Saturday, May 31, 2014

Book-A-Day 2014 #150: Daytripper by Fabio Moon & Gabriel Ba

Stop me if you've heard this one before: there's this regular guy, working at something that's almost the work he wants to do, falling in love, building a family, when tragedy strikes and he dies suddenly -- in his thirties, or twenties, or forties, right after an important moment in his life, or right before that moment, or instead of that moment. And then it happens again, at a different point in his life. And again.

He's Bras de Olivia Domingos, the only son of a very famous Brazilian novelist -- and a noted novelist in his own right, when he lives long enough. And his stories -- all of those lives cut short, and the one that wasn't -- make up Daytripper, a luminous and deep graphic novel by the most talented twins in comics, Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba.

Daytripper was originally published as a series of ten individual comics, and it makes great use of that structure: each issue tells the story of one of Bras's lives, starting with the one where he dies at the age of thirty-two. Each chapter tells the story of one time in his life, one moment -- and then perhaps the worst way that time could end. It's a story of small moment, of finding the meaning of life both in the small moments and in working for your big dreams: the right partner, the right work, children.

A book structured like Daytripper could easily fall into a hedonistic or nihilistic message -- that nothing really matters because death can strike at any moment. But Moon and Ba have a more subtle point to make: that life is sweet, and it's that much sweeter because we know it will end. And so they make Bras into an Everyman and the flow of his life -- of all of his lives, short and long, broken and mended -- into a joyous celebration of all life.

It doesn't hurt that their collective art is gorgeous and evocative, of course: Moon and Ba draw a world we want to fall into, to inhabit with their characters, no matter what the risk.

Book-A-Day 2014 Introduction and Index

No comments:

Post a Comment