Customer Review

8 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Self indulgent to the extreme, 22 Feb 2007
This review is from: Epileptic (Paperback)
I've always been a big fan of the literary comic book, having lapped up the works of Chris Ware, Art Spiegelman, Daniel Clowes and the finer offerings from Alan Moore. However, I fail to see what the song and dance is all about with this effort by David B.
I will agree, as many reviewers have pointed out, that the raw, woodcut-style artwork is captivating at times; it manages to convey the internal world of our protagonist vividly. However, it seems that David B. was more concerned with showcasing his doodling talents than he was with any semblance of plotting, pace or narrative structure. Despite the book's title, the fact that the writer's brother suffers from epilepsy almost becomes incidental to the author's own navel-gazing; we learn very little about what it is to live in such close proximity to the condition. The sequences in which we're told how his parents enlisted the help of various alternative and new-age practitioners in a bid to cure his brother and heal the family have a tendency towards repetition; every four to five pages we are introduced to a new belief system or medicine, with each exploration fizzling out to be promptly replaced by another. It is this cycle that sustains the book for a large part of its over-long 360 pages.
A very personal work, indeed, but perhaps one so personal that only members of the author's own family need bother themselves with.

Finally, to quote J Wilks (elsewhere on this page); "Self indulgent? -Maybe so, but why shouldn't he be? All creativity is self indulgent, ..it's his story, he can say what he likes. Stories are good like that." Why, thank you, J Wilks! Damning the book with such faint praise has made me feel somewhat vindicated!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Jan 2010 12:32:26 GMT
Gavin Turner says:
I think the reason why the actual fits seem incidental is because even though the work is retrospective, it's capturing the atmosphere of how he felt at the time. My brother was Ill when I was young and even though I felt sympathetic, I don't remember what drugs he was on or what his doctor was called. I remember being left with my neighbours and being allowed to watch poltergeist II... and having a room to myself for the first time, and not being able to sleep because I couldn't hear my brothers breathing and I used to imagine other people were in his bed. Think maybe I'm stepping in to defend this book, because I sort of forgot how much imagination influenced every day life as a child... but David B hasn't, and in recapturing events so stylishly, It helped me look back and remember my own wars with the kids down the street as more than just throwing purposely badly aimed rocks. etc.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jan 2010 10:02:51 GMT
Scarfex 1 says:
All valid points. Thanks for taking the time to respond.
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