Daytripper by Fábio Moon & Gabriel Bá

by Fábio Moon & Gabriel Bá
Vertigo, 2011

A rich and exuberant story whose flaws are outshone by the sheer amount of imagination involved. Moon and Bá are twin brothers from Brazil (no, I don’t know why their surnames are different either) and this is the story of the life and many deaths of Brás de Olivia Domingos, an obituarist and frustrated novelist who feels he has failed to live up to the famous name of his author father.

Like Run Lola Run as told by Italo Calvino, each chapter of Daytripper gets to a certain point in Brás’s life, and then he suffers an untimely death. He is slaughtered in a bar at age 32, drowns in Salvador at age 21, and is hit by a truck at age 28 and, er, 33. I suppose there’s only a certain amount of ways to die accidentally that aren’t totally gross.

Each time he takes a different path and gets a bit further in life, gradually achieving a certain level of success and personal fulfilment after many detours and cul-de-sacs*. There’s an overly sentimental message of how sons eventually become fathers, but the excellence of the artwork and sincerity of tone overcomes this mawkishness.

* Just like in real life, or most computer games.

2 Responses to “Daytripper by Fábio Moon & Gabriel Bá”

  1. Yeah, I really liked Daytripper reading it issue-by-issue. Not sure how it would read in collection. It felt to me like the balance wasn’t perfect – it isn’t going to be a classic remembered for decades – but the elements are all executed with care and empathy and ambition, and as you say that counts for a lot.

    And I figured that “Moon” was a nom de plume. I suppose google could answer this question but it feels easier to type “I can’t be bothered” than to open another tab and test this theory.

  2. Yes, it has something to do with the twin brothers expressing different aspects of their creativity, so it’s not some Charlie Sheen-Emilio Estevez deal.

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