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Eisner Retailer Award: Oakland’s Cape and Cowl makes the longlist

Oakland’s Cape and Cowl Comics has landed on the 2018 Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award longlist.

Cape and Cowl Comics Eisner

The nomination puts Cape and Cowl in the company of 20 outstanding comic shops from around the world who “have done an outstanding job of supporting the comics medium both in the industry at large and in their local community.” Five of those shops will be announced as finalists during the week of San Diego Comic-Con. The recipient of the Spirit Award will be announced during the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards on Friday, July 20.

Cape and Cowl had an impressive impact on the local community since opening in 2015, so it isn’t a surprise they’d be heavily nominated by the local community. The Shared Universe’s Maddie Greene was among those who added the shop’s name to the Eisner Sorting Hat. This is what she told the organization about Cape and Cowl giving back:

I don’t know of a Bay Area comic shop that does more community outreach or involvement. Once again I have to mention the local signings, which highlight local creators and stories for Oakland youth in particular. This is important work in our community. Cape and Cowl‘s book club also brings community members together to learn and discuss. But most of all, the shop turns events like their birthday and Free Comic Book Day into ways to give back. Last FCBD so much food was donated that giant barrels overspilled and huge pallets were dwarfed by the donations. An event to fight food waste in conjunction with Imperfect Produce raised 1,000 pounds of produce for the Alameda County Community Food Bank. One weekend they donated 20% of all sales to the Southern Poverty Law Center. They helped bring free Black Panther screenings to children in Oakland and Atlanta. They shared ways to help when the North Bay fires burned.

Cape and Cowl knew they were in consideration for the longlist when the judges asked for more information on the store. Cape and Cowl made the following video.

 

Cape and Cowl Comics Video Tour

Because a whole bunch of you fine folks took the time to say some nice things about us, the judges for the Eisner Spirit of Retailing Award (given to the best Comic Book Store in the World!) asked us to tell them a little more about the shop! Here’s what we sent them. Thank you all SO much!

Posted by Cape and Cowl Comics on Saturday, June 2, 2018

Kind of great, right?

The video perfectly reflects the spirit of Cape and Cowl. We’ll be watching to see if the shop makes the shortlist. Even if it doesn’t, hey, they received a shoutout from the Oakland A’s. Not too shabby!

 

Here are all of the excellent nominees for the 2018 Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award:

Acme Comics
Mark Austin/ Jermaine Exum, Greensboro, NC
Arsenal Comics & Games
Paul Roman Martinez, Timothy Heague & Elena Sfetcu, Newbury Park, CA
Big Bang Comics
John Hendrick, Dublin, Ireland
Cape and Cowl Comics
Eitan Manhoff, Oakland, CA
Coliseum of Comics
Phil Boyle, Kissimmee, FL
Collector’s Comics
Keith & Monica Mallow, Port St. Lucie, FL
Comic Book Hideout
Glynnes Pruett, Fullerton, CA
The Comic Book Shop
Sarah & Patrick “Titus” Titus, Wilmington, DE
Comic Quest
Don & Kelly Allen, Lake Forest, CA
Comic World
Kathleen Miller the Comic Book Lady, Huntington, WV
Comics Toons N Toys
Mike Kadin, Tustin, CA
Comiczone
Andrew, Michael & Gareth, Perth, Western Australia
Farpoint Toys & Collectibles
Penelope Pappas, Justin Daniels & Frank Mosentoff, Mays Landing, NJ
Kingpin Books
Mário Freitas, Lisbon, Portugal
The Laughing Ogre
Chris Lloyd, Columbus, OH
Norma Comics
Rafa Martínez, Barcelona, Spain
A Shop Called Quest
Lee Raymundo, Natalie Raymundo, & Jason Washburn, Redlands, CA
Space Cadets Collection Collection
Jen King, Oak Ridge North, TX
Travelling Man
Nabil Homsi, York, Yorkshire, UK
Up Up & Away!
Kendall Swafford, Cincinnati, OH

Oakland’s Cape and Cowl Comics Burglarized

Oakland’s Cape and Cowl Comics was burglarized early Saturday.

Photo from Cape and Cowl’s Facebook page

Employees arrived to open the shop for business Saturday morning to find the front door had been smashed and nearly 50 comics stolen from the high-value comic wall.

Cape and Cowl Burgled

Many of the titles stolen were in CGC slabs. CGC slabs are each individually numbered, so if a slabbed book does turn up it could be traced back to Cape and Cowl. The store is working on an inventory of which issues are missing.

In case the above Facebook embed here’s the list of titles with CGC numbers as of April 28 at 5 p.m.

Walking Dead #171 Pink Sig Variant (9.8) 1243657006
MMPR #0 Green (9.8) 1255498009
Batman Who Laughs #1 (9.6) 1249036006
Star Wars #1 (9.4) 1254485001
Strange Tales #110 (2.0) 1249035003
ASM #1 Golden Record Reprint (8.5) 1249035010
Batman #232 (6.5) 1249035007
Ninja-K #1 (9.8) 1249036004
Luke Cage #166 Lenticular (9.8) 1249624008

Signing: Emily Pearson Signing “The Wilds” at Cape and Cowl on March 10

If you pay attention to the comics media you know Black Mask‘s newest title The Wilds is the critical darling of the month.

Writer Vita Ayala described the book to Geek.com:

…humanity was ravaged by a plague that killed half the population, and turned a number of the remainder into essentially flower zombies. Humanity, to survive, has formed these walled-off city-states like settlements. We follow Daisy Walker, who works for a specialized settlement called The Compound – which is basically a mashup of the USPS and Black Market. Daisy is a Runner, which means her job is to find salvage to bring back to the Compound, and also to ferry cargo (which can be goods, people, or just messages) between settlements. Being a Runner is a brutal job and few make it to retirement. Runners are basically exploited, but without them, society as it stands, could not work.

Thematically, the book is about how marginalized people (PoC, and especially WoC) are exploited. How PoC are expected to perform massive amounts of physical and emotional labor with no reward, and often until we are used up or die.

Artist Emily Pearson and colorist Marissa Louise work together to compellingly illustrate a world where the bleak reality of the end times can co-exist with the beauty of flowering undead.

If you live in the Bay Area you can talk to Pearson about her vision when she makes a stop on March 10 at Cape and Cowl Comics in Oakland. She’ll be at the 1601 Clay Street comic shop from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. both signing the first issue and creating sketches. Check out the Facebook event here.

The Wilds team includes lettering from Jim Campbell and editing by Danny Lore.

If you can’t make it to Cape and Cowl to pick up a copy and meet Pearson please check out our list of Bay Area Comic Book Stores. Most will likely have a copy unless, of course, the book is sold out.

Bay Area Local Comic Shop Day 2016 Round-Up

14632989_1527395257278545_2900092487732959837_nLocal Comic Shop Day is tomorrow (November 19)! We’ve done our best to collect information on signings around the Bay Area. Below is a listing of all of the shops that have made it known via social media or on websites if they’re taking part in Local Comic Shop Day. The majority of listed events appear to be along the East Bay Comics Trail with Fantastic Comics, Cape & Cowl, Flying Colors, The Escapist, Dr. Comics and Mr. Games, and Alameda Sports Cards and Comics all listing events. All we could find along the West Bay Comics Trail was an event at Mission but that doesn’t mean other shops aren’t participating. Check out our list of Bay Area comic stores if you want to call ahead or find a shop near you.

In addition to hosting creators, many of the comic shops around the Bay Area are providing Local Comic Shop Day exclusives including prints, pins, and covers. Again, check the comic store list for opening times.

Local Comic Shops Day
When: November 19
Where: Everywhere
More info: http://localcomicshopday.com/

 

Cape and Cowl One-Year Anniversary Party featuring
Dave Dwonch, Justin Greenwood, Ramon Villalobos, Logan Faerber, and more

When: November 19
Where: Cape and Cowl Comics
1601 Clay Street in Oakland
What: The Bay Area’s youngest comic book store will celebrate one-year on November 19. They shop has big celebration plan include rare collectible prints and pins (check out the pins at this link), a star-studded line-up of guests, and more.
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/204869236591381/

 

Darick Robertson Signing
When: November 19
Where: Flying Colors Comics and Other Cool Stuff
What: Darick Robertson will be signing copies of Valient’s Harbinger Renegades as part of Local Comic Shop Day. Flying Colors will also carry an exclusive first issue of the Valiant title.
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/152517491843185/

 

Matt Sheean, Simon Roy, and Malachi Ward Signing
When: November 19 at 6 p.m.
Where: Mission: Comics and Art
2250 Mission Street in San Francisco
What: Sheean, Roy, and Ward will sign copies of the recently published trade paperbacks of Ancestor and Habitat. The two titles were serialized in the Brandon Graham and Emma Rios Image project Island.
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/995163667261783/

 

Andy Warner Signing
When: November 19 (time TBD)
Where: The Escapist Comic Shop
3090 Claremont Avenue in Berkeley
What: Andy Warner will be in-store to sign copies of Brief Histories of Everyday Objects.
More info: http://www.escapistcomics.com/

 

David Faroz Precht Signing
When: November 19 at 1 p.m.
Where: Dr. Comics and Mr. Games
4014 Piedmont Avenue in Oakland
What: David Faroz Precht will sign copies of his Tethered!
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1208200139254030/

 

Christine Villanueva, Vincent Kukua, and Nick Dragotta signings
When: November 19 at 1 p.m.
Where: Fantastic Comics
2026 Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley
What: Christine Villanueva, Vincent Kukua, and Nick Dragotta will be signing and sketching for visitors to Fantastic
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/290445474683787/

 

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Free Comic Book Day 2016: The East Bay Comics Trail

We started with a simple question: Can we feasibly hit every comic shop in Oakland, San Francisco, and Berkeley in one-day? After mapping a number of potential routes it was determined “maybe, but unlikely, and we’ll probably die.” It would have been a case of quantity over quality. What would be the point of rushing into a store, taking some photos, purchasing an item and grabbing a couple of free comics, and rushing to the next store? In the end, we settled on sticking to our backyard and hitting the East Bay Comics Trail. The West Bay Comics Trail will need to wait for a future date.

In my opinion, Free Comic Book Day serves three purposes. In order of importance:

  1. To bring new or lapsed readers into stores
  2. To get kids excited about comics
  3. To educate regulars on what’s coming soon or what else is out there

I acknowledge I’m not really the target of Free Comic Book Day. I have pull lists at three different stores in the Bay Area, on a daily basis I read mainstream and indie comic news, I attend conventions, and I stay up to date on happenings at my local shops. I do know those free comics actually cost the stores money, so the least I can do on Free Comic Book Day is give back if I can. I made a rule: For every free comic I pick-up I’ll purchase an item. This rule seemed simple enough but as you’ll see below we went a bit overboard.

It’s for the best we didn’t attempt to do a combination East/West tour. Circumstances meant we didn’t leave The Shared Universe headquarters until nearly 11 a.m. This is well after all of the stores on the trail had opened.

Stop 1: Cape and Cowl

Cape and Cowl is the most recent addition to the East Bay Comics Trail. The shop at 1601 Clay Street in Oakland combined comics, tattoos, and a food drive. On the store’s Facebook page they said more than a thousand pounds of food had been collected for the Alameda County Food Bank. Cape and Cowl is a 10-minute bus ride from where I live so it’s now the most recent shop to hold one of my pull lists. Below is our haul:

FCBD 2016: Cape and Cowl

Free Comic Book Day selections:

Rom #0
Mooncop: A Tom Gauld Sampler
Bob’s Burgers
Comics Lab!!!
We Can Never Go Home/Young Terrorists

Off-the-Shelf selections:

Invader Zim #9
Aftershock Genesis #1
Heart Throb #1
Hot Damn #1
Rough Riders #2
Army of Darkness: Furious Road #3

Stop 2: Dr. Comics and Mr. Games

Dr. Comics and Mr. Games had the added treat of a table filled with comics from previous Free Comic Book Days. As a combination game store, it additionally provided us with the opportunity to pick-up a copy of the espionage word game “Codenames.”

FCBD 2016: Dr. Comics and Mr. Games

Free Comic Book Day selections

Love and Rockets
Avatarex
March
Doctor Who
Serenity
Suicide Squad

Off-the-Shelf selection

Beasts of Burden
Renato Jones The One% #1
X-Men ‘92 #3
Wonder Woman Earth One Vol. One
Codenames (game)

Stop 3: Escapist Comics

Since moving to the Bay Area I’ve only made it out to Escapist a handful of times. It’s a regret because Escapist always impresses with their indie comic selection. I always walk out with something unusual. For this year’s Free Comic Book Day the store featured illustrators Ramon Villalobos and Meggie Ramm. 

 FCBD 2016: Escapist Comics

Free Comic Bok Day selections

Attack on Titan Anthology
Valiant 4001 AD
Bongo Free-for-All
Lady Mechanika

Off-the-Shelf selections

E is For Extinction #2 (signed by Villalobos)
Harrow County #11
Niobe #1
Mars Attacks: Occupation #1
The House of Montresor #1
The Punisher #1
The Finder Library Vol. 1

Stop 4: Tr!ckster

This was our first time visiting Tr!ckster. It’s always been on our list of stores to visit but we’ve somehow never made it. Walking in it was obvious why this store received an Eisner award nomination this year. I’ve never visited a store like it. Tr!ckster is what would happen if the Mad Hatter ran a comic shop in Wonderland. The interior decorating is beautiful and relaxing plus they always have a kettle of tea waiting for visitors.  The store’s focus is on independent comics with a prioritization of graphic novels. Sure you’ll find your Image and Dark Horse titles, but Tr!ckster makes an effort to make sure what might be a hidden gem at the average store is presented front and center. I was pleased to find a copy of Nick Abadzis’ Laika sitting on a central display. The title has long been on my “must read” list but I always forget to look for it.

Due to the store’s focus, they couldn’t participate in Free Comic Book Day on the same scale as other shops. Instead, they welcomed us with the deepest discount of our journey. Everything in the store was 35 percent off. When you’re shopping for graphic novels that’s a significant saving.

.
FCBD 2016: Tr!ckster

Off-the-Shelf selection

Ink for Beginners
Edwin Windsheer’s Pocket Guide to The Sphere
Laika
The Little Man
Bitch Planet
Rat Queens
The CBLDF presents Liberty
Spirit Leaves #2

Stop 5: Fantastic Comics

Fantastic was celebrating Free Comic Book Day with a signing by writer and cartoonist Kate Leth. She’s written for Bravest WarriorsEdward Scissorhands, and Adventure Time. Currently, she’s the mastermind behind Patsy Walker a.k.a Hellcat. Bonus: they had a Rule 63 Rogue holding down the front entrance.

Fantastic receives additional props for helping me fulfill my secondary mission while out and about for FCBD. I’d been hoping to find the first two anthologies of Josh Simmons’ Jessica Farm. I’d mostly given up by the time we reached Fantastic but as I was standing in the check-out line they were on the corner of store’s indie publication display table. 

 FCBD 2016: Fantastic Comics

Free Comic Book Day selections

Civil War II

Captain America
Junior Braves of the Apocalypse
Science Comics
Camp Midnight

Off-the-Shelf selections

Jessica Farm vols. 1 & 2
Hellcat! #5 signed by Kate Leth
Injection #9
Moon Knight #2
Insexts #5
Second Sight #3
No Mercy #9
Poe Dameron #2
Sex Criminals #15

Stop 6: Jeffrey’s Toys and Comics

Jeffrey’s Toys and Comics had a location in San Francisco for years. They were perhaps one of the longest running stores with a selection of comics in the city. Unfortunately, a convergence of circumstances (predominately, the rising cost of living in the Bay Area) forced Jeffrey’s to pack up and move across the bay. The store is now located on Berkeley’s boutique friendly 4th Street. I never had a chance to visit the San Francisco iteration of this shop but the Berkeley location is definitely much more focused on toys over comics. Walking in we were greeted with stacks upon stacks of Free Comic Book Day selections but it took me a couple of minutes to locate the rest of the comics (at the top of the stairs).

This was Jeffrey’s first FCBD in this new location so I don’t want to be too critical but I think there was a significant missed opportunity. By 4 p.m. on Free Comic Book Day most shops tend to be picked over but Jeffrey’s still had plentiful stacks of everything. We waited in a long line of customers purchasing toys before we could leave the store but not once did we hear the clerks mention “hey, all of these comics are free. Take some.” Every kid in that store should have left with a Strawberry Shortcake, Camp Midnight, DC Superhero Girls, Grumpy Cat, Hilda and the Stone Forest, Junior Braves of the Apocalypse, Oddly Normal, Science Comics, and so on. If you aren’t going to use Free Comic Book Day to put comics in the hands of kids why participate? Plus, you’re rewarding your customers for shopping at your store by giving them a stack of free things. How often does a store have that opportunity?

FCBD criticism aside I’m happy Jeffrey’s has joined us in the East Bay and is providing an additional opportunity for people to discover comics.

FCBD 2016: Jeffrey's Toys and Comics

Free Comic Book Day selection

Archie
Bruce Lee The Dragon Rises
Oddly Normal
Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom

Off-the-Shelf selection

Saga #33
Alex + Ada #12
Art Ops #4
Art Ops #5
Unfollow #4

Honorable Mention: Alameda Sports Cards and Comics

I feel guilty about this one. Due to our later than expected start we had to make a sacrifice and this was it. We’d discussed hitting it after the Jeffrey’s stop but our wallets and bodies were exhausted. If you’re going to do the East Bay Comics Trail the right way Alameda Sports Cards and Comics should be on the journey. Next year they’ll be stop number one.

Around the Bay: Cape and Cowl hosts Image+ release party

Cape and Cowl, 1601 Clay Street in Oakland, celebrated the release of the first issue of Image+ with a well-attended event on Wednesday. In addition to introducing comic readers to the new Image preview magazine the comic shop featured signings with Nick Dragotta (East of West, HowToons), Jimmie Robinson (Power Lines, Five Weapons, Bomb Queen), Justin Greenwood (The Fuse, Stumptown), and Brad Simpson (Sex).

From left to right: Comic and Cowl owner Eitan Manhoff, Jimmie Robinson, Justin Greenwood, Brad Simpson, and Nick Dragotta

From left to right: Comic and Cowl owner Eitan Manhoff, Jimmie Robinson, Justin Greenwood, Brad Simpson, and Nick Dragotta

Cape and Cowl is the highlighted shop in this first issue of Image+.  The magazine also features interviews with Marjorie Liu, Nick Dragotta, Jordie Belaire, and others. Readers will see sneak peeks into forthcoming releases from the Berkley-based comic company including Bryan Lee O’Malley and Leslie Hung’s Snotgirl, Steven Sanders and Caitlin Kittredge’s  Throwaways, and Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire’s A.D. After Death.

FCBD2016: Cape and Cowl food drive and tattoo contest

Cape and Cowl logoFree Comic Book Day announcements keep rolling out from comic book stores around the Bay Area. The most recent entry comes from Cape and Cowl, 1601 Clay Street in Oakland. The newest comic shop in the Bay will leverage the popularity of Free Comic Book Day, May 7, as a food drive for the Alameda County Community Food Bank.

Anyone who brings in non-perishable food for the drive will be allowed to take home double the number of free comics. Anyone who brings in more than $40 of non-perishable food items will not only quadruple the number of free comics they take home but they’ll also receive a free tattoo from Oakland’s Sacred Tattoo. Donors can choose from a number of tattoo designs which will be unveiled closer to Free Comic Book Day.

Cape and Cowl will open from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. on FCBD.

Launch: Cape and Cowl present Image+

image+ launch partyImage Comics is launching it’s newest promotional publication at the Bay Area’s newest comic shop. Cape and Cowl Comics, 1601 Clay Street in Oakland, is hosting a launch party on April 27 for the new magazine Image+. The monthly magazine will be distributed alongside the Diamond Distributors publication Previews. In addition to promoting up and coming Image titles, the magazine will feature exclusive content. The first 12 issues of Image+ will tell the backstory of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead big bad Negan. Each issue will contain four pages of an overall 48-page story. The first issue of Image+ will feature a profile of Cape and Cowl as well as interviews with creators like Marjorie Liu, Bryan Lee O’Malley, and Leslie Hung.

According to an Image Comics press release:

Image+ will clock in at 64 pages and feature exclusive interviews, spotlight features, bonus never-before-seen preview pages, editorials from industry voices, and more in-depth, insightful and provocative comics coverage curated by David Brothers, Branding Manager at Image Comics.

Customers who purchase Previews will receive Image+ as an add-on. The title can also be purchased independently for $1.99.

As for the kick-off event, Cape and Cowl announced special guests including Nick Dragotta (East of West, HowToons), Jimmie Robinson (Power Lines, Five Weapons, Bomb Queen), Justin Greenwood (The Fuse, Stumptown), and Brad Simpson (Sex). Side note: Should I start listing creators as if their titles are nicknames? Jimmie “Five Weapons” Robinson! Brad “Sex” Simpson! Justin “The Fuse” Greenwood!

 

The party starts at 6 p.m. Food will be provided by El Super Taco Man food truck and the store will host a cash bar.

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