Robots From Tomorrow Presents: James Sime

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James Sime runs the Isotope Lounge, voted Best Comic Shop in San Francisco by the SF Bay Guardian for the last 11 years. He has a suit for every occasion (including under-the-hood auto maintenance) and, when combined with his distinctive electroshock pompadour, cuts the figure of a man engaged in the serious business of being the coolest dude in the room. The George Baker Selection’s “Little Green Bag” has been known to sound as James walks down a hallway. He once enrolled in and dropped out of a college simply to get the ID card so he could apply for a checking account. His early support and patronage helped give a boost to some of today’s most successful comic creators, such as Robert Kirkman, Ed Brubaker, and Brian Wood, but he also packs just as much enthusiam into racking mini-comics on his shelves from creators as young as 7 years old. No one gets carded at the Isotope Lounge, because what they have on tap is comics for all ages, genders, and tastes. Greg went on location to talk to James, the Comic Pimp, in his element. The conversation covered the nature of ‘cool’, James’ holistic approach to marrying brick & mortar retailing with digital sales, taking MorrisonCon from idea to once-in-a-lifetime event, reading his customers minds, and what surprises a guy who’s been selling comics for over 13 years.

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Photo: Matt Silady


Robots From Tomorrow is a weekly comics podcast recorded deep beneath the Earth’s surface. You can subscribe to it via iTunes or through the RSS feed at You can also follow Mike and Greg on Twitter. Music is Little Green Bag by The George Baker Selection. Enjoy your funny books.

About The AuthorGreg MatiasevichGreg Matiasevich has read enough author bios that he should be better at coming up with one for himself, yet surprisingly isn't. However, the years of comic reading his parents said would never pay off obviously have, so we'll cut him some slack on that. He lives halfway between Baltimore and Washington D.C., is the co-host (with Mike Romeo) of the Robots From Tomorrow podcast, posts on his Tumblr blog, and can be followed on Twitter at @GregMatiasevich.

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User's Comments
  • Ryan Crowe

    Can confirm James’ mindreading abilities: I walked in, we talked for a few minutes and he recommended me 3-4 books I totally loved. I had no idea what I wanted. No idea.

    • Greg Matiasevich

      He is cool like that. I think the hair is actually a system of mind-reading antennas.

  • Amir Malekpour

    James is an ubber cool guy. He probably doesn’t know this, but he turned me into a comicbook fanatic. Back in 2009 I went to WonderCon at urging of my buddy from work. I had not read comics since the age of 8 (in Farsi at that) I somehow found out there was a cool party at this comicbook store ( Isotope). It turned out to be a AMAZING Pirate Themed Tiki Bar Crawl celebrating the birthday of Superstar artist Dave Johnson AND comics. Later on I got Y:The Last Man from James and my addiction started.

    I would like to second the fact that he can read minds. He turned me onto Jonathan Hickman and Jeff Lemire before they were industry superstars (not to mention other awesome creators)

    • Greg Matiasevich

      James and tiki is like Jordan and basketball. Glad he came through for you!

  • Simon Gray

    Wow, James sounds so wonderfully passionate. Inspiring.

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