Especially in the pre-internet era, fan-created magazines were the only way for devoted Planet of the Apes fans to share their opinions of the movies, their questions, their knowledge, and to find ways to buy, sell or trade their Apes merchandise. The official Marvel Comics magazines and comics went some way towards addressing the wants of these fans but there was an extended gap in fandom before the Apes fanzine phenomenon really got under way. Arguably, the first Planet of the Apes fanzine was the typewritten-and-xeroxed newsletter of the UK-based 'Planet of the Apes Fanclub' issued at semi-regular intervals during 1976 and 1977. Although this newsletter had the style and substance typical of fanzines of the era, it was published by an officially-licensed fanclub. Also of note is a Planet of the Apes-themed issue of a UK fanzine-type publication called Comics Unlimited, issued in 1975 or 1976. Including a detailed chronology of the Apes movies and TV series by Nigel Brown along with some impressive original artwork, it seems to have been one particular issue of a more general comics-themed fanzine.[1]

It wasn't until 1991 that the first genuine Apes fanzine was launched, inspired partly by the persistant rumours of a new movie from 1988 onwards, and more directly by the revival of the comics franchise by 'Adventure Comics' between 1990 and 1993. Through the letters pages of Adventure's regular Planet of the Apes comic series, fan Terry Hoknes first suggested starting an Apes Fanclub in April 1991, and that September announced it's launch with plans for a bi-monthly newsletter highlighting Ape-related news, articles, reviews, artwork, pen pals, and Ape memorabilia, and inviting other fans to send info, articles and original art. The Saskatoon-based International Planet of the Apes Fan Club produced issue #1 of its Ape Chronicles fanzine in December 1991 and - apart from a long hiatus around 1998-2004 - has continued to be published ever since. Early issues (1992-1994) ran a 35-episode original comic strip starring the ape 'Veetus', created by Jeff Krueger, while more recent years have seen the quality and page-count evolve and advance in line with new technology. The International Fan Club maintained a presence on the internet for many years from 1998.[2][3]

In the December 1991 issue of Adventure's Apes comic, Cypress, California-based brothers Mark & Tim Waszylyszyn responded to Hoknes' original letter with plans to start their own newsletter. The result was a second fanzine, Ape Crazy, which ran for seven issues in 1992-1993. Ape Crazy mixed reviews of the comics and films with original stories, and also included some original comic strips; issue #6 featured an eight-page strip titled Adventures on the Planet of the Apes and issue #7 another eight-page strip titled Trouble on the Planet of the Apes, both by Jerry Brown. This fanzine was also distributed via the International Fan Club, which still offers back-issues of both Ape Chronicles and Ape Crazy. By either an odd coincidence or a very obscure tribute, the Planet of the Apes Game for PC
produced in 2001 included, as part of its back-story narrative, the recorded announcement that "the remaining battalions of the human resistance army stationed in New Cyprus and Saskatoon were attacked" and had been defeated - these first two Apes revival fanzines were based in Cypress and Saskatoon.

One of the most highly-regarded Apes fanzines was Apesfan. Despite editors Joe Lozowsky and George R. Reis only publishing two issues (the first in 1997), the impressive quality and content set a high standard worthy of the most professional fanzines. The 60-page second issue (1999) was a 'Special Edition Tribute' to Roddy McDowall, who had recently passed away. Largely due to disappointment with the 2001 Planet of the Apes re-imagining, Lozowsky and Reis lost interest in taking Apesfan any further. The excellently-titled Sacred Scrolls fanzine was published in the mid-1990s by high school student Zaki Hasan and a buddy and distributed to a subscriber base of forty or so. It featured articles, original fiction, and even comic stories by Hasan, but didn't make it past two years, mainly due to financial losses.[4] Brazilian Planet of the Apes fanzine Century City News meanwhile, created by Luiz Saulo Adami, also included some original comic strips in it's publications in the 1980s and 1990s.[2][5]

In the absence of the above fanzines, a group of UK-based fans headed by John Roche, Dave Ballard and Alan Maxwell launched issue #1 of Simian Scrolls in the summer of 2000. This very professional fanzine took its inspiration from Apesfan, and has continued to be published at irregular intervals since, featuring interviews with cast and crew members and well-researched articles. It has run original comic strips including Ape Kingdom: The Hermit by John Roche & Wayne Tully, Beauty in the Forbidden Zone by Ian Ward & Roy Mitchell, Rider From The World's End by Mike McColm and Janet of the Apes by Dave West.

Issue #1 of The Forbidden Zine was published in 2010 by Australian Apes fans Michael Whitty and Neil Foster and distributed through the Yahoo Planet of the Apes Discussion Group. Using Marvel Comics' 1970s Planet of the Apes Magazine as a blueprint, The Forbidden Zine is a high-quality, full-colour magazine with the emphasis on a very professional original comic titled Planet of the Apes Begins, mixed with articles and interviews. It received special mention in the August 2010 issue of 'SFX Magazine'. There are plans for a second issue at some point in the future.

External Links


  1. A Chronology of the Planet of the Apes, by Nigel Brown - 'Comics Unlimited' (1975)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Collecting Planet of the Apes, by Terry Hoknes - 'Comic Book Marketplace' #68 (May 1999)
  3. Celebrating 50 Issues & 20 Years of Ape Chronicles, by Terry Hoknes - 'Simian Scrolls' #17 (2012)
  4. The Greatest APES - Zaki's Corner (March 18, 2011)
  5. There's an awful lot of ape fans in Brazil!: Adami of the Apes - 'Simian Scrolls' #18 (2015)
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