I'll start with Three Shadows, by ex-Disney animator Cyril Pedrosa, which I first heard about from Sarah McIntyre's blog a few months ago. It's published by First Second, and as with all of their titles comes in a package of very pleasing dimensions. I love the organic rough-edged pages as well. The art is beautiful, gracefully sketched and flowing with movement on every page - masterful. The story bubbles with fascinating characters, but I did feel it was written purely with the goal of bringing a tear to my eye upon its conclusion (which it did, well, a lump to my throat anyway), thus there's a rather honeyed melancholy throughout which I found a little suffocating. It's good though, and I can see myself keeping it around for another read.
From NBM comes Miss Don't Touch Me (originally La Vierge du Bordel and Du Sang sur les Mains) by Hubert (story and colour) and Kerascoët (drawing). I totally loved this book, from its 1930s Paris setting, to the riveting story and loose yet stylistic draughtsmanship. It's a murder mystery, largely set in a high-class brothel, and featuring a very engaging main character (Blanche). While the story is top-notch, the cartooning adds so much to the whole package, it's just delightful. Very European and very good. (And I discovered the blog of Kerascoët right here - lovely).
One of my favourite political cartoonists is 'Derf' (John Backderf), whose The City I have been following online for a good few years now. I've also been a fan of his longer works - My Friend Dahmer and Trashed, and now, a much longer work, Punk Rock and Trailer Parks. This story follows the remarkable central character, a charismatic trailer-park nerd named Otto, a.k.a 'The Baron', amidst the backdrop of the economically arid city of Akron which became a focal point for the new wave punk scene that hit America at the end of the 70s and into the early 80s. The story features several real bands and artists that did indeed play at 'The Bank' (eg. The Ramones, Ian Dury and the Blockheads, The Plasmatics), the music venue where much of the story takes place. If nothing else, I was introduced to the simply wonderful Klaus Nomi (an album of his coming my way soon). The only (very minor) downside is a few of the earlier pages print extremely close to the edge of the page - on one it actually sliced off a few letters of balloon text - but all in all it's a really satisfying read that had me chuckling out loud in several places.