30 Days of Night
Author: Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith
Series: 30 Days of Night #1
Summary: In a sleepy, secluded Alaska town called Barrow, the sun sets and doesn't rise for over thirty consecutive days and nights. From the darkness, across the frozen wasteland, an evil will come that will bring the residents of Barrow to their knees. The only hope for the town is the Sheriff and Deputy, husband and wife who are torn between their own survival and saving the town they love.
Why I read it: The film adaptation of 30 Days of Night is one of my all-time favorite horror movies. And I really want to start getting into graphic novels/comics, so I thought this might be a good place to start. When I found it at my local Half Price Books for seven bucks, I picked it up and started it immediately!
Thoughts: I really enjoyed it. A lot of that enjoyment stems from my enjoyment of the movie. I already knew the plot and the characters, so it was a nice way to revisit all that I love.
The real problem with this comic book bind-up (3 issues in one) is that it's too short. The plot happens very quickly and the characters are hardly developed at all. Rather than being fully fleshed-out characters that we really connect with and care about, Eben and Stella are simply the window through which we view the events. Only in the end of the story does Eben really come into play, and then in the sequels, they're even more central to the plot.
Reading this really made me appreciate the movie even more. The movie was able to expand on the events and the characters so much. In the film, Eben and Stella start the story estranged, on the brink of divorce, and the events of the movie affect their relationship so much and bring them together again. They're more interesting as characters, and they have a bigger hand in driving the plot, rather than the plot simply happening to them. There are more side characters in the movie to care about as well. And as scary as the vampires are in the comics, they're even more terrifying in the film.
I also really enjoyed the art style. I've heard complaints about it being too messy, so you can't tell what's going on. But I found that the messiness enhanced the experience for me. I spent a lot of time really looking at the art, rather than skimming through it and taking it at face value. I love the color schemes, with the grays and blacks and dashes of red for blood and fire. I personally think it's visually stunning and just so much fun to look at.
All that said, I loved it, and I can't wait to pick up more of the series!
Rating: 3.5/5 stars