Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Wednesday Comics

The Twilight Zone #3 (May, 1963)
"The Last Battle"
Script: unknown
Pencils: Mike Sekowsky
Inks: Mike Peppe
Letters: Ben Oda 
Cover: George Wilson 



Monday, April 20, 2020

Reading Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone Magazine, Part 21


In which we take a closer look at each issue. For our capsule history of the magazine, go here. 

Great Stories from Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone Magazine (1982)
Edited by T.E.D. Klein
Cover art: Terrance Lindall

The only annual volume of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone Magazine appeared in October, 1982. The annual, although not numbered as such in the publication, assumes the place of volume 2, number 9 in the magazine’s internal numbering, placing it between the cover-dated November (volume 2, number 8) and December (volume 2, number 10), 1982 issues. The annual was not sent to subscribers and consists primarily of reprints from previous issues of the magazine.

Contents:

--A Note from the Publisher by Carol Serling
--In The Twilight Zone: “Refresher course . . .” by T.E.D. Klein
--Rod Serling: First Citizen of The Twilight Zone by Carol Serling & Marc Scott Zicree (profile) (from the April, 1981 issue)
--“Playing the Game” by Jack Dann & Gardner Dozois (from the Feb, 1982 issue)
--“The Rose Wall” by Joyce Carol Oates (from the April, 1981 issue)
--“The Jaunt” by Stephen King (from the June, 1981 issue)
--“Remembering Melody” by George R.R. Martin (from the April, 1981 issue)
--“The Dump” by Joe R. Lansdale (from the July, 1981 issue)
--“My Most Memorable Christmas” by Rod Serling (memoir) (from the Jan, 1982 issue)
--“The Night of the Meek” by Rod Serling (from New Stories from The Twilight Zone, 1962)
--“Sea Change” by George Clayton Johnson (from the Oct, 1981 issue)
--The Gargoyles of Gotham by Stephen DiLauro & Don Hamerman (photo-essay) (from the Feb, 1982 issue)
--“Carousel” by Thomas M. Disch (from the Nov, 1981 issue)
--“Grail” by Harlan Ellison (from the April, 1981 issue)
--“Groucho” by Ron Goulart (from the April, 1981 issue)
--“The Father of the Bride” by Connie Willis (from the May, 1982 issue)
--“The River Styx Runs Upstream” by Dan Simmons (from the April, 1982 issue)
--“I’ll Be Seeing You” by W.G. Norris (from the April, 1982 issue)
--The Story Behind Richard Matheson’s “The Doll” by Marc Scott Zicree (essay) (from the June, 1982 issue)
--“The Doll” by Richard Matheson (teleplay) (from the June, 1982 issue)
--Rod Serling: The Facts of Life by Linda Brevelle (interview) (from the April, 1982 issue)
--“The Swamp” by Robert Sheckley (from the July, 1981 issue)
--“Again” by Ramsey Campbell (from the Nov, 1981 issue)
--“Not Our Brother” by Robert Silverberg (from the July, 1982 issue)


Volume 2, Number 10 (December, 1982)
Cover art: David Christiana (for "Living Doll")

TZ Publications, Inc.
President & Chairman: S. Edward Orenstein
Secretary/Treasurer: Sidney Z. Gellman
Executive Vice-Presidents: Leon Garry, Eric Protter
Executive Publisher: S. Edward Orenstein
Publisher: Leon Garry
Associate Publisher and Consulting Editor: Carol Serling
Editorial Director: Eric Protter
Editor: T.E.D. Klein
Managing Editor: Jane Bayer
Assistant Editor: Robert Sabat
Editorial Assistant: Judy Linden
Contributing Editors: Thomas M. Disch, Gahan Wilson, Marc Scott Zicree
Design Director: Michael Monte
Art Director: Wendy Mansfield
Art Production: Susan Lindeman, Carol Sun, Lori Hollander, Pat E. Queen
Typesetting: Marianna Turselli
Production Director: Stephen J. Fallon
Controller: Thomas Schiff
Ass’t to the Publisher: Penny Layne
Public Relations Mgr.: Jeffrey Nickora
Accounting Mgr.: Chris Grossman
Accounting Ass’t: Annemarie Pistilli
Office Ass’t: Miriam Wolf
Circulation Director: William D. Smith
Circulation Mgr.: Carole A. Harley
Circulation Ass’t: Karen Martorano
Newsstand Sales Manager: Karen Marks Goldberg
Eastern Circ. Mgr.: Hank Rosen
West Coast Circ. Mgr.: Gary Judy
Advertising Manager: Rachel Britapaja
Adv. Production Manager: Marina Despotakis
Advertising Representatives: Barney O’Hara & Associates

Contents:
--In the Twilight Zone: “The first time . . .” by T.E.D. Klein
--Other Dimensions: Screen by Gahan Wilson
--Other Dimensions: Books by T.E.D. Klein
--Other Dimensions: The ‘Unhappy Is He’ Quiz Revisited by William Fulwiler
--Other Dimensions: Etc.
--TZ Interview: Ridley Scott interviewed by James Verniere
--“The Shrine” by Pamela Sargent
--“Altenmoor, Where the Dogs Dance” by Mort Castle
--Comic: “Vertigoat” by Tony Galloway
--“Jockeying for Time” by David Shifren
--Magic for Sale (photo feature) by Mathew Kovary
--“The Translator” by John David Sidley
--TZ Screen Preview: Xtro by James Verniere
--The Essential Writers: L.P. Hartley by Jack Sullivan
--“W.S.” by L.P. Hartley
--“Three Timely Tales” by Rick Norwood
--“What Really Happened to Uncle Chuckles?” by Ron Wolfe
--“Creative Writing” by Sandré Charbonneau
--“Pulpmeister” by David J. Schow
--Show-by-Show Guide: TV’s Twilight Zone: Part Twenty-One by Marc Scott Zicree
--TZ Classic Teleplay: “Living Doll” by Charles Beaumont (and Jerry Sohl)
--Looking Ahead: In January’s TZ

--In the Twilight Zone: “The first time . . .” by T.E.D. Klein
-Klein’s editorial examines the effect of the first sale on a writer while touting TZ Magazine’s practice of publishing new and previously unpublished writers. Biographical information on the issue’s contributors follows the preamble and includes acknowledgement of the important contributions of writer Jerry Sohl to The Twilight Zone and, specifically, to the teleplay for “Living Doll,” included in the issue and attributed solely to Charles Beaumont. Marc Scott Zicree’s recently published book, The Twilight Zone Companion, presented the startling revelation that Jerry Sohl ghost-wrote three teleplays during the fourth and fifth seasons for an ailing Charles Beaumont. One of these teleplays was the fan-favorite episode “Living Doll,” written solely by Jerry Sohl from an idea by Beaumont. Find out more about Sohl and his contributions to The Twilight Zone here.

--Other Dimensions: Screen by Gahan Wilson
Jeff Bridges in Tron
-This month Gahan Wilson looks at Tron (1982), the Walt Disney Company’s ambitious attempt to create an adventure film primarily composed of computer-generated imagery at a time when CGI was in its infancy. The film was a commercial success and a mild critical success but had its detractors, which apparently included Gahan Wilson. Wilson enjoyed the look of the film and the innovative production design but faulted the film in nearly every other respect, finding the acting, direction, and script unsatisfactory. Tron developed a cult following after its initial release and a sequel, Tron: Legacy, eventually appeared in 2010. An animated series, Tron: Uprising, appeared in 2012. Marvel Comics published a two-issue prequel to Tron: Legacy titled Tron: Betrayal. SLG (Slave Labor Graphics) published six issues of a Tron comic in 2006-2008.

--Other Dimensions: Books by T.E.D. Klein
Illustration by Tim Kirk for A Dreamer's Tales
-Regular books reviewer Thomas M. Disch is taking the month off so Klein steps in to offer snippet reviews of several current books. The two best things about Klein reviewing books is the many, and varied, titles he reviews and his generous use of illustrations. Klein provides samples from several illustrated volumes, including two which are not reviewed in the column outside of the captions beneath the illustrations. Here are the books upon which Klein offers his thoughts:

-The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows by Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh (Ballantine Books)
-Saturday Morning TV by Gary H. Grossman (Dell)
-Durandal by Harold Lamb (Donald M. Grant)
-Lord of the Dead by Robert E. Howard (Donald M. Grant)
-Scarlet Dreams by C.L. Moore (Donald M. Grant). Moore co-wrote the story “What You Need” with her husband Henry Kuttner. Rod Serling adapted the story for the first season of The Twilight Zone.
-The Wonderful Lips of Thibong Linh by Theodore Roscoe (Donald M. Grant)
-The Hand of Zei by L. Sprague de Camp (Owlswick Press)
-A Dreamer’s Tales by Lord Dunsany (Owlswick Press)
-England Have My Bones by T.H. White (Putnam)

-Klein presents illustrations from two volumes which are not reviewed in the column but are given informative captions: Mr. Monster’s Movie Gold by Forrest J. Ackerman (Donning) and True Tiny Tales of Terror by Ann Hodgson with illustrations by Derek Pell (Perigee Books).

--Other Dimensions: The ‘Unhappy Is He’ Quiz Revisited by William Fulwiler
-This is an alternative redux of the quiz first presented by Fulwiler in the September, 1982 issue. Readers are challenged to match the first lines of notable weird tales with the title and author of the tale. Twilight Zone fans should get at least one answer correct, as the title of #16 should be obvious. The quiz and the answers are posted below for those who wish to test their knowledge.



--Other Dimensions: Etc.
-The miscellany feature this issue includes several examples from the unusually high number of newspaper stories about baseball which feature the use of “Twilight Zone,” a quote from Domesticated Animals from Early Times by Juliet Clutton-Brock (1981) on how dogs learned to smile, a quote from The Black Book of Clark Ashton Smith (Arkham House, 1979), and a cartoon from Peter Kuper.


--TZ Interview: Ridley Scott, ‘A Visual Person,’ by James Verniere
“About to embark on a ‘mythological’ fantasy, the artist-turned-director talks about the secret sounds in Alien and the vision behind Blade Runner.”

-James Verniere provides a succinct yet detailed biographical profile in which Ridley Scott’s young but fruitful career as a film director is examined, largely focusing on Scott’s two great successes: Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982). The majority of the interview is taken up with Scott’s thoughts on these two films. Blade Runner was previously the subject of a TZ Screen Preview in the June, 1982 issue, which also featured an interview with author Philip K. Dick, whose novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was adapted for the film. Concerning Alien and Blade Runner, Scott discusses source materials, including his interactions with Philip K. Dick, conceptual materials, issues of characterization, and the memorable production designs of the two films, focusing on Swiss artist H.R. Giger’s designs for Alien and American industrial designer Syd Mead’s contributions to Blade Runner. Scott discusses his pathway to film direction through art school and, soon after, the creation of a production company specializing in commercials and television productions in England. Scott’s first film, the commercially unsuccessful The Duellists, is briefly discussed, as is his next project, a fantasy film tentatively titled Legend of Darkness. This latter film was released as Legend in 1985, starring Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, and Tim Curry, with memorable special makeup effects from Rob Bottin.

--“The Shrine” by Pamela Sargent
Illustrated by Frances Jetter
“She had lost everything. Now she was even losing her childhood.”

-A woman who has not lived up to the promise of her youth struggles to reconnect with her mother, who maintains her daughter’s childhood bedroom as though it were a shrine. Soon, the shrine attracts the attention of a dangerous entity which takes the form of the woman as a child. This child has come to take the mother away to a place where she won’t be disappointed by the spoiled promise of her daughter’s youth, but the child will also leave something, or someone, behind in its wake which will change the course of the woman’s life.

-This excellent story from Pamela Sargent (b. 1948) perfectly captures the essence of The Twilight Zone, that place where a startling, intimate supernatural event intrudes upon the reality of a conflicted individual. It reminded me a bit of Lisa Tuttle’s earlier tale, “A Friend in Need,” from the August, 1981 issue of TZ as both stories deal with the theme of unresolved childhood issues and the feelings of loneliness and regret one often experiences beyond young adulthood. Sargent previously appeared in the pages of TZ with “Out of Place” in the October, 1981 issue and “The Broken Hoop” in the June, 1982 issue. “The Shrine” was collected in The Best of Pamela Sargent (1987) and was adapted for the second season of Tales from the Darkside, from a script by Jule Selbo, directed by Christopher T. Welch, broadcast February 9, 1986.

-It is interesting to note that we are less than two years into TZ Magazine’s run and already seven (!) stories from the magazine have been adapted for the Tales from the Darkside television series. “The Shrine” joins the company of the previously published stories “The New Man” by Barbara Owens, “Anniversary Dinner” by D.J. Pass, “Slippage” Michael P. Kube-McDowell, “The Tear Collector” by Donald Olson, "Djinn, No Chaser” by Harlan Ellison, and “All a Clone by the Telephone” by Haskell Barkin. An eighth story adapted for Darkside, “Levitation” by Joseph Payne Brennan, was reprinted in TZ prior to its appearance on the series. 

-A final note: Terrance Lindall’s cover for Great Stories from Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone Magazine, at the top of this post, is a variant of his original cover for Pamela Sargent’s 1980 novel Watchstar.

--“Altenmoor, Where the Dogs Dance” by Mort Castle
Illustrated by Bruce Waldman
“It’s out there, all right – just like Pellucidar and Wonderland and Oz . . .”

-A boy learns to cope with the deaths of his dog and his elderly grandfather by imagining the afterlife as Altenmoor, a fantasy land from the children’s books written by his grandfather.

-This is a slight yet touching story from Mort Castle (b. 1946), a prolific writer of virtually every type of fiction who found success in the waning days of popular magazine fiction. Castle is a prolific short story writer, mostly in the horror and speculative fields, whose novel, Cursed Be the Child (1990), has become a notable horror paperback of the era. Additional information from the author: "There are six other novels, including the near impossible to find ESP ATTACK, and the easily found THE STRANGERS, currently in print from Overlook Connection Press and in audio format from RADIO ARCHIVES. A film of THE STRANGERS is in development by New Zealand's Light at the End Productions. An early novel, THE DEADLY ELECTION, has a new edition coming from Clover Press this summer."

-Castle's work as an editor includes two volumes on writing horror fiction, Writing Horror (1997) and On Writing Horror (2007), and two short-lived magazines, Horror: The Illustrated Book of Fears and Doorways Magazine. “Altenmoor, Where the Dogs Dance” was collected in Moon on the Water (2000).

--“Vertigoat” (comic) by Tony Galloway



--“Jockeying for Time” by David Shifren
Illustrated by D.W. Miller
“He’d stumbled upon the secret every jockey dreams of . . . and it was turning into a nightmare”

-A second-rate jockey discovers he can decrease his body weight simply by concentrating. The jockey plans on betting big on himself and using his newfound ability to win the next race. Disaster strikes on the track, however, when he finds that a nasty side effect of the process is a withering away of his physical being.

-The longest story in the issue is this satisfying horror tale of a selfish and self-involved man finding that the key to success sometimes opens the door to a personal hell. Shifren is described by T.E.D. Klein as a films reviewer for the trade publication Film Journal. “Jockeying for Time” was reprinted in the Fall, 1985 issue of Night Cry.


--“Magic for Sale” (photo-feature) by Mathew Kovary
“In today’s world of over-the-counter occult, sorcerers can shop for spells at their neighborhood supply store.”

-Kovary examines the resurgence of Paganism by exploring the world of religious supply shops which specialize in supplies for pagan practices. Kovary provides a potted history of Paganism before centering the article on the modern pagan religious supply shop, exemplified by New York’s largest such shop, Magickal Childe. Herman Slater, the store’s owner, is briefly profiled. Kovary also looks at New York’s religious books stores with large sections on Paganism as well as the smaller religious supply shops which are characteristic of New York’s Hispanic neighborhoods.

--“The Translator” by John David Sidley
Illustrated by Brad Hamann
“The feeling was there – but it wouldn’t survive unless she found the words.”

-In the future, reading and books have been almost totally replaced by non-literary communication with screens. One woman desires to know the secret language of reading and gets the opportunity to learn when a cryogenically frozen man from the twentieth century is thawed out. He teaches her to read and together they lead a small but dedicated group of readers into an alternative lifestyle.

-This story reads like a different take on the world presented at the end of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, in which a dedicated group of people devote their lives to reading and the preservation of books to which they have only just begun to have access.


--TZ Screen Preview: Xtro by James Verniere
“He’s not cute and friendly like E.T. But he does have a soft spot for his kid. Let TZ’s James Verniere introduce you to . . .”

-James Verniere previews New Line Cinema’s Xtro (1982), the anti-E.T. film (it’s tagline read: “Some extra-terrestrials aren’t friendly”) about a father who is abducted by aliens only to return to Earth as a mutating harbinger of alien doom who spreads body horror to his family and associates. The film was negatively reviewed upon its release but was a moderate commercial success. Xtro, like a lot of body horror films, used human reproduction as the centerpiece of its horror sequences, leading the film to be widely labeled misogynistic and a prime example of a film using the female womb as a symbol of horror. The film has developed a cult following and remains memorable for its gory makeup effects. It spawned two sequels: Xtro II: The Second Encounter (1990) and Xtro 3: Watch the Skies (1995).  


--The Essential Writers: L.P. Hartley by Jack Sullivan
“Few wrote horror tales as elegantly as the author of ‘The Go-Between.’ Few possessed a vision quite so dark.”

-Jack Sullivan returns to the pages of TZ Magazine, after recently concluding his column on macabre classical music, with this excellent essay on the novelist, critic, essayist, and supernatural fiction writer Leslie Poles Hartley (1895-1972). Sullivan previously wrote at-length on Hartley’s supernatural fiction in his 1978 study Elegant Nightmares: The English Ghost Story from Le Fanu to Blackwood. Sullivan included Hartley’s 1929 tale “The Travelling Grave” in a 1983 anthology of ghost stories, Lost Souls, which serves as a companion to Sullivan’s earlier volume. Lost Souls used D.W. Miller’s illustration from the April, 1982 issue of TZ Magazine for William Hope Hodgson’s “The Voice in the Night.”

-L.P. Hartley was best-known in his time as a novelist and book critic. His two most notable novels are likely The Go-Between (1953), an autobiographical novel about Hartley’s Edwardian childhood which was filmed in 1971, and The Hireling (1957), about a grieving widow’s relationship with a hired driver which was filmed in 1973. Hartley is also known for his Eustace and Hilda trilogy of novels, The Shrimp and the Anemone (1944), The Sixth Heaven (1946), and Eustace and Hilda (1947), the latter of which won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, about the relationship between an introverted young man and his confident, sometimes domineering sister. Sullivan’s focus, of course, is Hartley’s well-regarded body of supernatural stories, variously collected across Hartley’s long career in such volumes as The Killing Bottle (1932), The Travelling Grave (1948), and The White Wand (1954). Hartley became a member of the literary group led by Lady Cynthia Asquith after a failed attempt to insinuate himself with the Bloomsbury Group. Much of Hartley’s supernatural fiction appeared as contributions to Asquith’s anthologies of ghost and horror stories such as The Ghost Book (three volumes, 1926-1955), Shudders (1929), and When Churchyards Yawn (1931). Hartley’s Complete Stories appeared in 1986 from Beaufort Books and his Collected Macabre Stories appeared in 2001 from Ash Tree Press.

-Sullivan provides biographical information on Hartley’s life and career and examines in detail several of the author’s supernatural tales, including “Night Fears,” “The Thought,” “A Change in Ownership,” “The Island,” “A Summons,” “The Killing Bottle,” “The Travelling Grave,” and the story included in this issue, “W.S.”

--“W.S.” by L.P. Hartley
Illustrated by Lisa Mansolillo
“He was the psychopath that every writer fears. And he was getting closer.”

-An aging novelist begins receiving postcards from an unknown author indicating that the sender is steadily moving nearer the writer’s residence for an uninvited visit. The unnerving postcards are signed “W.S.,” which are the writer’s initials (Walter Streeter) but also the initials of one of the writer’s earliest creations, a brutish character named William Stainsforth. Streeter becomes convinced that it is Stainsforth coming for him and that is bad news since Streeter wrote Stainsforth as a cruel, vicious man with no redeeming qualities and a continuous violent streak.

-“W.S.” is, incredibly, one of three stories in this issue which deal in one way or another with the theme of a writer’s words coming to life. “W.S.” centers around a miserable character that is mysterious imbued with existence in the real world for the seemingly sole purpose of taking revenge on the creator who so thoughtlessly drew him in absolutely negative terms. The most powerful moment in the story comes when William Stainsforth offers to spare Streeter’s life if the author can name but one redeeming quality, or one moment of redemption, he provided to Stainsforth’s character. Of course, Streeter cannot and responds instead with indignation, the only overt nod to the Frankenstein story in the tale. “W.S.” was first published in 1952 and is the most notable supernatural tale from Hartley’s late career. It was included in Lady Cynthia Asquith’s The Second Ghost Book (1952) and reprinted in The White Wand and Other Stories (1954). The story is somewhat atypical of Hartley’s output as it takes the form of a conservatively structured suspense thriller, complete with a late-story twist which has become almost standard in psychological thrillers, with a refreshingly unambiguous supernatural element. It has been reprinted numerous times in such book anthologies as The Pan Book of Horror Stories (1959), Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories (1983), and Nightshade: 20th Century Ghost Stories (1999). The story was also reprinted in the Summer, 1985 issue of Night Cry.

--Three Timely Tales by Rick Norwood
Illustrated by José Reyes
“In the footsteps of Ferdinand Feghoot, we present a trio of scenes from times past that you won’t find in any history book.”

-Three short humorous tales ending in a pun, including alternative takes on the Cisco Kid, the Royal Mounted Police, and the exploration of the New World, the Grand Duke of Austria and a fateful game of bowling, and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln solved by Sherlock Holmes as the work of John Wickes Booth dressed as his sister.

--“What Really Happened to Uncle Chuckles?” by Ron Wolfe
Illustrated by Bill Logan
“It’s the question all America is asking. Now, as a public service, we’re giving you the lowdown.”

-A talented puppet maker is taken advantage of by an untalented but ambitious clown in the creation of a popular children’s television show. When the clown gets physical with the puppet maker and accidentally kills the man, the puppets take revenge on live television.

-This was an enjoyable, E.C. Comics-type story centered on a grisly supernatural revenge written in the noir style of older detective fiction and with a neat twist in the end as to who is narrating the story. Ron Wolfe (b. 1945) previously appeared in the pages of TZ with the story “Tiger of the Mind” in the August, 1981 issue. He placed a third story, “Laughs! Thrills! Romance!!,” in the Jan/Feb, 1985 issue. Wolfe was also an important contributor to the magazine as an essayist, penning several columns for the features “The Other Side” and “Illuminations” late in the magazine’s run.  


--“Creative Writing” by Sandré Charbonneau
Illustration by Yvonne Buchanan
“Freedom, fortune, even fame – they would be hers with the simple flourish of a pen.”

-An aspiring writer is not having much luck in sales and the pressure placed on her by her husband makes her consider learning calligraphy in order to bring some money into the home. She mysteriously receives a calligraphy instruction set she did not send for and, to her astonishment, discovers that anything she writes with the calligraphy pen comes to pass. She initially uses the pen to better her life, like effortlessly performing chores and getting rid of her unsupportive husband, but she makes one final miscalculation which severely alters her life.

-The second of three tales in the issue about a writer’s creation(s) coming to life takes a lighter approach than L.P. Hartley’s “W.S.” and will immediately remind TZ viewers of Richard Matheson’s first season episode “A World of His Own.” Another notable example of this story type is Stephen King’s 1983 tale “The Word Processor of the Gods,” which was adapted for the first season of Tales from the Darkside. Sandré Charbonneau makes her debut as a professional fiction writer with “Creative Writing.” She is described by T.E.D. Klein as a native of Houston who reviews books and films, hosts a local television program, and acts on the stage.

--“Pulpmeister” by David J. Schow
Illustrated by Mark Nickerson
“You’ve met Hartley’s ‘W.S.’ Now meet Brock De Sade, international troubleshooter, sex is his middle name, death his trademark, and maybe he even exists!”

-A writer of pulp sex and violence novels comes face-to-face with Brock De Sade, the impossible hero of a series of popular novels centered on international intrigue, action, and sex. De Sade arrives to protest his treatment in the novels (like getting repeatedly hit over the head) and to offer both his expertise and his writing skills to improve the quality of the novels. Together, the writer’s pay goes up with the increasing sales figures of the novels and De Sade gets to enjoy the retiring peace of his existence in the real world.

-David J. Schow makes his debut in the pages of TZ with this tongue-in-cheek homage to the great pulp writers (and the great pulp characters), using the same “fictional character comes to life” theme as seen in L.P. Hartley’s “W.S.” “Pulpmeister” was collected in Schow’s debut story collection, Seeing Red (1990), a volume which included an introduction by TZ Magazine editor T.E.D. Klein. Schow placed several additional tales in the pages of TZ and its sister publication, Night Cry, including “Coming Soon to a Theater Near You” (as by Oliver Lowenbruck, TZ, March/April, 1984), “Bunny Didn’t Tell Us” (Night Cry, Winter, 1985), “Lonesome Coyote Blues” (as by Oliver Lowenbruck, TZ, Jan/Feb, 1985), “The Woman’s Version” (Night Cry, Fall, 1985), “Blood Rape of the Lust Ghouls” (Night Cry, Winter, 1986), “Brass” (Night Cry, 2 parts, Spring & Summer, 1986), “Red Light” (TZ, Dec, 1986), “Pamela’s Get” (TZ, Aug, 1987), and “The Falling Man” (TZ, Oct, 1988).

-Schow’s most notable contribution to the pages of TZ was his guide (sometimes written with Jeffrey Frentzen) to The Outer Limits, which was revised and expanded as The Outer Limits: The Official Companion (with Frentzen, 1986) and later as The Outer Limits Companion (1998). Both volumes are highly sought-after and command collector’s prices. Schow, with Ted C. Rypel, authored the companion volume The Outer Limits at 50 (2014) to commemorate the series’ fiftieth anniversary. Schow joined Peter Enfantino and John Scoleri for a marathon viewing of/blogging on The Outer Limits over at We Are Controlling Transmission, which contains an enormous amount of information and insight on the series. Schow joined director Mick Garris on episode 77 of Garris’ podcast, Post Mortem, where, among other things, he discussed writing for Twilight Zone Magazine.

--Show-by-Show Guide: TV’s Twilight Zone: Part Twenty-One by Marc Scott Zicree
-Zicree’s guide to the original series continues as he provides cast, crew, summaries, and Rod Serling’s narrations for the fifth season episodes “The Long Morrow,” “The Self-Improvement of Salvadore Ross,” and one of my personal favorites of the final season, “Number Twelve Looks Just Like You.”

--TZ Classic Teleplay: “Living Doll” by Jerry Sohl (as by Charles Beaumont)
-This all-time classic from The Twilight Zone first aired on November 1, 1963 as the sixth episode of the fifth, and final, season (episode 126 overall). The episode was long thought to have been written by Charles Beaumont but Marc Scott Zicree uncovered, through interviews with Jerry Sohl and other writers on the series, that the episode was written entirely by Jerry Sohl from an initial story idea by Beaumont, who was unable to complete his writing assignments after suffering increasingly difficult conditions brought on by early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Sohl ghost-wrote two additional episodes under Beaumont’s name, the fourth season episode “The New Exhibit” and the fifth season episode “Queen of the Nile.” The episode concerns Eric Streator (wonderfully played by Telly Savalas), an abusive and insecure man whose resentment toward his wife and stepdaughter brings the wrath of Talky Tina, a murderous doll recently brought home from the store. “Living Doll” ranked #2 in our Halloween Countdown ranking the most frightening moments from the series. You can read that entry here.

--Looking Ahead: In January’s TZ
-TZ becomes bi-monthly with the New Year (1983). For the January/February issue we take a look at stories by Jack McDevitt, Joe R. Lansdale, Charles L. Grant, John Kessel, a reprint of one of Roald Dahl’s creepiest tales, “Royal Jelly,” and others. Dahl is also interviewed in the issue. Features include an update on the Twilight Zone movie, a long article on roleplaying games, a photo-feature showcasing the surrealistic work of Christopher Hoffman, and the best and worst of fantasy films of 1982. See you next time!

-JP

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Wednesday Comics

The Twilight Zone #37 (May, 1971)
"The Man-Beast of Paris"
Script: Paul S. Newman
Pencils & Inks: Luis Dominguez
Cover: George Wilson