Cartoonists want your blood!

BY ALEX HOLT

Most blood drives reward donors with cookies and stickers. But next week, a group of local artists plans to give blood drive participants a very different souvenir: cartoons.

Every person who donates blood at Seekers Church on November 2 will receive a free cartoon sketch of his or her choice drawn by a local cartoonist. The event’s called “Cartoonists Draw Blood” and it was the brainchild of Carolyn Belefski.

Halloween inspired

Belefski attended an awards ceremony organized by the National Cartoonist Society earlier this year as the co-chair of the Washington chapter and one of the topics discussed was blood drives.

“D.C.’s never had a ‘Cartoonists Draw Blood’ blood drive and I thought that that would be really fun to take on, especially right around Halloween time,” Belefski said. “It just seemed like a good opportunity to do community service and get our name out as well and also potentially save a life or two.”

Belefski, who also works as a graphic illustrator and designer, is best known for the webcomics she draws at her website, Curls Studio. She said she mostly does traditional paper and ink but then she scans and colors her work with Photoshop. She also edits a local comics newspaper, Magic Bullet.

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Carolyn Belefski’s cartoon feature.

Among the 13 other cartoonists on hand will be William L. Brown who draws “Citizen Bill,” this publication’s editorial cartoon. Brown also serves The Voice as managing editor and writer.

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Belefski and Brown will be joined by Takoma Parkian Art Hondros, who told the story of Takoma Park’s “Dead Fox Guy”, Walt Rave, in a graphic narrative in the Washington Post earlier this year. Hondros said the blood drive was right in his neighborhood.

“It’s literally right up the street from where I live so that was an easy thing. It’s also on a weekend, which also makes it easy for me,” said Hondros, who does production work for printing presses as his day job.

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The opening panel of Art Hondro’s piece about Takoma Park animal rights activist Walt Rave.

Hondros, who said he prefers to use pen and ink in his work came up with the inspiration for the Rave story by reading a piece in the Post on Rave’s death.

“It just kind of hit me right there that that might make a good illustrated narrative,” Hondros said. Since he didn’t know Rave that well, he got most of the information for the story from articles in the Post and interviews with Rave’s friends.

Sketches for donors

But Hondros said his approach to drawing sketches for the donors will be much simpler and more straightforward.

“I’m thinking that we’re going to be taking requests for them or if they are open to it and don’t have any ideas, I guess I’ll just come up with comical looking people or creatures I guess,” he said.

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A panel from another work by Art Hondros.

Belefsky also enlisted fellow Magic Bullet cartoonist and Takoma Park resident Jacob Warrenfeltz, who was more than happy to help out.

“I’m a big guy so the idea of giving blood, it’s something that I do pretty often,” Warrenfeltz said.

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Artwork by Jacob Warrenfeltz.

Warrenfeltz has worked on such comics anthologies as Trickster, a collection of Native American folk tales that was nominated for an Eisner Award, and Fubar, a zombie anthology that made the New York Times best-seller list. He also sings and plays bass for the local band Triage and works for the Consumer Product Safety Commission. He uses pen and paper in most of his work.

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Artwork by Jacob Warrenfeltz.

Like Hondros, Warrenfeltz doesn’t have any big plans for what’s he going to draw at the drive.

“I like to get challenged,” he said. “I’ll probably draw hot air balloons or dinosaurs or something fun like that.”

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Artwork by Jacob Warrenfeltz.

The event will take place at the Seeker’s Church, 276 Carroll Street, NW, Washington, DC, near the Takoma Metro station. It will be held Saturday, November 2 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. To donate blood,  schedule an appointment time by e-mailing Carolyn Belefsky at info@curls-studio.com . appointments are scheduled in 15-minute intervals.

The other attending cartoonists, all of them from the Washington, DC region, are: Steve Artley,  Michael Cavna, Eric Gordon, Mal Jones, Teresa Roberts Logan, Steve Loya, Jay Payne, Michael Ricigliano, Joe Sutcliff, Jake Warrefeltz, and JTW.

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A piece by Steve Artley, whose Aphelion Arc website just launched.

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The artist known as “JTW” creates minicomics and has his own comic series, “Black Dayz.”

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One of Eric Gordon’s “Creep” portraits from his recent artist-in-residence at the Artisphere.

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Joe Sutliff’s work includes Master Jeffrey.

 

About the Author

Alex Holt
Alex Holt is a first-year graduate student in the Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland and a recent graduate of Ithaca College. When not at school, he lives in Baltimore, Maryland and he hopes to eventually pursue a career in sports journalism.

2 Comments on "Cartoonists want your blood!"

  1. I would be happy to participate but will be out of town Nov. 2 – is there an alternative date?

  2. Sorry, there is no alternative date for this event.

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