He is Legend, edited by Christopher Conlon, pays tribute to horror author Richard Matheson. He published his first short story, "Born of Man and Woman," in 1950. Most readers of horror and science fiction know him for his publications I am Legend, Hell House and The Shrinking Man.
In addition to his short stories and novels, Matheson wrote many television episodes for several series including Twilight Zone, The Night Stalker and The Night Strangler. He worked on a number of movies including Twilight Zone: The Movie and Jaws 3-D. His I Am Legend has been adapted to the movie screen at least three times, with Will Smith in the most recent rendition. Two of his other works made into movies include The Incredible Shrinking Man and The Legend of Hell House.
Matheson’s stories do not border on the macabre and strange; they stand dead center of weird and supernatural. His tales always end with an eerie twist, and the reader should not expect a happy ending. His characters don’t exhibit any redeeming qualities, and the reader won’t shed a tear for them. Unlike in real life, the nasty protagonist actually gets what he or she deserves from an even nastier antagonist.
He Is Legend honors the great Richard Matheson. A notable list of current horror authors utilizes their favorite Matheson story to create a new terror tale. The author may choose to do a prequel or a sequel. They may opt to change the characters around a bit, but keep the plot.
For instance, Joe Hill and Stephen King collaborate in Throttle. They slightly twist the plot of Duel, a 1971 movie written by Matheson and directed by Stephen Spielberg. In this road rage story a trucker and a motorist duel across the desert. In Throttle, Hill and King, modernize the story to include rogue bikers, meth, and an enraged truck driver. Stay alert for the emotional twists.
Mick Garris writes a prequel to I am Legend. In Matheson’s written version*, a viral disease killed off most of the population. Bob Neville remains healthy, while Ben Cortman turns into a cross between a vampire and a zombie. Throughout the story Ben and Bob try to kill each other.