Sharm Alagaratnam's Reviews > Epileptic

Epileptic by David B.
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's review
Dec 20, 2008

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bookshelves: comic-books

The book I finished last night, Volume 1 of Epileptic, is by another French comic book great, David B. It also turns out he mentored Marjane Satrapi of Persepolis fame. The book tells the story of the cartoonist's childhood, growing up in 1960's France, in the forefront his older brother's epilepsy and his parents' continuous search to find a cure for him. The disease affects each family member profoundly, and in different ways. The cartoonist creates a story-telling and illustrating world for himself even as a child, while his parents tramp increasingly wearily from one macrobiotic commune to the next.

A couple of great reviews online give more background. But the most striking aspect of this book for me are its black and white ink drawings, filling panel after panel with high-contrast, rich animist images reflecting the grip the disease has on his brother and the family. I'm also looking forward to the second and final volume to see how his personal story ends.

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