Sunday, May 17, 2009

30 Days of Night: Bloodsucker Tales

Written by Steve Niles and Matt Fraction
Art by Kody Chamberlain and Ben Templesmith

As I've said on here before, I've never really bothered with the 30 Days of Night series, and only ever bought the mini-series done by David Lapham because he's on my 'buy everything you can' list.

Well, parts of the concept interested me, so I decided to poke around through what was out there. Around the same time, I saw the solicitation for the tpb of Juarez, written by Matt Fraction (another person on my 'buy everything (non-Marvel)' list). Then, I found this on ebay, collecting both the Juarez story, and one other. Seeing as they are vastly different, I'll review them separately.

'Dead Billy Dead' is written by the series creator, and I suppose there's nothing wrong with it. It's about some guy who gets turned into a vampire, and basically falls afoul of some creepy professor. It's a good enough story I suppose, but it's not the type of thing that would ever get me into this franchise. The art is sketchy and a little hard to follow in places, but is generally serviceable.

'Juarez', on the other hand, is a mess, but a glorious mess. This is the type of Matt Fraction that I like best - where the ideas are flowing quicker than the story can handle. It's mostly about the missing girls in Juarez, and how one investigator - Lex Nova - thinks it is the work of vampires, as does the Zero Family Circus - a group of deranged vampires, looking for their lost Uncle Zero. Their stories collide, along with a faithless priest, and some Mexican whores. Again, all the elements needed for a great story.

Things don't really coalesce until the last chapter, which is really a prologue to the story. Lots of things don't make sense right until the very end, prompting the reader to turn back to the first page and start again. Things are further confused by Templesmith's art, which I always enjoy, but can't always follow.

'Juarez' made this a worthwhile purchase, and now has me interested in other writers who have dabbled in Nile's universe. 'Red Snow' is next on my to-buy list, if it's any good.

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