Laika

We'll admit it; we're suckers for a good dog story. Old Yeller gets us everytime, and we'll at least consider Turner and Hooch everytime it's on television. Okay, maybe not that last one. But Nick Abadzis' Laika would impress even if we hated all animals and had hearts of stone. A fictionalized biography of the first dog in space, Abadzis' graphic novel not only tells the story of the starbound hound, but also manages to contextualize it perfectly with ease, adding in the stories of chief Sputnik II designer Sergei Pavlovich Korolev and caretaker Yelena Dubrosky and making the book a curiously rounded, full take on the ultimately tragic success of the mission. Even without its real life basis, however, this is just a stunning display of talent, with British cartoonist Abadzis - who first broke into the industry in Deadline magazine alongside Tank Girl and Gorillaz creator Jamie Hewlett - showing a command of the page that many more well-known names could never even come close to.

Next: Planetes