Dynamite signed a deal with CBS Consumer Products to create a comic book series based on one of the most captivating television shows of all time, The Twilight Zone, featuring all-new tales of science and superstition as written by acclaimed author and Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski, one of the privileged few celebrated as a Special Guest of San Diego Comic-Con International 2013.
“One of the most deeply satisfying and creatively exciting experiences I’ve had in 25 years of writing for television and film was my stint on the new Twilight Zone television series,” says Straczynski. “I’ve been a fan of the original series since I was tall enough to reach for the TV tuner. So I was profoundly excited when Nick Barrucci came to me with the possibility of doing the new Twilight Zone comic to come out from Dynamite.”
The Twilight Zone took millions of television viewers on a weekly journey to another dimension, starting in 1959. The enduring success of The Twilight Zone spawned three revival series (one of which featured episodes written by J. Michael Straczynski), a feature film, novels, comics, and other related merchandise.
Regarding the unique nature of The Twilight Zone series, Straczynski says, “The immediate creative question to be resolved was: how do you transplant or adapt the TV anthology format into comic form? Individual stand-alone issues don’t give the issue-to-issue continuity you need to consistently bring in modern readers, and if it’s a year long arc, it’s not an anthology. The solution: three four-issue arcs that are connected by theme, character, and location… so that in reading one arc you get one side of the story, with its own supernatural or science-fiction elements, then you turn the character around to another character in that sequence who has his or her own story for the next four issues… and then at the end, you connect all of these individual stories into one overlapping tapestry, so you could literally view the book as individual stories as initially published, or layer the pages to create one big story. It’s a cool structure that I’m not sure has been attempted before, so this will be an awful lot of fun. I’m very excited to be working with Nick and his team on this book, and hope folks will check out the books when they come out.”
J. Michael Straczynski is the perfect choice to reinvent a television icon for the comics medium after spending many successful years straddling both media. In television, Straczynski has written over 300 produced episodes and six TV movies. In film, Straczynski’s credits include five produced movies in six years: Changeling for director Clint Eastwood, Ninja Assassin for the Wachowkis, Thor for Kenneth Branagh, Underworld Awakening, and World War Z for Paramount and Brad Pitt. He has written nearly 400 published comics for Marvel, DC and Image, including The Amazing Spider-Man for seven years, followed by Thor, The Fantastic Four, Before Watchmen, and others.
“It’s a thrill, an absolute thrill, to not only develop new tales for Twilight Zone, but to welcome J. Michael Straczynski as our honored host,” says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite. “We’ve wanted to work with him for years, and it’s finally materializing with this perfect combination: Straczynski and Twilight Zone, together again! The energy and enthusiasm behind the scenes is going to yield some truly mind-blowing science fiction.”