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Comic Making Classes @ Isotope University

Since 2011 the Isotope has hosted a series of comic making classes designed to ensure success in the comics industry for students. This May is two new classes, WRITING FOR COMICS with Devin Grayson and MASTERING CROWDFUNDING with Alex Woolfson.

All new classes in May 2015

Click here for more info

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Daily news and updates by Personality James Sime and the Isotope Staff
Roberta Gregory & Donna Barr

Isotope proudly presents a special in-store event with legendary comic creators Roberta Gregory and Donna Barr!

The comics industry in 2015 is going through some amazingly positive mutations and here at the Isotope we can think of no better time to celebrate two legends of independent comics who altered the landscape of free expression in comics and paved the way for the world of comics as we know it today. As far back as the mid 70s Gregory and Barr lit that all-important spark at the forefront of today’s revolution in feminist, LGBT*, autobio, gender politics, anthrofluidity, and genre mashup fiction comics. We followers of the artform’s evolution are forever in debt to these true comix legends!

Roberta Gregory is the multiple award winning writer/artist best known for NAUGHTY BITS STARRING BITCHY BITCH, as well as DYNAMITE DAMSELS, WINGING IT, SHEILA AND THE UNICORN, ARTISTIC LICENTIOUSNESS, the popular LIFE’S A BITCH collection and also BITCHY BUTCH: WORLD’S ANGRIEST DYKE.

Donna Barr is a fellow multiple award winning writer/artist behind THE DESERT PEACH, and also the gorgeous STINZ series, HADER AND THE COLONEL, BOSOM ENEMIES, ZELL, SWORDDANCER, THE BARR GIRLS, the AFTERDEAD collections and also BOSOM ENEMIES.

Roberta and Donna are going to be shipping us a number of their rare books that are of the long-lost variety, as well as their print-on-demand books, and comics that we haven’t seen at a distributor in far too long. We invite you to come meet them, get some signatures and sketches, and be as inspired by them as we are!

Roberta Gregory & Donna Barr @ Isotope
Saturday, November 7th, 2015
3pm – 6pm, All Ages
Harassment Policy

We are very excited to get to have an event with these comic industry legends. Come join us in celebrating these two distinguished creators who have made such an important impact on our industry and in so many of our lives.

Jamaica Dyer PHONOGRAM Signing

Jamaica Dyer (of WEIRD FISHES and FOX HEAD STEW fame) is doing the backup story in one of the most popular comics in the entire industry, Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie‘s upcoming PHONOGRAM: THE IMMATERIAL GIRL #2. We could not be more proud of her! Come get your copy signed, meet Jamaica, and hang out with us at our Smuggler’s Cove afterparty!

Jamaica is one of the Isotope’s most beloved creators of all. And we’ve done a lot of fun events with her over the years. From Isotope in-stores with Jamaica and the San Francisco Arts Commission, to our gallery shows to our live art shows, to these awesome Sequential Reporting of the SF music festival Noise Pop for the Isotope with Spin Magazine.

Jamaica Dyer PHONOGRAM Signing @ Isotope
Wednesday, September 9th, 2015
3pm – 7pm, All Ages
Afterparty @ Smuggler’s Cove
Harassment Policy

Join us for a truly smile-inducing event and truly feel the love. Isotope’s 2015 roster of events has been all about pure heart. And this is truly the icing on the cake.

Facebook invite is here.

The Remender Report!

(Pictured: DJ Bearzbub + Rick Remender)

Thanks to everyone who came out for our awesome Rick Remender LAST DAYS OF AMERICAN CRIME event over the weekend! This was absolutely one of our most fun events of the year. Rick has long been one of our favorite people in all of comics and even after all these years and crazy success, he’s still the same sweet, hilarious, straight up guy he was way way way back at our first in-store event in 2001 (when he was an inker on AVENGERS comics).

For this event people came from all over greater the Bay Area, and also we saw a few different folks from LA and San Diego. There was even some Remender fans from Paris(!) that had successfully coordinated their visit to SF at just the right time. We also had a few just-moved-to-San Francisco people who we got to welcome to the city in high style. My favorite was the woman who kept saying “You guys have made me SO HAPPY I moved to San Francisco! SO HAPPY!” (laugh)

Rick’s daytime signing was just the size we love, with a line out the door almost the entire time, and lots of happy people grabbing their LAST DAYS OF AMERICAN CRIME pre-release copies and TOKYO GHOST Isotope Exclusive Ashcan Edition mini-comics. I couldn’t be happier to see what a positive experience all our guests had getting to talk with Rick and have their comics signed. Generous as always, Rick was happy to sign anything people put in front of him, and was even doing sketches for folks! Check this one out… and this one too!

Rick’s afterparty was, as expected, a rager with a packed house, and rightfully so! As it fell on the first of the Burning Man weekends we knew a bunch of folks would be out of town so we took a little gamble and decided not to limit the number of attendees (thankfully that didn’t bite us in the ass). Even with so many folks out of town, the party was solid with Isotope regulars and also a lot of new attendees, who were quick to dial in on the vibe of our friendly social scene, and proved to be some very fun folks to hang out with. I hope to see them again!

DJ Bearzbub spun a set that was tailored to make Rick Remender smile. It was heavy on classic generation-X hardcore tunes by Bad Brains, Minor Threat, NOFX, The Vandals, Dead Kennedys, Toy Dolls, and because we’re talking about DJ Bearzbub here, all sorts of great stuff I’d never heard before. As always, Bearzbub is truly awesome at what he does.

Kirsten was very inspired by Remender’s science fiction comics and designed her most experimental and unexpected beverage list yet. The BLACK SCIENCE was a favorite (St. George Basil Eau De Vie + Benedictine + Black Coffee + Lemon + I don’t know what else) which hit the tastebuds with layer after layer of delightful complexities. Our mixology aficionado friends were particularly impressed.

The massive stacks of LAST DAYS OF AMERICAN CRIME didn’t last the weekend and we sold a ton of Rick’s other books as well. We’d stocked up big for this event and as expected by the end of the night our huge table of Remender books was looking pretty meager. LOW, DEADLY CLASS and FEAR AGENT were also the big hits of the day. We still have some stacks of BLACK SCIENCE (which is probably Rick’s most popular book at the Isotope) but not much different than what we’d do for our weekly restock. All-in-all we could not be happier. THANK YOU SO MUCH for buying so many awesome Remender comics from us, everybody. It’s you folks that enable us to fly folks like Rick into town to hang out. And that’s fun, so THANKS!

The only complaint is I totally blew it by not scheduling our beloved house photographer to cover the event. The staff and I were just too busy all day to get any really worthwhile pictures from the event. But I *did* take this awesome one of Bearzbub & Remender together.

Thanks to everyone who came out, to the amazing Meredith at Image Comics, to our awesome Isotope staff and family, and to Mister Remender himself… in a year full of amazing events that was definitely one of my favorites!

– James

Rick Remender @ Isotope

Isotope proudly welcomes Rick Remender, author of some of our favorite creator owned books including BLACK SCIENCE, DEADLY CLASS, LOW, FEAR AGENT, STRANGE GIRL, NIGHT MARY and what is sure to be one of the best books of the year TOKYO GHOST with the always brilliant Sean Murphy. Rick also has written some of the best Marvel comics of the last decade including UNCANNY X-FORCE, WINTER SOLDIER, CAPTAIN AMERICA, AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS, THE PUNISHER, and the coolest VENOM comic ever.

When we heard that one of our favorite Remender “lost treasures” THE LAST DAYS OF AMERICAN CRIME was coming back into print, we had to invite Rick in to celebrate with us. Check out more about this fantastic book here. Remender is a long time friend of the shop, he co-founded the Isotope’s famous Comic Rockstars Toilet Seat Museum and was our featured guest at our very first event ever, so we couldn’t be more excited to have him back and as part of one of our most superstar-laden years ever!

We know Rick has a massive, rabid fanbase so we’re packing in two events for your convenience, a great daytime autograph signing session and a late night afterparty as only the Isotope can do. Both events feature the man of the hour… Rick Remender!

Rick Remender @ Isotope Signing
Saturday, August 29th 2015
4pm – 6pm
Harassment Policy

Our intimate afternoon autographing session for our all-ages crowd. Sure, there will be a line for this, but we’ve redesigned the signing experience to ensure our autographing events are casual, fun, low pressure affairs. If you haven’t been to one before we think you’ll like the way we do things.

Rick Remender @ Isotope Afterparty
Saturday, August 29th 2015
8pm – Midnight
21+ please
Harassment Policy

Our late night afterparty features the best comic crowd anywhere on the planet, once-in-a-lifetime bespoke refreshments by master mixologist Kirsten Baldock, and smoking tunes by DJ BEARZBUB to make you smile. Our events are the stuff of legend in the comic industry stop in and find out why.


UPDATE: The release date of the LAST DAYS OF AMERICAN CRIME hardcover slipped into next month (currently listed at 9/2/2015) but we have *great news* for our Isotope family… our friends at Image Comics worked some magic for us to ensure our weekend’s celebrations will be the Worldwide Launch of this excellent hardcover. Amazing!

But it gets better…

Every copy of LAST DAYS OF AMERICAN CRIME will be include a free, Isotope exclusive, hand-numbered bookplate made just for this event. Only 100 copies of these gorgeous bookplates will be produced, and once they are gone they are gone forever. On the tiny chance that our hardcovers do not make it in time for the event, these bookplates will reserve your copy and you can still get them autographed by Rick in person.

Here at the Isotope we’re created lots of cool stuff for you guys to celebrate our events (like this Brian K Vaughan glass and this Wuvable Oaf album earlier this year). But we wanted to do something truly special to celebrate our pal Rick and all our Rick Remender fans… and this is definitely one of the coolest things the Isotope has ever made!

The first 50 copies of LAST DAYS OF AMERICAN CRIME hardcover will come with an exclusive free “ashcan” mini-comic preview edition of Rick Remender and Sean Murphy‘s upcoming TOKYO GHOST! These ashcans have a rough, DIY, punk rock vibe that Rick and I are really excited about. TOKYO GHOST is one of the most anticipated releases of 2015 and our ashcan will be the first place much of this will be seen anywhere by anyone so we know these are going to *very* popular. You’ll be getting a sneak peek at this book almost a month early and getting one of the rarest Rick Remender collectibles ever made… from us, to you! xoxox

These look awesome together, don’t they?

You can still email hidden; JavaScript is required of THE LAST DAYS OF AMERICAN CRIME with bookplate and free TOKYO GHOST: ISOTOPE ASHCAN EDITION. Drop us a line for this (or any other Remender books) to ensure you’ll have a copy waiting for you when you come email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Save The Date

Save the date: JH Williams III @ Isotope on Saturday, November 14th 2015.

More details to be announced…!

Wuvable Oaf Party @ Isotope




We’ve been yelling our love for this indie comic from the rooftops since way back in 2007 and now at long last we can finally hear that, yes, everyone else is yelling it too!

There are few things more special than getting to witness the success of one of our best friends, and seeing the industry truly embrace the kind of books we love and that the Isotope’s shelves are famous for. When Fantagraphics Books got behind local superstar Ed Luce to make his dreams come true of a WUVABLE OAF hardcover from one of the most important publishers in all of comics, we all knew it was inevitable… we were going to throw the greatest party on Earth to celebrate!

And that is what we will be doing! In honor of Ed this one has a lot of extra bells and whistles. First up, we will be debuting these fantastic bookplates by Ed made just for the Isotope.

As well as two very special Isotope OAF swag surprises that even Ed didn’t know about until today…

click to enlarge

Not a mixtape! OAF HYSTERIA is an original Oaf album featuring two completely new songs written and recorded just for this event!


Straight off a national tour bus with Faster Pussycat, the underground punk sensations DEATHTRAP AMERICA exploded into the studio for us to create a truly rocking Wuvable Oaf soundtrack theme song! This catchy punk theme will bring a smile to your face and really make you hope for an Oaf cartoon someday! When you get a chance, check out these guys when they play, they’re as incredible live as they are in the studio. Check out www.deathtrapamerica.com for more details on this awesome band.

This song was recorded by Ralph Spight of the NorCal hardcore punk legends Victims Family at San Francisco’s Nerve Center Recordings. We are honored to have gotten to work with Ralph and DEATHTRAP AMERICA on this project!

SPACE: 1666 – Moonbase OAFa

Heavy space doom band SPACE: 1666 turns in a heavy, sludgey, drone metal instrumental Side B. Inspired by old sci fi tv, classic doom bands of New Orleans and Olympia, WA, “Moonrise OAFa” sounds like the soundtrack for a science fiction Oaf story from a yet to be made future Oafanthology. Recorded in the appropriately effects pedal laden Outer Sagittarius Studios.

This two-song cassette EP is hand numbered and features room for Wuvable Oaf creator Ed Luce to sketch in your copy. Only 60 copies of this tape are being produced. And available nowhere but the Isotope!

But even if you can’t attend our event you don’t have to miss out… thanks to the generosity of these musicians we can share these Oaf tunes with all you! Stream & download the album here:

WUVABLE OAF – Oaf Hysteria: the digital cassette download

click to enlarge

One of a kind WUVABLE ED Munny figure painted by MUNCHIES creator Katie Longua!

Now you can have a cute Ed Luce of your very own! Hand painted and felted by Katie Longua this vinyl inaction figure comes with a hand made box by James Sime and also features original side art by Ed himself! This truly one of a kind Oaf collectible is autographed by all the artists and will be raffled off at our event on the 20th.

It is also the most adorable collaborative art keepsake that the Isotope has ever been a part of. Our hats are off to the amazing Katie Longua for her incredible painting and felting work!

As if all that wasn’t exciting enough our Wuvable Oaf Party also features the Isotope’s own Kirsten Baldock crafting her original OAF-inspired beverage creations, and San Francisco’s beloved DJ BEARZBUB spinning his unique brand of metal classics, hot b-sides, rare beats and booty shaking nöyze.

And, of course, our featured guest… Ed Luce!

We think this is going to be one of our best events ever. Come and join us in raising a glass to this great day in comics, won’t you?

Ed Luce @ Isotope
Saturday, June 20th 2015
8pm – Midnight
21+ please
Harassment Policy

Facebook invite is here.

Free Comic Book Day Is Here Again!

Free Comic Book Day is an annual event at comic shops the planet over. And here at the Isotope our FCBD celebrations are truly the stuff of legend, feast your eyes! We will once again be featuring San Francisco’s most glorious and massive smorgasboard of absolutely free comic reads for comic lovin’ kids of all ages!

And we’re proud to announce our featured comic creator special guest star, the single most jaw-droppingly talented 10 year old comic artist we have ever seen, Ethan Castillo!

First of all… you must check out Ethan’s art! Here, here, here, here and here will give you a taste of what this incredible 10 year old comic artist is up to. You may have seen him rubbing elbows with all your favorite artists at the conventions and doing sketches for the celebs. Or perhaps you’ve happened upon his very active DeviantArt page or had your brainbox rattled looking at his Spider-Man centric Instagram.

Stuff like this (yes, seriously):

Ethan will be doing sketches and hustling his amazing sketchbook starting right when the doors open and the madness hits, 11am. We invite you in to meet him and have your minds totally blown by this talented young artist!

The day-long celebration also features San Francisco’s very own DJ BEARZBUB, spinning his favorite blend of extra-exotical b-sides, booty shaking nöyze, and rare, rare beats to keep your Free Comic Day shopping grooving!

And because Free Comic Book Day has just gotten *so* busy here at the Isotope over the last few years we’ve actually had to bring in some additional help. Those of you who attended last year may remember our secret “shop boy” was none other than SANDMAN OVERTURE artist JH Williams III! This year we continue the tradition with a completely new “shop boy” to help run the register alongside myself and Josh. And also an all-new “security staff” to make sure everything is running smoothly (bring your kids and your cameras). We’re very excited to get to introduce you! Keep your eyes on our Twitter accounts and Instagram for more details on our mystery staffers on the day of the event.

With such a great day lined up for all of you, let me leave you with a final parting thought about what we think really makes FCBD so special…

We do indeed continue to have the most generous, high-stakes, no-limit, can’t-find-anywhere-else explosion of free reads in SF but we do ask that you keep in mind that here at the Isotope we believe Free Comic Book Day is all about the kids, and even the mighty Isotope’s supplies are limited, so before you over-indulge yourselves, remember… every free comic you scoop up is one the kids can’t. So please be nice to the kiddos. Thank you kindly!


Here’s a list of the official releases: FCBD 2015 website

Realize Your Comic Book Dreams

There are few things in life more rewarding than sharing your knowledge and helping enable others to achieve their dreams, and it was with this conviction in our hearts that we first launched the Isotope University back in 2011 with instructor and co-founder Ed Luce of WUVABLE OAF fame. There are other places to learn creative writing and cartooning, so we developed a curriculum unique only to us which focuses on practical, real world comics industry knowledge to equip students for success in creating and selling comics. These classes have proven to be very popular and hosting more is constantly in demand.

So it is with great pleasure that we announce brand new classes for the Isotope University… coinciding with the first annual San Francisco Comics Fest, a multi-venue comics week featuring fun events all over the Bay Area including the Cartoon Art Museum, the SF Public Library, and several SF Bay Area comic stores (we think this event sounds particularly awesome).

We’re excited to present these first new classes of the revamped Isotope University during SF Comics Fest as we think they bring a unique voice to the proceedings and we could not be more excited about the truly amazing instructors we have to teach them!


Alex Woolfson, the author behind the hit queer superhero series THE YOUNG PROTECTORS and the yaoi science fiction graphic novel ARTIFICE, is one of the most successful users that we have ever seen of the crowdfunding services Kickstarter and Patreon to fund his comic book dreams. With the help of an ever-growing fanbase Alex has been able to professionally print his graphic novels, create thousands of dollars of steady income each month, and even quit his day job to create comics on a full time basis! Alex’s students will get to learn how crowdfunding works, gain smart strategies on what to include (and not include!) on their Kickstarter and Patreon pages, glean insights from the crowdfunding successes and mistakes of others, and best of all “learn how to promote your project without annoying all your Facebook friends.”

Tuesday, May 5th 2015
6:00pm – 7:30pm
All Ages

Harassment Policy

Class size is limited for this FREE event.
Reserve your spot starting @ Noon, Sunday April 19th!


The Isotope could not be more honored to be working with the amazing Devin Grayson! She’s written a good chunk of the greatest BATMAN comics ever made, a favorite BLACK WIDOW run, the uncannily prescient science fiction / fantasy cyberpunk series USER, and we’re pretty convinced that it was Devin’s legendary five-year arc on NIGHTWING that made him into one of DC Comics’ most beloved characters. More recently her work has been seen in the WOMANTHOLOGY collections and also on Dynamite Comics’ LEGENDS OF RED SONJA series. She also happens to be one of the industry’s most important LGBT+ advocates going back to a time when our industry just didn’t have very many of those.

Learn script creation and character development from one of comics’ best storytellers. This class will inspire and prepare students with Devin’s very own “tips for creating scrutable scripts, charming characters and serialized stories.”

Saturday, May 9th 2015
2:00pm – 4:00pm
All Ages

Harassment Policy

Class size is limited for this FREE event.
Reserve your spot starting @ Noon, Sunday April 19th!

Our hearts are bursting with joy to get to feature these wonderful instructors who are such important voices in shaping our industry and dedicated to continuing to push the community of comics forward. We are truly blessed to have Devin and Alex bringing their immense talents and so many years of hard-won experience to share. Their generosity is a true inspiration.

“Nothing is too heavy for those who have wings”

Al Jazeera America Made This Awesome Comic?

Al Jazeera America, the satellite news television channel of the Al Jazeera Media Network which provides worldwide news to over 220 million households in more than 100 countries, has done something unexpected and also really cool. They made an indie comic!

Cartoonist Josh Neufeld of the fantastic graphic novel A.D.: NEW ORLEANS AFTER THE DELUGE, award winning reporter Michael Keller, along with Al Jazeera America’s Senior Multimedia Producer Rhyne Piggott, and Interactive Editor Lam Thuy Vo team up here to make something really special.

TERMS OF SERVICE: UNDERSTANDING OUR ROLE IN THE WORLD OF BIG DATA is a graphic novella that demystifies the legal doublespeak and disposable tech jargon to examine the T.O.S. relationships most of us all have with technology companies in our day to day lives. And looks closely at what the implications of what sharing our personal information with them can mean. A depressing topic, to be sure, but wonderful to see it all handled with an easy charm and wit here.

You can read it online here. But even better is that you can actually also get your hands on an analog copy. And Isotope is the first store in the world to get to offer these awesome books to people!

We have a big stack of these great books, but they definitely won’t last long. Stop in and get one ASAP!

(Thanks Rhyne!)

Charming and Delightful

People often ask how the Isotope selects our events.

Each year our goal is to paint a year long masterpiece and every brushstroke on the canvas must have meaning, even if only to us. So much in life is designed to be endlessly reproducible, manufacturable, re-creatable. Our goal is to make things that are none of those things. And if we’re doing our jobs right? Each event should tell you who we are, what we value, & the message we are trying to convey without having to utter a single word.

This charming article on our recent event with the delightful Paolo Rivera & Joe Rivera event really understands who we are and why we do what we do.

Interview: Comic Errand Leads To Encounter With Amazing Family Duo Of Paolo and Joe Rivera

Tuesday through Friday

11:00 am - 7:00 pm

Saturday through Sunday

11:00 am - 6:00 pm

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