I’ll Die Another Day
I can’t remember how I stumbled upon ‘Daytripper’ by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá, but I’m so glad I did. It was early on in my foray into the world of graphic novels and the subject matter convinced me that there was much gold to be found in what were to me, unknown territories.
First off, I really like the illustrations. The pen and ink drawings are nicely loose and not over-worked. Then the colours used are beautiful soft hues like washed out watercolours. I much prefer the softness of these illustrations to the harder, brighter more delineated work that in my limited experience, I associate with Marvel or DC. That said, it is the story that really grabbed me.
To quote Craig Thompson, (he of ‘Blankets’ and ‘Habibi’ fame),
‘daytripper is an honest meditation on mortality’.
Each chapter in the novel describes a day in the life of Brás de Oliva Domingos, and at the end of each day he dies. So we get to see different moments from his life, his frustrations, his dreams that are put on hold, his childhood, his first love, but the novel asks what if it all ended today? While death clearly features quite regularly, there is something remarkably life-affirming about the way that it celebrates the mundane, the small everyday moments, the actual stuff of life, rather than the ambitions that we save for a point of arrival that never comes.
I was so excited by the concept of the book and it managed to be charmingly upbeat whilst delivering a deeply existential message. It’s so beautifully written, everyone got a copy on their birthday that year. What a wonderful, thought-provoking, book.