It is a strange book. Some pages are fantastic, other are awful (especially in the first half), from a comic book point of view, because it's too often the captions that carry out the narration, and too rarely the drawings. The majority of the book seems to me more like an illustrated novel than a comic book of graphic novel or as you wish to name it. I mean, the drawings alone aren't able to tell the story. They are too fixed, too rigid, there's no much dynamism in them. Dialogues are too few (even if they increase in the second half) and captions are too many. Of course David B. uses these strategies on purpose to create a story that feels as heavy as the epilepsy Jean-Christophe suffers of. But this book is just on the verge of the works that make me wonder what was the point of in making them under a graphic form instead than just a written one....Continua
Even though this is supposed to have inspired / be better than Persepolis (and the drawings are more sophisticated it's true) it wasn't nearly such an engaging story.
Once you got the gist of it a few pages in (his brother has epilepsy, the family struggle to deal with it) it's hard to keep going to reach the end of the 300+ pages. David B.'s reaction to the emotional drama he and his family go though is to retreat into himself and this makes it hard to engage and empathise with him in the book...
It feels a bit awful saying this; after all it's his life here! but... I think he could have got his side across, even with a bit of judicious editing....Continua