Monday, July 19, 2010

30 Days of Night: Beyond Barrow

Written by Steve Niles
Art by Bill Sienkiewicz

It's weird how I keep getting more 30 Days of Night collections, even though I'm generally unhappy with the series.  I know that the different series were really popular, and so I always assume that if I give the title another try, I'll be happy with it.  And I'm almost always proven wrong.

Here's what I've learned:  If it's a 30 Days of Night written by series creator Steve Niles, don't bother.  His writing is rushed and undeveloped, and he's really only capable of a couple of tricks, which get used over and over again.  If the book is written by someone else, like say Ben Templesmith or David Lapham, it's safe to buy.

So, knowing this, why did I buy this book?  Two reasons.  The first is that the art is by Bill Sienkiewicz.  I've been a Sienkiewicz fan since his run on New Mutants when I was a kid, and while his craft hasn't improved much since the Elektra: Assassin days, it's nice to see something new from him.  He has a few totally unreadable pages here, which is to be expected, but also some very cool images.

The second reason why I bought the book was because it was 75% off.  Good thing too, as it only contains three comics, and retails for $18.  That's $6 an issue, for anyone calculating.  Sure, there's a few pages of scripts, and some sketches, but really, what are they thinking at IDW?  I'm sure you can, with some hunting, get the original comics for a total of $3 on ebay.

As to the story?  It has a couple of nice moments, but it doesn't make sense.  Night has fallen in Barrow Alaska again, and some rich Hollywood types decide to fly in and see some vampires.  They piss off some townspeople, and then inexplicably drive off into the middle of nowhere to set up camp.  Then they get attacked by something other than vampires.  Then the book ends.  Blah blah blah.

That's it.  I swear I'm not going to buy any more of these - at least no more with Steve Niles's name attached.

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