The first of several group shows, leading to the formation of the Cartoonism Collective, took place in June 2007.

The show featured fifteen artists, including the Collective founders: R. Thies, Miguel 'Miggy' Aguilar, David DeGrand, Tyson Summers and Justin Jackley

The second show, organized by R. Thies, followed in July 2007

The 'Cartoon Funanza' reception featured music performances by: Boone Graham, Adam Hilton, and R. Thies' project, Stubberfoam

A year later, in 2008, R. Thies and David DeGrand had a show in Fort Worth, Texas. Organized by Paul Leicht (Metrognome Collective), here's a blog post about the show
DeGrand Arteest show...'A good friend once described cartooning as 'the red headed stepchild of art.' Elitists turn their head or raise their noses while a small population of us giggle and/or get inspired. Most comic artists are kinda self deprecating and draw panels about how unappreciated they are, and usually that's true. But I've seen that in the genre, the most honest and productive artists are producing some of the most emotionally hitting material, and sometimes you just don't know what that is you are feeling. The two artists that make up the show at the Chat Room Pub blend the lines of cartooning and fine art. There is a thought out humor that makes you smile yet feel uncomfortable at the same time. The first artist R. Thies (pronounced ar-teest..get it?) resides in Denton, TX and attend TWU. The second artist in the show is David DeGrand of Fort Worth. He has been drawing comics since he was a wee lad of a fifth grader (he now currently holds a BFA from UTA) Both exhibiting artists present work that is outside the panel of a comic strip and outside of what you would think of fine art. It's what R. Thies would call 'Cartoonism.

After the DeGrand Arteest show, was: Cartoon Apocalypse

R. Thies wrote about the exhibit in the fourth issue of his art zine, Thought Nog

Cartoon Apocalypse exhibit: This show had been in the making for just about nine months, and would include my favorite cartoon art cohorts. I began to do shows with these guys in June 2007. I guess you could say we are a nascent cartoon art collective, dare I say movement?
Published in September 2008, it is the first mention of forming a Cartoonism Collective