Epileptic by David B., translated by Kim Thompson
Originally published in six volumes in the author’s native France, the full English compilation is a remarkable feat of creativity. Rendered in heavy-inked black-and-white panels that seem to physically convey the overwhelming burdens of a difficult childhood, Epileptic is both an unflinching exposé of and a heartbreaking homage to living with grand mal epilepsy.
David B. is the middle child of a family of five controlled by the medical challenges and emergencies caused by his older brother’s epileptic condition. The search for a cure controls the entire family. The parents go from one doctor to another, from one dubious treatment to the next in desperate hopes of controlling the disease that is destroying their son.
The two younger siblings can only look on helplessly as the family is dragged from one disappointment to another, leaving the suffering son in worse condition with every failure. Angry and hurt again and again, the author finds temporary relief in his drawings, literally creating through his astonishing pictures a kind of armor to protect himself the only way possible way he knows how.
Published: 2005 (United States)