Friday, December 30, 2011

Twilight Zone 1-10 writers

identical Rod Serling heads from TZ 3 stories, 'The Last Battle' and 'The Queen Is Dead'

This list indexes the writers of the first ten Gold Key issues of The Twilight Zone. There were four earlier issues, which I've yet to see, published by Dell in 1961-62; Gold Key restarted the numbering with #1.

Those cited by the Who's Who as writing mystery stories in the early Sixties for Western (which would include the Dell TZs, then Boris Karloff as well as TZ, at Gold Key) include Leo Cheney, Royal Cole, and Marshall McClintock. There are no specific stories they're known to have done, so I can't match up the unknown writers' styles with particular authors.

Technically one story in each issue is not a Twilight Zone; there's no logo, no appearance by Rod Serling, and the copyright owner is Western rather than the TV production company, Cayuga.

A stat of Rod Serling's head was used in any number of stories beginning with the third issue. Above, on the left, is the head's first appearance, in a Mike Sekowsky story—and I don't think the head itself is by Sekowsky—then, on the right, it's definitely a stat in an Alex Toth story. Below are two examples from Frank Thorne stories; in earlier ones, he got to draw Serling.

identical Rod Serling heads from TZ 10 stories, 'Lost Acre' and 'Demon Light'

The art attributions are on the Grand Comics Database.

The Twilight Zone Writers

Nov/62#1 Perilous Journey"TZ 1"
Do Not Touch Exhibit"TZ 1"
Voyage to NowhereLeo Dorfman
Feb/63#2 The Lost Colonie"TZ 2"
Journey into JeopardyDorfman
The Ray of PhobosDorfman
May/63#3 The Last Battle"TZ 2"
Birds of a Feather"TZ 2"
The Queen Is Dead—Long Live the Queen"TZ 2"
Aug/63#4 The Secret of the Key"TZ 2"
Experiment in Purple"TZ 2"
The Captive"TZ 2"
The Ordeal of Bluebird 3"TZ 2"
Nov/63#5 The Legacy of Hans BurkelDorfman
Poor Little SylvesterDorfman
The Shadow of FateDorfman
The Fortune HuntersDorfman
Feb/64#6 Captives of the MirageDick Wood
The Night People of LondonWood
The Last Sixty SecondsWood
May/64#7 The Shield of MedusaWood
The Menace from Out ThereWood
The Man Who Haunted HimselfWood
Aug/64#8 Hamilton's CreatureWood
The Night Striker of ParisWood
Iron Man No. 1"TZ 2"
Nov/64#9 The Street Where Evil DweltWood
The Doom Days    ?
Creatures on CanvasWood
Feb/65#10 The Bewitching WindowWood
Lost AcreWood
The Patient Workers *Wood
The Demon LightWood
The Mystic BookWood
The Midas Wheel *Wood
(* single-page stories)


  1. Neither Cheney nor Cole wrote much comic books (Cole wrote a fair number of comic strips) - but McClintock apparently wrote a fair number of uncredited material. "Known" are: Mandrake (FC)# 752, Man From UNCLE, Phantom, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, and Doctor Solar. Do anything in those books look like your TZ 1, 2 or ? - and speaking of Solar, did McClintock actually write any?

  2. I'll see if I can get you scans of the missing issues.

  3. SangorShop: McClintock is the one driving me crazy, because I can't find any scripts on, for instance, Voyage and Dr. Solar whose writer I don't already recognize (Dick Wood, Otto Binder, and Paul S. Newman). And it's taking me a while to figure out the Phantom at Gold Key because I don't know whether I'm looking at the work of McClintock or Bill Harris (who likewise has no actual credited stories anywhere that I know of). Early Man from UNCLE may be the key to McClintock; I'm looking at those. Possibly he plotted rather than scripted?

    darkmark: Thanks; I see I have at least one Dell story "reprinted by popular demand" in a later Gold Key, but don't imagine they got around to sprinkling four issues' worth of reprints in there.

  4. I think that Rod Serling head is by Sekowsky.

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  6. Don't know if it'll be of help, but Royal Cole did write the Hopalong Cassidy strip with Dan Spiegle illustrating.

  7. Mark: That would make sense -- that the editors would stat something they liked out of existing art. This may hew too closely to photo reference for me to see what I expect to see in Sekowsky's style.

    darkmark: And, interestingly enough, both Cole and Dorfman wrote Superman. I wish, for comparison purposes, Cole's scripts had been comic book rather than serial and TV ones.