Overview

Daytripper #1

Review

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Daytripper #1

Credits

  • Words: Gabriel Bá & Fabio Moon
  • Art: Gabriel Bá & Fabio Moon
  • Colors: Dave Stewart
  • Story Title: Chapter One: 32
  • Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Dec 9, 2009

The first chapter of Daytripper begins like many modern comics: within a single moment. No warning or pre-cursor, just smack dab in the middle of a turning point.

This can be good or bad, depending on how that moment grabs the reader. In the instance of Bá and Moon’s narrative, it works like a snowball rolling down hill, right into a brick wall. We are given a glimpse of the splatter it causes, after which it’s elegantly put back into a calm pace. You can’t help but be taken by the hand like an inquisitive child.

Familiar with Bá and Moon’s fantastic pencils on The Umbrella Academy and Casanova, respectively, I was not sure how their strengths to tell a story visually would translate onto script. In the beginning, I was not completely sold. Early omniscient narration feels slightly overwritten, merely reiterating what the fantastic art is showing. Worse though, some of the dialogue between characters comes off expository and clunky in places. Almost as though they want to drive the point home that these two characters have a history – “Let me tell you exactly what that history is with information about what they did years ago and how they are different now!”

See how awkward and beleaguering that can get? 

This could be due to an issue of translation, being as English is not the Brazilian brothers’ first language.  Aside from those minor nitpicks, I thoroughly became engrossed with the main character of Bras. He is real and cared for by the creators and our connection to him supersedes any misplaced exposition. By the end of the first chapter, I was so involved with his plight that any narrative mishaps fell by the wayside.

Bras is an obituary writer by day and a struggling novelist by night. His writer’s block is compounded by the fact that his father is a well-renowned and celebrated author. You could say that Bras simultaneously lives in the shadows of his father and of death itself, which is a major theme in this book. We follow him through his 32nd birthday and are given a slice of his life, leading up to the telegraphed finale.  But even though we see the climax coming mid way, Bá and Moon still pull out an emotional response, which is the mark of good storytelling. If the ending is a foregone conclusion, make your readers care about it and they’ll happily continue their journey with you.

Daytripper is a highly recommended series. The art is warm and beautifully expressive as Moon and Bá pull off some of the best facial ticks this side of Kevin Maguire, and the story is wistful and urgent at the same time, demanding your attention.

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Comments

  • Steve Kanaras

    Steve Kanaras Dec 11, 2009 at 11:12am

    Local Comic Shop didn't have any issues of this on the shelf...gonna have to track it down.

  • Noel Bartocci

    Noel Bartocci Dec 11, 2009 at 11:43am

    Seek it out, sir. It's worth the effort. :-)

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