Friday, November 22, 2013

Girl Scout Cartooning Visit

Two weeks ago, on Friday, November 8, 2013, I spent the evening with several fourth grade Girl Scouts to discuss the career path of a cartoonist and help the young ladies create their own comic story. First we went over some emotions and character traits on the whiteboard, then I showed them some of my work and gave away free postcards for my comic strip, Curls, and copies of Magic Bullet #7, Washington, DC's comics newspaper, which I edit. It was funny to see them react to Magic Bullet: "What's this? A newspaper? I'm going to read this like an old person." 

When I asked them how an old person reads a newspaper they held it with both arms extended and pretended to sip coffee. I thought it was hilarious, but also I felt the newspaper format sorta die right there in the generation gap. Once they flipped through Magic Bullet I was able to show them all the different art styles and they loved it.

The troop is working on "Agents of Change" which focuses on powers (skills) of one (girl), power of team, and power of community. This activity is the second part of the journey where the girls work together to create their own supergirl comic.

The girls broke off into groups of three, four, or five people to create their stories. The only prerequisites they had was that the story had to be about a girl (or team of girls) changing the world in a positive way. It was interesting to see how each group worked a little differently, yet many of the stories were environmental (saving the animals and nature) and almost every group featured "Emily" as the heroine name. The troop leaders and I walked around the room to help all the groups and then the girls presented their stories to everyone at the end of the night.

I had a great time working with the girls because I used to be a Girl Scout myself and my mom was a troop leader, so I'm very familiar with learning by earning badges and community service. As a side-note, I also adored how most of the girls had chipped fingernail polish.

One of the girls tweeted me a few days after the event: "I am so happy! I have been creating cartoons ever scence you came!" and "Thank you and curls is an amazing comic i love your website"

Thanks to the troop leader, Kate, for arranging the visit and thanks to Matt Dembicki for connecting me with Kate. Working with the Girl Scouts was certainly something I've wanted to do and the timing was perfect. I hope the girls got a lot out of the visit and I hope they continue to create great stories.

You can take a look at more photos here:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Recap: Cartoons & Cocktails 2013

Earlier this evening I spent some time at the National Press Club in Washington, DC to attend Cartoons & Cocktails. It wasn't my first time at the Press Club rodeo, as back in 2011 there was an international cartoonists event. I really like the venue because it speaks so highly about the District and how news is covered. At one time before the cartoon events I took a tour when I planned the reception for AIGA 50 (which ended up being held at the National Postal Museum) in 2008.

The event started out with a silent auction. Many cartoons were placed around tables on both sides of the room and people could write down their bids using their given number at check-in. Then Steve Artley lead the program as Master of Ceremonies and the live auction began. 

One piece that was auctioned off was the original Steve Artley Halloween comic published in Magic Bullet #7! All the profits raised from the auctions benefit Young D.C. and Cartoonists Rights Network.

It was great to see David Hagen, Mike Rhode, Matt Wuerker, Steve Artley, and Joe Sutliff again. The DC gang unites!

To view more photos, please visit:

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Recap: Team Cul de Sac at Moving Day 2013

On Sunday, November 10, 2013 several members of Team Cul de Sac joined up to walk for Moving Day in Washington, DC. We walked for Richard Thompson, the cartoonist of the comic strip, Cul de Sac. Richard was honored with the 2010 Reuben Award for Cartoonist of the Year from National Cartoonists Society. 

The day was a delight. I really enjoyed being able to spend time with the team and it was nice to have the Nationals ballpark all to ourselves! We got to meet the Teddy and George President characters too. Our team united visually as a gang by wearing black with turquoise bandanas. The walking team included Steve Artley, Kathy Artley, Joe Carabeo, Carolyn Belefski, David Hagen, Olivia Hagen, Hannah Schum, Roger Scott, and Joe Sutliff.

Steve Artley is the member of our team who raised the most funds, so he was invited to join Jared D. Cohen (CEO for Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital Area) in the Nationals dugout before the walk.

More than 1,500 people attended Moving Day DC. The event raised more than $325,000 to support programs and services provided by PFNCA. The program also supports the National Parkinson Foundation. 

At this moment our team has raised $1,610 and is ranked #31 out of the top 100 teams listed.

You can view more of our photos here:

You can also donate for one more month to Team Cul de Sac:

Thanks to Joe Carabeo for taking the photos. A special thank you to all who donated!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Recap and Photos: Cartoonists Draw Blood - American Red Cross Blood Drive

Our first-ever "Cartoonists Draw Blood" event this past Saturday, November 2, 2013 with the Washington, DC chapter of National Cartoonists Society and American Red Cross was a success. We had 40 people arrange appointments before the event. 25 donors was the goal for the Red Cross (I think they like event organizers like me to arrange more beforehand because some people don't make it out), but we came up with a total of 30 donors - 30 pints of blood! A handful of people were deferred, but we still made art for them.

I am amazed by the results. American Red Cross told me we saved the lives of up to 90 strangers just from this one day of Cartoonists Draw Blood! Having this be my first blood drive to organize, I had no idea this event could save that many lives. I thought it would be a handful, but no way would I have ever thought 90 people. Again, a huge thank you to everyone involved.

The Washington Post covered our event on-the-scene with a reporter (Bettina Lanyi) and photographer (Liz Vance). The article was published today online and I heard it is also in the District's print edition today in the Local Living section. Here is a link so you can read the full article:

Fairfax Times also helped promote the event the day before in print and online:

The Takoma Voice provided online coverage before the event and included interviews with many of the cartoonists as well showcasing images of our art. Here is the link:

Thanks to everyone who donated blood this past Saturday. A huge thanks to Seekers Church for the wonderful venue. Of course, thanks to all the cartoonists (Steve Artley, Carolyn Belefski, Bill Brown, Eric Gordon, Art Hondros, Mal Jones, Teresa Roberts Logan, Steve Loya, Jay Payne, Joe Sutliff, Jake Warrenfeltz, and JTW) for lending their time and talents to a great cause. The Red Cross already wants to do this event with us twice a year, so as I like to say: Stay 'tooned!


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Southern Maryland Comic-Con is this Saturday

This coming Saturday, November 9, 2013 is Southern Maryland Comic-Con. Curls Studio will be there and we hope you can join us from 10 AM to 6 PM.

At 3 PM we will be recording a live Carolyn and Joe Show podcast!

The Carolyn and Joe Show Podcast Presents: The Art of the Podcast

For over 4 years and 250 plus weekly episodes, filmmaker Joe Carabeo and cartoonist Carolyn Belefski get together to record the Carolyn and Joe Show, becoming one of the most radical and fun podcasts ever to have hit the stream. What started out as a experiment, spawned into an unfiltered, unapologetic, no stone left unturned, no subject too taboo, weekly documentation of the lives of two people trying to make it in this twisted world. In “The Art of the Podcast” Carolyn and Joe will attempt to do several things, give you a peek into the madness of their process, answer questions about podcasting, and attempt to record a show live on the spot. Anything can happen really.

There will also be awesome guests at Southern Maryland Comic-Con including voice actors John DiMaggio (Adventure Time, The Simpsons, Futurama) and Jim Cummings (Darkwing Duck, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger).

I will also have some of the very last copies of Magic Bullet #7 available for free. Steve Conley, who did the cover, will also be at Southern Maryland Comic-Con.

Admission is $10 at the door and children ages 10 and under get in free!

Capital Clubhouse

3033 Waldorf Market Place
Waldorf, MD 20603