Monday, June 24, 2013

He is Legend - Richard Matheson Forever

RICHARD MATHESON - February 20, 1926 - June 23, 2013

The passing of Richard Matheson is an enormous loss. Beyond penning one of the most important works of fiction of the 20th century with his landmark novel "I Am Legend", he's also one of the most remarkable multi-crossover artists we've ever had. He wrote for WEIRD TALES, the seminal Pulp that propelled everyone from H.P. Lovecraft to Ray Bradbury to Robert Bloch into fame; then soon went into Television and most notably, alongside Rod Serling and Charles Beaumont, would serve as one The Twilight Zone's most frequent writers; and soon after would write a large bulk of AIP's most memorable Horror films in the '60s. The decades after were filled with new exploratory fiction and even a nonfiction book.
And the MOST significant of Matheson's contributions is one that's found in nearly all of his work, and it's the contribution that's had the greatest influence of all - whether he was writing a story about grandparents or vampires, children or serial killers, monsters or shrinking men, Matheson always injected a raw element of humanity to his stories and characters. Regardless of what other people thought genre fiction should be, Matheson took all the blood and grit that made Horror fun and applied real human experience to it. George Romero didn't say he ripped off "I Am Legend" when they made NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD for no reason.

If we had to credit one writer for championing serious emotional topics in genres that are widely considered to be trash, we would have to credit Richard Matheson. He is Legend.

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