Friday, May 10, 2024

CITIZEN OF THE ZONE—REVISITED

Tomorrow, May 11th, is National Twilight Zone Day (yes, there is such a thing) and, in honor the great Rod Serling and his astonishing creation, I re-present (with a few minor edits and updates) an essay I wrote back in 2009.


Our psyches are so tender, so innocently open, when we’re children that stories enchant us in primal ways they rarely can again. As a kid, I was a story addict—devouring everything from comic books (didn’t matter if it was Richie Rich, Archie, Superman or Spider-Man. I adored them all) to the legends of King Arthur (I was fixated on a knight named Sir Tristram, who, I decided, was so much cooler than that overrated bum, Sir Lancelot); John R. Tunis baseball novels (interesting, considering I was in no way a sports enthusiast) to history (I was obsessed with Remember the Alamo! by Robert Penn Warren. What boy in the 60’s, raised on TV Westerns, could resist Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie fighting, and dying, side by side?). And then there was the singular genius of Dr. Seuss: I have a clear memory of clutching my parents hands as we walked to Brooklyn’s Avenue J Library; then sitting, transfixed, in the children’s section, discovering Theodor Geisel’s absurd, illuminating universe for the first time.

All of those wonderful books impacted and influenced me (and, in the case of comic books, launched me on my career path), but some of the stories that left the deepest echoes in my young soul were stories that, for the most part, I first encountered on television:

There was The Wizard of Oz, played once a year, every year. (Can a child today, able to watch the film ad infinitum on streaming, possibly imagine the thrill of pulling a chair up close to the TV and waiting, with almost desperate anticipation, for that MGM lion to roar?) A Christmas Carol, which, every Christmas Eve in New York, would be played at least three times (on The Late Show, The Late, Late Show, and The Late, Late, Late Show. Two runs for the absolutely perfect 1951 version with Alistair Sim, with the 1938 Reginald Owen interpretation sandwiched in between. My mother would eventually shuffle off to sleep, but my father and sister always stayed up with me to watch them all). I adore Disney’s Peter Pan (the scene of Peter and the children flying over London is one of the most thrilling in screen history), but it was the Mary Martin version—which appeared on television with less frequency than Oz and so, in some ways, was even more of a special event—that first captured me. Especially the ending: The eternally-young Peter returns to London, not realizing that decades have passed, and is horrified to find Wendy ”ever so much more than twenty.” I was horrified, too—and deeply moved, in ways my young mind couldn’t really fathom, by the strange, sad tricks of Time.

Then of course there was the King of the Modern Imagination—a man who remains one of my heroes—Walt Disney: feeding me his dreams through the movie houses, certainly (the first movie I remember seeing was a re-release of Disney’s Cinderella, when I was two or three: sitting on my mother’s lap, watching those birds and mice caper across a mind-bogglingly huge screen), but far more intimately through weekly doses of Walt Disney Presents—which later became The Wonderful World of Color (made no difference to me, since we had a black and white television). The Disney story that impacted me more than any other was Pinocchio. I’m pretty sure I saw the movie—the Citizen Kane of animated films—when I was a kid, but what I remember most was a record I owned, which featured Jiminy Cricket himself narrating Pinoke’s story, with music and dialogue from the film. I would listen to that recording again and again and again; lost, in terror and amazement, in the belly of the great whale, Monstro.

When I finally got around to actually reading those childhood classics, my respect for the tales deepened even more. Okay, so I never actually finished Collodi’s Pinocchio—the Disney version is so perfect that it pretty much ruined me for any other interpretation—but Barrie, Dickens and Baum quickly became friends; Dickens and Baum two of the greatest friends I’ve ever had. I could write essays about all of these extraordinary tales—and, with time and luck, I will—but there’s another television-borne story I’d like to focus on here; actually a series of stories that permeated the deeps of my child-mind in wonderful—and wonderfully chilling—ways:

The Twilight Zone.

Unquestionably my favorite television show ever (the original Star Trek is a close second; but, sorry Captain Kirk, not close enough). I don’t know how many times I’ve started writing a new story and then suddenly realized that, in some way, it was done before, and better, on The Twilight Zone. Go to the movies, turn on your television, and you’ll see Rod Serling’s fingerprints everywhere. (And let’s give credit to Serling’s brilliant collaborators, Richard Matheson, Charles Beaumont and George Clayton Johnson—as well as to the man who influenced all of them, the literary god who looms so large on my altar, Ray Bradbury.)


I have a clear and powerful memory of the first Zone episode I ever saw (I was five years old, staying up late at my Aunt’s house on a Friday night): it was called “Time Enough At Last” and if you’re a TZ aficionado you probably know that it’s the episode featuring Burgess Meredith as a bespectacled bookworm who inadvertently survives a nuclear attack and becomes the last man on Earth (or at least in New York). Meredith’s character, Mr. Henry Bemis, is miserable, lonely, despairing. On the verge of suicide he stumbles through the ruins, looks up—and sees a library: a massive, glorious library that wouldn’t look out of place in Emerald City. In the next scene, Bemis has got books, miles of books, spread out across the library steps. He’s happier than he’s ever been. “Time enough at last,” he says, ready to begin the feast. And then his glasses slip from his sweaty face, fall—and shatter. An absolutely heartbreaking ending (so much so that my daughter, who, when she was younger, received an in-depth TZ education from her cultured father, still refuses to watch it. Oh, she knows what the ending is, she made me tell her. But just hearing about it made her cry).

Despite the tragic ending, despite the haunting—and, at the time of broadcast, frighteningly relevant—images of post-nuclear devastation (the episode never addresses the fact that Bemis will undoubtedly die of radiation poisoning; or perhaps the broken glasses themselves are the metaphor), the image that mesmerized me was the library. Equally significant was Mr. Bemis’s extraordinary solitude. I’ve always been someone who enjoyed the universes inside his own head as much as—sometimes more than—the alleged Real World, so, even at that young age, the idea of one man absolutely alone with all the books he could ever want was tantalizing. Magical.

In a strange way I grew up to become a kind of Mr. Bemis, spending decades alone in a room with stories as my only companions. Okay, so I’m writing them, and Bemis was reading them; but, in both cases, it’s about immersing your consciousness in alternate worlds; in preferring those worlds to the bogus reality being fed to us daily by the maya-weavers at CNN. And I have to wonder: Did my impressionable young mind respond so powerfully to that episode because it was in my nature to? Or did “Time Enough At Last” somehow dictate what that nature would be? Who I would become as I grew older?

Even more significant, I think, is the world view that those collective TZ episodes created. Serling, Matheson and the rest birthed a vision of a universe that moved and had purpose. A universe that was alive: conscious and interactive. Looking back, the vision could be cynical on occasion, cruel and unfair (the fate of poor Mr. Bemis being a prime example)—but, at its best (“Walking Distance,” “A Stop At Willoughby,” “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and “The After Hours” come immediately to mind; you can read my list of favorite episodes here), the Zone universe was one that responded to our deepest wishes and our soul’s needs. It offered up opportunities for redemption (often to people society viewed as beyond saving) or, when necessary, a swift, cosmic kick in the pants. Years of spiritual search have convinced me that Serling and his collaborators were right: the universe is very much alive and interactive; is in fact a reflection of our own minds and hearts and truest, deepest Selves. Every day of our lives is a journey through “a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity.”

And again I wonder: Did the Zone somehow prepare me for the spiritual search that gripped my soul at a young age, perhaps even inspire it in some way? Or did I respond to those stories because, in my heart, I understood that The Twilight Zone reflected the truth of our lives far better than stories that claimed to be, excuse the expression, “realistic”? I tend to think the latter is true: When our souls are set aflame by an idea, a philosophy, a story, it’s because we’re responding to eternal truths that we already know and believe—even if they might seem (to our conscious minds) blazingly, brilliantly, new. Our deepest wisdom, our deepest joy, is already there, like a long-buried memory, inside us, just waiting to be reawakened.

At five years old, up past my bedtime, bathing in the television’s blue glow, Rod Serling’s universe wasn’t alien to me: I recognized it. I was home. So you could say I was born a citizen of The Twilight Zone. For that matter, I was born a citizen of Oz and Neverland, Dickens’s London and The Magic Kingdom. All these stories continue to echo through my consciousness and influence my work, and my life, in strange, miraculous ways I still don’t completely understand.



©copyright 2024  J.M. DeMatteis

19 comments:

  1. Here is a question...

    You have made your love for the Twilight Zone clear many times, as well as your appreciation for the days of Marvel and DC anthologies.

    Id there a reason in all this time, you never tried to start up your own anthology. Like at Image or Dark Horse. Or even at Marvel or DC?

    Jack

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    1. Ir'a great idea, but one I've never given much consideration to. I honestly don't know if comics would support a project like that (it's hard enough getting a creator-owned book across in this market). That said, it's well worth considering.

      Also: My two recent novellas have more or less been extended ZONE episodes. And (plug!) there's a third on the way, late this year or early next.

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    2. Good points, Jack...but my experience with creator-owned books is not that. I do them for the creative freedom, for getting ideas into the world, not for the sales...which, in my experience, have been okay, at best. Happy that others have had more success, but, again, that's not my experience. I'd love to be proved wrong.

      I sometimes think about combining two of my passions: anthologies and radio drama and doing a modern-day TZ-ish anthology as a drama podcast.

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  2. I know the official reason why Batman was more sparsely in the JLI, was because he told DC Comics he could not sign a strict contract to appear in a book set in New York because of his obligations to Gotham crime fighting, shooting schedule for the Burton movies and Wayne Tech's exploitation of the third world.

    However, I heard a rumor he was really just jealous of Ted Kord's Bug, an was afraid Guy Gardner and Booster Gold would make fun of him for having tech behind a Charlton character. Is that true?

    Jack

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    1. Are you ready for the hottest of takes on your old buddy Ted Kord? One that will being to change the way you think about this whole world we are in?

      Ted Kord's greatest nemesis is...Spider-man.

      You may be thinking this is a joke, or more likely the ramblings of a madman. Now, the latter MAY be true, but not for the reasons you think

      More than that..when all is said and done, this will connect into every conversation we have had on THIS section of your website. Ready....

      Continued...

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    2. Ted Kord was clearly Steve Ditko's attempt to show what Spider-man should be... minus the powers of course. Guilt with uncle (though less logical), crazy acrobatics, smart guy, hounded by someone who wants to pin something on him.

      Don't get me wrong, he is very much his own character as well...because Steve Ditko was only part of the equation that made out ol' pal Peter. In fact, I would even argue that having him reveal his identity to his girlfriend, taking away a chance for melodrama was specifically supposed to be a swipe at Stan Lee.


      Any way, the book did not do well, and eventually get gets picked up by DC. DC clearly thought Ted was going to be a big deal. CRISIS opens with him for God's sake. For that matter, he got the second issue of Secret Origins, and was teh first NEW issue sries after CRISIS...YE! Even before Man of Steel.

      People forget, the was a sort of nebulous period for about six months, where it was still mostly pre-CRISIS, sort of wrapping up loose ends, but Ted was there. And who did they give it to? The ever talented Len Wein.

      Wein is on record as saying it was a chance to "write the type of Spider-man stories Marvel was not telling anymore." Makes sense, he had written Spider-man in the 70s, and you can see it.


      Ted's relationship was now similar to a 70s Pete and MJ. He had a work mention who acted a bit like Robbie Robertson. He was sarcastic.

      Of course, again, it was still it's own thing, but there was no getting around the Peter comparisons... especially since they kind of look alike.

      Honestly I think that was DC's plan in pushing him so hard. Have their own SPider-Man.

      Now, I am actually very fond of those stories, but the similarities are pretty clear, and in the corded market of the late 80s...SPider-Man already existed.

      Then, for the first time ever, Ted found some popularity, as the star of a sitcom called...JLI. He was funny, and hung around with his best friend. It was great, no wonder it was a success. TYPED HAD FOUND HIS VOICE.

      However, that era eventually ended, but Ted remained on the team. Pushed a bit to the back, but still present. However, his goggles were remodeled to look like Spider-Man's eyes. He was almost always coughing like Spider-man, and somehow became a supernatural acrobatic ability, in ways that seemed like...someone. And his star faded fast

      He showed up here and there. Sometimes more like a cross between Spider-Man and BAtman, which had some good moments, for sure, but it faded.

      Two things seemed clear. A lot of writers wanted to use him to tell SPider-Man-ish stories. Also, that the only time he was ever setting the world on fire was in the unique take in JLI reunions, but people would not let him have that.

      There was even one story where they tried to claim that was all because of stress based psychological issues. o, now it was Hank Pym influenced things. Well...that is at least a change. It could not jut be as simple as "people act different with different people" or sometimes you let diffenrt parts of your personality out. Very real things in life, that could have deepened the character.

      Jut look at the authors of the JLI. Both are known to do very different work apart than separate. Although do swing that way separately from time to time ..probably a bit more Giffen.

      so why can;t Ted have his style? Well, the answer is of course, continued...

      Jacl

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    3. Hopefully my last one went thought, or this will make no sense as a jump...

      I will some this up in the way I believe you will best grasp. I of course mean, a quote from a 19th century transcendentalist author. IN this case, Ralph Waldo Emerson.

      “Meek young men grow up in libraries, believing it their duty to accept the views which Cicero, which Locke, which Bacon have given, forgetful that Cicero, Locke and Bacon were only young men in libraries when they wrote these books.”

      For decades there has been an ever increasing problem with pop culture of setting up rails, and portraying creators as untouchable gods.

      Are the Beatles the greatest band of all time? Maybe, but they did not get there by thinking they could never be better than Elvis, or Buddy Holly, or Motzart. Not in a society that takes that as a forgone conclusion.

      The Godfather is not considered the greatest movie ever because Coppola thought Citizen Kane must be adhered to as the best.

      But increasingly, that has been the reality though. Even in nerd circles which created themselves by being so different, and outside the box. To a degree I understand that. So much science fiction exists now, that it will remind you of some authors.

      However, you rad stories form the 1950s and 60s, they are all over the goddamn place. Now, you pick of a sci-fi rag, and you more or less know what you are getting. IS their variety? OF COURSE, it is still different people doing the writing, However, Unifying structure is visible.

      people love to say nothing will ever be better than Watchmen. Not more influential, given the time it came out...better. Which is kind of kneecapping both the reader and the creators, right? If that is a shadow looming over everything.

      This reached it;s fever pitch in in the 2010s, in Hollywood. When so much of the landscape was dominated by Gen X nostalgia, which admittedly, Millennials and Baby Boomers were not divorced form. The wide variety of the Marvel Universe comics, being boiled down to a formula. Every TV show having a cynical male anti-hero in a Tony Soprano

      Now, I do NOT think we have a deficit of creative people. I think the systems have been forming it, and not entirely independently. The audiences want this for a reason.

      And I think that is about to change, and we could...potentially be on the verge of a multi-media creative explosion

      Man, you better BET this is continued....

      Jack

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    4. There is a common misconception that pop culture always means the best..or even that it always means the worst, but it is not that simple. The "pop" of course means "popular." Of course many things that are good become popular...as do many bad things, just like many bad things are ignored, and many good things rediscovered later. It is all about what the audience's mindset is in that moment.

      Different eras make us want different things. Because art reflects our desires. And that is often born from major events.

      The Great Depression gave us pop culture as we know it, as movies and radio were finally as we think of mass media.

      we got soap operas, and serials with cliff hangers, because people wanted something to look forward to in dark time.

      It is also why so many movies involved travel to other. countries and rich people. Because America was at it's poorest, and thought they would never see these luxuries in real life.

      Think about your boy, Jack Benny compared to Seinfeld. Both were about the lives of comedians, but with Benny...his rich lifestyle was part of the draw.

      Adventure stories reigned supreme because people wanted to escape. It is also why music involved big bands. it took you somewhere else.Melodrama exploded because people wanted to feel the biggest emotions.

      After WWII, things toned down a bit., Things got a bit more serious. Even goofy comedies, brought up issues like the housing crisis.

      Film Noir is also believed to be American contextualizing WWII. That is why there is gray morally, and secretive pasts. SO many GIs had things they did not want to talk about, both from the war and the depression.

      Sci-Fi came into it's own. Now reflecting unspeakable fears of technology inspired by the bomb, and men no longer sure of what comes next. But also our hope for the future. Many stories are also thinly-veiled pro-Civil Rights tales, or urging us to connect with our fellow man lest we lose our humanity.

      TV was the curated look people thought they were supposed to have. However, the popular literature of the time tells a different story.

      Peyton's Place showed a desire for the ...naughty things in life. The Man ion the Gray Flannel Suit showed that straight White Men...while not as beys as those who did not fit that moniker..were having their own problems in the post war years. Unable to find identity, and YES, wanting to spend more time with the family, despite going to a job he hates to provide for them. Not exactly the Cool as a cucumber man's man we know think of the era.

      On the Road showed a restlessness with the world.

      The late 60s and 70s saw a dramatic shift to the real, as the curated images of TV and Hollywood seemed to clash with the realities of Civil unrest, increasing crime, and Vietnam. Hell, if not for Cabaret, teh entire musical genre would have died.

      Movies became soaked with reality, and Norman Lear made TV join in, and maybe even direct, the dinner table and coffee shop conversations.

      But that burned out and the 80s. Happened, Comfort sitcoms for a weary generation that ha seen the world change, and now wanted to relax, and maybe try to raise their kids. Big Budget Movies and feel good flicks ruled the box office...but still with a bit of darkness. Because nothing really shook them out of it, NO big even,

      continued ...

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    5. hope the last ones went through or this will make no sense....

      Any way, the 90s were good and uneventful, so Movies had big budget-low plot and and Rom com fluff. Nothing wrong with that., Things were good, people wanted fun.

      Other's were hang out movies, that focused around "isn't our life so interesting"

      TV was either like Seinfeld or friends where it was the everyday stuff that was funny, to the Simpsons and 3rd Rock from the Sun, which is commentary on the everyday, and how weird it really is.

      Of course The Matrix, Fight Club, and American Beauty show teh malaise of teh good times setting in, but then...9/11 happens.

      TV becomes reality shows to have a controlled reality, or dramedies to laugh at the hard stuff. Movies were either about good or evil, or introspective. We were scarred, and thinking.

      The Dark Knight Trilogy is three movies about terrorism and trauma, and look at how different X2 and Spider-Man 2 are form the pre-9/11 made ones. There is a heaviness. That train sce in SPidey 2? Booby's House in x2? You are seeing media change for the time in front of you.

      A HORRIBLE tragedy hit, and we were trying to process it.

      Happened in comics too. Waid's F.F. started as a fun lark, and then became Doom making a special armor by killing his one love, and Franklin unable to not see Hell, even after being rescued.

      Of course, the Lord of the Rings movies with their heavier vies, as swells Harry Potter, which were started being made before 9/11 fit the bill, even if by chance

      Then the market crashed, And eventually the behemoth of media changed courses.
      Iron Man went form a very post-9/11 movie character to johnny just have fun and quip in Avengers

      It was big names that people knew. Comfort, Taking heavy stories like Starlin's and making them full blown comedy. Taking the edge off some characters. Giving predictability.

      A whole generation saw promises die before their eyes as Capitalism seemed to fail, and the economy cratered. They went into debt, with four years of college to find themselves that you did not need one for, and did not party enough for loans. They lives were stalled, Maybe permanently.

      Baby Boomers, while not as bad, were also being laid off in massive numbers. But Gen X...they were in the sweet spot to weather the storm, but were still worried. However, they had the money, so they got to have nostalgia rule, despite being a small generation, After... Star Wars and Ghost Busters, Marvel Comics, a re not JUST for Gen X, The fans permeate across ages... even if that is who it was targeted for. And a;; those 80s nostalgia period pieces.

      And of course, the rise of social media helped as well. Gave you a place to talk and reminisce. Millennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers. All could speculate on a cinematic universe or talk about what they hope the reboot gets right

      And that takes us to now, and the potential creative explosion.

      continued...

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    6. For many years I said something I still firmly believe.

      9/11 was not just a terrorist attack, it was a multi year sociopolitical fall out. When it ended is debatable, The Great Recession seems probable, but it certainly seemed to still be around in 2016.

      ONe thing is for sure. It is over now. The Pandemic happened. it changed collectively how we think. It's era will not end just because the masks can come off., Too much happened. Pop culture will...eventually... make it;s way around to accepting that, but those companies are still massive behemoths. Bigger than ever. It will be slow.,

      I don;t know what it will look like, that is hard to tell. But that is the REAL reason the Marvel movies are under-performing, Why MOST movies are. Why for the first time in a long tine, there does not seem to be a super popular show...on any form of TV. We are waiting.

      The pandemic burned us out on nostalgia. That is where many got tehir comfort from, and now it is done. They O.D.ed

      People could not figure out what the common thread in Barbie and Oppenheimer was. It is simple...they were DIFFERENT. Just like Blue Beetle in the JLI...see, I did not forget our pal.

      Millennials might finally get their rise...which would fit, since is much of the scant few things they created touched on mental illness and stress. Was introspective. Seems like it might fit, but who knows.,

      The problem is Baby Boomers mythologized their time...which is fine. They were really interesting times. They shaped the world. However, that lapsed into mythologizing the pop culture, so...here we are.

      There needs to be a breaking point form that.

      continued...

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    7. Marvel is so synonymous with the previous decade of pop culture, comics are going to struggle to refined their voice. The last decade's voice in comics was even...what might work well for a movie or TV show.? Because that is how it proved itself. I am actually not judging.

      Across media, the last generation to not be held by constraints were...the Baby Boomers.

      Something very good happened in comics in the early 1980s,. Creators got more rights over their work, got more money for their time and talent. Maker no mistake that WAS A GOOD THING.

      However, something seemed to become lost. There was no incentive to become editors. I feel like the following generation of writers did not get the mentoring that say, you got from Denny O'Neil and Len Wein...for instance.

      YES., there were good stories in the 21st century, but many seemed to be struggling to break into the creator;s own voice. Or at least to dot in a way condusive to comics.

      HOWEVER,there were some writers who completely broke through into their personal voice. Most came form Vertigo, and had Karen Berger cultivate tehir talents.

      I think Legacy creators, coming back...because we know they sell... either at the big two or indie books, and doing the types of stories they want, and taking the types of risks they want. Telling stories they want.

      Using those books to say, "Look, we are glad you love our stories, but we got them by experimenting, YES! we often had to do it withing a system, but you love the comics we poured ourselves into. DOn't let our comics be something to strive for. Let them inspire you to strive for the stories you want. Don't have the companies try to make the next Daredevil Born Again, Kraven's LAst HUnt, or Man-thing, give the skills and opportunity to make the next work that blows people away with the same unexpected punch. '

      I think that is something the companies, creators, and yes...even the fans...NEED to hear. I believe this problem exits ACROSS media. I don't think it makes bad writers, there are writers who fit the mold I described who I get every book they push out. There are those who DON'T fit the mold, but toil away unaccredited don't think it kills an inner voice, just hols it back. I do not think it is a conspiracy, I think it is a cultural prison.

      I am only using comics as an example, because that is what YOU know best.

      I am not saying this is realistic, or practical, or even really possible,,,,in fact, think of it as a metaphor if you want. The importance of moving forward,

      All throughout 2o2o people talked about going "back to normal," and have spent the last few years being angry because it is hard, But it is not hard...it is impossible, We are different. Politically, culturally, socially, and POP culturally, we have to accept that and move forward, give into the urge for different.

      You can't go back anymore than you can go back to before WWII, 9/11, or Reagan. The wounds are there, all we can do is figure out how to treat them. And the more we make our culture about capturing what was the faster it will rot.

      Change is NOT always good, but going back is not always an option. SO, you might as well remove the roadblocks up ahead

      Just ask Ted Kord what happens when they keep trying to pull you back.

      Jack

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    8. Well THAT was a journey into the Twilight Zone!

      Fascinating, insightful stuff, Jack. You should flesh this out into an essay...or a book. It bears deeper exploration. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Have you read the graphic biography "The Twilight Man: Rod Serling and the Birth of Television" by Koren Shadmi? I just discovered it and really enjoyed it! Give your love of the show, you might too!

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    1. I've read a lot of Serling/Zone-centric books, but not that one. Thanks for the recommendation. I'll check it out!

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  4. I am not going to lie Dematteis, I am still waiting for the long delayed sequel to Brooklyn Dreams. It chronicles the next time-capsule snap shot in the life of a New Yorker.

    I of course speak of when you went to Chicago, and went to (then) Sears Tower, and you said, "I did not know they made buildings this tall in New Jersey." You were then told, "no it is another state.

    So you, of course responded, "oh...my apologies. Still, I did not know it got this cold in California"

    Then it is 436 pages of people trying to explain to you that there are states between only to give up and say, "we are in REALLY west New Jersey."

    I assume it will be called "The Time my Father -In-Law Spent a Week Trying to Trick me."

    Universal New York Shenanigans.

    Jack

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  5. In all seriousness, I've pondered a sequel to BROOKLYN DREAMS a number of times over the years. And it's still tempting.

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    1. If you were really clever, you would do the OPPOSITE of Brooklyn Dreams.

      I will take a second to wait for the obligatory New Jersey joke which New Yorkers are legally required to make. Though, I must say, I am both not sure that is a healthy or fair impulse, nor am I sure Brooklyn and New Hersey are THAT opposite.

      Okay, now that we are back on track...

      Have you ever wondered why 20 Million Miles to Earth takes place in Rome? I mean...it is an American movie, and there is nothing inherently Roman about it, right?

      The reason is that Ray Harryhausen wanted to visit Rome, so he made it happen.

      You could travel the country, embracing your inner hippie. and writing if off on your taxes, just so long as you write a comic influenced by each area.

      THERE! Now you can cross get bizarre tax advice from a weirdo on the internet off your bucket list. I know that had been a stubborn one for a while.


      Jack

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    2. Can I travel the country with Green Lantern and Green Arrow? Now that's a story!

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