Reviewer: Evelyn Finch
Publisher: (Vertigo) DC Comics
Writer: Fabio Moon & Gabriel Ba
Artist: Fabio Moon & Gabriel Ba
Genre: Graphic Novel
MSRP: $19.99 U.S.
Release Date: Available Now
How do you measure a human life? Is it by weighing your list of accomplishments or recognizing major events as well as the moments that may seem insignificant? Perhaps it is all of these things and as we can see in Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba’s Daytripper – a graphic novel that celebrates life’s big moments as well as the little moments that are just as important but also recognizes death as a part of life.
Daytripper introduces us to Bras de Oliva Domingos, son of a famous Brazilian writer and something of a writer himself since he pens some genuinely touching obituaries for the local newspaper in Brazil. Called the “Little Miracle” by his mother due to an event that took place during his birth, Bras finds himself thinking of ones mortality. On the evening he was attend a gala in his father’s honor, a stop to a nearby bar results in Bras’ death by the hands of an armed thief.
Yet this is not the end of the story for Bras’ life is filled with life’s little and big moments that keep including death. We find Bras in his twenties as he and his closest friend, Jorge, take a little trip to the beautiful city of Salvador where he meets a gorgeous and voluptuous woman named Olinda who he instantly attracted to and spends a memorable night with in this beach-side paradise. It is that same Olinda that a few years later breaks his heart by storming out of his place. A year later, however, Bras finds love again while getting his morning coffee … and finds death again crossing the street after deciding to go back and talk to the beautiful woman that caught his eye.
Life takes another turn for Bras as he and the same woman he met in the café is expecting their first child only for Bras to miss out on his son’s birth returning home to get something his wife requested. Unfortunately, the day of his son’s birth is also brings with it the death of Bras’ father. The young man looks back on his childhood as the family often took trips to their kin’s cottage when Bras’ father would use as the perfect opportunity to write. It is in one of those trips that young Bras experienced his first kiss under the winding roots of a tree with a pretty half-cousin.
Then there’s a defining moment in Bras’ career with a commercial airliner crashes at takeoff and pushes the man to write several obituaries for each confirmed passenger from the flight. Not only is it beautiful stuff but it inspires him to write his first novel that becomes a success. At last, Bras feels like he has caught up with his father. Unfortunately, the book tour takes him far from his wife and son who miss him very much. On top of that, his best friend disappears only to be discovered in a rundown shack in a bad mental state.
We finally reach the end of Bras’ life as a gray-haired Bras returns home after getting bad news from his physician. Bras isn’t afraid of what awaits him … he never was in the many death we see through his eyes. The fact is simple: one experiences life and takes in all the things it has to offer. There are good moments in our lives and bad ones but they are a part of the big picture that makes up our existence.
Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba paints this big picture called life in a way that you can feel what Bras goes through and relate to his ups and downs as well as the emotions that come with it. It’s a powerful thing for a graphic novel to make you feel and Daytripper does it so effortlessly. The art is also considerably impressive and just as expressive as the writing itself. Even Dave Stewart’s coloring is perfect enough that it compliments every panel to make this a beautiful-looking graphic novel.
Daytripper is as big and as meaningful as the story of Bras’ life and it will not fail to make us think and feel and wonder, which is a rarity within itself. With magnificent storytelling and artwork that is equally stellar, this graphic novel is easily one of this year’s best graphic novels and one that should be on anyone’s list regardless of your favorite genre. This is storytelling at its more perfect and I cannot recommend this one enough.
COMIC REVOLUTION RATING BREAKDOWN
Writing obituaries for the local Brazilian newspaper, we witness the life and death of Bras de Oliva Domingos in different stages of a life. We follow him through various moments from a first kiss, becoming a successful novelist, falling in love and experiencing heartbreak but also death that is a big part of life as well.
The art is simply gorgeous and compliments the written word beautifully enough that sometimes a panel with the art alone speaks volumes of what the character is thinking and feeling. We’ve seen the twins’ work before and they still do not fail to impress.
There are graphic novels that speak of what it is to be human and then there are graphic novels like Daytripper that celebrate our humanity as well as our very existence. This is the story of life and death but mainly the little things that make up one particular person’s life. In other words, Daytripper is a graphic novel that will speak to you and make you feel and that’s what makes this such a masterpiece.
Review copy provided by (Vertigo) DC Comics