If you like comic books of the not-strictly-super-hero variety, head to the second Locust Moon Comics Festival on Saturday, a nascent attempt to make Philadelphia a location of note for those in the medium beyond the influence of the industry giants, Marvel and D.C. Comics.
A small army of artists, authors, and publishers will be displaying their work, including Jim Steranko, who designed Indiana Jones for George Lucas (among other feats), and Farel Dalrymple, whose Pop Gun War won the Society of Illustrators' Gold Medal, not often awarded to cartoonists. Other notables include Jay Lynch and Kim Deitch, contemporaries of R. Crumb in the underground comix scene, and Chrissie Zullo, who was discovered at the 2008 Comic Con, and now regularly works for D.C.'s adult-oriented Vertigo label.
Even if you've never heard of these artists and have no interest in the theoretical victor of a Hulk v. The Thing duel, the Locust Moon Festival will provide a window into a comic scene developing beyond the Hollywood spotlight. The festival is family-friendly, but there will be some material best kept far from the mitts of even the most Grand Theft Auto-saturated youngsters. Among these will be Rob Woods' Depressed Punx, a profoundly mordant series of comics (largely set in Philly), which he used to self-publish and sell by hand downtown. Woods' new collection of comics, titled "36 Lessons in Self-Destruction," will debut at the festival.
"When I went to Locust Moon, they were really supportive, selling [Depressed Punx] on the front counter," Woods says. "I wanted to be a part of this family."
The main event will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Rotunda, 4014 Walnut. Donations of $5 to $10 are suggested; kids under 13 are free. Panels will be held from noon to 6 p.m. at Locust Moon, 34 S. 40th St. The shop will also host a party for Woods on Saturday night.