Saturday, June 9, 2012


by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá

I'm not the type of comics collector who buys multiple copies or editions of books I already own.  There are too many great comics out there that I don't own a single copy of, and there is only so much space one can devote to the collection.

Daytripper is one of those rare books that I felt the need to make an exception for, especially when I realized I could buy a copy at get it signed at TCAF.  Before opening this trade, I wondered how the experience of reading Daytripper without a month's wait between each chapter would differ from reading it in a serialized format.

Each chapter of Daytripper tells a story from a different year in the life of Brás de Oliva Domingos, the son of a celebrated Brazilian writer.  Each chapter has a similar ending, which I don't want to discuss, as I would prefer it be a surprise if you haven't read the comic before, and each chapter focuses on Brás's relationships in life, with friends, family, lovers, and his child.

Reading the whole book creates a full understanding of Brás's life, as his youthful ambitions and dreams become compromised reality, and as he struggles through difficulty relating to his father, and the myriad other problems most people deal with as they move through life.  There's a poetic quality to this work though that makes it so transcendent.

Bá and Moon's art is beautiful throughout, and that adds much to the beauty of the story.  Brás is an easy person to relate to, and I as a reader keep hoping that each chapter's end would be different.  Taken as a whole piece, the book forces the reader to look for more common themes and structures in each chapter.  The non-linear format of the book highlights connections and changes in Brás, and I found myself meditating on some of the relationships in my own life as I read this.

Daytripper is a beautiful piece of work, which comes from a South American tradition that involves such legendary writers as Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Roberto Bolano.  This is still one of my favourite comics of the last ten years, and I'm very glad that I took the opportunity to read it again, and can see this being a book that I return to time and again over the coming years.

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