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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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

From our very own manage-your-pull-list application with our friends at Comixology, to being the only comic book store featured in the Lonely Planet Guide to San Francisco app (regular $16, free for a limited time!)... the Isotope is all over your sexy hand-held device!

Of course, if you don't have an iPhone you can still join in on the fun by dialing directly into the Comixology website or finding us in the print edition of Lonely Planet: San Francisco guidebook too. And for those of you who really want a treat seeing where the Isotope has been popping up recently, you can also check out the shop in this awesome French travel guide too, translated quite roughly and hilariously for your reading pleasure!

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wow, the day has actually come.

As you probably know, for the last four and a half years, when the Isotope's beloved Enforcer Jared Guenther wasn't serving up funnybooks here at the shop he was building a well-deserved reputation as SF's premiere make up and special effects artist. We've watched and cheered him on as his career went from strength to strength over the years and always knew there would come the day when he'd be taking that career to the next level by relocating to tinseltown and barnstorming Hollywood.

Well dear friends, that day has come. His apartment is all packed onto moving trucks, both Jared and Anita have jobs eagerly awaiting them, and they've got a swank new Los Angeles pad prepared for their arrival. I'll tell you more about Jared's new gig with special effects masters tomorrow... but today my staff and I celebrate one of the best friends and co-workers we could ever hope to have had.

We're all going to miss him. And for those of you who have never met him, we know you're going to miss all those weekly funny faces and hilarious pictures Jared is famous for. So we decided to pack as many pictures of Jared into this week's staff photos as humanly possible.

You rock, Jared!

Josh Richardson - Cultural Attaché
Josh's favorite weekly Jared picture? Click here to see .

Perry Bible Fellowship: Trial of Colonel Sweeto HC
Daredevil Annual #1
Army of Darkness From Ashes #3

Jared Guenther - Enforcer
Jared's favorite weekly Jared picture? Click here to see .

Perry Bible Fellowship: Trial of Colonel Sweeto HC
Infinite Halloween Special One-Shot
Crime Bible #1

Kirsten Baldock - Special Projects Director
Kirsten's favorite weekly Jared picture? Click here to see .

Buffy Season Eight Vol 1: Long Way Home TPB
Mouse Guard Winter: 1152
Jack of Fables #16

James Sime - Proprietor
James's favorite weekly Jared picture? Click here to see .

Osamu Tezuka's MW HC
Crime Bible #1
Moomin Vol 2 HC

Going to miss our Enforcer as much as we will? Come on in and show the man some love! Jared will be getting blind-drunk at the Isotope from 4pm to 8pm, then we'll be taking him out to Sauce, and then off to tonight's Halloween festivities. Join us!

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

David Brothers Big Ups the Isotope
& We're Basking In the Love

One of my favorite new additions to the ever-expanding Isotope social scene is David Brothers. Not only does he sling a mean plastic guitar and is my favorite rhythm section on Guitar Hero's version of Radar Love... but the esteemed Mister Brothers writes smart comic-centric observations and rants at the wonderful, a bunch of those videogame strategy guides we're ashamed of needing, as well as articles for the kick-ass Hardcore Gamer Magazine.

Check out his bio from the latest issue, it brought a manly tear to my eye. Thanks, David!

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Lots to get Excited About @ this Friday's Awards
& My One Last Final Word on the Nominations

Tomorrow's the big night, so let's talk about the Eisners, shall we?

For the uninitiated, the Eisner Awards are the comic industry's highest honor and the annual ceremony is something of an Oscars-like star-studded extravaganza. There just isn't anything bigger in the biz.

This year I was chosen to be one of the judges of these prestigious awards, along with my fellow judges Whitney Matheson, Chris Reilly, Jeff VanderMeer , and Robin Brenner. Back in April we were each flown into San Diego, put up in a truly palatial hotel, and spent one hell of a grueling weekend of nomination choosing. So grueling, in fact, that it quite literally put one of us in the emergency room!

So, you know what... if you don't like the nominations this year, you know who to blame! Oh, and I think you're utterly wrong so I'm not buying your first round next time we go out. Just so you know.

Personally, I'm really proud of the nominations we came up with, the diversity of books and publishers, and the sheer number of "firsts" my fellow judges and I are responsible for. For the first time ever the awards now have a dedicated manga category, also the first time in Eisner Award history Stan Lee is nominated for new work, and even I was surprised to hear that we had nominated a record number of female cartoonists this year (24 total). Heck, even legendary Eisner critic Kim Thompson couldn't complain this year!

And as unlikely as some may think it is I didn't have much of anything to do with either of our Isotope Mini-Comic Award winners getting the Eisner nod, Josh Cotter and Danica Novgorodoff, I even opted out of voting on their books. But I *am* telling you right now... I've got a feeling Danica is taking home the gold!

I've written about my experience judging these awards twice before, but for those who want a candid behind the scenes look at how the nomination process works and want to hear the full story about the hair-raising trip to the emergency room, you're definitely going to want to check out the following links.

READ: Pulse Interview w/ 2007 Eisner Judges
LISTEN: Kryptographics Podcast Interview w/ Reilly & Sime
OBSERVE: 2007 Judges Panel In Their Natural Habitat


Presenting @ This Year's Eisner Ceremony
Isotope's Kirsten Baldock and James Sime

That's right, Kirsten and I will be up on stage under the spotlight presenting three of these awards tomorrow night. We'll be handing out the awards for Best Lettering, Best Coloring, and Best Anthology. What an honor!

Other presenters include the legendary Neil Gaiman, Eric Powell, Alison Bechdel, Sergio Aragones, Whitney Matheson, Bill Morrison, the hilarious Brian Posehn, Reno 911's Tom Lennon and Ben Garant, and the lovely Jane Wiedlin of Go-Gos fame!

Do I actually tell you this one is "not to be missed?" Yeah... I didn't think so. See you there!

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Isotope Enforcer Jared Guenther
Brings It All to a Dead Stop

It always makes me happy when members of the Isotope staff step up to the comic creating plate to make their voices heard. Especially when they all prove to be so incredibly talented as my staff is (don't give me that look, I can't help it if it's true)!

Following in the footsteps of Ryan Yount and his wonderfully silly pirate comic Scurvy Dogs, Tristan Crane's award winning gender-bending graphic novel How Loathsome, and Kirsten Baldock's graphic novel about warring gangs of heavily armed cigarette girls Smoke & Guns... this week sees the release of yet another member of the IsoStaff's foray into graphic novel fiction.

Dead Stop, written by Jared Guenther and drawn by Slave Labor Publishing's Daniel Warner, stakes it's comic book claim to the back pages of Black Diamond #3 and injects a rapid-fire shot of high-octane life and death on the lawless roadways of the future. I know there are a lot of Jared fans out there who are definitely going to want to track this sucker down.

Nice job Jared, and congrats!

UPDATE: Jared's first review is in, and it's good!

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Last Saturday night we threw what I will always remember as one of my favorite events.

My staff and I all got to see a lot of really cool new-to-SF people that I personally can't wait to see more of, have cocktails with one of the industry's greatest talents, and everyone got an excuse to share our collective love for wonderful comics together. Truly, a wonderful 8pm to midnight! And Mike Carey did so much more than just live up to his reputation as one of the nicest and most fun people in the comics industry to spend time with... he reminded us all why we love throwing and our guests love attending these kind of events so much.

It is with great pride and a manly tear that my staff and I got to read Mister Carey's thoughts about his trip to the SF Bay Area and our event on his blog at, reprinted here for your reading convenience... and because it made us all so happy!

And then day three. Not just a signing this time - a signing party. And not at a comic book store - at Isotope, the comic book lounge, on Fell Street. Oh man, I can’t begin to tell you what this was like. Huge crowd, fantastic atmosphere, unforgettable experience. James Sime used to be a barman at one stage, and he has a bar built into the store for the events he runs. He also has a collection of toilet seats on which all his guests have done sketches, and an exhibit of incredible costumes made by Kirsten Baldock (who wrote the wonderful Smoke and Guns for AIT/Planetlar - buy it now!). Doctor Strange has to be my favourite, but Lady Blackhawk is also very cool.

The party went on until well after midnight, and was still in full swing when I left. I signed loads of books, and met loads of people. I don’t want to name names, because I’m bound to leave someone out, but Jesus, what a welcome. Actually, what the hell, I will name names: James and Kirsten obviously, Ash, Josh, Adrienne of the Sequential Tarts, Jim, Carissa, Jeremy and Jason of Night Shade Books, Matt Silady, Mike Choi (who’s doing an issue of X-Men with me), Sean, Sara, Corky… Those are some of the people who put the evening right up there among the highest highlights of the tour - and made me feel like I was at home, among friends, just kicking back and having a great Saturday night.

James, thanks again for the hospitality. It was a total, total blast.

(snif)! 'Scuse me, I think I've got something in my eye...

It's quite honestly times like this that make me fall in love my job all over again. Thanks for the very kind words, Mike... and do please come back and visit us again soon!

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

A Standing Ovation To Entertainment Weekly's
"Must List" Superstars Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba

Seriously, what could be better in this world than getting to see your friends get the recognition and success they deserve?

My heart is quite literally pounding because I'm just so excited to see two of my favorite people in the entire comics industry, Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba, featured in Entertainment Weekly's biggest and best issue of the year... that's right! The boys from Brazil are rocking out on EW's Must List of the 100 best, the coolest, and the sexiest people to watch for in 2007!

As most of you probably know, Fabio is the artist who rocked our world drawing Isotope's own Special Projects Director Kirsten Baldock's warring-gangs-of-heavily-armed-cigarette-girls original graphic novel Smoke & Guns. And these two brothers have been continuing to blow our minds each time they put ink to bristol board on their other works such as Casanova, the multi-Eisner award nominated De:Tales, Ursula, Rock N' Roll and the up-coming The Umbrella Academy written by Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance fame.

My staff and I are wiping a tear from our collective cheeks today and offering up a hearty round of applause. Personally, I couldn't be more happy to see all the love and attention these two extremely talented amigos have been getting... they definitely deserve it!

click to enlarge

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Seen A Million Faces
& Scooped 'Em All!

Regular readers of the Isotope Communique will know that here at the Isotope information soda fountain when we put on our paper hats and reach into the deep freeze, we're going scoop hard to fill your cone overflowing with that which you can't find anywhere else.

Remember how your taste buds jumped with chocolate sprinkle delight when we showed you pictures of Japan's Sin City hotel weeks before anyone in the comic industry even noticed? Or how about the surprise wafflecone of Cartoon Network Mexico's return of El Santo? Or the whipped cream topped scoop of rockstar Pink ripping off comic artist Martin Emond? Or the jumbo rootbeer float of Dave Johnson's Secret Sketchbook? Or what about the supersized multiscoop sundaes of all those great exclusive comic sneak peeks we always do?

We say, let the others snooze with their runny vanilla softserve worlds... we'll keep scoopin!

While it does indeed take other folks time to catch up sometimes, we wouldn't want the rest of the funnybook industry to feel bad about it. Even the most popular megamedia sites on the entire internet are scrambling to keep up with our ice cream dishing prowess... as seen here when Pitchfork finally picks up on a story we broke last month.

Don't worry comic industry, I'm sure the Newsaramas, the Lying In The Gutters, The Beats, the Journalistas, the Beaucoup Kevins, and the Boing Boings will be filling your cones with this news eventually!

Van Halen - "Ice Cream Man" (Live)

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

SF's Super Sexy Art Gallery Plays Host
To Zombie Marionettes & Babies in Jars

I'm pretty sure most of you already know this, but Isotope Enforcer Jared Guenther's other job is doing special effects and make-up for indy films.

Between assisting SFX legend Bob Keene (Hellraiser, Alien, Star Wars), bloodying up soldiers in the WW2 epic Brother's War, making dead-babies-in-jars for Carnies (as well as legions of fans around the world), mutilating crime scene investigators with burning devil-children in Fallen Angels, and his many other acts of random SFX like turning me ugly/beautiful... Mister Guenther always seems to have his hands full making disgusting things.

This last Thursday SF's ultra-hip Space Gallery played host to the Toil & Trouble art exhibition featuring the props, costumes, creepy puppets, and production art from Jared's latest indy flick Story About A Witch (watch the trailer here).

Jared wowed the assembled throngs with his siamese twin babies in jars and a really wonderful zombie marionette. I drank a bunch of mojitos, ate some fantastic cheesecake, skipped the kissing booth, and took a ton of pictures which are now up for your viewing enjoyment at Flickr. Fantastic times!

Go ahead and check out the pictures from the Toil & Trouble show

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Friday, June 01, 2007

Today is Marilyn Monroe's 81st birthday... and also, today is the day that the Isotope turns 6. Life, as they say, is good!

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Web2.0/Web2Open Conference
Plugging In with the Big Brains

The ever-changing landscape of the web has been studied, monetized, experiemnted with, and theorized upon by cutting edge business big brains since the dawn of the internet. And latest holy grail for these folks is what the cool kids are calling "Web 2.0." Don't worry, you won't have to go out and buy a new computer to access this new world of the web, Web2.0 is just a sexy way of describing those socially interactive virally-spreading websites (MySpace, YouTube, Twitter, LiveJournal, etc) that have been eating up all your free time recently.

What does this have to do with the Isotope, you might be asking? Imagine, if you will, a convergence of these tech taste makers into the Moscone Center for a week-long Oolong Island human think tank straight out of an issue of DC's 52 comic. That's exactly what the Web2Open and Web 2.0 Expo was.

And although your friends at the Isotope aren't exactly Will Magnuses, Web2Open organizers Tara Hunt and Chris Messina thought it might be interesting to put James Sime under the tech industry heat lamp hosting a seminar called "How I Use Web2.0 to Make My Offline Business Kick Ass." The best part? It was the day after he got back from judging the Eisners!

Apparently Sime at least has the hair to hang with these mad scientists of technology... because the talk was very well attended and apparently quite popular. Here's a excerpt from's report on the event.

if it wasn't for Web 2.0 Expo trying a hybrid open source business model with Web2Open, I wouldn't have found it or a way to contribute. One person told me that a session by a guy who runs a comic book store was the best he saw in the event overall. Wouldn't it be interesting if it became a feeder for the big stage.

UPDATE: Who'da thunk? Looks like people enjoyed more than just the hair and the suit! The Yahoo Publisher Network Blog has another Web2.0 Expo report which features the talk pretty heavily, calling it "a real breath of fresh air." Sure they got the name wrong, but as long as folks got something out of it all (and spelled the shop's name right), we're happy!

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Previews Spotlights Award-Winning Titles
And the Isotope Award Is Ready For Its Closeup

Here at the Isotope we are always overjoyed to see our Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics award-winners solicited in Diamond's Previews catalog as we know it will introduce their work to a much larger, more international audience.

So you know it gives us a great big smile that Diamond will now be spotlighting Isotope award-winning books in the same way that they spotlight Eisner award and Xeric grant winners.

Keep your eye out for an Isotope award icons next to the works of Danica Novgorodoff, Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, Josh Cotter, and Rob Osborne next time you pick up a Previews!

And don't forget to see who'll be getting the superstar treatment next!

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

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Friday, November 03, 2006

More Jared Guenther on the Red Carpet
& a Long-Awaited First Look @ Bad Penny

This is what we here at the Isotope love to see: our friends and co-workers doing great and getting some glory too!

A couple weekends back the Communique reported on one of the many movies Jared has done makeup and special effects for Fallen Angels getting the world-premiere treatment at the famous Mann's Chinese Theatre and now we've got pictures from his red carpet moment.

But first, let's talk about another flick our amigo has worked on, because editing has just finished on Bad Penny and the first trailer is finally available. Even before Jared started working with him we were already fans of director Jesse Kerman's work on the black comedy shorts Night of the Living Lush and Working Stiff which is featured on Troma Entertainment's The Best of Tromadance Vol 3. So you can imagine how excited we've been to see what gloriousness is created with these two working together...

(keep tabs on Bad Penny development here @ myspace)

We've gotta say we definitely like what we see! We can't wait until 2007 to see more of what Jared and Mister Kerman have up their sleeves!

And, as promised, we leave you with a couple pictures of Mister Guenther along with Chase Worthington and CJ Goodman on the red carpet for the Fallen Angels premiere, shamelessly pilferred from one of those big celebrity photo sites. Click over to to see more.

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Saturday, October 21, 2006

It's World Premiere Time in Hollywood
Jared @ Mann's Chinese Theater

When Jared isn't serving up the finest in comic book reads for you all here at the Isotope, he's slathering on the gore as a makeup and special effects artist. Slit throats, broken arms, rotten flesh, bullet holes, explosive entrails, decapitated heads... it's all in a day's work for Mr. Guenther!

His latest project to hit the silver screen, Fallen Angels, is doing so today in the highest of high style with a world premiere at the famous Mann's Chinese Theater.

Working under the legendary Bob Keene, whose effects credits include Alien and the Hellraiser movies, our man Jared Guenther made the mutated and the mutilated out of Fallen Angels' stars Bill Moseley (The Devil's Rejects), Reggie Bannister (Phantasm), America's Top Model winner Adrianne Curry, Kane Hodder (AKA "Jason"), Playboy Playmate Christie Hemme, Michael Berryman (the creepy bald guy from The Hills Have Eyes), and yes even Christopher Knight (we like to call him "Peter Brady").

If you're in Los Angeles we encourage you to go see Jared's handiwork for yourself at the premiere. And for those of you, who like us, can't be in LA today, why don't you click on over and watch the Fallen Angels trailer and raise a glass with us to Jared on this red carpet moment.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Raising a Toast to Kirsten
Smoke & Guns Hits Fangoria

Fangoria, America's most popular magazine devoted to the wonderful world of horror films, always offers up the goods for their October issue... and this year is no different!

The lead cover article spotlight is all about Feast, the gore-splattered fright flick that was featured on the third season of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's ambitious Project Greenlight reality TV series. The article delves deep into the world of Feast creators Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, and as readers have come to expect, also features lots of bloody disgusting make-up and special effects.

But even better, this article also features this oh-so delicious mention of our beloved Special Projects Director and her original graphic novel about warring gangs of cigarette girls, Smoke & Guns.

Congrats out to Kirsten and Fabio from everyone here at the Isotope!

Check out the trailer for Feast here

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

SF's TODO Magazine
The All-Noir Issue

If you've ever ridden in the backseat of a Yellow or Luxor taxicab you've seen TODO, the sexy little pocket-sized guide to San Francisco jam-packed with distilled down peeks of everything to love about living in the best city in the world. Each month TODO embraces a new theme and a fresh perspective on the city by the bay. For October that means one thing... and that's noir.

Because just as it's true that San Francisco has played host to some of the greatest moments in noir cinema, we also have that stuff in our blood. One look at the selections in the latest TODO and it's pretty easy to how true that really is.

Here's a couple of our favorites from this noir-themed issue:

More at

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