Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Twins Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon are an anomaly within the comics world. A pair of creators coveted equally by mainstream and indie fans alike, this has given them a freedom to collaborate with creators they seem to enjoy working with (Matt Fraction on Casanova, Mike Mignola on Hellboy,) and also the ability to tell the stories they want without editorial constraint (Daytripper.) These are things that are rarely attained by creators working for the big publishers in the industry and it has led to Ba and Moon gaining a loyal fan base willing to purchase anything the twins put out. Eager to capitalise on this, Dark Horse have re-released the twins’ second published American work, (the first being Ursula for AiT/Planetlar,) De:Tales. Why are Ba and Moon rated so highly within the comics community? Find out after the jump.
Written, Pencilled and Inked by Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon
Love is the main theme within the book, be it the love of a brother and the protection that having a sibling affords you, or the loss of a friend or the importance of having friends, or the feeling you get from meeting your one true love for the first time. The twins have no problem wearing their hearts on theirs sleeves, showing the men (sometimes themselves, sometimes analogues of themselves) to be emotionally incomplete and lost in a world that threatens to absorb them. The women involved are totems of strength and intelligence, almost unattainable goddesses exposing the men’s inadequacies and pointing them onto the right path. There is no doubt that Ba and Moon feel that life and its experiences within are something to be shared and treasured with the ones you love.
The writing and art duties are shared between the twins on every level. Some stories are written by Moon and drawn by Ba, some the other way around, some are written and drawn by both. Part of the fun of De:Tales is trying to work out which twin has done what. There is even a story told twice, a tale of a man on a night out having a toilet break and arguing with himself whether or not he should talk to a girl, with each brother interpreting the script how they see fit. The differences are not major, yet show that the twins do indeed have their own approaches to storytelling, and give you a chance to decide which one of the pair is your favourite. The pair’s talent for figure work and facial expressions make dialogue almost redundant at points and both Ba and Moon are quick to recognise this and let the art tell the story when needed.
Verdict – Must Buy
If you’ve been put off by the idea that this may be a slice of life book, don’t be. Within the covers are tales of wonder, loss, regret, happiness and above all friendship; be it the companionship of a brother, saluting fallen comrades or discovering your first love. Ba and Moon are a pair of old souls in young bodies and both have a confidence with a pencil and brush that would take most artists lifetimes to achieve, all with the lack of cynicism that being young provides. The world is a dark enough place as it is, we need more entertainment like this to show us how to savour the bright spots.