In Epileptic, David B. chronicles the struggles he and his family faced while dealing with his older brother’s epilepsy. Using frequent scenes of violent imagery, including historical warriors and famed warlords, David B. depicts the battle he sensed was happening within his family. Jean-Christophe, the older brother, is the title character and the perceived source of strife.
Coupling David B.’s illustrations with his captions, the reader is able to watch as Jean-Christophe is slowly replaced in his brother’s mind by an illness. Jean-Christophe is attacked by the epilepsy-monster in the earlier frames; by the middle of the text the monster weaves through his body and pokes out his mouth. Finally, at the end, Jean-Christophe is a hulking, frightening figure; his face lacks emotion or comprehension. He is a disease.