Andrew E. C. 'Drew' Gaska is an author, digital artist, producer and art director who has also served as a freelance consultant for Rockstar Games on such titles as Grand Theft Auto III-V, Red Dead Redemption and the Midnight Club series. He is the founder and creative director of BLAM! Ventures LLC, a guerrilla design studio that produces transmedia for the comic book and science fiction industry, and was creator of the sci-fi graphic novel series Critical Millennium and writer of the Space: 1999 revival comic series. Other projects have included a H.P.Lovecraft graphic novel adaptation titled Madness and a Buck Rogers in the 25th Century illustrated novel series. He is based in New York and is the partner of fellow comics creator Chandra Free.
Gaska originally pitched the idea of a graphic novel series based on the classic Planet of the Apes film pentalogy to 20th Century Fox in 2007, but Fox weren't interested in licensing more comics following MR Comics' 2006 Revolution on the Planet of the Apes series. Inspired by Dark Horse Comics' 1992 illustrated novella Aliens: Tribes, Gaska then pitched the idea of a full illustrated novel and secured a license for a two-book deal. BLAM! Ventures produced the resulting Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes illustrated novella, written by Gaska from a story by Gaska, Rich Handley, Christian Berntsen and Erik Matthews, before taking it to publisher Archaia Entertainment. Delays arising from Archaia changing ownership led to Conspiracy being co-incidentally published in August 2011 at the same time as the Fox Apes movie reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
A planned follow-up novel would explore what happened to Taylor after he disappears at the beginning of Beneath the Planet of the Apes and before he reappears at the end. A further four parts of a six novel arc have already been plotted, depending on sales of the first two books.