By: Fabio Moon & Gabriel Ba (writing/art), Dave Stewart (colors), Sean Konot (letters)

The Story: Will Bras be able to find his missing friend Jorge and what will happen when they get back together?

What’s Good: I still don’t really know where this storyline is going.  Wait, why am I listing that as a “good thing?”  Well, I’ll tell you: I spend more time trying to figure Daytripper out than any other comic I read.

I read about 60 new comics every month, so that doesn’t leave me tons of time to ponder the intricacies of someone’s obtuse plot.  Usually when I read a book that is just a little too “meta” (e.g. Batman #700 this week), I just grunt and pick up the next book on the stack because I’m annoyed that the writer is making it so darn hard (or perhaps trying to be a little more clever than the writing/art skills of the book will allow).  However, with Daytripper, I have really spent a lot of time trying to figure out what Ba and Moon are up to with this story.  I have NO answer yet, but I am fairly sure that it isn’t a knock off of “you killed Kenny!” from South Park.  This will make a great collected edition!

This issue was very interesting because for one of the few times in this series, events in this issue directly reference back to the prior issue.  The only time we’ve seen that before was with some of Bras’ girlfriends/wives, but even those stories did not feel as tightly tied as issues 6 and 7.

In the last issue, we saw Bras worrying that his good friend Jorge had been killed in a plane crash.  At the end of the issue, we learned that Jorge was alive, but had become disturbed/depressed and decided to “check out” of life and go on walkabout.  That issue ended with Bras dying in a logging truck accident while trying to go find his friend.  This issue again shows Bras looking for Jorge, but it is years later.  The search and reunion are touching and the end was pretty shocking/brutal (especially how it ties into a postcard that Jorge had sent to Bras).  Part of this series’ shtick is killing Bras at the end of each issue, so it does remind me very much of watching early episodes of South Park to see what interesting way Kenny would die.  This death for Bras really caught me off guard and that’s saying something because you read the entire issue with an eye towards the death at the end.

I feel funny mentioning the art as a separate element because it is so tied to the storytelling.  Since Ba & Moon are collaborating on both the writing and art, there has never been a place in this series where the art didn’t fully participate in the storytelling.  It is just masterpiece level stuff.  The story telling that they pull off merely by facial expression and body language of their characters is just tremendous.  I almost wonder if sometimes they are letting the art lead the writing rather than the traditional write-it-then-draw-it method.

Since I’m gushing about this issue, also let’s take a look at the cover.  I complain right along with everyone else about how comic covers for the Big 2 stink nowadays and have nothing to do with the story because of the need to solicit months in advance.  Not true here. The cover for this issue foreshadows everything that happens in the issue very well.

What’s Not So Good: Not much…  I was complaining for a while about the fact that Bras was dying at the end of each issue, but this issue seems to be hinting at some higher meaning and I’m very excited to just relax and enjoy the final 3 issues!

Conclusion: It is really hard to find better storytelling than Daytripper and this is one of the best issues to date.

Grade: A-

– Dean Stell