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