I think it is safe to say that everyone looks at life a little different. For some, when life “closes a door” it “opens a window” elsewhere. For some people, when a path diverges in the woods, and they take the path less traveled, they spend their time reminiscing, with a sigh, about that decision. And for others, life is a series of moments where a little piece of you dies. Maybe that piece is a dream. Maybe that piece is freedom. Maybe that piece is love. Along the path of life, decisions are made, and a little piece of you does not move on.
This is the main theme of the incredible (and incredibly surreal) graphic novel, Daytripper by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba. In this story, the main character, Bras dies repeatedly, only to return, unharmed in the next installment. While this sounds like it is the making of a decent supernatural thriller, Ba and Moon take the reader on a metaphorical ride that explores how individual events in one man’s life change him forever. While it is jarring and confusing at first, the overall effect becomes compelling and magical by the end.
Daytripper is non-linear. Each chapter leaps forward or backward in time, yet the threads of the story continue to advance with each section. It is a masterful trick of writing that keeps each revelation relevant. While it is never clear at the beginning of a chapter how it fits in to the tapestry, by the end of the chapter everything is just a bit clearer.
The actual narration of the piece is melodious. The words speak in a harmony that is bittersweet and haunting. While I am normally not a fan of narration boxes, the boxes in Daytripper provide the perfect accents to the story.
The art is classic Ba and Moon. The bodies are elongated and the faces are emotive. The backgrounds and settings are a s much a part of the story as the characters who inhabit them. The color palette keeps the story warm and reminiscent of the Brazilian locale, while occassionally dipping in to the cool blues and greens of a more dream-like state.
Daytripper explores storytelling in a way that only comics can. It demonstrates complete control over the telling of the story, while still allowing each reader to make his or her own connection. This should be on everyone’s “Must Read” list, and would serve as a great introduction to the world of comics and graphic storytelling.