30 Days of Night is a fast, mean graphic novel. You should read it.
What, you want more?
Come on! The semester’s almost over. I’m exhausted.
30 Days of Night describes the undead invasion of Barrow, Alaska, a place so far north the sun doesn’t rise for thirty days. The vampires (there’s about twenty of them) cut off the townspeople’s access to civilization so that they can enjoy an all-you-can-eat human buffet. Unfortunately for the bloodsuckers, the law in Barrow – Eben and Stella Olemaun – are on the job. And that’s your plot.
Here’s a few words about the creators. Steve Niles has written a bunch of horror comics. He did a stint for DC, where he wrote a Batman and a Creeper miniseries, but nowadays he mostly sticks with the indies. I used to follow him on Facebook, when I used Facebook. He’s a guy who likes his monsters.
Ben Templesmith’s art is dark and ugly and awesomely surreal. Look at page 26! That is amazing! I want a poster of that for my apartment! Mr. Templesmith also did a comic called Wormwood, Gentleman Corpse which should be required reading for everyone on earth.
30 Days of Night is extraordinarily well-designed. The colors and lettering of this graphic novel are standout. I don’t know if that was the doing of Mr. Templesmith or Robbie Robbins, who is credited with letters and designs.
The vampires in 30 Days of Night are as stupid as humans. What they do – as one of their own kind points out – is amazingly dumb, because in this world vampires are parasites and need to blend with humans in order to survive. It’s stupid but they do it anyway. A guy I used to know called this ‘flexing your beer muscles,’ but I guess ‘flexing your blood muscles’ would be the better term.
What, you want more?
Mr. Niles has written a lean script, a standout in the age of decompressed storylines. He tells his story in three issues. If he worked for the Big Two (Marvel and DC), this would be six or even twelve issues. I could go into an extended rant here about how The Big Two have been reduced to being idea farms for movie studios, but I won’t do that.
There are a bunch of sequels to 30 Days of Night. I haven’t read any of them so I don’t know if they’re any good.
There is also a movie adaptation, which I haven’t seen.
Have I said that the artwork is amazing? Well, the artwork is amazing.
Steve Niles lives with a tortoise named Gil, who is enormous. You can see pictures and video of Gil’s exploits over on Mr. Niles’ Twitter feed. He is now writing a comic called The October Faction, which looks cool.
Ben Templesmith posts pictures of his artwork on his Twitter feed. He also posts about American politics. He’s working on a book called Original Hate, which seems to only be available on Patreon.
I’m outta here.
Have a great summer, folks!
One Reply to “30 Days of Night!”
I always love reading your post. I learn something new every time. I agree with you that the art is dark and surreal. I loved the bleakness of the colors used. It made the blood stand out so much more that your eyes automatically are drawn to it. I also agree with you that the vampires were pretty stupid. Let’s go and kill everyone in a remote isolated down in a horrific manner. Sure that won’t have repercussions.