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!

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Daily news and updates by Proprietor James Sime & the Isotope Staff
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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Alternative Press Expo is coming... make your plans now for the most fun weekend of the entire year!

It's our biggest, it's our best, and it most certainly is our favorite. The can't-miss annual APE afterparty tradition with the Isotope and 1000 of your closest amigos!

Along with the Isotope's planetarily famous after-APE hospitality, we will once again be featuring the TOP SHELF HAPPY HOUR w/ Top Shelf Productions co-publisher Brett Warnock and his surprise variety of brilliant Top Shelf special guest stars from 8 to 9pm.

And let's not forget the single best reason to leave the house all year long, the awarding of the seventh annual ISOTOPE AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN MINI-COMICS at 10pm! This year's celebration will be featuring 2008's grand prize champion and rising mini-comics star Jonas Madden-Conner. Who will take home the most sexy (and dangerous) prize in all of comics?!

The Isotope's biggest and best party of the year with body-grooving tunes spun by one of SF's finest maestros on the wheels of steel, DJ Bearzbub. This party gets insanely crazy, but don't just take my word for it witness it for yourself, true believers. Bring your spare liver!

APE AFTERMATH 09 @ Isotope
326 Fell St @ Gough
8pm - 2am
Never a cover
21 and over after 11pm, please

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Saturday, October 03, 2009

The latest addition to the Isotope's Comic Rockstars Toilet Seat Museum is this glorious lid from Jonas Madden-Connor, the comic creating juggernaut who brought home last year's Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics.

Along with this great lid, Jonas has been hard at work on his latest Ochre Ellipse #3 (now in stock at your friendly neighborhood Isotope), stop in and check it out. In the meantime, point your browsers this direction for more Jonas:

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Catch Chris Brandt's Comics Doc
Tonight @ Cartoon Art Museum

It's movie night, people! Because really, who doesn't need another reason to visit San Francisco's delightful Cartoon Art Museum?

If you're reading this website you probably like comics just as much as I do. And if you happen to also like watching documentaries as well (my current doc obsessions include Dark Days, Incident at Oglala, King of Kong, and American Hardcore), you're probably going to want to check this out.

Film-maker Chris Brandt travels the country to capture interviews with great independent comic folks like Jessica Abel, Eric Powell, Jim Woodring, Craig Thompson, Johnny Ryan, Carla Speed McNeil, Scott McCloud, Robert Williams, and many more people behind the indy books you know and love. And heck, Brandt even throws in an interview with a certain proprietor of Isotope - the comic book lounge in too!

Want to know more? Check out this review and interview to get a taste of what to expect. And then get out to the Cartoon Art Museum tonight and see the film for yourself!

Independents: A Guide For The Creative Spirit
@ Cartoon Art Museum
655 Mission Street
Tuesday, February 12th
7pm to 9pm

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Saturday, December 01, 2007

... The Masked Mutant #1!

Now in stock at the Isotope is the just-launched ongoing debut series The Masked Mutant from comic creator to watch out for Basie S. This high-action Lucha Libre adventure series kicks off with a bang, with a manic-paced battle from the San Francisco International Airport to the Golden Gate Bridge... and even into outer space!

We only have a few copies of Basie's limited-edition first printing, so if you'd like a copy before this sells out like his previous book did, please do drop me an email.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

It's no secret how much the Isotope staff and I miss Seth Fisher. Not only did he make all of comics more fun with his amazing artwork, and his crazy-cool chest hair experiments, but he was one of the most genuinely nice people we've ever had the pleasure of meeting.

I honestly don't know anyone who met the man who wasn't bowled over by Fisher's friendly, trademark chaotic charm and bring-tears-to-your-eyes generosity (check out this birthday card he made for me). His death shocked us all, and the comics industry is definitely a lesser place without him.

It is with tremendous joyful pride that I get to tell you today that the Isotope will be bringing you fellow fans more Seth Fisher comics!

Our friends at Secret Headquarters have printed up a limited number of gorgeous new never-before-seen Fisher books as a fund-raiser for Seth's son's educational fund, and are also throwing a really great gallery exhibition of Seth's work (you should really go to if you can). The fine SHQ gentlemen are following in the generous Seth Fisher spirit and are making these new books available to a few of their favorite fellow retailers around the nation. The Isotope are lucky to be among this chosen few. Thanks guys!

These new books include a hilarious full-color children's mini Bob's Life, a Seth Fisher art sampler The Man with 1000 Noses, and a mini sketchbook featuring a behind the scenes look at Seth's work on the gorgeous Batman: Snow graphic novel.

We won't have many, as this print-run is tremendously limited, but If you'd like a copy of any of these books, please do drop me a line.

Now let's all raise out glasses in honor of Mister Fisher. We'll always miss you!

"I draw the world the way I see it, and it seems really detailed to me." - Seth Fisher

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

I'm off to the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland for the weekend (and will also be checking out the sites and sounds of Washington DC) for a weekend of comics, creators, and culture as only those crazy East Coasters can provide. Check back to see if I can manage to take some nifty pictures on my sexy mobile device for you to enjoy while I'm gone!

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Friday, October 05, 2007

It's Time Again for a Wonderful Mini-Convention
Of Zines, Mini-Comics, & Shoestring Garage Art

What could be better on this fine October weekend than to indulge your love for underground art with a trip to the SF ZineFest?

Yesterday I was describing to a person in the shop the feeling I get when reading a particular well-known comic book published by one of the industry's most popular houses. Despite not really caring much for the book's character personally, I was gushing about how much I adore the comic because it just exudes so much unashamed and unabashed love for it's subject matter that you can't help but have your heart swept up along in the bubbling current. And there really isn't anything better, y'know?

Which is exactly what I like about ZineFest... the love.

And qwe're not talking about one book here, but an entire convention devoted to the kind of work that oozes passion and adoration from some talented and oftentimes downright brilliant underground comic artists. Filled to the brim with cool xeroxed and hand-bound garage art comics and indy zines about a variety of strange and obsessive subjects, there's no way you can leave empty handed or without a smile on your face.

Go, my friends, and discover your next favorite comic creators!

San Francisco Zine Fest
@ The Women's Building
3543 18th @ Valencia St
Friday, October 3rd - Saturday, October 6th

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Riffner's Quick Step Takes Home the Gold
Fifth Annual Isotope Mini-Comic Award

The internet comics news sites are alight with the news that many of you already knew, the talented Max Riffner has won the fifth-annual Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics for his fantastic Quick Step.

Max was the hit of the convention and the star of the night during our beloved and massive Ape Aftermath bash, where he received the love of the assembled mini-comic aficionados in attendance. Speaking of which, if you missed this year's festivities you really missed out... our staff and guests were all in agreement that this was our best APE event yet. Thanks to all who attended!

We could tell you more about Max's book, our award ceremony, and how much fun everyone here, but why not see what the comics press has to say?

Wizard (that's right, Wizard) is running the feature story, with Newsarama, Comics Worth Reading, Comics Reporter, the Beat, Journalista, and even the great Phil Hester all chiming in with their two cents about the event and Max's big win.

Check out Quick Step on Max Riffner's website and while you're at it, don't forget to check out this artist's profile on Mister Riffner.

Congrats Max. You deserved it, man!

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Featuring the Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics Award ceremony with Danica Novgorodoff & Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, the Top Shelf Happy Hour with publisher Brett Warnock, and hot jams by DJ Bearzbub.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Isotope Recommends:
An APE Weekend-A-Go-Go

Can you feel that? It's your heart racing with the knowledge that we're right on the edge of the best weekend all year here in San Francisco... the weekend of the Alternative Press Expo. We here at the Isotope love APE for far too many reasons to list, but most of all we love APE weekend because it's the weekend that's all about the love for comics.

As usual, there's a ton of things going on during APE weekend, as the convention spirit always spreads through the city offering comic creators and fans an excuse to launch gallery shows, set up workshops, and throw parties in celebration of comics. It's easy to fill up your schedule with so much going on, so allow us to select out a few events to recommend. There's some stuff going on at other shops and at a few galleries and cool spots we like as well... but a body can't do everything, so here's our suggestions:

Jeffrey Brown @ Giant Robot

Our amigos at Giant Robot kick off APE weekend right with a in-store signing with alt-comix giant Jeffrey Brown. Who would want to miss that?

Friday, April 20th
Giant Robot Store
618 Shrader @ Haight
6:30pm - 8:30pm

Going Ape!

Readings by queer cartoonists Paige Braddock, Abby Denson, Tim Fish, Robert Kirby, and the hilarious Justin Hall. We suggest grabbing yourself some dinner while you're there!

Saturday, April 21st
3 Dollar Bill Cafe
1800 Market St @ Octavia
7:00pm - 10:00pm

You didn't think we were going to forget to mention our very own APE AFTERMATH, did you?

This event also features the Top Shelf Happy Hour with publisher Brett Warnock, hot tunes from one of our favorite sonic engineers DJ Bearzbub, and two of our former mini-comic award winners... the brilliant Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, and the Eisner Award nominated Danica Novgorodoff.

Ah yes... APE weekend! What could be better!

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics
The Final Seconds Countdown Has Begun!

Today was an amazing day of submissions for the 2007 Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics, with every single brand of mail carrier we've ever heard of bringing those last minute packages in the front door.

As the clock clicks into the 7pm hour we're playing the final track of London Calling for the night, snapping off the lights, setting the alarm, and locking the front door of the shop. So if you've still got minis to bring us, don't swing by the shop, come meet us out at the lovely Jade Bar located on Gough at Mcallister st.

We'll be hanging out having cocktails and great cheer with some of the sweetest comic-lovin' bartenders we've ever had the pleasure to meet. Stop on in and bring your minis. We'll buy you a drink. But be warned, you've only got until Midnight... if this was a Die Hard movie you'd be John McClane racing against the explosive detonator stopwatch right now.

See you at the Jade!

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

2006 Isotope Award Winner Goes Big
Danica Novgorodoff in Stores Now!

The best news we've had to report all year long is Danica Novogorodoff's fantastic A Late Freeze is in comic stores the world over today.

Danica's quiet but beautifully elegant mini-comic love affair between a bear and a robot took home last year's Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics, blew our collective minds, and made all the critics gush with love. You rock, Danica!

Combine this great news with the fact that submissions for the 2007 Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics are due this week and our mailbox is filling to the brim with great comics... it's moments like this makes you fall in love with comics all over again.

Check out a preview of A Late Freeze here and pick up a copy from the Isotope or from any comics retailer with Diamond order code JAN07 3653.

Ah... life is good, isn't it?

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Your One Week Notice Has Been Served
For 2007 Isotope Award Submissions

Fritz Lang had his movie. Valentina Tereshkova had her rocket. Teddy Roosevelt had his gun. Elvis Presley had his swingin' hips. Hedy Lamarr had her code. Samuel Adams had his beer. Evel Knievel had his motorcycle.

You... you have your mini-comic.

Hand stapled, folded, and xeroxed shoestring art pieces of pure sequential art love have been pouring in the Isotope front door in the hands of our mail carriers for weeks now, and as the frantic final hours to submit your work to enter the 2007 Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics tick down we're sending out our traditional warning to all you last-minute types out there.

You've got seven days left to get your submissions in, follow in the footsteps of past winners Danica Novgorodoff, Daniel Merlin Goodbrey, Joshua Cotter, and Rob Osborne, and get a chance to grab that big brass mini-comic ring. The time is now.

As always, we'll still be taking submissions up until midnight this Friday evening (March 16th). From 11am until 7pm the Isotope will be open and available for anyone making those last-minute drop-offs, and from there we will continue taking submissions until the witching hour at Jade Bar mere blocks down the street.

We're an easy group to pick out of a crowd, but for handy reference here's who to look for:

Need more info about how to make or why to make mini-comics? Check out this and this. More Isotope Award info here.

There can only be one champion who gets to walk home with our fifth annual award this year... and looking at what's in already the competition is definitely going to be tight. Best of luck to all!

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Bring Your Best for the Fifth Annual
Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics

SAN FRANCISCO (January 16th, 2007) San Francisco comics retailer James Sime, proprietor of Isotope - the comic book lounge, announced today that submissions for the fifth-annual Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics will be accepted until March 15th at midnight. "In 2007 one mini-comic creator's career will be forever changed," said Sime, "So fire up your xerox machines and get ready to submit your minis for the fifth annual Isotope Award!"

The five comic professionals who will serve as judges for the Isotope Award this year include:

Danica Novgorodoff - 2006 winner of the Isotope Award for her mini-comic A LATE FREEZE. Danica is a comics author, artist and also a designer for First Second Books.

Johanna Draper Carlson - Publishers Weekly writer, and the brilliant mind behind Comics Worth Reading. Johanna's open-minded reviews and enthusiastic reporting set the bar for commentary throughout the industry.

Jason McNamara - Xeric award winning author of all-ages graphic novel FIRST MOON, PopImage columnist, & returning Isotope Award judge.

Kirsten Baldock - The Isotope's Special Projects Director is also a librarian, bartender, and the author of the SMOKE AND GUNS graphic novel.

James Sime - Proprietor of Isotope - the comic book lounge in San Francisco.

The award, a beautiful trophy sculpted by designer Crowe, made entirely from carved ebony fossil stone and satin silver, has also launched the professional comic careers of Rob Osborne (1000 STEPS TO WORLD DOMINATION), Josh Cotter (SKYSCRAPERS OF THE MIDWEST), Daniel Merlin Goodbrey (THE LAST SANE COWBOY), and now Danica Novgorodoff (A LATE FREEZE). "The attention this award has brought to our winners always brings us such joy," said Baldock, "Osborne, Cotter, and Goodbrey's minis have all been picked up by great indy publishers, and Danica Novgrodoff's A LATE FREEZE is now available through Diamond Comics Distributor. What could be better than that?"

Entry to this competition is five copies of your mini-comic sent to Isotope's address (326 Fell St. San Francisco, CA 94102) before the March 15th deadline. The award will be given out at a grand ceremony during APE AFTERMATH at the Isotope in conjunction with San Francisco's ALTERNATIVE PRESS EXPO. San Francisco’s APE convention has been a forum for small and independent publishers in the industry for many years. Because of the nature of this award, the winner will be contacted in advance and must be present at the Isotope at 9 PM on Saturday, April 21st for the award presentation ceremony.

"Get your submissions in and give yourself a chance to grab the gold and the glory that we all know you deserve!" Sime said with a smile, "And don't forget to order a copy of Danica's book on page 281 of the January Previews!"

For more information contact the Isotope at (415) 621 - 6543 or at

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