Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Ten Books To Read For Halloween: #6


IDW has become a force in comics, particularly when it comes to the horror genre. They've got books published on Mr. Hyde, zombies, vampires, etc. and show no sign of stopping. Recently, they even began to publish a horror magazine anthology titled Doomed, in the style of the old Eerie comics. Very EC. Steve Niles seems to be the creator at IDW, as it seems nearly every new title is written by the guy. I've checked out Remains, Wake the Dead and Dark Days, all Niles-written. But hey, if the readers are responding... So, yes, the number six book on my countdown is published by IDW.

6. 30 Days of Night by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith.
If there was a book that put IDW on the map (and well, there was) it would be 30 Days of Night. Originally created as a pitch for a movie, Steve Niles took this to comics when no interest was shown in the story. The joke seems to be on Hollywood, however, as after the comic was produced, there was a bidding war that ended in the rights for the movie being sold at a cool $2 million. Good word-of-mouth (and a feature in Wizard's Indy column) propelled this to the top of many comics fans' to-read lists, prompting an E-Bay sale of the first printing of issue number one at about $90. But, thankfully for those of us who can't afford that type of price tag for a 20-page comic, the trade came out and went through a bazillion printing runs (Me - I got the original issue #1). But anyways, interesting history besides, this book is good. It takes place in Barrow, Alaska, where for thirty consecutive days, the sun does not shine. And no sun means vampires can feast uninterrupted to their tainted heart's content. Brilliant premise. But Ben Templesmith's art takes this concept to another level. He was the perfect choice for a book like this, giving it a dark, depressed mood, with disgusting portrayals of the vampires (no hot Hollywood vampires here). At only three issues, this is a quick read, but the series has spawned plenty of sequels, including the immediate follow-up Dark Days, 30 Days of Night: Bloodsucker Tales and 30 Days of Night: Return To Barrow. Another sequel is upcoming that takes place in space. Yes, space. I guess no one told them that that's the kiss of death for any horror franchise (Jason X, Leprechaun in Space)... So, if you like the 30 Days of Night universe, you'll have plenty to enjoy. And given how IDW has been whoring the title out, you'll have new stories for years to come.

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