It was long past time I found a new place to buy books when in San Francisco…
My local crappy shop in Brooklyn closed up a couple years ago and I finally sucked it up to ride the F out to visit Alex at his excellent Rocketship, and now I’ve found a similar friend at my (third) home in the bay. Isotope – the Comic Book Lounge, worried me at first… I just Googled “San Francisco” and “Comic Book”, and there they were at the top. But why had I never heard of them? Unlike Rocketship I’d swear they don’t come up in the usual comic blogs of artist tours and the like. And the site contents weren’t all that convincing. “Who are these guys?” But we went and they were so super friendly and helpful (James and Kirsten). Clean store, good selection, lots of lounge space, and really cool artist decorated toilet seats.
My first bay area comic shop love has to always be my old employer Comic Relief (I was the zine buyer in the mid-90’s there… in between the renowned tenures of Josh Petrin and Janelle Hessig), but when in San Francisco, I’ve often found myself on Divisidero at Comix Experience… something I’ve come to dread. I still go up there for the excellent cheese shop and the cool antiques store… but going in to Comix Experience takes some effort.
I thought I would give it one more try, but, no, the same insufferable asshole is still behind the counter, and now I’ll probably never go again. Try Googling Asshole and “Comix Experience”, read down the links a little bit and you’ll find this ain’t just me talking. I have no idea who this jerk that Brian hired is, but he is a fucking retail nightmare. He is completely unhelpful, spends endless amounts of time on the phone, is ridiculously loud and belligerent, blathers on about his stupid opinions in a way that only Kevin Smith (barely) gets away with (as in, every other word is ‘fucking’… and I’ve witnessed this going on with little kids in the store), and if you have the nerve to whisper to someone on your cell phone in the store he asks you to leave. So yeah… this time, I just said, “you stupid ass”, and walked out. Never to return. Mr. Brian Hibbs, sir. Fire this stupid fucking asshole. I don’t care if he’s your brother or what, but you’re hurting more than just your own sales with this jerk.