Daytripper is a Classic of the Comic Form

Posted on September 12, 2010
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I’ve been reading Daytripper from Vertigo Comics since it began. It’s a project of Brazilian twins who are artist-writers, Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon. Having just read the last issue of the series, I’m declaring this work to be a masterpiece. It is Contract with God good. It is Death of Speedy Ortiz good. The stories are simple and each story is self-contained but added together they make up a mosaic that is so much effective and important than the sum of its parts.

Like the recent works of Michael Moorcock or the Aeon Flux cartoons, each issue has much the same cast of characters but the stories all end up at different places. I find this examination of characters through many different circumstances to be a satisfying way to tell a story. It’s like shining a light through a crystal from many different angles to see what it illuminates.

Multiple issues in this series, including #10 the final issue, made me weep openly. That’s a pretty good trick for a comic series to get the readers that emotionally involved, but I am. Practically any mention of this series will take about how the main character Bras dies over and over. Having read the full series, it is about life. Death exists to add urgency to why we should live today, and love those around us and make something of the time we have.

The series will be collected soon in trade paperback and I give this my highest recommendation. The art is beautiful, the writing emotional and effective and reaction I have upon reading it is to enjoy my life more. What more can you ask from a comic book than it make you a better person for having read it?

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