From José Filipe:
The Push Man and Other Stories, by Yoshihiro Tatsumi. Set in post-war Japan, this book contains sixteen short-stories that deal with sex, death and loneliness in the private lifes of everyday people. Their anxieties, fears and dreams are analised through Tatsumi's careful eye. These characters are simple, common people who just can't seem to fit in. Alternative manga at its best.
From Michael Denton:
Strugglers (Poison Press) by Tim Fish, or any of Tim Fish's works (Cavalcade of Boys or the recently released Something Fishy This Way Comes). Strugglers is about people trying to make it after graduating from College - trying to find something meaningful in life and discovering themselves as people. It all takes place in the indie music scene in St. Louis, Missouri, where two women roommates are actively involved in bands. They take on a guy, out trying to find his place in the world and slowly discovering his sexual identity, as their roommate. I actually like Cavalcade better, but I think Strugglers will have broader appeal (Tighe actually continues on into Cavalcade). Fish has a fun, pleasing art style a little on the cartoony side (to put it in context of a realistic-to-symbolic/iconic continuum), reminiscent of Walt Simonson
From Robert Loy:
After much thought my choice for undiscovered gem goes to Supernatural Law. This may seem like an odd choice, because as a comic book it's been around since 1994, and actually as a comic strip in The National Law Journal it's been around since the early 80's. But it constantly amazes me how many fans have never heard of this book. And they are missing out on a lot of fun. Alana Wolff and Jeff Byrd are "counselors of the macabre" i.e. lawyers who specialize in defending witches, werewolves, vampires and other beasts that go bump in the night. Writer-artist Batton Lash draws maximum humor from having creatures in the courtroom, but he somehow manages to make it thought-provoking at the same time. He is a master satirist, poking fun at many elements of pop culture, and there is nobody who can pun better than he can. Check it out at http://www.exhibitapress.com/
And from Bill Burns:
Super Hero Happy Hour/Hero Happy Hour, Dan Taylor and Chris Faison. A "realistic" take on super-heroes that isn't grim and gritty. This black-and-white story of a bar where super-types hang out features some of the best dialogue around as well as appealing characters and conflicts (and occasional punching.)
Thanks to José, Michael, Robert and Bill for their recommendations. Michael, Robert & Bill have been entered into the Grand Prize drawing (José is from Portugal and thus is not elligible, but I thank him for sending his recoomendation to be shared). There's still time for you to enter!