Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Join us for the cARToons exhibit at Modern Times Coffeehouse (inside POLITICS & PROSE bookstore at 5015 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC).
Original and limited edition comic art by DC area cartoonists: Carolyn Belefski, T.R. Logan, Matt Rawson, Bill Brown, Andrew Cohen, Matt Dembicki, and Art Hondros
At this show, you'll be able to view an original Black Magic Tales comics page (drawn by me, written by Joe Carabeo) that was published in Magic Bullet. This is the first time this page is on display.
The exhibit is up-and-running now and we'll be hosting a closing reception on Saturday, August 15th, 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM. At the reception we will be serving wine, lemonade, iced tea, fruit, vegetables, cheese, hummus, and more. Hope to see you there.
Thanks to Teresa Roberts Logan for organizing the event!
Friday, June 5, 2015
Northern Virginia Magazine "Best of NOVA" June 2015 issue features a one page article on Curls. I was approached for this article in March during the Kickstarter promotion. It mentions my successful Kickstarter, my excitement for Fox News graphics, and more! Take it for a read -- in stores now. Thanks to Northern Virginia Magazine and Tim Regan.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
On May 29-31, 2015 Curls Studio exhibited at Awesome Con DC. Every year this show grows and it leaped tremendously into another dimension in this third year. There was so much to do and see: cosplay, speed dating, artists, celebrities, panels, podcasts, autograph signings, photo ops, and much more!
In addition to our exhibitor table, Curls Studio was involved in eight panels (many of which will be released individually on our Carolyn and Joe Show podcast over the next few weeks -- please 'toon in and look for the following panels): How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Work, The Carolyn and Joe Show LIVE Podcast with Special Guest Amber Benson, WWE® Superstar Seth Rollins™ VIP and WWE® Diva Natalya™ Q&A, Awesome Filmmakers: Making it Happen, Allison Mack Q&A, Pop Goes the Podcast, Grant Imahara Q&A
Before the convention, Awesome Con got attention last Thursday on The KoJo Nnamdi Show and I sent in an email message that was read live during the show.
On Friday, I was running around the convention for the Social Media panel and our podcast with Amber Benson (Tara from Buffy the Vampire Slayer). I also did a seminar in the Kids Zone called "Create Your Own Superhero Symbol" -- a program I created to merge graphic design into comics and individual spirit) and a lot of children and parents were very inventive with their logos that represent themselves. At the same time, Joe was moderating the WWE panel with Seth Rollins and Natalya.
During Saturday I wore my custom Curls dress from last Saturday's Reuben Awards and was able to spend more time at the booth and was a panelist on the podcast panel which featured The JellyVision Show, It’s All Journalism, EOS 10 Radio Play, and Pilot Waves in addition to the Carolyn and Joe Show. As with most multi-day conventions, Saturday is booming with people. At Awesome Con it was crowded, but from what I saw not to the level of NYCC where it's hard to walk the aisles… and that's a good thing. Attendees definitely came out to put Washington, DC on the map. Also on Saturday, Joe organized a filmmaking panel and also got the opportunity to moderate the Allison Mack (Chloe from Smallville) panel.
I was able to spend the whole Sunday at the table along with Sammy, who will be interning with me one day a week this summer. Since I wanted her to be able to see a convention from all angles, she also volunteered on Saturday for Awesome Con to experience a behind-the-scenes view. I showed her that creating comics was only part of the process -- you also have to meet people at conventions and talk about yourself and your work and get to know others.
Also on Sunday Joe was asked to introduce Grant Imahara (MythBusters) with the help of Teresa Roberts Logan (you can meet all of us at this October at NYCC booth 1162). After that Joe and I stood in line so Joe could introduce me to Allison Mack and it was such a great pleasure to meet her. We gave her a copy of District Comics and Black Magic Tales: Volume 1.
A Curls mask was used at our table to establish audience connection. Many people wanted to take a photo as Curls and I thought it was very fun! Above is a montage of some of the people posing with the mask.
One of the awesome things about Awesome Con is that it's a show that merges pop culture with everything. I saw podcasting, skateboard desks, Asian snacks, anime, comics, films, voice actors, toys, gaming, steampunk, plushes, cosplay, wrestling, animation, activities for children, and much more happening. It's a party of "(insert anything here) is Awesome" and that is why Awesome Con is Awesome. I have heard from a few comic creators upset that comics were not the main focus, but also I want to point out that Awesome Con never promoted the show as a straight-up "comic convention." If you want a comic convention, I suggest you go to Baltimore Comic-Con this fall -- another amazing convention who takes extreme measures to make sure the show stays relevant to comics.
Awesome Con is a different kind of show and I'm happy it is because we don't actually need another comics show if we have Baltimore so close by -- no need to imitate another show. I'm glad that Washington, DC is finally represented with a great convention that comics are a part of. We really have the best of everything here between Small Press Expo, Baltimore Comic-Con, and Awesome Con -- all within less than an hour from where I live -- these three shows cover the full comics industry (self-published, main-stream, traditional, pop). It's like having every radio station format, but with comics. DC is growing with creators -- sometimes it feels like I meet a new local who creates comics every week. I was interviewed for Borderstand and my comments represent some of these feelings.
We walked away with great vibes at this show! Big thanks to the Awesome Con crew (Ben, Rachel, Paul, Jess, Becky, and all the volunteers) for pulling off a great event and leaving a bigger mark this year. Also thanks to Mark and Chris on the Kids Zone! I can only imagine this show getting even more Awesome next year -- mark your calendars for June 3-5, 2016.
More photos can be found on the Curls Studio Facebook Page -- give us a "Like" while you're at it.
Thursday, May 28, 2015
The VCUarts Studio Spring 2015 newsletter recently profiled me for the comics I created for The White House's #GetCovered social media campaign. VCUarts is a publication Virginia Commonwealth University mails out to all art graduates and current students.
I was interviewed for this article a few months ago, soon after I launched my Kickstarter campaign to print all the Curls comic strips in one book, so it does mention the Kickstarter, however the campaign was fast over by the time the newsletter arrived in my mailbox. Either way, I'm glad the Kickstarter has been a success and I'm glad they mentioned Curls and my other projects in addition to all the press The White House comics has received.
Thanks to VCU and The White House again for this opportunity!
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
This past weekend (May 22-24, 2015) was the National Cartoonists Society Reuben Awards weekend. This year I was lucky that NCS came to Washington, DC -- as I did not have to travel far. I had been to my first Reubens two years ago in Pittsburgh (2013 recap here) and it really is such a blast -- it's also known as "the Oscars of Cartooning" to many.
I helped to provide copies of Magic Bullet for the attendee goody bags. Most people received issue #9, which is the western themed issue I edited with a cover by Nick Galifianakis. I saved a few extra copies in my garage for about 8 months since I knew Nick was going to be a speaker. Magic Bullet is Washington, DC's comics anthology in a large publication newspaper format.
Friday kicked off with buses taking us from the host hotel to the Library of Congress for The King Features Syndicates 100th Anniversary Panel moderated by Brendan Burford. The event was free and open to the general public. Panelists included Patrick McDonnell (Mutts), Brian Walker (Hi and Lois), Jeff Keane (The Family Circus), Hilary Price (Rhymes with Orange), Ray Billingsley (Curtis), and editorial cartoonist and Mother Goose and Grimm creator Mike Peters.
Mother Goose and Grimm was an influence to me growing up and I remember watching the animated TV show, Grimmy. Mike Peters was very magnifying and I can't believe he is 71 years old. Seriously. He has more energy and youth than most people my age.
Throughout the weekend there were presentations by Mark Anderson, Juana Medina, Doug Mahnke, Nick Galifianakis, Brian Crane, Mort Drucker, Ann Telnaes, a "History of the NCS" panel and film, and more.
Jason Chatfield and Tom Gammill created a great film that introduced The Reuben Awards -- a spoof called "Alpha House of Cartoons" (references Alpha House and House of Cards -- both DC infused TV shows).
This year, since I did not have to travel far or pay for a hotel, I decided to design a dress and create custom fabric featuring characters from my comic strip, Curls. There is a seamstress I've met thru exhibiting at several comic conventions and I inquired with her about making the dress for me. Above you will see my original sketch for the dress and fabric pattern I designed. Gina from Super Sox Shop brought it to life. I'm really glad to have produced a fun dress like this and thankful for Gina's talents. I'd like to wear it to a few more events -- maybe NYCC this year, but we'll see!
Roz Chast won the Cartoonist of the Year Award. Unfortunately, she had other obligations already booked for the night and could not appear, but we did watch a per-recorded video of her acceptance speech. She is the third woman to win the award since 1946 (Cathy Guisewite won in 1992 and Lynn Johnston won in 1985). Congratulations to all the winners and nominees!
The weekend ended with a "Haunted Farewell Party" as the Omni Shoreham Hotel is rumored to be haunted with spooks. I dressed as Morticia Addams -- Teresa Roberts Logan (dressed as Grandmama Addams) helped to make black shreds on my dress. Originally we tried to get a gang together to do "The John Quincy Addams Family" and ended up with a complete group of misfits -- and that's the way we like it too.
Thanks to Tom Richmond, who has been president for the past four years. He and his wife Anna have strengthened NCS and I really appreciate what they have contributed to the organization.
Also thank you to Michael Cavna for writing this excellent piece about this year's Reuben Awards as well has taking the photo above to capture the moment of Michelle Mahnke, Jean Schulz, and I.Jean Schulz, Michelle Mahnke & @CarolynBelefski meet @ DC #Reubens. @Snoopy @PeanutsMovie #ReubensWeekend pic.twitter.com/1p1zJSGZbY— Michael Cavna (@comicriffs) May 23, 2015
And thank you to Martha and Sara from the Library of Congress for hosting the Friday morning event.
Hanging out with cartoonists for a weekend is always a great time and I was glad to see increased participation from DC area cartoonists. I hope to attend the Reubens in the future again.
Many more photos are up on the Curls Studio Facebook page. Check them out here and give us a "Like."
Monday, May 18, 2015
We hope you can join us at the end of this month for the third edition of Awesome Con DC on May 29-31, 2015 at the DC Convention Center. Last year was super amazing and it's looking like this year will be even more crazy! Curls Studio will be located at table H12-13. Check out the awesome map above so you'll know where to find us -- we are at the center of the action.
Joe and/or I are scheduled to be on a record eight panels! We hope you can join us at table H12-13 as well the panels listed below (* Joe only, ** Carolyn only).
Friday, May 29, 2015
2:30 PM to 3:30 PM
Room 103 A
Wanna raise awareness about your work? Explore how to utilize social media to grow your audience and gain media attention. Panelists: Carolyn Belefski of Curls Studio, Nick Marinelli of Magfest, Steve Anderson of Third Eye Comics, and Rick Heaton of Extra Life (Host: Liz Reed)
The Carolyn and Joe Show LIVE Podcast with Special Guest AMBER BENSON
Friday, May 29, 2015
4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Room 145 A
The tradition continues as the Carolyn and Joe Show podcast brings their fan favorite unpredictable live interactive podcast recording back to Awesome Con! This year, Carolyn and Joe have a super ultra special guest, AMBER BENSON. Known as the actress who portrayed Tara from the seminal TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Amber has progressed into a feature film Directing and Producing ("Chance", "Lovers, Liars & Lunatics"), as well as comic book and novel writing ("Calliope Reaper-Jones" and "Ghosts of Albion") If you've been lucky enough to see the past years Carolyn and Joe show interactive podcast panels, you know this is a must see at Awesome Con.
WWE® Superstar Seth Rollins™ VIP and WWE® Diva Natalya™Q&A *
Friday, May 29, 2015
6:30 PM to 7:00 PM
WWE® Superstar Seth Rollins™ VIP and WWE® Diva Natalya™ will discuss their exciting careers and answer audience questions, moderated by Astray Productions filmmaker Joe Carabeo.
Create Your Own Superhero Symbol with Carolyn Belefski **
Friday, May 29, 2015
7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
KZone (Kid's Zone!)
Every hero needs a logo! Many superheroes have personal branding on their outfits and My Little Pony characters even have cutie marks! Join artist and designer Carolyn Belefski and learn how to incorporate graphic design elements to create an icon and establish your own powerful visual identity.
Awesome Filmmakers: Making it Happen *
Saturday, May 30, 2015
12:45 PM to 1:45 PM
Room 145 B
For the first time ever, the radical indie filmmakers, Simon Kim (Director, Producer for House Studio DC), Fernando Mico (Actor, Director, Producer of the “Nova International Film Festival, “Ever After””), Kunitaro Ohi (Cinematographer, “Something, Anything” “Years of Living Dangerously”, Capella Fahoome (Producer, Director for Defining Entertainment “Nottown” “Every Man’s Journey”) and Joe Carabeo (Director, Writer for Astray Productions, short film series on “One-shots.com” and “Awesome Con” Commercials) will have a Q & A and open conversation about the trails and tribulations about making their projects happen in the DC/MD/VA area and beyond. The must see panel to be at for any aspiring filmmaker at Awesome Con.
Allison Mack Q&A *
Saturday, May 30, 2015
4:15 PM to 5:15 PM
Allison Mack will discuss her exciting career and answer audience questions, moderated by Astray Productions filmmaker Joe Carabeo.
Pop Goes the Podcast **
Saturday, May 30, 2015
4:30 PM to 5:30 PM
What does it take to produce a podcast and why should you consider starting one? Why are so many people getting turned onto podcasts? We share our passion for podcasting in all its glory with you!
Grant Imahara Q&A *
Sunday, May 31, 2015
Noon to 1:00 PM
Grant Imahara will discuss his exciting career and answer audience questions, moderated by Astray Productions filmmaker Joe Carabeo.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Last Thursday, May 7, 2015 we gathered to celebrate Kevin "KAL" Kallaugher for the Herblock Prize presentation and ceremony to recognize excellence in editorial cartooning. I've ran into KAL through mutual cartoonists briefly a few times and Barbara Dale introduced me to him a couple years ago at Baltimore Comic-Con. He has drawn thousands of cartoons for The Baltimore Sun and The Economist -- and even more cartoons for many publications globally.
Kal's speech was inspiring and proves that editorial cartooning and freedom of speech is something we should not toss aside. It's no wonder why he can make us laugh, as it's only a part of his last name.
"Don't draw a blank. Hire a cartoonist." - KAL
Thanks to the US Library of Congress for putting on a great show. You can see more photos for the 2015 Herblock Prize on the Curls Studio Facebook page and give us a "Like" while you're at it: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153241780877381.1073741856.50763422380&type=3
For more insight on the Herblock, read Michael Cavna's column about the evening here.