Epileptic - David B.

This book was intially published in two parts in the US, and I read Epileptic 1 two years ago. I never did see an Epileptic 2 but I discovered that the entire collection was published in a single volume this year.

It's a hard book to categorize; inevitably it will be filed with graphic novels and comics, but it's a memoir that just happens to be told with pictures. It's not quite as long as Blankets but is much denser and took longer to read. David B.'s older brother has epilepsy, and his disease takes over not only his life but that of his family as well, as they try everything from surgery to psychiatry to religion to macrobiotics to esoterism to voodoo in their attempts to cure him.

David imagines the epilepsy as a giant lizard that pierces his brother, or as a mountain to be climbed, or as a contagious darkness that spreads to himself and his family. The drawings are beautiful and disturbing; some of it has an Edward Gorey feel to it, but it's hard to draw comparisons to anything else I've seen. Perhaps the best description of the book is a line he uses himself: "And life goes on, a little on the gray side."

The chronology is a bit hard to follow at times, since he jumps forward and backward without warning, but he manages to create an overall tone of his life. If you think of comics as kid stuff, this book will change your mind.

Fed to jonathan's brain | April 26, 2005 | Comments (0)


Post a comment

Remember Me?