30 Days of Night: Red Snow
by Ben Templesmith (IDW, 2007)

Ben Templesmith, who worked with Steve Niles to define the look and feel of the 30 Days of Night series of vampire graphic novels, steps out on his own with Red Snow and creates a book that matches, maybe even exceeds everything that has gone before.

The series began in Barrow, Alaska, where the long night of winter provided fertile hunting grounds for the vampires. Since then, it has gone in many directions, including Los Angeles, outer space and the silver screen. But Templesmith takes the concept back in time, to the killing snows of the Eastern Front during a brutal Russian winter in 1941. There, a convergence of soldiers and civilians from both the Soviet and Nazi sides face an outbreak of vampire violence that shocks even these hardened veterans of World War II.

The story is vividly, vibrantly told, as one should expect from Templesmith. Stingy in his use of color, he makes ever hue count; when there's fire, it glows, and when there's blood, it bleeds from the page.

I worried the 30 Days of Night concept would be bludgeoned into the ground as the original ideas were used and reused, but this book by Templesmith proves there are still more stories to tell. Well done!

review by
Tom Knapp

21 June 2008

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