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30 Days of Night Hardcover – February 8, 2005
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“…a short, sharp shocker of a horror tale with an original premise and a Matterhorn-sized mountain of tension.” –Maxim
"The comic in your hands has much of the raw, even brutal energy of a horror movie from the good old days. Short, sharp and unforgiving. It's got a catchy title, a wonderfully clever, but simple idea at its chilly heart, and a narrative that starts at a run and never slows down." — Clive Barker
"Writer Steve Niles plays on common fears of isolation, darkness, and monsters in a story that's more chilling than its locale. A good writer could extrapolate any one of these fears into a thrilling story, but
Niles succeeds in pushing all of these buttons with the right frequency to produce a story that's not just chilling, but downright scary." —Jim Johnson, Comics Buyer's Guide
"Above all else, 30 Days of Night reads like a horror movie—a great horror movie. If you thirst for something that's guaranteed to scare the pants off you, you've gotta pick this up. But take my advic —read it with the lights on." —Casey Seijas, Wizard Magazine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Steve Niles is a comic book author and novelist, known for works such as 30 Days of Night, Criminal Macabre, Simon Dark, Mystery Society and Batman: Gotham County Line. He is credited among other contemporary writers as bringing horror comics back to prominence.
Ben Templesmith is a New York Times best selling artist and writer most widely known for his work in the comic book industry where he has received multiple nominations for the International Horror Guild Awards as well as the industry's top prize, the Eisner Award. He also won a Spike TV Scream Award. As a creator, his most notable works have been 30 Days of Night (which spawned a major motion picture) and Fell. His other projects include the critically acclaimed serial Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse, as well as Welcome to Hoxford, and Singularity 7, all of which he also wrote.
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In this comic series by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith the small Alaskan town of Barrow seems to be the perfect community for Vampires to prey on. But they didn’t count on one thing, the length that the local sheriff would go through to protect his town.
There really isn’t a whole lot of dialog in this series so the writing is ok and standard fair for a comic as this. However I really didn’t care for the artistry, it was too artsy. I found myself trying to guess what is going on in the comic at times. It’s almost as if I took my glasses off to read the comic (terrible thing to do, don’t do it).
I also thought the ending was a bit too “simple”. This big bad guy apparently the head Vampire comes into town and in a few pages the whole thing is done. They wrapped up this storyline way too quickly. I’m not sure if that was due to financial restraints limiting how many comics they could do in this first series or what.
It is available DRM free via Comixology so if you buy it via Comixology or Amazon you can get a DRM version.
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.
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 IGN.com 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.