Topic: Comic Books - New
TODAY'S FEATURE - Blog #3485:
Review: Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes by Andrew E.C. Gaska
"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" took the top spot at the box office this weekend just as I was finishing reading the new apes story by Andrew E.C. Gaska.
It seems we can't get enough of those wacky talking, horseback riding, gun-toting apes.
Me? I like the sci-fi aspect of how the apes came to dominate (the "Rise" story) and how the humans fell (the original story).
Gaska's novel, with detailed illustrations by top comic book artists, explains what happened to the rest of Charlton Heston's crew, at least those that made it through the crash. "Bright Eyes" as the apes call him is still with us but off in the periphery getting Zira and Cornelius in all kinds of trouble with the ape tribunal, just like in the original movie.
"Conspiracy" shows us what happened to second in command, John Landon after he and the others are captured during the big hunt.
The first-ever novel set during the continuity of the original story, "Conspiracy" fills in the holes and fleshs out the gaps of the movie series. You want answers, you'll get answers.
You'll learn why the astronauts crashed in the first place, how the simians raised the ship from the dead sea for "Escape From The Planet of the Apes," what dinner time is like in an ape household (just what you'd think it'd be like if your kids really were monkeys), the astronauts' life on Earth, and even a previous mission.
Anyone who is into the "Apes" saga, should eat this up like a ape on a rutaberry. Anyone else might become as confused as Landon by the sheer volume of story lines. Why we even get a soap opera drama with a cuckold chimpanzee and his gorilla-loving wife.
Gaska does a great job of delving into simian society, their hierarchy, and mythos. As in all great sci-fi, "Conspiracy" isn't just a story set in another world reached by space travel, it's an opportunity for the author to comment on our society and caution us on our warring ways, how we seek to control information and how we treat the least of us.
The one sour note for me was the element of the bizarre mind-controlling force controlling Landon. I still have no idea who these entities were, what their purpose was, whose side they were on, and what the heck they did in the end. But, then, I've been on a lot of sudafed this weekend!
I'd strongly recommend "Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes", giving it a 8.5 on a comic book grading scale of 10.
Now Michael is going to comment on the amazing illustrations in the book. My fav was one you'll find toward the end. It's by Erik Gist and shows poor Milo making an unfortunate discovery in the submerged spaceship.
Thanks, Tina, for the above review!
I took a look for the illustration you mentioned above, and found that although the 2 page spread illustration makes for a good representation on what goes on in the book... It hasn't been reproduced for the web as of yet. Plus, I believe that this illustration is one that should be seen while reading the book, so I won't attempt to copy it from our reviewer copy. But you are right, it is one of the best illustrations in the book!
When I saw this book in our reviewer package, I asked Tina if she wouldn't mind reading this one first, to see if she'd like to review blog it. As it isn't a 'graphic novel', but instead a prose fiction novel with illustrations!
Here's what the story is about, and the illustrators that have their work in the book:
"Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes is the first-ever original novel set in the continuity of the classic 1968 movie. Conspiracy tells the story of what happened between the scenes of the first film, exploring the adventures of the Astronaut John Landon, Chimpanzee scientists Dr. Milo and Dr. Galen, and Gorilla Security Chief Marcus.
Written by Andrew E.C. Gaska, and adapted from a story by Gaska, Rich Handley, Christian Berntsen and Erik Matthews, the book contains illustrations from the top talents in the industry, including:
Jim Steranko, Andrew Probert, Timothy Lantz, Joe Jusko, Mark Texeira, Dave Dorman, Chris Scalf, Brian Rood, Chandra Free, Dan Dussault, Ken W. Kelly, Colo, David Hueso, Miki, Matt Busch, Dirk Shearer, Barron Storey, David Seidman, Sanjulian, Chris Moeller, Thomas Scioli, Scott Hampton, Leo Liebleman, Lucas Graciano, Erik Gist, and Patricio Carbajal."
Readers of this blog will recognize several of the the names listed above, especially the illustrator of the black & white cover repro shown at the immediate above top, Jim Steranko! I have blogged about many of them, plus several are comics industry giants! So this first effort by Archaia Entertainment into the illustrated novel format, through its new book trade distributor Publishers Group West (PGW), is not lacking in star power!
Note: There are 30 full-color paintings and another 19 black-and-white illustrations in this book. If you aren't familar with all of the names shown, here is a more detailed listing as to their other credits: the cover by Jim Steranko (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and then the interior art pages from... Ken Kelly (Conan, KISS), Joe Jusko (Savage Sword of Conan, Tarzan), Sanjulian (Eerie, Vampirella), Mark Texeira (Ghost Rider, Wolverine), Leo Leibelman (Heavy Metal), Matt Busch (Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica), Brian Rood (Indiana Jones, Star Wars), Tom Scioli (Godland), David Hueso (G.I. Joe: Storm Shadow) and then newcomers Dan Dussault (Critical Millennium) and Dirk Shearer (Mice Templar)!
Quite honestly, I haven't read this prose fiction novel with illustrations yet, but wanted to mention and point out the great artwork inside, so that this blog of Tina's could be posted while still timely! The book was just released on July 25th, and the latest of the Planet of the Apes films just hit theaters recently, 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes', which is #1 during its 2nd week of release at the Big Screen. See this link for the current status of all films for the weekend of August 12th - 14th!
Lastly, here is the info you will need to find this book from Archaia Entertainment:
Hardcover: 272 pages
Archaia's web site doesn't yet show this book for sale, but this is the company web site, so this is the link to their book listing.
Archaia has a Facebook Fan Page, that I suggest you 'LIKE'.
PLUS: There is a new Facebook Fan Page just for the book itself!
For other 'Planet of the Apes' comics, magazines, and movie items, you are welcome to check out my own Online 'Local' Comic Book Shop at: ComicBooksCircus.com!
Again, my thanks to Tina LoSasso for a timely review of this illustrated prose fiction novel!
~Michael D Hamersky - who is asking you for your vote in the current voting going on over at The Shel Dorf Awards web site. I was nominated for 'Comic Blogger of the Year' on Monday, August 8th! While being honored to be nominated, I'd also like to win! The competition has some other good nominees for the same category I was nominated for, so I'm asking for your help on this!
If you have enjoyed this blog or any of the others in the now over 3,482 blogs in this series of mine, I'd appreciate your vote!
Here is a direct link to the voting page. 'Comic Blogger of the Year' is the category, and 'Michael Hamersky On Comics' is the name I'm listed as to vote for.
Here is a link to blog #3481, where I went more into depth on this topic.
My thanks to any of you that take the time to vote for me!
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~ Michael D HamerskyNote: My online 'Local' Comic Book Shop (LCBS), carries many different genres of comics, magazines, graphic novels, and comic con promotional items. Possibly even copies of the item(s) that was mentioned here today...!
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