dance with reality

The artwork in Epileptic reminds me of Art Spiegelman, particularly “Prisoner on the Hell Planet,” which is found in Maus. Both rely heavily on high contrast and dark spaces, and depict an emotional reality, creating a highly psychological and subjective aesthetic. For instance, in the beginning of Epileptic, Professor T, a skilled doctor with terrible bedside manner and a chilling detachment from his patients’ emotional realities, is given a severe, almost demonic countenance. While the family members are rendered with soft lines and wide eyes, the doctor is sharp looking, with a heavy unibrow and beady, almost mechanical eyes. When the parents are in the room with the rest of the doctors, they are all filled in black, shadowy and inscrutable figures, while the parents are the only ones filled in white, looking alienated. Similarly, in “Prisoner on the Hell Planet,” Spiegelman draw a horrifying looking doctor, with an inhuman, oblong shaped head. In one panel he is screaming “She’s dead! A suicide!” His features are barely human, just thick, contrasting lines. Both artists create caricatures of certain characters so as to accurately convey the mental and emotional energy of that situation.

In another panel, David B. shows his family standing in a ring of dancing doctors. The doctors are darker, jubilant looking, performing a kind of ritual around the family. Many of Beauchard’s panels are like this: they are visual metaphors of his perception. Likewise, Beauchard imbues many of his panels with battle imagery, which he explicitly states was this method of understanding and interpreting what was going on around him. His renderings remind me of what Noe had to say about how consciousness is a dance. Beauchard’s imagery is representative of his particular dance with reality.

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