The big metropolis has been the setting for a variety of comics over the ages, from superhero drama (like Gotham City in Batman) to underground satire (like, uh, some hippie-infested city in The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers). We live in one of America's quirkiest — and most magnificent — metropolises. We have a vibrant nightlife featuring drag queens with names like Suppositori Spelling, and a unionized strip club. We have amazing bars with dueling piano competitions. We have enough culture to satisfy snobs (opera, anyone?) and kitsch lovers (personalized piñatas, anyone?). Sure, we also have Danielle Steel, but that isn't our fault. The point is that a bustling city like ours has all kinds: heroes, freaks, and heroic freaks. It's practically impossible to capture all the city's finer points (and characters) in one newspaper, but we're going to try in our 13th annual Best of San Francisco issue. This year, we're honoring the city we love by making it the backdrop for some of our favorite comic-book styles. Hope you enjoy it.