San Francisco's world-famous comic book mecca, Isotope the Comic Book Lounge is the epicenter for comics coolness. The home of unique events with the industry's biggest names and some of the smallest, too. Including: Grant Morrison, Jim Lee, Eric Powell, JH Williams, Ian Gibson, MC Chris, Dave Johnson, Steve Niles, Warren Ellis, Ed Brubaker, Robert Kirkman, Darick Robertson, Erik Larsen, Brian K. Vaughan, Tony Harris, Joe Casey, Tom Beland, Rick Remender, Brian Wood, B. Clay Moore, Brett Warnock, Adam Beechen, Andrew Boyd, Ms Monster, Eric Stephenson, Pine-am, Bill Willingham, Jason McNamara, Batton Lash, Jackie Estrada, Rob Osborne, Tony Talbert, Kirsten Baldock, JW Cotter, Danica Novgorodoff
Isotope the comic book lounge features the love for the comics with world class comic book pimps, the Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics, and popular industry mixers
The Staff at Isotope the comic book lounge. Sexy comic nerds and so much more!
Events at Isotope the comic book lounge. Included are unique events like Grant Morrison's International Guide to Living Fabulously, Eric Powell's Monster Mash-Up, Jim Lee & Lee Bermejo All-Star Opening, MC Chris performing live, Ed Brubaker Armwrestling, JH Williams Baccanalia, Brian K. Vaughan & Tony Harris Voter Registration Drive, Pine-am performing live, Steve Niles Zombiefest, Continuity Art Show, Warren Ellis Scotch Tasting, Watermelon Races with Andrew Boyd, Tom Beland Eisner Nomination Bash, Brian Wood Month, APE AFTERMATH
Pictures glorious pictures! Photos and videos of the world's most beautiful comic book store and the sexy cool people who shop here. Jim Lee. Grant Morrison. Eric Powell. PINE*am. MC Chris. Danica Novgorodoff. Alternative Press Expo. Toilet Seats.

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DASH SHAW at the Isotope!

Join us and comic creating genius Dash Shaw in celebration of his latest book BODYWORLD from Pantheon

April 27th 2010 (click here for more info)


Need Driving Directions to the Isotope? Click here!

The Isotope Communique
Daily news and updates by Proprietor James Sime & the Isotope Staff
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Saturday, July 16, 2005

Hey, Nora here. It's another beautiful day at the Isotope. Sean and I are hanging out, chatting with customers, putting up some new featured shelf items, and wondering why more good artists don't team up with good writers instead of going at it themselves. I cringe in anticipation of joining that stereotype-- assuming that first qualification will ever fit. :)

Further frustration due to the fact that my iPod won't hook up to the iBook here, meaning that I'm having to sift through James's playlists. This is no disrespect to James, but when I want to hear KRS-One, I can accept no substitutes. We spent yesterday having an awesome Michael Jackson and blues/jazz marathon with the satellite radio. I've spent the morning so far flipping through Wanted (good stuff), helping customers, and talking with the DJ about tonight.

It's funny, working retail at a comic store, especially one with as nice a vibe to upkeep as the Isotope, I find that talking about comics all day isn't anything like a strain for me. I've never been too much of a rabid fangirl (Ellis and Harmon notwithstanding), but I always loved chewing the fat about my favorite titles. And now, it's like someone's paying me (well, in spiritual capital) to talk about my favorite stories all day long. As if they were saying, "Tell me why you love your favorite band. And then go tell that guy over there. And then that girl. And feel that rush when they're just as excited about it as you are. Spread your particular brand of insanity." It's a great way to spend the day. You meet so many different kinds of people, all into comics for different reasons, and you start to realize what you look like from behind the counter. You see yourself as one of those people, pulled into comics by a specific gravity that is particular to you. They usually fall under the heading of "I love reading them" or "I love looking at the art" or "I can't wait to see where my favorite character is going"-- but people who come into the shop seem to see you as the gatekeeper to all of these worlds, and if you appreciate them as well, if you can talk to them about those worlds... it's fabulous.

Somehow the counter makes me feel less inhibited about sharing my love of comics with everyone who comes in the door. They're here for the same thing that I am. And I realize that a lot more fully now that I've seen how many kinds of people fit that description. Or maybe it's that I'm finally starting to realize why you would open a shop like this, what it means to be a fan AND a retailer, and how you could hardly be anything else. Or maybe, lastly, it's the feeling of seeing how all the roles overlap, like a shifting kaleidoscope: the comics creator who stays up nights cleaning her pen nibs with a toothbrush in the sink and playing god with the panel layouts; the retailer who opens up shop in the morning, letting the sun stream in the windows and handing customers a book that makes their eyes light up; the customer who comes into the store and searches out the issue she's been salivating over for weeks, then spends half the afternoon there looking at what her friends picked up and shooting ideas back and forth with the staff.

It could be that I'm just waxing rhapsodic because it's sunny outside and things here are going well. It's just that there's so much more to enjoy about running this store than having the keys to a swank place with curvy red walls.