Thursday, October 28, 2010

Recap: DC Counter Culture Festival 2010

Last Sunday Curls Studio exhibited at the fifth annual DC Counter Culture Festival. This year RFD in Chinatown was a new venue to us. Previous incarnations of the Fest were at the now defunct Dr. Dremo's and The Soundry. I think DC Conspiracy wanted a venue that was metro accessible this year.

The Fest was a good time because we got to catch up with local creators while selling comics and eating cheese fries. There were also DJs, a sideshow performer (Mab, Just Mab) and a bellydancer (Eugenia).

I got to participate in my first Super Art Fight, which was super fun! You can watch the bout Joe filmed above of Jamie Noguchi vs myself. The match MC is Rosscott, who happens to also be the winner of my Curls Twitter Contest I ran last February. I met him for the first time last month at Crafty Bastards and he is very active in the DC area art scene and teaches at American University.

If you are interested in Super Art Fight, check out their FREE next show this Tuesday, November 2nd.

Thanks to everyone who came to DC Counter Culture Festival 2010. Thanks to DC Conspiracy for organizing this event.


You can see more photos of Curls Studio at DC Counter Culture Festival 2010 on our Facebook Fan Page. Click "like" to get our updates on Facebook. Thank you.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Carabeo Interview with Washington City Paper

Mike Rhode posted his interview (Meet a Local Comic Book Writer: A Chat with Joe Carabeo) last week for Washington City Paper. Here is a sample of the interview followed by a link to the full interview.

Washington City Paper: What type of comic work or cartooning do you do?

Joe Carabeo: At this point in my comic book career, I’m focusing mainly on writing and character creation for Curls Studio.

WCP: Who are your influences?

JC: If I can name a few writers that I have influenced me the most just as a writer, I would have to say Billy Wilder, Joss Whedon and Rod Serling.

Billy Wilder’s razor sharp dialogue, his use of environments, and the importance of objects to motivate and push the story is something to this day that I don’t see storytellers fully capitalize on, and it’s a device I try to fully utilize in all the tales that I spin. To me, there’s more to writing than just people talking and running. We have objects that we can touch, that make sounds, they can even tell time and reveal memories. The ideas are endless for their use in storytelling.

I grew up on an extreme healthy dose of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Twilight Zone. I feel that when it comes to creating a world and characters that you’d want to follow to the end of time, Joss Whedon has been my biggest influence. The TV work that he did almost became a lifestyle. I felt that the audience grew with his characters, as viewers invested time and the characters became introduced into their daily lives. The characters that he created became friends to the audience, and people to this day still want them around. His work resonated that strongly with its audience because of how rich they were, and that is something I have always thrived to achieve with whatever I create. Something that people really love.

The influence that Rod Serling and his Twilight Zone TV show had on me is pretty unbelievable. I could go on a massive long tangent on this subject, but simply, the Twilight Zone is in my blood — it was one of the first shows that I even remember watching. There is so much I’ve learned from it. It’s always been to me a show that truly had no rules and if it ever did, it creatively broke them. The show was the best commentary on life ever, and the fact that Serling was never afraid to have the stories and characters on the Twilight Zone go astray has always been influential to everything I create.

WCP: What work are you most proud of?

JC: In the comic world, I’m proud of the characters that I have created with Carolyn Belefski for Curls Studio. They are all definitely not what they seem and I think the readers will find that with the more they follow the comics’ journeys, and I’m really excited about that. I believe we’re really getting a hold on who these characters really are and I’m proud that we’re at that point.

Continue to read the full interview here:

Friday, October 22, 2010

Recap: Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo 2010

Last weekend Curls Studio journeyed to Pittsburgh for the first-ever PIX: Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo. Going into the show I had no expectations because I knew the show was brand new and it was to be held at the top floor of an unheated storage facility. I found out about the show because I was handed a flyer at SPX about exhibiting and the table costs were very reasonable. We decided to go to Pittsburgh to sell our wonderful comics and establish a broader audience up north.

Similar to our trip to New York Comic Con the weekend before, we left around 3 AM and drove straight to the event, which started at 10 AM. Since there was only one elevator, exhibitors were encouraged to arrive early for set-up. I was prepared for the cold, but the temperature seemed just fine for me so having the facility unheated was not a problem anytime during the weekend.

We did really well at PIX and met some great people. In addition, we met some really nice Pittsburgh artists. Sunday sales were very close to Saturday sales, which is amazing because usually Sundays are slower. In fact, I might have actually liked Sunday better than Saturday because I was more relaxed.

Another cool thing about PIX was the ability to access a power outlet... and around Joe that can be adventurous! He set up Christmas lights around the rim of our table. It was nice to be able to add some electricity to our display for the first time.

On Saturday night, PIX hosted an exhibitor party at Brillobox. I really enjoyed being able to attend this party. The food was amazing. THE BEST PIEROGIES EVER. Having this party is a wonderful addition to the event. Someone mentioned "SPX has the chocolate fountain and PIX has pierogies." I like going to cons for food!

Panels were organized at the last minute and I attend part of the Sunday panel. I do not think many people knew about the panels, so they ended up merging all the Sunday panels into one hour. In the future this is something that can be organized and I understand it is a whole new thing to put on PIX. I really enjoyed the panel and it was worth going to.

I can certainly see PIX growing and becoming a larger show in the future. The venue turned out to be very awesome and spacious. I think there even could be room for more tables around the rim. My only advice would be to promote the panels in advance and post them on the website, make a table map so people can locate the tables they are looking for, and provide name tags for the exhibitors because people might only know of a name and not how a person looks like.

At the end of the event, I heard a rumor of PIX being a one-day show next year. I do not mind the two-day show and I think I got more out of the Sunday show because I was able to walk around and talk to other creators plus attend the panel, so that was fun. I hope to be back at PIX next year, whether it is a one or two day show... I think I prefer two-day, but I'd like to exhibit at PIX again either way.

Pittsburgh was rad. Thanks to Bill Boichel for organizing this event.


You can see more photos of Curls Studio at PIX on our Facebook Fan Page. Click "like" to get our updates on Facebook. Thanks in advance for joining up!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Recap: New York Comic Con 2010

Even though New York Comic Con happened a week and a half ago, I am still in recovery from running around and also exhibiting at Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo this past weekend. If I was to use one word to describe NYCC 2010 it would be: MASSIVE. This year's show felt much larger and the crowds were excited to discover new things and dress up. There were so many people in costumes! Overall, we had an amazing time. I would describe NYCC as Times Square for comics and pop culture in terms of sensory overload. I will break down this blog entry into each of the three days below.

Friday, October 8, 2010
We started our Friday by driving up around 3 AM. We were already running on very little sleep and the only thing to keep us going was the energy of the show. Joe drove and we also brought along Brian Sarvis for the trip. It was great to have Brian because it was his first time in New York and he assisted us each day of the convention. Once we got into the city, the first thing on our agenda was to park, get our materials into the convention, obtain badges and set-up the table in time for our panel, the first event in room 1A21. This required a lot of rushing around and getting things together very early in the morning and running on the convention high. While I was getting the table together, Joe and Brian were busy getting A/V ready for the panel.

At 11:15 AM, our panel "The Other Side of the Table: Lessons from Creators" started. Joe and Brian hooked up the camera to project into a large screen for the audience to see. We had a excellent crowd turnout for early Friday morning during professional hours (the convention opened to the public at 1:00 PM). I felt like our panel provided encouragement and amazing stories from the panelists: Jimmy Palmiotti (Painkiller Jane, Jonah Hex, The Pro), Raina Telgemeier (Smile, The Baby-Sitters Club), Bryan J.L. Glass (The Mice Templar, Thor: First Thunder) Carla Speed McNeil (Finder) and myself - Carolyn Belefski (Curls, The Legettes). Many of the audience members found the Curls Studio table later during the con to thank me, introduce themselves and say they enjoyed the panel. A couple people even showed me their portfolios. The panelists had a fun time as well and I'm glad we were able to have a panel and kick-off NYCC. Even though it was Friday morning, I'd rather have it be then than compete against M. Night Shyamalan! Everything really worked out well and we will be posting film and audio from the panel soon, so pay attention to this blog!

Join up at "The Other Side of the Table: Lessons from Creators" Facebook page to continue the conversation:

Another really cool thing about the panel was the opportunity to give away a book donated by Dave Sim, "Ultimate Cerebus Guide to Self-Publishing." The book was signed by Dave Sim along with all of the panelists. It was very hard to give away the book because all of a sudden we were flagged for one minute left from a NYCC volunteer and then had to wrap everything up quickly. I wanted to make sure the book went to someone who asked a question, so we made that happen and I hope that one lucky audience member enjoys his book. I wanted to get a photo of him with the book, but things were coming to a close as we had to leave the room. Brian said he caught the winner on camera though, so that is good. Special thanks goes out to Dave Sim for the book. It really is an amazing guide, yet it is important to find out what works for you. I purchased a copy of the book for myself several months ago and treasure that book.

On Friday I was also visited by Nick DeStefano, who is in Carnival Anthology, and Stacy from Comic Fusion, who picked up my original art for Wonder Woman Day 2010. On Friday evening, Joe, Brian and I attended the Riese Web Series panel and got to see Allison Mack, who plays Chloe from Smallville. Joe and I recorded an episode of our podcast all about meeting her. It is already getting a lot of action today from Allison Mack fans on Twitter. You can take a listen here. We also attended the Spotlight on James Marsters event and he sang to the audience.

Saturday, October 9, 2010
The foot traffic on Saturday was out of this world. I stayed at the table most of the day, but left to attend the "Your Highness" panel which featured James Franco and Danny McBride. It was awesome to see James Franco because Freaks and Geeks is my favorite TV show and seeing him made me one step closer to the Apatow Circle. At the table, I met some really amazing people and a lot of people were excited to discover The Legettes. On Saturday night we hunted down authentic brick oven pizza and showed Brian Times Square and the theater district. Later we checked out the NYCC Indy After Party, hosted by Dave Ryan, which featured a performance by Gordon Gano & The Ryans (singer/songwriter of the Violent Femmes). We hung out with Andrew Pepoy, who I recently met at Baltimore a few months ago.

Sunday, October 10, 2010
Joe and I split table duties on Sunday as I saw M. Night Shyamalan and Joe saw Bruce Campbell. MTV hosted a discussion with M. Night about the 10th anniversary of his film, Unbreakable. They played the soundtrack before the discussion started, which provided and eerie tone to the theater. I enjoyed this program the most from NYCC because Night is so smart and I enjoyed when he left the stage and got close to the audience to showcase his storyboards on the large screens. I also won a signed Unbreakable movie poster... which is amazing. M. Night rules. Joe filmed the full Bruce Campbell event in seven parts, which you can enjoy on his Astray Productions YouTube account. Please post a comment if you like it. Sunday ended with a mad rush as everyone exited the Javits Center. We went to eat in Brooklyn with a friend and spotted the orange Conan blimp!

Thank you!
NYCC was such a blast. I enjoyed being able to attend the convention as a panelist, organizer, fan and creator. I am glad to have met a whole bunch of new faces this year. Our business cards were eaten by NYCC and our mailing list grew. Thanks to everyone who went to "The Other Side of the Table: Lessons from Creators" panel and all those who stopped by the Curls Studio table. We really appreciate all the moments we got to spend with you.


You can see more photos of Curls Studio at NYCC 2010 on our Facebook Fan Page. Jimmy has super white teeth - glowing like Jon Bon Jovi. See for yourself.

June 7, 2011 - UPDATE: I figured it would be a good idea to provide links to our "The Other Side of the Table: Lessons from Creators" panel. You can find the recap, audio and video of the panel here:


This Sunday is DC Counter Culture Festival

Curls Studio will be at the fifth DC Counter Culture Festival this Sunday. It is our fifth appearance at this show, which means we are five time champions, like Booker T.

Join us this Sunday, October 24th from noon to 8PM at RFD's (810 7th Street, NW Washington, DC 20001). Admission is FREE.

This year the DC Counter Culture Festival will feature a live performance by: Mab, Just Mab - DC's Own Sideshow Girl

Bellydancing by: Eugenia

DJ Sets from: Ian Hall, Shannon Stewart, Beth Greenberg, and Corrosion Radio featuring smytii and dj Balti

Plus, the following talented exhibitors: AA Vrooman, Michael Auger, Bamn Comics, Clothes That Kill, Curls Studio, Dale Rawlings, Ed Contradictory, Evan Keeling, Full Sanction, Andrew Cohen, Interrobang Studios, Jen-A-Fusion Fashion Accessories, John Bintz, Michael O'Brien, Eric Gordon, Plastic Farm, R. M. Rhodes, RS Harvey, Spaghetti Kiss, Super Art Fight, Ariyana Suvarnasuddhi, Emma Rochon, Tiny Ghosts

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wonder Woman Day

11x14 ink
Curls, The Legettes!

I have recently created a sketch for Wonder Woman Day 2010. The sketch has been donated to Comic Fusion - a comic store in Flemington, New Jersey - to use in an auction to benefit SAFE in Hunterdon, a non-profit agency serving victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.

Above is a photo of me with Stacy from Comic Fusion as she picked up my art at New York Comic Con last Friday. I still need to post photos and write a recap blog for NYCC 2010 and "The Other Side of the Table" panel, but will probably not get to it until after I get back from Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo this weekend.

The inspirations behind my sketch are Mad Men, vintage stylings, secretary style, Bruce Timm, and making sure Wonder Woman was not wearing pants - because skirts are so rad.

Online bidding for sketches is now OPEN and will end midnight on October 23rd. Email to bid on all this wonderful original art.

Some artists who donated include Darwyn Cooke, Dean Haspiel, Sergio Aragones, Billy Tucci, Herb Trimpe, Michael Golden, Ben Caldwell, Thom, Zahler, David Mack, Jay Fife, Josh Lyman... and more!

Please bid on my Wonder Woman sketch (Carolyn Belefski - WW08) because I want to raise a lot of money for this cause! Thank you.


Spotlight on AIGA DC Continuum Scholarship Winners and Proceeds from 2010 Fellow Award Event

Spotlight on Scholarship Winners
AIGA DC has contributed to the education of five students since launching the Continuum Fund in 2007. Here are some updates on our scholarship recipients:

Joseph Cabato
(NVCC Tom Suzuki Scholarship Winner)

While maintaining summa cum laude status, Cabato earned a total of three associate degrees from Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC): Communication Design; Communication Design/Interactive Design; and Fine Arts/Photography. In his ‘downtime’ Cabato redesigned NVCC’s logo and layout for their newspaper, NVCC Fortnightly. Forging ahead, Cabato has been accepted to begin this Fall at American University’s School of Communication for their MFA program: Film and Electronic Media. He looks forward to working on fictional narratives, short-form videos, animation and documentaries.

Alfredo Ramirez
(NVCC Tom Suzuki Scholarship Winner)

Since this scholarship allowed Ramirez to focus solely on school, he admits that he began ‘living and breathing design.’ In addition to excelling in classes, Ramirez received NVCC’s “Best in Interactive” award. He also joined the NVCC Studio, a student-run, donation-based organization that creates designed pieces for local or non-profit organizations and supports scholarship funds for current and future students. Looking ahead, Ramirez has begun taking classes for web and interactive design and plans on completing his remaining classes for an associates degree in the near future.

Sarah Machicado
(AIGA DC Continuum Scholarship Winner – 2009)

During fall semester 2009, Sarah participated on a project through an advanced object design course taught by Inna Alesina and partnered with John Hopkins Children ARE Safe (CARES) Mobile Safety Center to solve the issue of child related accidents that occur in common Baltimore households. In addition, Sarah worked on poster awareness campaign called “It’s All Connected” to illustrate how people’s actions or choices can affect themselves, the community and the environment. Her poster was selected to be displayed in Baltimore’s MTA subway stations. The AIGA DC Continuum Fund made it possible for Sarah to attend a study abroad program with Temple University to La Paz, Bolivia this past summer.

Huong Le
(AIGA DC Continuum Scholarship Winner – 2010)

Huong Le is a student at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore and part of MICA’s Design Coalition, dedicated to helping the citizens of East Baltimore find resources to help sustain services for their community. She works directly with the Men and Families Center to re-strategize their brand identity so they can develop more funding to help those in need. Art education and design thinking have encouraged Huong to pursue her passions. She plans to continue working with design organizations to strategize development for low-income communities like East Baltimore.

Alexis Lovely
(AIGA DC Continuum Scholarship Winner – 2010)

When Alexis looks at a blank canvas, screen or image, the first thing she sees is the potential it has to be something more. She sees a beautiful work of art in the making, or the endless possibilities it has to be an inspiring piece of work through color, a serious message or eye-catching phenomenon. Alexis is freshman in the graphic design program at Howard University and is determined to have others feel an emotion unique to them with anything she designs.

Proceeds from 2010 Fellow Award Event
AIGA DC is excited to report that just under $700.00 was raised at our October 6th Fellow Award Event, which honored Tamera Lawrence and Rodney Williams. 80% of the proceeds from this event were donated to the AIGA DC Continuum Design Scholarship in both of our Fellows’ honor. Thanks to everyone who attended and contributed to the cause of design education.

How You Can Become Involved
If you would like more information about AIGA DC's Continuum Fund Scholarship or have questions about donating to AIGA DC's Continuum Fund, please email or visit

Carolyn Belefski
Special Projects Coordinator, AIGA DC

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo 2010

Carolyn Belefski and Joe Carabeo of Curls Studio will be appearing at a brand new show called PIX: The Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo this weekend! The event is FREE and open to the public. Please join us.

PIX: The Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo 2010
Saturday, October 16 and Sunday, October 17, 2010
10:00 AM to 5:00 PM both days

Guardian Storage
2839 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

PIX is Pittsburgh's first ever exposition devoted solely to creator-owned, self-published, small press and handmade comics.

Guests: Kevin Huizenga, Ed Piskor, Rob Rogers (Sunday only), Jim Rugg, Frank Santoro, Tom Scioli, Don Simpson (Sunday only)

Exhibitors: Dave Wachter, Rafer Roberts, Kevin Czapiewski, Carolyn Belefski, Joe Carabeo, Chad Cicconi, D.J. Coffman, Nate McDonough, Matthew Taylor, Dan Greenwald, Marcel “M.L.” Walker, Jesse Harold, Box Brown, Pat Aulisio, Katie Skelly, Bob Corby, Mike Bencze, Jared Catherine, Nick Marino, Bill Volk, Wayne Wise, Joe Kuth, Andy Scott, Apartment 4H, Lizzee Solomon, Art Noose, Tom Dewing, Pat Lewis, Rachel Masilamani, Katie Omberg, Shawn and Stephanie Gabborin, CANTO, Max Mose, Apple Juice Press, Kristoffer Smith, Anthony Acri, Planet Saturday Comics, Garrett Richardson, Tara Helfer, Caitlin Boyle, Juan Jose Fernandez, Mike Rosenthal, The Air and Nothingness Press, Katrina Kopeloff, Dan and Kerry Tallarico, Shawn Atkins, Seth Fronzoli, Mike Budai

(listing as of October 14)

Recap: Capicons (Oct. 3)

Curls Studio was a guest at the October 3, 2010 Capicons event at Dunn Loring Volunteer Fire Hall in Dunn Loring, VA. When we first arrived, I noticed a bingo set-up on the stage and that totally rocked. A comic convention at a fire station rules.

There were many other artists and writers there (besides myself and Joe Carabeo) including Matt Dembicki, Rafer Roberts, Evan Keeling, Andrew Cohen, Josh Lyman and Chris Flick.

Capicons is a really great local show that I can see growing and getting larger as it receives more exposure. Jeff, the show organizer has really great mic skills and it was his birthday. Cupcakes and cake were provided for everyone to celebrate. Jeff also did a few raffles thru the day, which I donated the Carnival Anthology to as well as donating to Hero Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping comic book veterans.

I was interviewed by DC Comic Books Examiner. Above is the embedded film interview from YouTube. The article is here.

Above is the interview with Capicons show organizers as they talk about where they are and where they are headed.

I am glad to have had conversations with people who went up on stage to check out our work. It was nice to have a calm convention to be able to take your time to communicate with people since so many conventions can be loud and pushy... or maybe I just came back from New York Comic Con and can assess the both events back to back.

Another great thing about being at the fire station was that we had to clear out for square dancing after the comic show. Yee-haw!

More photos can be found on our Facebook Fan Page. Join up.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Recap: Crafty Bastards 2010

Crafty Bastards took place Saturday, October 2, 2010 at the Marie Reed Learning Center in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, DC. I am thankful for the wonderful weather we had and the amazing turnout of speculators. We were visited by many people including former co-workers, Rob Ullman, practically 75% of the AIGA DC board, Sallie and two members from the improv class I took last summer. It was nice to see all these faces as well as new ones.

We got to debut our new Curls Studio long banner at this event. I only got out of the tent once, but what I saw was fabulous - many great crafters and many unique things. I am excited to get Curls Studio comics out to different audiences by attending events not typical of comic conventions.

The weekend was so busy because we were guests at Capicons the following day... which will be what my next blog post will be about.

You can see more photos of Curls Studio at Crafty Bastards on our Facebook Fan Page. Be sure to "like" us there.