Friday, February 17, 2012

30 Days of Night

30 Days Of Night Tribute
by ~liquid-venom

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Sequential  art is kinda my thing -- I love storyboards and comics as a means of telling a good story. What finally made me give up on doing sequential art professionally is the same thing that led to me having a real problem with 30 Days of Night.


Gambit Page 2
I would draw a character, establish his looks and manner, but when I would go through it frame by frame I would notice little differences  -- cheekbone height, weight shifts, changes in bone depth… Little things that would make it look like different actors were playing the part of the same character throughout.  

30 Days of Night is made with a dirty dirty style that I wouldn’t mind at all in a painting, but I found it incredibly hard to follow sequentially. A lot of the time, I wasn’t at all sure which character was which, or what the heck was going on in the action sequences. It doesn’t help that the artist was a bit willy-nilly with speech bubble placement from time to time. This is not my kind of graphic novel, and I know that probably means I have no or limited taste (I’m a TopCow, Image, Todd McFarlane kinda gal) but it’s just not my thing.

As for the story, although I might have missed bits that would have made this make more sense, I really think the whole thing fell apart at the end. The biggest thing that gets me is, it seems like the sun was only couple of days from coming up when the sheriff injects himself with blood to become a vampire and save everyone. He transforms, kills the big bad, and then goes to chill with his wife to watch the sun come up. On a second read, it seemed they were trying to imply time passing, but even on that last frame before the dawn sequence, he says the sun will be up in a few days. It just seemed like he forced an unnecessary confrontation.  All they had to do was hold out a couple more nights.

Then there is the confrontation itself. If he’s a vampire, why is he not instantly hit with blood lust? Why didn’t he eat the people he was trying to save? Why did he WANT to fight the vampires? If he still loved his wife, why didn’t his instincts run toward transforming her as well, instead of saving her? Why is he so human when the rest of them are bloodthirsty monsters? Why would he even think that injecting himself with blood would result in anything but him joining the ranks of the enemy? And why the hell was a newly turned vampire able to take out the leader of the vampires? He should have gotten ripped in half like the other guy. 

For me the whole thing was a bit slapdash -- the art, the story, the logic. When I am left with more questions than answers at the end of a story, and I don’t come away feeling like those questions were purposeful hooks to get me to read more of the story later, I feel kinda cheated. That’s how I felt with 30 Days of Night…cheated.


Nicole Galloway-Miller said...

I agree with you. I didn't care for this piece at all. The thing that I loved was the idea of the ending. I think it's possible that during the transformation, a person can maintain some of themselves. Blood contains genes and some traits are genetic, so I might be possible that Eben maintains some of that protective instinct and kindness so prevalent throughout the story.

A lot of this has to do with my resent research about Autism and its genetic links. According to a new study, it is possible that people on the spectrum have a genetic problem that prevents certain brain connections from forming. Since part of these connections cause some of my personality traits, I think it may be possible that some would be maintained if I became a vampire. Especially since blood contains DNA. I always thought that was why there were vampires with different personalities. For example, why Louis does not have as much blood lust as the other characters in "Interview with a Vampire."

Jennifer Loring said...

I agree that logic falls apart at the end of the book. There is no context given for why Eben could maintain his humanity when the guy whose blood he injected could not. Eben was never developed enough as a character for us to be able to suspend disbelief. And you make a good point about sunrise being mere days away. The fight becomes almost pointless.

I am one of the (apparently) few people who enjoyed the book, having read it before, but the plot holes really do start to add up.

Kathleen Calhoun said...

Oh, poor horror writers. It is tough to find stories without some plot issues. I think the writer/creators get caught up in what they think should be evident, and use "it's magic" a little too often. My reaction was similar to yours when I saw the film, which had such a strong start. Unfortunately, the ending is essentially the same. I suppose the assumption should be that this was the only possible course, that things were about to go south and he had to act at that exact moment in that exact way in order to save the day. Saddly, it really seemed like he could have waited a couple days and traded in the ash-pile-on-a-glacier end for something more tropical...and more scantily clad. Kudos for the setting though, nothing is more horrifying to me than freezing temperatures and eternal snow.

Kate Martin said...

I completely agree with your comments about the art. I didn't even realize I was dealing with a man and a woman at first--thought they were two men. I read a lot of comics and graphic novels and this was just so hard to follow for that reason. The characters were not clear. Odd, how sometimes we can make characters so much clearer with words, rather than pictures.