CAPTION: THEY ARE THE TROOP. 12 MALE CHIMPANZEES, 13 FEMALES AND 4 UNDER A YEAR OLD. MORE THAN A FAMILY THEY ARE A COMMUNITY WITH A SOPHISITICATED SOCIAL HIERARCHY.
CAPTION: COMPETING FOR FOOD, STATUS, POWER.
CAPTION: BUT DEPENDENT ON EACH OTHER FOR SURVIVAL
I don't remember the first time I saw the original Planet of the Apes movie. In my mind, it seems to have always been there, resident in my brain as if it were factory installed. Cornelius, Zira, and the hairiest character of all, Charlton Heston's chest, were as familiar to me as relatives. No, more familiar, because I didn't see my relatives as often as I saw the citizens of Ape City. When I was growing up in Chicago in the 70s, the movie and its sequels seemed to be on constantly playing on Channel 7 or WGN.
I can still watch those movies over and over. (And thanks to 500 channels of cable, you can run across them day or night, even if you haven't pulled out the DVDs for awhile.) But there's something about the apes universe that demands new stories. There have been POTA novels, TV shows, a film remake, and of course comics.
Part of the reason is the richness of the world, and the attractive metaphor of man confronting ape -- a more primitive, yet in some ways purer form of ourselves. The original apes movies explicitly addressed the social issues of their day. Nuclear war, racism, xenophobia, sexism, class warfare... they're all there in the five movies. Some of those issues are eternal. But each generation has new concerns, and new fears, and we want to see how those would play out.
In Planet of the Apes, the comic I write for BOOM! Studios, I'm interested in security versus stability, and what extremism looks like in both sides of the conflict. The story takes place in the original movie universe, and is about the breakdown of society after apes and humans have been living together for 600 years.
But there are yet more stories to tell, and that's why I'm excited about Rise of the Planet of the Apes. I got a sneak peak at the script in order to write the web comic you're seeing now, and I can tell you, you're in for a treat. It's a thrilling but thoughtful movie about the things that concern us today.
The comic you're about to read goes deeper into the world of the apes in that movie, especially that of one of the key characters, Bright Eyes. But like Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and like the original movies, it's really about what it means to be human. I hope you enjoy it.Tweet