Sunday, December 23, 2007

My mirrors are black for you

30 Days of Night was a okay horror comic. The story is simple, too simple. Barrow, Alaska, gets really dark in winter, which is ideal for vampires. So when the long night comes a bunch of vampires come eat the townspeople. Then the townspeople fight back. The End. The pedestrian plotline had a few mild surprises, but the art is the main attraction. The colors veer from shades of gray to wild reds and their mouths open like a sharks to eat the victims.

The sequel, Dark Days, is an improvement. There is an interesting story this time involving a human and a vampire seeking their own revenge for deaths in Barrow. The end works well and calls into question the motivations of some of the characters. Because there is a story, there is much less gore, although there is plenty still.

The Secret is another graphic novel horror novel, although it is less successful than Dark Days. In this tale, a group of teens make prank calls and end up calling the wrong person. A girl disappears and one boy is determined to find out what happened. Nothing good of course. The climax is exciting and well done, but the denouement is cliched.

It is much harder to make a good horror story in graphic novels, and movies than it is in books. A partially imagined fright is much worse than something on screen or in an image. Once you see it, you can categorize it and understand it. It is much easier to develop dread, fear and horror in words as your own brain fills in the terrible details.

Still, I keep reading these things, so there must be something to them. These graphic novels are like B-horror movies, but they have the great advantage that they take much less time to read.

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