Saturday, March 3, 2012


Horrified, Milo whirled to discover he wasn't alone. There was a flamer about --dancing the flame dance-- and ready to strike! 
TOMB GUARDIAN by Erik Gist, Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes

There is always one, isn't there?

A heckler.

A flamer.

As a member of the Internet community, I have seen it before - it is fairly common place for one fan to get up in arms against the opinion of another. I guess my shock is that I have never seen someone openly attack an author's work on the author's blog before.

I guess I am in shock because it's my blog that was being attacked. Because of the flamer, all comments on my blog now have to be moderated by an admin before being posted.

It's appalling, it's rude - and it's in poor taste.

In creating Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes,  I sought to tell an engaging story. I wanted to create a coherent classic POTA universe in order to honor the work of Paul Dehn, Rod Serling, Doug Wildey, and everyone else involved in the creation of the various forms of Planet of the Apes  -- by tying up the loose ends and bringing the various elements they have created together in as seamless a fashion as possible.

As a stand alone film, the original Planet of the Apes is a masterpiece that requires no continuation, and no sequels, no expansion. But when you lump the other films in there, Apes becomes a completely different animal, in theme and character. Instead of being about Taylor's realization that man is simply the ultimate destroyer - It becomes about the plight of the apes and their struggle to not repeat history - not to become like man before them. By itself, the original is flawless. Add the rest of the film series in, and it becomes confused. Throw in the animated series and TV series, and nothing makes sense. This is the nature of an Expanding Universe that has no stewardship.

My concept for my POTA novel series was to retroactively be that steward. How can the expanded universe be woven together? The answer was simply: utilize something that Paul Dehn had presented in the third film, ESCAPE - the notion of time being a highway with infinite lanes.

Although this concept arises from within a key film to the POTA expanded story arc, the flamer mentioned above has accused me of putting my personal vision of Planet of the Apes out there and labeling it "official". See, that's what happens when someone secures a license in the first place, and gets their work approved by the license holder. PERSONAL VISION becomes OFFICIAL. Not CANON, of course, that is usually debated by the fan community, and understandably so - I do expect such discussions about my work.  The same goes for any license. While many fans weren't happy with it - there is no question that Chewbacca's death in the Del Rey novel STAR WARS: Star by Star was in fact official. It was signed off on by Lucasfilm. Is it canon? No. its expanded universe- which means you are free to include or not include it.  Star Wars becomes an even tougher pill to swallow, when the new canon contradicts the old (the prequels don't really connect all that well with the original trilogy).  Does that make any sense? That depends on "a certain point of view".  Honestly - its up to the creative team behind a project to make it make sense - and its up to the fans to like or dislike whatever they want, whether it is labeled canon or not. Star Wars and Empire are my favorites  - and as far as I am concerned, flawless. Parts of Return of the Jedi don't sit well with me as a fan, so I often decide to glaze over that one, and the prequels, well, they aren’t my Star Wars but the Clone Wars cartoons (both the traditional animation and the CGI one) are to my liking. However, I would never suggest that any of these things were not official.

Regardless, the work, once approved by the license holder (in POTA's case, FOX) it is official.

The time highway system makes things neat and clean because if there is something that doesn't jive with the next installment of the franchise, its because we are now in a different lane. This way, everything counts -  it just depends if you are in the shoulder, hammer, or HOV lane. To tie it all together, I made it so that the various astronauts we have seen throughout the classic material all left from what was essentially the same lane, and as they travelled to the future, they crossed over into different realities, and different futures.

Pierre Boulle created Planet of the Apes, but Michael Wilson and Rod Sterling's 'personal take' is also official (and in their case, canon - while Boulle's book is not). Take it or leave it, the same goes for the creative teams behind the subsequent films. Personally, I have always adhered to Paul Dehn's crazy ride - and how he made each sequel so different than the last. I was very disappointed with Battle, and its kid movie approach to something that was previous dark, disturbing, and ultimately very adult. Regardless - it all exists, its all out there, and its all official.

While I am a fan, my work is not fan fiction - my work has cost me much in both time and money to bring to an audience that by the large have received it positively. Flamer, whom, as far as I can tell, I have never even met,  is way too concerned with having my work not be part of continuity - and is adamant that these issues can not be resolved utilizing my methodology without violating the canon of the first two films (which, of course, actually contradict each other).

We must all try to remember that this is science fiction - which 9 times out of 10 means there is a solution.  If this was the Godfather, and something was contradicted between films, we would be forced to conclude that one of scenes was wrong, perhaps the characters in that scene had the wrong information - all the while realizing the production team had in fact screwed up. In Godfather of the Apes, however - we have the notion of time travel, which means we have the power to resolve discrepancies indiscriminately, production team screw ups be damned.

My flamer doesn't have to like it - that's the beauty of not living in a totalitarian state. And if you don't like it - you don't have to read it. If its not your thing, and you have your own blog, give it a bad review. Whether you like it or not, talk about it your feelings on the matter on message boards.Complain about me or my work in a forum setting. Heck, even offer intelligent debate with me on my sites - so that we can have an intellectual discussion about the thing. Just don't flame my blog, or my website. Don't attack a creator who is among the few trying to bring the fans new classic material in a world that is just interested in reimaginings and reboots.  

If my work is successful, FOX will recognize this as a viable market. It will lead to more - first by me, and later by other authors - maybe even ones who put forth theories our flaming friend can get behind. 

Never buy something you don't like. For that matter, never rub another man's rhubarb - and don't make it your personal war, either.

These books and movies are supposed to be entertainment, after all.


A teaser, if you will, of 2013's Death of the Planet of the Apes...

Written by Andrew E. C. Gaska
Art by Various

George Taylor joined the Air Force to see the world, hoping to find somewhere that was better than his home. Instead, he discovered that mankind was the same everywhere - brutal, selfish, and masochistic. After a mysterious and unknown craft crashes during the Korean War, and his fighter squadron is caught up in the cacophony that follows, Taylor realizes he just might have his chance to find something better. Taylor becomes a rising star in a top-secret mission of space exploration, one that will take him far beyond the earth and mankind. Far beyond the reaches of time itself.

Set during Beneath the Planet of the Apes, and flashing back to the origins of  ANSA’s mission to the stars,  BLAM! Ventures second foray into the Forbidden Zone follows Taylor’s lost journey and eventual capture by the mutants who inhabit the underbelly of the irradiated remains of New York City-- a tale never chronicled until now. But before he gets there, Taylor will discover the ultimate secret of the Planet of the Apes, hidden deep within a futuristic gleaming technological megacity beyond the Forbidden Zone-- a city  inhabited by an advanced civilization of half human/half ape hybrids!

In Ape City, rumors persist of humans capable of speech. Newly minted chimpanzee animal-rights-activist Liet leads an organized protest against both the orangutan ordered extermination of mankind and a gorilla war with an unknown enemy. That protest sends waves of revolt throughout the community, until all chimpanzees stand united against their caste overlords.

A rescue mission launched from the twentieth century to find Colonel Taylor goes awry, leaving astronaut Brent stranded on the Planet of the Apes, slowly losing hold of his sanity.

In the catacombs beneath the Forbidden Zone, an exiled gorilla and orangutan fight to survive against savage cannibalistic creatures.

Elsewhere in the Zone, chimpanzee engineer Dr. Milo finds himself on the brink of achieving a scientific breakthrough thanks to his latest discovery: Taylor and Landon’s lost spacecraft. Calling for help from his friends, Cornelius and Zira, and utilizing parts from a second ship found smashed into the desert floor, Milo works to resurrect the space vessel and challenge both the scared scrolls and the simian laws of science by taking flight in a vehicle built by a technologically superior man.

But the ape army is already on the march, and the mutants they war against are readying the Alpha/Omega bomb in defense, an atomic weapon capable of cracking the Earth’s crust like an egg. When Taylor escapes his mutant prison with the help of fellow astronaut Brent, only to lose Nova, the one woman he has come to care for throughout his entire life, both apes and mankind find themselves facing the Death of the Planet of the Apes.

Friday, February 24, 2012


A little bit about Continuity: 

So there have been a ton of apes spin offs over the years- the TV series, the animated series - Marvel, Boom, and Adventure comics, etc. There have even been two attempts at a brand new continuity - the Burton FIlm (2001) and the newly minted Rise fo the Planet of the Apes (2011). 

Unfortunately, there has been little to no regulation to bring it all in under one line of continuity. My Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes novel was designed to make a lot of the pieces connect that did not fit previously, without contradicting anything that was established in the films. Conspiracy was a labor of love, and  something I went out of my way to make sure fit in the continuity of the original films - even subtly connecting plot points and discrepancies so that they now jelled together in a coherent universe. It was something I enjoyed doing, and something I will enjoy doing again in the upcoming sequel novel, Death of the Planet of the Apes. Unfortunately, when you add other media, such as the animated series, some of the comics, The Tim Burton affair and its spin offs, and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, there is just no way to cement them all within the same continuity without turning it into a hellish nightmare… or is there?

Ships that pass in the night: Liberty-1 v. Liberty-1.  What...what's that? How does a ship pass itself? 
Just who is flying that other Liberty-1? Pay no attention to the Archaia watermark, it will beguile you... 
PARADOX by Andrew Probert - a color plate from the illustrated novel Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes. 


In the Apes saga, time is likened to a highway - a metaphor that can help to resolve all Apes storylines into the same universe. As I see it, there is only ONE highway - but several different LANES. As said in the classic films, by changing lanes, one can change one's destiny. The future as Cornelius knew it in Escape was likely the original timeline - unaffected by the Liberty-1 making it's jaunt to the future. Liberty traveling to the future (Original film, Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, and Death of the Planet of the Apes) affected things because Cornelius and Zira travelled back using that same craft, arriving in 1973 and started a new LANE (which they couldn't do if Taylor hadn't gone to the future in the first place). 

Confused yet?

In that original timeline, apes didn't take over until after 2503, which is why the Venturer crew, Ronald Brent (Apes cartoon), and Probe Six (Apes television series) astronauts leave earth in 1976, 2125 and 1980 respectively, without knowing about an ape future, despite Cornelius and Zira appearing in 1973 (Escape)  and saying as much publicly (this is also where the Burton LANE would spring from). The Probe Six astronauts crash land in the original future (TV series), while the Venturer and Ron Brent accelerate to a DIFFERENT LANE (animated series). Cornelius and Zira start a new lane (Escape) which causes the apes to take over MUCH sooner (1991), which leads to TWO LANES -the two different versions of Caesar's revolt (Conquest theatrical release and BluRay versions.) One of those lanes, the Theatrical version, leads to events we are familiar  with (Revolution, Battle, and the BOOM series). But the blu ray version is a result of something happening in the timeline, something which causes Caesar to become so enraged that night, that he doesn't stop the gorillas from pulping Breck. This leads to a darker, grittier duology of novels I have planned that tell the secrets of that night in Conquest, an altered version of Revolution, and a drastically different telling of the events in Battle, events which actually lead to the first film. Rise was started by some change in the Timeline before all this, leading to the Liberty -1 not being launched until 2010ish.

Phew! Does any of that make sense?

I hate temporal mechanics...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


So, it's here: the release of my Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes novel. Back in 2007 I pitched the idea of this to FOX, have labored for the past 4 years through many trials and tribulations, and have finally gotten to this point.

This project has been about love from the beginning, love for Planet of the Apes, love of "making things fit" (continuity), and a love of storytelling.

Over the past year, in the final stretch of getting this done, I found romantic love in the form of fellow comics creator, Chandra Free.

She has supported me through a very strange time in my life, and never stopped believing in my ability to tell a good story.

Come by the Archaia booth #2635 at comic con and see us this week, signing our various projects- Apes, Critical Millennium, and The God Machine.

Be among the first to read Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes - three weeks before it arrives in stores. Enjoy the two paintings Chandra created for the book. Meet some of the other artists in the book, including Critical Millennium artist Dan Dussault, and comics legends Jim Steranko and Dave Dorman.

Pick up Critical Millennium #4, also debuting at this show!

Chandra will be signing her epic The God Machine Hardcover for the first time on the west coast!

Come get your free Apes promo cards, enter our Apes raffle, and get your books signed.

And please, ask us questions!

We want you to be part of the magic.

Please join us...

Drew G.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:San Diego, CA

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

ORDER CONSPIRACY OF THE PLANET OF THE APES at your favorite comic shop!

Conspiracy of the planet of the apes available for order on p230 of Diamond PREVIEWS! Tell your favorite comicshop to order Code JUL11 0828

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


 "There are major discrepancies between all the series, and in crafting COnspiracy of the Planet of the Apes I had to take a creative approach to make all these things make sense. In the third movie, Escape, Dr. Hasslien compared time to an infinite highway with infinite lanes, if you change lanes you could change your future.

I have come to the conclusion that the cartoon and television series, as well as some of the comic’ continuity, are in fact different lanes of the same highway. This explains how the cartoon has Corneilus, Zira, and Zaius in a world where the apes have technology, but that is clearly not the case in the feature films. It is my hypothesis, and the foundation of this novel series, that all the astronauts started off in the same lane on that highway, but as they made it to the future, they wound up getting off on different exit ramps. This also explains how each of the astronauts from the different sources are shocked to find out that the future is run by apes, but some of their missions left after Zira and Cornelius return to 1973 and say as much. I have used this idea to create a few interesting characters inspired by the other sources and incorporate them into Taylor and Landon’s timeline, so that they are “this lane’s” version of that character." - Drew G.

'ASHES TO DUST" painting by Chandra Free



Monday, June 13, 2011


Everyone knows that the command capsule is the only part of the the Liberty (formerly the Icarus, formerly Air Force One) that has ever been shown in an official capacity in Planet of the Apes film and merchandizing. In designing the full ship for Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes, Author Drew Gaska sought out starship designer extraordinaire Andrew Probert.
To the left is a glimpse at his painting in the book, just a little bit of a tease to whet your appetite for the full reveal this July 25th when the book hits stores nationwide. Not only is there a double page spread of Probert's gorgeous painting of the Liberty in action, but also the book's end papers have been designed to look like "blueprints" based off of Gaska's notes and Probert's design for the ship.


Andrew Probert’s artistic career spans over thirty years, ten of which were spent working on some of science-fiction fans’ favorite Hollywood productions.

He began on the small screen, designing the robotic Cylons for the original “Battlestar: Galactica”, moving on to the big screen as a major design contributor for “Star Trek: The Motion Picture”, working to update the overall look of Starfleet ships & hardware.

This led to a number of television and feature-film projects, including “Airwolf”, “Streethawk”, and “Back to the Future”. In 1987, Probert’s last Hollywood project proved to be the one for which he is most well known: “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. As the show’s Senior Illustrator, he designed the Enterprise bridge, battle-bridge, and provided concepts for the remaining sets & other hardware, while designing the exteriors of the Ferengi Marauder, Romulan Warbird, and Enterprise-D spaceships.

In 1989, Probert joined Walt Disney Imagineering, designing various themepark rides & attractions. Years later, he entered the video game industry working with Spectrum Holobyte, Sega, and recently, Perpetual Entertainment.

Andrew is currently involved in producing paintings and an occasional book cover.

For more on Andrew, visit


Get a look at the three stages of Jim Steranko's cover for the Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes Illustrated Novel, from pencils (bottom) to the poster image (middle) to the tweaked final for the book (top).


Andrew E. C. Gaska talks about the illustrated novel coming from ARCHAIA ENTERTAINMENT on JULY 25th!

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Hey everyone,

I just thought I'd share with you pictures of a custom Liberty -1 space craft model! It is a 1/6th scale project that Apes fan Chris Hight has commissioned fellow fan Matt Sotis to work on. Matt has been recreating the ship for use with the Sideshow 12 inch Figures, based on the actual set blueprints. Check out the amazing pics below!

Obviously this is still a work in progress, but its looking fantastic. In time, Matt hopes to complete the Liberty - but what he doesn't know yet might kill him! As you know, The Liberty-1 (formerly the Icarus) is somewhat of an enigma - with only its command module sticking out of Dead Lake in the beginning of the original Planet of the Apes - and while there are several theories online as to the design of the the rest of the ship, it has not been officially revealed... until now.

In Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes, we will be showing for the first time ever, the official design of the REST of the Liberty starship, as conceptionalized by myself and an influential film designer whose name will be revealed in time!

Suffice to say, the portion of Liberty - 1 we do see in the film is just the tip of the iceberg - there is much more to the vessel that propelled Taylor, Landon and the rest of the crew to the future, and their final fates.

Have a Happy New Year!

-Drew G.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Attention Apes fans!

Happy Holidays! The Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter pages are now live! In addition, the BLAM! Ventures online store, THE AMMO DEPOT, is now open, and carrying exclusive POTA merchadise!

We are selling the remainder of Alpha and Omega prints offered at San Diego Comicon this year for $30 a piece, or you can buy the set of two for $60 and get the five released Conspiracy trading cards AND Landon's dogtags for free!

In addition to that, Any order from now until February 1, 2010 will receive a free unannounced 10th bio trading card - featuring Dr. Cornelius!

Labeled '0 of 9', this extremely limited collectible is yours free with any order placed here! Simply write the text: STINKING PAWS in the notes on your PAYPAL order, and this card will be sent to you with you order.

Already have Alpha and Omega? Don't worry, anyone who has previously ordered the prints from us need not worry about getting the Cornelius card. As a special thank you to the fans, BLAM! will be mailing out the new bio card to everyone who has made a previous purchase, free of charge.

Order soon, supplies are VERY limited!






Sunday, October 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Chuck

I was on just now and saw it is (at least for the next fifteen minutes or so) Charlton Heston's birthday today, he would have been 86.

Happy Birthday!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

pota poster

Over at Graphic Nothing's Flickr page you'll find a set of minimalist movie posters, among which I found this one for Planet of the Apes. Some are cool, some are eh, a few are obscure and the rest I hadn't seen the film they come from.

It's worth a look-see, click through on the poster image to check out the whole set:

(via BoingBoing)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Another future, this one not involving Apes

Just in case you thought all the gang at BLAM! Ventures did was write about Apes, we do some other stuff as well...

(Click on the picture already, see the cool stuff on the other side)

While I'm not working on that property, it is being guided by the able hands of my co-author and BLAM! Ventures creative director Andrew E. C. Gaska.

Check it out, and look for more info in the coming weeks.

In POTA news (because there is a bit of that), we've got a big story meeting coming up as we head into what I believe will be the final draft. Exciting times!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Conspirators.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Conspiracy Interview

Greetings fellow conspirators!

Our first Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes interview is up! The good folks over at the Adventures in Sci Fi Publishing podcast have been doing a bunch of post-SDCC coverage, and as I mentioned back here, Lou Anders had interviewed me for the show.

The main interview for this episode, conducted as always by host Shaun Farrell, spotlights two of this years L. Ron Hubbard Presents: Writers of the Future contest winners. The SDCC interviews, beginning with mine, come in at around the 37:26 mark. It's OK if you skip ahead to listen (I won't tell), but don't forget to check out the rest, as I've said before AISFP is a podcast worth subscribing to.

Episode 83 of AISFP is available now, go listen and spread the word!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


True to his word, Bruce Ross delivered a Zaius custom figure yesterday. I think this one captures the attitude of Zaius better than the previous one did of Ursus. Click on the picture to go to the site for more shots, including the two together.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Ursus in action (pose)

Work continues on the book, but things have been quiet blog wise and will probably be that way for a while yet. So to keep you guys occupied, I figure I’ll share a link that was shared with me this morning via Chris Roberson’s blog.

Bruce Ross is a guy who makes cool custom action figures, and here he takes a crack at General Ursus. While I hardly think it’s a dead on likeness, it does make for an interesting Apes soldier at the least. Next up, he’s going to tackle Dr. Zaius. I’m curious to see how that one turns out.

There are more pictures at the site along with commentary by Ross on inspiration and materials used to make it. Check out some of his other figures as well, some of them are really awesome.

In the coming up department, we plan to begin profiling the artists working on Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes sometime in October, so be on the lookout for that. And we'll have updates for you on the novel's progress, conventions we'll be appearing at and more in the months to come.

Until then, fellow Conpsirators...

09/21/09, EDIT TO CORRECT: I was in error. I recently checked back to see if any other apes had popped up, and indeed a few had, specifically General Ursus. My original source for these images had tagged this ape as Ursus, but I looked back at Ross' post and saw it was simply called a Gorilla Soldier. Apologies to Mr. Ross for confusing the issue. For the record, here's General Ursus--with the soldier ape--as Bruce Ross intended (though as with all of his POTA figures, he was going for the feel rather than an exact copy):