The indie comics circuit is squeezing ONE LAST SHOW in just before the holidays: On December 16th the Locust Moon Comics Festival will host a diverse group of guests from various ends of the comics industry, but mostly from the vibrant Philadelphia scene. The sponsor, Locust Comics is incredibly active in putting on events and this sounds like an interesting way to cap off the year. At the very least it has a great poster by Faryl Dalrymple. PR below:
On Sunday, December 16th, Locust Moon Comics will host the first LOCUST MOON COMICS FESTIVAL, an annual celebration of comics and illustration to be held at the Rotunda in West Philadelphia (4014 Walnut Street). More than just a convention, this unique event will honor comic creators and comic creations. The emphasis will be on independent and creator-owned books, as the Rotunda will play host to many of the most distinguished and acclaimed artists, writers, and publishers in the comics world.
This unique gathering will boast a vast variety of local Philadelphia talents such as Robert Woods (Depressed Punx), J.G. Jones (Final Crisis), James Comey (Donkey Punch), Mark Robinson (I Love Trouble), and Box Brown (Everybody Dies), alongside acclaimed cartoonists from across North America including Farel Dalrymple (Pop Gun War), Brandon Graham (Prophet), David Mack (Kabuki) and dozens of others. The festivities will sprawl across the weekend at the LOCUST MOON COMICS headquarters at 34 S. 40th St, including a gallery show featuring original artwork by festival attendees, an all-star Drink & Draw on Saturday the 15th where many of the greatest cartoonists in the world will jam and collaborate, and a party on Sunday night to close out what promises to be a wild and inspiring weekend.
The festival itself will be an all-day affair on Sunday (10am to 8pm), as a cornucopia of publishers and creators will vend their wares, sign books, and greet fans. Many artists including Jim Rugg, Farel Dalrymple, and Mark Robinson will debut festival-exclusive prints, and several including Box Brown will debut new books. With refreshments provided by Kung Fu Hoagies and Little Baby’s Ice Cream (who will debut a secret new flavor specifically engineered for the event), the festival promises to be delicious, as well.
“We want to create an event that recognizes and celebrates the huge variety of unique, independent voices in the world of comics,” says Locust Moon owner Josh O’Neill. “There are plenty of comic conventions in Philly, but we want to do something that’s not about video games and Star Trek and professional wrestling and geek culture — our festival is about the fierce creativity of cartoonists and writers and illustrators who follow their own paths and speak from the heart. We want to exalt the infinite possibilities of the medium and acknowledge the intrepid talents that restlessly explore and expand its edges.”
Locust Moon Comics is a retail store, art gallery, and publishing company (they produced the massive sci-fi fairy tale anthology ONCE UPON A TIME MACHINE, distributed by Dark Horse Comics, earlier this year), based in West Philadelphia. This star-studded event is the most recent of their many efforts to unify, accelerate, and publicize the burgeoning Philadelphia comic book scene. “There’s a really rambunctious spirit to the Philly creative communities,” O’Neill says. “It’s not about getting noticed by some publisher or label or gallery, it’s not about becoming the Next Big Thing, it’s about making your work and pushing it out there into the world. There’s a sense that they’re not going to do it for us, so we’d better do it ourselves. And what we want to do at Locust Moon, whether through an anthology or a festival or a weekly drink & draw, is help bring people together and get their voices heard. There are transcendent talents all over this city, and we want to bring them together with transcendent talents and independent-minded publishers from all over the world, and see what kind of alchemy happens.”
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.