Comic-Con@Home: Ray Bradbury’s Literary Talent Shined In Nearly Every Medium

by Ben Martin

Author Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) has made an impression on anyone who has an appreciation for literature. Moreover, the writer tends to resonate with genre lovers, especially. This quality is made clear by the fact that Comic-Con@Home and Orty Ortwein of the forthcoming The Ray Bradbury Experience Museum, devote a special presentation to Bradbury. The focus is specifically on Bradbury’s experiences, not as a novelist, but as a writer in the various mediums of Tinseltown entitled Ray Bradbury Goes to Hollywood

As I said, this is a presentation, more along the lines of a PowerPoint, as opposed to the semi-traditional panels we all watched over the weekend. Therefore, you can expect a more academic experience. Thankfully, Ray Bradbury Goes to Hollywood, is quite interesting and informative as it takes us through that particular aspect of Bradbury’s professional life.
In essence, Bradbury experienced all the ups-and-downs one might expect from the business of show. Before becoming directly involved in the adaptation process, Bradbury had several of his stories adapted to TV for CBS and NBC in the 1950s. Around this same time, It Came from Outer Space was brought to the silver screen in 1953. A mere three years later, Bradbury realized a dream when he got to work with a hero of his, director John Houston. In fact, Bradbury took on adapting Moby Dick for the 1956 film strictly to collaborate with Houston. Sadly, this dream rapidly devolved into a nightmare, thanks to Houston’s being tough to work with.

Following his experience on Moby Dick (1956), Bradbury turned down further screenwriting gigs for a long time. Instead, he transitioned to writing for television. Unfortunately, writing teleplays proved difficult as well. A prime example being Bradbury writing of three scripts for The Twilight Zone (1959-1964) was that only one was produced. However, Bradbury did have better luck with Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955-1962), on which he wrote seven episodes.

While the author worked tirelessly in his native medium of novels and short stories, time eventually saw Bradbury return to film and TV in the 1980s. See, Bradbury initially adapted his 1953 short story, The Black Ferris, into the screenplay for Something Wicked This Way Comes in 1955. Alas, the script underwent several rewrites from others before it eventually made it to film and was released by Disney in 1982. A few years later, Bradbury was allowed full creative control and experienced great success on the small screen with the short form anthology series, The Ray Bradbury Theater (1985-1992). In 1992, this weekly series ended, and that same year, Bradbury saw another triumph with the animated TV special, The Halloween Tree (1992).

I know it may seem like I summed up everything from the presentation mentioned above. Rest assured, though, I only hit some of the highlights. On the contrary, if you’re a fan of Bradbury’s, you’d be remiss not to watch this presentation in its entirety. I know that after viewing, I’m in a real mood to read and watch some of this author’s work, adapted and otherwise.

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