Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Daytripper #9

by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá

As I picked up this issue of Daytripper to read, I started reflecting on how much I've enjoyed this series, and how I wish that it wasn't going to end next month.  Then, as I read it, I got to the point where Brás, the main character, discusses life and death with his son, saying:

"Life is like a book, son.  And every book has an end.  No matter how much you like that book... will get to the last page... ...and it will end.  No book is complete without its end.  And once you get there... ...only when you read the last words... ...will you see how good the book is.  It feels real."
It was a little like the authors had read my mind, and it amused me.

This whole issue spun me out.  Over the last eight installments, it has become clear what the established structure of each chapter of this series will be.  With each new comic, we are sent to another point in Brás's life, and they have all had a variation of the same ending (which I am reluctant to describe here).  This time around, the brothers have turned those expectations upside down, as Brás continually dreams of the different eras we've visited, and continually wakes from those dreams into other ones.

It's a conceit we've seen before, but it's especially effective here.  When Brás first wakes from his dream, he sits in his kitchen talking to his wife.  Slowly, over a number of panels, water spills from the sink, and fills the room.  This is handled well - I noticed the sink in an early shot on the page, but didn't catch on to its significance until a little later, the way we will suddenly notice something in our dreams that has been there for a while.  As Brás revisits different moments in his life, I felt small twangs of recognition and nostalgia.

What is strangest about this issue is that it feels for all the world like the last chapter.  It ends as all of these chapters have ended, except in this issue, Brás is the author of the last text boxes, and we feel like we have reached the last words that will tell you how good the book is, to paraphrase Brás himself.  I don't know what is going to happen in the last issue, except for two things - the art is going to be stunning, and I'm going to be very sad to see it all end.

No comments: