Though I knew this book was coming sometime in “2017’s first quarter,” it was only within the last week or so that we got confirmation that publication was imminent. Then, all of a sudden, editor Rich Handley dropped a knowledge bomb on all of us. BOOM! New book in da house!
Bright Eyes, Ape City: Examining the Planet of the Apes Mythos is the latest collection of pop culture essays from The Sequart Organization. Editor Rich along with co-editor Joe Berenato, who teamed up for this book’s companion volume, Sacred Scrolls: Comics on the Planet of the Apes, have once again assembled a roster of novelists, film historians, comics writers, and other geeky gurus to take a deep dive into the entire Apes phenomenon. Everything from Pierre Boulle’s original novel through the 1968 movie right up to the most recent re-imagining of the Apes premise (which gets a film new installment later this year with the release of War for the Planet of the Apes) and everything in between is given a look-see.
From the back cover:
“A planet where apes evolved from men?”
With those horrified words, Charlton Heston’s Colonel George Taylor summed up exactly what viewers were thinking in 1968 the first time they saw Planet of the Apes in theaters. Loincloth-clad humans reduced to mute savages, living in cages or in the wild? Xenophobic orangutans, militaristic gorillas, and curious chimpanzees with a rigid class structure, Greco-Roman names, religious dogma, and the ability to speak and reason? What goes on here? It’s a madhouse!
Audiences were hooked — and they remain hooked almost five decades later. Planet of the Apes (based on Pierre Boulle’s French novel Monkey Planet) has spawned eight films, with a ninth currently in the works, as well as two television series and several novels. It’s one of the most respected franchises in pop-culture history, thanks to the talents of writers Rod Serling, Michael Wilson, Paul Dehn, John and Joyce Corrington, William Broyles Jr., Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, and Mark Bomback; directors Franklin J. Schaffner, Ted Post, Don Taylor, J. Lee Thompson, Tim Burton, Rupert Wyatt, and Matt Reeves; makeup artists John Chambers and Rick Baker; and a long list of beloved actors who have breathed life into some of the most memorable science-fiction characters ever to grace the large or small screen.
Bright Eyes, Ape City: Examining the Planet of the Apes Mythos, edited by the same team behind Sequart’s Sacred Scrolls: Comics on the Planet of the Apes, examines every Apes film, TV show, and novel, from 1968 to the present. This anthology features insightful, analytical essays about the franchise’s long history, from popular film 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 book.
For those wondering, my essay offers up a retrospective and analysis of the 1974 live-action Planet of the Apes television series, a short-lived yet oddly beloved piece of the Apes franchise for which I confess unabashed affection. Those of you who keep up with my writerly antics know that my short story in Planet of the Apes: Tales from the Forbidden Zone revisited the characters and situations from the series.
You can read Sequart’s official press release about the new book by clicking on this linky-type thing right here!
The book is currently available in trade paperback and eBook formats from the usual haunts such as Amazon.com, but you could also score points with your local independent bookseller by taking the book’s ISBN, 978-1940589152, and asking them to order you a copy. Tell them I sent you.
Many thanks to Rich and Joe for inviting me yet again to play in their little writer games.