Lonesome Days, Savage Nights
Written by: Steve Niles & Salvatore Simeone
Art by: Szymon Kudranski
Letters by: Thomas Mauer
Of the third wave books TKO Studios recently released, none caught my eye quite like Lonesome Days, Savage Nights. Not because Steve Niles, creator of 30 Days of Night, and TKO co-founder Salvatore Simeone were writing the story together — although, that didn’t hurt.
It was the artwork by Szymon Kudranski. While it’s abundantly clear before reading a single page the protagonist of this story is the werewolf, also known as Stu Manning, Kudransk doesn’t draw a creature readers can cozy up to. This thing is a monster.
More importantly, as seen on the cover of the trade — as well as the individual issues, if you go that route — everything surrounding this character is gruesome. Again, that’s all just from the art teased ahead of Lonesome Days, Savage Nights’ release.
The violence and terror continue once you start this high-adrenaline story that doesn’t give readers a chance to catch their breath. While the pace of Lonesome Days, Savage Nights is a product of Kudranski’s artwork (he did both pencils and the colors), Niles and Simeone don’t waste time either. They take you inside the mind of Stu Manning, who’s trying to keep himself together as his entire world tries to rip him apart — sometimes forcing him to do the same to others.
While some of Manning’s motivation in this story isn’t exactly unique, Niles and Simeone don’t let that control the story. Yes, it’s important and provides the nudge Manning needs, but the story is more about the craziness and the rage this man experiences as a result of his condition.
Another sound decision made by Niles and Simeone was keeping Manning’s origin story brief. They provided readers with the necessary details and nothing more.
Because, more than anything, Lonesome Days, Savage Nights is about the wild ride of sharing a body and brain with a monster that’s looking to take control.