I love superheroes just as much as the next guy, but I don’t need every single thing I watch and read to involve them. Sometimes the metaphors of superness don’t exactly reflect my own, very frail humanity, and I need something more soul-feeding. One such healthy dose of vitality enhancement is Daytripper, a comic book experience like none other, because instead of focusing on the super, it shines its knowing, glowing light on the mundane, and all the glory found within.
Brazilian twin brothers and artists Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá’s 10-issue, Eisner Award-winning Vertigo release is one of the quietest comics you’ll ever read, and yet one of the most stirring. The story focuses on those little moments that make the man Brás de Oliva Domingos who is he is, or at least who he could be. That’s because …
MAJOR SPOILER WARNING!
… at the end of each charming chapter, Brás dies — right at the point where he’s learning a valuable and magical life lesson, he dies. And every time he dies, he comes back at a different point in his life, where he must learn anew, and die anew. Death and rebirth: the cycle of life, all throughout his life, all adding to his life experience.
While you might imagine that convention could get old, in Daytripper, it certainly does not, as each time Brás dies, it’s somehow wholly unexpected. And each time it’s like a gut punch of meaning, impressing such meaning with blunt force, the type that just may take. As aspiring writer Brás tries to live up to his legendary writer father, he goes through first love, final love, fatherhood, childhood, success, failure, and more days of his life, which come across as all the more vital given their all-too-soon expiration date.
As well-told stories are wont to do, Daytripper took me to an intimate and quiet place within my own self, where I could reflect, if but for a fleeting moment, upon my own mundane and glorious life, and the beautiful moments that make it so.