Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Carolyn Belefski - Nominee for Best of D.C. 2017

I am nominated again for Washington City Paper's Best of D.C. Readers Poll in the category of "Best Visual Artist." In previous years I've been runner-up. Let's see if we can surpass that position. It only takes a few seconds to vote. If I've ever made you smile and you appreciate what I make, I'd be thankful if you take a moment to vote. 

The poll closes March 5 at 11:59PM EST

Carolyn Belefski has been nominated for Best Visual Artist
Carolyn Belefski is the writer and artist of the comic strip Curls ( She appears at comic conventions and art shows including New York Comic Con, SPX, and Awesome Con. The White House, US National Archives, and Clorox are some of the clients Carolyn has worked with.

Monday, February 6, 2017

"Design Your Own Superhero" at The National Archives Sleepover – February 4, 2017

This past Saturday evening I was invited to take part in the sold-out US National Archives sleepover for a third time. Kids ages 8-12 along with their adult chaperones participated in several activities and spent the night next to America’s most important papers: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

Local TV news channels DCW50 and WUSA9 covered the event. "Design Your Own Superhero" is the art activity I lead. We had a great time talking about different super powers and abilities.

I've heard a lot of positive reviews in the past when "What activity did you like the best?" feedback was received: 
• making a superhero was my favorite activity
• the picture room with the comic books
• create your own superhero
• I really liked righting the letter to the president, and the super hero pictures
• create your own superhero because I got to be creative
• I liked creating my superhero because I want to be one

More images and content can be found using hashtag #ArchivesSleepover. Thank you to the interns, volunteers, and the US National Archives for hosting such a unique opportunity for the children. 

Click the "National Archives" tag below to read my past blog entries about the event.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Washington Wizards Collecti-Con is February 26, 2017

Join the Curls Studo and the Washington Wizards from 10AM to 2PM on Sunday, February 26 for our first Collecti-Con -- a sports, pop culture, and comic book show for the entire family. Unique collectible items including comic books, sports memorabilia, and games will be available to browse, buy or trade. Curls Studio will be selling our original comics, art prints, buttons, and more!

Ticket packages are only $25 and include:
• Collecti-Con Poster
• Access to the pre-game event
• Ticket to the Wizards vs. Jazz game which begins at 5PM

The first 100 fans to purchase will receive a commemorative Wizards t-shirt.

Purchase tickets here:

RSVP to the Curls Studio event page on Facebook:

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Black Magic Tales published in Magic Bullet #13 and #14

A bit of catching up to do in the blog as it seems I've neglected to mention that a Black Magic Tales story called "Suggestion Box" was published in Magic Bullet #13 back in August of last year. The issue was released in preparation for the Small Press Expo and distributed all around the Washington, DC region.

The latest issue of Magic Bullet #14 premiered in time for the Trump Inauguration and Women's March this past weekend. Our story "We Did It!" captures the adventures world famous criminals Roxy Monroe and Dean Casanova. Both stories were written by Joe Carabeo and illustrated by Carolyn Belefski. Be on the lookout for your free copy!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Recap: Curls Studio's Year of 2016

By glancing on social media, it seems like most people are very frustrated and sad with the year 2016. Many people are drained from the election and celebrity deaths. We can only hope that 2017 provides a fresh start for everyone. 2016 has been an busy year for Curls Studio creators Joe Carabeo and Carolyn Belefski, so we decided to celebrate with a year-in-review recap blog post!

The image above combines the #2016BestNine from @CarolynBelefski Instagram account, displaying people’s most-liked photos from the past year. The best nine features a mix of freelance design work, personal illustrations, a throwback Thursday post about meeting Jim Lee at my first Baltimore Comic-Con, and a glimpse behind-the-scenes of a Curls comic strip. You can also follow Joe on Instagram at @AstrayJ.

This year Carolyn was asked in participate in two sleepovers at The National Archives. The sleepovers had an overlapping superhero theme and included the activity station "Design Your Own Superhero with Carolyn Belefski."

Carolyn was considered for an "Advertising / Product Illustration" Reuben Award from the National Cartoonists Society and although she did not win and was not expecting to win or even make it to the top three nominees, it was exciting for a day or two to be mildly recognized.

We made 7 comic show appearances this year with a total of 16 days behind the table exhibiting comics. We exhibited at Tidewater Comicon for the first time. We celebrated Free Comic Book Day at our local store and hit up major conventions including Awesome Con, Small Press Expo, Baltimore Comic-Con, and New York Comic Con. We ended the year with a small show at a used book store and got to meet a lot of fun personalities there!

In April and May, Carolyn launched a daily project called "ABCs of Country Music" where she created custom typography for each letter of the alphabet based on country music superstars.

At Awesome Con, Carolyn and Joe hosted, moderated, and served as panelists on many panels throughout the show. One of the highlights was recording a live podcast for the Carolyn and Joe Show with special guest Phil LaMarr! Carolyn moderated the Will Friedle & Grey DeLisle Q&A. Carolyn also took part in comics panels such as Heidi MacDonald's "How To Break Into Comics (and Survive)" and "The Other Side of the Table: Lessons from Creators."

In June, Carolyn became chair of the Washington, DC chapter of National Cartoonists Society. She has organized programs since 2012 with NCS, including Cartoonists Draw Blood and helped with "cARToons" exhibits and other activities.

Carolyn produced the first Cartoonists Draw Blood Art Exhibit at Takoma Park Community Center which was up for nearly two months. The exhibit featured 13 artists who have drawn at previous blood drives. We hosted an opening reception, hung the work, promoted the show, and more.

Speaking of exhibits, a poster Carolyn designed for AIGA’s Get Out the Vote Campaign was on the walls of the Washington Project for the Arts during DC Design Week.

Black Magic Tales was published in Magic Bullet, Washington, DC's comics anthology. Issues #12 and #13 were released this year.

During New York Comic Con, in addition to spending all four days at our booth, Carolyn also spent some time at the National Cartoonists Society's booth and was invited to participate in a fun event at Society of Illustrators, which celebrated the release of Wacom's MobileStudio Pro. We were also able to enjoy the Ralph Steadman exhibit in the gallery space and meet a bunch of really great artists.

Joe and Carolyn released their new comic, French Fry Club, at New York Comic Con this year. The book has received good feedback and we look forward to continuing the story in 2017.

In October, Carolyn organized the fourth annual Cartoonists Draw Blood drive with Troy-Jeffrey Allen. Donors gave blood to the American Red Cross and then the Washington, DC chapter of National Cartoonists Society and other local cartoonists drew for the donors as a "thank you." The event was a success and we saved many lives. We already have a date confirmed for next year -- it's Saturday, October 28, 2017.

In November, DC Chapter of National Cartoonists Society had our first "Cartooning for Kids" event at a children’s hospital. We drew for the kids and gave tips on learning how to draw too. The NCS Foundation organized a shipment of several goody bags that included t-shirts, crayons, comics, coloring books, and more to go to every child in the hospital.

Although it is not promoted very much, Carolyn started a Patreon tip jar this year where she posts thumbnails of Curls comic strips she's created and other work process imagery. Pledge $1 or more per month to access the extra goodies and support the art you enjoy!

If you want to know more information about any of the experiences we've had this year, please look in the blog archives, as each event was recapped with photos! So much has happened this year and we've stayed productive. We hope to create more for you in 2017 and all the years to come!

Happy New Year from Curls Studio!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Comics at McKay in Manassas, VA this Saturday

Please join us for Curls Studio's last public appearance of 2016 at McKay Used Books this Saturday, December 3 from 11AM to 5PM. Sean Causley, creator of Panda Force, will also be there. This is McKay's first comics event!

If you are planning to go for this small comic con, you can also bring in your used records, movies, books, etc. Look at their website for details about what they can except for store credit or cash/check.

McKay is located at 8345 Sudley Road, Manassas, VA 20109 in the Manaport Shopping Center across from the Manassas Mall. Stop by to say hello and pick up holiday gifts for your loved ones. I will draw a sketch in every book purchased and would enjoy meeting you in-person. See you there!

Facebook Invite and RSVP:

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Cartooning for Kids 2016

The DC Chapter of National Cartoonists Society had our first "Cartooning for Kids" event at Inova Children’s Hospital on November 15, 2016. National Cartoonists Society Foundation provided the hospital with about 50 goody bags, coloring books, crayon boxes, and comic books. After stuffing the bags, us cartoonists divided to cover three floors of the building. Each of us did different activities with the kids, such as drawing, coloring, giving cartooning tips, or playing Pictionary.

My own personal experience was very rejuvenating. I shared the room with Joe Sutliff and we concentrated on two children in particular, Benjamin and Najah. Benjamin had his much loved stuffed dog named Toby with him and when I draw Toby it caused Benjamin to light up! It was a great sight to see. Najah celebrated her 14th birthday that day, so I draw her with her birthday crown. She was very interested in learning how to create balloon/bubble lettering, so Joe and I showed her how. She also educated me on some reality shows, including her favorite, My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding.

Thanks to Rick Stromoski for organizing the shipment of goody bags and thanks to NCS for this initiative. Thanks to our cartoonists Mike Jenkins, Steve Artley, Carolyn Belefski, Sean Causley, and Joe Sutliff for participating. We plan to do more of these hospital visits in 2017.