It's been a strange year for comics. Not only did DC climb back on top via a superhero Rebirth, it did so while Marvel collapsed under the weight of its delayed, overwrought Civil War II storyline. Elsewhere, mainstream independents had a strong, if somewhat quiet, 12 months, and “art comics” publishers like Drawn & Quarterly, Fantagraphics, and First Second produced some stellar work. With so many good books out there, making a Top 5 Comics of 2016 list isn’t an easy job… which might be why there are actually eight different titles on our list. Don’t tell anyone. It’ll be our little secret, OK?
Rolling Blackouts (Drawn & Quarterly)
Sarah Glidden’s investigation into the aftermath of America’s military action in the Middle East—on the region itself, but also on the American soldiers, as personified by one soldier in particular—is everything good long form journalism should be: informative, moving, and beautifully human, with writing that asks the difficult questions without losing empathy for those it wants answers from.