Graphic Novel Reading Group discussion

This topic is about Daytripper
Graphic Novel Discussions > Optional Book Club Discussion: Daytripper by Gabriel Ba - Jan 19 to Feb 19 (may contain spoilers)

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Brian This book was very different from many books due to the way in which the lives of the main character are portrayed. It reminds me much of alternate universes. I gave it five stars.

Matko (Mali_Mate) | 26 comments Read the first story ("32"). Not impressed really. Intense color-palette, rather bland page layouts. What bothers me the most is the story which feels preachy, especially with that out-of-the-blue ending....:/

Oh well, continuing on to see if it gets better

Manuel Moreira (Man-El) | 3 comments I also gave this book five stars. I think it's beautifully written and that the artwork is fluid and strong at the same time. It's almost palpable the emotion that the authors have put into this work.
I understand that reading the first chapter in the book's original format (single issues, one chapter per issue) might not suggest the full potential of this story. But, believe me, it gets so much better as it goes along.
I feel this is a story about how some moments in our lives seem like it’s just the beginning, but also the end.

Sérgio | 459 comments There still hasn't been any volunteer to be discussion leader for this Book Club Read, so if anyone wants the job it's still up for grabs...

Manuel Moreira (Man-El) | 3 comments Hi Sérgio.

I actually thought about it, but I wouldn't be able to give any proper attention to the job at hand. Unfortunately, I don't visit the site often enough.

I hope you find someone who can do it with the enthusiasm this book deserves.

Sérgio | 459 comments It's ok Manuel, I understand that not everybody has the time to assume this role, but actually for this group read we already have a discussion leader. Mark Mcdonough was kind enough to volunteer for the job.

I appreciate your interest though.

Now we just need one more volunteer for the Fables discussion.

Mark | 23 comments Hello everyone,

As Sergio said above, I have volunteered to be the discussion leader for the Daytripper book. I'm excited to read the book myself, my copy arrives today. I will post some initial questions for the group to consider over the next day or two. In the meantime, please observe the SPOLIER request from Sergio. If your post will contain spoilers, please place the word "SPOILERS" clearly at the top of your post, so folks who have not finished the book can enjoy their reading experience.

If anyone has discussion questions they would like considered please send me a message, and I will get them in the mix.

Seth T. (sethhahne) | 63 comments Goodreads does also allow use of <spoiler tags, which make text look like:

(view spoiler)

Mark | 23 comments Now that we are a few days in to the 30 day reading period, let's generate some general discussion, we will dig deeper with questions as the review period rolls on.

Question #1:
What are you general thoughts on the writing and art throughout Daytripper? Do they compliment each other, or does one aspect overshadow the other?

*Remember if you will include any type of spoiler, please mark it as such, or reference the html capabilities mentioned by Seth in the previous post.

message 10: by M0rningstar (last edited Jan 25, 2012 08:30AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

M0rningstar | 15 comments The art is stronger than the writing, although the two generally mesh well together. The narration is very weak at many places, while the art is almost always fantastic. I found myself looking at the panels long after I've finished reading the text.

Sérgio | 459 comments It was definitely art over story for me too.

I liked the looseness of the art, that it didn’t try to be too perfect. It suited the book really well, having this more “relaxed” looking art.

The coloring was good too, I think it did a great job of setting the mood for each different scene and there was real warmth to it. Whether it illustrated a sunset or a rainy day, a city or the country, Dave Stewart really enhanced the visuals with his coloring.

The writing in this wasn’t that convincing im my opinion. Without going into much detail, I thought it tried to be really deep but didn’t really managed to accomplish this, tried to talk about important things like the meaning of life and death but it felt always simplistic about it.

The narration didn’t work for me and I didn’t like when some characters talked about “what-it’s-all-about”, it always sounded just too self-satisfied to me.

message 12: by Seth (new) - rated it 5 stars

Seth T. (sethhahne) | 63 comments I adored the art. Moon's interior work and Bá's covers are a perfect blend. Moon's organic lines convey the humanness of the story in a manner that many other styles wouldn't be able to do. And his attention to detail in so many of the scenes really help his panels breathe with the chaos of life. Bá's covers swept me off my feet too. Especially the second chapter's, with Brás and Jorge looking up from the canyon to see Brás swimming beneath boats in the sky above them. Very dreamlike. And I don't have the book near me, but I'm guessing it was Dave Stewart on colours. He always does such a wonderful job making the art say things that pen and ink just cannot do on its own.

I didn't think as negatively toward the writing as you guys did. I found it stayed out of the way at the right points and thought what was revealed in the text often went well with what was being revealed in the pictures.

eHawk this was definitely more of a "show me" book than a "tell me" book, but that's ok. I don't mind story evolving and pushing through art in comics, it's one of the potential tools of the trade.

I agree that the narration may pull away from some of the strength of the stories... that maybe an abbreviated exploration of feelings or phrases may have delivered a better punch... but personally i enjoyed how beautiful and vibrant it was considering how somewhat dark the story was.

message 14: by Adam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Adam | 130 comments On balance, I really enjoyed this book - I'll probably give it 4 stars when I write my review. I like the plotting for the most part(view spoiler).

What I really did like about this is that it's a book about the small moments in life which, in retrospect, can be pivotal. Paths travelled or not.

Question #1:
What are you general thoughts on the writing and art throughout Daytripper? Do they compliment each other, or does one aspect overshadow the other?

I love the art in this book - it's really rich. The characters' faces are distinctive and expressive, and the settings feel real. But what I particularly enjoyed was the colouring, particularly things like the sunsets and the depiction of water in chapter 2.

As far as the text goes, I was less convinced; some of it feels clunky or forced - although this might be because I read the English translation rather than reading it in the original (which I couldn't have done even if it was available to me).

Another overall observation about the book is that it feels very 'latin' to me. Feelings are on the surface, and all the key decisions are made on impulse, instead of through logical or strategic thinking.

(view spoiler)

Anyway, despite these reservations, it's a great book, I'd recommend it to just about anyone.

Matko (Mali_Mate) | 26 comments Mark wrote: "Now that we are a few days in to the 30 day reading period, let's generate some general discussion, we will dig deeper with questions as the review period rolls on.

Question #1:
What are you general thoughts on the writing and art throughout Daytripper? Do they compliment each other, or does one aspect overshadow the other?

I've just finished reading the "Daytripper" and frankly, I was disappointed.

It varies in quality (last 3 chapters being the best of the whole lot) but it never quite delivers. At least not for me. I still think that writing is shallow, average at best (I don't want to nitpick particular details, I'm not trying to prove a point, just sharing the feeling.) and I've read far better works on this topic (one could even call it a genre).

Concerning art - there were some really great panels, but overall it compliments the text in a way that it is average as well. Panels are too saturated with color (usage of which is rather conventional), layouts are simple and straightforward (which can be plus but I somehow feel that this kind of story needs braver graphical approach) and inks are skillful but that's as far as they go. I think that the greatest problem (at least for me) is that art didn't give new layers to a story. It was just following it and when it tried to contribute it did so in rather unimaginative, hollywood-style conventionality.

I don't know. Maybe I'll have a change of heart someday but for now I don't think I'll read this twice.

Yvonne Mendez (Yvonne_Mendez) I loved the book, very glad it was one of the chosen ones this month!

For me the writing and the art went perfectly hand in hand. I agree with Adam that the book has a 'latino' feel to it, maybe it's because I'm Mexican, but the decisions didn't seem too impulsive, I can understand why the characters would do this or that.

I loved the way the artwork brought Brazil to life with the people, customs, colors and just everyday life. The use of the colors complemented the mood of the story.

The stories themselves mimic real-life, I think most people won't have profound thoughts about life and mortality just before they die from a freak accident. Those thoughts would come if you knew the end was coming and in the case of Daytripper the profound thoughts were not said in words, but in the art panels.

M0rningstar | 15 comments To those who feel/commented that the book has a latino vibe, I'd be grateful if you can expound further on this point. Thinking on it, the characters, including the protagonist, never really "clicked" for me. Perhaps part of that is because their actions, while not overly impulsive in my view, did seem weakly motivated at best. They felt less like actors in a story than props borne on the currents of the authorial narrative (which they, of course, are.) I'm curious as to whether or how much this is a cultural effect, and whether this goes in reverse as well (as in American or European works being viewed as too "driven".)

Dana * (QueenofEgypt) | 56 comments I enjoyed this book, but I must confess I was hoping others would post their interpretation of the stories. I don't know if I wasn't smart enough to 'get it' or whether it was open to interpretation and others shared my views.

At first, I was confused about how each chapter ended. had to go back and say, now what? Then I gave it some thought and decided to go with it.

Is it just about how many different ways your life can turn out based upon the decisions you make?

Yvonne Mendez (Yvonne_Mendez) For me the Latino vibe came from the artwork, with the way the house are in straight lines and made of brick with electrical wires all over the place. The ostentatious public buildings and the normal middle to upper class way of life.

The markets with the pushy kid selling stuff and the pagan rituals which reminded me of some Mexican rituals that were done before the conquistadors from Spain and Portugal came to town.

The car models, some were old but most were compact. The acceptance of smoking in public places. The way the cemetery & restaurants look and the heat of the tropic.

As I said, the vibe was all in the details of the artwork, as for the character's actions, I didn't notice anything unusual. Maybe if someone pointed out an example...

message 20: by Adam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Adam | 130 comments Well, my comment was that it felt 'latin' - I didn't mean latino. I was thinking as much my (outsider's) image of Italy as much as of Brazil. To me, the book's about an emotionally-driven life, or more about key emotional moments. I'd need to reread it to say anything more specific, and I don't see me doing that any time soon. Enjoyed it first time round though.

Jonathan Culver (wordsasbombs) | 11 comments I personally loved the book, gave it 5 stars, read it in one sitting. I didn't feel the interior art overshadowed the writing, I thought they were pretty equal in being 4 star stuff. The writing admittedly dropped down a touch at points, but the overall package and "carpe diem" message were what made it great. And the covers. Those were some of my favorite covers ever. As for the talk of the Latin vibe, I totally see it, mainly because the majority of the characters were Latin, as well as the emphasis on time spent in the tropics. I don't think it implies anything, strictly a stylistic choice.

M0rningstar | 15 comments Ellie, you make an excellent point. At no time did I think explicitly "Hey, this is Brazil/Spain/etc" but simultaneously, I was very aware that it wasn't Denmark or New Jersey. Guess the artwork was so powerful yet subtle that I was attributing its effects to the narrative itself.

I totally agree with Jonathan that these books boast some of the most elegant covers ever.

message 23: by Mark (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mark | 23 comments Just wanted to thank eveyone for the discussion on last months optional book read. I enjoyed reading all your comments aboyut the book. I'm looking forward to the next group read.

message 24: by Peter (last edited Jan 03, 2013 09:27AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Peter | 150 comments I just finished reading this book, and so I came here to read the comments from the group book read. I know its late, but I guess this is the best place to add my thoughts and ask a question.

I really enjoyed the book. After the first chapter, I wasn't sure it was going to work for me, but by the end I felt that the message and emotions of the story were effectively conveyed. I thought the book allowed the artwork to tell much of the story at appropriate times, without being too wordy.

But I have a question about Chapter 9. This was the dream-sequence. I felt that the author was trying to do something here, that maybe I was not completely grasping, and I'd like to hear other reader's interpretations.
(view spoiler)
Like I said that is probably an "out-there" interpretation, but I'd like to hear what others made of this.

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