March 2nd, 2006


The Return of the TV Nerd

It's like they read my mind. At last, an all island action episode of Lost! As you know, I've been growing a little tired of the flashback structure of the show, especially when they don't tell us anything new about the characters (look, Jack's fighting with his dad at the hospital again!), but when tonight's episode gave us flashbacks they were to important things that happened on the island. Yay!

After a really slow first half, this season of Lost finally seems to be working up quite a head of steam.

Now if only Veronica Mars would come back from its stopover in Rerun City and start making sense of this season's jumble of a mystery...

Worldwide Straubathon

It looks like I chose the right time for my Straubathon, because the Horror Writers Association has just announced they'll be awarding Peter Straub with the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's Bram Stoker Awards ceremony. Word on the street is that Peter will be there in person to accept (though he usually attends anyway). I think this year, in his honor, they should make the award look like a bottle of Level vodka and tailor the banquet menu so that it offers things like Hot "Koko" and Lost Boy, Lost Grilled Chicken!

30 Days of Night

It was kind of slow at the store this afternoon, despite how bad weather usually brings people in, so I had a chance to read Steve Niles' 30 Days of Night cover to cover. I thought it was conceptually brilliant, and I'm having a hard time believing no one thought before of an Alaskan Arctic town, where the sun doesn't rise for a whole month, overrun by vampires. It makes me wonder how many other "I can't believe I didn't think of that" concepts are waiting out there to be plucked from the Idea Tree.

I do think the story feels a bit rushed, though. Those thirty days pass in a handful of pages, mostly with exposition text describing what the vampires did over that period of time, before launching into the climax. There's also a character we follow who travels from New Orleans to Barrow, Alaska during the siege, but then...well, I don't want to give anything away, but suffice it to say he doesn't do anything and could just as easily been left out of the story (I suspect setup for the sequels). I have a feeling this may be one of those rare instances when reading a graphic novel in its original month-by-month form might have served the story better, making it seem a lot less rushed.

Ben Templesmith's art is amazing, but also frustrating at times. There are a few panels where I really wasn't sure what was going on. The climactic battle between Eben and the vampires is a major example of this. I only got the impression he beats the tar out of Vicente, I don't know how he actually does it. Templesmith does violent expressionism well, but sometimes his panels are just a smear of red and black, and I wanted a bit more information than that.

Still, it's highly, highly recommended to anyone interested in graphic novels. Now I have to decide whether I want to shell out for the sequels, Dark Days and 30 Days of Night: Return to Barrow.