This past weekend on Friday March 18th, Philadelphia’s own Locust Moon Comics hosted what can only be described as an event to remember. The local comic shop was hosting what you would expect to be a regular book signing with superstar comic book artist J.G. Jones and critically acclaimed writer John Arcudi; but the event was anything but regular.
When you think of a comic book signing, what images come to mind? Long lines, fan boys and a small table with a comic book artist or writer sitting at it that you may be able to talk to for about 30 seconds while they sign your book before you’re moved along so that the next person can get their books signed. Not at Locust Moon. The events that transpired at Locust Moon Comics this past Friday can only be described as a party for comic book fans. It was just tons of great people that love comics all hanging out and having a good time with special guest stars J.G. Jones and John Arcudi heading up the whole shebang.
The aforementioned guest stars showed up right on time around 7PM and proceeded to spend the next three hours or so hanging out and chatting it up with their fans in an event that felt truly unreal. It was great to see big name creative talent on such a down to earth level, just talking to fans about anything and everything! From the ups and downs of the comic book industry, their musical preferences, and even the best cheeses, there were few things not discussed throughout the course of the night. Of course they did the usual book signings as well while everyone was having a good time, but the general tone of the night felt so incredibly different than any other book signing that I’ve attended personally.
Locust Moon Comics is somewhat of a special comic shop, in the sense that it doesn’t quite feel like any other shop I’ve ever had to personal pleasure to have been in. Locust Moon Comics is a retailer, art gallery and a small press located in West Philadelphia. While they’ve only been around since April of 2010, they’ve certainly made themselves an indispensable part of the community. Sure, they’ve got most of your weekly new releases, but what really makes this store special is it’s indie selection. Aside from the weekly new comics and one of the best graphic novel/TPB libraries I’ve ever seen in one location, the store feels almost entirely devoted to featuring independent comics and artists. There are quite a few undiscovered gems amongst the shelves of Locust Moon, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the books they’re spotlighting now became household names eventually. The store also carries a vast selection of rare and out-of-print DVDs, as well as a ton of cool rare and imported toys.
For those that aren’t quite familiar with the names, both Jones and Arcudi are well respected creative talent in the comic book industry. Artist J.G. Jones is the artist and co-creator of the hit limited series (and later a major motion picture) WANTED; he also has done a ton of great cover art for series like Y: The Last Man, Villains United, and the covers for the full run of DC Comics’ 52. Jones also contributed the artwork for several issues of DC Comics’ Final Crisis. Writer John Arcudi is best known for having been one of the creators of The Mask (which also later became a major motion picture). Arcudi has also had notable writing stints for series like B.P.R.D., Doom Patrol, Gen 13, and Dark Horse Presents. Arcudi’s latest project was the graphic novel A God Somewhere which was published under DC Comics’ Wildstorm banner this past summer and had a completely sold out run!
Overall, the signing was a great success! Lots of fans got to meet some of the industry’s best talent in what can only be described as a welcoming and friendly environment for everyone. It was certainly a night to remember for those that attended. If you live in or around the Philadelphia area, keep posted for news on more upcoming events at Locust Moon Comics, located at 40th and Locust in Philadelphia, PA.