Sunday, March 09, 2014

Graphic Novel Review: DAYTRIPPER

When I first started reading DAYTRIPPER, I was impressed with the illustrations. The illustrations are beautiful and although not photographic-like, they capture the essence of everything around them. The illustrations in the book feel quite real.

DAYTRIPPER was written by two Brazilian twins. It follows the life of Bras de Olivia Domingos. It takes a little while to understand what's happening in the book as the book jumps forward and backward in the history of Bras' life. Not only that, but most of the chapters end in his death. That's because Bras spends the early years of his adult life after college writing obituaries for a newspaper. He is the only son of a famous Brazilian author and, like his famous father, Bras has a knack for the written word. DAYTRIPPER explores some of the major events and some of the smaller events in his life. Bras wants to live a life full of meaning and he often finds himself questioning if he truly is.

Although the chapters where Bras dies aren't true, much of the story in those sections is. They are just alternative ways Bras life could have ended and, I believe, they are ways he imagines how they could have. The book explores some very deep and universal questions, such as when do you truly begin living (is it the day you are born? After your first kiss? When you truly fall in love for the first time? After you get your first job? When you're married?). Most people just exist in life, but Bras follows the call (even though he doesn't know it) that all of yearn for, the call to truly live.

Upon initially reading DAYTRIPPER, I was confused. It took me awhile to figure out what was going on with the story. Although I still prefer more traditional narratives (instead of the one in this book that mixes the actual story with fictional endings), the device ends up working in DAYTRIPPER.

Overall, DAYTRIPPER is an interesting read with some excellent illustrations. Not everyone will enjoy reading the book, but if you can accept the storytelling device, it makes for a compelling tale.

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