Friday, March 13, 2009

Graphic Novel Weekend - Day One

Epileptic by David B.

Books Completed: 80
Completion Date: March 12, 2009
Pages: 362
Publication Date: July 2006

Reason for Reading: Graphic Novel Challenge, New Author Challenge.
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-François Beauchard in a small town near Orléans, 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-François 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-François’s grandparents and we relive his grandfathers’ experiences in both World Wars. We follow Pierre-François through his childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, all the while charting hiscomplicated relationship with his brother and Jean-Christophe”s losing battle with epilepsy. Illustrated with beautiful and striking black-and-white images, Epileptic is as astonishing, intimate, and heartbreaking as the best literary memoir.
The book description for this book makes it sound so good! Other people agree and have given it good reviews. Sadly, though, I didn't like it. I started it yesterday when I got back from the library and I could not get into it at all. I kept picking it up and putting it down. I think my biggest problem with the book is that I didn't care for the characters. When you read a good book, you want to be pulled into the story and be on the edge of your seat waiting to see what was going to happen next. You change your emotions as the story changes for the characters. I felt nothing! I just wanted the book done and over with. I thought it was too long, it jumped around too much, and didn't seem to have any sort of thought process behind it at all. Normally, I would have loved a book like this, because it has history and even a bit of a fantastical element to it. Those are two things that I love in books, but I didn't believe enough in them with this book. Needless to say, this book was a disappointment to me.

Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon & Dean Hale

Books Completed: 81
Completion Date: March 12, 2009
Pages: 144
Publication Date: August 2008

Reason for Reading: Graphic Novel Challenge, Really like Shannon Hale.

Once upon a time, in a land you only think you know, lived a little girl and her mother . . . or the woman she thought was her mother.

Every day, when the little girl played in her pretty garden, she grew more curious about what lay on the other side of the garden wall . . . a rather enormous garden wall.

And every year, as she grew older, things seemed weirder and weirder, until the day she finally climbed to the top of the wall and looked over into the mines and desert beyond.

Newbery Honor-winning author Shannon Hale teams up with husband Dean Hale and brilliant artist Nathan Hale (no relation) to bring readers a swashbuckling and hilarious twist on the classic story as you’ve never seen it before. Watch as Rapunzel and her amazing hair team up with Jack (of beanstalk fame) to gallop around the wild and western landscape, changing lives, righting wrongs, and bringing joy to every soul they encounter.

After the disappointment that was Epileptic, I had my fingers crossed that Shannon Hale would not disappoint! So far I have really enjoyed everything that I have read by her, so hopeful that this book would be up to the challenge. It was! I enjoyed this graphic novel so much that I am back to wanting to own it. It was just a lot of fun, especially after the dreary nature of Epileptic. Rapunzel is living her life very sheltered, but when she learns just what the world is like, she begins to take actions to change the world. She goes from very naive to a compelling character very quickly. There are setbacks along the way, though. As people know, Rapunzel is locked in a tower by the evil witch who has been raising her. Just, in this book she doesn't get saved by a handsome prince and that is the end of the story. In this book, she saves herself and is out for revenge! There are lots of myths and fairy tales incorporated into the story. The other prominent character that helps her on her adventures is Jack, of Beanstalk fame. He is accompanied by Goldy, a goose that is supposedly going to lay him a golden egg! This is a great story! I strongly recommend this graphic novel.


  1. I'm so glad to hear the positive things about Shannon Hale's graphic novel. I really admire her and I too have enjoyed the other stuff of hers that I've read. She is a very fun person and every so often I pop over to her site to read her blog entries and always end up enjoying myself. I'll have to keep my eye out for this.

  2. It was fun. I am glad that I got a chance to read it. :)

  3. Glad to hear that the Shannon Hale was better than Epileptic! But I'm sorry to hear that Epileptic was disappointing :( I had high hopes for it.

  4. That's too bad about Epileptic, especially because the premise is so interesting. Ah least Rapunzel's Revenge was good! That's one I'm sure I'll love too.

  5. Chris: Yeah, I REALLY didn't like Epileptic... You might, but I couldn't get into it at all and found it really long!

    Nymeth: I know... It sounded so good to me, but it bored me to death! I loved Rapunzel's Revenge, though


Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

I am so sorry, but I turned anonymous commenting off. I have had it from the very beginning, but that is how the spam is getting by my spam filter at the moment. If it is a big deal I will turn it back on and moderate all comments. I also changed moderation from older than 14 days to older than 7.