2015 has been an excellent year for Curls Studio creators Joe Carabeo and Carolyn Belefski, so we decided to celebrate with a year-in-review recap blog post!
One of the major events that happened to Carolyn this year is that she had the opportunity to draw cartoons for The White House. The White House Office of Digital Strategy approached Carolyn with the concept of creating health care comics for the Affordable Care Act. First Lady Michelle Obama posted one of the comics on her Instagram and Twitter accounts and it received over 16,000 likes on Instagram in less than a day. Carolyn’s #GetCovered comic series was covered by several news outlets including The Washington Post, CBR, The Blaze, The Patriot Post, ComicsDC, and more.
Carolyn also launched her first Kickstarter campaign and it was a success! We were able to publish a book of every Curls comic strip ever created. Thanks to our awesome backers for pledging to make this project come to life. If you missed out on the Kickstarter, you can still purchase the Curls book from the store at carolynbelefski.com.
RISE: Comics Against Bullying (Northwest Press) published a story Carolyn illustrated, written by Amber Love. “Left Behind” and is a bittersweet tale about what happened after a young woman had unclothed pictures of herself circulated through school. It’s about her mother, former friend, and dog trying to move on living life without her.
We made a total of 13 live event appearances this year. Early in the year we did a presentation to kids at Stone Branch School of Art. Then we exhibited at Smudge in Arlington, Virginia. We traveled to Pittsburgh for Indy Comic Expo and the New Jersey Meadowlands for East Coast Comicon. We also exhibited at Creator Con in Maryland. We celebrated Free Comic Book Day at our local store and hit up major conventions including Awesome Con in DC, Small Press Expo, Baltimore Comic-Con, and New York Comic Con.
Because of media attention from The White House comics and my Curls Kickstarter campaign, several outlets wanted to do profiles on me. VCUarts Newsletter and Northern Virginia Magazine (Best of NOVA issue) both did print articles on the news and featured my artwork.
Carolyn was also a runner-up for the third year in a row for Best Visual Artist in Washington City Paper’s 2015 Best of D.C. Reader Poll.
Curls Studio exhibited our Black Magic Tales comics at the cARToons exhibit at Politics and Prose in Washington, DC. Carolyn sold a Curls print from that art show to someone visiting from Beijing! Even with the Curls Kickstarter rewards — Iceland, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Luxembourg… Curls has gone further than we’ve physically gone for sure!
Black Magic Tales was published in Magic Bullet, Washington, DC’s comics anthology. Issues #10 and #11 were released this year.
During New York Comic Con, we recorded a Carolyn and Joe Show podcast from the Wyndham New Yorker hotel room we stayed at. We had an electrifying conversation about Nikola Tesla while staying in the actual room that Tesla lived in for ten years until his death in that very room!
Carolyn and Joe Show participated at the inaugural DC PodFest and did a live show with a special guest — you may remember him from WrestleMania 30 — Shocked Undertaker Guy, Ellis Mbeh!
On Halloween, Carolyn organized the third 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 already have a date confirmed for next year — it’s Saturday, October 29, 2016.
So much has happened this year and we’ve been busy. We hope to create more for you in 2016 and all the years to come!
Happy New Year from Curls Studio!