Daytripper by Ba and Moon may just be one of the coolest things I’ve ever read. I have never read a graphic novel before, and it has been ages since I’ve picked up a picture book, so I forgot how much pictures can add to a novel. When going through and annotating my spreads, one thing that really stood out to me was how Ba and Moon focused on color and facial expression to really supplement the story line and add an element that just isn’t possible with a plain text novel. For example, the spread where Bras is learning about his father’s passing. In the first panel, we see Bras leave the hospital and find his mother outside, so we know where the scene is taking place. However, after that, Ba and Moon choose to remove the background details altogether, so all we see is Bras and his mother on a solid colored background. This forces us to focus only on their interactions and not be distracted by what’s happening in the scenery. Then, the scenery slowly transforms from yellow to blue as the scene unfolds. The colors are a reflection of Bras’ emotions—it starts off as yellow, surprise that his mother is here at the hospital, and then slowly blue is added as Bras senses that something is not right and his mood shifts form surprise to shock, and finally when he learns of his father’s passing, he is on a pure blue background, pure, unaltered sadness. Additionally, the focus on facial detail is incredible. Ba and Moon do an incredible job of highlighting the character’s facial features, especially their eyes. It is said that eyes are the best way to express emotion, and in the panel where Bras finally gets the news of his father’s death, the sorrow and shock in his eyes is undeniable—as an artist, I can attest to the level of skill necessary to illustrate such emotion. Each spread works in a similar way, as can be shown by the side notes on the annotated panels
I think all of these things, these simple yet powerful enhancers to the novel are all testaments to the allowances of graphic novels, and by showing the action, Ba and Moon make the text speak more to the audience than if they had simply described the scenes. This novel demonstrates that a picture is indeed worth a thousand words.
Moon, Fábio, Gabriel Bá, Dave Stewart, and Sean Konot. Daytripper. New York: DC Comics, 2011. Print.