Gary Edson Arlington, who in 1968 founded The San Francisco Comic Book Company, reputedly America’s first comic book store, has passed away at the age of 75.  In addition to his pioneering in retail, Arlington was also an artist whose work was collected in  the book I Am Not of This Planet: The Art of Gary Edson Arlington published by Last Gasp in 2011 and a publisher of some important early undergrounds including Slow Death Comics, Skull Comics, and San Francisco Comic Book.
Arlington’s store, which was located on 23rd Street in the Mission District, was a key meeting place for underground comic artists in San Francisco (Rory Hayes, Simon Deitch, and Flo Steinberg all worked there at one time or another), and Arlington was something of a "guru" for the underground commix movement back when "guru" actually meant something.
Ron Turner of Last Gasp confirmed that Arlington died on Thursday, January 16th.  Arlington had been living at the Mission Creek Senior Community subsidized apartment complex for low income seniors.