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Archive for the ‘life’ Category

The other day, Hugh Hefner, founder and publisher of Playboy magazine died at age 91. Hefner created a million dollar empire, becoming a pop icon in the process.

Not being in the millennial generation, Hugh Hefner was a symbol of hedonism, erotica, and freedom. During my childhood, I discovered my father’s slash of Playboy. Perhaps it was the taboo element of the magazine, but I loved the thrill of looking through those magazine. Of course I was caught, thus the magazines quickly disappeared.

As I became an adult, I continued to be fascinated by Hugh Hefner, and other personalities similar to him, such as Hustler publisher Larry Flynt. In my early twenties, I also learned about ‘alternative’ porn such as the lesbian magazine On Our Backs. Chance meeting with the authors of Sleazoid Express back in the ’90s turned my interest to vintage exploitation and Times Square filth. Learned even more with the book Tales of Times Square.

However, never forget reality. Erotica and porn is a complex dark world. You’re dealing with various human beings who are chewed up and spit out once their purpose is served. Was Hugh Hefner really a symbol of American hedonism and free speech, or was he just nothing more than a sleazy opportunist who didn’t respect women?

The truth was Hugh Hefner was both. Not so much of a hedonist, but rather a controversial symbol of the American Dream.

On one hand he was a symbol of free speech, and civil rights. From 1969 – 1970 he had a television show called Playboy After Dark. The Playboy Jazz Festival still continues to this day.

Along the years Playboy published content from writers, illustrators and cartoonists. Dan DeCarlo was known for his pin-ups. Yes, that same Dan Decarlo who created Josie and The Pussycats for Archie Comics. Harvey Kurtzman was another cartoonist. Writer Ray Bradbury had his classic novel Fahrenheit 451 serialized in Playboy from March to May 1954.

On the other hand, he did publish photos without consent. The very first issue of Playboy was launched thanks to non-consented photos of Marilyn Monroe. The story goes that Monroe being broke posed for a nudie calendar. Using an alias, she only got paid $50 for the photo session. The photographer later sold these same photos to Hefner for $500. The rest is history.

Later on, Playboy continued the trend of publishing photos without the person’s consent. Celebrities such as Madonna, and Vanessa Williams had their nude likeness exposed in without their consent. Vanna White was a personal friend of Hefner, but her nude photos were published regardless of her approval.

More of Hefner’s disregard of women were uncovered following the days after Hefner’s death. Time Magazine, New York Times, Salon, and other mainstream news sources didn’t exactly publish obituaries in a nice light. They weren’t exactly wrong either. Hefner built his entire empire based on exploiting women – although in the end, he wasn’t worth as much.

Yet it was Playboy magazine that many artists (such as myself) who used those same photographs as reference material while learning to draw.

Another irony. It was a 1985 Boy George interview published in Playboy that helped my friend “come out” to his mother about his attraction to men. This same friend also forgave me cause he lent me the interview and I lost it…oops.

Today in the post-millennial internet age, Playboy is quite tame compared to the free online porn readily accessible. Also, people will always look at naughty photos. People are visual creatures. Regardless of gender, sexuality, etc., people will always objectify each other. Objectification is psychological. It may not be correct behavior, but it’s a fact. In the end it’s up to us to responsible for our own behavior. Even if it’s easier said than done.

Recently I had a conversation with someone about seeing things black and white, as opposed to looking from a grey perspective. Playboy is a perfect example of why things are not always so black or white. Playboy was a huge splat of grey.

May Hugh party in his Playboy mansion in the afterlife. Although buying a plot next to Marilyn Monroe was straight-up old man creepy.

Here’s the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week.

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Psycho Bunny embodies the Playboy lifestyle. Oct. 2017. Based on the comic Psycho Bunny written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress.

Facebook: Psycho Bunny & Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress

Twitter: Psycho Bunny & Michele Witchipoo

Tumblr: World Ov Witchipoo 

DeviantArt: Michele Witchipoo

Instagram: WitchipooArt

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This blog post is dedicated to my mother, who passed away two years in 2015 this month.

My mother loved watching ice skating programs on television. Pre-Olympics, tournaments, what-have-you. She watched them all. So this sketch of the week goes out to her.

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Psycho Bunny’s version of ice skating. Done Sept. 2017. Dedicated to my mother, who passed away two years ago this month. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo, printed on WitchesBrewPress. 

In case you didn’t know, here’s some of my other links. Follow Psycho Bunny on Facebook, as well as my other illustration work on Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress. I’m on Tumblr, Twitter (both for me and Psycho Bunny), and Instagram. Stay tuned for more updates.

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Psycho Bunny comes from a dysfunctional family. Surprise, surprise. His mother was introduced very early on, in the beginning issues. Below is a sketch dated 2006:

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Early Psycho Bunny illustration. Hanging out with his mother in her kitchen. Drawn 2006 by Michele Witchipoo. 

Now here’s a quick updated version. Just in time for Mother’s Day, 2017.

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Psycho Bunny and his mother. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. May 2017. 

My own mother took slight offense of Psycho Bunny’s mom. She thought his mother was based on her. While I assured she wasn’t, don’t think she quite believed me. My mother passed away in September 2015.

Time for the usual promotional pep talk. Check out the Facebook pages for Psycho Bunny and for WitchesBrewPress. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out Twitter and Instagram as well. Haven’t had time to fix the website, but one of these days the store should be updated. You can still order comics from the website in the meantime. Besides comics there’s my RedBubble shop. Lately it’s been getting a bit of traffic, but it could use some more. So check it out. Anything else? DeviantArt…that’s about it for now. Till next time.

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First of all, I want to apologize for the long hiatus. There was a series of events taking place that prevented me from regularly posting. Above all, dealing with a crooked landlord. Perhaps I’ll get into more detail later, but basically it comes down to this: gentrification sucks. In relation to that, there just seemed to be a series of events, one after the other. Oh, and that art collective I was a part of? Yeah, that’s no more either. In fact, I pulled the plug publicly on social media. Whether the other members want to carry on, it’s on them. Again, there might be more details revealed, if I chose to reveal them.

Anyway. Finally back to posting weekly. So for those who thought I was down for the count…here’s a big middle finger just for you.

Here’s some positive things. I created an Instagram account just for my art and illustrations. My personal account was put on private. It’s better that way. So follow WitchipooArt on Instagram. You can also click “like” on the two Facebook pages, Psycho Bunny Comix and WitchesBrewPress. My illustrations will be in two books by Feral House. The Prince and Mohammed Ali coloring books. Oh, and in the middle of what was happening, I did manage to do the Women In Comics comic con over in the Bronx. That took place in late March. Still working on the band though. Oh, and it would be great if you ordered any of my work from my website, which now needs a makeover. http://www.witchesbrewpress.com/

It’s now May 2017. Time to get back to business. I didn’t have a hangover straight for three months, but my character probably did. Since I wasn’t there to check up on him.

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Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for Monday, May 1st, 2017. Drawn by Michele Witchipoo. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo. Available from the website http://www.witchesbrewpress.com/

You can ignore the ink spots. Just as I was about finished with this quick sketch – some ink got spilled. Posted this sketch anyway. Enjoy.

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Slowly catching up to where I left off, before a series of events occurred. In the middle of all the chaos, a friend gave me her VIP pass to Art On Paper during NYC Art Week. Also could’ve gone to Volta NY, but what great timing. Having to turn those passes down really bummed me out.

Anyway. Enjoyed Art On Paper more than originally thought. My apologies also extend to losing the credits to who did what in these photos.

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Entrance/Exit to Art On Paper. Photo by Michele Witchipoo. March 2017.

The event was a combination of both old and new, established and rising. In various booths there were some social commentary. Some anti-Trump pieces, as you will see in this post.

Nothing inspires artists like political dissent.

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Anti-Trump from Art On Paper. March 2017.

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Anti-Trump from Art On Paper. March 2017.

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Anti-Trump from Art On Paper. March 2017.

Of course, among all the political statements, don’t forget to get your top dollar refreshments. This drink in the photo below costs $14. Now excuse me as I roll my eyes.

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Art On Paper. March 2017

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Art On Paper. March 2017

Eventually stumbled upon work by the established, such as Warhol and Picasso. When I glanced at this portrait of Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Warhol was a teen hero of mine. Right before entering high school, I was fascinated with Warhol and his entire Factory scene. As a 14 year old Boy George clone, I read that Edie Sedgwick biography as if it was the bible. Memories. Not so much into Warhol anymore but still appreciate what he did.

When I was 16, I spotted Warhol walking on third avenue, east 50s, in Manhattan. Near my old high school. He knew I recognized him, so he quickly turned the corner. Okay, so it didn’t help that my hair was thisbig. After my Boy George phase, I went completely into copying Siouxsie’s look. He died later that year.

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Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Art On Paper. March 2017. 

Here’s some Picasso for you.

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Another Warhol portrait. Art On Paper. March 2017. 

What amazed me was seeing the fine art trend of applying glitter. I’ve been using glitter in my own paintings for years. Here’s some examples.

Hopefully next year things will be better, so I can attend more shows during NYC Art Week.

 

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Haven’t had a single second to post anything lately. Been going through many life transitions. Don’t worry, there’s plans to be back on here soon. I’m forming a “fake” band with my friend. It’ll be a two piece. Think of Shonen Knife meets They Might Be Giants meets Big Black. That’s our concept right now. Nothing in this band will make sense, nor does it have to. So stay tuned for details, like a band Facebook page, a website and a Soundcloud URL. We’re in the very beginning stages, so bare with us.

Last weekend I took part in the Women In Comics comic con over in the Bronx. It was a much needed break. There’s a comic book anthology I would like to start up, but again, that hasn’t been fleshed out yet. The band is coming up front and center. Finding myself looking at analog drum machines more than tending to other responsibilities. Priorities.

Speaking of comics, illustration and art. Going to sideline to a concept which always irked me. The artist’s statement. While I could understand statements themselves, there’s a part of me that wishes people have their own interpretations. Why wait for that the artist to explain? That’s probably the difference right there; the difference between the artist and the audience. One way to look at it.

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This diddy cost $14. Who said art was cheap? From Art On Paper during NY Art Week. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Recently also attended Art On Paper during NYC Art Week. Had a chance to go to Volta NY, but circumstances got in the way. That really irked me, but what could I do.

This dialogue from John Waters’ film Female Trouble best describes how I feel about the concept of “art” for the time being. Perhaps this should be used as my “artist’s statement.”

Dawn Davenport: [onstage] Thank you! I love you! Thank you! Thank you from the bottom of my black little heart! You came here for some excitement tonight and that’s just what you’re going to get! Take a good look at ME because I’m going to be on the front of every newspaper in this country tomorrow! You’re looking at crime personified AND DON’T YOU FORGET IT! I framed Leslie Bacon! I called the heroin hot line on Abby Hoffman! I bought the gun that Bremmer used to shoot Wallace! I had an affair with Juan Corona! I blew Richard Speck! And I’m so fuckin’ beautiful I can’t stand it myself! [She shoots her gun into the air] Now, everybody freeze! Who wants to be famous? Who wants to DIE for art?!

Audience member: I do! 

[She shoots him]

Will be back soon with the weekly sketches and whatnot.

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Psycho Bunny is a poet. Reciting Shakespeare at that! However, things doesn’t work as planned.

Introducing the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for Feb. 13th, 2017. A special Valentine’s Day edition.

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Shakespeare in love – the Psycho Bunny edition. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo. Valentine edition, Feb. 2017.

Whether or not you have romance in your own life, don’t forget to check out and click “like” for the Psycho Bunny Facebook page. There’s also a page for my other illustration stuff, Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress. You can click “like” on that page as well. I’ve marked my personal Instagram account private. In it’s place I’ve started another public Instagram account, WitchipooArt just for my cartoons, art, and illustration work. So if you follow that instead, it’ll be much appreciated.

What else? Psycho Bunny has his own Twitter account. You can order merch with my various designs on RedBubble.

You can always order my comics and greeting cards off my website, which should be update but hasn’t. If you specify what you’re looking for, email me. PayPal and Square accepted.

Till next time.

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