Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Since cofounding the publishing company L'Association in 1990, David B. (i.e., David Beauchard) has moved to the forefront of international efforts to revitalize the graphic novel. With a distinct black-and-white palette he here tells a story that, though deeply personal, reflects on the past century's history. First published in six volumes as L'Ascension du Haut-Mal (1996-2003), this novel is an honest and frank autobiography of an Everyman and his epileptic brother. It speaks of the family's constancy in the face of adversity as they struggle with the illness and with the greater challenges of incomprehension from the medical establishment and society at large. Those studying the psychology and sociology of medicine and disease will be the first audience for this book, but readers interested in biography, comic books, and communications design will also appreciate it. In light of the success of the English translation of Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis (2003)--which, like the present volume, was also initially published by L'Association--audiences in the US are well prepared to discover the work of David B., whose style so influenced hers. Epileptic successfully unites the tradition of the bildungsroman with the graphic novel, using the dream-inspired imagery that has long characterized David B.'s art. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All readers; all levels. J. E. Housefield Texas State University--San Marcos