The best book of the year arrived from France as the first half of a bold two-volume memoir by the French cartoonist David B. (neé Pierre-François Beauchard.) Using his older brother's epilepsy as the touchstone, volume one (with the second half scheduled for late 2003) combines the story of a family in crisis with the portrait of a young artist in the making. Though a two-volume autobiography of a cartoonist may seem indulgent, David B.'s scope and artistry put Epileptic on a par with Art Spiegelman's holocaust masterpiece Maus.