Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Steve Niles
Artist: Ben Templesmith
Release Date: 08/2002-10/2002
I usually don’t care much for vampire stories, but 30 Days of Night hits the nail on the head. This comic is so dark and vile that it made me uncomfortable and that was good. The writing is fantastic and it sucks you in from the beginning. There’s a tiny little start-up with a husband and wife Sheriff duo of Barrow, Alaska. It’s dark for 30 days out of the year between November and December. They watch the final sunset and then suddenly things start attacking the remote town.
The two Sheriffs do their best to try to round up the town, but they get wiped out quickly and can only save a few. There’s a mysterious man who is sent via helicopter by his mother to take reconnaissance photos, you never find out who this mystery man is either. The leader of the vampires shows his face and runs amok. I won’t spoil the ending, but let’s just say it’s very heartbreaking and pretty emotional. This three-part mini-series does an amazing job of providing excellent character in such a short time.
Ben Templesmith’s art style is something to be desired, it’s an acquired taste. If you read the recent Dead Space comics you would know what I’m talking about. His art is very messy and spidery, one of a kind, but not exactly detailed. It’s all about the atmosphere he gets across. Barrow is a remote town so you feel claustrophobia when you are reading it. You know there’s nowhere for these people to go and you feel the fear as they only have a couple of miles of building to hide in. The part about Ben’s art is during fight scenes. He highlights the blood and gore and you can really get the idea across. He uses side-shot silhouettes and up-close shots of the vampire that look frightening. It’s a very stylized art style and Ben draws like no one else in the industry. Many people accustomed to Zenescope’s art with rich vibrant colors and scantily clad women may not like this series. I say dig in because horror comic fans will find a long-running series to dive into and keep busy for days. This is just the tip of the iceberg.