This is a bit late, but there's never enough time to read everything you want as it comes out. I'm finally done reading a sizable chunk of everything that came out last year (i.e., 10% or so), and here are my favorites of 2015, in alphabetical order. --Adan Jimenez
Drawn and Quarterly: Twenty-Five Years of Contemporary Cartooning, Comics, and Graphic Novels, edited by Tom Devlin, Chris Oliveros, Peggy Burns, Tracy Hurren and Julia Pohl-Miranda (Drawn & Quarterly, $49.95, 9781770461994)
I cannot emphasize enough how amazing this book is. It contains essays, interviews, photographs, appreciations, and new and reprinted work from some of the best indie creators currently working in comics, and that's still not the best part--the history of D+Q at the beginning of the book is worth the price of admission alone. You can read my original, gushing review here.
Hitler by Shigeru Mizuki, translated by Zack Davisson (Drawn & Quarterly, $24.95, 9781770462106)
Shigeru-sensei unfortunately passed away last year after decades of creating some of the best comics in the world. Before he died, English speakers got another of his non-fiction comics, this time chronicling the rise and fall of one of history's worst dictators. Once again blending cartoony characters with realistic backgrounds, Mizuki captures just how ridiculous Hitler ultimately was, while still portraying the power the man wielded so savagely.
If You Steal by Jason (Fantagraphics, $29.99, 9781606998540)
The latest collection of short stories by a master of the craft features both hilarious stories like "Ask Not," which tells us what we really happened leading up to JFK's assassination, and sobering stories like "Nothing," in which a woman slowly forgets everything around her. It's hard to have a complete collection of excellent short stories, but Jason manages it. My original review can be found here.
Killing and Dying by Adrian Tomine (Drawn & Quarterly, $22.95, 9781770462090)
Tomine's latest collection contains six amazing short stories by another master of the craft . These stories are not uplifting in any sense of the word. They showcase some horrible and depressing corners of humanity, which are made all the more horrible and depressing thanks to how utterly realistic they are.
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (HarperTeen, $17.99, 9780062278234)
Stevenson consistently creates some of the best and most grounded characters in comics today, and nowhere are they more "real" than in the fantastical Nimona. The three main characters--Nimona, Lord Ballister Blackheart and Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin--must overcome pasts filled with pain and regret to become better people, even as they fight against and amongst each other for control of the empire. My original review can be read here.
Private Eye by Brian K. Vaughan, Marcos Martin, and Muntsa Vicente (Image Comics, $49.99, 9781632155726)
What if everybody's online secrets were laid bare for the whole world to see? What if everybody had to have a secret identity whenever they stepped outside as a result? A really crazy concept is brought to brilliant life by three excellent creators. Originally presented in a digital, pay-what-you-wish format, Image released a beautiful hardcover version that presents the main story along with some great process matter in the back.
Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol. 1: Vader by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca (Marvel Comics, $19.99, 9780785192558)
This is an excellent piece of science fiction that blazes new ground on a well-tread path. New facets of Vader are revealed and every new character created for this series is fantastic, especially Dr. Aphra and the Mirror Universe versions of droids C-3PO and R2-D2: Triple-Zero and BT-1. Even non-Star Wars fans can find something in here to love.
The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer by Sydney Padua (Pantheon, $28.95, 9780307908278)
Padua's love letter to Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage takes place in an alternate universe where the two were actually able to build the world's first computer and use it to fight "crime," like terrible poets, economic collapses and Queen Victoria's fiendish questions. Not only is this the best comic on computing and mathematics I have ever read, it also contains the greatest Boolean logic joke of all time. My original review is here.
Two Brothers by Gabriel Bá and Fabio Moon (Dark Horse, $24.99, 9781616558567)
Ridiculously good-looking real-world twin brothers Moon and Bá reimagine a powerful story of ridiculously good-looking fictional twin brothers who grow further and further apart as they get older thanks to their doting mother, a violent episode in their youth and a forced relocation for one of the twins, causing unending havoc for three generations of their family. In this adaptation of a novel by acclaimed author Milton Hatoum, the real-world twins also do a fantastic job of transporting readers to the port city of Manaus on the riverbanks of the Amazon river, a place changing as it marches toward modernity.
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 1: Squirrel Power by Ryan North and Erica Henderson (Marvel, $15.99, 9780785197027)
Originally a joke throwaway character, Squirrel Girl has become a fan-favorite not just because of the humor infused in the series but because of her relentless optimism and friendliness in the face of some not great people. One of Squirrel Girl's greatest features is her ability to talk down the bad guy she's supposed to be fighting, turning the hero/villain dynamic on its head. My original review can be read here.
And a quick list of honorable mentions because there really were that many great comics in 2015:
The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye by Sonny Liew (Pantheon, $30, 9781101870693), originally reviewed here.
The Complete Eightball 1-18 by Daniel Clowes (Fantagraphics, $119.99, 9781606997574), originally reviewed here.
Giant Days Vol. 1 by John Allison, Whitney Cogar and Lissa Treiman (BOOM! Box, $9.99, 9781608867899), originally reviewed here.
Injection, Vol. 1 by Warren Ellis, Jordie Bellaire and Declan Shalvey (Image Comics, $9.99, 9781632154798), in which five people accidentally poison the world with weirdness and then try to undo it.
Lumberjanes Vol. 1 by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis and Brooke Allen (BOOM! Box, $14.99, 9781608866878), originally reviewed here.