Gabriel Bá

Daytripper 10 (November 2010)

765520.jpg
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.

Daytripper 9 (October 2010)

760383.jpg
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)

756806.jpg
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.

<

p style=”font-size:11px;”>CREDITS

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

Daytripper 7 (August 2010)

748467.jpg
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)

742420.jpg
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)

732235.jpg
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.

Daytripper 4 (May 2010)

dayt4.jpg
This issue should have been the second. Each issue ends with the protagonist’s death. It’s not clear yet whether Brás (the protagonist) is just writing himself obituaries on momental days–he was an obituary writer in his twenties and thirties–or if he’s actually dying at the end of every issue. If he’s writing the obituaries… it’s maybe the most distinctive thing about him.

Until now.

Every issue is also a different age–the first issue, Brás is thirty-two, here he’s forty-one (it’s the first time he’s been older than the age of his first “death”). Moon and Bá make him distinctly unsympathetic here. The character is now haggard and drawn; he lacks the useful enthusiasm he had before. According to the obituary this issue, he’s happy in his life… but he doesn’t seem it.

Then there’s the cruelty he shows to his half sister. It’s particularly shocking.

CREDITS

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

Daytripper 3 (April 2010)

dayt3.jpg
Daytripper, specifically this issue, raises a big question–is the story universal? Does it work if the protagonist isn’t some soulful, devastatingly handsome Brazilian guy. The first issue does, the second issue doesn’t… and I don’t think this issue would work if the protagonist looked like George Costanza.

This issue cuts back on the mystical realism, instead doing an intense relationship depression drama. It’s a fine issue. It also answers, while raising a few more, the question I had at the end of the last issue. Now, instead of having these questions answered next issue, I imagine I will have to wait until the end of the series–they might not even be answered at all.

This issue really gives a feel for the setting, the daily life of the protagonist. There’s a nice, well written scene about coffee. It’s such a calm book, even though it’s almost always chaotic.

CREDITS

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

Daytripper 2 (March 2010)

dayt2.jpg
I’m totally confused. Not with the mystical realism aspect–it’s nice to see it in a comic. Movies can’t do it, so it’s traditionally only in fiction. Bá and Moon do a nice job bringing it to the comic medium.

No, I’m confused by the ending. Either something happens or it doesn’t and I’ll need to wait until the next issue to find out and if something did happen, well, it’ll significantly change the way Daytripper works. But I don’t think anything happened.

They get a lot of the setting into the issue here, but also a lot of character. The reader gets to know the protagonist from his behavior, from his conversations, more than anything else. In fact, they have the change for an expository scene–the protagonist catching up with an aunt–but don’t show it.

The sense of dread, regardless of the ending, remains. Daytripper is bright, lush and tragic.

CREDITS

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

Daytripper 1 (February 2010)

skitched-20101120-190333.png
Could this comic be more depressing?

I’m going to use a word here and I don’t want anything thinking it’s pejorative or in some way dismissive. Daytripper is precious. It’s deliberate and it’s precious. I can’t believe Vertigo put it out; it’s a personal piece from Moon and Bá and they’re not discreet about it. It’s luscious, vibrant. Vertigo doesn’t do books like this one, not even when they do good stuff (i.e. it has zero commercial appeal).

But the issue, a day in the life of its protagonist, isn’t art-centric. The protagonist is a writer, his friend who has the longest scene is a writer, his bad day is about his father, who is also a writer. It’s filled with writing samples from the protagonist, giving it an air of dejection and surrender.

I’m trying to think of a sustained happy moment, but I don’t there this is one.

CREDITS

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

Scroll to Top