- Mission: Comics & Art is a junction point for the worlds of fine art, comic books, and popular culture.
- Location: San Francisco, California, United States
- Gender: Male
3520 20th St. Suite B
San Francisco, CA 94110
Combine a comic book shop with an art gallery in a fresh, exciting way drawing on the unique strengths of the Mission District, its diversity, and eclectic and energetic art community.
Owner: Leef Smith
Leef grew up in 70's hippy San Francisco with hand-made clothes, a vegetarian diet and progressive politics, as well as Lego's, Star Wars and comic books, starting with Tintin. Later he was drawn into comtemporary mainstream comic by the X-Men and Crisis on Infinite Earths, and the rich complexity they offered. Growing up in the rich diversity of San Francisco led to him getting a degree in Sociology from UCSC. He later spent a few years living in one of the art districts of Seoul, Korea for a few years and traveling throughout Asia. In 1997, Leef returned to San Francisco and got swept into Dot Com bubble, and the web world and spent several years as the webmaster for Visa's intranet. This however did not extinguish his passion for the arts and setting his own sail, and the dreams of his next career. A unforeseen layoff in the fall of '08 provide that kick, and he was inspired by his Buddhist practice, Burning Man and the ideas of localized, sustainable business practices, to open his own art gallery combined with a comic book shop and "Mission: Comics & Art" was born.
While still in it's infancy, Leef's intention is for "Mission: Comics & Art" to help facilitate a greater cross-pollution between the worlds of fine art and commercially produced sequential art i.e. comic books, re-contextualizing both and creating a new community focal point, both locally in the neighborhood, and in the larger artistic world. Today he's still regularly blown away by comic books that can both pull from rich literary and artistic traditions to create an utterly unique art form. He's also constantly inspired by all the creativity and passion in his much San Francisco, and more specifically the Mission District.