Thursday, May 28, 2015

Profiled in VCUarts 2015 Spring Newsletter

The VCUarts Studio Spring 2015 newsletter recently profiled me for the comics I created for The White House's #GetCovered social media campaign. VCUarts is a publication Virginia Commonwealth University mails out to all art graduates and current students.

I was interviewed for this article a few months ago, soon after I launched my Kickstarter campaign to print all the Curls comic strips in one book, so it does mention the Kickstarter, however the campaign was fast over by the time the newsletter arrived in my mailbox. Either way, I'm glad the Kickstarter has been a success and I'm glad they mentioned Curls and my other projects in addition to all the press The White House comics has received.

Thanks to VCU and The White House again for this opportunity!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Recap: National Cartoonists Society Reuben Awards Weekend 2015

This past weekend (May 22-24, 2015) was the National Cartoonists Society Reuben Awards weekend. This year I was lucky that NCS came to Washington, DC -- as I did not have to travel far. I had been to my first Reubens two years ago in Pittsburgh (2013 recap here) and it really is such a blast -- it's also known as "the Oscars of Cartooning" to many.

I helped to provide copies of Magic Bullet for the attendee goody bags. Most people received issue #9, which is the western themed issue I edited with a cover by Nick Galifianakis. I saved a few extra copies in my garage for about 8 months since I knew Nick was going to be a speaker. Magic Bullet is Washington, DC's comics anthology in a large publication newspaper format.

Friday kicked off with buses taking us from the host hotel to the Library of Congress for The King Features Syndicates 100th Anniversary Panel moderated by Brendan Burford. The event was free and open to the general public. Panelists included Patrick McDonnell (Mutts), Brian Walker (Hi and Lois), Jeff Keane (The Family Circus), Hilary Price (Rhymes with Orange), Ray Billingsley (Curtis), and editorial cartoonist and Mother Goose and Grimm creator Mike Peters.

Mother Goose and Grimm was an influence to me growing up and I remember watching the animated TV show, Grimmy. Mike Peters was very magnifying and I can't believe he is 71 years old. Seriously. He has more energy and youth than most people my age.

Throughout the weekend there were presentations by Mark Anderson, Juana Medina, Doug Mahnke, Nick Galifianakis, Brian Crane, Mort Drucker, Ann Telnaes, a "History of the NCS" panel and film, and more.

Jason Chatfield and Tom Gammill created a great film that introduced The Reuben Awards -- a spoof called "Alpha House of Cartoons" (references Alpha House and House of Cards -- both DC infused TV shows).

This year, since I did not have to travel far or pay for a hotel, I decided to design a dress and create custom fabric featuring characters from my comic strip, Curls. There is a seamstress I've met thru exhibiting at several comic conventions and I inquired with her about making the dress for me. Above you will see my original sketch for the dress and fabric pattern I designed. Gina from Super Sox Shop brought it to life. I'm really glad to have produced a fun dress like this and thankful for Gina's talents. I'd like to wear it to a few more events -- maybe NYCC this year, but we'll see!

Roz Chast won the Cartoonist of the Year Award. Unfortunately, she had other obligations already booked for the night and could not appear, but we did watch a per-recorded video of her acceptance speech. She is the third woman to win the award since 1946 (Cathy Guisewite won in 1992 and Lynn Johnston won in 1985). Congratulations to all the winners and nominees!

The weekend ended with a "Haunted Farewell Party" as the Omni Shoreham Hotel is rumored to be haunted with spooks. I dressed as Morticia Addams -- Teresa Roberts Logan (dressed as Grandmama Addams) helped to make black shreds on my dress. Originally we tried to get a gang together to do "The John Quincy Addams Family" and ended up with a complete group of misfits -- and that's the way we like it too.

Thanks to Tom Richmond, who has been president for the past four years. He and his wife Anna have strengthened NCS and I really appreciate what they have contributed to the organization.

Also thank you to Michael Cavna for writing this excellent piece about this year's Reuben Awards as well has taking the photo above to capture the moment of Michelle Mahnke, Jean Schulz, and I.

And thank you to Martha and Sara from the Library of Congress for hosting the Friday morning event.

Hanging out with cartoonists for a weekend is always a great time and I was glad to see increased participation from DC area cartoonists. I hope to attend the Reubens in the future again.

Many more photos are up on the Curls Studio Facebook page. Check them out here and give us a "Like."

Monday, May 18, 2015

Awesome Con is May 29-31, 2015

We hope you can join us at the end of this month for the third edition of Awesome Con DC on May 29-31, 2015 at the DC Convention Center. Last year was super amazing and it's looking like this year will be even more crazy! Curls Studio will be located at table H12-13. Check out the awesome map above so you'll know where to find us -- we are at the center of the action.

Joe and/or I are scheduled to be on a record eight panels! We hope you can join us at table H12-13 as well the panels listed below (* Joe only, ** Carolyn only).

How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Work **
Friday, May 29, 2015
2:30 PM to 3:30 PM
Room 103 A
Wanna raise awareness about your work? Explore how to utilize social media to grow your audience and gain media attention. Panelists: Carolyn Belefski of Curls Studio, Nick Marinelli of Magfest, Steve Anderson of Third Eye Comics, and Rick Heaton of Extra Life (Host: Liz Reed)

The Carolyn and Joe Show LIVE Podcast with Special Guest AMBER BENSON
Friday, May 29, 2015
4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Room 145 A
The tradition continues as the Carolyn and Joe Show podcast brings their fan favorite unpredictable live interactive podcast recording back to Awesome Con! This year, Carolyn and Joe have a super ultra special guest, AMBER BENSON. Known as the actress who portrayed Tara from the seminal TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Amber has progressed into a feature film Directing and Producing ("Chance", "Lovers, Liars & Lunatics"), as well as comic book and novel writing ("Calliope Reaper-Jones" and "Ghosts of Albion") If you've been lucky enough to see the past years Carolyn and Joe show interactive podcast panels, you know this is a must see at Awesome Con.

WWE® Superstar Seth Rollins™ VIP and WWE® Diva Natalya™Q&A *
Friday, May 29, 2015
6:30 PM to 7:00 PM
Room 150
WWE® Superstar Seth Rollins™ VIP and WWE® Diva Natalya™ will discuss their exciting careers and answer audience questions, moderated by Astray Productions filmmaker Joe Carabeo.

Create Your Own Superhero Symbol with Carolyn Belefski **
Friday, May 29, 2015
7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
KZone (Kid's Zone!)
Every hero needs a logo! Many superheroes have personal branding on their outfits and My Little Pony characters even have cutie marks! Join artist and designer Carolyn Belefski and learn how to incorporate graphic design elements to create an icon and establish your own powerful visual identity.

Awesome Filmmakers: Making it Happen *
Saturday, May 30, 2015
12:45 PM to 1:45 PM
Room 145 B
For the first time ever, the radical indie filmmakers, Simon Kim (Director, Producer for House Studio DC), Fernando Mico (Actor, Director, Producer of the “Nova International Film Festival, “Ever After””), Kunitaro Ohi (Cinematographer, “Something, Anything” “Years of Living Dangerously”, Capella Fahoome (Producer, Director for Defining Entertainment “Nottown” “Every Man’s Journey”) and Joe Carabeo (Director, Writer for Astray Productions, short film series on “” and “Awesome Con” Commercials) will have a Q & A and open conversation about the trails and tribulations about making their projects happen in the DC/MD/VA area and beyond. The must see panel to be at for any aspiring filmmaker at Awesome Con.

Allison Mack Q&A *
Saturday, May 30, 2015
4:15 PM to 5:15 PM
Room 152
Allison Mack will discuss her exciting career and answer audience questions, moderated by Astray Productions filmmaker Joe Carabeo.

Pop Goes the Podcast **
Saturday, May 30, 2015
4:30 PM to 5:30 PM
Room 143
What does it take to produce a podcast and why should you consider starting one? Why are so many people getting turned onto podcasts? We share our passion for podcasting in all its glory with you!

Grant Imahara Q&A *
Sunday, May 31, 2015
Noon to 1:00 PM
Room 152
Grant Imahara will discuss his exciting career and answer audience questions, moderated by Astray Productions filmmaker Joe Carabeo.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Herblock Prize 2015

Last Thursday, May 7, 2015 we gathered to celebrate Kevin "KAL" Kallaugher for the Herblock Prize presentation and ceremony to recognize excellence in editorial cartooning. I've ran into KAL through mutual cartoonists briefly a few times and Barbara Dale introduced me to him a couple years ago at Baltimore Comic-Con. He has drawn thousands of cartoons for The Baltimore Sun and The Economist -- and even more cartoons for many publications globally. 

Kal's speech was inspiring and proves that editorial cartooning and freedom of speech is something we should not toss aside. It's no wonder why he can make us laugh, as it's only a part of his last name. 

"Don't draw a blank. Hire a cartoonist." - KAL

Thanks to the US Library of Congress for putting on a great show. You can see more photos for the 2015 Herblock Prize on the Curls Studio Facebook page and give us a "Like" while you're at it:

For more insight on the Herblock, read Michael Cavna's column about the evening here.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Recap: Free Comic Book Day 2015

This past Saturday, May 2, 2015 Curls Studio participated in Free Comic Book Day at the Amazing Comic Shop in Fairfax, Virginia. There was a great crowd and excitement throughout the day. We were there from 10:30 AM until 4 PM. Thanks to everyone we met and thanks to the Amazing Comic Shop for hosting us -- it was a fun day!

I always think that FCBD is the kickoff of summer -- it happens the first Saturday of every May. The Kentucky Derby is also this day and there is usually a superhero movie opening that weekend as well -- this year is Avengers: Age of Ultron. We also had the 
Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight in the evening, so there was plenty to do this past weekend. 

Our next appearance will be at Awesome Con on May 29-31 at the DC Convention Center. Hope to see you then. We'll be updating the blog with information on what panels we'll be on and our booth location in a map. Please check back here before the convention for the latest news.