OK, here it is--my long-awaited best comics/graphic novels list!
In no particular order:
Batwoman: Elegy by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams--this collection of the Batwoman run on Detective Comics (mentioned on last year's list) totally blew my mind. You know I don't read a huge amount of superhero stuff, but the art was so great that I checked it out--and the story completely sucked me in. Batwoman's own book starts for real in February and I can't wait.
Beasts of Burden--Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson are both great, but somehow this is like the best thing EVER. C'mon, cute doggies and a cat fighting the paranormal?? You have to love it. It won a bunch of awards for the art, which is incredible. The book contains all the short stories from various Dark Horse books and the miniseries that ran last year--and in a very affordable package, too.
Hereville by Barry Deutsch--a little Orthodox Jewish girl wants to find a sword so she can fight trolls? Yeah, count me in! I thought the ending was going to go one way, but what it did instead made me go "YES!"
Castle Waiting vol 2 by Linda Medley--OK, this doesn't really have an ending (I gather there is conflict b/w Medley and Fantagraphics) but Castle Waiting is a great look at . . . I don't know, the lighter side of fairy tales? It's very character based and I really hope Medley continues it in some form, since I've been dying to know Jain's backstory for like 10 years now.
How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less by Sarah Glidden--I still have no idea why Vertigo published this, but I'm glad they did. Glidden's memoir of her Birthright Israel trip and her own growing understanding of Middle East politics make for a riveting read, and her watercolored art is just great too.
Scott Pilgrim vol 6 by Bryan Lee O'Malley--of course this is on my list!!!
Love and Rockets vol 3--Jaime Hernandez's stories in this are his best work ever, and since he's one of my top-two all-time-favorite comics dudes, that is saying a lot. Also check out The Art of Jaime Hernandez, which is part bio, part comics retrospective, and ALL awesome.
Smile by Raina Telgemeier--This gave me serious flashbacks to my own dental dramas.
Hopeless Savages Greatest Hits--this big book collects the whole awesome series--where I first got into Bryan Lee O'Malley's art--and some short pieces that I'd never seen.
Plus there were so many good ongoing things that I'm in love with--Unwritten (first two volumes are out!), iZombie, Locke and Key (first three volumes are out!), 20th Century Boys, Fables, Criminal/Incognito, and Chi's Sweet Home (cutest cat-related manga ever, and one of my favorite discoveries of 2010).