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30 Days of Night by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith

30 Days of Night is a graphic novel; it is the first in a series of graphic novels of the same name. It is also the graphic novel upon which the movie of the same title is based; the movie version stars Josh Hartnett and Melissa George.

30 Days of Night is so titled because for 30 days from mid-November to mid-December Barrow, Alaska is shrouded in night. More specifically the 30 days in the title refers to the period in 2001 during which this phenomenon endangers the entire town when a murderous band of vampires descend upon it to cut off all communications and escape routes in order to massacre all the citizens in the town. Essentially the vampires wish to make the town their own private playground. The husband and wife team that sheriffs the town leads a small band of citizens that hides out in the basement of one of the buildings in town; they hope to wait out the month of night when hopefully the vampires will be forced to abandon the town when the sun rises again. Unfortunately, both hope and supplies dwindle as the group's chances for surivival become more and more bleak as each day passes. In the end this horror story becomes as much about love and self-sacrifice as it is about the blood and gore wrought by the vampires.

The pictures in this graphic novel are all done in black, gray and white to depict the literal darkness of night in Alaska as well as the figurative darkness of the story itself. The only splash of color is the stark red of the blood as it flows--sometimes literally--in the streets of Barrow as its citizens are torn to pieces. The pictures are vague; indeed, they are rendered too vague by the use of blacks and grays especially in a medium in which half the story is told by pictures. The writing of the narration is quite lyrical and belies the darkness of the story.

You will love this graphic novel if you are a fan of the horror, vampire and/or graphic novel genres. I recommend you check it out if that is the case. It is available upon request from Annville Free Library.

--Reviewed by Ms. Angie


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