Smudge Expo 2015 will take place March 14, 2015


Thanks for making Smudge Expo 2014 a Success!

The Smudge! Expo took place on Saturday, March 8, 2014, from noon to 6 p.m. at Artisphere in Arlington, Va. Talks took place in the Black Box Theater at Artisphere and hands-on workshops took place in the classroom space.


Black Box Theater
1-1:50 – Essa Neima – Moving Pictures: So, You Want to Animate?
2-2:50 – Steve Artley – Editorial Cartooning (And Other Hazards)
3-3:50 – Ben Hatke – Three Keys to Comics
4-4:50 – Teresa Roberts Logan – PAINT YOUR HEAD (ART JOURNALING)

1-1:50 – Steve Loya – Splotch Monsters
2-2:50 – Matt Dembicki – Roll Up Your Sleeves and Make Comics
3-3:50 – TBA
4-4:50 – Joe Sutliff – Creating Comics for the Web: A quick, fun, interactive “How To”

After Smudge, check out DEAR MR. WATTERSON at 7:30.

Black Box – 1:00 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.
Essa Neima – Moving Pictures: So, You Want to Animate?

Animator/educator Essa Neima shares his experiences in animation, from working with companies to understanding what it takes to make a good cartoon. He’ll share examples of his own work, as well as provide some simple exercises that you can do at home to make your own animation using a spinning disc and flip books.

run animation

Black Box – 2:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Steve Artley – Editorial Cartooning (And Other Hazards)

Award-winning, nationally syndicated editorial cartoonist Steve Artley talks about his 25-year career, shares his work and provides a glimpse into his cartoon development process in this forty-five minute slideshow and lecture. Steve’s work is syndicated throughout the United States and Canada and has appeared in various newspapers and periodicals such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek and Time, as-well-as online cartoon round-ups such as TIME Best Cartoons of the Week, NPR Double Takes, and was included in the Washington Post’s picks for Best Cartoons of the Year in 2011. Steve currently works as staff cartoonist for the Alexandria Gazette Packet through Connection Newspapers of Northern Virginia. He is also Creative Director for his own multi-media campaign and design firm in Alexandria, VA.

Cartoon Talk STILL

Black Box – 3:00 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.
Ben Hatke – Three Keys to Comics
Where do stories come from? How do you invent new characters? How do words and pictures work together? Why are stories magic? Can the right story change the world? Ben touches on all these things while sharing his “three secrets to making great comics,” a presentation that includes live drawing, masks, story card activities and more. Plus: The secret origin of Zita the Spacegirl…


BlahBlahBlah746Black Box – 4:00 p.m. to 4:50 p.m.

Do you want to keep a journal of a different kind? What is going on your head today? Through lecture, images, and demo, Teresa Roberts Logan will teach you to make, start, and continue a cartoon-oriented Art Journal. Art journals can incorporate doodling, collages, upcycling, painting, favorite quotes, colors (or not) and your own thoughts – using words and pictures to express yourself and the story you want to tell. Art journals can be joyous, profound, somber, or silly. It’s up to you. The only rule is . . . no rules! Teresa Roberts Logan is a Reuben-Award nominated cartoonist (Greeting Card Division)and standup comic who has been a featured comic on HBO, A&E, The Comedy Channel, and the Hallmark Channel, among others. This workshop is geared towards adults, 18 years and older.

Classroom – 1:00 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.
Steve Loya – Splotch Monsters
Create some Splotch Monsters with local artist and educator Steve Loya. Steve has been creating these imaginary beasts from splotches of paint, coffee, tea, ink for nearly half-a-decade, and he runs the blog and online shop, Splotch Monster Island. Indulge your imagination by turning seemingly random watercolor splotches into creative and fun critters, by drawing on faces, limbs, hair, spots, stripes, scales, horns, etc. Steve encourages Splotch Monster-makers to imagine stories, scenarios and names for these creations as well. For kids and kids-at-heart, all are welcome to attend and participate in this workshop.


Classroom – 2:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Matt Dembicki – Roll Up Your Sleeves and Make Comics
Roll up your sleeves and make comics! Matt Dembicki, a local comics creator, holds a hands-on workshop for kids on how to make comics, from making characters to making panels and putting it all together. We’ll provide the paper and pencils; you provide the creativity! Matt edited and contributed to the comic anthology “District Comics,” named one of The Washington Post‘s best books of 2012. He also edited and contributed to “Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection,” a 2011 Eisner Award nominee and 2011 Aesop Prize winner. In 2005, he co-founded the D.C. Conspiracy, a comics creators collaborative in Washington.

Classroom – 3:00 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.

Classroom – 4:00 p.m. to 4:50 p.m.
Joe Sutliff – Creating Comics for the Web: A quick, fun, interactive “How To”
Joe Sutliff has been creating cartoons and illustrations since he was six years old, and professionally for over 36 years. Either way, that’s a long time. You’d think he’d be tired of it by now, and a lot funnier, but come see for yourself. We’ll do hands on drawing on something called “paper” with things called “pencils and crayons” and learn some ideas about storytelling, character design, and ways to take it to the Internet without getting byten (see what I mean about funnier?).



Smudge is excited to be paired with a fantastic event on March 8, 2014 at Artisphere. After Smudge, get some dinner and come back for DEAR MR. WATTERSON (

Few newspaper comic strips from the 1980s and 90s come close to having charmed, inspired, or captivated the imaginations of millions of young readers to the degree of “Calvin & Hobbes.” Wildly popular and widely acclaimed (yet never developed as a commercial interest), the strip was quietly retired by its creator, Bill Watterson, in 1995 – but, decades later, the impact of his work still runs deep.

A revealing-yet-reverent celebration of an artist and his creation, DEAR MR. WATTERSON  (2013, 89 min., USA, Dir: Joel Allen Schroeder) is a gratifying tribute for “Calvin & Hobbes” fans old, new, and of all ages.

Presented by playbackthetape with support from Smudge: A Comics Art Expo, this multifaceted one-night-only presentation (Saturday, March 8th, 7:30pm, at Artisphere) includes a live pre-show performance by the band, We Were Pirates (composers of the film’s original score), and post screening Q&A with Mike Boggs of We Were Pirates and Nevin Martell, author of Looking for Calvin & Hobbes. Advance tickets ($8) are available for purchase at

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