Ok, so this is exciting! Whenever Planet of the Apes is on TV (usually AMC it seems) for a nice weekend long marathon, I’m good to tune in for a couple of hours of watching Zira, Cornelius and Dr. Zaius torture old “Bright Eyes” trying to find out why he has the divine spark.

Archaia Entertainment has announced they will release  Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes on July 25th. It is the first illustrated novel for the Planet of the Apes series and is written by Andrew Gaska (Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption). This all new illustrated novel chronicles what happened between the original 20th Century Fox Planet of the Apes movie that was  released in 1968. The new volume features a cover by Jim Steranko as well as 30 full color and 19 black-and-white illustrations by some of today’s leading fantasy and science fiction artists including Ken Kelly, Joe Jusko, Sanjulian, Mark Texeira, Leo Leibelman, Matt Busch, Brian Rood, Tom Scioli, David Hueso, Dan Dussault, and Dirk Shearer.

Archaia Entertainment also announced with Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes they will be switching its bookstore distribution from Diamond Book Distributors to Publishers Group West, which will be distributing the new illustrated Planet of the Apes novel.

Planet of the Apes tells the story of an astronaut crew stranded on a strange planet in the distant future. The planet appears desolate at first, until the surviving crew members stumble upon a society in which apes have evolved into creatures with human-like intelligence and speech. The apes have assumed the role of the dominant species and humans are mute caged animals wearing animal skins. Planet of the Apes starred Charlton Heston and  was released on February 8, 1968 in the United States. The film was a commercial success earning $32,589,624 at the international box office. The film was considered groundbreaking for the prosthetic makeup techniques by artist John Chambers. Planet of the Apes was well received by critics and audiences, launching a film franchise, including four sequels, as well as a short-lived television show, animated series, comic books, various merchandising, and eventually a remake in 2001 and a new film, Rise of the Planet of the Apes will be released in 2011.