Just bringing this discussion over to ning...

What books are you reading right now that don't have a narrative driven by images as well as words?

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This thread has the URL to a set of giant scans of the pages from the original pressbook in post 6. Page 13 has excellent images of the Cravath strips.

As I posted once before, Wikipedia has links to scans of Cravath's Son of Kong strips on its page King Kong (comics). They're in footnotes 2 and 3, and still live.

I'm reading The Werewolf of Ponkert by H. Warner Munn, which is comprised of the first two stories from his Werewolf Clan series. These two originally appeared in Weird Tales in the 1920s.

Reportedly, Munn's inspiration for the first story was a letter H. P. Lovecraft wrote to Weird Tales asking "why someone had not attempted a werewolf story as narrated by the werewolf himself". (This is how it's put in the introduction. It doesn't quote Lovecraft's words.) In the title story the narrator describes how he was attacked by a pack of werewolves, and then forced to join the pack. Apparently the subsequent stories followed the pack's evil ruler, the master, and the narrator's descendants.

There's a possible comics connection here. Werewolf by Night was created by Roy Thomas, who conceived it as a series narrated by a werewolf called "I, Werewolf". However, I can't be confident he'd seen Munn's tale or heard of Lovecraft's letter. The Centaur paperback didn't appear until 1976. A 1958 hardback had the same title and stories, but the ISFDB indicates the edition was limited. On the other hand, Thomas could have heard of the story without having read it.

The edition is a Centaur Press "Time-Lost" paperback. Series like this always interest me, as I assume there's some number of good, forgotten fantasies, mysteries, early works of SF etc. Here's the ISFDB's list of the books in the series, with one addition that seems to belong to it:

Anonymous, ed. Swordsmen and Supermen

Stories by Robert E. Howard, Jean d’Esme, Darrel Crombie, Arthur D. Howden Smith and Lin Carter.

Alfred H. Bill The Wolf in the Garden

The ISFDB doesn't list this as part of the series, but net references elsewhere include it.

J. Allan Dunn The Treasure of Atlantis

Arthur O. Friel The Pathless Trail

                        Tiger River

Robert E. Howard The Hand of Kane

                              The Moon of Skulls

                              Solomon Kane

These are all Solomon Kane collections.

Will Garth Dr. Cyclops

The net tells me this was a contemporary book novelisation of the film, distinct from Henry Kuttner's novelette adaptation in Thrilling Wonder Stories Jun. 1940. "Will Garth" was reportedly a pseudonym used by several authors.

Talbot Mundy Caesar Dies

H. Warner Munn The Werewolf of Ponkert

Arthur D. Howden Smith Grey Maiden: The Story of a Sword through the Ages

E. Charles Vivian City of Wonder

The first version of this post displaced the thread Kryptonite---a Glowing Reference (Part Two) from the homepage.


Planet of the Apes is my Animal Farm. I first read Animal Farm in the sixth grade. It was recommended to me by my teacher for outside reading. I was pleased at this because I knew my sister had read it in high school. I knew at the time it could be appreciated on a deeper level but, being unfamiliar with the Russian revolution, I enjoyed it as a fable and left it at that. In high school I read it again, again recommended to me specifically by a teacher. When I was in college I wrote a lesson plan around it as an assignment, and later when I became a teacher, I used that lesson plan to teach it. I taught it to both seventh graders and sophomores. But the satire never did really speak to me, even after having learned some of the history behind it.

This is at least my third time through Planet of the Apes, possibly my fourth. I have always found it to be entertaining, but I largely glossed over the satirical aspects… until this time, that is. There is a certain section of the book in which a can clearly see the 2016 election and its aftermath: Gorillas are the President, his cabinet and his supporters; the Republicans are the Orangutans; the Democrats are the chimpanzees. (I am Ulyssé Merou.)

This is why I read books more than once.

I've got a copy of that somewhere. I should dig it out again.

You should. Although I saw close parallels to the America of te present, it was written about 1960s-era France. It just goes to show: certain things are timeless... and universal.


Back in 2001, before Tracy and I were even married, we went to see the new Planet of the Apes movie at the theater. After that, we worked our way through the five original movies on full-screen VHS, then we bought and watched the 1974 TV series on DVD. I also re-read Peirre Boulle’s original novel at this time, which put me in the mood to read the paperback novelizations of the second through fifth films. We began scouring used bookstores and online until I acquired the ones I wanted, but by the time I had, I was no longer in the mood to read them.

A couple of years after that, I replaced my VHS movies with a boxed set on Blu-Ray. At the time, we watched only the first one because I had it in my head to watch the rest of the movies in conjunction with reading the novelizations. I’m not going to re-watch the original movie at this time, but I may loop back and watch it in conjunction with reading Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes (2011). Also, the official prequel novel for the new movie War for the Planet of the Apes (July 14) has been solicited for release June 7.

UP NEXT: Beneath the Planet of the Apes

Jeff, have you ever read Planet of the Apes:Evolution of a Legend ?  It gives a nice overview of the entire run of films and the various off shoots. I received it as a present a couple of Christmas' ago and really enjoyed it.

No, I've never even heard of it. Thanks for the heads up, though. I'll definitely keep an eye out.

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai: 

Tom Barren lives in the twenty-first century: you know, flying cars, robot servants, and unlimited power.

Unfortunately, he becomes history’s first time-traveler and bumbles the job thoroughly. He awakes in a dystopia: the actual twenty-first century that we know. 

 After a deceptively simple opening act, takes some surprising (and occasionally dark) turns. The novel (review here) isn't perfect, but it's worth a read.

So this is all his fault!


This novelization doesn’t deviate much from the movie. Sometimes movie adaptation include scenes from the shooting script which were left on the cutting room floor, but that’s not really the case here. It might have been interesting to learn the names of the mutants who interrogates Brent, but those can be found in the end credits of the movie. (For the record, if you care, they are Mendez (XXVI), Caspay, Albina, the fat man and the Negro. No name is given in either source for the mission commander, although the Blu-Ray box set of the films calls him “Skipper” Maddox. No first name is give to Brent from any of the three sources.) I noticed a few discrepancies from the first movie: 1) both Zira and Cornelius were said to be animal psychologists (when in fact, Cornelius was an archeologist/historian), and 2) both Landon and Dodge were said to be stuffed in the museum (when in fact only Dodge was, because of his black skin; Landon was lobotomized). These I at first took to be mistakes on Avellone’s part, until I watched the movie and saw them there, too.

There was also an inserted sequence which completely screws up the next sequel in sequence, namely, Cornelius and Zira are shown to be at home when the Doomsday weapon goes off. (I’ll have more to say about this when I get to Escape from the Planet of the Apes.)

In (IIRC) Son of Gun in Cheek, Bill Pronzini devotes a hilarious chapter to the ... unique ... prose stylings of Michael Avallone.

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