While we’re limited to including only 10 graphic novels on Publishers Weekly’s annual listing of the best books of the year; we think we’ve still managed to collect an impressive range of titles. From veteran cartoonists like Charles Burns, Jill Thompson and Chris Ware to such talented newcomers as Adam Hines and Sarah Glidden, our selection shows off the ever growing list of supremely talented authors working in fiction, serious nonfiction, manga and all-ages comics.
Charles Burns (Pantheon)
The adventures of Tintin get a dark mirror image as a young man named Doug suffers teenage angst and a hostile universe of talking maggots.
Beasts of Burden: Animal Rites
Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson(Dark Horse)
Gorgeous artwork and a smart, witty script elevate this tale of household pets who unite to fight occult menaces in idyllic Burden Hill.
How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less
Sarah Glidden (Vertigo)
An evocative, sometimes funny and often emotional recap of Glidden's birthright visit to Israel done with charming watercolors and no shortage of candid responses to the Jewish state and the Palestinian question.
Duncan the Wonder Dog
Adam Hines (AdHouse Books)
A powerfully imagined and visually detailed experimental work set in an otherwise naturalistic world where animals can speak and argue the moral consequences of their treatment by humans.
Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty
G. Neri and Randy DuBurke (Lee & Low)
The origin of ongoing urban violence is explored through the true story of Robert "Yummy" Sandifer, an 11-year-old from the Chicago projects who gained infamy after killing a 14-year-old neighbor.
Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams (DC)
A crazy-intense achievement of spectacular artwork tells the story of Kate Kane, a gay former Marine who must save Gotham City from a crime-worshipping cult.
Dash Shaw (Pantheon)
A goofy yet gorgeously rendered, relentlessly experimental mashup of the high school sports hero and psychedelic drug novel genres that quite literally turns the book on its head.
Acme Novelty Library: Lint
F.C. Ware (Drawn & Quarterly)
Using an inventive and ever-evolving visual syntax, Ware chronicles the life of a difficult and flawed character from his birth to his death.
AX: Alternative Manga
Edited by Sean Michael Wilson and Mitsuhiru Asakawa (Top Shelf)
More like American indie comics than mainstream manga, this anthology of 33 artists from Japan's acclaimed magazine on alternative manga opens a new window on Japanese comics.
Weathercraft: A Frank Comic
Jim Woodring (Fantagraphics)
A disturbing fantasy of struggle from comics' premiere surrealist as the piglike Manhog endures the sufferings of Job from the cruel Whim.