Friday, December 28, 2012

Recap: Curls Studio's Year of 2012

As we approach the new year, I believe to look back on the year of 2012 we have been thru and reflect on the highlights. We had 15 tour stops this year (that's around 20 days of being behind the table or at appearances) and traveled all along the upper east coast to expand the Curls Studio territory. Below is our 2012 tour schedule with links to event recaps and photos from each event. Please click the link to read recaps and view the photo galleries.

2012 TOUR

MAY 12 • Asbury Park Comic Con, 1
JUN 3 • Capicons
JUN 10 • 'Team Cul de Sac' Signing, VA
JUL 7 • Southern Maryland Comic-Con
JUL 8 • DCJCC Comics in the District
JUL 11 • 'Team Cul de Sac' Signing, DC
JUL 28 • DC Zinefest
AUG 19 • 'District Comics' Signing, VA
SEP 8-9 • Baltimore Comic-Con
SEP 15-16 • Small Press Expo
SEP 22 • 'District Comics' Signing, PA
SEP 29 • Asbury Park Comic Con, 2
OCT 11-14 • New York Comic Con
OCT 27 • Annapolis Comic-Con
DEC 15 • Locust Moon Comics Festival

Here is a month-by-month breakdown of specific moments in 2012 that were monumental:

In January, I visited the Newseum in my free-time and wrote about their cartoon collection. I entered my comic strip 'Curls' in The Cartoonist Studio contest in February. It ran until week 8 (out of 10). Thanks to everyone who voted to support! In March I posted the pin-up Jimmy Palmiotti asked me to contribute for his graphic novel, Queen Crab, published by Image Comics. It was great to be included in that book and Jimmy is an amazing guy. In April, the Curls gang was on WWE Monday Night Raw. May launched the first-ever Asbury Park Comic Con - and we had a blast on the beach! We are already signed up to exhibit next year. June highlighted Team Cul de Sac - the official highlight of the year for me. There were two book signings during the year and an online auction, plus a panel conversation at Baltimore Comic-Con. As of December 11, 2012, Team Cul de Sac has raised $101,231.21 for Parkinson's research in honor of Richard Thompson and Chris Sparks. July was loaded with two shows , a book signing, an a panel discussion about the local comics scene in DC. August was busy and fun. The highlight of that month was the book release party and signing at One More Page Books in Arlington, VA. September was another busy month - the fall season is always very crazy with conventions and work to be done. I practically had no free-time or weekend break for several weeks in a row during September and October. Time moved quickly there was not much time to breathe. I was asked to do web banner art for Small Press Expo, which is an honor and is now included in the US Library of Congress. November was actually a more relaxing month because I didn't have to physically be anywhere. I still worked on Curls and did some freelance illustration and design projects. Curls Studio was asked to be guests on the DC Geeks podcast that month, so I guess we did travel to do that show, but it wasn't too far! In December, we wrapped up the year with Locust Moon Comics Festival.

Also Magic Bullet #5 was released during the year of 2012 and the theme was, you guessed it, end of the world! Throughout the year, the Carolyn & Joe Show delivered a new episode every Tuesday and never missed a week with the podcast. We even surpassed episode 200!

In 2013, I already have some projects on the docket and will be editing Magic Bullet #6. I have a productive feeling about this year. Thanks for keeping up with Curls Studio. I hope to see you in 2013 and beyond!

Commissioned Illustration for Child's Playroom

I was asked by a family to illustrate a young girl named Sophia playing with her dog, Bully, for a wall graphic in Sophia's playroom.

Here is a process sketch. I was able to work from photos of the girl and the dog.

And here is the final 46" x 72" graphic. Currently, the walls of the playroom are lime green.

I really like the illustration with a sky blue background and provided the client with that option as well. I told her we could also use the image for birthday parties or greeting cards.

Here is the illustration the client cut and designed to fit a goodie bag for Sophia's birthday party. I would love to design more custom wall graphics or party items!

Client Feedback
I loooooove it! It's great!!!

Available for Freelance Work
If you are interested in my illustration and/or design skills, please email Carolyn Belefski at

Thursday, December 27, 2012

ModCloth Creations

This is a dress concept design I did this past summer for ModCloth's "Make The Cut" collection with the theme of "Winter Garden Gala." I had a fun time drawing fashion, which is something a bit outside my regular artistic realm. I titled this dress "Cleopatra's Garden Party Dress" and was inspired by the gold color and keeping it within a gray monochromatic world. The use of the flower belt and fishnet-like sleeves add texture to accent the gold neckline. I didn't win the contest, but found it to be an awesome mission. Here is more information and the rules if you are interested in learning more. I hope ModCloth does another "Make The Cut" challenge in the future.

I did however win another ModCloth contest back in June - the National Doughnut Day contest. The goal was to post a photo of yourself wearing a ModCloth item and include a doughnut in the image. I didn't have much time to prepare for this, but was lucky to have a doughnut on-hand from one of my co-workers who brought some into the office to share and celebrate the day. Joe Carabeo from Astray Productions took the photo of me wearing The Deveraux Dress and we quickly posted it online. I had a good feeling about winning - and we did!

I love ModCloth's clothes, but I'm on a clothing purchase hiatus for one full year (which started last August). After that I can only buy items I truly need or items that are super treasures, not just out of want. If you are interested in checking out more of ModCloth's great items, please use my referral link for a $15 discount toward your first purchase of $50 or more:

Curls Studio - Guests on DC Geeks Podcast

Joe Carabeo and Carolyn Belefski are guests on the DC Geeks podcast - released yesterday, but recorded on November 14, 2012. We discussed our own podcast (The Carolyn & Joe Show) as well as the books and characters we create for Curls Studio. We also talked about My Little Pony, Turtle Derby, the human Barbie, and more. I hope you enjoy this show and thanks to DC Geeks for having us!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Recap: Locust Moon Comics Festival 2012

On Sunday, December 16, 2012, Curls Studio traveled to Philadelphia, PA for the first Locust Moon Comics Festival at The Rotunda. The show was very similar to Philadelphia Alternative Comic Con because of the same location, similar table layout, exhibitors, and vibe. I really appreciate how the show organizers promoted the show from the street with signage. Hopefully that drew in a curious crowd to stroll in. There was an after-party at Locust Moon after the show, but we opted to hit the road for a three hour drive home. 

The show had some amazing moments with our younger readers. In particular a young girl with blonde hair was with her dad and he told Joe a story about how she enjoyed Kid Roxy #1 a lot and one day she was reading under a tree and accidentally left the book there. When they went back to get the book it rained and the book got all wet. It was great to hear that story and the little girl was able to purchase Kid Roxy #1 and #2 to continue the story. She also asked me to draw in her sketchbook - very fun!

There were also a handful of other kids who purchased more of our books. It was exciting to connect with our audience in Philly! That was the last tour date of the year. We thank everyone we met this year on tour. In 2013, we are officially confirmed to be at Asbury Park Comic Con on March 30, Awesome Con on April 20-21, and Baltimore Comic-Con on September 7-8.

Check out more photos of "Locust Moon Comics Festival 2012" on the Curls Studio Facebook page:

Friday, December 7, 2012

Locust Moon Comics Festival 2012

Join Curls Studio on Sunday, December 16, 2012 from 11AM to 8PM at The Rotunda (4014 Walnut Street in Philadelphia, PA) for the first Locust Moon Comics Festival. This show used to be the Philadelphia Alternative Comic Con, but is now being run by Locust Moon Comics and Movies.

The festival will have lectures, panels, and conversations on comics. This unique one-day event will honor comic creators and comic creations. Artists and publishers will display and sell their works. Refreshments will be provided by Kung Fu Hoagies and Little Baby’s Ice Cream.

Exhibitors will include: Brandon Graham, Farel Dalrymple, J.G. Jones, David Mack, Jim Rugg, Michael Zulli, Jasen Lexx, Terry LaBan, Box Brown, Ben Marra, Ed Piskor, Jeffro Kilpatrick, Rafer Roberts, Joe Carabeo, Carolyn Belefski, Ad House Books, Meathaus Enterprises, Secret Acres, Koyama Press, Locust Moon Press, and many others. 

Here's a link to the event's Facebook page, so you can RSVP and share with your friends:

Here's some coverage the event is getting on CPR:

Friday, November 30, 2012

Recap: Annapolis Comic-Con 2012, Halloween Edition

On October 27, 2012, Curls Studio had our first appearance at Annapolis Comic-Con. The show was Halloween themed and it was great to see many people in costume. We also did the Carolyn & Joe Show podcast for the very first time in front of a live studio audience. You can listen to the show here. We even grew a Dinosaur Plant during the show!

I distributed the Curls bookmark created specifically for Halloween and many people dug it. Positive reports came back from fans and family members who gave out the bookmarks during actual Halloween Trick-or-Treat as well.

Here is a photograph of trading cards a fan made for us to sign for him.

There was a ton of candy and many people received a free reusable Trick-or-Treat bag provided by Annapolis Comic-Con. We we seated next to Mark Wheatley and he is a pleasure to chat with. It was a show of "firsts" for us and we definitely had a fun time. Thanks to Ben for organizing the show.

To view more photos of the event, vist the Curls Studio Facebook page:

Our next appearance will be Sunday, December 16 for Locust Moon Comics Festival at The Rotunda (4014 Walnut Street) in Philadelphia, PA.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Anthology Books of 2012

Team Cul de Sac: Cartoonists Draw the Line at Parkinson's and District Comics: An Unconventional History of Washington, DC were two anthologies I was glad to be a part of this year. I've already started to reminisce about 2012, even though we still have a little over one month left. The great thing about both of these projects is that they are a team effort.

Team Cul de Sac, lead by Chris Sparks, is a cartoon community dedicated to honoring Richard Thompson's comic strip, Cul de Sac. Richard was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease which led to him retire the strip this year. You can follow his blog with current updates on his brain stimulation surgery here. Being a part of this project, I was able to attend two book signing events, one of which was at One More Page in Arlington, VA and the other at Politics and Prose in DC. I was also able to take part in the panel at Baltimore Comic-Con. All the original art was auctioned off and so far the project has raised $100,951.42 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

Here is a photo of the Obama family visiting the site of the first Team Cul de Sac book signing, One More Page. The Team Cul de Sac book is on the counter display. The Team Cul de Sac book was also recently included in Tom Spurgeon's The Comics Reporter 2012 Holiday Shopping Guide.

Here are some of my event recaps and other links related to Team Cul de Sac:

If you are interested in purchasing Team Cul de Sac you can order directly from this link. We all wish Richard luck and look forward to any future creative projects he'll be a part of.

District Comics is another project I was able to contribute to this year. District Comics contains many stories about Washington, DC that you would not normally read about in a traditional history book. Matt Dembicki is the editor and he really got a great group of mostly local creators to structure something that had never been done before. We were able to attend book signings at One More Page in Arlington, VA and Locust Moon Comics and Movies in Philadelphia, PA.

I worked with Joe Carabeo on the 11-page "Spytini" story about Elizabeth Bentley "The Red Spy Queen" and her activities in Georgetown, primarily at the restaurant Martin's Tavern. To prepare for the book, Joe and I ate at the restaurant and did research on the visuals there and I took reference photos. I used a different art approach and a lot of people have remarked that it is a more mature style.

The Washington Post recently ranked District Comics as a Top 10 Graphic/Comics Reads of 2012. It makes for a great gift this holiday season and an honor to be recognized alongside with books like Drama by Raina Telegemeier, Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis, and Drawn Together by Aline and R. Crumb. District Comics was also recognized by winning a 2012 American Graphic Design Award from Graphic Design USA.

Here is a whole rundown of the press District Comics has stirred up this year:
Washington City Paper (cover story during the week of SPX)
Huffington Post
Comic Book Resources
Kirkus Book Reviews
Scripps Howards Foundation Wire
Panel Patter
Comic Related

Here are some previous blogs I wrote about District Comics:

Monday, October 22, 2012

Recap: New York Comic Con 2012

This year New York Comic Con took place October 11-14, 2012. Curls Studio drove up on Thursday morning to be set-up and ready for the crowds at the Javits Center. The Thursday morning is my favorite time during NYCC, because once we arrange our table, we go to the main floor to witness the huge displays being put up for Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Lego, and more. At this time, no one is around and we can use of exhibitor passes to get in and experience the set-up process and not be engulfed by crowds. By being behind-the-scenes you can observe a lot and by having this access it also helps to see where everything is and have a game plan with what you want to visit during this calm-before-the-storm.

We were lucky to have Brian Sarvis with us for all four days of the convention because whenever we stepped away, he could handle the table. Lauren Jaslow also helped on Friday and it was her first NYCC experience.

Our table was W13 in Artist Alley. Leading up to the start of the convention, all I could hear were mumblings of other creators who were skeptical of the placement of Artist Alley. The location had moved away from the main floor, where it had been in previous years, and was now located in Javits North (if you were at NYCC in 2011, this was the area where the celebrity wing was). To get there, you have to walk a ramp going away from the main floor. Exhibitors were concerned traffic would not come because of this further location and thinking that Artist Alley would be away from the action. At this time, I had already accepted the fact that Artist Alley had moved and all I could hope for is that people would know where to find us and that NYCC had proper signage to guide attendees. I had already written a blog that included maps clearly marked, so I tried my best to prepare the Curls Studio fan base beforehand.

In my opinion, there was no problem with the Artist Alley placement in the North Pavilion. First of all, this was the largest Artist Alley in history. More space leads to more exhibitors and more breathing room to take it all in. Also in previous years, Artist Alley had been placed near loud video game competitions. We were competing with all this noise and action going around us. We had to step away from our table to do a couple of interviews last year due to poor sound quality. This year, I felt like we could talk to the attendees and not feel rushed. We could actually focus and have conversations about what we do and not have to sacrifice communication for being next to noise and other distractions. Artist Alley was it's own large room and we had it to ourselves. Also attendees who enjoy Artist Alley would not miss us - they still knew where to find us - and I felt even attendees who were not familiar with comic conventions still discovered the Artist Alley section as a break from the more hectic main hall. As you can see in the first photo above, the crowds did come to Artist Alley!

I was at the table most of the time. The only other thing I did at NYCC that strayed far from the table was to see WWE Wrestling Superstar Dolph Ziggler for an autograph signing at the Mattel booth. This only took 30 minutes of my time, as I got a ticket to go early Saturday morning and later got in line at the scheduled time later in the day to meet him. I brought Toast with me to take a photo with him. We love his hair because it looks like spaghetti. From this one short experience of leaving the table, I realized how massive NYCC is on a Saturday. If you did not have a destination in mind of where to go, you could easily get lost in the shuffle.

I also saw the Team Cul de Sac book at the GoComics booth, which was exciting to be a part of that and see it come to life.

On Saturday night we ate at Krolewski Jadio for Polish cuisine in Brooklyn. The building entrance is guarded with two men in armor and the place was dressed up for Halloween. We ordered the Polish Plate, pierogies, and more. The food tasted great and I highly recommend it.

Back at NYCC on Sunday, I got to meet Juanjo Guarnido, the artist of Blacksad, one of my favorite graphic novels. I did not know he was going to be there, but luckily I was chatting with Rafer Roberts about Blacksad and he told me the artist was there. I got Juanjo Guarnido to sign my sketchbook and he drew a small head of Blacksad for me. It was certainly a highlight to meet him. I also briefly took a break to see Elmo at the Variant Stage for Kids Day.

At the table, I got to meet  a lot of new people who were just discovering Curls Studio for the first time, by means of just walking around and exploring the scene. Also a few folks dropped by from previous years. It's pretty amazing how they were able to find the Curls Studio table again! We also were at the table when a handful of classmates we knew from VCU stopped by. It seemed like everyone was at NYCC! Here is a video from pugglesformuggles about her NYCC experience. Here is a video interview from glcorps2002 where I talk about the books that Curls Studio creates.

A lot of people expressed interest in Kid Roxy this year, which was exciting to see. We hope to have a new Kid Roxy book out in 2013.

I was also impressed with the quality of cosplay and the costumes this year. It seems like everyone overall stepped up their game. Also apparently female Loki is very popular.

On Sunday night after we fully packed and the convention was over, we ate dinner at La Taverna in Brooklyn. This restaurant served delicious Italian food and I had the grilled salmon. We got some rest to prepare us for our Monday as a "free" day in New York, since we were in town. We looked for the set of HBO's Boardwalk Empire, which we knew was in Brooklyn, and turned out it was very close by LaTaverna, where we had been the night before. The set was closed off and they were not filming, but we were able to see the top of some of the boardwalk buildings and small glimpses of the boardwalk wood. One of the billboards were tossed aside for "Adam's Black Jack Gum" and I took a photo with that.

We then went to the new location of Forbidden Planet comic book store, which is next to the Strand bookstore. We went to Little Italy and ate at Sal's for brick oven pizza and then headed home.

Thanks to my pal, Nadia, for letting us stay at her place. Also big thanks to Mike Negin who did an awesome job of coordinating Artist Alley. Thank to everyone we met and we hope to be back in 2013 for NYCC.

Looks for more photos on the Curls Studio Facebook page and give us a "Like" too! Also check in with AstrayJ on Instrgram. He took a lot of photos documenting Curls Studio's experiences at NYCC.

Annapolis Comic-Con is this Saturday!

This Saturday, October 27, 2012, Curls Studio will be exhibiting at the Halloween Edition of Annapolis Comic-Con from 10AM to 6PM. We will also be recording a live podcast at noon - and you can be a part of our live audience! Get ready for a historic event, as the orginal loose canon podcast, The Carolyn and Joe Show records their podcast live for the very first time in front of a live audience. 

It's alive! The Annapolis Comic-Con: Halloween Edition is coming back to life this Saturday! Join us at the Pip Moyer Community Center for a whole day of fun! Here's what we've got: 
• 50 artists, writers, and comic book creators.
• 30 exhibitors selling comics, toys, manga, games, shirts, and more!
• A very full day of special events and fun giveaways all day long
• Tons of extra special stuff for kids!

Come in costume and get a FREE reusable Trick-or-Treat bag! The kid costume contest is at 2:30PM and the adult Costume Contest is at 5:00PM.

Annapolis Comic-Con: Halloween Edition
Roger "Pip" Moyer Community Center
273 Hilltop Lane
Annapolis, Maryland 21403

Show Schedule
12:00 - Carolyn and Joe Show - live podcast
1:00 -  Matt Slay live painting demo
2:00 - Identity Comics presentation
3:00 - ADVANCED Zombie Survival
4:00 - Halloween Cosplay Discussion
5:00 - Costume Contest
5:30 - Insane Ian LIVE CONCERT!

12:30 - Coconut Cosplay
1:30 - Create a supervillain with K. Michael Crawford
2:30 - Kids Costume Contest!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Curls Halloween Bookmarks

Here at Curls Studio, we are looking for a few good Street Team members to distribute these beautiful (or should I say boo-tiful) Curls bookmarks to their treat-or-treat visitors on the evening on Wednesday, October 31, 2012. 

The bookmarks feature a Halloween comic strip with Curls and Turtle Neck on the front side. On the back side, all the characters are presented. You can read the strip in the photo I took above. The bookmark is posing with my pumpkin named Hattie.

If you are willing to help, all you have to do is email "" with your mailing address. It also may be helpful to know how many trick-or-treaters you might expect. Then, like magic, a pack of bookmarks will be sent your way. If you have any leftovers, you can give them out again in 2013, or give them to your local library, school, doctor's office, dentist, or any other place you think will help spread the word of Curls.

Thanks so much to everyone on Facebook and Twitter who have already volunteered to distribute. I think the children will really enjoy this Halloween and the Curls bookmarks. Spooks!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Recap: Asbury Park Comic Con 2

On September 29, 2012, Curls Studio journeyed north to Asbury Park, New Jersey for the lovely second edition of Asbury Park Comic Con. The first show was this past May (read that recap here), and with a bit over two months left in the year, it is safe to say that Asbury is the show that is fresh with attitude we enjoy. The attendees are eager to try new material, which is always a plus. Many of them were attending their first comic show.

If you haven't been to this event yet, you must make plans to attend the next one. First of all, it's in a kitschy throwback bowling alley, Asbury Lanes. I love the environment. The organizers may be expanding to the Asbury Park Convention Hall directly on the boardwalk for future shows. Hopefully this will allow for more exhibitors and more breathing room, but at the same time I will miss the bowling alley for old times sake. The convention hall space looks like it will be a lot of fun in it's own right.

I like to visit the town of Asbury Park because I see something new every time and artistic character is incorporated into the landscape. We also enjoyed hanging out with our pals Lauren Jaslow, Dre Grigoropol, Rafer Roberts, Reilly Brown, Dean Haspiel, Dave Ryan, and everyone else we met at the show. Big ups to Cliff Galbraith who runs the show. We really appreciate the fact that shows like this exist with people starting something fun for all.

The following day, we ate at Frank's Deli Restaurant for breakfast, walked around Asbury for a couple hours, then drove to Red Bank to visit Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash, the comic book shop owned by filmmaker Kevin Smith. There is a lot of movie memorabilia inside from Clerks, Zack & Miri Make a Porno, and more. There is original art on the wall and we spotted some inks by Jimmy Palmiotti. The joint is vibrant and best described as well-decorated pop culture clutter. We saw the area where they record podcasts and AMC's Comic Book Men show. Toast even came with us and got to meet Buddy Christ from Dogma. Kevin Smith is a big influence to Joe and I and it was a worthwhile trip to make since we were in the area and have been wanting to visit for awhile. Take a listen to Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes talking about Curls Studio here.

You can check out more photos of Asbury Park Comic Con 2 on the Curls Studio Facebook page. Give us a "Like" and let's be friends.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Visit to Philly for District Comics Book Signing

Curls Studio traveled up to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Saturday, September 22, 2012 for the "District Comics: An Unconventional History of Washington, DC" book signing at Locust Moon Comics & Movies. Since the event was at 5PM, we decided to make the most of the day and attended the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's Fall Garden Festival when we got into town a little after noon. I also planned a full day of pierogie hunting.

At the festival, Carla Hall and Daphne Oz form ABC's The Chew were there giving a cooking demonstration. I have seen this show at the gym when I work out during my lunch break, so it was fun to see them in-person. There were tons of plants and other festivities and I came home adopting a Oreocereus trollii... you will be seeing more of him in the future.

For a late lunch, we went to Syrenka Luncheonette, a polish cafeteria-style eatery, on Richmond Street. We ordered mushroom soup, pierogies, and potato pancakes. The food was delicious, but if you go be prepared to dine in an outlet of the past. There were photos of Robin Williams up on the wall when he visited in 1998, but overall the place felt like going in a time machine back a few generations.

Afterwards we went to Krakus Market across the street and checked out the polish food and drink options. They even had polish gossip magazines and newspapers at the checkout. It seemed like carrots were a major influence in the drink flavors. We purchased a pack of frozen sauerkraut and mushroom pierogies to go, which we haven't tasted yet and are saving for a special occasion.

We couldn't get enough pierogies so from there so we headed to Pierogie Kitchen to get some dessert pierogies. We had been there before, so knew what to expect. The flavors there are more contemporary and experimental. Since we came in late in the day, the only dessert flavor left was sweet potato, so we tried that and quickly headed to the book signing.

Locust Moon is a great comic book store and has a high sense of design and appreciation for original art. There is even a gorgeous fish tank and fun things to look at everywhere and also a gallery space. The weather was a bit crazy that day, as earlier the temperature went from very hot to normal to extreme rain and wind into the night. Matt Dembicki provided free District Comics zipper pulls for anyone who wanted them. Food and drinks were also provided during the signing.

The creators who attended were Matt Dembicki, Rafer Roberts, Michael Cowgill, Kevin Rechin, Jason Rodriguez, Carolyn Belefski, Joe Carabeo, and Charles Fetherolf.

Thanks to Brady Russell and Amber Love and her friends for dropping by!

You can hear more about our trip to Philly in episode 193 of The Carolyn & Joe Show:

Or view a ton of photos in the Curls Studio Facebook photo gallery:

We'll be back in Philly on Sunday, December 16, 2012 for a comics event at The Rotunda (4014 Walnut Street). Mark your calendar and look for more details to come.

Friday, October 5, 2012

New York Comic Con 2012 - Artist Alley, Table W13

You can find Curls Studio ALL FOUR DAYS of New York Comic Con 2012 at Artist Alley, Table W13. See the map image above to locate us or use NYCC's Map Your Show to plan your weekend.

New York Comic Con is held at the Javits Center (655 West 34th Street) in Midtown Manhattan. This year NYCC Artist Alley will be moving to the North Pavilion of the Javits Center. Javits North is a beautiful, state of the art space with lots of windows to allow for plenty of natural light and the open floor plan will feature wider aisles to improve traffic flow.


Thursday 3:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Friday 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Sunday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

(Thursday only open to Press, Professionals, VIPS, and fans that purchase a 4-Day Pass)

New York Comic Con is the East Coast's biggest and most exciting popular culture convention. We hope you can join us there and stop by to say hello! RSVP and invite your friends to the event on Facebook.


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Recap: SPX 2012

Curl Studio exhibited at Small Press Expo on September 15 and 16, 2012. A big highlight was having my SPX web banner art being included in the exclusive print set (Marguerite Dabaie, Carolyn Belefski, Julia Wertz). I signed all the prints that we available in the full set and for individual purchase. The prints are also now a part of the US Library of Congress, so my art will remain in the archive forever! 

I also enjoyed seeing everyone at the event and distributing plums on Sunday morning to my fellow exhibitors. I would ask, "Would you like a plum?" and got all sorts of reactions... from "A plum?" to "Ewww. Plums are gross." to "No, thank you. Too healthy for me." to "Sure, I'd love a plum." Unfortunately I do not have any photos of the plums. I think I should make this an annual thing and be known as "The Plum Girl." I could even make my own Curls plum sticker to put on it! Yes! 

We also took part on a massive jam sketch on a large roll of white paper for a guy who was getting self portraits of all the exhibitors there.

Thanks to everyone who came out the SPX. It's such a great show. Thanks to Warren Bernard, Kevin Panetta, Mike Thomas, Eden Miller, Bill Kartalopoulos, and all the volunteers who made the show happen! 

You can view more photos on the Curls Studio Facebook page in the "SPX 2012" album. Enjoy! Thanks to Bruce Guthrie for the photo of Joe and I above.

I still plan to write a blog recap for last weekend's Asbury Park Comiccon 2. The next event you can meet Curls Studio at is New York Comic Con on October 11-14, 2012. We'll be at Artist Alley, Table W13 all four days along with our pal Brian Sarvis. RSVP and invite your friends on Facebook here. I will also be posting a map too because Artist Alley will be moving to the North Pavilion of the Javits Center. Hope to see you then.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Asbury Park Comic Con 2 is Tomorrow

Curls Studio had such a great time at the first Asbury Park Comic Con back in May (read the recap here) that we'll be back for seconds! Join us tomorrow for a one day mini-convention held in the intimate setting of the Asbury Lanes, a small bowling alley and rock club at the Jersey Shore one block from the historic Asbury Park boardwalk.

Asbury Park Comic Con will feature a wide variety of comic book and pop culture purveyors as well as many comic book creators, artists and illustrators from the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas. Comic fans will have a rare opportunity to meet the artists, who will be available to sign books that will be sold at each artist’s table. Commissioned sketches are also available from many of the artists for a fee.

Carolyn Belefski and Joe Carabeo will be representing Curls Studio with a table at Asbury Park Comic Con. We hope to see you there. Check out the website to see more of the fabulous guests who will be in appearing.

Saturday, September 29, 2012 

11AM to 6PM

Asbury Lanes
209 4th Avenue
Asbury Park, NJ 07712

Advance admission is $6 plus .90 service charge. Visit to reserve tickets to ensure entry in the event of high turnout. $1 of each ticket goes to Heroes Initiative, for comic creators in need.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Recap: Association of American Editorial Cartoonists Convention

At the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists convention on Friday, September 14, 2012 I learned more about how cartoons are a vital part of visually swaying public opinion with politics, advertising, symbolism, and more. Well-done cartoons are a quick read, smart, and make a statement. With comics or cartoon illustration, you can do things sequentially  to tell a story that you can not do as easily in other mediums. 

Many of the presenters at #!$% CARTOONS!!, including many Pulitzer winners, are now implementing interactive actions to their cartoons, such as including web page links, or specific tweets, and even audio interviews you can click on to get more content. This showed online visual journalism and reporting at another level and perspective outside of the art. Some of the animations shown were very clever, specifically "Super Pac Mad Libs" by Mark Fiore ( Many of the artists used their own voices for animation dialogue and have to promote their own work on multiple social media outlets, proving once again that now more than ever it is a requirement to wear many hats in production duties.

Apple was a topic that was very prominent. With cartoonists pointing out that the corporation has most of their money in overseas funds and child labor issues. However, people overlook that because they love the Apple brand and product because of their advertising. Youth is very connected with brands now more than ever and the new iPhone 5 is the big news story that overshadows more important global issues. Many cartoonists in the room might have disagreed with Apple's business choices, but they pointed out how much they love owning an iPhone.

There is a lot of injustice going on in our world. From a discussion about the earthquake in Haiti, I learned that only 1% of all relief donations actually went to the Haitian government. The rest of the money went to corporations. Also with the political attitude in that country, I was surprised to hear that many of the people in Haiti blamed the earthquake on gay people. I don't know where you stand on that issue, but last time I checked, gay people don't cause earthquakes.

From looking at the many cartoons being presented, I couldn't help but think of the "spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down" lyrics from Mary Poppins. Since their incarnation, cartoons, specifically political ones, have humor integrated with servings of truth. A fun poke at this stupid thing or that evil thing makes it more manageable to poke fingers or even laugh at ourselves as a culture. Or speaking truth to power.

There was a battle with put "Man vs. Machine" with Steve Brodner drawing by hand and Nick Anderson drawing with Cintiq. Another batter took place between Mike Thompson and Nate Beeler when they debated animation vs. static image. A good point was made of traditional static cartoon because it can be powerful and instant.

During a break for lunch in the middle of the day, I got to test the new Cintiq 24HD touch from Wacom. It's an amazing product and I enjoyed experimenting with the different brushes and the touch screen. It was the first time I had ever used a Cintiq and would love to work more with them in the future.

Another interesting topic was "Blown Covers, New Yorker Covers You Were Never Meant to See" with Francoise Mouly, art editor of The New Yorker. She showed many images of the magazine covers and discussed what it was like to work with illustrators, deadlines, and more. She said the editor is support and a cross between and air plane controller and a shrink. I enjoyed seeing the sketch process of the Obama Fist Bump issue that was so controversial along with the many other conceptual ideas that were were executed and beautiful.

More battles went on between the political right (Nate Beeler, Chip Bok, Scott Stantis) and left (Clay Bennett, Jen Sorensen, Tom Tomorrow) as they discussed the current 2012 presidential election. Many of them covered the political conventions from the convention floor or from their living room updating with sketches at a real-time speed.

I was glad to attend the event as an attendee and that my employer allowed "professional development" time for this. Maybe we'll allow for more cartoon usage, let alone illustration, to tell a story at the ad agency I work at. And I am happy to say it was the best $10 I spent all year. It was educational, fun, and at times a bit tense - but it was all worth it because cartoons make the reader feel emotions, make the world alive, and the people alert.

I was only able to attend the lectures during the day on Friday, because that following Saturday and Sunday I exhibited at Small Press Expo. Look for the SPX recap to come soon!

View more event photos on the Curls Studio Facebook page and give us a "Like" while you are there:

Monday, September 24, 2012

Recap: Baltimore Comic-Con 2012

On August 8 and 9, 2012 Curls Studio experienced another successful Baltimore Comic-Con. The weekend was filled with fun and the opportunity to meet new and old friends at the convention.

One highlight was signing "Topps" creator cards created by a fan. Above is a Instagram image Joe took of a card. There was also another card of me with our winning image from National Doughnut Day.

On Saturday night a bunch of us got together at Pratt Street Ale House and worked on a jam piece sketch. It was great to connect with other cartoonists.

We did interviews with Fantastic Forum and Drew "Iron Man" Crowder. I got to participate on the "Team Cul de Sac" panel with many other wonderful contributors to the book and editor, Chris Sparks. You can listen to the audio here:

The only item I purchased was the con-exclusive "2012 Baltimore Comic-Con Yearbook," made to celebrate 15 years of Liberty Meadows with several different artists takes on Frank Cho's characters. I wish I had known or been asked to contribute because Liberty Meadows is certainly an early influence on my work. I first met Frank Cho at an appearance he did with Playboy Playmate Tiffany Taylor at a comic shop in Georgetown while I was in my college years. My comic, Curls, was even likened to Liberty Meadows by a reviewer at Starburst Magazine. Congrats to Frank Cho for all those years of fun!

You can view more photos on the Curls Studio Facebook page - and be sure to "Like" us while you're at it:

We look forward to exhibiting next year. I already reserved a table, so we hope to see you there for sure. Mark your calendar for September 7 and 8, 2013.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Audio - Team Cul de Sac Panel at Baltimore Comic-Con 2012

For episode 191 of The Carolyn & Joe Show podcast, we broadcasted recorded audio from the Team Cul de Sac Panel at Baltimore Comic-Con 2012.
When Richard Thompson, the creator of the comic strip Cul de Sac, was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, his friend Chris Sparks began a fundraising effort. With Richard's support, he asked others to donate artwork featuring the Cul de Sac characters for a Team Cul de Sac book with proceeds going to The Michael J. Fox Foundation For Parkinson's Research.
Group photo by Bruce Guthrie: Carolyn Belefski, Dawn Griffin, Roger Langridge, Matt Dembicki, Donna Lewis, Shannon "SL" Gallant (in front with black shirt), Mike Rhode, Chris Sparks, Steve Conley, Joe Sutliff.

Take a listen:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

District Comics book signing in Philly

Join us for a District Comics: An Unconventional History of Washington, DC signing event this Saturday, September 22, 2012 at 5PM. Join a handful of writers and artists who contributed to the new, 250-page comics anthology for an evening of drawing and signing and other cool stuff!

Partaking in the fun: Carolyn Belefski, Joe Carabeo, Rafer Roberts, Michael Cowgill, Charles Fetherolf, Kevin Rechin, Jason Rodriguez, and editor Matt Dembicki!

Joe Carabeo and I have a story in the book called "Spytini" about Elizabeth Bentley (The Red Spy Queen) and her hangouts around Georgetown, which include Matin's Tavern and Georgetown Pharmacy. Above is a preview of some of the pages in the story.

Order the book on Amazon for $16.47 now (list price $24.95).

Curls Studio will be at the book signing and hope to see you there! Here is the Facebook event page so you can RSVP and tell your friends.

Locust Moon Comics and Movies
34 South 40th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Carolyn Belefski Banner Art for SPX

Earlier this year I was asked by Small Press Expo to create web banner art for SPX 2012. Back in March, I created an animated .gif to advertise the show. My concept features an owl and a bird, sitting on tree branches, chirping away about the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, and WHY -- question and answer dialogue about SPX. WHY, of course, referring to the chocolate fountain at Saturday night's Ignatz Awards, which I wouldn't miss for the world.

My banner art has been featured for months on the SPX Tumblr and will be forever encapsulated at the US Library of Congress. In addition, it will be available in the "SPX 2012 Limited Edition Print Set" that contains all of the the incredible art used to promote the show. There are only 25 sets and all will be signed by the artists. Each set includes:
• Jaime Hernandez’s badge art
• Chris Ware’s poster
• Becky Driestadt’s poster
• Marguerite Dabaie, Carolyn Belefski, and Julia Wertz banner art
• Dustin Harbin, Michael DeForge, and John Martz banner art
• Michael DeForge’s program cover
• Andy K’s postcard art
• Theo Ellsworth’s flyer

Some of these prints will also be for sale individually in similarly limited quantities.

Join us for SPX 2012 in Bethesda, MD this weekend and visit me at Table W6A! Here's a handy map to guide you, along with more details about the show: