Comics ranged from the traditional Marvel characters to literary figures, military figures, animals and retro-inspired illustrations. Panelists also held discussions at the 40th Street store.
Maria Hoey, one half of the brother-sister duo Coin-Op, returned to Comics Fest.
“It’s very isolating, working… a chance to talk to people is a very different experience,” Hoey said.
Key to the event’s success was the admiration Locust Moon owners have for every creator in attendance, according to Andrew Carl, editor-in-chief of Locust Moon Press.
“It was sort of word of mouth, people we knew,” Carl said. “The comics and creators that we think are, I don’t know, kind of honest and approaching the work in a way that we respect.”
Locust Moon donated a portion of the day’s proceeds to the Jack Kirby Museum in Hoboken. The museum seeks to promote and preserve the legacy of the late comics creator.
“He wasn’t just an illustrator,” said Rand Hoppe, the museum’s treasurer, “he was a writer of comic books.”
Kirby’s Captain America comics inspired Vishavjit Singh, creator of Sikhtoons, to reinterpret the superhero with the help of a Halloween costume and a photographer.
“What I do is use humor to kind of cut through people’s anxieties and fears,” Singh said.
Last year, he wrote a Seattle Times op-ed about superheroes fighting hate crimes.
“This past June, we put on the uniform, walked out,” he said. “Almost unanimously everybody thought it was the coolest thing in the world.”
The event aimed to draw in Philadelphia-area creators and residents. Locust Moon stocks a large selection of books by in-house and local artists with growing popularity. One such team is Hollaback! Philly, a local contingent of the national organization which advocates against street harassment.
“Part of the street harassment movement is just educating people what that means…and we figure a comic book is a really good way to engage readers,” Anna Kegler said on Saturday. The group published comic books about fighting street harassment in May, and will take the illustrations to San Diego Comic Con, one of the biggest comic conventions of the year.
“It started as an anti-street harassment education tool and it’s sort of turned into anti-street harassment at conventions or cosplayer harassment,” Rochelle Keyhan said. Cosplayer harassment, sometimes seen at comic conventions, is unwanted attention towards people in costumes.
To see the complete list of more than 150 creators who attended, go to https://locustmoonfest.com/guests/.