This 2006 collection of short stories from Brazilian twins Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá finally sees a return to print – this time in hardcover format with a brand new cover. Working separately, together and in tandem, the brothers share tales of life, from the urban landscape of their home in São Paulo, Brazil to the magical realms of dreams. These are stories packed with realism, emotion and magic which provide a perfect example of the very personal work of two of the medium’s most talented creators.
Having discovered Gabriel Bá through his work on Cassanova and the Umbrella Academy and finding myself very deeply moved by the brothers’ work on Daytripper over the past year, I was very eager to check out De: Tales upon its release.
I was not dissapointed with its slice-of-life mentality and beautiful linework. Some of the stories are both written and illustrated by Bá, others by Moon. In many instances, one brother writes and the other draws and we even get a tale in which each brother tries his hand at artwork, illustrating the similarities and differences between their styles.
These are stories absolutely bursting with the human experience. Much of the book deals with the ins and outs of love and friendship: we get stories of chance encounters at local taverns leading to the exchanging of phone numbers, reflections on one-night-stands, bittersweet tales of love lost and an evening spent drinking with the ghosts of dead friends. We have simple stories concerning the passage of time and loss of youth and complex tales dealing with the range of emotions one feels during a mugging as well as existential stories about taking advantage of the moment and living life to its fullest extent. And all of it is wrapped up in the most beautiful package one could imagine – the artwork of Moon and Bá.
In a field brimming with extraordinary talent, Moon and Bá stand head and shoulders above the rest, both in terms of art and writing. This collection showcases that talent as well as anything else I’ve seen. There is so much emotion in the expressions and body language of the characters, it’s beyond belief. This same emotion carries through into the backgrounds… the trees, the buildings, the use of light and shadow is all absolutely perfect and adds up to an almost overwhelming experience.
These brothers are so talented, they are able to perfectly convey the mood and feeling of the moment, whether the story is real or imagined. Their stories manage to be intensely realistic while maintaining a dreamlike quality. It’s as though you are actually there in the story, both observing and living it.
Obviously, I liked it quite a bit. I’m a huge fan of Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá and if you share my love of their art and the type of stories they write, you’ll definitely want to check out De: Tales. These are stories in which the brothers wear their hearts on their sleeves, observing, living and above all loving the joys that life provides for us.