From time to time, a comic—or series of comics for that matter—comes along and shakes up the industry a bit. From time to time, a work both redefines and reinvigorates not only its genre but also, its medium. 30 Days of Night is one of these works. And why exactly am I writing about 30 Days of Night now? Well, IDW is releasing a 15th Anniversary Edition of the groundbreaking vampire tale, and I was lucky enough to get a copy.
Now, I can tell you how important this book is, but you really want to know whether or not you should buy a copy for yourself, right?
30 Days of Night: 15th Anniversary Edition (IDW Publishing)
Before I jump into the story, let me speak about this particular edition. If you have heard of 30 Days of Night and haven’t gotten the chance to give it a read, or, if you have watched the 2007 film and are interested in seeing the work that inspired said film, then look no further. 30 Days of Night: 15th Anniversary Edition is perfect for those looking to sink their teeth into a series that, per IDW, “Kickstarted a modern horror comics revival.”
The 30 Days of Night 15th Anniversary Edition conveniently collects the first three volumes of 30 Days of Night and in doing so, makes the series extremely accessible to newcomers. For fans of the series, I also recommend this edition because it marks the 15th anniversary of a story that not only changed the way we all view horror comics, but also served as a reminder that vampires are terrifying.
With that being said, the vampires found throughout the 30 Days of Night universe are terrifying. They don’t sparkle in the sunlight, they burst into flames as they should. These blood-hungry, undead parasites feed on humans, not marry them. These children of the night…well, you see where I’m going with this…the vampires found throughout 30 Days of Night are genuine.
Throughout the first three volumes of 30 Days of Night, horror writer Steve Niles produces a tale that frightens as much as it entertains, and while there is an obvious darkness to the text, the underlying existential—and at times, nihilistic—elements add serious depth. Although I typically prefer the comic book stylings of artists like Todd McFarlane and Jim Lee, artist Ben Templesmith’s style works extremely well with the Niles’ writing. Templesmith’s art is raw and intense and it, in combination with Niles’ writing, creates a truly unique reading experience.
While the second volume in this collection seemed to be a little more refined, the first and third volumes were raw and gritty and intense. Yes, volume two was also intense, but there was a lot going on in terms of plot, and the volume ended up reading much differently than its predecessor. Volume three, I believe, returned to the roots of the series and felt less forced than its predecessor. Overall, the first three volumes of 30 Days of Night are worth reading.
So, do I think you should buy the 30 Days of Night 15th Anniversary Edition? Yes, I most certainly do.