Golden Apple Comics Founder Dead at 63

For Southern California comic book aficionados, Golden Apple Comics has been a mecca, but the franchise will also stand as a shrine to founder Bill Liebowitz, who died from illness Wednesday at the age of 63.

With locations in Hollywood and Northridge, Golden Apple is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Leaving a successful career in corporate real estate, former Brooklyn boy Liebowitz opened the first store in 1979 as a way of surrounding himself with his favorite elements of pop culture. In addition to comic books, the stores feature toys, music and adult entertainment. Over the years, Golden Apple stores have been popular venues for book signings and other personal appearances, drawing crowds with high-profile comics creators and Hollywood luminaries.

Liebowitz is survived by wife Sharon, two sisters, a son and a granddaughter. Details for the memorial service have not yet been announced, but an update will likely be posted on the Golden Apple website (www.goldenapple.com), where visitors are invited to leave their thoughts and read those posted by others.