1. Disappearance Diary by Hideo Azuma (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
2. Bottomless Belly Button, by Dash Shaw (Fantagraphics)
3. Nat Turner, by Kyle Baker (Abrams)
4. Slow Storm, by Danica Novgorodoff (First Second)
5. Strange Embrace, by David Hine (Image)
6. Wonton Soup (Oni)
7. Travel, by Yuichi Yokoyama (PictureBox), and Metronome, by Véronique Tanaka (NBM) 8. Fables: The Good Prince, by Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham (Vertigo)
9. Paul Goes Fishing, by Michel Rabagliatti (Drawn & Quarterly), and The Country Nurse, by Jeff Lemire (Top Shelf)
10. Water Baby, by Ross Campbell (Minx)
1. Disappearance Diary
by Hideo Azuma
In 1989, veteran manga artist Azuma left his family and work behind to live as a hermit in the mountains of Japan. In a year fraught with financial tension, Azuma’s memoir of homelessness and menial labor”drawn in a deceptively light cartoon style, and packed with desperate sadness”is a timely reminder of how quickly lives can change. You may read it as a cautionary tale but at least you’ll learn how to make a meal out of a radish and tempura oil.
3. Nat Turner, by Kyle Baker
Carefully researched and vividly drawn, Baker’s graphic adaptation of rebel slave Turner’s 1831 confession is a bloody but crucial work of history.
4. Slow Storm, by Danica Novgorodoff
A female firefighter and an illegal immigrant have a fateful meeting on one tornado-filled night in Kentucky in this thoughtful, ominous debut.
5. Strange Embrace
by David Hine
Psychological horror that would scare the hell out of Edgar Allan Poe.
6. Wonton Soup
James Stokoe’s wacky culinary space-trucker odyssey.
by Yuichi Yokoyama
by Véronique Tanaka
Two elegant, wordless works of art.