Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Banana Bandana™ - Make 100

Join us in raising funds on Kickstarter to produce at least 100 limited edition bandanas with a humorous original illustrated banana themed design. The bandana fabric color will be yellow and imprinted with two ink colors -- brown and white. Guard yourself and others against germs, coughs, and sneezes with this non-medical grade 22×22″ premium cotton bandana -- and look fun and fashionable at the same time. Or simply use as gang association, hanky code, or your next outing as an Wild West outlaw!

The campaign is currently 149% funded and we have 16 days to go, so that is a success and we’ll be able to get the file off to the print vendor in early February. Now is the time to pledge to receive your Banana Bandana™ and drape yourself in this appealing fruit fashion accessory.

Thanks to all the Top Bananas who have pledged to support this project, taking pledges until February 4 -- you can still get your friends and family in on this. Thanks to Joe Carabeo (Astray Productions) for taking my photo posing with a banana.

Click the link below to learn more about the concept and consider pledging: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/carolynbelefski/banana-bandanatm-make-100

Thanks for your support -- please help share the link on socials to grow our crew!

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Recap: Curls Studio's Year of 2020

I almost wasn't going to write about 2020, but after a week passing into 2021, I felt like it was still a year and some stuff happened, so it shouldn't be overlooked or ignored or acting like it never happened. As we all know, Coronavirus disease has globally affected our lives. Because of Covid-19, we were unable to attend any comic conventions. All the shows we were expected to be at were canceled. Curls Studio usually spends about 16-20 days a year behind a table, plus several appearance at schools and other events.

The year started off well with a successful Blue Rose hard enamel pin Kickstarter as part of their Make 100 incentive. The project went so well that we had pledges for all 100 pins and started a 2.0 version of the same design with a different colorway. The project ended up surpassing my goal and becoming 516% funded. If you are interested, I still have Blue Rose 2.0 pins available for purchase in the store.

In February I designed typography and animated film titles for the Joe Carabeo film, DELETE.

The Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco, CA asked me to contribute original art for "A Boy and His Tiger: A Tribute to Bill Watterson" as homage to Bill Watterson and his comic strip creation Calvin and Hobbes.

By the time March came around, we were under lockdown and outlook didn't look good for any of the upcoming events and conventions. So on March 21, 2020 I quickly started #CarolynsCreativeChallenge to encourage everyone to be creative at home using everyday supplies and materials. I did over 50 days of prompted projects including sock puppets, a fizzy lemonade recipe, creating a comic strip, cut paper, food necklaces, toilet paper roll character designs, melting crayons, marbleizing paper, food art, and many more. You can still join in the activities anytime at www.carolynbelefski.com/ccc.

A big disappointment this year is missing out on having an in-person National Cartoonists Society Reuben Awards weekend. I was organizing cartoonist appearances at the children's hospital in Kansas City, MO and had a lot of fun stuff planned, including a printed NCS Activity Book to debut at the hospital event. Because this was unable to happen in-person this year, the NCS Activity Book became pay-what-you-can downloadable PDF to raise money for future events. I organized 50 artists to each contribute a page (mazes, search & find, connect the dots, tic-tac-toe, spot the difference, word search, crossword, coloring and drawing games, and more) to the book and worked on the phone with Sergio Aragonés for the cover, which he asked me to color. I had a great time conceiving and producing the Activity Book for the NCS.

The closest thing to events in 2020 were three virtual programs I was asked to be a part of. On Astray Live "We Make Movies" I talked about designing film titles, Baltimore Comic-Con asked me to do "Creative Crafts Challenges" on the Kids Love Comics channel, and WOM CON was a one-day WOMen run comics pop-up where I shared a glimpse of my studio and process.

2020 was year unlike any other! A year we might not want to remember, but will never forget. For me, like so many others, a big change is working from home -- new routines, keeping a balance, maintaining health, and lowering certain expectations.

I've already started 2021 with a new Kickstarter, raising funds to produce at least 100 Banana Bandanas -- which I will post about in the next blog entry. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2021!

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Awesome Con Short Film Festival (December 9-13, 2020)

Join us for the "at home" 2020 Awesome Con Short Film Festival! DELETE from director Joe Carabeo will be making the World Premiere and I designed the animated film titles for that film. It will be showing Friday, December 11, 2020 as the 5th film of the evening (the films start at 8PM EST).

DC’s pop culture convention Awesome Con (awesome-con.com) brings its annual Short Film Festival online for the first time beginning tomorrow. Fans from around the world can watch over 10 hours of free screenings spanning science-fiction, action, horror, documentary, comedy, and drama, from both independent filmmakers and Hollywood professionals. The lineup includes works from and featuring Rider Strong and Shiloh Strong, Ted Raimi, Larisa Oleynik, James Van Der Beek, Diablo Cody, Hailee Steinfeld, and J. K. Simmons

Awesome Con traditionally welcomes 70,000 fans to Washington, DC each year, but like most events in 2020, its physical edition could not take place because of coronavirus. Instead, the event presented an online edition earlier this year. And now, to wrap up 2020, Awesome Con brings one of its most popular features online for the first time too - the Awesome Con Short Film Festival.

Launched five years ago by Awesome Con in collaboration with Astray Productions, the event sought to shine a spotlight on Mid-Atlantic filmmakers and celebrate them in front of DC’s largest gathering of film and popular culture fans. Quickly growing to welcome filmmakers from around the world, the Awesome Con Short Film Festival blends the high-brow prestige of the film festival world with the excitement of a pop culture convention enjoyed by all ages, and Awesome Con and Astray Productions will present the largest Awesome Con Short Film Festival online from December 9 - 13 this year.

“This year’s Awesome Con Short Film Festival saw over 3,000 submissions from around the world,” said Astray Productions founder and Awesome Con Short Film Festival organizer Joe Carabeo. “It was a tremendously challenging process to draw all our submissions down into a week of events, and I know this year’s fest is our biggest and strongest yet!”

The Awesome Con Short Film Festival schedule, including film synopses and filmmaker biographies can be found at awesome-con.com/acshortfilmfest.

Opening Night - Wednesday, Dec 9 at 8 PM Eastern Hosted by actress Megan Caulfield. Film Festival overview, trailers, and interviews.

Sci-Fi, Action & Horror - Thursday, Dec 10 at 8 PM Eastern Over three hours of short films and filmmaker interviews.

Comedy & Drama - Friday, Dec 11 at 8 PM Eastern Over three hours of short films and filmmaker interviews including the World Premiere of Joe Carabeo’s newest film, DELETE.

Docs & Awesome Films - Saturday, Dec 12 at 8 PM Eastern Over three hours of short films and filmmaker interviews.

Full Festival Marathon - Sunday, Dec 13 at 12 PM Eastern Enjoy all the festival’s films presented in an all-day matinee.

Closing Night - Sunday, Dec 13 at 8 PM Eastern Hosted by actress Megan Caulfield. Award presentations and winner screenings.

Fans can watch all of the Awesome Con Short Film Festival’s films for free at Awesome Con’s Facebook page facebook.com/AwesomeConDC. All of this year’s films will be available to view globally through Sunday, December 20, 2020.

As another first, in addition to juried Best Cinematography and Best in Show awards, the Awesome Con Short Film Festival will present its inaugural Audience Award, with fans encouraged to vote for their favorite of the festival’s entries. All awards will be announced on Sunday, December 13.

Entries will open soon for the 2021 edition of the Awesome Con Short Film Festival, returning to take place in person again in Washington, DC at the next Awesome Con - Friday, August 20 - Sunday, August 22, 2021.

For more information, please visit the Awesome Con Short Film Festival website and follow the event on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


Awesome Con is Washington DC’s Comic Con! Awesome Con is a celebration of geek culture, bringing over 70,000 fans together with their favorite stars from across comics, movies, television, toys, games, and more! And just like DC, we’re smart, family-friendly, and inclusive - and we’ll return August 20 - 22, 2021. For more, visit awesome-con.com.


Joe Carabeo is an award-winning cross platform artist based out of Northern Virginia. Armed with a Photography and Film undergraduate degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, Joe created Astray Productions (a metaphor for Fearless Creative Direction) as an creation umbrella where he can produce his own films, photography, music, comics, and commercial work, some which have been seen around the world in film festivals, conventions, magazines, and even charting more than 1 millions views online. Also, Joe might have been one of the first podcasters ever in the DC area as the co-host for the 450+ weekly episodes of the Carolyn and Joe Show. Besides his own productions, Joe has also had the opportunity to use his Directing and Camera talent to work with amazing national entities, such as The Beach Boys, NBC, ABC, FOX, Showtime , Epix, TLC, Bravo, Awesome Con, Intel, The National Guard, DC Lottery, Papa Johns, NASA, Under Armour, Red Cross, and more. For more, visit joecarabeo.com and astrayproductions.com.

Friday, November 13, 2020

WOM CON 2020 is Tomorrow!

Announcing WOM CON: a special one-day WOMen run comics pop-up taking place both online and in-person on November 14th!

IN-PERSON: Get your con on with local cartoonists Laura Lee Gulledge (The Dark Matter of Mona Starr), Hannah England (Strawbunny), and Mariah Bryant (Six-Petal Pyramid) outside in front of The Bridge PAI in Charlottesville, Virginia.

This FREE family friendly outdoor event will feature a badge decoration station, in-person portfolio review and comics workshop, prizes for costumes, and projected livestream content from sister shows. Plus there will be comics, books, zines and art for sale. Social distancing and masks are required!

ONLINE: Tune in to see special WOM CON sister shows live-streaming from the studios of inspiring comics creators Jennifer Hayden (The Story of My Tits), Carolyn Belefski (Curls Studio), Paige Pumphrey (NYC Pinup queen), and Sarah Trustman (The Memory Arts) through our individual Instagram and Facebook pages! 

You can print off and decorate your own WOM CON badge at home.


9:50am Kick-off livestream on this event page

10:00am Virtual Studio Visit with Carolyn Belefski

11:00am In-Person Portfolio Reviews with Hannah England

12:00pm Virtual Table Talk & FAQ with Jennifer Hayden

1:00pm In-person Comics Workshop with Laura Lee Gulledge

2:00pm Virtual Comic Con Table Hangout Experience #AMA with Paigey Pumphrey

3:00pm In-person Portfolio Reviews with Mariah Bryant

4:00pm Virtual Art & Storytelling for Memory with Q&A with Sarah Trustman

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Baltimore Comic-Con to Host Virtual Events this Weekend

Baltimore Comic-Con is going virtual October 23-25 at BaltimoreComicConLive.com and offer the best in comics creators, panels, art, and cosplay. BCC will once again host the biggest and best kids area at any comic convention-the Kids Love Comics pavilion, featuring comics how-to's, crafts, and other fun activities.

Both the main BCC channel and KLC channel (www.baltimorecomicconlive.com/kids) will run simultaneously, so while the adults enjoy their programming, kids and aspiring artists can see and learn from a variety of graphic novel creators, all Saturday and Sunday.

Join me this Sunday, October 25 at 12:40pm for "Creative Crafts Challenges with Carolyn Belefski" where I'll be demonstrating crafts from my challenges (a few will be freshly altered to represent the fall season). My event is open to all children AND the young at heart.

Huge thanks to Baltimore Comic-Con, Marc Nathan, John Gallagher, and the Mariano Brothers for setting this all up virtually! Hopefully we can enjoy conventions again in the future, but until then I'll see you all online this Sunday and follow me on the socials -- Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

National Cartoonists Society Activity Book

Introducing the NCS Activity Book! The history of this project is that at the Chapter Chairs Meeting in May 2019 at Huntington Beach, CA I presented the idea to have an Activity Book and the reaction was, "Well then why don't you produce it?" At that point it became a personal mission to gather the best cartoonists with children's focused content. Originally this was going to be a printed book that the NCS would have debuted at the children's hospital visit I was organizing for this year's Reubens Weekend in Kansas City, MO. 

Of course, like mostly everything in 2020, the event was canceled due to Covid-19. The plan was after the hospital event we'd have it available for schools, libraries, book signings, future children’s hospital visits, etc. Instead, NCS has now made it available as a PDF that anyone can download and print out (hopefully we will eventually have a printed version). We are suggesting a donation of any amount you choose for the book, all the proceeds of which will go to the National Cartoonist Society Foundation, the charitable arm of the NCS, to help fund future “Cartooning for Kids” event programming.

One of the cool things for me is working with Sergio Aragonés during several chats over the phone and him asking me to color the cover. I also got to design the masthead, communicate directly with over fifty contributors, and create a page featuring my Curls characters! Huge thanks to everyone involved and the cartoonists for donating their time and skills to come up with original page material.

The all-ages book is 50 pages of puzzles and activities, all of which are done “coloring book” style so kids can both do the activity and color the pages. Inside you’ll find art by some of the biggest names in cartooning. If you are in need of some stay-at-home summer fun, pledge what you can for a PDF download by visiting www.nationalcartoonists.com/product/ncs-activity-book.

If you are looking for other fun activities to do this summer, check out
#CarolynsCreativeChallenge for projects in comics, cooking, crafts, sculpture, design, drawing, and more art to enhance your brain at www.carolynbelefski.com/ccc.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

The Big Thank You Search of 2020

Several cartoonists have been working out a creative way to say thank you to all the generous volunteers and workers who are helping everyone during this crisis, and they’re asking for as many cartoonists as possible to hide 6 key symbols in their cartoons today -- Sunday, June 7th.

The icons are:
1. Mask (for medical workers and caregivers)
2. Steering wheel (for people who move our deliveries, supplies, mail, etc.)
3. Shopping cart (for grocery workers)
4. Apple (for teachers)
5. Fork (for restaurants and essential businesses that have stayed open)
6. Microscope (for medical researchers)

Each of these drawings is a symbol of gratitude for these dedicated people who have risked and sacrificed during this crisis. Can you find them all in my Curls comic strip? We are also asked to put a link to a charity we’d like to support and I selected American Red Cross because of all the work we’ve done with Cartoonists Draw Blood: www.redcross.org/donate/donation.html