This is developing into an annual tradition. Instead of blogging about fireworks, family BBQs, and three day vacations, we’ll focus on the historical aspect regarding July 4th.
Today in American history 101, July 4th celebrates the country’s independence. Regardless of your political beliefs, let’s remember the Revolutionary War. Where barefoot colonialists battled against the British monarchy. Despite all odds, the American colonialists won. You can quickly read up more about July 4th here.
This year’s historic July 4th sketch was based on the famous painting by Archibald M. Willard. Originally titled ‘Yankee Doodle‘, Willard was a veteran of the American Civil War. His grandfather was also an American Revolutionary solider. The original painting itself was snubbed by art critics. Instead, the painting found it’s appreciative audience among the everyday citizen. The painting has found a place in modern pop culture, receiving nods ranging from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse 5 to album cover art by the NYC 1980s Hardcore band Warzone.
Psycho Bunny on the other hand, thinks spirit of ’76 means something else. As in wine and spirits.
To be fair, the 50th anniversary of Pride was last month – June 2019. As for myself, I stayed local due to one reason; I hate crowds. Strange as that sounds. Considering I attend many comic cons and music concerts. Just didn’t want to deal with huge populations of strangers. Plus I hate parades. Most parades. Unless it’s Mardi Gras. Even bailed on this year’s annual Mermaid Parade over at Coney Island. Went to a nearby artist meeting instead.
However, I’m going to give credit where credit is due. When I first started out with Psycho Bunny, my friend introduced me to the promoters of M8. In 2004 or 2005, M8 was a monthly, then weekly gay men’s party. The theme was gay skinhead fetish. However, everyone was welcome. Orientation didn’t matter. It certainly didn’t matter if I was a cis female. The original NYC M8 parties took place at the Pussycat Lounge. During the day it was a topless bar where ladies stripped for straight men. At night, bands would be booked to do local gigs. When the M8 parties happened, the strippers stayed downstairs, as the gay men skinhead fetish event happened upstairs. Periodically, this would lead to a bit of confusion. The Pussycat Lounge was the stuff that Soft Cell sang about. Speaking of which, DJ Bejay would spin Punk, Oi and Hardcore. All the regulars got to know each other, and for a short period of time, we were like a small family. It was a nice vibe. In retrospect, I was treated with more respect than when I attended “straight” parties.
Towards the end of the night, a few of us would gather around, and watch various activities. One time we witnessed two leather clad men beat each other up, then kiss passionately, then beat each other up again, then kiss…this went on for the later part of the night. It was apparently the kink of these two gentlemen. These two men knew they had a captive audience, but didn’t care. M8 was one of those few parties where everyone got along.
The best part – I actually sold my comics.
I shall blog about those M8 parties another time.
Despite being a month late, here’s the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week. Pride 2019 edition, 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Psycho Bunny, being who he is, will drink to anything. Doesn’t matter which flag is on which bottle. After all, he’s an equal opportunity alcoholic.
This may or may not be the last Inktober 2018 sketch from me. It was going well at first, but then I decided to work on a new mini-comic. So technically I did draw everyday for the month of October 2018. It just wasn’t Inktober related. It happens.
For the Inktober prompt # 30, which was jolt, this was my sketch. Jolt, as in Jolt cola.
Anyone remember Jolt cola from the ’90s? I remember a rumor that early ’90s ravers used to gulp this down after doing a hit of acid or ecstasy to get a bigger rush. It was marketed as “All the sugar, twice the caffeine!” It doesn’t sound very healthy in 2018.
I had Jolt cola a few times back in the early ’90s. It didn’t taste bad. Didn’t matter, I’m not a soda person. Never cared for soda. Most soda flavors taste disgusting to me. Never understood the appeal. Except for Jolt cola, or Faygo, but for different reasons. Faygo is just kinda trashy. Both soda brands were sold at Dollar General last year.
Still trying to catch up on the Inktober 2018 sketches. Revisiting a subject I’ve drawn before – Squeaky Squeakums.
Squeaky is a female tuxedo cat I adopted in 2009. She came from a household that basically had too many cats. The other cats would gang up on her. Poor Squeaky had to hide. In the meantime the other cats would steal her food, prevent her from using the litterbox, etc. By the time she was rescued, Squeaky was skin and bones. Both her fur and eyes were dull. Such a sad cat. She didn’t even have a proper name. As it turned out, Squeaky also needed major cat dental surgery – which her previous humans failed to inform us about. That wasn’t cool. After her dental operation though, Squeaky was a brand new cat. Now she’s quite vocal, friendly, and extremely loyal. She’s intelligent as well. Despite being a pen thief.
One thing she never did get over though, was lack of food. Squeaky has something known as “food panic.” She’ll eye your dinner like prey as you vainly try to eat your meal in peace. Therefore Squeaky must eat!
As I’m doing these Inktober sketches, it was time for prompt number six; drooling. So here’s an updated version. Titled ‘Squeaky’s Torment.’ It’s tormenting especially for her. For the time being, we had to ban Squeaky from human food scraps, as they’re not good for her overall health.
‘Lovecraft NYC & The Set NYC presents: Illustrators, Tattoo Artists / Cosplay CON. Saturday May 7, 2016. 7pm – midnight. An event to help end new york homelessness and help build up New York City.
A NYC illustrators artists showcase, live music, tattoo artists, NYC tattoo model showcase, Venus Pain Creations, Michele Witchipoo, Margarette Ghost, Ellen Stedfeld, Christopher Lucero, Indigo Ortiz, Radioactive Material, Bodega Dreams, Black Space Odyssey, Cosplay model showcase, art networking event, trade show, art show, & meet & greet. $5 donations to help make nyc better. Food & drink deals. Dinner, art, and shows. Absinthe cocktails.’
This promises to be a fun night, but also helping a much worthy cause.
You can also go to Psycho Bunny’s Facebook page to check for any forthcoming details.
The headline says it all. This Sunday, Dec. 20th, I’ll be selling my comics and Krampus related items at the Kinda Punky Flea Market. It’ll be at Lucky 13 Saloon, located in Brooklyn, from 2-9pm.
There will burlesque/go-go dancing, many awesome vendors, music, a drunk Santa, and overall a good time. You can’t go wrong. Besides, it’s a few days after the Star Wars: The Force Awakens premiered, so you have no excuse! Hell, if you’re sick of Star Wars, then this is even better! Click here for the Kinda Punky Facebook page, click here for the Xmas Facebook invite, and see you on Sunday.
The first time I ever visited the infamous Mars Bar, it was sometime during the ’90s. It was your typical run-down dive bar. It also had the only bathroom I was hesitant to use – and in the Lower East Side area of NYC, that’s saying a lot.
I went back a few more times, but I wouldn’t say I was a regular. Back then, my hang outs of choice was Max Fish (original location), Coney Island High and Mother’s. Later on, I would visit The Raven Cafe and this small gay bar across the street from Raven called The Cock. In the late ’90s, The Cock would have this outrageous party ever Saturday night titled ‘What Would You Do For $100?’ Trust me, at that particular party, I’ve seen what people would do for $100, but that’s for another blog post.
Before Mars Bar closed down for good, it’s glory days were pretty much over. Last time I was there, must’ve been sometime in 2008 or 2009. There was barely anyone inside. In 2012, its doors shuttered. Now some overpriced bourgeois restaurant stands in its place. Like New York City needs another un-affordable eatery.
So fast forward to 2015. My friend who was a Mars bar regular informed me about an open call for art at the Whitebox Gallery. Quickly I grabbed some of my framed work to hang at the group show.
There was two parties at Whitebox. One was the installation party, in which mayhem was already in full bloom when I arrived. Free beer was flowing and music was blasting as the Mars bar reunion ensued. It wasn’t long when half-filled beer cans was being thrown at some of other attendants.
As for the exhibit itself. The opening party was called ‘Last Night At Mars Bar.’ It was part of a bigger exhibit called ‘The Last Party.’ The Last Party was curated by Anthony Haden-Guest and highlights NYC nightlife from 1975 to the early 90s. Anthony Haden-Guest is a writer/cartoonist/art critic and has documented NYC underground downtown culture at its zenith. I was personally lucky to have gone to such places like Limelight, Tunnel, The World, and Danceteria. Especially when I was under-aged during the Danceteria days. Dancerteria was one of the first places I ever clubbed at, back when I was in high school. (I also went to Studio 54 when I was in junior high back in the early ’80s, and yes, that’s also another story within itself. I couldn’t, however get into Boy George’s birthday party over at Palladium, because I was under-aged. I did sneak into Palladium a year and half later, for another party. Once again, another story.)
Anyway, back to Mars Bar. You see, Whitebox is a non-profit gallery which focuses on ‘culturally relevant work.’ Yes, that dive bar has become ‘culturally relevant.’ Before the ‘Last Night At Mars Bar’ event, I visited Whitebox once before. It was a part of some Lower East Side art crawl festival. What was the theme – pizza? I can’t remember. Just a lot of free beer, and the night’s curator getting really upset when elderly old Chinese ladies dropped by to collect the discarded beer cans for recycling money. The female curator tried to shoo the ladies out, but since the ladies probably didn’t know any English, the curator was simply ignored. While the well dressed curator had this sour expression upon her expensively made-up face, someone in the crowd commented ‘Welcome to the real New York, lady.” The curator was not amused.
Whoever put this latest show together didn’t seem that bothered by the old Mars bar crew. In fact, the security guard was actually pretty chill. Meanwhile, the Mars Bars reunion was in full effect. East Village nostalgia.
The next night was the opening party. It pretty much picked up where the installation party left off. The show was the opening party was ‘Last Night At Mars Bar Variety Shit Show’ hosted by Johnny Bizzare. A band called The Sunnyside Social Club performed as well.
At the end of the opening party, a tad bit of sadness came over me. New York City has changed. Although there is less crime than back in the ’70s and ’80s, it’s organic creative chaos is gone. There’s still bits and pieces here and there but it’s more hipster contrived now. Nice, and safe, and guaranteed not to offend in the age of political correctness. Completely bland.
Hopefully this current state of NYC with its overpriced rents is a temporary thing.
I watched the rest of the crowd sing merrily in the street, then head over to some watering hole nearby, in true Mars bar fashion. Since there were responsibilities to take care of the next day, this was my cue to head home. If you want to see the exhibit yourself, and you just happen to be in the NYC area, you have up until Aug. 23rd. At least I could now say I had my work shown in the infamous L.E.S.