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"Best Comic Store" 2002-2017

Thanks San Francisco Bay Guardian readers! XOXOX

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. Our recent focus has been on classes for kids but later this summer we will be hosting two new classes for adults, WRITING FOR COMICS and BOOKBINDING COMICS. More info on these in July.

(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
Isotope Presents: Greg Rucka

Greg Rucka is the writer of so many books we absolutely love… LAZARUS, BATWOMAN: ELEGY, GOTHAM CENTRAL, QUEEN & COUNTRY, BLACK WIDOW, WHITEOUT, ELEKTRA, VEIL, WONDER WOMAN: THE HIKETEIA, BATMAN, PUNISHER, GRENDEL: PAST PRIME, THE QUESTION, STUMPTOWN… the list just goes on and on! He is also the just-announced returning author on the upcoming DC Rebirth WONDER WOMAN series which makes us very excited too!

BLACK MAGICK, Greg’s new “witch noir” series from Image Comics with the amazing Nicola Scott, is coming out in softcover format and we knew we *had to* have Rucka in to celebrate it. We’ve been waiting for just the right moment to have our first event with Greg and, thanks to the BLACK MAGICK in the air, the stars aligned perfectly. This is definitely going to be one of our best events for a long, long time.

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The BLACK MAGICK LAUNCH PARTY w/ GREG RUCKA features the exclusive BLACK MAGICK COCKTAIL GLASS, a commemorative lowball for attendees. This ultra-limited edition double old fashioned glass features the iconic BLACK MAGICK cover by Nicola Scott printed in black and white with Sapphire CG Series Inks on a 13.5oz heavy-base double old fashioned Libbey Finedge glass. Available one night only. And nowhere else on the planet ever again.

Also featuring SF’s own DJ BEARZBUB, spinning his famous brand of exotic grooves, hot b-sides, booty shaking nöyze, and rare beats.

And the man of the hour himself… Greg Rucka!

Friday, April 29th 2016
8pm – Midnight

If you haven’t already, please read our Harassment Policy

Passes for the BLACK MAGICK LAUNCH PARTY w/ GREG RUCKA are available at the link below. Your $9.99 ticket includes a copy of BLACK MAGICK VOLUME 1: AWAKENING softcover (cover price $9.99), or a BLACK MAGICK COCKTAIL GLASS (priceless!).


This event is sure to fill up quickly so grab your passes before the witching hour arrives. We’re looking forward to seeing all of you and celebrating a bewitching evening with Mister Rucka together!

Record Store Day… At Isotope!

Jamaica Dyer and Eddie Wright, the Isotope, and Record Store Day celebrate one of the world’s coolest holidays in high style… with the LAKE IMAGO comic / album release event!

LAKE IMAGO, by Eddie Wright and one of our favorite artists Jamaica Dyer, is a powerfully haunting coming of age comic about tragedy, grief and depression told in personal moments and a particularly bleak familial road trip. We’re thrilled to get to do this event for such a fantastic new work, and cannot recommend it more highly! Surreal in the vein of Charles Burns‘ brilliant BLACK HOLE, quietly personal like Sofie Campbell‘s WET MOON, and emotionally arresting like Ulli Lust‘s TODAY IS THE LAST DAY OF THE REST OF YOUR LIFE or Craig Thompson’s BLANKETS. Here’s a fantastic review and the digital version is here so you can find out for yourself before the analog version is here on the 16th.

But it wouldn’t be Record Store Day without a record, right?

The Isotope also proudly presents the release of an original LAKE IMAGO Soundtrack EP created just for this event by heavy space drone band SPACE:1666. This EP was recorded in the appropriately effects-pedal-laden Outer Sagittarius Studios and will be released on a limited edition dead-format CD3 as well as a day-and-date digital release featuring music inspired by the book and all new art by Jamaica Dyer.

Jamaica Dyer & Eddie Wright @ Isotope
Record Store Day LAKE IMAGO Comic & CD Release
Saturday, April 16th 2016
1pm – 4pm
Harassment Policy

Sonny Liew @ Isotope!

Isotope proudly presents award-winning cartoonist Sonny Liew visiting us for the first time all the way from Singapore!

We’re massive fans of Sonny’s gorgeous work, and love his creative team-ups with Gene Yang on THE SHADOW HERO, with Paul Levitz on DOCTOR FATE, with Mike Carey on MY FAITH IN FRANKIE, with Tommy Kovac on WONDERLAND, on the fantastic series of FLIGHT anthologies, and especially his solo MALINKY ROBOT and… the book that we think will be dominating the Best of the Year lists for 2016… THE ART OF CHARLIE CHAN HOCK CHYE.

THE ART OF CHARLIE CHAN HOCK CHYE is a brilliant (and totally fictional) historical biography detailing the life of an famous (faux) cartoonist as told through (falsified) excerpts of work from throughout the artist’s ‘career.’ Featuring a variety of styles from vintage newspaper strips to commercial art jobs, articles and found objects, pages of Chye’s various sketchbooks, intertwined with a glimpse of the actual history comics and also the island city-state of Singapore. Sonny’s work here is a true tour de force and already making huge ripples in the art world as well as being considered so controversial in Liew’s homeland that it has been cited for its “potential to undermine the authority and legitimacy of the Republic of Singapore government.”

The reviews for this eagerly awaited book from Sonny are universally glowing, positively gushing, and rightfully efficacious. We agree, this is definitely not to be missed!

The Isotope is honored to get to be part of Sonny’s exclusive ten-stop tour of North America for this remarkable book. Come join us for a very special celebration of one of comics best, and most unique, creators.

Sonny Liew @ Isotope
Thursday, April 7th 2016
7pm, All Ages
Harassment Policy

Girl Scouts Making Comics @ Isotope

Since 2011 the Isotope has been teaching our own brand of comic making courses for adult students in our Isotope University classroom. To kick off the new year we decided to team up with the San Francisco Girl Scouts to get the knowledge of the sequential arts to next generation of comic creators. What better way to get the kind of comics we want to see in our industry by the kind of creators we want more of?

We sent two of our favorite local cartoonists Jamaica Dyer and Kaytea Petro to a recent meeting to get the girls started thinking about the possibilities and followed up last Sunday with an intensive comic making course expertly taught by DOCTOR LOLLIPOP creator Kelly Martin here at the Isotope. This was such a fun event to volunteer our Isotope University classroom for!

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I was *blown away* to hear about all the hilarious, creative, and downright amazing books the girls are working on. Quite literally, they were some of the best comic pitches I have heard (from kids or adults) in my 15 years in this industry.

More classes for these girls are planned, we can’t wait to see these books when they’re finished! Our sincerest thanks to our teachers Kelly Martin, Jamaica Dyer and Katie Petro for ensuring the future of comics is filled with awesomeness!


Celebrating the greatest living comic artist working today – JH Williams III (SANDMAN OVERTURE, BATWOMAN, PROMETHEA) and the release of the biggest book of the decade, the SANDMAN OVERTURE DELUXE EDITION hardcover.

There are few people on planet Earth we love more than JH Williams III (if you like beautiful memories people share with their friends this will bring tears to your eyes) and together we’ve been quietly planning our event to celebrate the amazing SANDMAN OVERTURE for a long, long time. The Isotope staff wants you all to have a wonderful experience meeting him and for everyone to get to create amazing memories of JH Williams III’s visit together. So we’re doing a duo of events as only the Isotope can to make sure everyone has a chance to meet one of the nicest and most talented people in all of comics! First up is a casual, 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.

2pm – 6pm, Saturday November 14th

This intimate all-ages autographing session is completely free of charge and open to all. We want to ensure you have a completely unique and personal experience with Jim so we’re specifically tailoring this event to let you have a real moment to sit down with him. Jim will sign your SANDMAN OVERTURE hardcovers, PROMETHEA omnibii, BATWOMAN paperbacks, vintage CHASE comics, BLONDIE and THE SWORD albums, and anything else he’s ever worked on. As always, we don’t even mind if you’ve bought them elsewhere, this isn’t about us, it’s about you and Jim getting to say “hi.” As this is sure to be a popular signing and we definitely want everyone to get time to actually talk with Jim so we kindly ask that you bring no more than 5 items for him to sign. On behalf of every one of us, thank you so much.

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8pm – Midnight, Saturday November 14th

An after party as only the Isotope can do! If you’ve been to a late night event 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 Jim… the way we think an in-store appearance should truly be!

Featuring the exclusive JH Williams III SANDMAN OVERTURE Print, an ultra-limited art print on acid-free/pH neutral 100% cotton rag Fabriano Watercolor Paper, lovingly printed using Epson’s archival UltraChrome inks with a lightfastness rating of over 200 years. Available nowhere else on the planet! This hand-numbered print is suitable for framing and can be proudly hung on the wall of your swank pad….

… or you can choose to upgrade your SANDMAN OVERTURE: DELUXE EDITION from the vanilla cover version other places carry by using this print as an exclusive dust jacket. And your bookshelf can experience the true glory and magnificence that is the THE SANDMAN OVERTURE ISOTOPE EDITION!

These ultra-limited, hand-numbered dustjacket/print souvenirs are completely free to attendees of SANDMAN OVERTURE AFTER PARTY w/ JH WILLIAMS III as an “Isotope loves you” to our customers and will be available one night only and nowhere else or ever again.

The SANDMAN OVERTURE AFTER PARTY w/ JH WILLIAMS III also features San Francisco’s famed DJ BEARZBUB, spinning his famous brand of exotic grooves, hot b-sides, booty shaking nöyze, and rare beats.

And of course, the man of the hour himself, JH Williams III!

Passes for the SANDMAN OVERTURE AFTER PARTY w/ JH WILLIAMS III are available at the link below. Your $24.99 ticket includes a copy of SANDMAN OVERTURE: DELUXE EDITION HARDCOVER (cover price $24.99), and a JH Williams III SANDMAN OVERTURE Print (priceless!)


This event is sure to sell out so grab your passes tout de suite. We’re looking forward to seeing you, we think you’ll all love getting to know Jim as well as we do!

If you haven’t already, please read our Harassment Policy.

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…!


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