April 25, 2009

THE TWILIGHT ZONE: WALKING DISTANCE


Rod Serling’s THE TWILIGHT ZONE was one of the most ground-breaking programs to air on television. Through its wonderful storytelling, it was able to explore and discuss prominent issues that are just as relevant today as they were in the 1950s and 1960s. Many shows and serieses have been inspired by THE TWILIGHT ZONE with varying degrees of success. The show is just as powerful and thought-provoking as it was when it first aired.

Therefore, I was very excited when I learned about the series of graphic novels from Walker & Company written by Mark Kneece and illustrated by Dove McHargue. Selected episodes from the original tv series that were written by Serling himself have been selected to be adapted into a series of graphic novels.

WALKING DISTANCE is one of the first titles in the series. In this story, Martin Sloan is an executive of an ad agency living life in the fast lane. He’s become highly successful and seems destined for more, but he’s very unhappy. He’s nostalgic for his past and wants to go home again. After blowing up a tire on the highway, Sloan realizes he’s only a short “walking distance” from his hometown. While his car is being worked on, he takes a jaunt into town to clear his head. As he begins his journey he crosses over into the Twilight Zone eventually learning an important lesson from someone in his past.

The illustrations are well done and the overall structure and tone of the graphic novel stay true to the spirit of the original episode. The text is written in a font a bit larger than most graphic novels and comics. “Walking Distance” wasn’t one of my favorite episodes of THE TWILIGHT ZONE, but it is a good story to use as an introduction to the series. The book includes introductory and concluding essays as well as a page that gives many details about the original episode, including cast, crew, and trivia. For instance, I learned that “Walking Distance” is considered to be Serling’s most personal because the memories that Sloan has of Homewood are based upon Serling’s life growing up in Binghamton, NY.

Overall, this is a wonderful graphic novel that I really enjoyed and I look forward to reading more titles in the series. Recommened for fans of THE TWILIGHT ZONE, for people who enjoy graphic novels with good stories. Also recommended as a tool to introduce younger people to this classic television series.