J.'s Reviews > Daytripper

Daytripper by Fábio Moon
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's review
Mar 15, 2012

really liked it
Read in March, 2012

Every time I try to read one of the big existentialists (think French, not Kierkegaard), there's this certain feeling I can tell they're trying to get me to feel. I forget which one used the word "nausea" to describe his hyper-awareness of life, but this book is exactly the opposite. It gave me a hyper-awareness of life and death, in all its messiness, ambiguity, subtlety, fear,....but it left me feeling supremely joyful. It was like looking at the sun--It's so beautiful, even though it hurts to see it so directly.

Anyway, this is a story told beautifully in tiny moments where character is revealed in subtle and delicate ways, where deep emotions are revealed through things unsaid. Although, to call it a story really seems a little inaccurate--it really is a piece primarily of emotion, not of action, where we see the events of Bras life but where the events themselves are secondary to the wonder of the whole thing.

I would strongly recommend this to people who enjoy strong, emotional writing, and probably particularly to people who aren't very familiar with the comic-book medium. The artistry is particularly clear and crisp enough that someone unfamiliar with comic book conventions could get it. (This is probably not accidental, but because of the international nature of the work itself; I imagine it took care for the creators to set something so firmly in specific geographical locations without isolating the story culturally.)

Anyway, my only complaint is relatively minor--the 9th chapter out of the 10 broke me out of the story a bit. I won't say anything specific because I don't want to spoil anything, and I imagine some readers will strongly disagree, but I think I would have just left this one out altogether. Also, there's a turn in chapter 7 that, while exciting, just seems a little out of place and ultimately inexplicable.

But anyway, so many non-mainstream comics boil down to the same self-indulgent, depressing shallowness that it's nice to see something being so blatantly, realistically joyful.
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