Daytripping - Ba, Moon & Schreck on 'Daytripper'

When Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon team up, the comic book industry expects something special. After their multiple Eisner Award wins in July and their separate success working on recent projects like The Umbrella Academy and Sugarshock!, the twin brothers from Brazil have become well-known for their innovative work.

That reputation got them the attention of Vertigo editor Bob Schreck, but the pitch they submitted for Daytripper was what won him over.

"I've been reading since I was 11 years old. And there's not much new for me," said Schreck, whose editing work dates back to the '80s. "It seems like every story has been told. It's all in how you tell it. But I got this, and I said, 'Oh my God!' And I gave it to Karen Berger, the head honcho at Vertigo, and she said the same thing. It's just so different and amazing. These guys are just wonderful storytellers. So I'm very happy to have these guys here at Vertigo and very proud of what they've accomplished."

Daytripper, a 10-issue series tentatively scheduled for March, takes the reader on a "trip" through significant moments in a man's life. And although it focuses on a character in Brazil, Moon said it wasn't meant to be based on him and his brother -- at least, not at first.

"The concept wasn't, but as we are now writing the series, we realized how much of what we are trying to say happened to us," Moon said in his Brazilian accent. "A lot of the stuff that happens to us happens to everybody. Everyone tries and struggles to find out what they want in life. There are defining moments when you are growing up that tell you who you are and what you're going to do for the rest of your life. And those are the types of moments that are in the comic."

Schreck said the story centers on how family affects choices and decisions in a person's life. "You can't choose your family. You just have to live with your family and deal with them," he said. "It's about a young man who's a writer for a newspaper, but he wants to be a great writer of novels. However, his father already has that spot. So he's kind of living perpetually in the shadow of dad."

But there's a twist to the story that Moon and Schreck refused to even hint about. "When I got the pitch, that's the other part that was great. I was like, 'Oh my God!' They've got a twist that gets you. It's like Grant Morrison, where he writes something and you say, "It was right in front of me this whole time." They did the same thing. And that's what a good writer, artist, photographer does -- they see things that normal people don't see, you know? And that's what they brought to this.

"You really won't see the twist for awhile," Schreck said. "But we don't want to reveal it, because people will be scratching their heads and saying, "Wait a minute! Whoa!" And it's genius. It's wonderful."

The title "Daytripper" refers to the structure of the story, as readers will travel to different points in one person's life. "We see how, as we go from age to age, where he is and how he's dealing with different parts of his life -- how he deals with his mother, his wife, his friends. And we light from issue to issue and check him out from various perspectives," Schreck said, explaining the title. "It's that we're going from day to day. We go from age 32 to age 48 to age 18. So we're tripping, sort of, through his various days. And really, each issue is a day. We get to see what he did when he was 18, then what he did when he was 32. So it's 'daytripping' with this character."

Schreck said another of the unique elements of Daytripper is that it's set in Brazil and explores that culture. "When you're done, you actually feel like you've been to another land. You get the flair and flavor of another culture. And they sing to your heart. You read the story, and every character is alive," he said. "Everything is pulled from real life. And you get Brazil. You get the culture. You're seeped in their daily lives, and you feel like you've taken a trip into another culture."

Moon said working with his twin is intuitive because they're so close. "In Brazil, we used to work together all the time. That's what makes, for us, doing comics a different experience," Moon said. "We're not far apart like other writers and artists. We work very close to each other, so we have a very intuitive communication between each other. We like the same things. We live the same things. We experience the same things. And through comics, we can share that with the rest of the world. So working together is very natural for us."

Shreck said he can't say enough to comic book fans how special this story is. "It's a dream. You can't believe you're done with 22 pages. It's at once a long read, and the minute you're done, you want more. They're just amazing storytellers," the editor said.

But Shreck also said readers will need to be patient as they're reading the 10 issues, because it will pay off big in the end.

"Wait for it. Wait for it," Moon said with a smile. "Be patient and wait for it."

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