Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Twilight Zone: The After Hours/Walking Distance

illustrated by Rebekah Isaacs
Walker Books
Reviewed by Melissa

If you haven't had the opportunity to see episodes of the original Twilight Zone, then you're missing a creepy, weird, thoroughly enjoyable experience. But then, if you haven't had the opportunity to see the original Twilight Zone TV show, you can now get some of that same experience thanks to a series of graphic novels adapted by Mark Kneece, a professor of sequencial art at Savannah College of Art and Design. He has meticulously done his research into each episode, referring to the original script, sometimes adding scenes that were deleted when the episode aired. It's an interesting project, with an interesting result, one that has potential not only to hook new fans, but to please fans of the original show.

Unfortunately, the two episodes Kneece chose to adapt for this graphic novel -- both from the first season -- aren't the best ones. They're all right, but they lack the finesse, style and gripping wierdness of the best Twilight Zone episodes. The After Hours is about a woman who is trying to buy a gift for her mother, and is locked in the store, only to find out that the mannequins are alive. And in the Walking Distance, a busy, unhappy man is given the chance to go back and visit his childhood, and is given the chance to affect the future. I don't know why out of all the episodes Kneece chose to begin with less-than-stellar ones; perhaps he is beginning at the beginning, and more of the better episodes will be adapted later on.

The adaptation itself is clever and affective. Isaacs does a marvelous job capturing the feel of the Twilight Zone. The characters are drawn in a timeless way: sure, you can tell it's the 1960s, but it's not jarringly so. I like the use of the color -- I only had a few pages to see, as the galley were done mostly in black and white --eye-catching, and startling, but not glaring. It works well for the story. I liked the feel of reading the stories; while I missed the soundtrack, I still could catch some of the effect that Twilight Zone is famous for.

I can only hope that as Kneece goes through the Twilight Zone canon, that he ends up doing some of the better episodes. Those will be some good graphic novels to read.


Becky said...

I enjoyed these. And I'm looking forward to see which ones will be adapted next.

hinder34 said...

Nice review and I enjoyed this show a lot!!! Rod Serling's distinctive approach gave "The Twilight Zone" a unique character that will always keep it among the best-remembered of all classic television shows. really a great show forever, watch this show with all episodes from here. download The Twilight Zone tv show and enjoy every episode of the show.