Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá’s Daytripper
Comic books used to be primarily about superheros, criminals, spies, pirates… You know, general adventure. They were matters of fantasy meant to recreate things that normal people can only hope to experience.
Daytripper is about a normal life. Or normal lives, depending on your interpretation.
The protagonist is Bras Domingo, an artist and dreamer who values love, travel, mental exploration, and friendship. Within the first section of the book, the protagonist dies. But he reappears pages later, as a man older than he was when he died.
Yeah, this book is weird.
Each chapter in Daytripper tells the story of an important day in our hero’s life. An important day that is also his last day. Bras Domingo dies almost a dozen times throughout Daytripper. That’s because the graphic novel is an examination of life, death, and possibilities, examined through a life of many different timelines.
By showing different ways Domingo’s life could have gone, the authors tell a sad and very human story about the choices we make, and how sometimes randomness makes those choices irrelevant. By creating multiple timelines, each with a different death date for the protagonist, the authors tell not a story of life and death, but the story of life and death.
And just like it’s superhero predecessors, it is a story of a fantastical dreamworld.
The fantasy in Daytripper is a world without regret. Many children secretly hope/assume that they are destined for herodom, just like many adults hope/assume that there is something higher–something metaphysically wonderful–to life. Daytripper is crushingly, awesomely sad, it creates saddening empathy with the protagonist, as well as saddening jealousy.