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Review Group Week 213 - DAYTRIPPER #4

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thefourthman
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Postby thefourthman » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:04 am

Daytripper #4

Daytripper is an interesting little book. It really is, unfortunately the conceit of the book began to feel tired after last issue. It is an odd book to put out in a field of comics plagued by death. Heroes are killed and resurrected constantly. Maybe that is the point that the creators are trying to get across and despite the nature of the conceit, it certainly is more powerful than the umpteenth death of a Hawkman.

The strengths of the book have been the characterizations though. Ba and Moon have set out to make us know this character through each iteration with expert exposition and a feel for the setting, surroundings, and very nature of their character.

That is why this issue feels so weak. There is a great sense of how Bras reacts to things around him, who he is as a soul, but until the closing narrative, we don't really know who he is other than an expectant father and a son who just lost his own patriarch. The fears of not meeting his father's expectations only come towards the end and the mother comes off as a scarier father figure in this episode.

It is obvious that the illegitimate child will be explored in future issues, but here it feels forced and unneeded and more importantly, it is unsatisifactorily dealt with. It is just to make his dad seem like the creep he was, instead of showing a tender moment when Bras wants to be like him.

Certainly all sons live to a certain extent in the shadows of their fathers, it is a guiding theme in the Dark Tower Comics, we all find ourselves wanting to be like them or escape their mistakes. All of this is brought about too close to the end of this narrative... the first issue of the series lends clues to this relationship, problem is these are alternative lives of Bras, it is not rational to assume that this Bras who has become a novelist and overcome his feelings of inadequecy as a writer would still be trying to play catch up to his dad and certainly not to the extent that he would just allow his heart to fail. Maybe Jorge not being around makes him lose his grounding to the real world, but to this reader, this issue feels more force and contrived than the others, its purpose is brought too late and feels rushed.

The art is also somewhat less thrilling than past issues. Suddenly we are not in exotic locales. We are in common houses and hospitals, the sense of wonder that was present in previous issues is lost as a result allowing further harm to the narrative that the artists have been building.

I said it before in this thread and I stand by it, this has all the markings of a good, but not great college creative writing assignment. It's a shame that the conceit has hurt what was one of the strongest opening issues of the last few years. The book is not a lost cause yet, this is a bump in the road. While this reader tires of the conceit, I am still impressed with the character work and interwoven nature of the stories. If the book can manage to finish as strong as it started, it will have been a feat of modern comic storytelling, here's hoping the best for this experiment.

Story 5
Art 7
Overall 6

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Postby thefourthman » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:25 am

Zero wrote:I read this, and I'm back so I thought I'd play.

Daytripper #4 "41"

[spoiler]Bras dies at the end. [/spoiler]

Something that sounds so big is really nothing of the sort, and it's fairly obvious to anyone who's been reading every issue that the most important days of Bras' life have all been capped off with him thinking up his own obituary. Asking himself how he'd be remembered. Seems like a weird thing for anyone to do, but Bras is introspective and constantly seems unsure of himself. So why would the creators have said that this is a comic about life?

Because every issue shows us one of the key days in a man's life and here we've got the day Bras becomes a father, and loses his own. The dialogue isn't perfect, but it's certainly easy to hear the characters speaking, albeit in heavily accented English. The story is slight but with plenty of room to breathe and more than any issue since the first it provides fuel for further stories.

That the story is so easy to read is helped a great deal by the art. I doubt anyone expected a Moon\Ba comic to be ugly, but this is career best work from the boys with soft colours making the grounded art pop far more than the OTT trip that Casanova was or the demented pop art in Umbrella Academy. God it's a pretty book to look at and ultimately it's the prettiness that helps overcome the slim story and slows the book down. It makes 22 pages feel like 24 hours and it's a joy to read.

Not exactly heavyweight stuff but it's pretty enough for that not to matter.

8/10

This is an interesting take on the book. THe only problem I see with your obituary theory is that there are slight differences in the version of Bras at play. Here he is an up and coming novelist who has given up the obituary game, in the first issue, he is a failed writer who never got out of the obituary gig. However the reflection bit is an insight I had not thought of.

I disagree with you on the power of this issue obviously, but thanks for a new way to look at the book going forward.

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Postby thefourthman » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:29 am

MrBlack wrote:Daytripper #4

I knew nothing about this series coming in, aside from the main character's name. During my initial read, the ending completely blew me away. I thought it was incredibly ballsy to kill the main character in the story four issues into a series.

Then I learned that Bras dies at the end of every issue. Well, that certainly takes away from the impact of that scene! Still, I will give the creators credit for putting together a single issue that really had an effect on me, especially since I am an expectant father, and one who is under a lot of stress at the present moment. You can really feel the tension building around Bras through the issue and then in one small moment in all comes crashing down on him.

The art was a perfect fit to the issue. It was a nice mix of cartoonish and realistic, and the artist is very capable of getting each character's emotions across to the reader.

I know this is part of a larger series and that there is some major twist at the end. I know some people did not like this issue as much as other ones. I know that some people thought the attempt at emotion resonance in this issue fell flat.

But fuck it. I liked this issue.

Story: 10
Art: 10
Overall: 10

This is also an interesting review. Too often, readers are ready to call schmaltz or saccharine when a story works for a specific place in a person's mindset. I find it very interesting that it touched the cords it did in you... that speaks volumes to Ba and Moon's capabilities.

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Postby Kerny » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:44 am

48THRiLLS wrote:I am definitely checking it out... even though vampires have been done to death and I always get bamboozled... hopefully they put a different spin on it.


I'm a huge King fan, so I'm intrigued. I was a little bummed out he's only doing the second story on the first arc.

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Postby MrBlack » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:46 am

Zero wrote:The hell is wrong with your shop?

Vampires?
Stephen King?
Big two publishers?

It's a small shop in a mall, so their space for new books is limited.

Thinking about it, there actually is a good chance that they'll have that, but with Irredeemable coming out this week I wanted to give that book (and BOOM) some coverage.

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Postby Zero » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:46 am

thefourthman wrote:This is an interesting take on the book. THe only problem I see with your obituary theory is that there are slight differences in the version of Bras at play. Here he is an up and coming novelist who has given up the obituary game, in the first issue, he is a failed writer who never got out of the obituary gig. However the reflection bit is an insight I had not thought of.

I disagree with you on the power of this issue obviously, but thanks for a new way to look at the book going forward.


Ah, but the first issue is set before this one. The titles of the issues are his ages in the stories and while in the first one he hadn't taken off as a writer quite yet, here he's kept at it and followed through. Telling the stories out of chronological order is an odd choice, but I'm sure it's for a reason.

I'm not saying the book's bad by any means, but it just hasn't had the power that I think it'll have when collected and we can see the full picture.


Fair call on Irredemable though, I read up to issue 9 and it's the kinda book people here would like.

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Postby thefourthman » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:49 am

Zero wrote:Ah, but the first issue is set before this one. The titles of the issues are his ages in the stories and while in the first one he hadn't taken off as a writer quite yet, here he's kept at it and followed through. Telling the stories out of chronological order is an odd choice, but I'm sure it's for a reason.

I'm not saying the book's bad by any means, but it just hasn't had the power that I think it'll have when collected and we can see the full picture.

you are correct sir. good call. Although, I got the sense from the second issue that had the story progressed, he would have been significantly different. Maybe the chronological order is to keep us off balance.

I still contend it will be an obnoxious read as a trade.

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Postby ****** » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:25 pm


thefourthman
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Postby thefourthman » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:30 pm

where did all this fake fourthman crap start anyhow?

and why the hell am I not in the article? :(

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Postby guitarsmashley » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:31 pm

I wont be reading next week. I'm on the trade schedule for irredeemable.
doombug wrote:You really are the george carlin of the outhouse. that's fucking hilarious.


doombug wrote:and yeah, Yoni called it. :drunk



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Postby ****** » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:46 pm

thefourthman wrote:where did all this fake fourthman crap start anyhow?


I don't believe that the real 4thy would be racist against Brazillians as you've clearly shown yourself to be this week. I've been suspicious since the whole Mike Allred blowup and this just confirms you've locked the real 4thy up in a trunk in your basement Pulp Fiction gimp style.

and why the hell am I not in the article? :(


Because I did it before you posted. (I don't post the link here until it gets slideshowed on the front page.)

Now that I'm including scans from the issues, once I've finished the column thingy I probably won't be going back in and adding later reviews as that would futz up my spacing which is kind of tricky to get right in the first place.

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Postby ****** » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:49 pm

guitarsmashley wrote:I wont be reading next week. I'm on the trade schedule for irredeemable.


I thought about taking a pass also as I too am reading it in trades and have already pre-ordered the volume this issue will be collected in, but I've since "acquired" 9, 10 and 11 (I've already paid for them, don't judge me! :x ;)) and will be caught up in time to read/review #12.

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Postby thefourthman » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:10 pm

amlah6 wrote:Because I did it before you posted. (I don't post the link here until it gets slideshowed on the front page.)

Now that I'm including scans from the issues, once I've finished the column thingy I probably won't be going back in and adding later reviews as that would futz up my spacing which is kind of tricky to get right in the first place.

you should post a deadline in the op then.

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Postby ****** » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:12 pm

thefourthman wrote:you should post a deadline in the op then.


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Each Tuesday I will putting together all of our reviews and we will have our very own article on the front page of The Outhouse! If you would like for your review to be included, please try to have it posted by the end of day on Monday.


That's been there since the first week after we moved here. :wink:

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Postby ****** » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:14 pm

IDK, maybe I'll start adding links for late reviews or something.

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