Once Upon a Toon w/Joe Wos

Once upon a Toon is a unique blend of Storytelling and live Cartoon Illustration blending original stories and live cartoon illustration by Multi-Emmy winner Joe Wos for an unforgettable and entertaining experience for all ages! Choose your topic!

In-Person or Virtual/Online for Schools and Camps!

Age Range: PreK-12

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Once Upon a Toon is a unique hybrid of storytelling with live cartoon illustration. Multi-Emmy Award-winning cartoonist Joe Wos draws the stories as he tells them, in a lively and engaging program for all ages.

Pulling from original stories and folktales with a twist,  this live show is like watching a picture book being drawn before your very eyes. Each presentation includes: a short guessing game, a how to example, and two illustrated stories. Yielding between 15-20 drawings at each and every show. Best of all the illustrations stay with your school and may be displayed, auctioned or even photocopied to share with students.

Popular illustrated tales include Joe’s original pun-filled adventure “Don on the Farm” about a duck who longs to be a rooster, and with some help from his friends they all help each other achieve their dreams! Joe also puts his unique spin on such classics; The Crowded House, How Turtle Flew South, How Elephant got his Trunk and many more.

Once Upon a Toon has stories for many themes, including:

  • American Folklore
  • World Tales
  • Tolerance
  • Being Different
  • Peer Pressure
  • Math
  • Science
  • Traditional Tales, and many more.

Other show options include drawing workshops and maze murals!
Joe is an award winning cartoonist whose work appears in newspapers, books and even television worldwide.


Joe Wos has been a professional cartoonist since the age of 14. His career path over the past 30 years has taken as many twists and turns as one of his mazes, as he finds new and innovative ways to pursue his passion for the cartoon arts. Some highlights include spending 30 years touring nationwide as a performer, illustrating stories live as he told them; founding and running a cartoon art museum in Pittsburgh, PA; illustrating symphony performances live with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; and exhibiting his art in museums worldwide. Joe has also been the visiting resident cartoonist of the Charles M. Schulz Museum for the past 20 years.

With MazeToons — a unique hybrid illustration that is part cartoon and part puzzle — Joe has fulfilled a lifelong dream to appear in the funny pages.
Joe has been drawing mazes since the age of 7 and is regarded as a master maze maker. In 2012, he created the world’s largest hand-drawn maze. Measuring at 140 square feet, it features more than 100 illustrations. The maze garnered international attention with articles in the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post and media coverage throughout Europe. One of his mural-sized mazes is on permanent display at StarKist’s international headquarters.

Joe is the Multi Emmy Award winning host of Cartoon Academy on PBS, produced by WQED in Pittsburgh, PA.
Joe is the winner of the 2020 Divisional Reuben Award for the Variety Category as presented by the National Cartoonists Society.

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