WHAT: About a century ago, a group of writers, editors and literary critics decided to start meeting for lunch at what was to become the famous Algonquin Round Table in New York. Now-famous literary names such as Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley and Alexander Woollcott shared their mutual creativity at the meetings and turned their ideas into great works. Today, comics and graphic novels are gaining respect as a literary art form, and the owners of Locust Moon Comics and Movies, at 4040 Locust St., would like to see their shop become a West Philly version of the Algonquin for comic book artists, writers and aficionados.
MORE THAN WEEKLIES: Yes, says co-owner Chris Stevens, Locust Moon stocks the traditional super-hero serials that come out each Wednesday. But the wider philosophy of the store is to embrace the great variety of fiction and non-fiction told through the comic book genre. The store’s two other co-owners, Josh O’Neill and Justin Postlewaite, are Penn alums; all three owners are in the comic book-writing business.
STORIES AND PICTURES: At the front of the store, visitors will find comic books written by Philadelphia area writers and illustrators. On the shelves deeper inside, customers can browse through titles that range from reprints of classic collections, such as “Tintin” by Hergé and “Krazy Kat” by George Herriman, to the post-apocalyptic “Sweet Tooth” series by Jeff Lemire and the lushly illustrated memoir, “Vietnamerica: A Family’s Journey,” by GB Tran.
OTHER STUFF: While comics are clearly the focal point of the store, it also offers movies for rent and an eclectic selection of toys that range from board games such as Candy Land and a Harry Potter wand, to D.C. Universe action figures and Transformers.
MEET THE ARTISTS: Locust Moon has been open just over one year and already it has become a must-visit stop for many of the comic world’s heavy hitters. Earlier this year the store hosted a get-together with famous comic book artist J.G. Jones and acclaimed writer John Arcudi. On April 8 at 7:30 p.m., the store will welcome Todd Klein, famous for his lettering of comics by renowned writers such as Neil Gaiman and Bill Willingham. On May 7, local writer L.A. Banks, author of the “Vampire Huntress” series, will be at the shop at 7:30 p.m.
FREE COMICS: Locust Moon is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Stop by on May 8 and get a free comic book in observance of Free Comic Book Day, celebrated by comic book shops around the world on the first Saturday in May. Locust Moon does not have a website, but those interested can find it on Facebook. Call the store at 215-921-8530.