epileptic by david b.

June 8, 2008

The comic book library is leading me deeper and deeper into the comic book world, and it is turning out to be quite a family. There is a definite Francophone thread connecting many of its members, from Guy Delisle (of Pyongyang) to Joann Sfar (of The Rabbi’s Cat).

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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One Response to “epileptic by david b.”


  1. […] just the first volume (which puzzled Mr. Snow somewhat when he came to the end) but the whole of this story. Without even reading this blog I guess my likes and dislikes are transparent to all! Mr. Snow has […]

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