30 Days of Night

30 Days of Night was fun reading for me, especially since I usually don’t read comic books or graphic novels. There’s something about the words and pictures in the same squares that confuses me a bit. I have to read the text and then go back and look at the pictures. Crazy, but effective.

The premise is so thought provoking and I was amazed to find that Barrow, Alaska, really exists in darkness for an extended period throughout the winter. Just as interesting is the fact that the town also experiences continuous sunlight for three months. The monsters that situation would breed would be super frightening…cool writing prompt.

As it stands, the creatures from 30 Days of Night are attracted to the town because of the extended night. That they are capable of researching and plotting their trip makes them extra scary because they aren’t the run of the mill monsters just waiting for an opportunity to raise Cain. The opportunity is there naturally and they’re smart enough to take advantage of it. The isolation and the icy climate make the impending bloodbath truly horrifying. What monster is smart enough to burn cell phones and subsequently destroy the main communications center for the town all in one swipe?

This ingenious plan created by the vampire named Marlow isn’t so smart in the mind of the more senior vampire, Vicente. It makes sense that he is angry Marlow is willing to call attention to them after they have managed to go underground. I understand that Marlow and the other monsters may be tired of existing beyond even the fringes of the world, and want to unleash the killing desires they have to constantly keep in check.

But Vicente has a point on the vampires needing continued anonymity. As long as humans believe they are a myth, they will not seek them out to kill them. Murdering the humans in such a large number in what will obviously be recognized as a planned attack is suicide for the vampires in the long run. Once Stella Olemaun began to lecture about her experiences with the monsters, she used the forums to publically call them out, for capture, I’m sure.

I really appreciated the relationship between Sheriff Olemaun and his wife. Not only were they able to maintain a working relationship where they had each other’s backs, but they also had romance in their marriage. I would think the last sunset for so many weeks would bring out the romantic in most anyone, and it was good to see them succumb to the moment. The sheriff also had a good relationship with the citizens of Barrow. They looked up to him as a leader and were willing to follow him all the way to the end, even when his plan for their survival ended with his becoming one of the creatures they ran from.

The visual effects used in the book were pretty cool, too. Displaying the scenes that took place in Barrow in shades of gray really set the tone of icy isolation. It was also symbolic of the shades of gray that Sheriff Olemaun would exist in once he turned vampire. He was a monster, but still had the feelings of a human. All the blood showed vibrantly crimson against that wide expanse of gray.

Then, the scenes that took place in the rest of the world, such as the ones in New Orleans and at the lecture, are tinted with earthy browns and beiges. This seems symbolic of humans being of the earth, and therefore mortal. This color choice made the ending scene between Eben and Stella especially poignant, knowing his love for her was one of the last mortal things he would experience.

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About rjjoseph

I am a Texas based writer who must produce words to exorcise the voices that will never quiet until I give them their due.
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2 Responses to 30 Days of Night

  1. J. Fortunato says:

    I’m glad you mentioned the sunset scene. I had forgotten about that. It was a nice touch by Niles. Had I written the story, the sunset may not have been so important to me since I never experienced 30 days of night, but to the people in Barrows, that sunset must be a town event. It was a good use of realism. I’m not much on art, but I also liked you discussion on the use of color in the graphics. Nice post.

  2. rjjoseph says:

    I wouldn’t have been able to place that kind of focus on the sunset, either, because we get so much sun here, year round. It’s pretty much a certainty (to the degree that anything can be) that the sun will rise again the next day, blaze hotly, and then set again. I agree that it must have been pretty important for Barrow, though.

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