Locust Moon to host second comic festival
Creators will exhibit their works at the Rotunda this weekend
October 1, 2013, 5:51 pm · Updated October 1, 2013, 9:06 pm·
Ali Harwood | DP
This weekend, 1,500 comic book enthusiasts will flock to the Rotunda.
On Saturday, Locust Moon Comics — located on 40th and Chestnut streets — is hosting its second annual Locust Moon Comics Festival. About 150 creators will exhibit their works at the Rotunda on 40th and Walnut streets.
“There’s a lot of cartoonists in Philly, but it isn’t known as a comic book town,” Locust Moon co-owner and founder Chris Stevenssaid. “This is our event to try to make that happen.”
The event will draw a star-studded guest list. Notable creators like J.G. Jones,who penciled the comic book “Wanted” — which was turned into a movie with Angelina Jolie cast as the lead — and Indiana Jones character designer Jim Sterankowill attend the festival. During the festival, cartoonist Rob Woods, who Stevens declares the “best cartoonist in Philadelphia,” will debut his 136-page book, titled “36 Lessons in Self-Destruction.”
Aside from comics, Locust Moon has lined up Little Baby’s Ice Cream, Kung Fu Hoagies, Lovers and Madmen Coffee and Don Memo’s Tacosas vendors for the festival. Kids 13 and under have free admittance, and adults are asked for a $5 to $15 donation.
A portion of those proceeds will benefit the Jack Kirby Museum,an organization dedicated to erecting a brick-and-mortar museum for Jack Kirby, who designed much of the superhero comic book segment.Kirby is responsible for drawing characters like Superman and the Avengers.
After the festival, the store will host an afterparty at 7:00 p.m., and a pancake brunch the following morning at around noon.
Stevens and business partner Josh O’Neillfounded Locust Moon Comics in April of 2010 on 40th and Locust streets.They closed that location in July 2011, when they decided to move to a building that would give them more room. In July 2012, they reopened at their current spot on Chestnut Street.
The blue walls of their current store are lined with an array of potted plants and bookcases holding everything from a 24-page monthly comic to books with over 400 pages. The store’s two cats, Inky and Rooster, stroll freely about the space, which was named one of the 15 nerdiest places in Philadelphia by online blog Topless Robot.
“We’re very aware that people have a preconceived notion of comic shops,” Stevens said, adding that he aims for Locust Moon to feel very different from “the stereotypical comic shop atmosphere.”
“A lot of stores you go to are not very inclusive,” he explained. “I’ve been in other shops in the city where you walk in and no one says hello to you. We like to be the exact opposite of that.”
The store sells comics ranging from the expected Batman and Spiderman to Saga, a “sci-fi, R-rated, intergalactic Romeo and Juliet.”
“To the average human comics equate to superheroes … it’s only one facet and the field has really grown,” Stevens added.
An offshoot of Locust Moon Comics is Locust Moon Press,which released their book “Once Upon a Time Machine“ in October 2012 through Dark Horse Books.Stevens recently signed a deal to write a science fiction love story for Dark Horse. Locust Moon Press is currently working on “Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream,“an homage to Winsor McKay’s comic strip Little Nemo in the comic strip Slumberland.