Sunday, December 31, 2017

Recap: Curls Studio's Year of 2017

It's been a landmark year of 2017 for Curls Studio creators Joe Carabeo and Carolyn Belefski, so let's celebrate with a year-in-review recap blog post!

We made several comic show appearances this year with a total of 20 days behind the table exhibiting comics. We exhibited at Washington Wizards Collecti-Con, MoCCA Arts Festival, and KidsCon at Fantom Comics for the first time. We celebrated Free Comic Book Day at our local store and hit up major conventions including Awesome Con, Small Press Expo, Baltimore Comic-Con, and New York Comic Con. We ended the year with a small show at a used book store and got to meet a lot of fun personalities there!

In February, Carolyn was asked to be a guest artist at the National Archives Sleepover. She presented her "Design Your Own Superhero" activity and had loads of fun learning about history.

In May, Carolyn became a national board member of National Cartoonists Society! She is also continuing to chair the Washington, DC chapter of NCS. She has organized programs since 2012, including Cartoonists Draw Blood with American Red Cross and helped with "cARToons" exhibits and other activities.

In October, Carolyn and Joe both took part in Inktober for the first time. They both drew with ink and posted a new image every day during the month on their socials. Joe's theme was Alfred Hitchcock and Carolyn's theme was Turtles.

Also during October, Carolyn organized the fifth annual Cartoonists Draw Blood drive with Troy-Jeffrey Allen. Donors gave blood to the American Red Cross and then the Washington, DC chapter of National Cartoonists Society and other local cartoonists drew for the donors as a "thank you." The event was a success and we saved many lives. We also created our first Cartoonist Draw Blood comic book anthology, "Trick or Treat."

Black Magic Tales was published in Magic Bullet, Washington, DC's comics anthology. Issues #14 and #15 were released this year.

In December, Carolyn and Joe embarked on another monthly challenge: they created PODCEMBER and recorded a fresh podcast each day during the month of December. You can listen to all the episodes at

If you want to know more information about any of the experiences we've had this year, please look in the blog archives, as each event was recapped with photos. Our lives were changed this year and we've stayed productive. We hope to create more for you in 2018 and all the years to come.

Happy New Year from Curls Studio!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Recap and Photos: Cartoonists Draw Blood - American Red Cross Blood Drive 2017

On October 21, 2017, we had our fifth annual "Cartoonists Draw Blood" blood drive event with the American Red Cross. The event started in 2013 and has been going strong since!

This year we had a change of location because we wanted to be able to do the drive in advance of Halloween (to go with our theme) and there were some logistic date issues early on, but we were able to be hooked up with Palisades Community Church in Washington, DC for this year's event -- and everything worked out great. Thanks to Troy-Jeffery Allen for co-chairing the event with me!

Thanks to all the cartoonists who donated their time and talents: Steve Artley, Carolyn Belefski, and Joe Sutliff were drawing during the full blood drive. Art Hondros and Eric Gordon came to draw for donors during the second half of the drive. We were also able to showcase our first anthology, Trick or Treat.

Thanks to AIGA DC for reaching out to Cartoonists Draw Blood and including us to join DC Design Week.

Thanks to Joe Carabeo for photographing the event.

Thanks to our sponsors: Cartoonists Draw Blood, American Red Cross, National Cartoonists Society

Keep your eyes and ears open for another blood drive next fall.

Thanks to everyone for being a part of this and saving so many lives with cartooning -- in addition to having a great time with us.

More photos can be found in the gallery on Facebook page:


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Cartoonists Draw Blood is this Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Washington, DC chapter of the National Cartoonists Society is organizing the 5th annual blood drive in Washington, DC featuring several local cartoonists drawing for American Red Cross blood donors -- "Cartoonists Draw Blood" will be celebrated on Saturday, October 21, 2017 from 8AM to 1PM at Palisades Community Church at 5200 Cathedral Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016 (new location this year).

Blood donors are encouraged sign up for appointments scheduled in 15-minute intervals between 8AM to 1PM and walk-ins are also welcome. To make an appointment, 
register in advance at -- search keyword “PALISADES” 

On the day of donation, please drink plenty of fluids, include iron-rich foods in your diet, and bring a list of medications you are taking and a photo ID. All donors will be able to meet the cartoonists and receive a complimentary cartoon sketch.

It is a great opportunity for cartoonists to perform community service, showcase our talents, and save lives. We've done four previous blood drives, which have already saved the lives of over 250 people. 

This year's event will feature creators 
Steve Artley, Carolyn Belefski, Joe Carabeo, Eric Gordon, Art Hondros, Mal Jones, and Joe Sutliff. We will also have our first comics anthology, "Trick or Treat" available for $5 (10% of the proceeds have already been donated to American Red Cross)

In past years, the cartoonists have drawn original spooky illustrations, family pets, caricatures, and more. Since this year's blood drive is near Halloween, we encourage attendees to come in costume, however it's not required to give blood. Wear clothing with sleeves that can easily be rolled up above the elbow.

Let your friends know about this event by sharing the Facebook event page:

Organizers: Carolyn Belefski, Troy-Jeffrey Allen

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

New York Comic Con 2017 - Booth 1162 on the Show Floor

You can find Curls Studio ALL FOUR DAYS (October 5-8) of New York Comic Con 2017 at Small Press, Booth 1162. We will be joined again with Teresa Roberts Logan of Laughing Redhead Studio in the same booth location. Please say hello and introduce yourself!

New York Comic Con is held at the Javits Center (655 West 34th Street) in Midtown Manhattan. 


Thursday, October 5 • 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Friday, October 6 • 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Saturday, October 7 • 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Sunday, October 8 • 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

New York Comic Con is the East Coast's biggest and most exciting popular culture convention. We hope you can join us there! 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Baltimore Comic-Con is September 22-24, 2017

Baltimore Comic-Con 2017
Visit Curls Studio at Table 3028 in Kids Love Comics 
Friday, September 22 -- 1:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Saturday, September 23 -- 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday, September 24 -- 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Stop by to see Curls Studio at Baltimore Comic-Con. We will be located in the Kids Love Comics pavilion at Table 3028. Click on the map image above to see a large map of where to find us. We will have the Curls book collection available for purchase and we will premiere the "Toast of the Town" hard enamel pin. I will be doing sketch commissions and we'll have some other surprises up our sleeves!

Here are some "Curls Studio Visits..." Convention Films, produced by Astray Productions, to get you in the mood!

2008 -

2007 -

We hope to see you this weekend at Baltimore Comic-Con!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Small Press Expo is September 16-17, 2017

Small Press Expo
Visit Curls Studio at Table E4
Saturday, September 16 -- 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday, September 17 -- Noon - 6:00 PM
Marriott Bethesda North Hotel & Conference Center
5701 Marinelli Road
North Bethesda, Maryland 20852

Admission (collected at the door the day of the show):
Saturday $15, Sunday $10, or $20 for both days

I hope to see you as we celebrate the preeminent showcase for the exhibition of independent comic books and the discovery of new creative talent at SPX. Please click the map above to locate Curls Studio sharing Table E4

See you soon at SPX!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Christmas in July Sale

It isn't often we have major online sales, but today's the day to buy something if you can't make it out to see Curls Studio on tour! We are offering 15% off all online orders on July 25, 2017. Use promo code "HOHOHOT" to take advantage of the sale and stay cool with some comics, buttons, or prints!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Recap: Awesome Con 2017

Curls Studio celebrated our fifth non-stop appearance at Awesome Con on June 16-18, 2017. The show has massively grown from a small section of the DC Convention Center to nearly the full building over the course of five years! It is clear that Awesome Con is a force of pop culture that the Washington, DC area has been craving. Science, cosplay, comics, crafts, geek culture, film, celebrities, and more were represented.

On Friday evening Joe navigated the "Awesome Con Short Film Fest" to a standing room only crowd. As a follow-up on Saturday evening the same filmmakers represented in-person for the "Awesome Filmmakers: Making It Happen" panel. We will be releasing the audio from the filmmakers panel this Tuesday on the Carolyn and Joe Show.

I took part on the "Kickstarter: Dos and Don'ts" panel and "The Other Side of the Table: Lessons from Creators" on Saturday. This was a day of professional development panels for me. I enjoy giving advice to upcoming creative producers. It did seem like some people in the audience are not creators and they came to the panels to discover what our lives are like as artists and writers.

A fan came to my table to have me sign an Adventure Time comic cover I illustrated. She told me she got Ryan North (creator of Dinosaur Comics) to sign it (he was on The Other Side of the Table panel and the writer of the Adventure Time comic). The next day I was able to bring my personal copies of the comic and have Ryan sign our previously unknown collaboration for me.

On Sunday morning Joe and I recorded a live podcast for the "Carolyn and Joe Show" with special guest, Karen Hallion. Karen is a phenomenal artist who has worked with Disney, DreamWorks, Cartoon Network, Her Universe, and many other top brands. We discussed her art career, how she met Gina Torres, and her upcoming project. We also celebrated our landmark 400 episode of the podcast and audio is now available for listening online here.

Later on Sunday I lead the Awesome Con Jr. event sponsored by Nickelodeon with my "Design Your Own Superhero Logo" seminar for kids. Children created a hero symbol for themselves. Some of the logos we created were for "Pizza Man" and "Sloth Man."

Awesome Con provided us with a great feeling to know we had a fun time with fans, friends, and other exhibitors. I was very exhausted after this show, but it was worth it. I am thankful we got to see a little bit of the show by going thru the "Stan Lee Museum" section and seeing many cool comic art pages, film props, and nostalgic items.

Thanks so much to Sean Causley for watching the table while we were gone at panels and thanks to the Awesome Con staff and Brute Squad for organizing a prime event in DC. In addition, thanks to everyone we talked to at the Curls Studio table -- even if you didn't buy anything and only took a promo postcard -- thank you for stopping by. We hope to see you at our next shows this fall -- Small Press Expo, Baltimore Comic-Con, and potentially more to be announced.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Awesome Con is June 16-18, 2017

We hope you can join us this weekend for the fifth edition of Awesome Con DC on June 16-18, 2017 at the DC Convention Center. Curls Studio will be located at table N5. Check out the awesome map above where the yellow pulse signal circles are so you'll know where to find us.

New this year at Awesome Con is Awesome Con Jr., a first-ever family-focused pavilion within Awesome Con, providing hours of fun with entertaining and educational programs just for kids including interactive opportunities with characters from Nickelodeon’s hit preschool series PAW Patrol and Shimmer and Shine. Join us on Sunday, June 18, 2017 at 2PM for "Create Your Own Superhero Symbol with Carolyn Belefski." 

In addition to the workshop, we have several panels we'll be taking part in -- there is something for everyone:

Awesome Con Short Film Fest
6/16/2017 / 8:30 PM - 9:30 PM / 144 A
Finish your day of insanity at Awesome Con by grabbing some popcorn, all your friends, and a seat, as Joe Carabeo (Director, Astray Productions, Project Resolution) and Otessa Marie Ghadar (Director, 2020 Production, DC Web Fest Founder) bring to Awesome Con for the first time, an Awesome Con Short Film Festival! Check out on the fringe films that have been making waves by Otessa Marie Ghadar, Rick Spears, Matthew Lucas, Michele Lombardi, Danny Caporaletti, and Joe Carabeo. Grab your seat fast for this exclusive, first time, Awesome Con mini film festival.
Panelists: Joe Carabeo, Otessa Marie Ghadar, Danny Caporaletti, Rick Spears, Matthew Lucas, Michele Lombardi
Rated PG

Kickstarter: Dos and Don’ts 
6/17/2017 / 12:30 PM - 1:15 PM / 149 
Kickstarter has been proven to be a wonderful platform in helping creators get their projects off the ground. Join our panelists who have each launched successful Kickstarter campaigns as they talk about their first-hand experiences. 
Panelists: Arsia Rozegar (Shahnameh For Kids), Carolyn Belefski (Curls), Jason Rodriguez (The Little Particle That Could)
Rated G

The Other Side of the Table: Lessons from Creators
6/17/2017 / 2:30 PM - 3:15 PM / 149
Are you a creator considering exhibiting at Artist Alley or Small Press comic conventions? This panel will give you tips and suggestions on how to create your professional appearances from the POV of being behind the table. We will discuss the metamorphosis from attendee to exhibitor, effective table display design, how to talk and interact with people at your table, and how to generate sales with your table pitch. We will highlight the process of starting a comic book tour on a low budget and methods of attracting potential readers by promoting your appearances and will take questions and comments, as this will be a conversation on multiple subjects regarding how to build rewarding convention appearances from the ground up.
Panelists: Ryan North, Carolyn Belefski, Dawn Griffin
Moderator: Joe Carabeo

Rated G

Dark Matter Q&A
6/17/2017 / 5:30 PM - 6:15 PM / 150
Melissa O'Neil and Zoe Palmer will discuss their exciting careers and answer audience questions.
Moderator: Joe Carabeo
Rated PG

Awesome Filmmakers: Making it Happen
6/17/2017 / 8:30 PM - 9:15 PM / 150
The legendary Awesome Con filmmakers panel that had everyone talking has returned! Join filmmaker panelists Otessa Marie Ghadar (DC Webfest, Orange Juice in Bishops Garden), Rick Spears and Michele Lombardi (Black Eyes), Matthew Lucas(Moonshot) and Danny Caporaletti (Making Movies is Easy) and moderated by Director Joe Carabeo (Astray Productions, The Magic Trick), as they break the 4th the wall and reveal the realities of being a filmmaker and making it happen in today’s media consuming society. You might even see an exclusive trailer or two or three. A must see for all filmmakers and film lovers at Awesome Con.
Panelists: Otessa Marie Ghadar, Rick Spears, Michele Lombardi, Matthew Lucas, Danny Caporaletti 
Moderator: Joe Carabeo
Rated PG

LIVE Carolyn and Joe Show Podcast "400th Episode” with Karen Hallion
6/18/2017 / 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM / 154
The Carolyn and Joe Show podcast celebrate their 400th episode! Every year one of the best times at Awesome Con is the live recording of The Carolyn and Joe Show podcast in front of a LIVE Awesome Con audience. They've had special guests from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Pulp Fiction, Renowned Animation voices and Walking Dead Actors. This is a panel/recording/live show like no other and it's the 400th episode. What in the world could possibly happen this year? This year artist Karen Hallion will be the special guest! Karen has done licensed work for Marvel, Lucas, Cartoon Network, DreamWorks Studios, Cryptozoic, TOPPS, Her Universe, and Disney. 
Panelists: Carolyn Belefski, Joe Carabeo, Karen Hallion
Rated PG

Create Your Own Superhero Symbol with Carolyn Belefski
6/18/2017 / 2:00 PM - 2:45 PM / Awesome Con Jr.
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.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

May 6 is Free Comic Book Day

Saturday, May 6, 2017 is free Comic Book Day! Curls Studio will be appearing at The Amazing Comic Shop in Fairfax, VA (near George Mason University). As the name implies, Free Comic Book Day is a single day when participating comic book specialty shops give away selected comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their shops. Free Comic Book Day is held the first Saturday in May each year.

This year Curls Studio will be having a FCBD special price on prints -- certain prints will be available for $1 each (normally $5). The Amazing Comic Shop will also be having a sidewalk sale with comic books priced at $1 and 50% off select graphic novels and hard covers. Come and meet us at the comic shop!

Facebook RSVP:

Friday, April 14, 2017

Comics at McKay in Manassas, VA on Saturday, April 22, 2017

Please join Curls Studio at McKay Used Books this Saturday, April 22 from 11AM to 5PM. Sean Causley, creator of Panda Force, will also be there. This is McKay's second comics event!

If you are planning to go for this small comic con, you can also bring in your used records, movies, books, etc. Look at their website for details about what they can except for store credit or cash/check.

McKay is located at 8345 Sudley Road, Manassas, VA 20109 in the Manaport Shopping Center across from the Manassas Mall. Stop by to say hello and pick up gifts for your loved ones. I will draw a sketch in every book purchased and would enjoy meeting you in-person. See you there!

Facebook RSVP:

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

KidsCon is this Saturday at Fantom Comics

Please join Curls Studio this Saturday, April 8, 2017 from Noon to 4PM for KidsCon at Fantom Comics – located at 2010 P Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036.

Fantom Comics says:

Our favorite time of year is finally here: Fantom KidsCon! We had a blast last year, and we're hoping to make this year's con even bigger and better than before!

Comics conventions are fun for all ages, but if your littlest nerds aren't ready for the hustle and bustle of bigger venues, bring them to Fantom for a day of fun and activities!

We'll have tons of workshops, kid-friendly vendors, a costume parade, and lots of "super" special guests!

We can't wait to see you there!

Facebook RSVP:

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Recap: MoCCA Arts Festival 2017

Curls Studio is back from New York and had a blast exhibiting at MoCCA Art Festival this past weekend! It was our first time at the show and we had a great time meeting new people and exploring the city.

On Saturday I didn't get out from behind the table to see much of the show, but on Sunday I was able to walk around and view both floors of the show. Some highlights included meeting a polish creator named Wojciech Stefaniec at the Europe Comics table and meeting Arnold Roth at the National Cartoonists Society table.

It was overwhelming to see a lot of talented creators all in one location! I was really excited to experience some interesting folding techniques and inventive pop-up books too.

Curls Studio premiered new products including the Curls Punk Rocker Sticker and Curls Loves Pizza Square Button (available for purchase at the store here). We also had our new book, French Fry Club!

We were able to explore New York City a bit and visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art as an extra benefit while in the city.

Thanks to everyone we met at the show as well as the volunteers and show organizers at the Society of Illustrators.

Our next show is KidsCon this coming Saturday from Noon to 4PM at Fantom Comics in Washington, DC.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Curls Studio will be at MoCCA Arts Festival 2017

Curls Studio will be invading the Big Apple next month for MoCCA Arts Festival -- Table I 264A on the second floor. This is our first time exhibiting at MoCCA, so it will be exciting and fresh -- like a crisp bite of apple! 🍎

MoCCA will take place April 1 and 2 from 11:00AM to 6:00PM at the luxurious and modern Metropolitan West located on West 46th Street in New York City between 11th and 12th Avenues and will encompass two floors of exhibitor tables, a gallery of original art showcasing the work of special guests, and pop-up cafés throughout the space. Price of admission is only $5 per day and will grant attendees access to the Fest including the exhibitors hall, on-site gallery space, and programming. Tickets will be available for purchase at the door. Children under age ten are free.

The official image for this event is above, created by Becky Cloonan -- a guest of honor at the show, along with Blutch, Cliff Chiang, Drew Friedman, David Lloyd, and Gene Luen Yang.

The MoCCA Arts Festival is a two-day multimedia event -- Manhattan's largest independent comics, cartoon, and animation festival with exhibiting artists displaying their work, award-winning honorees speaking about their careers and artistic processes, workshops, lectures, and film screenings.

All exhibitors who got accepted are listed online at

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Recap: Washington Wizards Collecti-Con 2017

The Washington Wizards Collecti-Con was an interesting event even though the Wizards lost this past Sunday. Curls Studio was glad to be a part of their inaugural Collecti-Con.

I got to meet Slapshot, the Washington Capitals hockey team mascot, who was at the game to celebrate G-Wiz's birthday along with many other team mascots. Thanks to everyone we saw at the convention and game.

Be on the prowl for new convention announcements coming soon!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Carolyn Belefski - Nominee for Best of D.C. 2017

I am nominated again for Washington City Paper's Best of D.C. Readers Poll in the category of "Best Visual Artist." In previous years I've been runner-up. Let's see if we can surpass that position. It only takes a few seconds to vote. If I've ever made you smile and you appreciate what I make, I'd be thankful if you take a moment to vote. 

The poll closes March 5 at 11:59PM EST

Carolyn Belefski has been nominated for Best Visual Artist
Carolyn Belefski is the writer and artist of the comic strip Curls ( She appears at comic conventions and art shows including New York Comic Con, SPX, and Awesome Con. The White House, US National Archives, and Clorox are some of the clients Carolyn has worked with.

Monday, February 6, 2017

"Design Your Own Superhero" at The National Archives Sleepover – February 4, 2017

This past Saturday evening I was invited to take part in the sold-out US National Archives sleepover for a third time. Kids ages 8-12 along with their adult chaperones participated in several activities and spent the night next to America’s most important papers: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

Local TV news channels DCW50 and WUSA9 covered the event. "Design Your Own Superhero" is the art activity I lead. We had a great time talking about different super powers and abilities.

I've heard a lot of positive reviews in the past when "What activity did you like the best?" feedback was received: 
• making a superhero was my favorite activity
• the picture room with the comic books
• create your own superhero
• I really liked righting the letter to the president, and the super hero pictures
• create your own superhero because I got to be creative
• I liked creating my superhero because I want to be one

More images and content can be found using hashtag #ArchivesSleepover. Thank you to the interns, volunteers, and the US National Archives for hosting such a unique opportunity for the children. 

Click the "National Archives" tag below to read my past blog entries about the event.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Washington Wizards Collecti-Con is February 26, 2017

Join the Curls Studo and the Washington Wizards from 10AM to 2PM on Sunday, February 26 for our first Collecti-Con -- a sports, pop culture, and comic book show for the entire family. Unique collectible items including comic books, sports memorabilia, and games will be available to browse, buy or trade. Curls Studio will be selling our original comics, art prints, buttons, and more!

Ticket packages are only $25 and include:
• Collecti-Con Poster
• Access to the pre-game event
• Ticket to the Wizards vs. Jazz game which begins at 5PM

The first 100 fans to purchase will receive a commemorative Wizards t-shirt.

Purchase tickets here:

RSVP to the Curls Studio event page on Facebook:

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Black Magic Tales published in Magic Bullet #13 and #14

A bit of catching up to do in the blog as it seems I've neglected to mention that a Black Magic Tales story called "Suggestion Box" was published in Magic Bullet #13 back in August of last year. The issue was released in preparation for the Small Press Expo and distributed all around the Washington, DC region.

The latest issue of Magic Bullet #14 premiered in time for the Trump Inauguration and Women's March this past weekend. Our story "We Did It!" captures the adventures world famous criminals Roxy Monroe and Dean Casanova. Both stories were written by Joe Carabeo and illustrated by Carolyn Belefski. Be on the lookout for your free copy!