Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon’s Daytripper is truly a work of art. It is a meditation on mortality, a book of life lessons, a uniquely crafted biography of an obituary writer named Bras, a roller coaster of emotions, and much more. The graphic novel is broken into 10 important periods, in non-chronological order, of Bras’ life. At the end of each piece Bras always dies in one way or another, be it from a heart attack, a car crash, a shooting, or something completely unexpected like a peaceful ocean ceremony. Below, I recount four quick scenes of the novel.
This scene is taken from the end of chapter 2, where Bras falls in love with a beautiful Brazilian woman while on a trip with his best friend Jorge in Brazil. Strangely enough, Bras was having dreams of a woman that may or may not parallel his love interest before and after meeting her. Here, his dream women his foretelling where his actual love interest wants him to do. Unsurprisingly, he ends up dying on that beach.
This scene is taken from the following chapter, 3. In it, he is shown to have recently broken up with the woman he met in Brazil, and he is heart broken. However, the above picture is part of perhaps the most romantic scene in the book – his “love at first sight” moment. It is also an excellent example of the kind of deeply moving scene that the authors and Ba and Moon are capable of – both in its text and pictures.
Jumping forward, the above scene comes from chapter 6. It depicts probably the most gruesome and surprising scene in Daytripper. Throughout the graphic novel, we discover the depth of the friendship of Bras and Jorge. They spent college together, went on trips together, worked together, etc. When Jorge inexplicably left Bras to go live elsewhere, Bras often wrote postcards to him. Wanting to meet with his friend after being a part for so long, Bras goes out in search of him. After finally finding him, Bras discovers him in a very low place. Jorge then unexplainably murders Bras and commits suicide, apparently out of his very degraded mental state. Daytripper captures the emotions of both characters excellently in the above scene.
This scene comes from the very last chapter of Daytripper. Here, Bras has become very old, and he goes to the beach this night seemingly to take his own life. This isn’t because of any deep depression he was going through; he had spent this day in the loving company of his wife and children. Rather, it might have been triggered by a letter written by his father. In it, his father wrote that he was proud of Bras for not needing him anymore, and that one can only “let go” when one accepts that one will die. Perhaps Bras was finally in the state where he could let go.
Moon, Fábio, Gabriel Bá, Dave Stewart, and Sean Konot. Daytripper. New York: DC Comics, 2011. Print.
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