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Apes

Submitted for Your Approval: A Planet of Apes

Bit of trivia you might not be aware of: In the late 1960’s Rod Serling (creator of The Twilight Zone) was the first person picked to adapt a screenplay from Pierre Boulle’s science fiction novel Planet of the Apes. Which he did — unfortunately his version (closer to Boulle’s book, featuring apes in a modern high-tech world) was considered un-filmable at the time, and a new adaptation by Michael Wilson was used instead for the famous 1968 film starring Charlton Heston. Well now, Boom! Studios have created Planet of the Apes: Visionaries, a new full-color graphic novel of Serling’s original script. Put into comic book form by Dana Gould and illustrated by Chad Lewis, it arrives in stores this August. Previews has an interview with the Boom! Studios folk all about it.

image c. 2018 Boom! Studios

Black Ink and Big Creatures

A recent discovery from the Long Beach Comic Expo. Seung Woo Cha currently works as a director at Dreamworks TV… but he is also a fine artist, known for his imaginative depictions of wild life from around the world — especially gorillas and other apes. Often working in black ink, he paints in broad artistic strokes that nonetheless capture the essence and power of his subjects. Recently he collected several of his works together into a hardcover portfolio book, appropriately enough entitled The Art of Wild Life. You can purchase the book over at his web site, and see examples of his work as well.

image c. 2018 Draw 4 Life Studios

Return to Where the Planet Began

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.

image c. 2017 Titan Books

Son of Man

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.

image c. 2016 Dark Horse Press

image c. 2016 Dark Horse Press

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More Monkeys in Spandex!

(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.

image c. 2016 Loter Studios

image c. 2016 Loter Studios

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Monsters at Play. Literally.

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!

image c. 2015 by Chet Phillips

image c. 2015 by Chet Phillips

The Apes Shall Rise

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.

image c. 2014 Boom! Studios

image c. 2014 Boom! Studios

Monkeys of Different Tribes

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?

image c. 2013 20th Century Fox

Play-Mate of the Apes?

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.

image c. 2012 Seduction Cinema