Art and the Marketplace
I strongly recommend the Woodring and Clowes books. Weathercraft is a perfectly-crafted hallucination from a brilliant cartoonist at the top of his game. Wilson, while uneven, has a ton of dark, funny moments, and is far more than the sum of its parts.
But, of the three, Sturm’s Market Day made the strongest impression on me. I talked to James Sturm recently and told him that he went toe-to-toe with Woodring and Clowes and won, but I want to make it official here so he knows (provided someone tells him) that I wasn’t just blowing smoke up his ass. Market Day is the best comic I’ve read all year.
Sturm’s story follows a rug merchant in a distant time and place, but if you make art of any kind and have ever questioned your relevance in a changing world (show of hands?) this book will speak to you. It might not cheer you up, but you’ll know you aren’t alone.
I’d say more, but John Martz seems to have beat me to it, so I’ll just recommend that while all three books are worth reading, if you read just one graphic novel from the year so far, I hope it will be Market Day.