It’s summer in Scranton so what better to keep me cool than to bundle up with my trusty box fan, pour myself a cold drink, and thank the gaming gods I’m not being attacked by pissed off vampires of the non-sparkly persuasion with a great graphic novel. By the title and pics you can tell I mean 30 Days of Night.
This series has spawned multiple graphic novels, full on novels, and a movie in 2007 I personally consider well underrated; this all being said, I’m going to talk about the first book that started it all. 30 days of night takes place in Barrow, Alaska, where once a year it is night time for a full thirty days; and a group of vampires, hearing about this naturally phenomenon journey there to enjoy themselves consequence free of the sun. I love the vampires in 30 days; they are cold, ruthless, terrifying beasts that vaguely have any human characteristics any more, just the craving for blood. Book one revolves around the dwindling amount of towns people trying to outlive the monstrous vampires until the sun comes up. Our main characters are Eben and Stella, a husband and wife at ends with each other; Eben is the town’s sheriff. The vampires systematically shut the town off from the rest of the world by killing there power, stealing cell phones and burning them miles away and in one cruel swoop slaughter a majority of the town. They are ridiculously strong, swift, and act like bullet sponges; the only way to kill these bastards is to decapitate them or expose them to either ultraviolet light or the sun. Eben, Stella, and the other survivors go about for weeks playing cat and mouse with the creatures, moving from one abandoned house to another, crawling out of uncertain sanctuary for food and water, dealing with each other and there claustrophobic predicament. One moment that personally haunted me is during a visit to a quik mart for food, Eben hears a quiet sobbing in one of the isles and finds a little girl crying over the bodies of who could’ve been her parents. She turns towards Eben, exposing her large black eyes and bloody shark tooth grin before attacking him. Perhaps as cruel as there viciously brutal attacks, is that the vampires mockingly use the survivors humanity against them. Eben does bring himself to kill the girl but not without regret. For the climax, one the final night the lead vampire decides to burn Barrow to the ground to ensure no survivors and the continuation of there secret existence; Eben is drawn into a final choice: give into fear and let Stella and a few others die or sacrifice himself for them and become the monster to kick there asses out of Barrow once and for all.
The art of 30 days is the highlight of the series. Its hauntingly distorted and blurry, making the monsters seem like you are seeing them in your worst nightmares. The book is short and the writing isn’t very deep but the art carries it. The movie does a fair job of bringing out some depth while staying pretty close to the source material. I recommend this to the people who love vampires, want to get into comics but aren’t into superheroes, or love creepy ass artwork. So in conclusion, stay cool this summer and be glad you aren’t hiding from vampires.