Tuesday, September 04, 2007

R.I.P. II | 30 Days of Night

'We Are Three, The Spirits In White, Doing the Cha-Cha-Cha'
'We Are Three,
Spirits In White With the Ballsy Heads,
Doing the Cha-Cha-Cha'

(Don't mind that awful little ditty on top. It's just something that pops into my head everytime I look at the cutesy R.I.P. II button.)

Dark Orpheus Reads 30 Days of Night by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith, for the R.I.P. II Challenge!

Some of us had a headstart for the R.I.P II Challenge. I finished 30 Days of Night before 1st September 2007 - the official start of the challenge. But nobody minds, right? ;p

North of the Arctic Circle, in the sleepy, chilly Alaskan town of Barrows where nothing really happens -- night is coming. Thirty days of night in fact, as the sun sets and does not return until 30 days later. As Eben and Stella Olemaun -- the husband-and-wife team of sheriff and deputy of Barrows -- watch the last sunset of the month, they are unprepared for the vampiric pack that will soon descend on the town.

The vampires have discovered the perfect blood orgy. They will feast. They will play. There is no escape. Before the sun rises again on Barrows, no one will be left. Sounds fun, right?

Not really.

I had high expectations for 30 Days of Night, but as it turns out, I was disappointed by the storyline, which was basically about a massacre in town by the vampires, and towards the end, a sacrifice has to be made to save the day. The story ended with great anticipation for the later books in the series, as the lives of the survivors will never be the same again. However, read all by itself -- 30 Days of Night seems superficial, with paper-thin characterisation. As for the dramatic showdown near the end -- the result of the fight was unbelievable and too convenient.

I'm trying to appreciate the artwork of the graphic novel. It is somber, with an impressionistic grey palette with occasional splashes of violent red -- it's murky and bleak, highly sympathetic to the feel of the story -- but I just can't bring myself to like it. I believe a lush visual could have compensated for the bare storyline -- filled in the empty spaces of the narrative, so to speak -- but it did not.

I had expected more out of it. I expected some blood on the steak, but instead I bit into something bone-dry. It could have been more.

But oddly, the graphic novel has not turned me off the film. I still believe if the visual effects were done well, the story could have worked. As an appetizer, let's revisit the trailer to the film adaptation of 30 Days of Night:

5 comments:

jean pierre said...

i'm sorry you didn't like 30 days, but i understand your argument. perhaps it got hyped up too much.

i think its just a good comic - no more - and i imagine if one approaches it with any higher expectations tehn i can see how one would be dissapointed.

that is if thats the reason why you were dissapointed...

the film looks very cool, though!

Carl V. said...

I really enjoyed the story, of course I read it in its single issues as it was being released. I love the artwork, yet even I at times think some of the panels are a little too vague. I look forward to the movie with the caveat that I hate Josh Hartnett as an actor. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and see this though.

Dark Orpheus said...

Jean Pierre I was really expecting it to be more imaginative.

But ironically, I was actually curious about the bits they hinted at at the end, when they move the action out of Barrows, and someone new comes into Barrows.

Carl Maybe reading the singles helped with the anticipation and made it better. I just felt it could have been more.

Court said...

I'm sorry to hear you didn't like 30 Days of Night. It sounds like it has so much potential, and it always sucks when things don't live up to the hopes you have for them. :(

Bookfool said...

Yurgh, the cover turns me off. I'm actually kind of relieved to find it's not a favorite of yours. It's almost a sigh of relief. :)