Typically, the summer months bring with them the brightest of days. The sun beams down on a lush world filled with life, color, and attractive people in skimpy attire. In the summer of 2011, however, that brightness was interrupted by a dark cloud in the University City section of Philadelphia.
That season, the neighborhood lost its sole comic book store, Locust Moon.
Filling a storefront on Locust Street between 40th and 41st Streets, just off of UPenn’s campus, Locust Moon enjoyed nearly two years as a staple of West Philadelphia’s geek community. Immediately filling the void left by West Philly Comics, its extensive hours of operation gave students and non-students alike the chance to acquire comics, rent (and buy) movies, and, for a short while, even visit the adjacent Redcap’s Corner (which itself has since moved to Lancaster Avenue).
Occupying 34 South 40th Street, the new and improved Locust Moon features increased merchandise space, a separate art gallery area designed for special events and, most importantly, a fancier fish tank. Co-owners Chris Stevens, Josh O’Neill, and Justin Postlewaite are excited about not only the new space, but also what is in store for Locust Moon as the fall and winter months approach.
“This is exactly what we were looking for,” Stevens says about the new address. “The double entrance, the separate [art gallery] space, and everyone in West Philly walks past here because of the subway.” The busy 40th Street stop of the Market-Frankford Line is only a half-block from the store.
“This is basically a fancier pants store,” O’Neill explains. “We have the gallery space, of course. Plus we want to expand the number of events we have, have more drawing classes and that sort of thing.”
In the coming months, Locust Moon will certainly make its renewed presence known in its home neighborhood. Weekly movie screenings and “drink and draws” are just a sampling of planned recurring events.
Specific upcoming events include a signing with graphic novelist Matt Dembicki (September 22), a launch party celebrating Locust Moon’s first comic anthology “One Upon a Time Machine” (October 10), and the Locust Moon Comics Festival at the Rotunda (December 16).