Friday, April 9, 2010

Kneece, Mark. The Midnight Sun.

Kneece, Mark The Midnight Sun
Walker_Co 2009 106p 9.99 978-0-8027-9721-6 ms/hs
Rod Serling's Twilight Zone (Walker)
Everyone has moved out of New York City as the world is coming to an end due to extreme heat. Mrs. Bronson and Norma Smith remain to battle the elements, and in a twist at the end, are caught in a different dying world, that of extreme cold. Carol Serling knows that to keep Rod’s brilliant scripts of the 60s alive, she must appeal to a target audience of children and young adults. Mark Kneece and Anthony Spay have converted 8 of the best of Serling’s TV shows to graphic novels whose characters come alive and whose plots combine action with psychological studies. As Anna M. Burgard states in her introduction, Serling was able to combine a variety of themes with entertainment. In The Midnight Sun, two survivors shore up in their apartment while the world is going crazy below due to global warming. They witness horrific acts of human depredation below, yet they hang on. In an attempt to help the ever weakening Mrs. Bronson, Norma paints a waterfall scene, which gives temporary respite to her. When a man who is desperately seeking water breaks into their apartment, they fight back, but it is futile. He shares his own desperation at losing his wife and new baby, then runs into the street below, only to meet his demise. Imagine our surprise when Norma wakes up from a fever, and as she is comforted by Mrs. Bronson and her doctor, we learn that the world is actually on the verge of collapse due to freezing climate. The world is going to end and the helplessness and hopelessness of its inhabitants are cleverly taught by Serling in his original script, and now by Mark Kneece in this powerful adaptation. With a list of characters of the TV show at the end of the novel, the reader is made to feel as if he has just read a play. Production notes serve to show us how the show was filmed, adding an extra element of spice to the already “spicy” script. Finally, Mark Kneece tells us what he did to create this series in an informative and interesting conclusion. Serling’s creations do so much more than represent the genre of science fiction. They are studies of mankind’s foibles, follies and fabrications. Squaresky, Martha

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