30 Days of Night- A graphic Novel

Drum roll, please. The final book we had to read was 30 Days of Night by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith. I will preface this post with the statement I love graphic novels. I love being able to see what the author envisioned everything to look like. This was interesting for me because I have seen the movie 30 Days of Night and I did not like the movie. So, I had to try to separate my opinions of the film from the book.
I liked how the vampires were not drawn out as pretty. They looked like darker versions of what they had been when they were human. All the imperfections they had when they were created stayed. The artwork for this book was well done. Nothing seemed to be pretty except for the sunrise at the end of the story. It was interesting to recognize some of the vampires because the director of the movie had taken a lot from the book.
The colors used were an excellent choice. The blacks and greys gave you the impression that things were going to be bleak. Even the setting was a gloomy place to be. Thirty days without any sunlight would probably drive me insane. The only splash of color was red, and that was to signify death and blood. When using such stark colors and throwing in something that is bright, deep, or vibrant it draws the eye in and causes a person to focus on that one particular spot. I remember another movie who used red quiet efficiently to showcase death, and that was The Sixth Sense. In the movie places that were off limits to Bruce Willis’s character were in the end signified with a bright red.
I did feel there was a hole to the story. The part that took place in New Orleans with the mom and her son who appeared to be vampire hunters or trackers of some sort. I wanted to know if the video did, in fact, make it back to the man’s mom. What would she have done with that information? There was no follow up to what happens after he is recording and sending the data back.
What I did like about this section were the warmer colors they used. It signaled to the reader that life was not as bleak as it could be and there was still some glimmer of hope. They used the darkness around the warmth to foreshadow. In the end, it was foreshadowing that the son was going to die to get the information his mother needed.
The authors gave the people in Alaska no hope of survival. I thought it was neat how they took all the superstitions and beliefs that people had about how to kill a vampire and have them not work at all. The whole stories premises was to make you feel hopeless against your attacker, and not even the “tools” people used in stories were able to deter the vampires.
It ultimately came down to one person’s sacrifice. The sheriff who is charged with protecting the town does the only thing he can think of, and that is to turn himself into one of them. It is said that to kill a monster you have to become one and that is precisely what Sheriff Eeben did. He gives up everything to save the woman he loves and the surviving townspeople. It’s a beautiful and sad moment in the story. I think that it reminds us that there are hero’s out and sometimes even the smallest decision and make an impact.
Overall the 30 Days of Night was a fast read. The author’s honed in on the idea of no hope and used the lack of vibrant colors to convey that message. They also used red to pull your attention to one specific event. It has given me pause to maybe rewatch the movie again and give it a second chance.

5 thoughts on “30 Days of Night- A graphic Novel

  1. I was surprised I didn’t like this book more. I LOVED comic books/graphic novels in college, but I found this very difficult to follow and focus. I loved individual frames of the art and some of them were so compelling I could stare at them for hours, but I think I’ve lost the ability to think in a non-linear fashion. #oldage

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  2. Great points about how the images really conveyed the mood of the story. The art was really bleak, and it helped me feel the hopelessness of the characters. Couldn’t agree more with the New Orleans storyline. I felt like it didn’t gave a real conclusion

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  3. Hi Louise,

    Great review! I agree that the vampire hunter/tracker subplot didn’t make a lot of sense. If these people have been tracking vampires for years, surely they have some idea of their abilities? It seems like the woman just sends her son out to Alaska to die.

    Great point about the use of colors, especially red. This graphic novel is extraordinarily well-designed. The illustrations of the vampires were my favorite part of this book.

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