Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Epileptic, by David B.

If you like your graphic novels unique and superhero-free, there's been a run of fantastic work in the genre recently. I've talked up Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis and its sequel plenty. This year, French artist David B. had a big compilation of his master work, Epileptic released in the United States. The book is massive and completely engrossing. It centers on David B.'s lifetime as he grows up with a brother who suffers from epileptic seizures. They're quite severe, causing the young man to ask his family to explore various avenues of treatment with him. As a result, David B. finds himself stuck in communes and other weird places as his parents attempt to find his brother the help he needs. It's clear that even as a youngster, the author found his freedom and escape in writing stories, most of them full of demons that probably related pretty strongly to his experiences. It's a devastating, intelligent book deserving of much attention. Even if you've never picked up a graphic novel or comic book in your life, this is one that deserves a look.

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