I feel like I may be going to Hell for this. But here we go.
Popular Brazilian comic book site Mel Hores Domundo has published what it alleges as a possible unacknowledged inspiration for the Eisner Award winning 2010 Vertigo series and graphic novel Daytripper by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá.
Happy Birthday, Happy Obituary by Jefferson Costa and Rafael de Oliveira published in 2005, a short story featuring a man who dies every year on his birthday with his obituary printed at the bottom.
Daytripper told the tale of an obituary writer, the first issue taking place on his birthday, with each issue talking about a different period of his life and each, inexplicably ending with his death, and his obituary.
It's an unusual narrative device. But it is also one that appears in Daytripper at the end of each issue.
"Happy Birthday, Happy Obituary" was published in the low print run Brazilian anthology Front #16 in 2008, in its death issue.
As well as looking at other similarities between the works, the blog points out that the authors of the first story were students of Fábio and Gabriel in 2004 and evaluated their work, which is where they created the story in question, and it was in their portfolios. The blog also states the authors did not point out the similarities when Daytripper was published, for fear of being blacklisted. And that they created the story in 2003.
The authors contacted Gabriel Ba who told them,
Não lembro de ter visto esta HQ antes, mas fomos procurar e tem algumas semelhanças, essa coisa do personagem morrer, mostrar um obituário, depois continuar a história, depois morre de novo, etc… Podem ter mostrado e eu esqueci, mas não lembro.
Gosto muito do Jefferson, ele é muito bom. O Rafael não acompanho tanto assim o trabalho.
Mas claro que não tem nada a ver. Eu não levaria a sério.
Além disso, tive a ideia inicial do Daytripper em 2002.
Pra terminar, não é o personagem morrer várias vezes que torna o Daytripperno que ele é.
Seeing similarities, acknowledging knowing the creators but denying influence and stating the idea for Daytripper came to them in 2002.
Certainly Daytripper is a long and complex creation, and this aspect of the birthday/repeated death/obituary is but one aspect of the work. But it is one that ends each issue and gives added depth, resonance and mystery to the story being told.
If nothing else this is a rather curious coincidence. As for the source of similarities, you'll have to make up your own mind whether Daytripper is a Daytrippoff or not…
In Swipe File we present two or more images that resemble each other to some degree. They may be homages, parodies, ironic appropriations, coincidences or works of the lightbox. We trust you, the reader, to make that judgment yourself? If you are unable to do so, please return your eyes to their maker before any further damage is done. The Swipe File doesn't judge, it's interested more in the process of creation, how work influences other work, how new work comes from old, and sometimes how the same ideas emerge simultaneously, as if their time has just come. The Swipe File was named after the advertising industry habit where writers and artist collect images and lines they admire to inspire them in their work. It was swiped from the Comic Journal who originally ran this column, as well as the now defunct Swipe Of The Week website.