Titan Books have released a new science fiction anthology called Planet of the Apes: Tales from the Forbidden Zone. It features an impressive roster of authors presenting stories set in the world of the original five-movie Planet of the Apes series, or in the world of the 1974 live-action TV series (which is not exactly the same world, but close). “The 1968 film Planet of the Apes was a seminal work of science fiction that inspired generations of filmmakers and authors. Now a who’s who of modern writers — including Kevin J. Anderson, Nancy Collins, Jonathan Maberry, and John Jackson Miller [and many more] — produces sixteen brand-new, exclusive stories… Each writer will explore a different drama within the post-apocalyptic world, treating readers to their unique visions and non-stop adventure.” Edited by Rich Handley and Jim Beard, it’s available now in paperback at Amazon.
Dark Horse Press have been on a universe-crossover kick lately. And frankly you have to notice one of their latest titles: Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes. One of those “so obvious, but so awesome” things… Here’s the idea: What if Cornelius and Zira, the chimpanzee scientists, had escaped via their time-slip… to the turn of the 20th Century? Where, it seems, they found an orphaned human baby and raised him to be their own. See where this is going? Here’s the official word from Dark Horse: “Raised as brothers but separated by slave traders, Tarzan and his ape brother Caesar reunite when the war between man and ape takes them from the jungles of Africa to the center of the earth.” This new comic miniseries is written by Tim Seeley and David Walker, with full-color art by Fernando Dagnino and Sandra Molina. IGN has a detailed review.
(Hmm, lots of exclamation points this week. Must be more stuff from Comic Con!) Loter Studios is the creation of John Loter and his wife Shelley Loter, both of whom worked for years as Creative Directors at Disney Consumer Products. They continue to consult for Disney (and assorted animation companies) on t-shirts and other merchandising, but since 2005 they have also been creating their own line of original products based on original characters. Just this year, that expanded to include their very first full-color comic book: Supa-Rillas, created with the help of John’s brother, animation director Steve Loter (Kim Possible, American Dragon: Jake Long). Simian superheroes out to save the world — all for bananas. Check out the web site to see more of what they’ve worked on.
It’s time we checked in again with the artist Chet Phillips. Known for his fanciful anthro-primates (he even did a whole collector-card game based on evil monkeys!), now cats and even kaiju are turning up more and more in his works. (Kaiju are giant monsters stomping all over Japan, in case you forgot!) Recently he created a collectible card set based on kaiju baseball players, as well as the usual prints and other artistic stuff. Go visit his Etsy store to see what we’re talking about, and hopefully this will all make a lot more sense!
Boom! Studios, which have had several Planet of the Apes tie-in titles over the years, now turn their sights toward this summer’s hit movie — with a new full-color comic book miniseries titled, appropriately enough, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. “Bridging the 10-year gap between the Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes films, fans will bear witness to the fall of humanity and the rise of Caesar’s civilization. While the apes of the world have yet to advance as a species, Caesar must find a way to unify in them to one cause. On the other side of the country, Malcolm must venture into the decaying Americas with his family to find a cure for the plague slowly killing his wife, Rita. World powers will shift as civilizations collapse and rise.” Written by Michael Moreci (Curse, Hoax Hunters) and illustrated by Dan McDaid (Mind the Gap), issue #1 of the the new Dawn is available now.
A brand new trailer is making the rounds for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, coming to theaters in July of 2014. It seems that the virus revealed at the end of 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes did not in fact wipe out Humanity, though it gave it the old college try. Now the remaining humans and the tribe of evolved apes (lead, of course, by Caesar) have gone to war, and then formed an uneasy truce. That peace is fragile though, and war seems like it is always just on the horizon. Once again, Caesar the CGI chimp is modeled by the multi-talented actor Andy Serkis. Taking over the reins for Rise’s director Rupert Wyatt this time is newcomer Matt Reeves, perhaps best known as the director of the “reality monster movie” Cloverfield. Currently 20th Century Fox’s official site for the film only has the trailer up, but that will probably be added to as we swing into the new year. See what we did there?
We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: We couldn’t make up some of this stuff if we tried. Somehow we missed the 2002 direct-to-video film Play-Mate of the Apes, a soft-core erotic spoof starring Misty Mundae. It’s described and discussed on the Internet Movie Database, though. Now Seduction Cinema Comics is presenting the Play-Mate of the Apes Deluxe Pack, coming (no pun) this July. The Deluxe Pack not only features the original film on DVD, but also a brand-new full-color comic book version of the film written by John Bacchus (the original film’s director) and illustrated by Noel Scotch Anderson. What’s it all about? “Sexy and fearless U.S. astronaut Gaylor and her shipmates crash land on a desolate planet dominated by a tyrannical race of intelligent talking apes, sparking a revolution of untamed and uninhibited female lust that threatens to bring down the repressive ape society…or set it free!” You heard it here. You can check it out on Things From Another World, too.
From 1974 to 1977, Marvel Comics (through their Curtis Magazine imprint) published a black & white tie-in comic for the Planet of the Apes movie and TV series. It featured not only adaptations of the five original movies, but also new adventures as well as background stories on the creation of the films. [Full disclosure: Your ever-lovin’ ed-otter grabbed every issue he could get a hold of!] Many of the stories were written by Moonknight co-creator Doug Moench (as well as Gerry Conway) and illustrated by Ghost Rider co-creator Mike Ploog (as well as Mike Esposito and George Tuska). Now, BOOM! Studios have secured the rights to re-publish those 1970’s classics under the title Terror on the Planet of the Apes, coming this February.
As we noted recently, 20th Century Fox is once again taking us to the Planet of the Apes — this time, in what is essentially a re-make of the 1972 film Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. Once again, it tells the story of Caesar, a chimpanzee who comes to lead a rebellion of apes against humans in a battle for supremacy. In the new Rise of the Planet of the Apes, however, he is not the child of apes from the future, but the result of a brain-enhancing drug experiment “gone wrong”. The new film is directed by Rupert Wyatt. It stars Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings, King Kong) as Caesar (via motion-capture technology), and James Franco (127 Hours) as the scientist who brings about Caesar’s advance. Fox Studios seem to have a little bit of trouble settling on a release date though: IMDB.com still lists it as August 5th, but other sites have mentioned release dates as late as Thanksgiving. Meanwhile as you figure that out you can look for the official trailer, currently making the rounds on YouTube.