#41 – Epileptic by David Beauchard

Originally published in France in 1996, Epileptic took six years to make its way over to the UK and US. Ever since then though it has become of the most talked about graphic novels in publication. At just six issues this isn’t a book written with the intention of being a long-running series; instead this is an artist trying to look at and make sense of a troubling aspect of his life.

The plot of epileptic is concerned with the brother of the author, who is epileptic and spends his time desperately jumping from one potential cure to another. Using this as a starting point, David B then delves into his family history and his own feelings. This is deep, thought-provoking stuff and is best approached with concentration and an open mind.

The style of Epileptic is so beautiful that you will be surprised at the kind of thoughts and emotions that the author is able to squeeze into the frames of a comic book. The artwork complements the script and helps take you to many places both dark and light. There is a lot of debate at the moment about whether graphic novels can be taken seriously as art. Epileptic sits up there with Maus as a strong piece of evidence that the answer to this debate is yes – comics do need to be taken seriously.

If you spent your childhood years coping with any sort of affliction that you couldn’t get rid of, or if you had a sibling or a friend that suffered, you’ll find a lot of sympathy on the pages of this book. I would give it a go if I were you, like the author you might find the experience cathartic.

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