Saturday, March 13, 2010

Daytripper #4

by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá

My but I love this comic. I would have thought that the concept, that each issue represent a day or two in the life of Brás de Oliva Domingos at different ages, with a similar ending each issue, would have become a little too precious by the half-way point, but instead, I find myself utterly drawn in and fascinated by this series.

Moon and Bá keep returning to the same themes - filial relationships in this one - and building on the foundations of earlier issues, negating the common ending of each previous issue. This month's installment came as a surprise, as it is set when Brás is 41, and awaiting the birth of his first child. While taking his wife to the hospital, Brás misses the call from his mother informing him that his own father had died.

What follows is the funeral and birth, with Brás having to juggle his conflicting (and conflicted) emotions. He meets his half-sister after the funeral, and later has a conversation with her in the hospital. Brás is shown as having always fought for his father's attention and affection, and his emotions are handled subtly and with care.

The art in this issue is as impressive as usual, and there are a couple of pages that are truly stunning. One is the double-page spread showing the internment, although my favorite panel would be the one that show's Brás's father's study, a modernist room that looks comfortable, productive, and exactly like the type of room I would imagine a writer of his renown working in.

American audiences were first exposed to the twins' work through books like Casanova, and so have come to expect of them a certain frenetic madness. Instead, they are showing that they are capable of telling small, sensitive stories with great beauty, and I'm thankful that Vertigo is giving them this chance.

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