I have to say "acquisitions" this year because instead of picking up free comics at my library, I went to Keith's Komix in Schaumburg and picked up some 50-cent comics in the bargain bins in addition to the free ones. And Keith was extra generous with the free comics, as you'll see below.
10. Project Superpowers: Chapter Two #0
Selling for a dollar back in 2009, I picked this one up for 50 cents. I greatly dislike the anti-government focus of the series, but the art is pretty and it's a lot of fun trying to identify all the characters, not all of whom get introductory captions.
No, it didn't make my top 10 for the prelude to the latest Thanos snoozefest or the really banal sneak peek at Warren Ellis trying to write the Avengers -- it made the cut for a rare reprint of a Drax the Destroyer adventure from Logan's Run #6 (1977)!
8. Bongo Comics Free-For-All 2013
Lots of fun, as always, from Bongo. The best story is "Model Citizen Simpson", but the real treat is the one page filler by Sergio Aragones.
7. Paul Chadwick's Concrete #5
From the 50-cent bin, I picked up another solid issue of Concrete, though not one of his best.
6. Classic X-Men #2
From the 50-cent bin...ooo, I got distracted looking at that Art Adams cover art. Was I writing something?
5. Avatar: the Last Airbender
Nickelodeon and Dark Horse are putting out some really good stories continuing the Avatar TV series. In this free issue we learn more about Mai than I ever did from the TV show, though I'm confused when and how she broke up with Zuko. The Star Wars back-up feature is gorgeous, but slight. The Captain Midnight flashback is pretty good, but the framing device in the present is boring and doesn't bode well for the series.
4. The Smurfs
No, I'm not suddenly a Smurfs fan! They still annoy the bejeebers out of me and the Annoying Orange back-up feature is terrible, but the real treat here is a wonderful short called Ariol about an animal-boy (an aardvark?) missing out on real life because he's got his face buried in a comic book. Ah, if only kids were still like that today, but instead it's now video games!
3. Kaboom! Summer Blast!
I hate the Adventure Time TV show so I had to force myself to read this, but the "choose your own adventure" concept was original and brilliantly done in comic book form. I have looked at Kaboom's Peanuts series before and was disappointed, but this little back-up feature of Charlie Brown showing you how to draw Linus packs a surprising amount of character study into its 5 pages. You learn a lot more about Charlie Brown's obsession with baseball than you learn about drawing Linus! The return of Herobear should have been the most satisfying feature, as I loved his mini-series a few years back, but this preview is nothing but pretty pictures. The Regular Show, Garfield, and Ice Age previews are descendingly bad.
2. The Tick
I haven't been following the Tick since his cartoon was cancelled, but it's good to see the character still has *ahem* legs. My favorite part is, of course, the 3-page backup feature "Dewey Decibel System" with the Tick in a library learning about the Internet. "...You have a phone?" was the funniest line in the whole book.
1. Kirby Genesis #0
This comic book was selling for a dollar in 2011, but this year Keith was giving his leftover issues away for free. It is so good, so gorgeous, and so ...awesome in scope, I can't understand how he still had copies to give away! Kurt Busiek, Alex Ross, and Jackson Herbert build a unified universe for all of Jack Kirby's diverse post-Marvel, post-DC creations. Now I have to track down all the issues I missed!
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