Sunday, March 29, 2009
by David B.
Featuring: Some real nice drawings. Plus some extra sadness to taste.
The Gist: The autobiographical story of a young boy growing up in a small French town, having the usual rites-of-passage stuff: fighting with other kids in the neighbourhood, tormenting his little sister and shadowing his older brother Jean-Christophe and copying what he does. Then Jean-Christophe suddenly develops epilepsy and the story shows the way the condition envelopes the family like a demon and follows their futile attempts to fight it off for him even though he’s already given up. A laugh riot.
And then what happens?: Since you’re so used to getting the “I’m gonna beat this thing” triumph-against-all-odds side of the debilitating disease story, it’s interesting to see the other side once in a while. Every member of the family is trying harder than he is to figure out Jean-Christophe’s condition which makes it that bit more poignant. Also it hits on lots of other things like the fact that fads and conmen will always come along claiming to have a mystical, fix-all cure for everything and desperate people will pin their hopes on it. Enthusiasts of macrobiotic diets in particular get a good beating in this. I’m looking at you Madonna.
See it for: Epilepsy is represented as this reptilian creature that twists and turns Jean-Christophe during his seizures and begins to mould itself into his bones. Not subtle then, but definitely effective.
Level of Crazy: 9. Interesting! Heartbreaking! And so on.