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Review of Daytripper

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I open my eyes, the light forces me to close them and try again.  Upon a second try I look around and think where, when and why?  The where is easy.  The room I have been waking up in has varied greatly over the past couple months but this morning I wake in the most frequent of bedding, my own, or at least what I have chosen to call my own. The when is quickly resolved.  I closed my eyes on a Friday night (or Saturday morning if you want to get exact) therefore I assume I have opened them on a Saturday morning.  No school today, no place to be until 1 o’clock.  I feel the stress that calls my body home climb off my shoulder for the time being.  Everybody needs a rest I guess.  The why?  Is a story that won’t fit into 1000 words.

I have not felt this relaxed feeling in quite some time.  What do I do with it?  What did I used to do with it? I used to read.  This seems like an ideal time to grab one of those dozens of books on my shelf in the “have it but have not read it” section. I slowly roll off my bed, and walk to the shelf. My eye gets immediately drawn to the white spine at Dean level.  Daytripper? Sounds familiar. DC just released a hardcover special edition. It must be a good read if it warrants a hardcover special edition. I decide to give it a shot. Upon opening it I remember why it was purchased.  It was a boxing day sale and I was intrigued by the different yet beautiful art. Two hours later I closed the book put it down and thought, “this is a moment I will never forget”. I then put my head back on my pillow and closed my eyes for the last time. Perhaps the stress was keeping me alive. The cause of the heart attack was also the last saving grace, once removed the blood had no reason to pump. A heart attack this young was uncommon but not unheard of.  Dean Manness born June 24, 1986, died April 19th, 2014. (Story added for dramatic effect.  I did not have a heart attack and I am currently a living being)

If you do not know what Daytripper is then you are in the spot I was in on Saturday morning perusing my shelf.  I had no idea except that it was recommended by someone I trust and it had some beautiful art.  If you are in the same position I was in 3 days ago then I suggest getting yourself caught up to my new stage of enlightenment. Daytripper is one of the best books I have ever read.  The Brazilian twins Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba construct a simply beautiful story and pair that with equally stunning art.  This is not just a story that is read and forgotten.  It is a story that challenges, a story that fosters and a story that lingers.

What is the story?  Daytipper is a story about Bras de Oliva Domingos who is an obituary writer.  Each chapter of Daytripper represents a different time in Bras’ life. Each chapter is focused on a moment in Bras’ life that he will never forget.  One of those moments that make an impact in your life, one of those moments that changes things forever.  In that moment you know it is huge and after that moment you are never the same. At the end of each chapter Bras dies in this moment. The book alludes to the fact that Bras is remembering all of these moments in a dream and spending most his career as an obituary writer, writing his own death at these momentous times.  It is a solid reminder that death is a part of life.  Death could come at any time in any shape or form and there is no way to prepare for it.  The book is so brilliantly called Daytripper as we travel to different moments in Bras’ life but never carry on  from that moment.  We spend a day trip in his shoes and then jump to another time.  The story is also in no linear order so we are left to piece together Bras’ life trying to remember what was real and what might have been fabricated to fit his death story.

It would be cliche of me to say that this book is not about death it is about life, but guess what?  I’m saying it anyways.  This book is not about death, it is about life.  I don’t mean it is about living your life to the fullest because you never know when you could die.  No, this book could have been that and it would have been just another book on my shelf.  This book is about LIFE. It is about those moments in life that we will always remember.  It is about the ups and the downs.  It is about making it through the tears of the hardest times so that tears can fall in the happiest of times.  How come we cry when we are as sad as we could possibly be and as happy as we could possibly be?  Could it be that these emotions are linked? This may be stretching but I believe that without the tears of sadness and pain there would be no tears of joy. Your tears of joy are on the horizon just keep going, you are almost there.

By the final page turn of this book I know who Bras is.  I have been through every momentous occasion in his life.  Even though it is only 10 issues and I only spent 2 hours actually in the book, I close it not just knowing Bras but feeling like it is a story about me. Did I go through the same things as Bras?  No not at all.  I mean that while reading this book I am so invested in Bras that I feel like it is me taking the hits, it is me celebrating  the life victories.  Bras’ story becomes my story.  I shed those tears along with Bras, both sadness and joy.

DC came out with a deluxe hardcover of Daytripper last week.  If you don’t want to spend that kind of money there is also a soft cover for $20.  But do yourself a favor and get this book on your shelf.  After reading it don’t thank me, all I did was read it. Instead pass it on to someone in hopes that for them it becomes one of those moments in life. The moment that won’t fade.  The moment we all search for.  The moment that they find, or that finds them.