I don’t know how, but until a few days ago I had never read Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba’s Daytripper. Seriously, I have no idea how I had never read it before. At this point in time, I’ve read all ten issues of Daytripper four times. And that’s in two days, with school work and everything. It may very well be my favorite comic book of all time, and one of the best works of art that I have ever seen.
It’s undeniable that Daytripper is a work of art, both from a visual art and writing standpoint. Gabriel Ba’s art work is vibrant and beautiful, and the book just looks great. Every single object in every single panel is vibrantly detailed, and a wonder to look at. At times, it looks like a water color painting, and it’s so, so beautiful. I mean, I’m familiar with Gabriel Ba’s other work, especially on Umbrella Academy, which he did with Gerard Way, and I’ve seen some of his art in some other books, but, honestly, none of his work is even close to his art on Daytripper.
With Gabriel Ba’s beautiful art comes a beautiful, heartfelt, meaningful story about a Brazilian writer named Bras. The book does something that is so vastly different from anything else I’ve ever read, with each issue ending with him dying, and the next issue telling the story of what his life could have been had he lived, until he inevitably dies at the end of the issue.
The comic takes us through multiple stages of Bras’ life, from him at all the way to him at 76. The comic is really about the joys of life, and why life is such a vibrant, beautiful thing. This series has actually hit me harder than any other comic I’ve read, ever. In the fifth issue, in which Bras is 11, there’s a great quote. “Even though everyday life resumed it’s course, and people got back to their chores, now Bras knew life awaited him out there. the house was no longer able to keep him locked inside. He was free as a bird.”
Inevitably, he ends up dead at the end of the issue, but issue #5 is so great because it looks at freedom, and the smallest joys of youth. It looks at a single moment, a single experience, and how that can open people’s eyes to the life that awaits them, and then live life to it’s fullest.
The book also looks at how people need to appreciate the small things in life, things that happen daily. right off the bat, in issue #1, we get this great quote. “Isn’t it strange how we always seem to remember the trivial things from our daily lives, but never the important ones?” It’s just such a profound experience, reading this book, and I could continue quoting it for a long time.
The whole irony of it is that Bras, at least for the first five or six issues, writes obituaries for a newspaper. He’s an author, but that’s his day job, and so, essentially, the story is being told through his own obituaries. But, really, it’s the very end of the last issue that hits the hardest.
Surprisingly enough, in issue #10, Bras doesn’t die. At this point, he’s lived through all of the previous events, except he hasn’t died. He’s lived life to it’s fullest potential, now. But, at the very end, when he reads the letter from his father, who passed away, the book delivers it’s message in a way that is so well done, and so profound.
“Only when you accept that one day you’ll die can you let go, and make the best of life. And that’s the big secret. That’s the miracle.” The book is so much about how people have to live life to it’s fullest, and except that no one can live forever. It is only once you get over trying to evade death that you can truly live life. That message is so profound, and so well done in this book. Really, it’s a feel-good story about how miraculous life is. And it’s great.