I like to think about story shapes. Alan Moore likes ellipses. Brian K. Vaughan likes concentric circles. I think Moon and Bá are attempting a fractal of some kind. I don’t know yet. But the tension has set up shop in my belly and head so I will keep reading.
A fractal is a mathematically constructed geometric shape wherein each composite piece contains a complete copy of the whole. When creating the realistic lumps and bumps of a photo-realistic computer generated image, fractals are a really awesome shorthand way of getting a sterile surface to grow some realistic grit.
But how does this apply to the series in question? Should you care?
Also, is it any good?
Most would say that the appeal of the slife (slice-of-life) story comes from the reader caring for the characters. This is wrong. Slife stories lack the necessary plot to drag the reader from page to page. You care about Batman. You care about Wolverine. The plot takes your caring for the character and rubs it like a washboard. That is why you want to know what happens to them week after week.
When you open the first page on Brás, the subject of Daytripper, you don’t care about him. You don’t know him. You may end up caring about him. Even desperately so. This is a secondary result of the true appeal of a slife story: that the writer will take some uncomfortably, mewling, eyeless thing within you and drag it around the page. You will care about Brás because you care about yourself. We all have a hunger for reassurances that our mousy insecurities will find some way to survive in the world if exposed. Here the world is fictional, but the exposure is real.
Real things are being done to you. You should care. Care like cancer.
The good writer takes that ugly thing torn from the old, rodent portions of your soul and kills it. Then it sautés its organs in its own blood and feeds it back to you. The really good writer makes it look pretty.
Bá and Moon are beautiful writers. They make you love them for it.
The first issue of Daytripper takes you through a very important day in the life of Brás, a young man who works at a newspaper, lives in Brazil, has a dog and a girlfriend and a very important father. Brás knows that this day is important. Indeed, much of Brazil knows that this day is important. But for all of these entities the day is important for a completely different reason.
Returning Momentarily to Fractals
The secret of the end is what will surprise you. Daytripper is a miniseries of ten issues. They all are connected. That’s all you need to know. The exquisite suffering you will experience as you gently read yourself raw with all of your little feelings will pay off over the next nine issues.
Without spoiling the first issue, it is my theory that this issue contains a tiny cosmos of lives. By examining life in the day of Brás, Moon and Bá have encapsulated all the other aspects of our journey. My prior experience with these two is that subsequent stories will be other tiny universes superimposed on this one.
I have made this sound way more complicated than it actually is. Daytripper is one of the easiest to read comics I have found. It won’t break your brain – just your heart. The layouts are clean. The coloring by Stewart is subtly hyper-real and warm. Moon and Bá utilize minimal amount of text per panel concentrating its force. You flow from page to page like a prescient dream.
Any author can tell you something. These authors are good enough to make you forget. They are excellent storytellers.
This a comic to give to your significant other who does not read comics.
This is a comic that will get you laid.
I guarantee nothing. But seriously: I would pick it up if you are looking for a good place to expand your taste in comics. Or acquire some.