Locust Moon Comics Festival’s Halloween Weekend

lmcf dan mazur

Photo by Dan Mazur

The Locust Moon Comic Festival, Philadelphia’s rapidly growing independent comics expo, has announced a star-studded guest list and an expanded slate of programs for its fourth annual event, to be held on Halloween of this year.

The historic Rotunda on Walnut Street will play host to a cross-section of the greatest artists, writers, publishers, designers, and makers in sequential and graphic arts. This year’s guest list includes Bill Sienkiewicz (ELEKTRA: ASSASSIN), Craig Thompson (HABIBI), Chris Claremont (UNCANNY X-MEN), Alexa and Denis Kitchen (KITCHEN SINK PRESS), David Mack (KABUKI), Mark Beyer (AMY + JORDAN), and Noah Van Sciver (FANTE BUKOWSKI).

“For the first time, the festivities will extend for three days across the weekend,” says organizer Chris Stevens. The festival 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, the fun extends through Sunday afternoon with a long pancake brunch for exhibitors. This will be a weekend to remember for artists, authors, and readers alike.

“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 donation-based event on Saturday, October 31 is free to children under 12, and will feature complimentary programming for kids including comic-making workshops, face-painting, and a Halloween costume contest.

Programming throughout Saturday at the Locust Moon store will include 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.

More than just a convention, this community-focused event will honor comic creators and their creations, and for one day, break down the barriers between professional creators, passionate fans, aspiring artists, and curious new readers.

Says organizer Stevens, “Locust Moon Fest brings the world of comics to Philadelphia, and the comics of Philadelphia to the world.”

Find further information about the event and more guests on the Locust Moon Comics Festival website (locustmoonfest.com), Facebook (facebook.com/locustmoonfest), and Twitter (twitter.com/locustmoonfest).

Locust Moon Fest 2015 Poster ws

– Schedule of Events –

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30
6pm-9pm: Drink & Draw @ Philadelphia Museum of Art (2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy)

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 31
11am-6pm: Comics Festival & Kids’ Activities @ The Rotunda (4014 Walnut St)
12pm-6pm: Panels @ Locust Moon Comics store (34 S 40th St)
8pm-???: Halloween/After-Party @ Locust Moon Comics store (34 S 40th St)

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1
12pm-3pm: Artists’ Brunch @ Locust Moon Comics store (34 S 40th St)

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“Batman, Superman—Prometheus?” Museum Signing on Wednesday 10/28!

prometheus is here

Join The Philadelphia Museum of Art for a panel discussion and book signing in celebration of Prometheus Eternal, the Museum’s first comic book, as inspired by the Rubens masterpiece Prometheus Bound and part of the Museum’s fall exhibition, The Wrath of the Gods: Masterpieces by Rubens, Michelangelo, and Titian. Artists Bill Seinkiewicz, Yuko Shimizu, and David Mack will be joined by Josh O’Neill, publisher of Locust Moon Press to discuss the collaboration and how Prometheus Bound inspired this contemporary re-telling of the ancient myth.yuko CU

Copies of Prometheus Eternal will be available for purchase and signing. This talk is moderated by Christopher Atkins, The Agnes and Jack Mulroney Associate Curator of European Painting and Sculpture before 1900.

Wednesday, October 28
6:30pm – 8:45pm
Lenfest Hall (West Entrance)
$10 ($8 members)

Facebook event

Tuesday Tease

Prometheus Eternal Cover frontToday we’re sharing a beautiful page from a book that’s been a true gift for us.

Prometheus Eternal is a 24-page comic (with, really, 28 pages of content – not even an inside cover goes unused!) that represents the first collaboration between the historic Philadelphia Museum of Art and little old Locust Moon. Just a few months ago now, the Museum called us in to see if we could conjure up some kind of project to tie into their fall exhibition, a collection of art that seemed to share deep connective tissue with the modern heroics of comic book superheroes. They didn’t even realize, at first, that comics re-exploring mythology and calling back to classic historical art were precisely our specialties.

And what followed was an exhilarating ride – we managed to (successfully!) wrangle some the best folks working in comics, including a few legends with whom we’d never had the chance to work before. By turning the project into a miniature anthology, we could make the turnaround time as feasible as possible (even if it was still dangerously tight), given that no creator would be on the hook for more than 5 pages of work. But we also, then, had to keep all that many more plates spinning at once, with no room for error. And, one way or another, we actually did it. The comics were delivered from the printer directly to the Museum just in time to go on display and into the gift shop. And they are beautiful.

The exhibition, “The Wrath of the Gods,” opened this past week. And displayed there, right alongside works by Michelangelo, Titian, and the centerpiece Prometheus Bound painting by Peter Paul Rubens, you’ll find a readable copy of Prometheus Eternal. (Of course there are copies for sale, too.)

The artists in this book all refer back to Rubens, to his mythical subject Prometheus, and to the grand tradition of using art to capture mortal defiance of and punishment by the gods. Grant Morrison & Farel Dalrymple, Dave McKean, Andrea Tsurumi, David Mack, Josh O’Neill & Lisk Feng, and James Comey all wove their own Promethean tales, while Paul Pope, Bill Sienkiewicz (with his front and back covers), and Yuko Shimizu contributed paintings and illustrations inspired by Prometheus and Bound.

So here is “A Portrait of Prometheus Sans Titan” from Yuko Shimizu:

Prometheus_Yuko_Shimizu

Bill Sienkiewicz Brings Fire to PROMETHEUS ETERNAL

We’re putting PROMETHEUS ETERNAL, our collaboration with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, to bed today. It’s off to press with the appropriately named Fireball Printing tomorrow. This thing features work by Dave McKean, Grant Morrison, Yuko Shimizu, Lisk Feng, Paul Pope, David Mack, Andrea Tsurumi, James Comey and Farel Dalrymple. These comics will be displayed alongside artwork by Michelangelo, Rubens and Titian, and stands proudly and rightfully beside the work of the Old Masters.

But if you want to get to the amazing stories inside, you’ll have to brave the hellfire on Bill Sienkiewicz’s startlingly powerful cover.

Prometheus Eternal Cover front
Keep your eyes on the skies, friends. This book is a gift from the heavens.

-Josh O’Neill

Awards and Onwards

So… it’s a bit of a heady time here in the land of the Locusts.

Andrew went to San Diego, and came back with these things:

nemo_eisners

Those globes are actually spinnable, and the base is made of solid wood. But beyond even their fine craftsmanship, these objects also have symbolic value. They are Eisner awards, assigned by a jury of our peers, recognizing the transcendent beauty and Herculean it-takes-a-village communal effort that is LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM.

EISNER winnerOur collective labor of love was recognized as BEST ANTHOLOGY, and Jim Rugg’s gorgeous work on the package was singled out for BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN.

We’re humbled. So much dedication and care went into the crafting of the 118 beautiful pieces contained in this collection. And we couldn’t be prouder to be behind one of the projects spearheading this surprising and splendid Winsor McCay revival – between our anthology, IDW’s RETURN TO SLUMBERLAND mini-series, Taschen’s complete Little Nemo reprint, and Katherine Roeder’s academic work WIDE AWAKE IN SLUMBERLAND, our man was the recipient of, count ’em, eight Eisner nominations and four Eisner awards. These are some pretty voluminous coat-tails, and we’re riding ’em in good company, hanging on for dear life.

Voting open through August 31, 2015Then we turn around the next week and find that LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM has been nominated for two Harvey Awards, (BEST ANTHOLOGY and SPECIAL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN PRESENTATION; voting open till 8/31), and Locust Moon Press was nominated for a Philadelphia Geek Award for COMIC CREATOR OF THE YEAR. The accolades for this beautiful book are coming faster than we can tweet about them. It’s a remarkable thing, to see the spectacular work and incredible passion of so many visionary cartoonists recognized by their industry and their colleagues.

BUT – lest you think we’re resting for even a moment on our laurels – we thought we might take this opportunity to give you a glimpse of what we’re working on.

Friends, this is the calm before the storm. All spring and summer long, we have been planting seeds.

Soon – the harvest.

Here’s what’s coming from Locust Moon in the next three months. Gird yourselves, comic lovers.

LITTLE NEMO’S BIG NEW DREAMS

LittleNemo_Toon_CoverWe’re pleased and honored to announce the newest incarnation of our seemingly endless Little Nemo revival project: we’ve partnered with TOON BOOKS, Francoise Mouly’s remarkable comics-for-young-readers imprint, home of beautiful children’s books by Art Spiegelman, Jeff Smith, and Neil Gaiman, to create a miniature, abridged edition of our ginormous compendium.

Gorgeously designed by Francoise herself, edited by myself, Chris, and Andrew, and featuring an introduction in comic strip form by none other than Art Spiegelman (!!!!), this beautiful new book is our attempt to create some version of our dream-tome fit for libraries, schools, backpacks, picnics, and budgets without room for triple-digit literary line items.

Due for release on September 1st, this edition is a sparkling treasure smuggled out of Slumberland while everyone was distracted by the cacophonous pomp of the LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM parade.

Some great early reviews of LITTLE NEMO’S BIG NEW DREAMS are already in from ICv2 and Kirkus.

SHAMAN

Shaman_Vol1_coverThis is a project that’s been bubbling away on Locust Moon’s most favored back burner for a couple years now, and it’s finally come to a boil. Ben Kahn and Bruno Hidalgo’s gleeful dismemberment of superhero tropes marks the long-form debut of two top-flight storytellers and one bitingly brilliant comics-making team. Ben and Bruno’s sharp, nimble, contagiously funny creative vision is about to be loosed on the world in the shape of a charming supernatural saga that’s sure to leave readers enraptured and hungry for more. In the never-ending battle between good and evil, the door between life and death swings both ways – and Shaman’s the asshole with the key.

SHAMAN: Volume One, featuring special appearances by the likes of Farel Dalrymple, Jim Rugg, and J.G. Jones, will be in comic shops everywhere October 15.

Make sure your store gets it! Diamond order code JUL151468.

QUARTER MOON: IMPRACTICAL CATS

Yes, this is a whole issue of Quarter Moon about cats. Mostly this cat…

inky

QM6_cover…but a lot of other cats too.

Our little quarterly-esque comics anthology is growing up, pouncing into the future with its wildest, prettiest and most ambitious iteration thus far. Featuring a cover by Lisk Feng and artwork and stories from a lineup of ringers including Paul Pope, Farel Dalrymple, Dean Haspiel, David Mack, Bill Sienkiewicz, Ronald Wimberly, and many more, this celebration of our furry friends prowls and purrs like the fine feline she is.

The sixth volume of QUARTER MOON will hit shelves by November. Our hope is that the slow boat from China gets it here in time to debut this creature at Comic Arts Brooklyn.

PROMETHEUS ETERNAL

We’ve been keeping this one a semi-secret outside of some slightly obnoxious vaguebooking, but goddamn. We’re just too excited to hold back any longer.

We’re teaming up with the Philadelphia Museum of Art (you know, from Rocky?) to produce a comic book companion to their upcoming WRATH OF THE GODS exhibition – a show featuring representations of Prometheus throughout history, including works by Rubens, Michelangelo, and Titian.

How do you answer the call to arms that comes in the form of a collaboration with one of the greatest American art museums, in a show featuring a number of old masters?

You recruit a lineup of the greatest cartoonists in the world. Our PROMETHEUS ETERNAL comic will feature illustrations and stories adapting the Prometheus myth by creators including

GRANT MORRISON
DAVE MCKEAN
LISK FENG
BILL SIENKIEWICZ
PAUL POPE
ANDREA TSURUMI
DAVID MACK
JAMES COMEY
FAREL DALRYMPLE
YUKO SHIMIZU

We’re bringing the visions of these incredible storytellers into a context in which it deserves to be seen: among other great works of art history. If our crazy plan works, this book will be the first of many, and this partnership between Locust Moon and the P.M.A. will mark the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

A little taste, courtesy of McKean…

Prometheus_McKean_p2panel

UPDATE: And now, Bill Sienkiewicz’s cover!

Prometheus Eternal Cover front