I don't think anyone can debate that DC's best books come out of the Vertigo imprint.
I'd heard good things about Brian Wood's series, and it holds up nicely. I'm not sure I even know how to describe this book. Essentially, New York is a DMZ between two warring factions of America, the classic "United States" and the "Free States" a group of separatist patriots who want a change. This was written years ago, but it's an oddly prescient take on the split of America happening these days. It's a sad commentary, but it makes for a fascinating story.
Matty Roth is a media intern dropped into the DMZ and accidentally left to his own devices. Once there, he finds himself feeling for the inhabitants of NYC and he starts reporting their stories. This first collection has a nice variety of situations and plots, my favorite being the special forces team now operating the NYC zoo. It's a neat idea, and Wood has plenty of neat ideas to fill in this book. Clearly Wood doesn't have too much affection for either military, it is all about people just trying to get on with their lives. I have to say I'm pleased that I'm this far in and there isn't any cannibalism.
Ricardo Burchielli is moody and quite unique. I'm not sure a cleaner artist would work though, as Burchielli really sells the mood through the rubble and torn clothes. The later artists don't capture NYC quite the same way.