It is fair to say that Daytripper will be probably one of the best comics you will ever read. Yeah, I said it. It is so good that people who barely or don’t even read comics need to read it. This comic deserves every attention it receives; it deserves to be held, corners to be bent, smudges on the sides, tear drop stains on the ink, beauty in your mind.
Frankly, I haven’t read anything this beautiful for a long time and trust me, I read a lot. In only a handful of issues, this comic achieves as much, if not more in storytelling and art than every issue of Sandman combined. That’s a hefty argument, I know, but it is one fair to say.
The comic revolves around the life (lives) of Brás. He’s a fairly unknown obituary writer living in the shadow of his nationally acclaimed writer-father in Brazil. He struggles to make a name for himself with only the help from his dog and best friend Jorge. He has his ups and downs but leads a relatively normal life.
The catch? Brás dies at the end of every issue. Nevertheless, the comic follows him from the different key moments in his life whether those be heartbreak or the birth of his child. The deaths are sometimes predictable or other times terrifying, but, through each death, you learn a little something about life – the intricacies that run alongside you as you go about your day. Missed encounters become life-changers. Actual encounters become life-changers. Love runs throughout. And, what better way to understand the love than to experience the creators’ love for the story, the character, and the details.
Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá are two Brazilian twin brothers who have worked in comics for awhile, but have garnered a storm of appreciation within the last 2-5 years; it is well deserved. Their story in Daytripper is infectious and has just that little hook that makes you want more which they even address in a sort of meta-textual way within the comic. Each word is more powerful than the last, and careful consideration runs rampant. The last couple issues of the book brought tears to my eyes. There have only been two other comics that have done this. By the end of the book, you are hooked and in love with Brás no matter his faults. The way of telling the story only deepens when you look at their art.
Their biggest accomplishment, in my opinion, is their capability in handling age. The comic jumps from key moment to key moment within the life of Brás. Yet, somehow they manage to make him look legitimately older or younger. You know it’s him before the story even mentions him. On top of that, they have this incredible knack for making characters who are related look related. You can seriously see that Brás and his mother and father are related. It is simply incredible.
Other great feats are strewn throughout the book from the beautiful brush strokes to the mystifying backgrounds. All of this is punctuated by the great Dave Stewart’s colors. He provides a sensational palette of watercolor-like colors that do not detract but enhance the already phenomenal art.
I have two complaints about this book and they are rather trivial. One: they drew a foosball table wrong. I’ve spent a lot of time with foosball tables and instantly recognized the strangeness in the set up (granted, it was only backwards). Two, the book could have been printed on a higher paper quality to enhance the viewing experience. If that means hiking the price up from $20 to $35, then so be it. This book deserves every penny.
Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá have achieved one of the highest accomplishments in literature within a comic book – the thing thwarted by attacks of juvenile delinquency not too long ago. The medium conveys the message. This book will make you contemplate life, death, love, pain, hope, and everything in between after every issue. Quite frankly, this book sets a new standard for comics with perfection on every page.