05 Dec Daytripper
By: Fábio Moon & Gabriel Bá
Believe it or not, some readers have complaints about graphic novels. Tough critics claim that the stories in graphic novels are too juvenile and cannot contribute to what we call “literature.” Now, I strongly disagree with these critics. Graphic novels have the capability to tell a story just as effectively as any brilliant novel, as evidenced in titles like Daytripper by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá.
The story revolves around a newspaper obituary writer, and it jumps around, non-chronologically, to different points in the writer’s life, both highs and lows. Whether they are good or bad, the highlighted days are always among the most important moments of his life. Each chapter of Daytripper ends on an emotional twist, though: there is always a significant death. The deaths contrast the writer’s life to show how important his experiences are in defining his character.
The amount of work that went into the production this novel is apparent. The authors crafted an homage to their home country of Brazil, where many of the stories occur. The artwork is gorgeous as well. The drawings are not overtly realistic or too cartoonish, and the coloring is soft and subtle. As much as it is a piece of literature, Daytripper is a work of art.
In 2011, Daytripper received an Eisner Award—the highest honor for graphic and comic arts—for Best Limited Series, and it could not be more deserving. The ten-issue run tells such a complete story that it makes the reader think of his or her own life as much as it does about the subject of the novel. Some of the stories are strikingly violent, others may make you tear up, but all of them are beautiful. Despite the tragic nature of many of the stories, it truly is an empowering book. Reading it will make many readers in turn consider the important moments in their own lives.
Recently, I held a book group to read graphic novels. After considering a few different options, I chose Daytripper as our first read. While I only had one other guest for the book group, we had a fascinating discussion about the many layers at play in this emotional graphic novel. We came to the consensus that it would require several re-reads to get the full impact of the story.
Nevertheless, we both enjoyed the book immensely. If you would like to be a part of our graphic novel group, we will be having another session in January. Ideally, we will read another book as compelling as Daytripper.
Review By: Joseph Wooley