Last year I couldn't slim down to a top 10, this year I couldn't even get to 10. Not as many original graphic novels for me, which makes me think I missed some things. I'll be keeping an eye on others' lists.
1. Seconds by Bryan Lee O'Malley
Such a great follow-up to Scott Pilgrim. It's not as ambitious as a six-volume series, of course, but it's focus and tighter page count make for a story I might like just a touch more (and I love Scott Pilgrim.) O'Malley's art and Nathan Fairbairn's colors work great together, and I love that the story involves cooking and food, since that was one of the flavors of Scott Pilgrim and it's nice to see it move to the forefront a bit more here. A great, realistic messy romance with fantasy elements, very like what I liked about Scott Pilgrim but in no way a retread of it.
2. Little Nemo Dream Another Dream HC
This oversized gem, full of tons of great art, was a labor of love that I backed on Kickstarter and I'm so glad I did.
3. Cleopatra in Space Vol 1
Been following Mike Maihack's work for years, and I was glad to see his all-ages sci-fi adventure graphic novel come out this year and just live up to all the fun and imagination that you can see in his art.
4. Rise of Aurora West
I was nervous about this one, because it's Paul Pope being relatively tangentially involved (it was co-written with JT Petty) and a completely different artist (David Rubin) doing the art chores. As it turns out, I almost like this better than Battling Boy, which it spun out of. Weird, beautiful superhero sci-fi character-driven storytelling at its best.
5. Amulet Vol 6: Escape from Lucien
Another great volume in Kazu Kibuishi's Miyazaki-esque sci-fi/fantasy epic.
6. The Shadow Hero
A riff on family and pulp heroes by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew. Liew is a guy I've liked since his creator-owned work Malinky Robot and My Faith With Frankie with Mike Carey, and he's great here. Yang, meanwhile, just never misses, whether it's his work on Boxers & Saints or his work on Dark Horse's Avatar series.
I love Michael Cho's artwork. To be honest, I wish this had been less of a slice-of-life story, a genre that I think is often a little on the bland side, and had a little bit more of the fantastic to it, but... it's a gorgeous book.
8. Nocturnals Legend
Almost more of an artbook than a graphic novel, but there are letters and interviews from Halloween Girl throughout that recap and hint at new stories, so... I'll call it an OGN.
Best Collected Editions:
On the other hand, last year my list of collected editions was cut off at 25, this year? Almost 40. And I'm sure I missed a few.
1. Daredevil by Mark Waid Vol 2-3 HC
2. Saga Vol 1 HC
3. Ms Marvel Vol 1
4. Afterlife with Archie Vol 1 TP
5. Sex Criminals Vol 1 TP
6. Just the Tips HC
6. Daredevil Vol 1 TP
7. Chew Omnivore Edition Vol 4 HC
8. She-Hulk Vol 1 TP
9. Lazarus Vol 1 HC
10. Revival Vol 2 HC
11. Velvet Vol 1 TP
12. Rat Queens Vol 1 TP
13. Manifest Destiny Vol 1 TP
14. Daytripper Deluxe HC
15. Jonah Hex Shadows West TP
16. Avatar The Last Airbender The Search HC
17. Manhattan Projects Vol 1 HC
18. Fatale Deluxe Edition Vol 1 HC
19. Marvel Covers Artist's Edition
20. Steranko Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD Artist's Edition
21. Hellboy Artist's Edition
22. Hellboy First 20 Years HC
23. Usagi Yojimbo Saga Vol 1 TP
24. Usagi Yojimbo Vol 28: Red Scorpion TP
25. Mind Mgmt Vol 3: The Home Maker HC
26. By Chance or Providence
27. Guardians of the Galaxy by Abnett & Lanning Vols. 1 & 2 TP
28. Batman Adventures Vol 1 TP
29. Nightwing Vol 1: Bludhaven TP
30. Zenith Phase 1&2
31. 47 Ronin HC
32. Serenity: Leaves on the Wind HC
33. Southern Bastards Vol 1: Here Was A Man
34. Stray Bullets Uber Alles TP
35. Escapo HC
36. Green Arrow Vol 2: Here There Be Dragons
37. Astro City Vol 9: Through Open Doors
38. Murder Me Dead
39. Courtney Crumrin Vol 6 HC