1 Paul Joins The Scouts by Michel Rabagliati (Conundrum Press)
Rabagliati expresses the worst sides of people without casting his narrative into depression, but instead an amiable and well-considered humanity, with the political backdrop of 1970s Quebec as a bonus.
2 Crater XV by Kevin Cannon (Top Shelf Productions)
Inventive and gripping, Crater XIV captures the true, over-the-top spirit of comics, while still keeping things down to earth enough to allow you to care what goes on inside.
3 The Property – Rutu Modan (Drawn and Quarterly)
One of the most accessible of graphic novelists, with a cinematic presentation and the ability to capture the complexity of larger human experience within smaller family dramas, all with good humor.
4 TEOTFW by Charles Forsman (Fantagraphics)
A perceptive, neo-realist slice of deadpan alienation and gloom about a teenage Bonnie and Clyde.
5 Jerusalem by Boaz Yakin and Nick Bertozzi (First Second Books)
An epic sweep that never breezes past the humanity as it examines how history happens to real people.
6 Journal by Julie Delporte (Koyama Press)
Personal and colorful, engaging and cryptic, Delporte slices up her own life into an abstract emotional puzzle.
7 Sandcastle by Pierre Oscar Levy and Frederik Peeters. (Abrams/SelfMadeHero)
Beginning like a murder mystery, continuing like an episode of the Twilight Zone, and finishing up with the kind of existentialism that wouldn’t be out of place in a Von Trier film, a frantic examination of the human reaction to mortality.
8 Little Tommy Lost by Cole Closser (Koyama Press)
Rebooting the concept of period adventure comic strips and with tongue barely in cheek and an impressive graphic sense.
9 Susceptible – Genvieve Castree (Drawn and Quarterly)
A dysfunctional childhood and the toll it takes are presented with humor, honesty, and a huge amount of charm.
10 Odd Duck by Cecil Castellucci and Sara Varon (First Second)
A smart and funny story, charmingly drawn, that is constantly hurling something new within the trope of odd couple friendships.