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An anthology is a collection of works collected by one compiler.

Gold Key's The Twilight Zone comic anthology ran for 91 issues over 15 years

Anthologies are collected works presented in one common form or in a series by a single compiler, such as a publisher, producer, or editor. Anthologies cover a broad range of formats, including short stories, plays, poems, and series or episodes of telvision or radio productions. Generally, these individual works are not specifically related, but in genre fiction an anthology is used to collect shorter works of a similar genre into a single volume for publication.[1]

The use of anthologies often provides a benefit for the financial backers of a production as it tends to require no long term contracts for talent and increases the number of people that are available to publicize the series. This also provides a benefit for writers and actors that are just starting out because the producers are often more willing to take a chance on new talent for a single episode than for an entire series.[2]

Anthology series

An anthology series is a series presented on a regular basis, but having no regular characters or storyline, although some series feature a similar type or genre of story. This does not mean that characters, settings, objects, or themes will not be featured again in the series, but such reoccurrences are generally a rarity. Appearances of the same actors in multiple episodes was more common, some series even featuring a permanent cast of actors to play all of the different roles, just as in sketch comedy.

Comic anthologies

Comic books use the anthology format to produce collections of stories that are considered too short for publication on their own. They can be used to assemble stories of a particular genre, (e.g., many of EC Comics' horror titles such as Tales from the Crypt), short stories concerning a particular character or franchise (e.g., the Gold Key The Twilight Zone series), or a broad range of genres and subjects.

Radio anthologies

Anthologies became a popular form of entertainment in the early days of radio. The format often featured one regular on-air, a host to introduce and conclude each episode with a narration, and otherwise used a revolving cast of actors and writers. The first dramatic anthology was The Collier Hour, broadcast on the NBC Blue Network from 1927 to 1932. The publishers of Collier's Monlthly had started the anthology as a means to drive up sales to better compete with the rival The Saturday Evening Post and used stories featured in their publication for their serials.

Television anthologies

It may be only natural that pioneering television producers would look to radio for inspiration. During the Golden Age of Television of the 1950s, anthology series were common and popular. They were often dramas performed live, although some networks used the anthology format to air unsold pilots for ongoing television series. Early on, most anthologies were named for their sponsors, such as The United States Steel Hour, Kraft Television Theatre, Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse and—in one extreme case—Your Kaiser Dealer Presents Kaiser-Frazer "Adventures In Mystery" Starring Betty Furness In "Byline",[3] but later shows would adopt independent and more specific titles. Since that time, television anthologies have continued to appear on television but much less frequently and typically set within specialized genres such as science fiction or horror.

See also

  • Comic anthologies related to The Twilight Zone
  • Radio anthologies related to The Twilight Zone
  • Television anthologies related to The Twilight Zone

Notes and references


  1. Wikipedia contributors. "Anthology." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Version: June 22, 2009. Retrieved: July 3, 2009.
  2. Alyice Edrich. "Writing for Anthologies: Anthology Books and Stories." The Dabbling Mum. Retrieved: July 3, 2009.
  3. Wikipedia contributors. "Your Kaiser Dealer Presents Kaiser-Frazer "Adventures In Mystery" Starring Betty Furness In "Byline"." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Version: June 10, 2008. Retrieved: July 3, 2009.


External links