“l’Ascension du Haut Mal” by David B., a cult series
David B.’s masterpiece. This autobiographical series focuses on the story of his epileptic brother and his slow descent into hell. At the same time, it offers two points of view: that of the young David Ballotté, who was thrown by his parents in search of a miracle formula to cure this older brother, and that of the black disease, the pervasive evil that will shape the lives of all of them. A poignant account of family and empathy, of the different reactions to this different child, this autobiography is interspersed with the dreams and desires of the author who appropriates drawing as his own word. We also understand his taste for miniature and mythology, which have forged his very particular style. In the books that follow, the draftsman will go further in the layout and the very elaborate construction of his boards in the manner of Persian carpets, L’Ascension du haut mal is the training book that will allow him to build himself, to extract himself from his double and to discover the power of literature and drawing. Touching, sometimes frightening, this work is both a dream & a nightmare. And we are caught up in this intimate & familiar universe where an invasive shadow lurks. The covers of the different volumes materialize well this expansion of evil, when the black of the monsters covers a little more the drawing in each episode until the almost total black behind the characters (it is the only regret of the integral, no longer have this successful crescendo.)
The illustrator who has brought the dream story back to life and rewritten the myths (his works all seem to be part of the same story lost in the manner of a fragment of the Thousand and One Nights Fantasized) We can only recommend most of his albums, which do not resemble any other comic strip albums, but which have chosen Marcel Schowb, J.L. Borges and Antoine Galland as their main characters, to name but a few. Books and writing in general are recurring subjects in his books and a word can hide many things.
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