San Francisco's Isotope shares FCBD experience

Official Press Release

SAN FRANCISCO (May 5, 2003) This year for Free Comic Book Day comic retailer James Sime not only threw a well-attended event at his San Francisco store Isotope, but he teamed with Ed Irvin of Absence of Ink to bring free comics to the world by mailing copies of Farel Dalrymple's critically acclaimed POP GUN WAR to everyone who wanted one. This completely original approach to celebrating Free Comic Book Day turned out to be phenomenally popular and a truly international promotion.

"We've got a runaway hit on our hands, the response for our unique approach to Free Comic Book Day was unprecedented!" said Sime, "It was very encouraging to see how enthusiastic people were about our new FCBD program, everyone understood and really appreciated what Ed and I were trying to do. My mailbox was full to overflowing with requests for a free copy of POP GUN WAR #1 and the next day I spent 10 hours sending out confirmations to participants!"

As expected, many people who are only able to get their comics through mail order or subscription took advantage of the opportunity that the Isotope and Absence of Ink offered. "Many of the requests were from those who don't have access to a local comic store. and in several cases from those who were too physically handicapped to attend a FCBD event in person," said Sime, "We expected the promotion to be successful, and were doubly enthused by how overwhelming the response was. But it was not without it's surprises!"

Once all the shipping addresses were in, Sime was surprised by the demographics they represented, "Over a quarter of responses from outside the United States," said Sime, "Representing such far away places as Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, and Norway. But what really surprised me was to see that nearly a third of all the participants were female."

The old industry adage is that women only represent 1 to 2 percent of our industry, but Sime feels the evidence proves the real number is much, much higher. "As far as the clientele at the Isotope is concerned and with national promotions like our Free Comic Book Day promo, we're seeing a increasing concentration of female readers," said Sime, "There can be no better news than to see comics crossing over to this audience more and more. Women represent more than 50 percent of the population on the planet and having them excited about comics can only be a good thing for our entire industry."

The in-store event at the Isotope was also very successful, "We had a a lot more people coming in the door this year, and everyone had a great time," Sime said in reference to this years well-attended event which included appearances by comic creators like Kieron Dwyer, Rick Remender, John Heebink, Tristan Crane and Ryan Yount. "We also got to show off Kieron's original art pages from the up-coming original graphic novel Last of the Independents (AIT-PlanetLar). That was terrific, those pages are absolutely mind-blowing."

Sime looks forward to celebrating Free Comic Book Day for years to come, "That was an absolute blast! We saw lots of new faces, filled the cash register full of money, and had an excuse to throw a cool party. I can't wait for Free Comic Book Day 2004!"

Isotope - the comic book lounge is the former Comics & Da-Kind established in San Francisco in 1982. Comic book impresario James Sime took over operations in June of 2000, and recently upgraded the shop with a new name and attitude in November of 2002. Isotope – the comic book lounge is a purveyor of fine new and vintage comic books, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, manga and other imported comics, as well as unique toys and memorabilia.

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