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Archive for the ‘film’ Category

Thursday night me and a friend saw Wonder Woman.

Let’s just say as long as it was better than Batman Vs Superman, I would’ve been satisfied. Whenever I mentioned this to others, the most common response was this: “Geez, that’s not setting the bar very high…”

Regardless. After settling into those reclining seats in a Manhattan theater with overpriced concessions, the film took me by surprise. It was better than expected. Normally I don’t feed many trends, but this summer is all about Wonder Woman. Better than those silly spinners. The last time I entered into trendy fandom, it was Harry Potter.  Well, kinda-sorta. Never finished the book or the film series. It was more of the idea of Harry Potter being an occultist. So right now, Wonder Woman is all that and a bag of chips.

The next day I tell people I saw Wonder Woman. The response was “did she twirl?”

That was the ’70s television show with Lynda Carter. Not the 2017 film with Gal Gadot.

Growing up, I started with Archie, Harvey Comics and Marvel. From what I recall, I didn’t get DC too much. Then I had one nightmare about Silver Surfer, and my over-protecting mother took away all my Marvel comics. She meant well, but I was stuck with Archie and Harvey Comics. Thanks to the television show, Wonder Woman was allowed. One childhood memory was walking in the street with my mother wearing my Wonder Woman raincoat. Even tried twirling, just like on the show. A few years later, Wonder Woman was left in the dust due to discovering rock music. It wasn’t until a few years after that, in which I discovered Love and Rockets by Los Hernandez Brothers. That forged a path of underground and alternative comics.

In my opinion, Wonder Woman is a MUCH better character than last summer’s girl, Harley Quinn. My disdain for Harley might be explained in another post.

There’s also the backstory of Wonder Woman’s creator, Dr. William Moulton Marston. He was a psychologist, an inventor, and was involved in an extended relationship with both his wife and his domestic partner. All three lived together as both women has children by Marston. Today this would’ve been considered polyamory. This info is common knowledge now, but during his time, the arrangement was kept secret. Let’s also take a moment to acknowledge Wonder Woman’s co-creator Harry G Peter.

Enough digressing here. You probably guessed that this week’s Psycho Bunny sketch of the week is Wonder Woman related. Of course, the lasso of truth revealed only this; that Psycho Bunny is a misanthropic drunk.

PsychoBunnyWonderWoman2017

Psycho Bunny meets Wonder Woman. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. June 2017. 

https://www.facebook.com/PsychoBunnyComix/https://www.facebook.com/PsychoBunnyComix/
https://www.facebook.com/MicheleWitchipooWitchesBrewPress/
https://www.instagram.com/witchipooart/

 

 

 

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Poor Psycho Bunny. He’s doesn’t know his ‘Dark Side’ from his ‘Jedi’ side…

PsychoBunyDarthVaderWEB

Psycho Bunny as Darth Vader. Comic by Michele Witchipoo, Dec. 2015.

 

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With the latest Star Wars installment coming up, I had to do a sketch of IG-88 for Sketch Lottery.

For those who don’t know who IG-88 is, he’s a minor character in the Star Wars universe. Originally a bounty hunter you see for about five seconds in Empire Strikes Back, he’s featured more in the Star Wars comics.

Check out my rendition of IG-88, and don’t forget to check out the other artists as well.

IG88WitchipooClip

Clip of IG-88, a robot bounty hunter from Star Wars. Originally seen in Empire Strikes Back. Sketch by Michele Witchipoo, Nov. 2015. Pen, ink, inkwash. Full version on the site Sketch Lottery. IG-88 # 17.

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What’s up with him?

Eddie Murphy's eyes....on Sketch Lottery. Character of the week was Prince Akeem from the 80s film "Coming To America." Sketch by Michele Witchipoo Nov. 2014

Eddie Murphy’s eyes….on Sketch Lottery. Character of the week was Prince Akeem from the 80s film “Coming To America.” Sketch by Michele Witchipoo Nov. 2014

A week late, but the Sketch Lottery character was Prince Akeem from the 1988 film Coming To America.’ For those who don’t know, comedian Eddie Murphy portrays Prince Akeem, a rich African prince in search of a bride. He goes to America to find the woman of his dreams, which lands him right in NYC boro of Queens.

As a side note. The scenes where Prince Akeem was working in McDowell’s were filmed on location at a local fast food restaurant. It was Wendy’s, located on Queens Boulevard, in Elmhurst, Queens. My mother used to pass by this Wendy’s during her work commute.

Years later, I moved to an area which wasn’t that far from Elmhurst. The Wendy’s location was still there. Unfortunately, that Wendy’s was known as one of the worse Wendy’s ever. In 2013, it was torn down. Below are a few online articles relating to the former business.

http://queenscrap.blogspot.com/2013/05/coming-to-america-landmark-in-process.html
http://queens.brownstoner.com/2013/06/closing-bell-what-will-happen-to-elmhursts-old-wendys/
http://www.qchron.com/editions/central/what-s-in-store-for-former-wendy-s-lot/article_a814c458-4711-5dfb-9f45-7d6745ea9352.html
http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2013/06/14/queens-boulevard-loses-a-movie-icon-disguised-as-a-fast-food-joint/
http://www.yelp.com/biz/wendys-elmhurst

The sketch I did was based on the scene where Akeem and his personal assistant/best friend Sammi hit the club in search of a bride.

Not the best work I’ve done, but regardless. Enjoy my contribution on Sketch Lottery. Don’t forget to check out work by the other artists as well.

FYI – The film poster for ‘Coming To America’ was drawn by Drew Struzan.  

 

 

 

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This is late, but here’s something to bring in the New Year. A commission of The Exorcist, New Year Eve’s style.

This commission was to basically perform an “exorcism” on 2013. Kick out the old, bring in the new.

New Year Eve commission. Ink and watercolor. Art by Michele Witchipoo, Jan 2014.

New Year Eve commission. Ink and watercolor. Art by Michele Witchipoo, Jan 2014.

Pea soup anyone?

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As urban legend would have it, it’s assumed that back in the 1970’s rock bands had all the best drugs and booze. Some of you might have heard stories about Led Zepplin’s backstage shenanigans.

I concur.

I don’t think it’s true that all the mega superstar rock bands had the best nose candy and liquid courage. No. That ‘honor’ goes to many 1970s game shows.

Ah those wacky hazy ’70s. Only in the 1970s would you have such programs like The Match Game and The Gong Show. The stuff of televised legend.

Cause really, who needs cable when all you have to do is search on YouTube. There you will discover gloriously grainy gems, badly transferred from VHS onto the digital age. Why there’s already many clips from “The Gong Show” to choose from. Who can ever forget the Unknown Comic, The Worms, and of course, Gene Gene The Dancing Machine! Just in time for New Year’s Eve, here’s a clip of Gene doing his thing:

That’s right everybody! Party like its a tacky ’77 game show! You go Gene! Check out his swagger with his trademark green jogging jacket! Have everyone throw crappola at you in wild abandon! That’s how you celebrate.

I’m leaning towards Gene nowadays. Back in my childhood, The Unknown Comic was my favorite. In fact, back in 2008, I kinda-sorta did a tribute to him. A parody of a parody. The one where The Unknown Comic posed for a publicity photo sending up the famous Burt Reynolds shot published in Cosmopolitan magazine:

Actor Burt Reynolds. In his heyday, he did a centerfold for Cosmopolitan magazine. April 1972 (Vol. 172, No. 4)

Actor Burt Reynolds. In his heyday, he did a centerfold for Cosmopolitan magazine. April 1972 (Vol. 172, No. 4)

Parody of the famous Burt pic by The Unknown Comic.

Parody of the famous Burt pic by The Unknown Comic.

A parody of a parody. My character Psycho Bunny in a similar pose. First created in 2006 or 2007. Cartoon by Michele Witchipoo.

A parody of a parody. My character Psycho Bunny in a similar pose. Created in 2008. Cartoon by Michele Witchipoo.

For those who never heard of the Unknown Comic, here’s a clip via YouTube. If you thought your jokes were bad, try this:

Ah, those wacky 1970s. The jokes were corny as hell. Still, it was a bit of magic captured on the small screen. Dropping F-bombs without hostility in a drug-induced haze. Drinking and smoking as if nothing. This TV party was silliness personified. Yet it’s nowhere as mind-numbing as today’s reality shows.

Another thing that The Gong Show had over today’s so-called ‘talent shows’ such as American Idol or The Voice. Despite half of the Gong Show’s antics being staged, there was an organic realness to the freakishness. Whenever the talented, the not-so talented or just plain bizarre walked on stage, it was all in good fun. If an act was just outright odd, their inner freak was embraced. In no way were they weren’t trying to conform to a manufactured Hollywood fantasy. They were proud of being odd. They owned their inner freak. That was the beauty of The Gong Show.

The real star of course, was the host himself Chuck Barris. Personally I think he’s a genius. On his resume he lists American game show creator, producer, songwriter, and of course the emcee of The Gong Show. Although claims about working for the C.I.A. can be seriously doubted.

As a producer he was responsible for such tacky treasures like The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game and The $1.98 Beauty Show.

The $1.98 Beauty Show logo. Only in the drugged included 1970s could such a show exist.

The $1.98 Beauty Show logo. Only in the drugged included 1970s could such a show exist.

Back to The Gong Show. To this very day this program remains a cult classic. In fact, there’s a very rare film, created after the first cancellation. In the tradition of The Monkee’s Head movie. It’s not available on VHS, DVD or BluRay. If you’re lucky, you just might catch it on cable or grab scenes from – of course – YouTube.

Oh yeah, the gong itself. Usually the judging panel usually consisted of three b-list celebrities. Jamie Farr and Jaye P. Morgan were regulars. Comedians like Soupy Sales and Joan Rivers also judged.

The studio audience could also be rowdy at times. When I was a kid, I caught a few episodes of The Gong Show here and there. That is, if my mother allowed it. My favorite was usually when the audience would start booing. Meanwhile the judges fought among themselves as to who was gonging first.

Yet strangely, or maybe not strangely enough, many entertainers got their first break being on that show. Many actors appeared under an alias. That was a backup plan because one bad appearance could actually ruin a career. Among the Gong alumni were PeeWee Herman, ’70s Disco singer Cheryl Lynn, musical theater actress Andrea McArdle and a very early incarnation of Oingo Bongo.

No report on The Gong Show would be complete without talking about The Popsicle Twins – a.k.a. “Have You Got A Nickel?” Not only did this segment get Barris and company in trouble with the censors – Phyllis Diller could not comprehend what the hell was going on. She gave the twins a score of zero. Guess she didn’t see Deep Throat.

Since Chuck Barris was a producer, sometimes contestants from his other shows occasionally crossed over to The Gong Show. If you read my blog post from yesterday, you might recognize the name of Cheryl Bradshaw. She was a “bachelorette” from ‘The Dating Game’ – the same one who narrowly missed a date with death. She had won a date with serial killer Rodney James Alcala. (https://witchesbrewpress.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/a-date-with-death/)

Besides another dark incident, (death of a dancer who had won on The Gong Show just hours before) The Gong Show was fun. Over the years The Gong Show has been revived. Yet somehow it always failed to capture the magic that the very original program had. The Gong Show itself is nothing without Chuck Barris as host. Sure, “The Dating Game” could always have a revolving host door. Ditto for “The Newlywed Game.” Come to think of it, the time might be ripe to bring back “The $1.98 Beauty Show.” In this day and age of instant gratification and entitlement this show could work. But “The Gong Show” itself? Nah. In my humble opinion, it could only work with the charms of Chuck. ‘Cause even with all the mayhem surrounding him, he was the glue that kept all the chaos together. He grasped it. He understood it. Like the freaks on stage, he owned it. “The Gong Show” was his show.

I could go on, but the blogging curtains are about to close. Before getting gonged myself, I’ll leave you with one final clip. One of a ‘Punk Rock’ band. Never heard of them until now. They were called Static Cling. And yes, they were gonged.

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Originally created this when I was putting together Babalon Babes issue 4. Otherwise known as the Astrology issue, I drew this around mid-late 2009.

After watching news footage of Japan, I remembered this piece. So I’ve posted this up in honor of that country.

Gemini. Draw by Michele Witchipoo, late 2009. Originally self-published in Babalon Babes issue 4 (Astrology Issue)

It’s a mixture of the Thoth (Crowley/Lady Frieda) tarot deck, and the old Godzilla movies. Today some of you kids call it a “mash-up.”

Since the Lovers represents Gemini, I took elements from that card. In the background you can see Godzilla and Mothra. As in “Mothra Vs. Godzilla.

Now some people are probably wondering – “What the hell does Godzilla and Mothra have to do with Gemini?”

I’ll explain. Do you see the twin girls in the front of the illustration? They were known as The Shobijin. The Shobijin could be described as deities, priestesses or faeries who would call to Mothra with either song or prayer. The twin imagery also corresponds to the Gemini sign. The twins is the symbol for Gemini, and it’s element is air. The twins shown here communicate to Mothra with words and song. Air signs deal with communication.

As for Mothra and Godzilla…sometimes they are allies, sometimes they are in conflict with each other. A contradiction of sorts, which can describe Geminis a bit.

In March 2011, I recalled doing this piece. Seeing Japan with the tsunami effects and the nuclear crisis, figured I would post this. It’s not only my tribute to the Japanese monster movie genre, but to Japan as a whole.

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