Friday, December 7, 2012

"Daytripper" by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá

How do you make sense of life? Is it by examining carefully this journey from infancy until old age looking for common themes or repetitive patterns? Is it by coming to terms with death? Is it by not even thinking about it, just being there, playing the part until the curtain falls? What do you choose to remember and what do you leave behind? What is valuable for you? These are some of the fundamental questions that "Daytripper" tries to tackle. By adopting a unique format of tightly scripted stories of an imaginary life that ends in a different way in each episode, twin brothers Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá have exploited the comic book medium to perfection.

"Daytripper" was initially presented in instalments of individual, independent stories or alternative versions of the life of the main character Bras. This is the first time these stories are collected in one comic book volume and suddenly the whole thing looks like a completed puzzle. We are now able to see for the first time the big picture.

Through these stories we get to meet all the people that are important and play a role in the life of Bras and each one is given a subtle shading of essential everyday behaviour that rings true. And this focus on the everyday, the mundane, the small gestures that we perform unconsciously most of the time, serves a dual purpose. Apart from establishing a connection with the reader who identifies with the narrative situations, it helps unravel the complexity of the questions asked by simplifying the framework and giving value to a distilled essence of the proceedings. 

In a 2010 interview to Zona Negativa, Gabriel Bá said: "- We like to tell stories that would stick with the reader, that would make something click on their heads and not leave instantly after they close the books. This idea of paying attention on what really matters in life has always surrounded our stories, so when we had to come up with a story to propose to Vertigo, this was the one we had more stuff to talk about. We were actually surprised with how personal and deep the story ended up, like we have been thinking about it all our lives, preparing ourselves to tell it."

John Lennon once said that "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans" and to manage to put this in a comic book format is quite an achievement.

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