We’ve see apes rise in the Muir Woods, reign supreme among the treetops, and even travel back in time to our reality. But we often forget that Planet of the Apes is based on a novel, and the Folio Society’s new edition of that novel is filled with beautiful illustrations, which portray the planet of the apes in a whole new way.
Folio Society recently released a special collectors edition of Pierre Boulle’s semi-satirical novel, Planet of the Apes (originally La Planète des singes). Bouelle’s sci-fi story posited a parallel world where apes and monkeys had evolved faster than humans, which forced humanity into a place of servitude by the intellectually and technologically superior apes.
This edition features illustrations from David de las Heras, which stylistically parallels the apes’ history (and future) with our own—including a powerful illustration depicting apes on a hunt, which looks like it was ripped straight out of the British Imperialism era. Here is a slideshow of several of the illustrations featured in the book:
Planet of the Apes is a rare midcentury novel, as it’s had adaptations scattered throughout every generation. The 1963 novel was first turned into a movie starring Charlton Heston, which itself spawned several sequels–including one where they literally blew up the planet at the end because Fox’s studio head didn’t want to make any more of them (they ended up making more). After that, there was the Tim Burton adaptation that we don’t talk about here, followed by the acclaimed trilogy that centered around Caesar the ape, played by Andy Serkis. Currently, there are talks of continuing the franchise even beyond that, so...there’s always time for some ape japes.
You can visit Folio Society’s website here for more information on this edition of Planet of the Apes, including an analysis of the themes in Bouelle’s work and more information on the artist behind the illustrations.
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