good this week

darth vader #1 : marvel is 2 for 2 so far with their STAR WARS roll-out. this is a vader who is suffering the backlash of the death star’s destruction and feeling the first glimmers of awareness that a certain farm boy named luke might be more than he seems.

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southern bastards #7 : blood, guts, and heart. jason’s aaron and latour have quickly established this series as one of those books you gotta read as soon as you get your hands on it.

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the empty #1 : fantasy books are a tough road to hoe, but jimmie robinson won me over here with pleasing layouts and color work. i can’t think of another book right now that looks like this, and that’s a good thing.

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transformers vs gi joe #5 : now, i’m friends with the mastermind behind this book, tom scioli, and gi joe was the thing i loved most from those golden years of boyhood say 8-12. that said, this is still the most improbably good book since brandon graham relaunched PROPHET. it’s obvious on every page that tom is all in, and there’s a joyous, anything-goes quality that only the best comics have.

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fables complete covers by james jean : you need me to tell you why you need this? well, it is the first time all of james’ storied FABLES covers are in one place.

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ps. this is actually the cover to the original, incomplete volume of jj’s covers. i couldn’t find the new cover online for the life of me.

–chris

 

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Mice ‘n’ Ape

This weekend, October 4th & 5th, Locust Moon is pulling off our first dual coast expostravaganza.

Josh hits Cambridge, MA for MICE (the Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo), while Andrew brings the party to San Francisco, CA for APE (the Alternative Press Expo).

All the while, of course, Chris will be stationed at Locust Moon HQ back in Philadelphia, PA.

Each of us on the road will have a small stack (small in number — huge in size) of Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream advance copies, so find us quickly if you can’t wait till the full release later this year.

Here’s where you can find us, and all our partners in slumber, on our expocades:

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At MICE you’ll also find Nemo contributors Maria & Peter Hoey, Box Brown, Mark Mariano, Maris Wicks, and Jerel Dye.

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And at APE you’ll find Nemo artists Jim Rugg, Paul Pope (Sunday only), Tom Scioli, Jen Tong, Grim Wilkins, Jenna Trost, and Mike Lee. Also look for Sunday Press, who produce the definitive, full-sized Nemo reprints we love so much.

Locust Moon Press (Josh O’Neill) at MICE: Table A22

Saturday, October 4: 10am – 6pm
Sunday, October 5: 11am – 4pm

University Hall at Lesley University
1815 Massachusetts Ave (Porter Square)
Cambridge, MA 02239

www.micexpo.org

Locust Moon Press (Andrew Carl) at APE: Table 403B

Saturday, October 4: 11am – 7pm
Sunday, October 5: 11am – 6pm

Fort Mason Center
Festival Pavilion
2 Marina Blvd.
San Francisco, CA 94123

www.comic-con.org/ape

SPXcellent

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SPX

SPX, it seems generally agreed, is the most fun weekend of convention season. So much more than a small press marketplace, it’s a celebration of comics with a quirky character all its own. Our time in Bethesda was filled with booze and belly laughs, as we caught up with old friends, sold a veritable buttload of comics, and even busted out some serious dance moves.

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Andrew Carl, Rafer Roberts, Dave Proch

Oh, and also, we debuted LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM.

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Sean getting his Nemo signed by Andrea Tsurumi (right page)

After two years, we finally had books to sell. It felt almost surreal. Having spent so much time with these beautiful pieces, having bickered & bonded over every page placement, every design element, having written endlessly about McCay and Little Nemo, having given interviews to any & all who would interview us, having generally turned ourselves over the last eight months into single-minded Nemo-making-and-promoting machines, here we were for the very first time with copies of the book to put into people’s hands. DREAM ANOTHER DREAM has attained such a giant status in our minds, as a tribute and collective effort and crowd-funded passion project, that it’s easy to forget that in the end, it’s a book. You can buy it if you want it. It’s up to you.

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Alexis Ziritt admiring those insane colors on his Nemo page (right)

We didn’t have many copies — there are only 50 in the US at the moment, having been overnight shipped and smuggled across the border at great expense and vague legal peril. We’ll be parceling them out over the our hectic convention schedule (come see us at Rose City in Portland, MICE in Cambridge, APE in San Francisco, and NYCC in NYC!), a few at a time, to tide you all over until the LOCUST MOON COMICS FESTIVAL, when we should have our bulk shipment in stock and we can sell them freely and – even more importantly – begin fulfilling the rewards of our beloved Kickstarter backers.

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Jen Tong seeing her Nemo page for the first time in print

But that’s getting ahead of ourselves. Here we were with 18 (quickly sold out) copies of this majestic creature, on the lushly-carpeted floor of one of the best and most exciting comics conventions in the world. We were tabling with our old pals & brothers-in-arms (and Nemo contributors) Farel Dalrymple and Jasen Lex, which gave our booth a grandeur and a comics firepower befitting the glorious book we were debuting. We thought we were making good sales, but Farel blew us away — there wasn’t a moment all weekend when he didn’t have a long line waiting for him to sign copies of THE WRENCHIES. The way our tables were combined, I think a fair amount of confused people thought that Locust Moon was THE WRENCHIES’ publisher. I sincerely wish we were. It’s one of the greatest comics of all time.

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Farel making his mark on a soon-to-be-epic copy of Nemo…

We discovered when inspecting the SPX floor plan that, including the two fine tablemates just to our left, 26 of the book’s 140 contributors were exhibiting at the show. So Andrew made heavily annotated maps marking each of their locations, and we sent the proud new owners of LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM off on scavengers hunts to get as many signatures as they cared to or could. I jokingly offered a free prize to anyone who got all 26. A constant sight on the show floor throughout the weekend was people stalking from booth to booth with an unwieldily gargantuan book under one arm and a marked-up map held aloft with the other, like some kind of alt-comix version of The Amazing Race. When a number of people returned to the table with every contributor checked off, I had to figure out what the hell kind of free prize I could offer them.

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…Rawn Gandy adding to the now well-scavenged set of signatures

SPX has always been a youthful show. For all the incredible comics luminaries they always have on hand, it’s always been the show where people are most excited about handmade books and self-published minis. It’s a show that thrives on New Comics Energy, and we couldn’t have been happier to contribute to that influx of medium-sustaining novelty with an unusual and unlikely project of our own. (Many thanks to Warren Bernard for helping us make this magical weekend happen.)

As usual, half of the reason for the glory of SPX is due to the Bethesda Marriott Hotel, whose comfy confines are given over completely to the endless array of misfits that we call a comics industry. It’s more than just a con venue — it’s the eye of the storm, for one brief weekend this one building is the center of the comics universe. You exhibit there, you drink there, you draw there, you sleep there. (You eat elsewhere and abruptly realize there’s such a thing as outside.) By the end of the weekend it feels like home. I’m not sure Jesse Reklaw ever put on a pair of shoes. To the maids and bellhops it must be kind of like going to the zoo, if the animals were all inside of your house. Their hospitality was stunning, and can in no way be attributed to the eight bazillion dollars they generated in overpriced drink sales.

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Ben Sears, Andrew MacLean, Chris Stevens, Aaron Conley, Zack Soto

This SPX was heavy on the social events, from the Ignatz awards (whose many unfamiliar nominees were a welcome reminder that comics is bottomless, and we should all be reading more than we are) to the baffling spectacle of Simon Hanselmann’s wedding (we missed the vows, but walked in at the very end to see Simon making out with Gary Groth while a five piece brass band played All You Need is Love), to the SPX prom, facilitated and arranged by our own homegirls the Dirty Diamonds, which featured a jam-packed dance floor, an inspiring interpretive performance of Madonna’s Express Yourself by R. Sikoryak and Kriota Willberg, and this majestic photo, which should really be featured here at least twice and, even if the con were a total failure, completely justifies the weekend.

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SPromX

Fashion round-up: I wore a beautiful Nancy tie that Denis Kitchen gave me, a fact that I’m surprised hasn’t found its way into more post-con blogs and recaps. My own sartorial beauty was outstripped only by Tom Scioli, who was sporting french braids woven by the dirtiest of diamonds Claire Folkman, and Simon Hanselmann, who was wearing a wedding dress, which seems like cheating.

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Nancy

We scored a lot of amazing books and prints, including Dustin Harbin‘s NoBrow dinosaur leporello, Andrea Tsurumi‘s remarkable new YA sci-fi collab with Molly Brooks, Kelly Phillips‘ hilariously revealing Weird Al superfan autobio, and one lone copy of Ben Marra‘s storied, seemingly-always-sold-out TERROR ASSAULTER, which Dave, Andrew and I read aloud to each other while eating chicken nuggets in our hotel room. I’m pretty sure that’s how Ben intended the book to be enjoyed.

Oh SPX. I hope that thoughts of you will sustain us through the meat-grinder shit-show known as New York Comic-Con. You only get one chance to make a first impression. I’m glad that SPX was ours.

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Josh O’Neill, Andrew Carl

– Josh O’Neill

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.

Multiversity-map_1400x1074 Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

good this week

saga #21 : things are getting slipperier for the families on both sides here. on another note, i want FRIENDO.

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ragnarok #1 : YES. walt simonson back in the saddle, with john workman bringing the BRAKKATHOOMs.

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avengers 100th anniversary #1 : james stokoe. need i say more?

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transformers vs gi joe #1 : tom scioli pulls off a perfect evocation of all that made generations of kids spend countless hours on kitchen floors playing out action figure battles & plots.

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batman ’66 #13 : the most enjoyable bat book of its day sees dean haspiel ride in and deliver pitch perfect storytelling chops and just the right amount of wink-wink this book thrives on.

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tuki: save the humans #1 : where jeff smith goes, we follow.

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mike mignola’s hellboy artist’s edition : seeing the master’s hand unadorned packs a punch.

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-chris stevens

Seconds : Bryan Lee O’Malley (with great help from Nathan Fairbairn) does it again with his new, beautiful, magical realist fable.

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Street Angel HC : AdHouse Books has brought Jim Rugg’s modern classic, bar-raising series back in perfect form. Street Angel changed the way I looked at comics 10 years ago, and this new, handsomely produced edition (which includes a few bits and pieces old fans might not have seen) is the one it’s always deserved. Everyone who missed it the first time around owes it to themselves to read it now.*

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-Andrew Carl

*Diamond didn’t actually ship us our order of Street Angel HCs this week, but we’ll be getting them in soon. Regardless, this roundup wouldn’t have been right without her.

a spoil of riches

we are neck-deep in the LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM kickstarter, yes, but we’re also getting ready for the 3rd annual LOCUST MOON PHILLY COMICS FESTIVAL on OCTOBER 25th. we’ve got a sweet fest poster done by the talented mister ron wimberly that we’ll be revealing soon, and preparations are under way to improve & expand on last year’s show. but we wanted to do something special this summer, and give folks a taste of what’s to come. it just so happened 3 of the top cartoonists working today all have great new books out, and are our pals, and we’re going to bring them together and rock the philadelphia comics scene for one glorious july night.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1466509490262234/

Coming to the store on FRIDAY, JULY 18…

PAUL POPE’s been someone i’ve admired and looked towards for almost 20 years, which is crazy because he’s not much older than me. his newly released ESCAPO, out of print for years and now in full color, is probably my favorite book of his.

DEAN HASPIEL is the guy i want to be when i grow up. a man’s man with a romantic heart and a creator through and through. FEAR MY DEAR, his new BILLY DOGMA book, is a lean crystallization of dino!’s comics.

TOM SCIOLI’s unbridled love and immersion into comics both recharges me and makes me feel like i need to be doing MORE. the fact he’s taking on my childhood obsession GI JOE, in TRANSFORMERS VS GI JOE, makes me giddy in anticipation and so, so jealous.

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this is going to be a night to remember. see you there.

–chris stevens