In a year in which art-comics heavyweights (Daniel Clowes, Charles Burns, Chris Ware, and Lynda Barry) released reliably good, if not awe-inspiring books, my comics top ten list is populated by a lot of fresh faces. The top two are sui generis works of artistic inspiration, classics in any year — one deadly serious, one patently ridiculous. But New Yorkers might wind up treasuring the third book on the list most, as one of the great forgotten artists of city life finally gets his due.
Ten spooky, perceptive stories of girls and ghosts in trouble from one of the masters of shojo manga, who has her work translated into English for the first time.
A spare and bloody postapocalyptic series with an unlikely pair of heroes at its heart: a grizzled ex-hockey enforcer and a little boy with antlers growing out of his head.
A well-researched kung-fu saga set in 1675 China, Ben Costa’s web comic — collected in self-published book form this year — is clever, exciting, and lovely in equal measure.
A comic caper with a gross-out concept, this snazzy ongoing series sends FDA detective Tony Chu deep into the chicken-smuggling underworld, armed only with his wits and a unique, if disgusting, psychic talent: One bite of a corpse is all Chu needs to crack the case.
A charming collection of autobiographical stories, jokes, and sketches by a clever and honest young cartoonist with a keen eye for her own foibles.
He may look like a big lug, but he’s got dreams of the ocean and the heart of a poet. The hero of Weing’s salty debut sails off to adventure in this pocket-size sea-shanty of a graphic novel.
The final volume of manga master Urasawa’s gritty rewrite of Astro Boy brings this epic sci-fi story to a rousing and emotional conclusion.
An astonishing rediscovery: a collection of enormous, beautiful single-panel comics by the long-forgotten Gotham cartoonist that serves as a revelatory guide to the vibrant working class of thirties and forties New York.
Crazily ambitious, sharply written, and gorgeous to behold, the first in Hines’s projected nine-book series about a world in which animals can talk promises even greater stories to come.
A candy-colored absurdist comedy about a teen so wealthy he barfs $100 bills, this ridiculously enjoyable book reads like Richie Rich on LSD.