Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Twilight Zone: Walking Distance

Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone: Walking Distance. Adapted by Mark Kneece. Illustrated by Dove McHargue

Coming in October 2008, a graphic novel series inspired by classic Twilight Zone episodes. Up first? Walking Distance and The After Hours. I'll review each separately.

You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead--your next stop, the Twilight Zone.

Walking Distance is the story of a world-weary man, Martin Sloan, who stumbles into his hometown, Homewood, and meets his young and carefree self. Emboldened by the idea of saving himself from a life of drudgery, Martin tries to pass along some words of wisdom to his eleven-year-old self. What would you say to a younger you? If you could go back in time and *warn* yourself about the future? Would you listen to yourself? Walking Distance is an interesting premise. Martin learns, as we all must, that you can't change the past. You can't cling to the past. There's no use wondering about the what-ifs...I like the fact that it is his father who is sharing his words of wisdom with his all-grown-up son, "When you go back--look ahead. You've got to be strong that way. Life only looks complicated. It takes strength to keep it simple. Don't long for the past."

One of the reasons I like this story is that it illustrates a longing, a wishing we have to connect. Maybe we wish we could have a conversation with a parent, with a child, or even with ourselves--younger or older. When Martin *accidentally* goes back in time, he sees his hometown exactly as it was. He sees his friends, his neighbors, his parents, and, of course, himself. And on some level, I think this idea appeals to us. Especially tied in with this is the theme of loss. The past is lost to him, of course, except in his mind. But also the loss of his family. (I'm not sure if the text mentioned his mother, but I think they mentioned that his father had died. Martin is given the opportunity of perhaps *listening* to his father's words of wisdom for the first time.)

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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