Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Of Apes and Men

If you are a Planet of the Apes fan, (and who the heck isn’t), here’s something nifty you should check out, Timeline of the Planet of the Apes, and the recently released Lexicon of the Planet of the Apes.
More fun than a barrel of... well, you know...
            These two tomes of delicious Apey goodness were written by a rather mad genius named Rich Handley. Rich, who can only be described as an extreme Planet of the Apes fan, has compiled the definitive timeline of all things Apes, and a compendium of all the remaining elements of the Apes sagas. It encompasses all the movies, TV series, comic books and assorted ephemera that have borne the name. It’s a daunting task, to be sure, and one that has been performed with great precision and unmatched dedication by the industrious Mr. Handley.

            But the most fun thing for me is, I’m kinda in the books! As part of a short lived Canadian comic book publishing company called Mr. Comics, (AKA Metallic Rose), I wrote and drew a short, five-page backup story for issue #4 of their mini-series Revolution On the Planet of the Apes, edited by Toronto comics maven Ty Templeton.

            And such is Rich Handley’s obsession for minutiae and unassailable accuracy that he has included my little story and its characters in both books. Hell, the dude even includes references to a story I roughed out for the comic, which was rejected in favor of the published story! How delightfully compulsive is that? But Rich didn’t stop there. He shared the roughs of that unpublished story with a UK periodical named Simian Scrolls, who liked it so much they published it in issue #16 of their magazine.

Thanks for helping that story see the light of day Rich.

            Rich Handley first became obsessed with all things Ape after viewing all the Apes movies during a week-long afternoon film festival on ABC in the late ‘70’s. As a precocious ten year old with an already overdeveloped love of movies, he was doomed from the moment the first gorilla appeared on screen.

            Shortly after the millennium ticked over, Rich began a website featuring a rudimentary version of his Apes timeline entitled “The Hasslein Curve”. Science fiction writer Ed Gross approached Rich about turning his web site into a book. Unfortunately, after compiling the timeline, Ed Gross was unable to follow through on the publishing. Rich then teamed up with his good friend Paul Giachetti, and the diligent duo deftly decided to publish the book themselves. And thank goodness they did, because this stuff is just indispensable for any self respecting Apes aficionado.

            Rich currently lives on Long Island with his wife Jill, their two kids Emily and Joshua and their skittish cat Newton. Rich is busy working on some new books, including two Apes novels with co-writer Drew Gaska and some other top secret stuff.

            Check out Hasslein books at the URL below, or be forever banished to the Forbidden Zone.

            And, since this is my blog, I’ve included my own little Apes stories, published and unpublished, for your enjoyment and edification.

The unpublished story.

The published story.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much, Sam. I posted a link to this blog on Facebook, and also noted it at :)

    It was a great pleasure to read your unpublished POTA story as research for my books, and I'm forever in your debt for providing it. It's a damn good read, and I'm honored to have helped you get it published in Scrolls. It deserves to be read.

    --Rich Handley