Monday, May 13, 2019

Inaugural NCSFest in Huntington Beach, CA

I will be making my first west coast comics appearance at The National Cartoonists Society's inaugural NCSFest, a celebration of comics and cartoon art from all over the world. Based on the comic art festivals that are hugely popular in Europe, the festival will be held over the weekend of May 17-19, 2019 in the city of Huntington Beach, California.

NCSFest kicks off with a free preview signing event this Thursday, May 16 at The Hyatt Regency on Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach with your chance to meet the creators of some of the most beloved comics of all time – including Zits, Baby Blues, The Family Circus, The Walking Dead and more! Join us from 5PM to 7PM in The Mariners Ballroom to get sketches and signatures and meet and greet these superstar artists.

Then on Saturday and Sunday, I will be exhibiting at Block 1 -- Booth A17 at the Main Street Marketplace which features 100 stalls. More than 150 artists, publishers and comic art organizations turn Main Street into a free buzzing, bustling comic art outdoor market.

Saturday, May 18 -- Noon-6PM
Sunday, May 19 -- 11:30AM-4:30PM

On Sunday, May 19 join us at 10:30AM for Pechakucha -- meaning “chit chat” in Japanese, Pechakucha is a quickfire format that allows a presenter to show 20 images and describe them in 20 seconds each. It’s a great way to showcase creators who each want to take 7 minutes of your time to show you something new and tell you something you didn’t know!  NCS President Bill Morrison, of The Simpsons and Yellow Submarine fame, kicks off the proceedings and then introduces a panoply of cartoonists, including Brian Walker, Martin Rowson, Johnny Sampson, Andrea Beizer, Steve Barr, Jim Horwitz, Carolyn Belefski, Chuck Whelon, Shaenon Garrity, Graham Dury, and Simon Thorp. This is a ticketed event at The Hyatt Regency Fountain Room.

10.30: Bill Morrison
10.45: Martin Rowson
11.00: Carolyn Belefski
11.15: Johnny Sampson
11.30: VIZ
11.45: Brian Walker
12.00: Chuck Whelon
12.15: Andrea Beizer
12.30: Jim Horwitz
12.45: Shaenon Garrity
1.00: Steve Barr

In addition, I have art in the 90 Years of Popeye exhibit (showcasing art and artifacts from nearly a century of the beloved sailor man) at the Huntington Beach Art Center located at 538 Main Street. Gallery Hours are Tuesday–Thursday: Noon–8PM, Friday: Noon–6PM, Saturday: Noon–5PM.

Please come out for this event if you are close enough because I don't get out to the west coast as often as I should and would enjoy meeting some new folks and presenting them with my comics and illustrations, as well as representing comics by serving on the NCS Board of Directors. Hope to meet you in Huntington Beach!

For more information, visit

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

This Saturday is Free Comic Book Day

Saturday, May 4, 2019 is free Comic Book Day! Curls Studio will be appearing at The Amazing Comic Shop in Fairfax, VA (near George Mason University). As the name implies, Free Comic Book Day is a single day when participating comic book specialty shops give away selected comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their shops. Free Comic Book Day is held the first Saturday in May each year.

This year Curls Studio will be extending our $10 Bundle Deals (see previous posts about the bundles in our Awesome Con posts). Meet us at the comic shop!

Monday, April 29, 2019

Recap: Awesome Con 2019

As I write this, it’s the day after Awesome Con… and I’m exhausted from all the AWESOME events that happened at Awesome Con! Before the show started, it was exciting to read the press coverageThe Washington Post gave a shoutout to my kids workshop and Joe got mentioned in a WTOP article.

This year Joe Carabeo (Astray Productions) and Becky Mezzanotte-Blizard (Programming Manager) presented the Awesome Con Short Film Fest on all three days, expanding it one extra day compared to the previous year. They divided each day based on genres -- Friday was Horror, Action, Sci-Fi -- Saturday was Drama, Comedy -- and Sunday was Documentary and More. Both Friday and Saturday crowds were filled to capacity in seats, then became standing room only with people standing around the walls. From what I’m hearing, feedback was excellent and people are already talking about next year.

On Saturday, I made the effort to walk down to the celebrity area and catch a glimpse of Riverdale actors KJ Apa (Archie) and Cole Sprouse (Jughead). In honor of them being at the show, I made art prints for their characters. This was the first time I’ve ever made something special directed at the comic convention specifically. These prints are now added to the store at in case you are interested in purchasing.

We also got to produce new Toast (character from Curls) Dolls, which we will have a few of at upcoming conventions. I don’t know if they will ever be made again so if you are interested in owning you very own slice of happiness with a jelly smile, please reach out to me.

Another "new" item we have is the "Hello My Name Is Curls" book, which is a collection of the most recent strips with additional illustrations. This item is a convention exclusive and will only be available in-person.

I enjoyed briefly walking through the Batman 80 Years Exhibit, which featured costumes and props from all the Batman films. It was very cool to see Heath Ledger’s Joker outfit and card set. Most of the time I spent at the Curls Studio table so I didn’t get to see very much. Sometimes that can be the flip-side of becoming a creator because you don’t get to be a fan as much at conventions. I feel like I missed out on a few things at this show: making time to say hi to Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, and catching a glimpse of Creed from The Office. Regrets, I’ve had a few.

Sunday was a busy day because I had a kids workshop and a panel. I started to lose my voice late Saturday afternoon, so having a bit of rest helped. I also tried to drink more water and brought snacks, but unfortunately didn’t have a full meal until after the convention. Taking care of myself at conventions should be a better priority for me, but I don’t like to leave the show and miss out on people that visit the table (especially at NYCC when it takes over an hour away when you leave to go to the restroom, so I end up not drinking much water and holding it until the show day ends).

The kids workshop I led was called “Design Your Own Superhero Symbol with Carolyn Belefski” and the benefit was the outcome! Several of the children came by my booth after to show me their final art and even gift the art to me. They were very creative and it was interesting to see them “open their shells” because at first some of them were shy to talk to me about their personal superhero symbol. By the end of the seminar the children talked on and on about their powers and what their logo symbolized. It was rewarding to see that growth in just a 45 minute session!

Then shortly after I had “The Other Side of the Table: Lessons from Creators” panel with Mark Mariano and Laura Lee Gulledge. We gave great advice about the process of becoming an exhibiting comic creator and our history of getting involved doing shows. Audio of the event will soon be up on the Carolyn and Joe Show podcast.

After the show we grabbed a bite to eat and then watched Game of Thrones. It was a busy and eventful past few days (including the days leading up to the show in prepping mode) and I’m thankful to be a part of Awesome Con -- we have been there since the beginning and it’s been quite the experience seeing this show grow in leaps and bounds. Thank you to the Awesome Con staff, volunteers, fellow exhibitors, guests, and attendees for an AWESOME event.

You can catch us this coming Saturday at The Amazing Comic Shop in Fairfax, VA (near George Mason University) for Free Comic Book Day.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Awesome Con is April 26 - 29, 2019

We hope you can join us April 26-29, 2019 for the seventh edition of Awesome Con at the DC Convention Center. Curls Studio will be located at table R12 in Artist Alley all three days. View the map above where the purple pulse signal circles are so you'll know where to find us.

So here's the deals. Yes, I wrote DEALS (plural): Get the new Curls book (convention exclusive), one print, one button, and a sticker for $10 buckaroos. Thanks for all your support -- our fans are AWESOME.

In addition to exhibiting, we have a few panels and workshops we'll be taking part in -- plus Joe is producing the Awesome Con Film Festival, which is in it’s third year. Check out all the details below:

Create Your Own Superhero Symbol with Carolyn Belefski
Sunday | 2:00-2:45PM | Kids Stage

The Other Side of the Table: Lessons from Creators
Sunday | 3:30-4:15PM | Room 149

Are you a creator considering exhibiting at Artist Alley or Small Press comic conventions? This panel will give you tips and suggestions on how to create your professional appearances from the POV of being behind the table. We will discuss the metamorphosis from attendee to exhibitor, effective table display design, how to talk and interact with people at your table, and how to generate sales with your table pitch. We will highlight the process of starting a comic book tour on a low budget and methods of attracting potential readers by promoting your appearances and will take questions and comments, as this will be a conversation on multiple subjects regarding how to build rewarding convention appearances from the ground up.

Panelists: Laura Lee Gulledge, Mark Mariano, Carolyn Belefski
Moderator: Joe Carabeo


Friday | 2:00-3:45PM | Room 101

Saturday | 12:00-1:45PM | Room 101

Sunday | 12:00-1:45PM | Room 101

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Black Magic Tales published in Magic Bullet #18

Magic Bullet, a large format comics anthology newspaper based out of the Washington, DC area, has published our latest Black Magic Tales story in issue #18, written by Joe Carabeo and illustrated by Carolyn Belefski.

In Magic Bullet #18, which was just released, we follow the desires of "Big Shot" as he attempts to hunt down the treasured The Jade Dragon sculpture. We are also introduced to "The Twins" and other villains and thieves from our universe. The print run for this issue was 3,000.

Be on the lookout for your free copy! Common places to find this publication include comic book stores, tattoo parlors, record shops, and hip restaurants.

Did you know? Curls Studio has been printed in every edition of Magic Bullet (#1-18 so far).

Monday, December 31, 2018

Recap: Curls Studio's Year of 2018

2018 is a very good (and exhausting) year and we are excited to recap some of the highlights for you. We made several comic show appearances this year with a total of 18 days behind the table exhibiting comics. 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 Cartoon Art Exhibition at Ridgetop Coffee and Tea Gallery.

In January, Carolyn launched her second Kickstarter campaign to participate in Kickstarter’s Make 100 incentive. She illustrated 100 original Sad Fish and produced a limited edition book of 100 thanks to the success of supporter pledges.

In May, Carolyn participated in Cartoonapalooza!, a public event hosted by the Free Library of Philadelphia during the Reuben Awards Weekend. She also had the opportunity to visit the Philadelphia Children's Hospital and take part in the Cartooning for Kids program where cartoonists from National Cartoonists Society drew for children and their families.

At Baltimore Comic-Con, the Mine! Anthology Carolyn was a part of won for Best Anthology at the Ringo Awards. Carolyn also was ask to participate in the yearbook featuring Terry Moore creations, where she contributed a page with Strangers In Paradise characters rocking out with a punk Curls.

In October, Carolyn and Joe both took part in Inktober for the second time. They both drew with ink and posted a new image every day during the month on their socials. Joe's theme was Burlesque Dancers and Carolyn's theme was Dessert Desert Creatures.

Also during October, Carolyn organized the sixth annual Cartoonists Draw Blood event with American Red Cross and then the Washington, DC chapter of National Cartoonists Society where four local cartoonists drew for donors as a "thank you." We also created our second Cartoonist Draw Blood comic book anthology, “Monsters.” The Manhattan chapter of National Cartoonists Society was also able to start their first Cartoonists Draw Blood event this year, so it was exciting to see this event expand to other territories.

Black Magic Tales was published in Magic Bullet, Washington, DC's comics anthology. Issues #16 and #17 were released this year.

Joe challenged himself to make a short film for each month of the year, and he was successful in completing all 12 films! Carolyn helped design titles and set decorations for a few of the films. Go to to watch the films!

If you want to read more and see photos the experiences we've had in 2018, please look in the blog archives. We hope to create more for you in 2019 and all the years to come.

Happy New Year from Curls Studio!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Black Magic Tales published in Magic Bullet #17

A few months ago Magic Bullet, a large format comics anthology newspaper based out of the Washington, DC area, published our latest Black Magic Tales story in issue #17. Many people were able to pick up this edition at Small Press Expo earlier this year. 

Our story "Help Roxy Plan A Heist" captures the adventures world famous criminals Roxy Monroe and Dean Casanova (and their cat, Black Magic). We took a different approach to the comic this time around and made a maze puzzle with many traps such as “Drowning In Self Doubt” and “Lost Sight and Focus” as the readers travel through Roxy’s brain. Once the puzzle is solved, readers are encouraged to email a photo of the completed page to us to receive a small prize reward. 

Did you know? Curls Studio has been printed in every edition of Magic Bullet (#1-17 so far).