Good-bye, Chunky Rice by Craig Thompson — Simply summarized as “cute and sad.” It’s the sort of story that gets its power from the medium and the nuances of the combination of art and words. I wouldn’t say it was a “masterpiece” but it’s an excellent read.
Same Difference and Other Stories by Derek Kirk Kim — The main story is an effortless story about two young Korean-Americans in the Bay Area. There’s a bittersweet realism to it and the use of Tom Waits’ “I Don’t Want to Grow Up” is a bonus (at least for me). Kim’s other stories run from the serious to humorous and offer glimpses of culture clashes between the U.S. and Korea. You can read most of Kim’s comics, including “Same Difference” on his Web site, but he’s a creator worth supporting.
Bizarro World — By Everyone — OK, not quite everyone, but the list of creators involved is impressive and more diverse than Bizarro Comics. While there’s still plenty of laughs here, the emphasis is less on funny and more on good stories. Who doesn’t love indie creators writing and drawing superheroes?