There were so many awesome choices this year for "Best Comics" of 2010 that whittling them down to just ten was a Herculean task. If there was one outstanding feature of this year's comics, it was: we just had so much fun reading and discovering them!
#10: Amazing Spider-Man
It's not easy putting out an entertaining multi-layered story with a large ensemble cast multiple times a month -- but the crew at "Amazing Spider-Man" managed to do the job! Kudos to editor Steve Wacker and his stable of some of the biggest talents in the business -- including Dan Slott, Fred Van Lente, Marc Guggenheim, Mike McKone, Paolo Rivera, Mark Waid, and Joe Quesada -- for producing a consistently enjoyable, fresh, and at times quite daring take on everybody's fave Webhead!
#9: American Vampire
This riveting series by Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque (and Stephen King!) proved that Vertigo as an imprint still has an edge. Not just another contender on the Bloodsucker Bandwagon, the continuing adventures of Skinner Sweet and Pearl Jones is a welcome change for vampire fans who want a little "meat" with their blood!
What a line-up: Rafael Grampa, Dash Shaw, Dean Haspiel, Jeff Lemire, Harvey Pekar, Kate Beaton, both Hernandez Brothers, and so much more! Marvel Comics deserves a shout-out not only for hiring such a star-studded "indie" cast on this limited series -- but for having such a hearty sense of humor about their own icons!
Jeff Lemire -- who we loved all the way back with "Tales of Essex County" -- is currently on fire these days. However, while we think his take on Superboy is intriguing, it is this quirky tale about another unique displaced young man that has won our heart!
The acronym "B.P.R.D." has become for us synonymous for a good read, its various mini-series keeping us entertained in 2010. Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, Guy Davis, and a talented list of other creators made it hard for us to decide if we loved the "Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense" or "Hellboy" the most. Keep up the good work, Dark Horse!
"Daytripper" by twins Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba might have been about "a day in the life," but it was never boring. Set in the creators' native Brazil, this philosophical story about a dissatisfied obituary writer and how he comes to reflect on the meaning of life left us enchanted.
#4: Joe the Barbarian
"Joe the Barbarian" writer Grant Morrison is known for narratives that blur the borders between reality and fantasy -- and this story about a boy who is suffering from complications from Type-1 Diabetes is another playful variation on that theme. But it is artist Sean Murphy who really shines as his dynamic illustrations bring Morrison's antic vision to life!
#3: Morning Glories
There was just so much to like about this book: Nick Spencer's writing, gorgeous art by Joe Eisma, an engaging cast of characters, and so much more! But in a larger sense, Morning Glories -- along with other titles like Chew -- proved that you don't necessarily need a superhero narrative to have a break-out hit. This series about a prestigious prep school with dark secrets is one of the biggest finds of the year!
Not since Matter-Eater Lad have we had such a prolific eater as a comic book hero! In another strong year, this John Layman/Rob Guillory comic from Image provided us with one of the most satisfying & quirky reads in our pull-list -- and one of our fave heroes in "cibopath" Detective Chu.
#1: Batman & Robin
DC Comics kept a decades-old concept as brand new and exciting as when it first debuted, with top-notch creative talent like Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, Philip Tan, Cameron Stewart, and others. With many of our iconic superheroes poised to reach their 50s-80s in the next decade, it's extremely important to keep them fresh -- and not allow them to be "living zombies" fit only for parade balloons and licensed products. And that's why we are so happy with Batman and Robin as a title, and the majority of the Batman line as a comic book franchise. We like the comics. They are fun. It's as simple as that.