Friday, December 31, 2010

Recap: Curls Studio's Year of 2010

Today is the last day of the year 2010. This past year has been the busiest year I've had in my life. A lot of things happened to me professionally and personally. All the activities we've done with Curls Studio are no exception, as we've kept pushing harder with our creations. We also had 13 tour stops this year, with a total of 18 days dedicated "behind the table." Below is our 2010 tour schedule with links to event recaps and/or photos to each event, so you can click to read all about the events.

2010 TOUR

MAY 2 • DC Comicon
MAY 23 • Handmade Mart
AUG 8 • Philadelphia Alternative Comic Con
AUG 28-29 • Baltimore Comic-Con
SEP 11-12 • Small Press Expo
OCT 2 • Crafty Bastards
OCT 3 • Capicons Comic Book & Pop Culture Con
OCT 8-10 • New York Comic Con
OCT 16-17 • Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo
OCT 24 • DC Counter Culture Festival
NOV 17 • In Between The Panels: DC's Emergence on the Graphic Novel Scene
NOV 21 • Holiday Heist
DEC 19 • Rock-n-Shop

In addition to listing appearances, I'd thought it would also be nice to recap specific projects of 2010.

I kicked off January with Sketch Before Sleep, where I've been doing a digital sketch everyday with a tablet. I am happy that I will soon have 365 sketches and it is such a landmark look back on all those sketches. In February, I used social media more and ran the first Curls Twitter Contest. Much of March, April and May was spent working on my design career. In June, I was selected to attend the AIGA Leadership Retreat in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It was really exciting and exhausting to go from our AIGA DC AIGA 50 exhibit one evening then catch a flight the next morning to take part in a jam packed weekend full of meeting design professionals from across the country. July was probably the most relaxing month of the year... I still remember working, but we did enjoy ourselves by catching The Dead Weather at 9:30 Club. In August, we premiered the trade paperback Black Magic Tales, Volume 1: The Adventures of Roxy & Dean, World Famous Criminals at Baltimore Comic-Con. Our comic Black Magic Tales: Reunion was published in Washington DC's Comics Newspaper, Magic Bullet. September was a handful! We premiered our first Comic Anthology, Carnival, at SPX and I was interviewed for Washington City Paper. I was also nominated for a Lulu Award in the category of "Kim Yale Award for Most Talented Newcomer." Although I did not win, it was awesome to be recognized for my comics. October kept pounding the punches with a tour date almost every weekend! We went to DC, New York and Pittsburgh. At New York Comic Con, we were interviewed by Derek Gordon and also organized a panel called "The Other Side of the Table: Lessons from Creators." It was fun to see James Franco and M. Night Shyamalan at NYCC. October also included a handful of freelance design and illustration projects including illustrations for National Geographic's Great Migrations. In November I was asked to take part in another panel, this one presented by the Women’s National Book Association. I also got to have fun as a guest blogger for Jimmy Palmiotti's Sexy Monday. As 2010 came to a halt, we took part in two holiday shows. December included a storyline in the Curls Webcomic with Curls receiving a Clive Owen and Keith Urban GPS for christmas. Washington City Paper also asked me to select my favorite Curls comics for the year.

I hope you enjoyed all the activities Curls Studio has done this year. I have received a handful of emails or DMs from people thanking me for my sketches everyday, which is very nice to receive. I hope 2011 is an even more accomplished year as I hope to continue progressing and creating.

Thank you to everyone who ever smiled at a Curls Webcomic, reposted any of our work online, told a friend about us, purchased any of our products, came by our table to say hi or supported us in other ways. We truly appreciate all of the recognition and enjoyment.

Curls Studio loves making people happy. Happy 2011 to everyone.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Curls for Comic Creator's Alliance 2011

In January, I'll be taking part in a fundraiser event called the Comic Creators Alliance: Fighting Together to End Human Trafficking. Last year 87 comic creators united to create one desktop wallpaper image featuring all their different characters, and together raised $10,000 for the purpose of fighting Human Trafficking! I've been asked to take part this year, so I'll be adding Curls to the wallpaper along side everyone else.

This year, instead of doing full body shots (last year's Curls contribution to CCA), we're going to be drawing busts "Brady Bunch" style. The wallpaper will feature all creator-owned female characters with the characters looking around at one of the other squares, or making a silly face. My contribution of Curls is above!

What is Human Trafficking? Human Trafficking is a sanitized term for slavery. There are over 27 million people enslaved in the world today, and most if it is young girls being sold into forced prostitution--both over seas and yes, in the United States. In the United States there are only 39 beds at facilities for victims in the entire nation--and at least 16,000 people being trafficked into the US from other countries each year! Not to count the domestic victims already living here.

The money that the CCA raised last year was split between two organizations, one global--Love 146, and a local shelter trying to get up and running--Gracehaven in Ohio. (Toledo, Ohio is one of the largest trafficking hubs in the U.S.) Both organizations were able to expand their particular fights against this heinous problem in 2010. Love 146 is setting up Task Forces around America, local groups of concerned citizens bringing the fight and awareness to their own corners of the nation. Internationally, Love 146 set up the Cambodia Border Officers Project . This is total prevention: officers patrol the border crossing, looking for possible victims and the kids they rescue will never know the horrors they might have. Gracehaven used our funds in the ongoing renovations that are necessary to bring the house up to code--plumbing and air conditioning were installed, along with two new bathrooms. They hope to be up and running soon but must first have six months of operating expenses in the bank. They are currently at one fifth of their goal--let's see what we can do to help them!

If you're a creator and would like to participate, the deadline for contributions is December 31st, 2010. Email to be added to the list. And the Donations Drive goes live January 11th on National Human Trafficking Awareness Day and will last for two weeks. See you then!

Washington City Paper: The Year 2010 in Cartoons

Mike Rhode posted his "Year in Cartoons" for Washington City Paper. He writes:

Other papers may pick what they think were the best cartoons of the year. Here at the City Paper, we're doing it differently. We've asked some local cartoonists to pick their favorite piece that they made over the past year and share it with us.

David Hagen, Steven Artley, Michael Cavna, Donna Lewis, Carolyn Belefski, Nick Galifianakis, Kevin 'Kal' Kallagher, Ann Telnaes, Molly Lawless, Matt Dembicki, Joe Sutliff, Richard Thompson and Matt Wuerker are all featured.

Read the full article here:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Washington Post: Vote Best Comics of 2010

Hello True Believers of Curls Studio,

The Washington Post (Comic Riffs) is looking for nominations for their Riffy Awards.

Nominations will be accepted till 11:59 PM on Monday, December 27, 2010. You may send your nominations to Comic Riffs via e-mail (; via Twitter (; via Facebook (; or in the comments on the Post page.

For more info:

Please consider my webcomic Curls for Best Webcomic - and let The Washington Post know!

Thank you and enjoy this holiday season,

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Geek of Oz: 2010 - A Geek Odyssey

Ryan Huff from Sydney, Australia has interviewed Brian Michael Bendis, Deb Aoki, Victor Gischler, Irish Emmet, Carolyn Belefski, Jeff Parker, Christopher "Great" Scott, and Chris Samnee about the year 2010 and what we look forward to in 2011.

Read all the interviews here:

In addition to this interview, I want to point out that my answer for "What would you like to find in your Christmas stocking?" is a current storyline in my Curls Webcomic:

Holiday Greeting Card Illustration

A former co-worker of mine commissioned me to illustrate her family's 2010 Holiday Greeting Card. She provided me with photos of her two cats and one dog to work from.

Here is the process from original small sketch layout and more detailed sketch to inks to colors:

The client and her husband are really excited about the illustration and how their girls were portrayed, which makes me happy because I gave each animal a character and attitude as they have fun together sledding in the snow.

Available for Freelance Work
If you are a creative director, art director or designer interested in my illustration and/or design skills, please email me at

Monday, December 20, 2010

National Geographic: Great Migrations Illustrations

Recently I did freelance illustration and concept art for National Geographic and produced illustrations for their major television event Great Migrations and the show's CafePress merchandise store.

The two concepts they selected for final production are "Animal Prints" and "Turtle" and they are now available for purchase as Shirts, Ceramic Travel Mugs, Sigg Water Bottles, Messenger Bags, Mousepads, Gaiam Yoga Mats and more!

Above are some of the concept sketches I did that never made it to final, but I'm sharing with you because I'd like to invite you in on my process. I merged them all on a one-sheet for web viewing.

This project was very fun and freeing and I hope to do more work like this. Plus it feels good to know I did original illustrations for National Geographic.

Available for Freelance Work
If you are are creative director, art director or designer interested in my illustration and/or design skills, please email me at

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Other Side of the Table: Lessons from Creators

Last October, Astray Productions filmed our panel at New York Comic Con. We now present to you full footage and audio of the panel...

The Other Side of the Table: Lessons from Creators
Date: Friday, October 8, 2010
Time: 11:15 am - 12:15 pm
Location: Room 1A21, Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York City

Creating your product is only half the work it takes to succeed in the comics industry. What about the other half that we don't see as clearly after the product is released to the world? This panel will explore what it is like to be on the other side of the table, as a creator. We will discuss what it takes to exhibit at conventions, promote yourself, and gain a loyal audience - from the POV of professionals already behind the table. Join creators 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 Carolyn Belefski (Curls, The Legettes) in this conversation, moderated by Joe Carabeo.


NYCC Blog Recap:

Connect: Continue the conversation by joining "The Other Side of the Table" Facebook page

Below is part 1 of 7 and all the parts link to each other on YouTube. I hope you enjoy the panel!

Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
Part 4:
Part 5:
Part 6:
Part 7:

Special thanks to Dave Sim, who provided us with a copy of Ultimate Cerebus Guide To Self-Publishing to give to one lucky audience member.

Thank You: Jimmy Palmiotti, Raina Telgemeier, Bryan, J.L. Glass, Carla Speed McNeil, Carolyn Belefski, Joe Carabeo, Brian Sarvis, Dave Sim, New York Comic Con, Kim Mueller, Larry Settembrini, Mark Fitch, Tatyana Schum, Radial Outdoor Media, Astray Productions, VCR

Monday, December 6, 2010

Last Show of 2010: Rock-n-Shop

Hunting for that perfect holiday gift? Looking to augment your hardcore collection with some essential records? Searching for the perfect T-shirt? Stop right there, my friend! Rock-n-Shop is where it's all at. This annual junk sale offers more than the standard fare... for one thing, it's not all junk...

Blast out of 2010 and join Curls Studio at our last show of the year!

We will be at Rock-n-Shop at 8PM on Sunday, December, 19th at the Black Cat with our very own black cat, Black Magic.

A Rock and Roll Garage Sale
FREE on the Mainstage
Sunday, December, 19th
Doors at 8:00PM

Black Cat
1811 14th Street, NW
(between N S St & N Swann St)
Washington, DC 20009

Exhibitors (as of December 6)
60 Bugs, Ana Haworth, Anhtu Lu, Fire Studio, Tigerflight, Wrong Tree Studio, Carlos Izurieta, Curls Studio, Charlene Lockwood, David Ballinger, David Conroy, Eileen Colton, Erin Boland, Erin McCarley, Gene Melkisethian, El Jefe Design, Dau Dau, Fisticuffs, Red Onion Records, Junk Science, Kenieffer Vargas, Kitten Rocks Well, Lara Watson, Les Talusan, Meaghan O’Malley, Pretty Little Fings, Gosh Darn Knit, Shawn Sprague, Som Records, Smash Records, Kathy Newton

Poster Credit
The rad 2010 Rock-n-Shop poster is six-color combination of silkscreen and woodcut by Anthony Dihle of Fire Studio.

December 15 - UPDATE: Above is a map Black Cat provided the vendors. Curls Studio will be located near the center of the bar at table number 8. Hope to see you this Sunday.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Recap and Film: In Between the Panels

On November 17, the Women’s National Book Association, DC Chapter sponsored "In Between the Panels: DC’s Emergence on the Graphic Novel Scene" – a discussion on the Washington, DC area graphic novel scene. The panel included Carolyn Belefski (myself), Molly Lawless, Matt Dembicki, and Mike Rhode.

Comicsgirl and DC Cultural Events Examiner are media that I know covered the event. In addition, Astray Productions graciously filmed the full panel and posted it on YouTube. Below is part 1 of 6 and all the parts link to each other on YouTube.

Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
Part 4:
Part 5:
Part 6:

I had a great time discussing comics that evening and we had a crowd size better than most expected. The audience was able to purchase books after the panel and I got to meet a handful of new people after the event. "Black Magic Tales, Volume 1: The Adventures of Roxy and Dean, World Famous Criminals" was my the top seller at this event. One guy in particular came up to me, but I got pulled away into another conversation, so I missed out on talking to him... so if you are that guy, please email your question to me at I apologize for not being able to finish our conversation.

The event was wonderful because we got to educate the general public more about comics and what goes into creating them. I hope a lot of people walked away with a fuller view of comics as a storytelling medium.