1. The Arrival by Shaun Tan (Scholastic)
A nameless man leaves his family behind in search of a better life in a new land—a universal saga given a strange twist in this wordless, gorgeously illustrated story of human striving by Australian artist Tan.
2. Exit Wounds by Rutu Modan (Drawn & Quarterly)
A Tel Aviv cabdriver picks up—and falls for— a soldier with a secret.
3. Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms by Fumiyo Kouno (Last Gasp)
A pair of gentle graphic novellas set in mid-century Hiroshima.
4. Apollo’s Song by Osamu Tezuka (Vertical)
This landmark 1970 manga is the trippy, passionate story of budding sociopath Shogo and the goddess who punishes him for all eternity.
5. The Three Paradoxes by Paul Hornschemeier (Fantagraphics)
An elegant graphic memoir that alternates realism with flights of comic-book fancy.