After many months of (im)patiently waiting, Sequart‘s latest tome of pop culture essays has dropped on an unsuspecting fan populace. This time, we journey to the future and a world gone mad, where man once stood supreme and now apes rule.
Planet of the Apes was one of the biggest properties of the 1970s. Five feature films, two television series, and merchandise out the wazoo…including comics. After one attempt to reboot the franchise in 2001 (we pause here for stink eye levied at Tim Burton), we got another, much more successful try in 2011. 2014 brought with it a sequel to the film, which ended up being my favorite movie of the year, and a third film is coming in 2017.
In and around all of that, there have been comics.
Spanning more than forty years and nine different publishers, Planet of the Apes has always been well-represented in comics form. Sequart’s newest collection of essays, The Sacred Scrolls: Comics on the Planet of the Apes, takes a deep dive at this corner of the Apes sandbox.
From the book’s back cover:
Since the 1970s, the Planet of the Apes franchise has frequently delved into the world of comic books. Some stories have made the Lawgiver proud, while others have brought shame to Ape City. In the comics arena, not all apes are created equal — but for fans, that’s half the fun of reading them.
More than 150 POTA comics have been published during the past four decades, from Gold Key, Marvel Comics, Power Records, Brown Watson Books, Editorial Mo.Pa.Sa., Malibu Graphics, Dark Horse, Mr. Comics, and BOOM! Studios. Writers have explored the settings, concepts and characters from the films (and occasionally the TV series), while introducing an array of new characters and scenarios. Back stories have been revealed, plot holes filled in and histories extrapolated upon. The comics have employed multiple genres and styles, taking readers to distant villages, ruined cities and oceanic civilizations — and have even seen the apes battle alien invaders from War of the Worlds and Alien Nation. It’s been quite the madhouse, to be sure. But by and large, the Apes comics have remained true to novelist Pierre Boulle’s simian spirit.
Sacred Scrolls: Comics on the Planet of the Apes will examine the entire history of POTA comic books, from Gold Key to BOOM! and everything in between. This anthology will feature insightful, analytical essays about the franchise’s four-color continuation, from popular comic historians, novelists, bloggers and subject-matter experts. If you’re eager to learn more about Apes lore, then you’ll need to get your stinkin’ paws on this volume.
My essay, “Let’s Do the Time Warp Again, and Again, and Again, and…,” focuses on the use of time travel across the different Apes comics over the decades. The Sacred Scrolls is edited by Rich Handley and Joseph F. Berenato, so you know all the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed in style.
The book is NOW AVAILABLE from Amazon, so give it a look, if you’re of such a mind: