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on September 7, 2007
Some say this is nothing new. I don't know what they are talking about.
The art is awesome - look at the images I put in.
Some panels are like dark movie stills, showing the angst and the horror to come, others are funny with a very dark and edgy humor to it, and some are as if unfinished, blurry, but mostly when there is action or something waiting to happen. That way the "unfinished" art work gives you the feeling things are about to move (or you as the reader better get moving before you're being eaten alive...)
It reminds me of the camera work on NYPD Blue when it first came out. A lot of people who didn't like it just didn't get it that there was a purpose behind both the moving camera shots and the "still" ones.
To the story, do you always need a "new" take on vampires to like it? You got a problem with cliches? I don't. A town in dark Alaska with nothing going on is attacked by a horde of vampires. That's the story in one line. I left out the details because I would be giving away too much.
The twists and turns make this a story to enjoy not once, not twice but over and again.
It is a graphic novel - the artwork and the storyline are as one. Ben Templesmith's terrific pictures and Steve Niles' tight and at times very funny dialogue make this book a great add to my - and I hope everybody's collection.
IDW is publishing the trilogy (of which his is part 1) as a HC soon. All three parts can be read seperately though. And then there's the movie scheduled for release October 30 2007
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on November 28, 2003
"30 Days" has a couple of flaws, but it's an involving read.
The writing is excellent, I think, well-suited to the medium. The concept is wonderful and certainly Niles doesn't spare the gore or pussyfoot around the concept of vampires ripping open throats. He puts in some disturbing imagery and his plotting is close to immaculate.
A moment to address the other reviewer's complaints about cliche: Yes, you're right. Now stop whining. I doubt much new can be done with vampires, and it's great to see the human battling with the throat-ripping beast without having to deal with Anne Rice's sexual peccadilloes or purple prose. If Lestat actually existed, I would have purchased a flamethrower for the sole purpose of shutting him up. And maybe I would have taken out that whiny Louis, too, while I was at it.
All praise and defense aside, I suspect Niles was given three issues instead of the four he asked for (or perhaps the four he should have written) and as a result his character development is lacking. While I think it's great the book hits the ground running, we only really get to know Eben and Stella, and those two we don't know very well, in the end; the townsfolk have maybe a panel or so (few are granted names) and then get turned into hamburger.
The art isn't to my taste; I think the murkiness enhances it quite a bit, and there is some absolutely beautiful work with what I believe to be watercolor, but I don't think it would have killed Templesmith to be a bit more traditional and realistic. The sheer beauty of some panels, especially that opening splash, is absolutely frustrating next to the sloppiness (which I suspect was intentional) of others. Still, I'll cheerfully grant that it suits the story well.
Overall, it's quite a fun read, a little too quick but definitely worth reading. I suspect the movie will be better, though.
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VINE VOICEon November 6, 2007
After the film adaptation of 30 Days of Night received only so-so reviews, instead of waiting for the movie on DVD, I decided to take a look at the original comics/graphic novels created by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith.

Interestingly, 30 days was originally fielded unsuccessfully to studios as a screenplay before Niles hooked up with Templesmith to create the comic. Once the comic came out, even studios that had originally rejected the movie pitch were knocking down the 30 Days creators' doors to get the film rights (according to a 10/18/2007 article).

Anyway, when I looked up 30 Days at Amazon, I found that more than just one version existed. There is the original 30 Days of Night; there is #2 called Dark Days; and there is #3 called Return to Barrow. There are even more in the series too, but the above three complete the trilogy created by the original partnership of Niles & Templesmith.

The first is the story of vampires that invade a small town (called Barrow in Alaska) at dusk on the first evening of 30 days before the sun will rise again. The second story is one of revenge; a survivor of the first story hunts and seeks to expose the existence of vampires; and the third story has the brother of a victim from the first story returning to Barrow to discover and expose the awful truth of what originally happened in the town.

The first 30 Days story is what the movie was based on. It's a fast read that took about an hour to get through. As an effect, the way the vampire's lines are written in the text bubbles is crooked, thin-fonted and sloppy; I suppose this was to trying to illustrate the sound of the vampire's voice, but it mostly made for some hard to read, headache inducing text bubbles.

Dark Days and Return were good, but not great like the original. But it was an overall fun series. I'll probably pick up the November 2007 release of 30 Days Of Night: Eben And Stella that picks up and fills an interesting gap between Dark Days and Return to Barrow. Niles is back for Eben and Stella, but Templesmith is out.

As for the movie 30 Days of Night, I'll check that out too after it comes out on DVD and let you know if it really 'bites' like others have said it does.
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VINE VOICEon July 12, 2006
It's a perfectly horrible story. And it's a perfectly wonderful tale.

"30 Days of Night" is the brainchild of Steve Niles, who pondered the notion of a town in northern Alaska, where the sun sets for a full month in wintertime. What place would be better for a gathering of vampires, after all? It seems like an obvious idea, but I've never run across it before -- and Niles has certainly given the story its due.

The novel begins on the last day of sunlight, when two police officers in the small town of Barrow find the remains of everyone's cellular phones. Shortly after the last sunset, the communications junction, where all phone calls and computer signals are routed, is destroyed. The people of Barrow have no way to contact the outside world. And then the vampires stride into town. They are horrible, and hungry.

Niles has crafted a brilliant story from a concept I'm surprised no one has thought of before. It boils with potential, and if anything, Niles' treatment of the story is too short. It seems the idea could have been fleshed out to fill a much longer novel. But maybe not; "30 Days of Night" pops with energy as it moves quickly through Barrow's month of darkness. Perhaps a longer tale would have dragged.

Ben Templesmith provides the art that accompanies Niles' vision. It's dark and gloomy, appropriately so. It's ugly, which is also apt for the horror involved. It is, perhaps, too rough-hewn at times -- in some scenes, it's hard to discern what exactly is happening -- but for the most part it suits the tone.

"30 Days of Night" is a brilliant piece of storytelling, and fans of the vampire genre should certainly add this to their collection. I'll be curious to see how Niles or others run with this idea, now that it's seen the light of day.

By Tom Knapp, Rambles.NET editor
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*** Spoilers!!***

Nicely done artwork, refreshingly unromaticized vampires, and some engaging characters. Plot is clever in concept, but there are some credibility issues. The idea that someone could steal hundreds of cellphones from the townspeople without assaulting and / or alarming any of them is pretty ludicrous. And then all you need to screw the vampire master plan up is a single unaccounted-for cell phone.

Also, the initial killing of a Renfield-like surrogate with some vampiric super-powers by gunfire was very confusing. For the rest of the book I was wondering why the heavily armed townsfolk didn't just "shoot em in the head", and it was only the bonus storyboard script notes at the end that explained the reason why that one apparent vampire could be killed by a bullet in the head.

Next, the "voodoo documentarian" subplot made little sense and was a complete throwaway with little overall relevance that wasted time and pages in an already bare bones storyline.

Finally, at the end, the newly turned Sheriff beating the master vampire is already quite a stretch, but the idea that the other 18 vampires didn't just mob the town's champion and kill him either before or after he killed the eldest leader is just silly. I guess these are Bushido vampires who follow a code of honor in their personal fisticuffs despite being brutally evil in all other aspects of their behavior...

Anyway, all these logic gaps and plotting quirks aside, this would have been a more forgiveable purchase if this 50 page comic listed for maybe ten bucks. The idea of paying close to twenty clams (less with Amazon's pricing) for a story that can be read in a half hour is ludicrous. Please, publishers, either bundle these skimpy "graphic short stories" together in a combo volume if you want to charge a DVD level price, or just charge (much!) less for the little teeny versions.
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on October 18, 2014
There's a lot to like with this graphic novel, visually it is pretty stunning although it might not suit everyone. At times it looked quite blurred as though the artist doesn't want you seeing some things too clearly. The artwork still looks pretty amazing but consistency seems to be a bit of an issue, I noticed this more in the beginning of the comic more than the end.

The colour palette is dark, to suit the hopelessness of the survivors situation, with vibrant red being used liberally when blood is splashed about and that it something the artist is not shy with. These are not your romantic vampires, they're the good old fashioned vamps that happily rip out your throat and revel in the mayhem they cause.

A couple of things bothered me, one is that there is no time line in the comic as to how many days have passed. It makes it seem as though everything is happening on the first night when in fact the conclusion to the story comes in right at the 30 day end. The plot line with the people from New Orleans is never really explained, who they were, why the woman wanted photographs or how they would fit into the rest of the series. I felt they had no real bearing on the story and therefore superfluous to it's needs.

An enjoyable read and a series I might buy more of it the price is right. Recommended.
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on June 4, 2008
I implore anyone who has listen to these so called "reviewers" that have disrespected this graphic novel to ignore these reviews. They are indignant and just plain ignorant. Steve Niles has explored the overdone world of vampires and has brought a new vision that is new and refreshing. Believe me, I have read this graphic novel and enjoy it. A great addition to my limited collection. The whole concept of 30 days of night is amazing and crafty. It is a very innovative and has great imagination. And quite frankly the story is very well written and executed. The presentation draws you in and chills you to the bone. Please don't listen to these people who can't really grasp the material. I personally think that they should stop reviewing because they ruin your exploration into another art form. Give this graphic novel a whirl and you will thirst for more. And trust me you will read it more than once. Don't be lied to by these unfair reviews, trust your instincts and purchase this graphic novel. You won't regret, I assure you.
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on January 15, 2016
The artwork is gritty and stylized to remind one of grit, and there are lots of threads laid down, but the storyline isn't entirely creative. The premise is extremely creative, but the characters and character choices are not. Furthermore, in this particular volume, one does not spend enough time with any of the characters to become invested in them before the first story arc is completed. There is a lot of promise here, but it just isn't realized in the first volume.
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on June 21, 2007
Many people described this book as terrifying. Well, I guess it is kind of terrifying; the writing is terrifyingly BAD, while the art is terrifyingly GOOD. Seriously, this is the first book I've read by Steve Niles and it didn't scare me one bit. The concept is sort of original (vampires feasting on Alaskans during a month of darkness) but the plot and the dialogue are sub-par, to say the least. Here's an example for you, and I warn you don't read further if you're planning on buying it because this is a SPOILER COMING ATCHA: Hundreds of vampires decend upon the town of Barrow and ONE MAN beats them back by infusing himself with vampire blood...I just can't get over it. The vampires should have at least exterminated the survivors to preserve their precious anonymity since more of them survived than the townsfolk, who were being defended by a fledgling vampire at the time. So this Eben guy beats the hell out of the Lord of Vampires after being a vampire for only a short time WITH HIS BARE HANDS while dozens of vampires are crowding around him and the remaining Barrowites are completely vulnerable...I don't know, it just seems absurd to me. I am more than willing to suspend my disbelief while reading supernatural fiction, but to suspend LOGIC and COMMON SENSE as well? Give me a break, Steve Niles. I am very glad that I read this book though, because it introduced me to the art of Ben Templesmith, and I have been picking up a lot of his stuff since then, such as Fell: Feral City, Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse, Tommyrot. All these books are absolutely worth it. Templesmith's art is not everybody's cup of tea because it's so hazy and unclear, like walking in a dream or through a nightmare landscape, but I love it. So, I guess I am glad that I do have 30 Days of Night in my collection just to gaze at the atmospheric and haunting images while ignoring the captions and dialogue entirely.
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on July 26, 2007
But that would be a bit too harsh. In reality it's just mediocre. The artwork is excellent (Though not for all tastes), the concept is excellent but what drags this down is the writing. The characters are all one dimensional and not terribly interesting, the story arch doesn't live up to the potential of the idea behind it, the ending is a total cop out and quite infuriating, there's a pointless side plot that comes to an abrupt end, I really can't wrap my mind around why it was included as the main story is already too short. Overall, the amateurish writing bogs down what could have been a classic horror comic.
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