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Short Stories 

Epileptic
by David B.
(Pantheon)

$25/hardcover

Years ago, Epileptic was considered a breakthrough graphic novel in Europe. It's finally washed onto our shores, and it's about damn time.

Author David B. tells of his older brother, at age 11, becoming severely epileptic. In search of a cure, their parents lead the family on an exhausting tour, visiting doctors, shamans, macrobiotic communities and quacks of all sorts "practicing" during the early 1970s.

As a form of escape, 7-year-old B. begins to draw, depicting vast battle scenes. His boyish scribblings appear throughout the book, and the detailed warriors become metaphors for his brother's epilepsy -- an invading beast that causes intense convulsions. Because he can't truly comprehend what his brother is going through, Epileptic is really about B.'s experience as he tries to understand his family and surroundings.

The illustrations are substantially complex, strong black- and-white images that at times resemble old woodcuts and tribal art. Epileptic eventually becomes the portrait of an artist, as B.'s obsession with juvenile battle scenes grows into a deep need to draw.

The novel can be almost as dense as it is fascinating. But digging through the emotion is well worth the struggle.

Image credit: Kara Luger

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Uploaded: Jun 16, 2005 | Post Comments

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  • <font size="+1"><b><i>Epileptic </i> </b></font>
    <br><b>by David B.  </b>
    <br>(Pantheon)  
    <p>
    
    $25/hardcover <p>
    <p>
    
    Years ago, <b><i>Epileptic</i></b> was 
    considered a breakthrough graphic novel in Europe. It's 
    finally washed onto our shores, and it's about damn 
    time.  
    <p>
    
    Author David B. tells of his older brother, at age 11, 
    becoming severely epileptic. In search of a cure, their 
    parents lead the family on an exhausting tour, visiting 
    doctors, shamans, macrobiotic communities and quacks 
    of all sorts "practicing" during the early 1970s.  
    <p>
    
    As a form of escape, 7-year-old B. begins to draw, 
    depicting vast battle scenes. His boyish scribblings 
    appear throughout the book, and the detailed warriors 
    become metaphors for his brother's epilepsy -- an 
    invading beast that causes intense convulsions. Because 
    he can't truly comprehend what his brother is going 
    through, <i>Epileptic</i> is really about B.'s experience 
    as he tries to understand his family and surroundings.  
    <p>
    
    The illustrations are substantially complex, strong black-
    and-white images that at times resemble old woodcuts 
    and tribal art. <i>Epileptic</i> eventually becomes the 
    portrait of an artist, as B.'s obsession with juvenile battle 
    scenes grows into a deep need to draw.  
    <p>
    
    The novel can be almost as dense as it is fascinating. But 
    digging through the emotion is well worth the struggle.
  • Short Stories
  • Epileptic by David B. (Pantheon) $25/hardcover Years ago,...
  • Kara Luger
  • Jun 16, 2005

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