of intrepid Betabrand employees and friends from the worlds of architecture and engineering.

So, we saw that if your Kickstarter campaign hits $70,000 in pledges, Kudzilla will breathe fire. How is that even possible? Should we worry?
Fortunately, the Bay Area is filled with Burning Man Pyrotechnics pros who'll make sure that Kudzilla's fire-breathing powers will only be used on other monsters, particularly King Ghidora.

Yeah, what's the deal with King Ghidora hating on Kudzilla, anyway?
King Ghidorah is a famed hater of art and innovation. He's a sexist too. More reason for San Franciscans to support Kudzilla.

Tell us about the pledge rewards.
We aim to finance Kudzilla via t-shirts. Betabrand's designers whipped up some lovely ones and they're selling splendidly. We've opened up a Kudzillionaires club for people who are willing to donate $500 or more. This gives you elite access to the inner sanctum of Kudzilla's brain trust, as well as an invite to the unveiling ceremony. Considering all of our mortality, this is quite a bargain.

Where are you going to build it?
We're leaving that wide open. And we think this will be the most fun part of the entire experience. In a couple weeks, we'll start requesting submissions from cities, towns, and bars to be the home of Kudzilla. The bidding process will be as spirited and competitive as the Olympics.

This is great. Anything else I should ask you?
What happens if we succeed? It will usher in a new era of super-fun crowdfunded monuments that will dot the landscape. Mark my word. Another question: How come San Francisco Mag has never covered Betabrand? We put out incredible new clothing designs every damn day. [Ed: C'mon, Lindland, how could you forget about this? And this? And this?]

To find out more about Kudzilla, check out the team's Kickstarter page.

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