Welcome to March! It's officially Women's History Month and because of this Stone Branch School of Art in Rockville, Maryland has asked me to speak at their Comic Book Sundays event this coming Sunday, March 8, 2015 from 2PM to 4PM. I'll also be bringing Joe so he can discuss writing and filmmaking and how this cross-references with comics and storytelling. This is a public event for all-ages and it's free to attend.
Thanks to Edmond for designing this flyer announcement and we hope to see you there.
In other news, Curls: The Ultimate Book Collection is now 46% funded on Kickstarter. I launched it Monday night. It would be so awesome if we get to 50% or more before Monday evening (officially one full week). We are so close. It's the next step goal. Thanks to all who have already pledged -- check out the first update announcement.
Sunday, March 1, 2015
Monday, February 23, 2015
Hi everyone! I just launched the Curls Kickstarter a few minutes ago. You can take a look at the film and rewards and everything else here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/carolynbelefski/curls-the-ultimate-book-collection
The goal is to print a book of all the Curls comic strip I've ever made, but I also set up some fun reward packages for you. Check this out.
1. A song by Mr. Bandit inspired by Curls
2. Your name in the book acknowledgements
3. Computer wallpaper
4. Curls patch
5. Kickstarter exclusive button pack
6. Set of eight postcards featuring Curls inspired imagery created by Steve Conley (Bloop), Joshua Daniel (Dime-Store Noir), S. L. Gallant (G.I Joe), Dawn Griffin (Zorphbert & Fred), Lauren Jaslow (snarkystudios.), Teresa Roberts Logan (Laughing Redhead Studios), Arsia Rozegar (The Incredible Hulk), and Elizabeth Watasin (Charm School).
7. Signed book with sketch
8. Curls Cowgirl Print
9. Kickstarter exclusive backer print
10. Avatar (original line art and color digital copy)
11. Toast doll
12. Pen Pals
13. Dinner with Carolyn and Joe
14. Carolyn and Joe speaking engagement
For the next 30 days, you'll be able to make pledges to help support this project, ranging from $1 to whatever amount you can contribute. You can select from the reward packages—listed on the right side. You can even pledge more than the minimum to get a reward if you want. Your credit card or other account will not be charged at the time you make your pledge.
If we've reached our goal when the deadline arrives (Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 8:20 PM EST) then everyone gets charged the amount they pledged at once. If we don't meet our goal no fees are applied and everyone keeps their money. If we fail to meet the goal, then no one gets any rewards either—and that would not be a fun day.
Please help spread the word and tell your friends.
Friday, February 13, 2015
Thanks to The Washington Post Comic Riffs for reporting about the comics I created with The White House for HealthCare.gov. I'm receiving notes from many people telling me how wonderfully written the article is and I've passed the info on to Michael Cavna.
Thank you so much to The White House again for this opportunity and The Washington Post, as well as other media outlets who have posted about the comics. Below is a listing of all the articles I aware of. I've also been getting a ton of support on my Facebook page. Many people are excited and happy about these comics.
You can read the stories here:
The Washington Post | White House comics? How cartoonist Carolyn Belefski got an unexpected booster shot-in-the-arm from HealthCare.gov
by Michael Cavna
Fusion | Cartooning for the White House: A chat with the artist behind the #GetCovered comics
by Jen Sorensen
CBR | White House uses comic reminders about Obamacare deadline
by Kevin Melrose
The Blaze | These Cartoons are the White House’s Latest Effort to Make Obamacare Seem Cool
by Fred Lucas
The Patriot Post | White House Resorts to Childish Cartoons to Promote O'Care
CBR | Comics A.M. | Creators
by Brigid Alverson
Fusion | Going Viral | Obama hopes a selfie stick will get more young people signed up for healthcare
by Abby Rogers
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
You can now call Curls Miss February 2015. Thank you to Webcomic Alliance for selecting the Curls comic strip as "Pick of the Month." Dawn Griffin makes for a great Lois Lane. She wrote a wonderful article about Curls that you can read in full here.
Sunday, February 8, 2015
The latest issue of Washington, DC's Magic Bullet comics newspaper has hit the streets. Look for your free copy at many bookstores, restaurants, shops, and other establishments in and around the Washington, DC area.
In this issue, Joe Carabeo and I tell the tale of two teenagers inspired by world famous criminals Roxy Monroe and Dean Casanova to form a band. At the end of the story there is a QR code you can scan using a QR code reader app. By scanning the code, it will lead you to the song the characters in our comic perform at the end of the story.
If you can't wait to listen to the song, here is Mickie & Mallory performing "I'm Done." I should also mention I designed the Mickie & Mallory logo earlier this year! Mickie & Mallory were formed in late 2014 and have performed around northern Virginia and New York City. I hope you can catch one of their live shows soon!
Thursday, January 29, 2015
A lot of people have been asking about the work I recently did for The White House, which was released this week on their social media platforms. Since I posted process and the concept sketch of the comic book cover I did for Cartoon Network's Adventure Time comic this past summer, I thought many artists and creative types would get a kick out of this project showcasing the Affordable Care Act. I enjoy seeing behind-the-scenes, but the final product is always what the public will see. Here you will get a glimpse behind the curtain.
The White House Office of Digital Strategy approached me with the concept of creating health care comics. They provided the personas (athletic, hipster, caregiver, etc.) and I developed sketches of the character designs for approval. Above you will see the first and only attempt of the character designs. Stage one complete!
At this time I also provided three layout options on how tell the story best on social media. The White House provided me with dimensions that were possible for the project. As you can see in the top right, we selected the character head in the center and the text surrounding that area so it would not get cropped on certain sites (like Twitter) in preview.
To clarify, yes, it would get cropped, but the text would not get cut off. The image above shows how we considered how the crop would look like. This was the first one I completed, and once that was approved, I completed the other comics for each character. They provided me with a script and did allow me to contribute to the story. It was a total collaboration!
I must also correct myself, in an interview with Jen Sorensen posted earlier today, I mentioned there were no art edits, but I was mistaken because I remembered (while writing this blog) that there was one change. I originally drew the guy at the gym working out without a shirt and showing his nipples. They asked me not to show the nipples in the preview section (area viewed in social, the non black area above), but I decided to put a shirt on him instead of redrawing the whole image. I only had to erase the nipples, add sleeves, and color in the shirt in Photoshop. This change only took five minutes and was easier to do than redraw the whole panel. Work smarter, not harder! Perhaps I forgot about this change because it didn't take long to alter. I would have liked to include the nipples because it's funny and I like to call them pepperonis, but I don't know if America can take another wardrobe malfunction. But hey, the Super Bowl is this Sunday so maybe Katy Perry is planning to stun us.
Regarding color palette we agreed to have a minimal flat color look and I selected the colors. After the first one was approved, I hit the ground running with the same look and colors to make each comic connect and work together as a system.
Yesterday First Lady posted the athletic cartoon I illustrated for #GetCovered on her Instagram and Twitter accounts. Right now it has received 16,041 likes on Instagram. It feels good to have Michelle Obama and the rest of the world see my art.
I know the health care debate is rough from all angles. Because of these illustrations, I've read people's comments calling me a sell out and telling me how to draw. I've also seen other media sites say this is The White House's attempt to make Obamacare seem cool. I take that as a compliment because my cartoons are cool! Another site called it childish. I have some news for them: Cartoons can be all-ages. Adults can enjoy them too. You can be "grown-up" and contribute to society, read comics, watch animation, or draw. I pay my mortgage, car bill, buy groceries, and commute to work every day. I can enjoy cartoons. Don't call us childish. Call us childlike. There is a difference.
Another point I want to make is that I have worked for conservative and liberal clients. You may have conservative and liberal friends. Or friends who are environmental. Or libertarian. Or friends who like pizza crust or don't (for the record, I'm not friends with those people). I am an equal opportunity artist and I work with people who want to work with me.
Part of why I took this gig on was because I was extremely pleased that The White House was interested in publishing comics and trying something different. Reaching out to new audiences who are visual learners or experimenting with Instagram is not a bad thing. I know how politics work, but please -- attacking art as a medium is an all-time low. Anyone remember prehistoric cave paintings? This is history. Art is history.
I also took on this assignment because it is important to take care of yourself and know what your options are. I like how many of the characters in this series are aiming to be the best version of themselves they can be. The images showcase healthy eating and exercising, which are important to me. Taking care of yourself and your body shows self respect and I wish more Americans and humans overall showed that initiative.
Not all the comics have been posted on their social media accounts at this time, but you can view them all by visiting WhiteHouse.gov or by looking below. The caregiver cartoon has been animated and is on The White House Instagram account.
Thank you to The White House for this opportunity and thank you to so many people online who have "liked" and commented and reposted. If you enjoyed these cartoons, please read my comic strip Curls and the other fun things I create to make others smile. I really do enjoy being Cartoonist for America.
Available for Freelance Work
If you are interested in my illustration and/or design skills, please email Carolyn Belefski at email@example.com. View my portfolio: http://www.carolynbelefski.com
Friday, January 23, 2015
I am nominated again for Washington City Paper's Best of D.C. Readers Poll in the category of "Best Visual Artist." Last year, as well as the year before, I got runner-up. Let's see if we can beat that. It only takes a couple seconds to vote. I'd appreciate if everyone took a moment to vote. Thank you!
Please spread the word and vote using this link: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/bestofpoll/nominations/vote/3012?year=2015
The poll closes March 11 at 11:59PM EDT
Carolyn Belefski has been nominated for Best Visual Artist
Carolyn Belefski is the writer and artist of the comic strip Curls at www.curls-studio.com/curls. She is constantly improving her skills and touring the east coast appearing at comic conventions and art shows.