Nemo Weekend at SPX!

2014 marks Locust Moon’s first year exhibiting at the always-amazing Small Press Expo, right outside of Washington, DC. SPX has been one of our favorite, and simply one of the best, comics festivals in the world.

Specially for this year’s SPX, we’ll be debuting the first ever advance copies of LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM to be available for sale.

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And luckily enough, there will be a bunch of Dream Another Dreamers scattered around the room to drop a signature in there for you – including Alexis Ziritt, Andrea Tsurumi, Andrew MacLean, Becky Dreistadt, Frank Gibson, Benjamin Marra, Box Brown, Brendan Leach, Carla Speed McNeil, Dave Plunkert, Dave Proch, Dean Haspiel, Farel Dalrymple, Gregory Benton, Jen Tong, Jeremy Baum, Jim Rugg, Nate Powell, R. Sikoryak, Rafer Roberts, Roger Langridge, Theo Ellsworth, and Tom Scioli.

That’s in addition to the tons of OTHER amazingly talented cartoonists who’ll be there, of course. Basically, you don’t want to miss this show.

So find us at TABLE G2 this weekend to say hi and take a peek at all our latest books, including Nemo.

Details for SPX:

September 13-14, 2014

Saturday: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Marriott Bethesda North Hotel & Conference Center
5701 Marinelli Road
North Bethesda, MD 20852

www.spxpo.com

The Locust Moon Top 40: August 2014

40. FABLES vol. 20

Willingham & Buckingham’s seemingly-endless saga wends towards its conclusion, out of the darkness of its previous volume and back towards its heroic roots.

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39. REMAINDER by Farel Dalrymple

The tour-de-force cartooning in this WRENCHIES side story would make Moebius proud.

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38. KILL MY MOTHER

Jules Feiffer is one of the true architects of the comics medium — here, in his smoke-wreathed noir debut graphic novel, he shows that he’s still on top of his game.

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37. This D&D Audiobook

Let Ice-T and Dan Harmon (sadly, not doing his impression of Ice-T) and friends read Dungeons and Dragons to you. It’s…something special.

36. MEGAHEX

Simon Hanselmann’s weirdly sociopathic stoner gag strip MEGG, MOGG & OWL, collected here by Fantagraphics, is a stealth delivery system for some terrifyingly dark character studies.

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35. MULTIVERSITY #1

Bucking the shitty MOR trends of DC, shamanic comics mastermind Grant Morrison delivers a brain-blasting metacomic, with gorgeously detailed universes drawn by Ivan Reis. Surprising that the suits are letting the iconoclastic Morrison have this much fun with their precious continuity.

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This Weekend: Baltimore Comic Con

09-05-14 BaltimoreThis weekend, Spetember 5-7, you’ll find Josh & Andrew on McNulty’s beat for another Baltimore Comic Con.

Find us at Table A143 in Artist Alley — where you can pick up all of our books to date, including our just-days-old new issue of QUARTER MOON, number four: WATERS.

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And when you stop by the table, you might want to take a peek at the one advance copy of LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM that we’ll have on hand (not for sale at this show – but very pre-orderable!).

As usual, look for the ONCE UPON A TIME MACHINE banner and we’ll be there.

Show info:

HOURS
Friday – 1pm-7pm
Saturday – 10am-7pm
Sunday – 10am-5pm

LOCATION
The Baltimore Convention Center
One West Pratt Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
(PRATT & HOWARD STREET ENTRANCE)

WEBSITE
http://baltimorecomiccon.com/

good this week

Chris is out of the game this week, but I didn’t want to let these books go un-called-out…

DARK HORSE PRESENTS VOL 3 #1: The grand old lady of comics anthologies is back in new & improved form. And what better way to kick things off than with a new Big Guy and Rusty story from Geof Darrow? Throw in some new Kabuki from David Mack and a color Sabertooth Swordsman tale from Gentry, Conley, and Bergin (among other fun stories), and yeah, this one’s a winner.

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MS. MARVEL #7: G. Willow Wilson’s truly, deeply modern-day-superhero series continues to be a blast of fresh air and new thinking on an old formula. This is the second and last (for now) issue with charming guest art by Jacob Wyatt, who I hope we’ll see back the next time Alphona needs a break. Ian Herring deserves mention for keeping the book’s colors looking consistently great (and greatly consistent).

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THE MULTIVERSITY #1: You were gonna read it anyways. Take the ride.

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LITTLE NEMO: RETURN TO SLUMBERLAND #1: The other loving, modern tribute to McCay’s world — this one in monthly, rationally sized form. I was wondering how McCay’s sleep-wake cycle would translate from single-page broadsheet strips to a 20-page comic, and was pleasantly surprised by the results. Shanower & Rodriguez maintain a brisk forward momentum through dreamtime that I hope continues through the story’s end, and Rodriguez’s cityscapes — not to mention cloudscapes — really shine. Bravo, guys!

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DAREDEVIL #7: Mark Waid & Javier Rodriguez made me cry. With this issue and the last, the DD team somehow managed to use Marvel’s “Original Sin” framework to craft one of their best stories in an already incredible, landmark run (on a character whose history automatically sets a high bar).

daredevil7- Andrew Carl

 

THE MOTHER’S MOUTH by Dash Shaw

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I usually use this space to highlight new, or at least newly-in-print comics and collections. But I just read something great, and I want to tell you about it. THE MOTHER’S MOUTH by Dash Shaw is a deeply moving story and a stunningly original exploration the unique capacities of the comic medium. Everyone should read it. We have one copy at Locust Moon. Come and get it, lucky reader, and be enriched. It’s no longer in print, so everybody else is shit out of luck.

Much of Dash Shaw’s brilliance lies in the way be brings his ravenous appetite for innovation to tender, human narratives. Though he seems to be devising his approach in the moment, restlessly mining his inventiveness page by page, the stories are old and the characters familiar. His books are small, well-observed and subtle, but his themes are huge and unmanageable, the stuff of great literature — brotherhood, envy and crumpled desire in NEW SCHOOL, for instance, or loneliness, obligation and loss here in THE MOTHER’S MOUTH. These pure evocations of human longing are the emotional backbone of his work, powerful pulsing centers that guarantee that these stories, for all their obfuscating experimentalism, will never buckle under the weight of their own ambition.

The plot, slight as it is, concerns Virginia Miles, a children’s librarian who must return home to care for her elderly mother. She falls into a cautious, uncomfortably intimate relationship with Dick Lucido, a damaged, gentle musician. They blunder towards some kind of guarded love, fingers pushing through the bars of their shame, fear and isolation, as Virginia’s mother fades and dies. But somewhere over the course of all this you fall under this book’s weird spell, and start receiving Shaw’s urgent, befuddling transmissions.

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Virginia’s story is told in a clunky-clean traditional narrative style, with thick marker lines and brushstrokes, her mother’s face layered, shroud-like, with clean black wrinkles. But just as much space is given over to old photographs, scientific and psuedo-scientific schematics, diagrammed dance steps, newspaper articles, found objects. There are moments when it feels less like a story than a bundle of mementos and documents, wrapped in wax paper and bound up with string. Sometimes you read this book — other times you pluck your way through it, puzzling, turning it over in your hands, feeling for its gnomic meaning in the dark.

There’s a tangle of sex, grief and memory at the center of THE MOTHER’S MOUTH that you can never quite unravel — at least, I couldn’t. Virginia, wracked with sorrow over her mother’s illness and utterly vulnerable , alone in the world, falls in with the daydreamy, Michael Jackson-obsessed Dick and we see their weird, halting, awkward courtship (“Oh my god, I’m sorry did my breath smell?” “Oh, I don’t know, did my breath smell?”). But then there are lengthy detours into Virginia’s first (probably only) love affair, a preadolescent fling with a boy named Richard, who died when he was swallowed up into the depths of a sandbox. Near the end of the book, there’s a news article about a Louisiana therapist who accidentally kills a child named Richard, suffocating him during a controversial therapeutic technique in which patients re-experience their own births. What actually happened to Richard? What is his relation to the similarly-named Dick? What does this assemblage of stuff, connected with the thinnest strands of desire, nostalgia and fantasy, mean?

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Your guess is as good as mine. But answering those questions is not the purpose of this story. It’s the mystery, the haunting feeling of the accumulation of all these bits and pieces, the way they mirror one another, operating according to aesthetic as much as narrative logic. Shaw’s world here is a darkly funny fractal, and his vision zooms in on the tiniest memory, a crumpled snapshot, a child’s drawing, then out to the geologic scale of time. We watch Pangaea break apart then come back together again, see the moon swallowed in darkness, then shimmer through as a crescent now reversed, observe a mythical creature decompose into fossils in a series of cross-sections of sedimentary rock. His versatile, telescopic camera always discovers the same thing: that time marches on, that loss is inevitable, that life is fragile and beautiful.

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In one bravura four-page sequence, a sex scene between Dick and Virginia branches into the roots of a tree, the trunk of which flows into a river, which transforms into a topographical map, which, panning back, is revealed to be the sandbox in which Richard died. Everything is everything else — look at the sweep of history or a microbial organism and discover your own anxieties, grievances and hopes. The same messages are encoded into every sequence. When Virginia’s mother dies, her spirit just puffs our of a her chest as a little Pacman ghost, then floats off as a white silhouette against an empty black spread. Figuration, symbolism and narrative are jostling for page space, pulling against each other, as disjointed as they are unified.

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Like in the work of Chris Ware, the towering ambition of the formal approach plays brilliantly off the smallness and mundanity of the story. Virginia and Dick are stuck in prisons of their own device while the vast universe, impossibly beautiful and frightening, spins around them. THE MOTHER’S MOUTH explores huge and hopeful ideas about Dharmic interconnectedness, universal mirroring and infinite regression in a tale of badly damaged people, lost souls shrouded in scar tissue.

It ends with tentative hope, pillow talk, and Dick’s plans for a haircut. In THE MOTHER’S MOUTH, Dash Shaw summons an entire universe just to make two people feel a little less alone.

MM cover- Josh O’Neill

 

good this week

ok, we didn’t have a chance to read anything yet this week, but these are the books we really wanna read…

rocket raccoon #2

gtw1

nightworld #1

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she-hulk #7

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i was the cat

oni

trillium

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the complete elfquest vol. #1

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the ring of the nibelung

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jack davis drawing american pop culture

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food wars!

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The Locust Moon Top 40: July 2014

40. THE WICKED + THE DIVINE

The new Image series from McKelvie & Gillen, a sort of bottomless bonus track to their dark-magic rock opera PHONOGRAM, is one of the most promising series to debut in 2014.

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39. This NSFW Spider-Man Statue

This baffling statue, atop a South Korean shopping mall, gives new meaning to the phrase “web fluid.”

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38. CHARLES SCHULZ’S PEANUTS: ARTIST’S EDITION

This beautifully designed collection of unaltered original Peanuts artwork brings us Charles Schulz’s earliest strips just as he made them — raw, unfiltered, and a little bit mean.

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37. OUTCAST

The world-weary horror of Robert Kirkman’s story is brought to life by the atmospheric, choking tension of Paul Azaceta’s moody, worrisome artwork. A promising debut for what looks to be a truly frightening series.

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36. This Animated Lobster Sculpture

Very lifelike. Keep it far away from butter sauce.

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35. THE LEFTOVERS

This off-beat, darkly funny, sprawlingly intimate HBO series, based on Tom Perotta’s novel of the same title, follows life in a small town in the years following the Rapture.

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