I'm eschewing the 'canonical' books for a few that I don't think get enough love. I'd also love to gets others' recs.
  1. Asterios Polyp
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    On of the best books I've ever read, period. The masterful melding of image and word lends itself to multiple readings. Without getting into the plot, the book is philosophical, absurd, and heartfelt. If I ever recommend one book to demonstrate that comics can be "real" art, it's this one.
  2. Casanova
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    This is one batshit series. Written by Matt Fraction, it features alternate timelines, weird robots, international intrigue, and is self referential to the max. Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon's artwork is spot on.
  3. Daytripper
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    Ba and Moon from the above item made this book. In a serialized story, each chapter tells an alternate story of the last day in the main character's life. Beautiful idea that was beautifully executed.
  4. The Essex County Trilogy
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    Written and drawn by Jeff Lemire. The stark images compliment a melancholy and contemplative story of one community through multiple generations.
  5. Scalped
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    Jason Aaron's crime epic taking place on a contemporary Indian reservation. At times brutal, but always compelling. With the mood perfectly captured by R.M. Guera's art.