November Meeting Recap: Daytripper by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá

Chosen by Kelli Trei, notes by J.J. Pionke

The November, 2021 meeting of the U-C Comics Colloquium discussed Daytripper by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá.  This Eisner Award winner came out in 2011 and was based on a limited series from 2010.  The book is a meditation on the meaning of life and how life happens to us when we aren’t thinking about it or looking for it.  Beautifully drawn and colored, each chapter evokes the story and emotions of the life of Brás.  The chapters are loosely connected but also end in Brás’ death each time, making for an examination on life and death.

A scene from Daytripper showing a father telling his son about life and death
A panel from Daytripper (p. 218) in which Brás talks to his son about life and death.

The group focused on a variety of topics, including but not limited to, misogyny, sexism, racism, magical realism, patriarchy, the presence of family and how the main characters are and are not involved, and the meaning of life.  There was a spirited debate about culture and time, especially since the stories of the book take place in South America and the book came out 10 years ago.  We also discussed how death played out in the book and how sometimes the deaths were entirely contrived and sometimes they were not.  While there is a lot of problematic events within the book, the overall feeling from the group, for the most part, was that the book was gorgeously drawn and colored and that the story/ies, in their magical realism, narrate the many lives of Brás in ways that delineate that life is essentially what happens when you aren’t paying attention.