We've written a lot about Paul Pope's urban sprawl fiction, but with good reason: Not only is it touching, sexy and honest in its portrayal of life in a future metropolis, it's also one of the more beautiful science fiction comics we've seen. That's beautiful in both writing - 100% is as gentle and kind to some of its characters as it is unforgiving to others, and there's something excitingly daring in that - and art, with the linework at once busy and deliberate, full of information and yet, totally confident in deciphering it for you at the same time. In both form and content, it mixes influences from all manner of periods and continents of comics, storytelling and art, becoming as much a melting pot as the city it portrays, and seeming as futuristic - or, at least, a signpost for a possible future - in that approach, as well. We're also in love with the book's take on science fiction, as well; present in the background details, but not so much that it detracts or distracts from the timeless human stories in the forefront, and familiar enough to understand while unfamiliar enough to suggest the new we've missed to get there. It's a truly wonderful piece of work.
In a strange way, it reminds us of Brandon Graham's King City, which so almost made the list - It's still ongoing, so watch for it making Best Of Decade in 2019 - and also mixes international influences from inside and outside comics to come up with something fresh and vibrant. More openly comedic than Pope's work, King City is as much a story of life in a big city in the future, filled with romance, regrets and disreputable characters, even with magic cats who'll fit your every need with the right cocktail of drugs.