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.