Kinda-sorta replacing the Philly Alt Comic-Con show that Erica and I attended in 2011, the Locust Moon Comics Festival is being held in one of my favorite small-show locations, the Rotunda, near University of Pennsylvania campus. The location is extremely convenient, open, and able to handle just the right amount of foot traffic that you'd expect for a show of this size. (Warning: It can get a little cold, dress accordingly.)
The show has a lot of old friends for me at it, and I admit my main reason for going is to see the gang one more time before Winter sets in and we comics-type hibernate until SPACE, MoCCA (maybe), and other shows start to blossom with the return of warmer weather. As always, I hope to meet new creators as well, and I am looking forward to meeting L. Nichols in person, as Flocks was one of the best mini-comics I read this year.
You can find the full listing here of all the artists scheduled to attend. Below are those I suggest you give special attention to!
- Carolyn Belefski and Joe Carabeo of Curls Studio make one last appearance in 2012, bringing a variety of comics projects along with them, from their clever thieves Roxy and Dean to anthology collaborations (like District Comics) to Carolyn's Curls webcomic. They have a lot to offer any comics reader!
- I'm very tempted to call 2012 the "Year of Box Brown" because of how many of his comics I've read this year--and also really enjoyed. Box is the publisher of Retrofit Comics, a perveyor of mini-comics to your door every month, but he's also a great talent whose art is improving with each project while his deep philosophical questions (and dick jokes) get even more pointed.
- Matt Weigle was one of the first mini-comics creators I ever bought from, way back at SPX 2008, and I haven't stopped since. His quirky comics feature everything from clever fish to bacon to post-modern robots.
- Farel Dalrymple is the creative brains behind Pop Gun War, but he's also worked on Omega the Unknown for Marvel and did some of the work on the new Prophet revamp for Rob Liefeld. He's got a great style that's worth investigating
- I haven't seen a lot of Kat Roberts' work, but the samples I saw online looked pretty cool. See what you think when you stop by her table at the show.
- Peter Hoey / Maria Hoey / Coin-Op Studio do not appear to have a lot of comics work available, but the samples I saw online were steller, retro-filled renderings that are tightly constructed ala Chris Ware, though with a different look to them. And anyone with a jazz-related comic has my interest!
- Locust Moon Press are the folks hosting, so go see what they have, eh?
- L. Nichols is most likely the author of my mini-comic of the year, and at the very least is in the top ten. She is the creator behind Flocks, an incredibly personal story full of real pain and anxiety, drawn with great style and just the right points of exaggeration. This is a must-see artist for the show!
- Morgan Pielli's anthology series Indestructible Universe is a great mixture of Bradbury-like speculative fiction, drawn in a variety of style that make amazing use of black and white artistry.
- Chris Pitzer is the publisher of Ad House Books, an imprint that is carefully curated to bring you the widest variety of comic styles, all with high quality. He's good at finding things under the radar and pointing them out to you, and I trust his judgment implicitly. You should, too.
- Rafer Roberts should have the second volume of Plastic Farm, one of the best psychological horror comics being published today, available at the show, along with single issues and of course, the first trade. Horror fans need to be reading this man's work, which features some of the best linework I've seen.
- Jim Rugg gets points for being a Pittsburgh guy, but he's also great at homage-style comics, such as Afrodisiac. An incredible talent who has also worked on books for young women and even has a sketchbook collecting his fine range.
- Steve Seck and Sara Lindo really should work on a comic together someday, but right now, I'm happy getting more Life is Good (Steve) and Lobotomy stories (Sara). Life is good is how a talking animals strip should be written and Sara's endearing stories of brains, traffic cones, and a cat with a job are all high quality work.
- Secret Acres is a comics collective that looks interesting, with a large grouping of artists in their stable. I feel like I should be familiar, but I'm not--so, time to fix that!
- Jamie Tanner wrote one of the most messed-up comics I've ever read, the Aviary, and I don't think I've ever had the pleasure of telling Jamie that. Now I will! Also, anyone into mind-messing comics needs to get Aviary from him.
Hope to see you there! I'm liable to be in a blue jacket, layered up, with a philly-themed t-shirt on.