Even as the dead leaves rattle through the dooryard, turkeys gargle their last calls and pumpkin spice invades our dreams, there are still a few more comic events to come, including, just this weekend, the Locust Moon Festival in Philadelphia (disclosure: an advertiser on this site.) A lively event for a burgeoning local comics scene, the Locust Moon Fest, run by the comic shop of the same name, will have a stellar guest line up this year, including Chris Claremont, Bill Sienkiewicz, Alexa Kitchen, Ronald Wimberly, Craig Thompson and Dean Haspiel, among many others…and now…Mark Beyer! The alt-comic legend is making his very first comic con appearance. Best known for his avant grade work in RAW Magazine, including the harrowing Amy and Jordan, Beter has dropped out in recent years and here’s the reason:
He’s been quiet in recent years, working on paintings in the deserts of New Mexico. But he’s recently moved to Philadelphia, and he’s hungry to tell stories again, with a serialized strip appearing in ArtBlog, a forthcoming reprint of his definitive graphic novel Agony, and, we think and hope, a new collaboration with Locust Moon.
As we reported the other day, Beyer’s Agony will soon be reprinted by the new New York Review Comics line, so it’s a regular Mark Beyer Renaissance.
As for the Locust Moon Festival, it kicks off with an all-star Drink & Draw at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, open to the public and led by all of the aforementioned special guests, on Friday night; and following Saturday’s main event, everyone will catch up over a a long pancake brunch for exhibitors.
This sounds like a fine time. “The intimacy of our festival is what sets it apart from other shows,” says co-runner Josh O’Neill. “What other convention would invite its attendees to have drinks at an art museum with Bill Sienkiewicz and Craig Thompson? It’s not about fans meeting creators and getting books signed. At Locust Moon Comics Festival we all come together as lovers of comics and have a great party.”
The fest is free for kids under 12, and has complimentary programming for kids including comic-making workshops, face-painting, and a
Halloween costume contest. Official programming (held at the Locust Moon store) includes a conversation with Chris Claremont, a panel on underground comics featuring Denis Kitchen, Mark Beyer, Pat Aulisio and Noah Van Sciver, an exploration of what it takes to “Draw on Life” with Craig Thompson, Dean Haspiel and Andrea Tsurumi, and a discussion on comics in fine art contexts with Ronald Wimberly, Bill Sienkiewicz and David Mack.
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.