Wednesday, November 28, 2007
30 Days of Night by Steve Niles
We've all heard that "the book is better than the movie." But what if the movie is based on a graphic novel? 30 Days of Night, by Steve Niles, is an 80+ page graphic novel originally published in 2003. The movie came out just last month.
The graphic novel is by illustrated by Ben Templesmith in a shaky and low detail style. The bulk of the illustrations are in black, white, brown and shades of the three, giving the work a murky, dark feeling. When other colors are used, they are also darker, muddier tones...except for reds, yellows and oranges. Fire and blood are illustrated with vibrant tones, making them pop from the pages for maximum impact (and there is a lot of blood). The story itself is a simple one, though creative and well-written. It recounts the town of Barrow, Alaska's horrifying fight to survive when the sun went down for an entire month, and vampires came to party. There is a lot of tension in the story, as a small group of humans struggle to keep their lives, and their sanity; hiding, and waiting for the sun to come up once again.
The movie retains the basic storyline of the graphic novel. The differences are in the character relationships, added characters and situations and location changes. It's understandable that the filmmakers would need to pad the story in order to make a feature length film from an 80 page book. Their changes don't detract from the plot, and their more fully developed characters help the viewer become more engaged, and therefore more horrified, by the events that transpire.
The graphic novel and the book contain enough differences that one will not detract from the pleasure of the other.