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"Best Comic Store" 12 years running!

Thanks San Francisco Bay Guardian readers!

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.

Current classes held for SF Girl Scouts

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The Isotope Communique
Daily news and updates by Personality James Sime and the Isotope Staff
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

Paolo Rivera & Joe Rivera!

The Isotope staff couldn’t be more excited to get to host this New Comics Wednesday evening event for our customers!

Featuring the incredible Eisner Award winning penciling genius of Paolo Rivera and his very own familial inker supreme Joe Rivera, the father / son duo behind some of the best comics and covers in the comics industry today. Including SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN TEAM-UP, BATMAN: BLACK & WHITE, ACTION COMICS and also the absolute best run on DAREDEVIL of the past decade.

Come meet the Riveras with us! We will be celebrating the conclusion to their new prestige format limited series THE VALIANT with them. Seriously, what could be cooler than seeing these two smiling gents together here at the Isotope?

Paolo Rivera & Joe Rivera @ Isotope
Wednesday, March 25th 2015
5:30pm –
All Ages

Harassment Policy

Brandon Graham & Emma Rios @ Isotope

We know you’ve all heard about our Brian K. Vaughan SAGA celebration this Friday already. But we here at the Isotope have yet another great surprise up our besuited sleeves. In the grand Isotope tradition we are serving up an “instant event” of super-sized proportions for your weekend enjoyment!

Emma Rios – One of the industry’s best! She draws so many of our favorite titles, including PRETTY DEADLY, CAPTAIN MARVEL, DOCTOR STRANGE SEASON ONE and the truly stunning COIL: A CLONE STORY (check it out here).

Brandon Graham – Author / artist of KING CITY, MULTIPLE WARHEADS and the Image Comics science fiction juggernaut PROPHET.

Emma and Brandon will be rocking the Isotope’s drafting table with twin Sharpie action! Hanging out, sketching, signing, and having a great Saturday afternoon with us. These two artists represent everything we think is exciting about the future of comics. Stop on by and show these amazing creators some well-deserved love!

Brandon Graham & Emma Rios @ Isotope
Saturday, January 10th 2015
1pm – 5pm
All Ages

Harassment Policy

2015 is off to a great start… !

Brian K. Vaughan SAGA Celebration!

We’ve been quietly working on this one since last February and could not be more excited to finally get to announce it. And what an event to kick off 2015!

Brian K. Vaughan, author of SAGA, Y THE LAST MAN, PRIVATE EYE and more will be returning to the Isotope for the first time since 2004 for an epic event… two events, in fact! As SAGA is one of the most popular books in the entire industry we know his visit is going to be *very* popular and the Isotope staff wants you all to have a wonderful experience meeting him and for all to make amazing memories of Brian’s visit together. So we’ve decided on doing a duo of events to make everyone happy! First up is a daytime signing event for the under 21 crowd, and then an epic celebration later that evening for the folks who like our mix and mingle, bring-your-ID, after-dark events.

3pm – 6pm, Friday January 9th

An all-ages autographing session completely free of charge because we love you! As always the Isotope believes in crafting a unique experience with our signings, giving everyone a chance to sit down for some one-on-one time at the drafting table with your favorite creator. This is sure to be a popular signing and we definitely want everyone to get time to actually talk with Brian so we kindly ask that you bring no more than 3 items for him to sign. On behalf of all of us, thanks in advance!

8pm – Midnight, Friday January 9th

A 21+ event as only the Isotope can do! If you’ve been to an after-hours party at the Isotope before you know the great atmosphere and amazing crowd that will be turning out for this. This event has a casual backstage-after-the-show vibe and gives you all an opportunity to actually hang out and get to know Brian… the way we think an in-store appearance should truly be!

Each attendee of the SAGA AFTER-PARTY will be given, for free, our exclusive Brian K. Vaughan SAGA Cocktail Glass, an ultra-limited highball created exclusively for this event by BKV, Fiona Staples and the Isotope. We believe in making our events truly once-in-a-lifetime so these commemorative glasses the Isotope creates for attendees are truly rare, fewer than 200 are ever printed and afterwards we always destroy the screens and production is finished… available one night only and nowhere else on the entire planet ever again.

click to enlarge

This event also features some secret special guests we’re not allowed to talk about, Isotope’s entertainment alchemist Kirsten Baldock‘s original works, and San Francisco’s beloved best on the wheels of steel, DJ BEARZBUB, spinning his unique brand of SAGA-inspired exotic grooves, hot b-sides, booty shaking nöyze, and rare beats.

And, of course, our featured guest himself… Brian K. Vaughan!

We’re looking forward to seeing you all at this duo of special events and truly giving you an experience with Brian that you will never forget, let’s kick off the new year together!

Please read our Harassment Policy, thank you.

UPDATE: The SAGA AFTER-PARTY event is now at maximum capacity. Sorry to those who missed out. To the rest of you… see you there!

Expanded Holiday Hours

Happy holidays from your friends at the Isotope!

For all your sequential art pleasures this year, we’ve stocked up the shelves with goodness, expanded our hours over the holidays, all the gift certificates you could ever ask for (and yes, we can also do those over the phone, just call us), free gift wrapping and of course our one of a kind personal shopping experience to help you find the perfect gift for your loved ones… or to celebrate Self Gifting Season!

And yes, next week’s new comics will be arriving here as always on Wednesday (check here on Monday for a list of what to expect). New comics on Christmas Eve? Now that’s a holiday tradition we can really get behind!

Also, in the tradition of the season, we want to show some love for people who we’re thankful for. And we’re kind of in love with this WONDER WOMAN Christmas card seen above that we discovered. It is by her wonderful (but uncredited) co-creator, Harry G. Peter, who drew every page of the iconic strip in both the monthly comics and the newspaper strips from her first appearance in December 1941 up through 1958. For those who have never read the original WONDER WOMAN comics here’s why we think you should. Thank you, Mister Peter, for your work and for co-creating one of the most enduring and truly important icons in all of comics.


Savage Dragon Celebration w/ Erik Larsen!

Celebrating a true milestone in comics… SAVAGE DRAGON issue 200 with legendary creator and Image Comics founder Erik Larsen!

Larsen will be rocking the Isotope drafting table, signing comics and doing free sketches. We will have three varieties of SAVAGE DRAGON issue 200, including the Kirby/Larsen variant and also those awesome blank covers for him to scrawl on.

This event will also be featuring several dozen pages of Erik’s massively over-sized original art to blow everyone’s collective minds. Wait till you see these! You definitely won’t want to miss this unique once-in-a-lifetime “Storytime with Erik Larsen!”

Best Comic Store 2014

Thank you San Francisco, for once again voting Isotope as your “Best Comic Store” in the SF Bay Guardian‘s Best of the Bay readers poll each and every single year since 2002. Especially in a city so famous for innovation, arts, culture, and style it is truly an honor to be celebrated as one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s best independent businesses. We will endeavor to continue to live up to the incredible reputation you folks have helped bestow upon us!

And, from the bottom of our hearts, our sincerest thank you to the entire staff of the SF Bay Guardian, San Francisco’s legendary paper with truly the nicest staff. Often imitated but never duplicated, the Guardian has been huge supporters of comics, our local cartoonists and our diverse world of indie and outsider arts since 1966. You will be missed.

20 Coolest Comic Stores in America

The folks at the hugely popular pop-culture site Green Label have compiled a carefully crafted list of The 20 Coolest Comic Shops in America. Not only is the Isotope on this list but we’re pretty excited to see a couple fantastic retailers on there that we inspired to open up stores of their own too. We couldn’t be more proud to have helped make such a positive impact on our industry’s comic stores!

Here’s what Green Label folks have to say about the Isotope:

Feel free to take a seat on one of the plush couches at Isotope to flip through the comics you’re interested in buying. The San Francisco comic book store combines a lounge, original comic art gallery, and educational environment all in one place. In addition to their wide selection of comics and graphic novels, through their Isotope Comics University, they offer comic book classes to help those trying to launch a career in the field understand how to strengthen their existing story, effectively market their product, and embark on conventioneering — all with a small budget.

Hey, thanks Green Label! It’s nice to be recognized and to have such importance placed on a program here we really love. We are actively talking to new professors for our 2015 year of classes!

Tuesday through Friday

11:00 am - 7:00 pm

Saturday through Sunday

11:00 am - 6:00 pm

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