Summer is over and October is upon is. The leaves are changing. The hot temperatures of July are yielding to cool breezes that bring a nip to the air. The sun is setting at an earlier time and everything is flavored with pumpkin spice. Well, everything has been flavored with pumpkin spice since the third week of August, but that’s a story for another blog.
October also kicks off the annual “Inktober” event for artists around the globe. Every year since 2009, the official Inktober website has been offering single word suggestions to artists to create a daily drawing throughout the month of October. I discovered Inktober in 2014 and have been participating every year every since. (I also contribute to their weekly challenge of “Inktober 52.”) However, because I am lazy (and happy to make that admission), I make up my own rules for Inktober. Come to think of it, I make up my own rules for a lot of things.
I will be posting a new, black & white drawing (and a little bit of color here and there) each week for the entire month – in addition to my participation in the regular Inktober 52. Every year, I choose a theme in keeping with the “spirit” of the Hallowe’en season. This year, my drawings will highlight a few of the many horror-related television series that have graced the small screen almost since the invention of the cathode ray tube. I’ll begin this Week 1, with the godfather of spooky anthology series – Twilight Zone and its host Rod Serling.
Although it was not the first of television’s creepy anthologies, it is arguably the best known and most beloved. Rod Serling, a respected writer himself, assembled a group of science-fiction and horror authors to write original tales or adapt existing ones in an effort to scare the crap out of Mr. and Mrs. Post-War-Fear-Everything American in the paranoid early 1960s. With a slew of now-recognizable actors like Robert Redford, Martin Landau, and the ubiquitous Burgess Meredith, Twilight Zone presented aliens, ghosts, immortals and time travelers in thought-provoking stories geared towards frightening viewers amid the safety of Leave It to Beaver and Father Knows Best. After five seasons of fighting with network censors, Rod Serling had had enough. After 156 episodes, he was finished, setting his sights on his next project – another anthology series with a more lurid, in-your face lean called Night Gallery. But, Twilight Zone wasn’t satisfied with cancellation. It lived on in reruns, as well as three more network revivals and a theatrical film.