One of my first great loves as a youngster was the Planet of the Apes movies, and the comics, and bubble-gum cards and the TV series and even the cartoon show. Sci-fi and monkeys and across multimedia and at a time before we even called it that - What's not to like?
One of the great joys and fascinations of the Apes movies for me was the way that the five stories all circled round and joined back up with themselves.
And what I want to share in the this post is a little bit of that story arc with the inclusion of some stunning artwork that reveal a deleted scene or two. I'll justify its inclusion in this blog simply by it being full of spacemen, a spacewomen and spaceapes but really its just about enjoying the artwork.
The Planet of the Apes (1968)
A crew of four reduced to three.
A ship crashed with barely time to mourn
Taking on water and beginning to sink
Evacuation, abandon the ship
The Icarus slides beneath the waters, lost forever or so it seems.
How could things get any worse.
Beneath The planet of the Apes (1970)
Oh no! But as bad as this seems it can't end any worse than Taylor's day
No don't press that!
And here endeth the franchise, not with a whimper but with a great big bloody bang. Everybody dies and the world blows up. Not much chance of another sequel here, and yet....
At some point between the end of The Planet of the Apes and the end of Beneath the Planet of the Apes this must happen...
The illustration is by Erik Marcus Gist and is simply called: Ape Diver. It's a truly provocative and stunning piece of work and you should go and check out it's creator online in order to appreciate and support his great talent.
There's a whole other film's worth of story in regard to the hows whys and wherefores of three chimps, finding, raising and fixing that ship. Maybe they found and used parts from Brent's ship as well. We'll most probably never know in any official cinematic and canonical way but in the version I imagination this would be the closing shot..
This is the clean artwork used on the cover of Planet of the Apes #12 in the US and #50 of the UK weekly reprint back in October 1975.
The artist was Ken Barr and its the view from the commandeered, bailed-out and repaired ship as the future Earth is destroyed by the last spaceman standing. Such a clever composition this and for me it must rank as one of my all time favourite comic covers.
All of which gets you to this iconic moment...
Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)
The end of the journey for our lost astronauts, finally returned home?
Or simply the beginning of the end ?
I'm off to watch a DVD but can you guess which one.
Just had a few days away at the seaside. There were ice-creams, brightly coloured beach huts, piers, lighthouses, chips, armed police training exercises (but that's another story) and the obligatory scrounging around in second-hand book stores that openly contravene a dozen or more fire and safety regulations in the name of providing a bibliophilic treasure-hunt All good fun and especially when for a few quid you get to become the proud owner of this.....
Space Wars: Fact and Fiction was originally published by Octopus Books Ltd in 1980 and was clearly designed to cash in on that whole Star Wars / Sci-Fi thing that was going on back then. What really surprised me about it was that I didn't ever own it back in the day because I was clearly the target demographic. But what's nice about finally owning it now is that I can get all kinds of nostalgic over completely new material. Like this...
Anyway the whole book it's stuffed full of the most amazing bits of art to illustrate its factual and fictional writings so there will now follow several posts to show off some of the best bits. As ever with these kinds of books, writers and artists were rarely acknowledged but if any of you out there can put a name to them, I will of course update to add the credit where it's due.
Earth is attacked by alien spacecraft from Venus but a Japanese scientist has constructed a space craft, the Gohten, with which he may save humanity. That's the plot for Wakusei Daisenso or Great Planet War: THE WAR IN SPACE as it is know in Japan.
Round our way we know it simply as The War in Space, that film where the spacesuits look a lot like those seen in 2001... and just because they can.
This is the Ballantine/Del Rey Books 1984 edition with cover art by Darrell K Sweet. I've deleted the original post which featured this artwork but big thanks to Britt Reid for identifying the piece and leading me to the whole series and turning one post into six.