Daytripper 10 (November 2010)

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Issue ten invalidates most of, if not all of, issue nine. Daytripper ends exactly the way I figured it would… Brás is a happy old man. Because Moon and Bá spend the second half of the series goofing around, they miss out on the most interesting parts of the story. Like, where’d the sister go (she finally gets mentioned here)? Or, where’d the half sister go?

The series isn’t misogynistic, but it’s something–it doesn’t recognize women as being as valid characters, only men.

Worse, the whole point of this issue is some letter Brás’s dad wrote him about being a dad. We never got to see Brás as a dad. I don’t think he had a single scene with his kid until this issue.

Daytripper is a lovely effort from a couple guys who draw beautifully.

On some levels, they write well.

But not on the most important ones.

CREDITS

76; writers and artists, Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá; colorist, Dave Stewart; letterer, Sean Konot; editor, Pornsak Pichetshote; publisher, Vertigo.

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Daytripper 9 (October 2010)

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And there they go. Be nice, now, wave to Moon and Bá as they set Daytripper out to sea, absolving themselves of any narrative responsibility.

This issue sums it all up. The issues have been dreams of Brás on his death bed. When he’s dying isn’t sure, maybe it’s a coma. It’s not important. There’s even a conversation in the issue about it not being important.

But, really, it shows how a lovely thing like Daytripper can be ruined with metaphysical nonsense. At it’s best, it reminds me of Moonshadow. At it’s worst, it reminds me of that awful literal sequel to Moonshadow.

There’s one more issue to go and it’s almost pointless to continue. This issue doesn’t leave one with any desire to continue, as it tells the reader there’s nothing to continue. The series was so strong, if emotionally dulling, until about halfway.

Then it just started collapsing.

CREDITS

Dream; writers and artists, Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá; colorist, Dave Stewart; letterer, Sean Konot; editor, Pornsak Pichetshote; publisher, Vertigo.

Daytripper 8 (September 2010)

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Yeah, it’s clear Moon and Bá are now in the “trying new things” phase of Daytripper. Brás is away on business and dies while away on business. We read his notes, emails and letters and hear the other ends of conversations… he leaves an answering machine message. It’s a bit of a narrative experiment and it works, but not as well as if it were clearer from the start Brás wasn’t going to appear.

It’s strange how macho Daytripper turns out to be. Both his wife and his mother define themselves by their husbands–though the wife has a career of her own, it’s nowhere near as important as being married to Brás, the writer.

It’s funny. The first couple issues of Daytripper were incredibly depressing. Now, at issue eight, I’m steeled. So what if Brás’s kid lost his father and gave a heartbreaking speech at school. Brás’ll be back.

CREDITS

Writer and artists, Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá; publisher, Vertigo.

Daytripper 7 (August 2010)

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Here’s a… well, I don’t know what this issue is or does yet.

Moon and Bá bring sensationalism to Daytripper with this issue like I never would have expected. It’s a sequel to the previous issue, instead of a standalone and it ends with Jorge (the protagonist’s best friend) going insane and killing him, then killing himself.

By being a direct sequel–clearly Brás didn’t die in this continuity while looking for Jorge last issue–it raises the question of continuity in a different way. Are there different timelines where Brás dies in different ways, somewhat unrelated to each other (i.e. in one he has a sister, in another he doesn’t)? Is Daytripper going to end with Brás an old man?

It’s an okay issue–the weakest of the series–just because it’s so sensationalist. I’m not sure why Moon and Bá covered the story now, instead of just waiting.

CREDITS

38; writers and artists, Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá; colorist, Dave Stewart; letterer, Sean Konot; editor, Pornsak Pichetshote; publisher, Vertigo.

Daytripper 6 (July 2010)

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Moon and Bá continue changing things up, as Daytripper has passed the halfway point. This issue is set after the first, but before the oldest–Brás is thirty-three and he’s not the focus of the first third of the comic. Instead, Moon and Bá do some brief setup of what’ll be his death, then flashback a month to show this terrible plane incident.

Except Brás isn’t in the initial flashback. It takes him so long to get into the issue, I wondered if they had made even more drastic changes.

Here, either married or at least living with the girlfriend who he ends up marrying, Brás is a lot more recognizable as the protagonist from the first few issues. He’s struggling with his job, not to tolerate it, but to do it. His best friend has disappeared and it’s weighing on him.

It’s a fantastic issue, some lovely moments.

CREDITS

33; writers and artists, Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá; colorist, Dave Stewart; letterer, Sean Konot; editor, Pornsak Pichetshote; publisher, Vertigo.

Daytripper 5 (June 2010)

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Since we’ve gotten through unsympathetic Brás, we now get very sympathetic Brás, set when he’s eleven. Moon and Bá do two new things here. First they introduce a character who we should have heard about already–Brás’s older sister. She appears here, even gets an important scene to herself; she’s never been in the comic before, which raises the question of how the issues are connected.

Second, Brás’s death this time is shown first as how his sister and his mother experience it. The reader doesn’t find out until the very end, after they have. That approach is new.

I love Daytripper and it is a wonderful book, but Moon and Bá have to come up with a viable reason for this approach. Temporal vignettes without the protagonist dying each issue would have worked just as effectively… maybe more so, given how the character changes over the decades.

Still, lovely.

CREDITS

11; writers and artists, Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá; colorist, Dave Stewart; letterer, Sean Konot; editors, Brandon Montclare, Pornsak Pichetshote and Bob Schreck; publisher, Vertigo.

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