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Archive for the ‘life’ Category

Working on the next issue of Psycho Bunny as of this post. Hopefully it’ll be released sometime in late October.

If you always wanted to send hate mail, now is the time to do it! Looking for letters to be published in Psycho Bunny 3.5. Since the very first issue, it’s been a tradition to have a ‘hate mail’ column on the last page. Just don’t send any directly at me, okay?

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Send all ‘hate mail’ to: Ihatepsychobunny@witchesbrewpress.net.

Thank you in advance.

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A few weeks back I attended the Culture Club and The B-52s concert over at Forest Hills stadium. It wasn’t my first seeing both of these acts live. It was more that both groups were such a part of my early teen years, and that it was right in my own backyard in Queens, NY.

When I was about 11 or 12, I brought the first B-52s album. I was the first kid on the block to have that record, and most likely the only one. It was early ’80’s in lower working class Queens. I was considered the school weirdo. Having this album only solidified my case. Not that I really cared.

When my friend used to come over, I introduced her to Rock Lobster. I made her wear old wigs dug out from my mother’s closet, which my mom wasn’t too happy about. I wasn’t happy because the wigs weren’t styled like in beehive hairdos. In my bedroom we pretended to be Kate and Cindy, wearing mom’s old forgotten wigs. We danced to most of the songs on side one, because vinyl still ruled in those days. That album cover is still pretty iconic to me.

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Eventually I grew out of The B-52s. By the time “Love Shack” hit the charts, I was more into Post Punk, Goth, Industrial and anything non mainstream.

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Concert attendee at the Culture Club/B-52s show at Forest Hills stadium. Sat. July 28th, 2018. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Fast forward to July 2019 in Forest Hills stadium. (Wasn’t the band’s first time. The B-52s played Forest Hills stadium back in 1983. Most of the crowd was dancing to such classics like ’52 Girls’, ‘Planet Claire’, and what surprised me was ‘Mesopotamia.’ Of course they played ‘Love Shack’ and ‘Roam.’ You can see their set list here.

Thus leads to the first of the two latest sketches of the week. Decided to throw in two instead of one, due to last week’s absence.

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Psycho Bunny’s friends as The B-52s. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. Aug. 2018.

After The B-52s came Culture Club. I’ve mentioned dressing like the two women from The B-52s. However, it was the arrival of Boy George that took it from the bedroom to public display. I began to copy the Boy’s look. While going to class, I wore the hat, the baggy clothes, etc. Even had his dance moves down. Once again, I was the first kid on the block to embrace Boy George and crew. Also one of the very few. Boy George wasn’t very popular in the junior high I attended. In fact, that’s when I experienced homophobia.

Dressing like Boy George gave people the impression that they could insult me. Everyday I heard nasty remarks from other schoolmates such as “You know he’s gay, right?” “Why do you like him? He’s a man dressed like a woman!” “Boy George is a fag!” “Fag lover!!!” “You look like a freak!” “Hahahaha….” It was usually followed by “Why don’t you be normal, and listen to Michael Jackson like the rest of us?” Which led to my distaste of anything remotely related to Michael Jackson. To this day, if I hear just a few notes from a Jackson song, it makes me nauseous. I just equate Michael Jackson to general hypocrisy. Jackson is dead, and I still can’t stand the guy. It’s not his fault. It was my junior high classmates. The association. His music and image still reminds me of everything fake in today’s pop culture.

Because of all this rude behavior, it influenced me to look beyond my immediate Queens surroundings. I applied for those magnet high schools just to get away from all those rotten close minded classmates. Eventually I got accepted into the High School of Art and Design. Thanks to Art & Design, it lead me straight into a path of downtown Manhattan subculture, discovering Greenwich Village, stumbling upon small import record shops, cool clothing stores, and of course, Punk and Goth. Thus my high school years fared a helluva lot better than junior high.

I’ll never forget when word came out that I was not heading towards that local war zone, Byrant High School. Some guy quipped “oh, so you’re not going to the same high school as everyone else? What’s the matter? You’re too good for us now?”

Uh actually, when I think about it…yeah.

Not going to Byrant was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. From what I heard years later, my suspicions were all confirmed. Thanks, but no thanks. This should explain my misanthropy.

‘ “Why does everybody gets so excited when we go back into the past? It just amazes me. It’s just metaphorical.” ‘ – Boy George during the Culture Club concert at Forest Hills stadium, New York. Saturday July 28th, 2018. 

But high school is high school, and life is a lot more than that. It’s still nice to reflect, take in some nostalgia, acknowledge your influences. To be ruled by the past though, is a prison you don’t want to be trapped in. Boy George definitely didn’t want to relive his past. In fact, most of the songs on the Culture Club set list was more like a rock and soul revue than Culture Club’s greatest hits. The opening song was a cover of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance.” Fret not, they still did some of their greatest hits.

‘ “We’re a living, breathing soap opera. The amount of collective drama on this stage would kill a beginner.” ‘ Boy George during the Culture Club set at Forest Hills Stadium, Saturday July 28th, 2018. 

I appreciated that Culture Club didn’t want to rest of their retro laurels. Boy George himself waxed philosophically that night on the Forest Hills stage. He came across as intelligent and witty. There were times you sensed that he’s acknowledged lessons learned from his past experiences. This was evident with their recent single “Let Somebody Love You.” You never would’ve guessed he assaulted a male escort back in 2009. Then there was the time when he rebuked my friend’s request for an autograph that was meant to be for his mother. His mother was in her final stages of MS.

 Oh that Boy George. He’s such a Gemini.

Despite his shitty transgressions, I will always be thankful for his influence upon my life. It was a positive influence. His public image taught me that it was okay to think outside the box, to be yourself. If it wasn’t for him, Siouxsie Sioux, Joan Jett, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, and David Bowie, my outlook might’ve been very different. Probably a lot more bleak.

While I did accomplish a lot, I’m still residing in Queens. For now anyway. As someone who once wanted to ‘escape’ Queens, it’s now become the complete opposite. No thanks to the overall gentrification of NYC. I’ve learned to appreciate all the different cultures within my borough. Manhattan just isn’t the same anymore. Let’s not even talk about what happened with Brooklyn. The Bronx and Staten Island is too far away from everything. So Queens is where I stay. For now.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you. Here’s part two of the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week. Psycho Bunny as classic Boy George.

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Psycho Bunny as Boy George from Culture Club. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. August 2018.

The very next day after the B52s and Culture Club gig, I went to see Slayer over at Jones Beach, Long Island, NY. Talk about one extreme to the other. That will be discussed in next week’s blog post.

…and now. Memorize these social media links:

Facebook: pages for Psycho Bunny and for Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress.

 Twitter: One account for me, and one for Psycho Bunny.

Tumblr: World Ov Witchipoo

Instagram: there’s WitchipooArt.

Get yourself some cool stuff on RedBubble, featuring my designs. There’s dresses, tee shirts, notebooks, etc. The notebooks, and the Quentin Crisp tees seems to be one of the best selling items. Just in time for Pride.

One of my hobbies is documenting what goes riding the NYC subway lines: Wildlife On The MTA. Cause if you can’t laugh, you’ll cry. MTA passengers know what I’m talking about. Even better: My WildlifeOnTheMTA Instagram is active once again.

Come back next week for a new Psycho Bunny sketch. Remember to bring in good karma.

 

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Really didn’t do another David Bowie blog post. Thought that was done once I visited the Bowie exhibit over at the Brooklyn Museum. Unfortunately, everything has been really busy lately. Once I had some free time, the first three days was spent sleeping in and whatnot. Now that I’m back blog posting, there’s art to upload, concerts to semi-review, etc. It’s Friday as of this post. So it doesn’t make sense to finally post a new Psycho Bunny sketch of the week. Those entries are usually online from Monday to Wednesday, most likely Monday. So let’s go back a few months to when the Brooklyn Museum and Spotify had a massive clever promotion at the Broadway-Lafayette subway station. In addition you could score your own limited edition Bowie Metrocards. Currently I have the complete set in my possession.

It also gave me a chance to take some selfies with my freshly dyed hair, thanks to Second Star salon. Usually I do my own hair, but hey. My friend has some serious skills.

Basically the entire subway station at Broadway-Lafayette/Bleecker Street was covered with Bowie. Hopped on the 6 train. Upon arrival, there it was.

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Here’s some more photos of the Bowie-fied station. Slightly reminded me of Christiane F, when she used to hang around Zoo station in Berlin. All was needed was Warszawa playing in the background. Only it’s gentrified NYC 2018 with no junkies in sight.

It was time to collect those Bowie subway Metrocards. People were lining up at the token booth. How it went was, most of the cards was in the self-service machines. However, to avoid wasting your money with random cards, you could also buy the card you needed at the booth. Luckily the machine gave me one of each, and only needed to buy one card from the token booth to complete my set.

As I was getting most of the Bowie cards from the self service machines, a tourist was looking over my shoulder, watching what Bowie cards I was receiving. Then some Japanese film crew came over, interviewing me about my purchases. They filmed me getting one of the final cards. That same Japanese crew then interviewed some man who told them he couldn’t be bothered doing the physical random purchase; so he already brought a complete set from eBay for $200. Must be nice to have money to burn. When the tourist wanted to do a Metrocard trade, that was my cue to take a break. Too many people were hovering over those Metrocard dispensers. Even though for the most part, it was peaceful.

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The display inside the subway station was still nothing compared to the actual exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum.

A few days later, I just happened to find a book in the street. It was a Bowie biography. Barely read, near the stairs of some apartment building. Right in my own Queens neighborhood. That was some synchronicity.

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That should cap off the Bowie posts for now. Next week I’ll return with some brand new Psycho Bunny sketches of the week.

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Ten years ago, in addition to self-publishing Psycho Bunny, I did a sketchbook/pinup zine titled Babalon Babes. It was a mixture of occult, esoteric and symbolism mixed in with erotica. At least I was able to give Lon Milo DuQuette a copy of issue four back in 2011.

Issue One was printed in late 2003. Very Thelemic overtones. In fact, the title itself came from Crowley’s interpretation of Babalon. Not so much into the 93 current these days, but that might change.

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Babalon Babes Issue 1, 2003. Zine/sketchbook by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. 

Issue two was released in 2005, which debuted at the Big Apple Comic Con. It continued on the 93 subject, but with more mixture from other spiritual paths. Chaos magick started to creep in. The cover was my first rendition of The Star tarot card.

As much as I liked the cover, not too thrilled about the content inside. Might’ve mentioned the cut-up method in this issue. Don’t think this will be in print again.

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Babalon Babes issue 2, 2005. Zine/sketchbook by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. Debuted at Big Apple Con, Spring 2005. 

Issue three was released against all odd. The year 2007 was a very rough year due to personal circumstances and adversaries. Despite everything, I managed to make it to MoCCA Art Fest 2007. Even managed to quickly put together The Psycho Bunny Scrapbook.

Issue three had much more content. Definitely more of the Chaos current by this point, which I truly believed might’ve saved my ass during that year. Again, other spiritual paths crept in. Such as my sketch of Freya in her chariot driven by her two cats. Looking back the tone was a bit all over the place. Reflecting on issues two and three now has a sad element. It’s best having these two being out of print.

Issue four had a nice cover though.

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Issue 4, released summer 2007. Zine/sketchbook by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. Debuted at MoCCA Art Fest 2007. 

Issue 4 was the last of the Babalon Babe series. It was printed in 2009, debuted at some NYC comic con where for a brief time, Big Apple Con and Wizard World merged together, aka Wizard World Big Apple Comic Con. I did an hour at the CAG table with this in hand. The last issue had much better art, and more of a focus. It had an official theme of astrology. The hardcore sex aspect was toned down, but it was still erotic. Each of the zodiac signs had it’s own pin-up. There’s still copies available of this issue.

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Issue 4 of Babalon Babes, fall 2009. The final issue in the series. It’s theme was Astrology. Zine/sketchbook by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress.

After 2009, I stopped doing Babalon Babes completely. In 2010 I went back to college. My focus went towards school, so something had to give. I was working on a webcomic, as well as my own Psycho Bunny character. Psycho Bunny was more accessible, so I continued with that. In 2012 I had a Psycho Bunny story in the monthly comic book anthology IF-X printed by Hamtramck Idea Men. I blogged about other IF-X issues in previous blog posts: IF-X Vol. 2 issue 5, IF-X Vol. 2 issue 9, and a news item back in 2010. (The news article has since disappeared. Should’ve done a screenshot)

The last sketchbook I self-published had nothing to do with Babalon Babes, but a slight offshoot. Pin-Ups was quickly put together in 2015, and debuted at Big Apple Con. The miracle of Adobe InDesign.

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Pin-Ups. A very small sketchbook. Released March 2015. Zine/Sketchbook by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. 

If you want a copy of Babalon Babes issue four or Pin-ups, both titles are available for purchase. It’s four dollars each issue ($3.00 plus $1.00 for S&H). You can send payment through PayPal: Psychobunnycomix@aol.com. Please specify which issue you want. Also available for commissions, email for details, etc.

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As promised, I delivered this week’s Psycho Bunny sketch on a Tuesday, instead of the usual Monday. Did an awesome commission a few days ago, which will be posted another day on this blog. Have to finish some other commissions as well.

Anyway, for comic book fans you might’ve heard the news. Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko passed away over the weekend. He was also the artist responsible for bringing the world Doctor Strange, The Question and countless others. Spider-Man turned out to be his magnum opus.

Of course to Ditko fans, you can’t mention the artist without bringing in Objectivism and Ayn Rand. At some point he embraced Rand’s philosophy. Personally I feel that Objectivism might’ve ruined Ditko’s life. Hell, he was more of an Objectivist than Ayn Rand herself. Rand supposedly collected social security in her twilight years. Collecting social security within the context of Objectivism is open to debate. While I have some Ayn Rand books in my library,  I don’t subscribe to her philosophy. There has to be a better way being an individual.  Laveyan Satanism sounds more fun, plus it gets straight to the point. If one wants to be an individual, then why bother joining any collective in the first place?

I digress. You want to read about Steve Ditko, not my own opinions. To put it lightly, Steve Ditko was a brilliant sequential artist. In his personal life, he was a complicated man. Comic book veteran Tony Isabella explains this better with his blog post.

Perhaps it’s better to honor the man by retracing Spider-Man’s steps. Peter Parker after all, from Forest Hills, Queens. A local boy. He wants to help Aunt May right after Uncle Ben was killed. Even though Peter was kinda nerdy, her had Gwen and Mary Jane as girlfriends. He worked for a newspaper company, dealing with John Jonah Jameson, Jr. as his boss. Who knows if Peter was a Mets fan. After that, you can check out other Ditko titles, like his self-published work.

In Steve Ditko‘s honor, who passed away at age 90, here’s the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for July 10th, 2018.

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Psycho Bunny as Spider-Man. Based on the comic Psycho Bunny, written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. July 9th, 2018, after the passing of Steve Ditko.

And now, time for those lovely social media hints:

Facebook: pages for Psycho Bunny and for Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress.

 Twitter: One account for me, and one for Psycho Bunny.

Tumblr: World Ov Witchipoo

Instagram: there’s WitchipooArt.

Get yourself some cool stuff on RedBubble, featuring my designs. There’s dresses, tee shirts, notebooks, etc. The notebooks, and the Quentin Crisp tees seems to be one of the best selling items.

One of my hobbies is documenting what goes riding the NYC subway lines: Wildlife On The MTA. Cause if you can’t laugh, you’ll cry. MTA passengers know what I’m talking about. Even better: My WildlifeOnTheMTA Instagram is active once again.

Come back next week for a new Psycho Bunny sketch.

 

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miceflyer2016

Continued from MICE 2016 Part I and MICE 2016 Part II.

In all, being at MICE Expo 2016 was good. It was also a relief that not only did I make my money back for the table and bus fare, there was a bit of a profit. So it’s definitely worth break out of one’s comfort zone, and to do comic cons outside of your hometown. Even if you’re barely awake in the a.m.

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Comicbook/Zine artist and writer Michele Witchipoo at MICE Expo 2016. Photo taken early in the morning, Oct. 2016.

Some more photos from MICE Expo 2016:

 

 

Being in Cambridge was pretty nice as well.

 

Being at MICE, I had the rare occasion of being near Salem, MA for Halloween. Managed to squeeze in a few hours, jumping on the train. Wasn’t far of a train ride from Cambridge and Boston.

 

It’s very easy to walk around Salem once you navigate around the tourists. Surprisingly I got a very accurate tarot reading in one of those occult shops. The psychic was a kind gentleman. His advice was spot-on as 2017 later unfolded.

There was some annoyance when some fundamentalist Christians started preaching on a street corner. Shouting about the evils on Halloween. Right across the street from one of the witch stores. Nobody really paid them any mind.

Here’s some photos from Salem, Halloween day, Oct 31st 2016:

 

Soon it was time to head back to NYC. Left Salem right before the rush of the evening crowds started coming in. BTW, Beer Works in Salem is an awesome brewery.

I’ll end the MICE 2016 series with some comics and zines picked up during the weekend. There was tons of talented artists, writers, zine makers and comic creators. Unfortunately a few months after MICE, there was an abrupt apartment move (no thanks to a former corrupt, greedy landlord, but that’s another story.) Most of the merch brought at MICE was thrown into a box, which I still have to locate. Luckily I was able to retrieve these:

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Dead-End Rob issue 2 by Luke Howard. Brought at MICE Expo 2016. deadendrob.com

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Alter Boy By Rogan of LB Lee. Brought at MICE Expo 2016. etsy.com/shop/MadComics or email: loonybrain@healthymultiplicity.com

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Paper Pencil Life issue 2. Diary comics by Summer Pierre. Brought at MICE Expo 2016. http://www.summerpierre.com

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Me & Doctor Dee.: A Jape. Script and art by E.J. Barnes on Drowned Town Press. Seen at MICE Expo 2016 as well as other comic cons. http://www.drownedtownpress.com

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Tree Rats! or, The Crepuscular Hobbyhorse. A Farrago by E.J. Barnes. E.J. Available from Drowned Town Press. Seen at MICE Expo 2016 as well as other comic cons. http://www.drownedtownpress.com

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A Beautiful Young Nymph Going To Bed by Jonathan Swift. Illustrated by E.J. Barnes. Available on Drowned Town Press. Seen at MICE Expo 2016 as well as other comic cons. http://www.drownedtownpress.com

That concludes the belated MICE 2016 blog entries.

Dead-End Rob by Luke Howard: deadendrob.com

Alter Boy By Rogan of LB Lee: etsy.com/shop/MadComics

Paper Pencil Life issue 2. Diary comics by Summer Pierre. www.summerpierre.com

Me & Doctor Dee.: A Jape/Tree Rats! or, The Crepuscular Hobbyhorse. A Farrago/A Beautiful Young Nymph Going To Bed by Jonathan Swift, Illustrated by E.J. Barnes all available on DrownedTownPress: http://www.drownedtownpress.com/

Then there’s me, Michele Witchipoo: WitchesBrewPress.com

Facebook: Psycho Bunny and Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress

MICE Expo 2018 Fundraiser: http://www.micexpo.org/2018/fat-cats-for-mice-fundraiser/

MICE 2018

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miceflyer2016

Continuing where I left off from MICE 2016 part one.

After setting up my table early in the a.m., I caught a bit of a local comic artist giving a small pep talk/lecture to the newer exhibitors.

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MICE Expo veteran giving a quick lecture to the newer exhibitors. Cambridge, MA. Oct. 2016. 

As the comic con unfolded, you couldn’t help but notice many attendees in costume or cosplay. It just happened that MICE 2016 was scheduled on the weekend before Halloween. Here’s a few photos.

Surprisingly I did good at MICE. To my left was an artist who I met for the first time at NYCC 2016. Had brought his comic at NYCC. Had no idea only two weeks later I would be sitting next to him at MICE. It’s a small world after all. He was a former school teacher who decided to follow his dream.

Also had a chance to meet someone I’ve been conversing online since the early 2000s. Michelle Kane came down to the comic con. After our conversation, she invited me for some karaoke in her area of Quincy, MA. Usually I hate karaoke, but this time the invite was accepted. Later on after MICE closed for the night, me and E.J. Barnes, who was gracious enough to let me stay at her place traveled over.

We arrived at a huge restaurant called Cathay Pacific. In my little black heart I have a soft spot for old school Chinese eateries with vintage Polynesian decor. It was love at first sight. Didn’t care how good or bad the food was. After Michelle introduced us to her buddy Stephen Jay “The Handyman” Spector, karaoke began. Have to say, all three, E.J., Michelle and Stephen all had good voices. As for me, I sat my out of tune ass down.

To be continued…

MICE 2018 fundraiser: http://fundraiser.micexpo.org/

 

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