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The most acclaimed European graphic novel of the last ten years, Epileptic is David B.'s story of his brother's battle with epilepsy - but it turns into a penetrating and sometimes lacerating self-examination on the author's part, as he delves into his own complex emotions and his family's troubled history, as well as his own youthful fantasy life. Particularly pointed is his description of the family journey from one attempted cure to another, including acupuncture, spiritualism and macrobiotics. David B.'s drawing is utterly extraordinary, balancing literal repressionist and expressionist psychological distortion.
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Hailed by The Comics Journal as one of Europe's most important and innovative comics artists, David B. has created a masterpiece in Epileptic, his stunning and emotionally resonant autobiography about growing up with an epileptic brother. Epileptic gathers together and makes available in English for the first time all six volumes of the internationally acclaimed graphic work.
David B. was born Pierre-Franois Beauchard in a small town near Orleans, France. He spent an idyllic early childhood playing with the neighborhood kids and, along with his older brother, Jean-Christophe, ganging up on his little sister, Florence. But their lives changed abruptly when Jean-Christophe was struck with epilepsy at age eleven. In search of a cure, their parents dragged the family to acupuncturists and magnetic therapists, to mediums and macrobiotic communes. But every new cure ended in disappointment as Jean-Christophe, after brief periods of remission, would only get worse.
Angry at his brother for abandoning him and at all the quacks who offered them false hope, Pierre-Franois learned to cope by drawing fantastically elaborate battle scenes, creating images that provide a fascinating window into his interior life. An honest and horrifying portrait of the disease and of the pain and fear it sowed in the family, Epileptic is also a moving depiction of one family's intricate history. Through flashbacks, we are introduced to the stories of Pierre-Franois's grandparents and we relive his grandfathers' experiences in both World Wars. We follow Pierre-Franois through his childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, all the while charting his complicated relationship with his brother and Jean-Christophe"slosing battle with epilepsy. Illustrated with beautiful and striking black-and-white images, Epileptic is as astonishing, intimate, and heartbreaking as the best literary memoir.
"David B has created a wildly beautiful fantasia on human frailty, on the making of an artist and the unmaking of his own brother -- a memoir that is hopeful and bitterly poignant all at once." -- Paul Collins, author of Not Even Wrong: Adventures in Autism
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