12. 'Hicksville,' Dylan Horrocks
A sentimental favorite, Hicksville is part investigative mystery, part meditation on the history and scope of the medium itself and part Borgesian wish fulfillment for comics nerds. It may sound like narrative experimenalism for its own sake, but there is something in Horrocks' work that evokes a deeply intimate response. Very few books on this list end with the reader more utterly in love with the artform after it's done, ready to scrawl out comics and release them into the wind.