FÁBIO MOON AND GABRIEL BÁ are two of the best comics creators working today, but it's nearly impossible to sum up their work—together and separately, the Brazilian twins have worked on an array of projects that're both impressive and impressively diverse. There's the exhilarating, surreal spy saga Casanova, written by Matt Fraction and illustrated, at different times, by Moon and Bá; there's The Umbrella Academy, in which Bá and writer Gerard Way administered a welcome adrenalin shot to the superhero genre; there's Sugarshock!, the hilarious sci-fi/rock 'n' roll miniseries written by Joss Whedon and illustrated by Moon; there's De:Tales, a collection of the twins' decidedly more grounded—but no less striking—stories set in urban Brazil.
Likewise, Moon and Bá's latest, Daytripper, is one of the best comics to come out in recent memory—but it's tricky to describe, too. Just released in a collected edition, Daytripper's 10 issues focus on Brás de Oliva Domingos, a writer in São Paulo. The hook is that each issue of Daytripper ends with Brás' death—but crucially, each of Brás' deaths is as varied as the stories that precede it. In one issue, we see Brás in his early 20s, traveling in Salvador; in another, we see him at age 11, running around the countryside with cousins; in another, he's an old man, with a grown son of his own and a mind drowning in memories and possibilities. Every issue is told with Moon and Bá's jaw-droppingly graceful, gorgeous artwork, Dave Stewart's stunning colors, and a muscular, passionate undercurrent of emotion. It's a lot to take in, but Bá sums it up best when I speak to him and his brother during a staticky phone call to Brazil. Daytripper, Bá says, is a project that had he and his brother "talking about life and relationships, and how it's important to live life, despite how we die."
"It was a really difficult book to do, because we are used to writing stories more in the graphic novel format," Bá says. "Working on a series, in a serialized format, was difficult, especially since we had to have 10 different stories. They add up—every new issue adds up to the previous one, and so on—but they are kind of different stories."
"It took us a little more than two years to do the whole thing," Moon says, noting that he and Bá discovered unexpected depths in Daytripper, a story they first imagined as being about "family and friendship and childhood and growing up and loss and relationships." "As we moved along, issue after issue, we were also surprised about how much we were in the story," Moon says. "We didn't know we would feel so much or that we would care so deeply about the story before we started writing it."
"Separately and kind of together, we are both working on Casanova," Bá says about what he and Moon are up to next—but beyond that, the twins are leaving their options open. "We would like to come up with new ideas for both of us to work on, but that is also a hard thing to do," he continues. "We don't want to rush into writing something new, so we make sure it's not more of the same. We spent so much time thinking about Daytripper and thinking about that type of story, so we feel that we have to take some time off from writing and just think about what we can do next."