October 6, 2013

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A Visit to Locust Moon Comics Festival 2013

A view of the main room
Yesterday I had the distinct pleasure of actually making it to the Locust Moon Comics Festival in its second year, after an epic fail in year one that ended with me shredding my Greyhound ticket.

This year was nearly as perilous, as I went to drive to the show and found that my car wouldn't start. What gives, Comics Gods? Don't you want me to buy great comics from Philadelphians?

At any rate, I made it to the show, and despite the oppressive heat (the Rotunda is a great place for a comics or zine show, but it's not designed for summer weather), had a good time getting to explore a lot of local comics from creators I had not seen or met before and another chance to talk and hang out for a bit with old comics friends--and a few newer ones as well.

The Dirty Diamonds crew: Carey and Kelly
One of the things that always worries me about going to a show shortly before or after SPX is the chance for repetition. For example, if you don't go to SPX, MoCCA provides a chance to meet a lot of the same people.

The problem is that if you've already been to SPX, unless the comics creator is prolific, odds are you don't have anything new to buy from them.

So that was what really impressed me with Locust Moon. There were quite a few creators I'd never seen or heard of before, vastly outnumbering the ones I see yearly at SPX. It was really cool to be able to go around and sample, and pick out a few that looked most interesting to me. I probably could have spent a bit more, but this was my fourth comics show (and fifth con, with a sixth to follow this coming weekend) and it's started to hit me just how much I've spent on things lately. I definitely got some ideas for the future and creators to keep an eye on, which is always awesome.

Two of the best.
I thought that Locust Moon did a good job with making the best use possible of the space of the Rotunda, with the expanded area being as filled to the gills as the the normal exhibition area. They didn't waste a single inch, with comics people even squeezed into the entrance alcove and in the hallway leading between the two wings of the building.

Despite how packed the creators were, it did not feel oppressive, except for the heat. There was definitely enough aisle space, and with no one cosplaying, people were able to walk around freely. The no pressure donations-at-the-door approach worked well, I think, especially at getting casual people in to see the comics. Door fees should never be a barrier at a show like this one.

An interesting choice was the mixing of the big names with the smaller ones. Todd Klein might be next to a person with a $1 mini, which was kind of neat. The democratic nature of comics really showed at Locust Moon--with the exception of Jim Steranko, because, well--he's Steranko.

Locust Moon was a great show, and I highly recommend it to anyone in the area. I hope to see it return in 2014, even if I am too far away to attend personally.

You can see all my Locust Moon 2013 pictures here.