The Twilight Man: Rod Serling and the Birth of Television

The Twilight Man: Rod Serling and the Birth of Television

by Koren Shadmi

Paperback

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Overview

A biographical tale that follows Hollywood revolutionary Rod Serling's rise to fame in the Golden Age of Television, and his descent into his own personal Twilight Zone.

We recognize him as our sharply dressed, cigarette-smoking tour guide of The Twilight Zone, but the entertainment business once regarded him as the “Angry Young Man” of Television. Before he became the revered master of science fiction, Rod Serling was a just a writer who had to fight to make his voice heard. He vehemently challenged the networks and viewership alike to expand their minds and standards—rejecting notions of censorship, racism and war. But it wasn’t until he began to write about real world enemies in the guise of aliens and monsters that people lent their ears. In doing so, he pushed the television industry to the edge of glory, and himself to the edge of sanity. Rod operated in a dimension beyond that of contemporary society, making him both a revolutionary and an outsider.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

09/09/2019

This sharp graphic biography mimics Rod Serling’s gift for mordant trickery without descending into parody as a martini-downing Serling spills his life story to a flirty seatmate on a nighttime PanAm flight. Shadmi (Highwayman) approximates Serling’s clipped and portentous style: “This particular specimen is Private Rodman Serling, age eighteen. A Jewish boy from small town Binghamton, New York,” he writes, describing Serling at the time of his WWII paratrooper service. Crushed by the “futility” of combat, Serling nearly succumbs to PTSD. But the success of his 1956 teleplay Patterns sparked a streak culminating in the 1959 launch of his groundbreaking anthology show The Twilight Zone, whose scripts were fueled by the fears swirling in his “night terrors.” He declares his intent is to dig into America’s subconscious, “harvest dark matter, reshape it, disguise it, and serve it back to the masses.” Shadmi’s art evokes the show’s signature hard lines and stark framing. The subversive series ended in 1964; Serling’s later years were a struggle, lightened by the surprise hit of his Planet of the Apes screenplay. While the book introduces the kind of dramatic final twist its subject would have approved, less attention is paid to the psychology behind why Serling so often concocted them. Nevertheless, it’s a perceptive take, which celebrates and illuminates one of early television’s true artists. (Oct.)

THE MERCURY

"The Twilight Man” is a wonderfully illustrated, emotional and enlightening story that authentically captures a complicated man and his Hollywood legacy."

From the Publisher

"“TWILIGHT MAN pulls back the curtain on Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling.”" - The Hollywood Reporter ""A perceptive take, which celebrates and illuminates one of early television’s true artists."" - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY ""Twilight Man is a respectful but clear-eyed tribute to one of the most important and influential dramatists of the 20th century."" - Alan Brennert, Nebula Award Winner "Having experienced "The Twilight Zone" and "Playhouse 90" first hand, I fancied myself as pretty clued in to the Rod Serling legacy, but I admit I learned a lot from Koren Shadmi's unexpectedly poignant and cleverly observed graphic novel treatment of Serling's life and career. It's a unique take on the lasting work of a complicated man who found his greatest success when coding the messages of his socially conscious narratives into "a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination"" - JOE DANTE "“Very hard to put this graphic novel down ... To learn all about [Serling] and the legacy he left behind was a true joy.”" - GOOD MEN PROJECT ""Beautifully illustrated."" - The Twilight Zone Podcast "“Poignant, intensely researched and crisply illustrated.”" - DEADLINE "“Koren Shadmi expertly takes us into a dimension of incredible imagination. The life of Rod Serling is a great American story of determination and invention - and the perfect stuff of a graphic novel.”" - David Kushner, Author of Masters of Doom

Nebula Award Winner Alan Brennert

" Twilight Man is a respectful but clear-eyed tribute to one of the most important and influential dramatists of the 20th century."

HORROR DNA

TWILIGHT MAN: ROD SERLING AND THE BIRTH OF TELEVISION is told in an interesting artistic style, evoking The Twilight Zone’s dreamlike storytelling. It’s a pretty awesome read.

film director Joe Dante

"Having experienced The Twilight Zone and Playhouse 90 first hand, I always fancied myself as pretty clued in to the Rod Serling legacy, but I must admit I learned a lot I didn't know from Koren Shadmi's unexpectedly poignant and cleverly observed graphic novel treatment of Serling's life and career. It's a unique take on the lasting work of a complicated man who found his greatest success when coding the messages of his very socially conscious narratives into 'a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination'."

DEADLINE

Poignant, intensely researched and crisply illustrated.

author of Masters of Doom David Kushner

Koren Shadmi expertly takes us into a dimension of incredible imagination. The life of Rod Serling is a great American story of determination and invention - and the perfect stuff of a graphic novel.

Author of Masters of Doom David Kushner

Koren Shadmi expertly takes us into a dimension of incredible imagination. The life of Rod Serling is a great American story of determination and invention - and the perfect stuff of a graphic novel.

Library Journal

10/01/2019

In 1943, Rod Serling joins the U.S. 511th Parachute Infantry Unit. He spends the war traveling across the Philippines and Japan and afterward returns home disoriented and depressed. In college, he begins channeling these emotions into his writing, which leads to a career scripting radio plays and eventually an opportunity to pioneer a brand new entertainment medium, television. His socially conscious scripts, which delve into the darkness he feels in himself and lurking behind the American dream, as well as his ferocious disagreements with network executives, censors, and sponsors, earn him a reputation as Hollywood's "angry young man." In 1957, he begins developing a series that will embed socially relevant themes inside of sf and fantasy stories in order to make them more palatable to the public. In 1959, The Twilight Zone finally premiers, and in 2019, Rod Serling remains an icon revered for altering the course of American popular culture, despite the personal and professional failures he endured between The Twilight Zone's cancellation in 1964 and his death at age 50 in 1975. VERDICT Shadmi (Highywayman) cleverly allows his subject to narrate his own story, adding poignancy and depth to this comprehensive, entertaining biography.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643375717
Publisher: Humanoids, Inc.
Publication date: 10/08/2019
Series: Twilight Man Series
Pages: 180
Sales rank: 162,227
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

Customer Reviews