Friday, 1 January 2016

PLANET OF THE APES COVER GALLERY - PART THREE...


Images copyright relevant owners

Continuing our run of PLANET Of The APES covers, in which
KILLRAVEN has his name changed to 'APESLAYER', and all his
Martian adversaries are redrawn as apes.  It strikes me that MARVEL
went needlessly overboard with this one, as Killraven would probably
have been perfectly acceptable to British readers the way he was.

I wonder if there's anyone who read the comic back in the day
who's unaware that Apeslayer was nothing more than an expedient
way of giving the character a tenuous connection with the main strip
in the mag?  Would they be shocked to find out?  I can yet remember
my astonishment when I learned that a villain known to me as The
APEMASTER (in WHAM!) was originally called The RED
GHOST (in FF #13 and read by me in MCIC #7).

Anyway, that's enough of my reflections - time for you to
hopefully enjoy the covers on display.  Happy Memories.
   








32 comments:

Phil said...

#27 is a great painted cover. That first one you posted, the cover isn't so great but the box blurb is. Simian action! Who can resist that?

Kid said...

Not another simian, that's for sure.

DeadSpiderEye said...

It was a great comic that featured some of the most brilliant artwork, which, if memory serves, was even reproduced quite nicely. In contrast to most UK marvel edition's, from this period, rather lax repo standards. Then something happened, all the great art dried up and we were left with--some of the most obvious padding being foisted off, ever to hit the UK comic market, It was a rather abrupt and sad demise--well from recollection anyway.

It was a must read, while it was up to standard but the covers were never its strongest feature, they usually looked quite rushed, no. 22 is quite strong here though.

Kid said...

Although that guy on the ground looks like he's got a humph. Maybe his name's Humphrey?

Colin Jones said...

Kid, I was one of those who didn't know Apeslayer was a redrawn Killraven - in fact, I only discovered this fact about 12 or so years ago (yes, I am slow). I realise now that Marvel UK had no choice because they had no apes material to print but I hated Apeslayer and I briefly considered dropping POTA !!!!! Thankfully I held on and things improved - but I've read all the POTA strips at the Hunter's POTA website EXCEPT Apeslayer which I ignored.

Kid said...

If I had a choice in the matter, I'd prefer to read the original Killraven strips than the doctored versions, CJ - but it's not really on my list of 'things to do'. Which do you prefer - the Apes movies or the strips?

DeadSpiderEye said...

You've ruined the cover for me now Kid, all I can see is his Quasimodo lump.

Colin Jones said...

Kid, I'm not quite sure what you mean - do I prefer the apes movies or their Marvel adaptations ? I prefer the movies in that case although I do love the Marvel version of the first film - it pains me that I missed #1-4 and #8 of POTA but I had every bloody issue of Apeslayer. Or do you mean did I prefer the comic to the movies ? In that case my preference is for the comic which was also my gateway to discovering Marvel comics overall - those early issues of POTA contained adverts for weird and wonderful new characters called Spider-Man and the Hulk etc. For me the POTA TV show led to the POTA comic which led to Marvel comics. But you say you would have preferred to read Killraven rather than Apeslayer but what was Marvel UK to do if they had no apes material to print ?

Kid said...

Maybe I'm wrong, DSE - it was just a hunch I had.

******

You're confusing me now, CJ. You say you prefer the movies to the comic strip adaptations, but then you say you prefer the comics to the movies - duh? Marvel should've thought far enough ahead and produced new Apes material, or simply merged it with MWOM sooner than they did. After all, Apeslayer didn't seem to be popular with Apes fans and it didn't seem to be liked by Killraven fans, so it was a bit of a failure all round.

Colin Jones said...

Kid, when I say I preferred the comic to the movies I mean the comic overall including all the back-up strips - the cancellation of the TV show was a bitter disappointment but it was a huge consolation that the comic existed. I'd never seen any of the movies so they didn't mean that much to me but the POTA comic was something I looked forward to every week - that's what I mean about preferring the comic but the movies are better than their Marvel adaptations...I hope that's clear. :D

Kid said...

So the think the movies are better, but you like the comics more. It's clear now, but you did first say that you preferred the movies to the comics, then said you preferred the comics. Off to your room with no supper for confusing me.

Colin Jones said...

Kid, what I originally said was I preferred the movies to their comic-strip adaptations - by the way those adaptations took some liberties...for example POTA #8 featured a scene not in the movie and then Nova is revealed to be pregnant which wasn't in the film. And in the UK comic the word bubbles were changed so Nova is ill not pregnant. But when the adaptation was reprinted in POTA & Dracula Lives #93-111 the pregnancy word bubbles were included as they would have originally appeared in the U.S. magazine.

Kid said...

That's what I said you said. I asked you if you preferred the movies or the strips - the strips being adaptations. You said you preferred the movies, but then you said you preferred the comics - which seems like a contradiction because of the way you worded it. What you're saying now is that you thought the movies were better, but that you preferred the comics - which may be what you first meant, but you failed to convey that clearly. I've got a diploma (and a Blue Peter badge) for pedantry, so I always expect people to say what they mean and not what they think they mean. (I love a vigorous discussion before tea time.)

DeadSpiderEye said...

Try as I might, I can't come up with a suitable response to that pun, consequently I've got the hump now... oh wait.

Kid said...

Now that joke rings a bell...

Staz Johnson said...

What A bizarre concept Apeslayer was... can't say I was familiar with it until I read this post. I was a HUGE POTA fan back in the day, but as a result of the TV show not the movies. I read about half of the POTA-UK issues which adapted the first film (though I hadn't seen it at that time & was probably somewhat confused by it, though I don't remember to be honest). I didn't pick up any of these issues here (I'd probably reverted to Battle Picture Weekly or Warlord for my weekly comic fix)I only returned to POTA with the start of the adaptation of Beneath the POTA (by which time I HAD seen both the first film & Escape in a double bill at the cinema, & so was more across the concept of a POTA without talking humans) & stuck with it until it's demise as a part of MWOM if I recall (I was always disgusted that the Hulk got top billing over 'Apes).Generally speaking, I always prefered the movie adaptions over most everything else, but ironically the one story which made the biggest impact on me was a two part story written by (I believe) Doug Moench featuring a giant galleon populated by warring apes, which I thought was a masterpiece.

Kid said...

I remember the Planet of the Apes movie being reviewed on TV back in 1968 (can't recall if it was by Barry Norman or not) and the fact that it was based on the book by Pierre Boulle. What I can no longer recollect with any certainty is whether I saw the movie (on TV) before the comic came out, or after. Certainly an entertaining film and the 2nd one wasn't too bad, but they sort of went downhill after that. I suspect, like you, that I bought POTA until it merged with MWOM, but perhaps I gave up on it before that. That story rings a bell with me too, Staz.

Colin Jones said...

The story Staz Johnson refers to appeared in POTA #47-49 written by Doug Moench (as were ALL the POTA stories) and drawn by Tom Sutton - a sequel was in POTA #81-84 and some more adventures after the merger with MWOM. They all had a marine theme.

Kid said...

Thanks for that, CJ, and I'm sure that Staz appreciates it as well.

Britt Reid said...

"It strikes me that MARVEL went needlessly overboard with this one, as Killraven would probably have been perfectly acceptable to British readers the way he was."

Problem was that HG Wells' novel War of the Worlds was public domain in America (which is why Marvel used it as the basis for the War of the Worlds/Killraven strip), but not in the UK, so any reference to it had to be deleted from any American-created material reprinted in the UK.
AFAIK, Wells' work is still under copyright in the UK until the end of 2016.

Kid said...

That's interesting, Britt, 'though as far as I know, that wasn't the reason (certainly not the main one) for making the changes to the strip; that decision was taken purely because they needed some 'ape'-related material. And presumably Killraven's original mags were on sale in the U.K. anyway. Had Marvel merely wanted to get around the copyright problem, a few judicious changes to the text would've been an easier solution than redrawing Martians as apes. Also, Marvel's adaptation of War Of The Worlds was reprinted as a back-up strip in Dr. Who weekly.

Staz Johnson said...

I have to agree, regardless of whatever the copyright situation with H.G.Wells' material may have been & whether or not questions were raised in some Marvel UK editorial meetings, both the Killraven stories & Marvel's WOTW adaption were reprinted as back ups at some point in the 70's. I know I read both in either POTA or Star Wars Weekly, both of which seemed to trawl Marvel's back catalogue in search of anything vaguely sci-fi to use as back-ups.

Staz Johnson said...

As a side note Kid, I don't think any of the POTA movies had been shown on UK TV prior to the airing of the TV show, though I do have a vague recollection of seeing a clip from the first movie on Michael Rodd's 'SCREEN TEST' & being fascinated by it.

Kid said...

We never got the TV show in Scotland, Staz, but I remember not being surprised by anything in the comics adaptation, suggesting that I'd seen the movie before I read the comic. D'you know, I may even have seen that Screen Test programme myself, it sounds familiar. (That particular episode I mean - I used to watch the programme.)

Britt Reid said...

"Also, Marvel's adaptation of War Of The Worlds was reprinted as a back-up strip in Dr. Who weekly."

The War of the Worlds strip in Dr Who Weekly was the Marvel Classics Comics adaptation of the 1898 novel, not the Killraven comic strip.
They may have paid a license fee to the Wells estate for that, but it would be a one-time use.
I don't believe the unaltered War of the Worlds/KillRaven strip has been reprinted in the UK.

"And presumably Killraven's original (American) mags were on sale in the U.K. anyway."

They were, but only as "grey market" import curiosities, since Marvel UK had their own line of comics reprinting the Marvel US material.
Most of the Marvel UK output was available in the US (at stores like SuperSnipe and the NYC branch of Forbidden Planet in the same way.
Technically, not allowed, but sold as collector's items.

Kid said...

Yup, knew that, Britt, but if the copyright on the book was expired in the U.S., for Marvel to reprint the Classics Comics adaptation in the U.K. meant that the still extant copyright in Britain didn't prevent them from reprinting the strip, and it's unlikely that they'd have paid a fee to do so - unless it was minimal. So, it stands to reason that if Marvel didn't let copyright prevent them from reprinting the Classics Comics version, then it would hardly be the main factor in them changing Killraven to Apeslayer. That seems to have been chiefly determined by the need to fill POTA weekly with some ape-related material, however tenuous the connection was. It seems that Killraven simply lent itself to what they required.

I'm not sure about your assessment of Killraven as a 'grey market' curiosity in Britain, as U.S. mags were still available here at the same time as the weeklies. That's why the plates were changed for U.S. Marvel mags to read 'Marvel All-Colour Comics' (instead of 'Marvel Comics Group) in the banner at the top of the covers - it was to distinguish them from the British comics. (Although such a distinction was redundant, as the difference was obvious.)

Britt Reid said...

"That's why the plates were changed for U.S. Marvel mags to read 'Marvel All-Colour Comics' (instead of 'Marvel Comics Group) in the banner at the top of the covers - it was to distinguish them from the British comics."

If the Grand Comics Database is correct, the "All-Colour" line was launched in 1975, and seems to have been applied to whatever titles were "hot" at the time.
Some titles have only a couple of issues (Conan the Barbarian has only #47 & 48) as "Colour Comics".
And here's a weird one, Marvel Team-Up #45, featuring Killraven was one of the British-issued "Colour Comics"(it was part of an ongoing MTU storyline involving time travel), but none of the Amazing Adventures issues featuring Killraven from that same period were issued as "Colour Comics"!
And in running thorough various databases, I don't see the unmodified Killraven strip (or even the graphic novel) being reprinted in England.

"I'm not sure about your assessment of Killraven as a 'grey market' curiosity in Britain, as U.S. mags were still available here at the same time as the weeklies."

If an American book or comic is reprinted in England, the American original shouldn't be sold in England since it's technically a violation of the licensed copyright of the British reprinter.
It also works in reverse...
For example, in the late 1970s America's Pinnacle Books licensed reprints of a number of Target Books' Doctor Who novelizations.
Forbidden Planet in NYC carried both the Target and Pinnacle titles, but displayed the American ones upstairs in the main movie/tv section, and the British ones downstairs...with the other "foreign" collectibles.

Kid said...

Well, going from what I read at the time (perhaps in FOOM, but I'll have to check), most U.S. Marvel comics distributed in Britain had the cover banner changed from 'Marvel Comics Group' to 'Marvel All-Colour Comics' - and I've got loads of them. Some people complained at the time that they couldn't get some titles, and wondered if Marvel was withholding them so as not to damage the sales of the British weeklies containing the same characters, but Marvel responded by saying they'd try to make sure more U.S. mags got through to the U.K. After all, the whole point of the British mags was to create a readership for the U.S. ones. Admittedly, there does seem to be some uncertainty as to whether some titles were actually withheld or not - I've read that The Avengers mag was, but I still picked up copies in newsagents dotted around my town. It's also worth pointing out that, even in the case of alleged 'non-distributed' comics, many British comics dealers would have them imported to sell in their shops, so a lot of them were still available in this country.

Incidentally, I never said that the unmodified Killraven strips were reprinted in Britain (England is only a part of the United Kingdom), but I'm fairly certain that the original U.S. ones were (or at least some of them). Also, as Marvel was the copyright owner and publisher of all their original U.S. material, as well as any U.K. reprints in the British weeklies, there would be no copyright violation. How could Marvel violate its own copyright? Incidentally, nowadays, Marvel license their material to Panini for publication in the U.K., but they still sell the original U.S. product in this country, so it all depends on the terms of the license.


So, interesting comments, Britt, but they don't reflect the reality of the situation as I experienced it at the time.

Britt Reid said...

"I never said that the unmodified Killraven strips were reprinted in Britain (England is only a part of the United Kingdom), but I'm fairly certain that the original U.S. ones were (or at least some of them)."

The "original US ones" would be the "unmodified Killraven strips".
BTW, it's curious that the only exposure UK fans of Brit writer/artist Alan Davis have of his Killraven mini-series is through copies of the imported American mini-series, the American reprint volume or the Fantagraphics trade paperback "Modern Masters: Alan Davis" (Killraven's on the cover with Captain Britain).

"Also, as Marvel was the copyright owner and publisher of all their original U.S. material, as well as any U.K. reprints in the British weeklies, there would be no copyright violation."

Not in-house, but since UK and American copyright laws still vary in several key points (most notably moral rights), it behooves Marvel to establish copyright for its' material in each country it publishes in.
Plus, because the two units (America and UK) were seperate divisions of a corporation, their in-house accounting procedures required some nominal payment between divisions both for the rights and to cover production costs.
For example, Marvel pays LucasFilm for the Star Wars comics license, though, because they're both divisions of Disney, probably much less than Dark Horse did.

"Incidentally, nowadays, Marvel license their material to Panini for publication in the U.K., but they still sell the original U.S. product in this country, so it all depends on the terms of the license."

Marvel doesn't sell their American titles to UK dealers, distributors like Diamond do.
Marvel frowns on it, but can't stop it, especailly since Diamond is literally a monopoly when it comes to comic shop distribution.

Kid said...

My mistake, Britt. What I meant to say was that "I never said that the unmodified Killraven strips were reprinted in Britain, but I'm fairly certain that the original U.S. were on sale over here." My mind obviously wandered for a second at that point before I finished my train of thought, otherwise it would be just too ridiculous a contradiction in the one sentence.

I'm not so sure that it's 'curious' that U.K. fans only exposure to Alan Davis's Killraven mini-series is through imported copies, etc.; there's loads of Marvel stuff that British readers have only experienced that way.

I'm also dubious that fledging Marvel U.K. operated in exactly the way that you suggest. Magazine Management owned Marvel at that point and copyright for the American and British mags was owned by them (MM). The British mags were originated in the States and only printed and distributed over here, so they weren't 'licensed' titles. I couldn't swear to it, but I think Marvel U.K. was still a part of Marvel U.S., which is why Marvel U.K. was 'disbanded' when Marvel U.S. filed for bankruptcy in the mid '90s. Again, I'm not convinced that Marvel U.S. and Marvel U.K. would have operated in the same way as Marvel and LucasFilm do in regard to Star Wars, because, Marvel was always Marvel regardless of whether it was in Britain or America, whereas Marvel and LucasFilm were once two distinct entities before being acquired by Disney. (No doubt there are 'benefits' in some way to them operating in that way now.)

As regards Marvel/Panini, my essential point is that, whether its Marvel or Diamond, U.S. Marvel product is still sold in this country in spite of the same material appearing in Panini mags. And I have to say that I doubt Marvel would frown on making money from the sale of their U.S. mags in Britain - they must surely supply Diamond to begin with?

Britt Reid said...

"I couldn't swear to it, but I think Marvel U.K. was still a part of Marvel U.S., which is why Marvel U.K. was 'disbanded' when Marvel U.S. filed for bankruptcy in the mid '90s."

Don't confuse Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc the corporation (which included divisions New World/Marvel Animation, Toy Biz, Fleer, Heroes World Distribution, and Marvel UK) with Marvel Comics the publisher, which was just one division of the big corporation.
As you correctly point out, Marvel UK (along with most of the other divisions) were sold/shut down during the bankruptcy.

"I'm also dubious that fledging Marvel U.K. operated in exactly the way that you suggest. Magazine Management owned Marvel at that point and copyright for the American and British mags was owned by them (MM)."

One of the things about being an international corporation is that the divisions in each country have to obey the local laws.
In the case of copyright, only publication through an editorial office in a given country gives you the copyright for a given country.
Though, initially, Marvel UK's material (reprints and originals like Captain Britain) was prepped by the US office, it was published though a new division Marvel established in England to handle traffiking material and marketing.
Later on, Marvel UK brought in local talent (like Dez Skinn and Alan Davis) who were given much more creative control over the original stuff, including hiring GB-based writers and artists like Alan Moore and company.
Of course, with material being created and initially-published in GB, this brought new problems like creatives' "moral rights", which, even to this day, don't exist in American copyright law.
(That's how Alan Moore was able to stop republication in America of certain projects initially-published in England)

"And I have to say that I doubt Marvel would frown on making money from the sale of their U.S. mags in Britain - they must surely supply Diamond to begin with?"

They're unhappy (as is Panini, their current licensee) with the fact that competing American material is making it's way to the UK.
But since Diamond holds a monopoly on American comic shop distribution, and the Brits are using American comic shops and mail-order/convention dealers to funnel the material to them, there's technically nothing Marvel can do.
And, as you point out, the money for the books does make it's way back to Marvel...

Kid said...

Which is all immensely fascinating, Britt, but none of which relates to my original statement (which kick-started this interesting conversation) that Killraven was changed to Apeslayer more from a need to have ape-related stories for the U.K. version of POTA, than because copyright on War Of The Worlds was still extant in Britain.

And while there may be all sorts of processes that companies have to go through to secure copyrights (or have them recognized) in other countries (and also for tax purposes in all likelihood), the fact remains that the original copyright of U.S. Marvel strips reprinted in Britain was still copyright to Marvel in America, even if a U.K. office had to be set up to establish and protect those copyrights when reprinted over here. (Which is what I think you're saying.) Although I'm not even 100% certain of that for this reason. If IPC had started reprinting Marvel stories without permission and without paying a fee, would Marvel U.S. be unable to take action against them if there were no Marvel U.K. offices existing in Britain to first secure the copyright in this country?

The stuff about Alan Moore, etc., isn't really relevant to the period we're talking about (early to mid-'70s), I'd venture to say, because it was a lot more simple back then. Everything was work for hire at the time (whether the term was in vogue or not) and Marvel owned everything it published, with the exception of licensed properties.

Your last part doesn't seem logical on the part of Marvel or Panini, and here's why. There's an audience for Marvel reprints because of the pre-existence of the original material, so Panini benefits from U.S. Marvel product being on sale in Britain. (And that will also work in reverse to some degree. Readers who see the Panini reprints may well then buy U.S. Marvel mags.) I'm bound to say, Britt, that if Marvel are making themselves out to be shedding any tears about their U.S. mags being on sale over here, then they're crocodile tears. Marvel can't help but benefit from the situation as it is, because, at the end of the day (and as you concede) the money makes its way back to them.

But, back to the original point: I'm not convinced that Killraven was changed to Apeslayer because of copyright concerns (and that wasn't the reason given at the time). The whole Killraven continuity was later retconned to remove the H.G. Wells connection anyway, and a few re-lettered speech balloons and captions would've been far easier than redrawing characters as well, had Marvel been determined to reprint the strip back then on its own merits.

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