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Archive for the ‘Only in NYC’ Category

Beginning the new year of 2018 with a Psycho Bunny sketch of the week. However. Allow me to be slightly candid.

It just seems as almost everyone couldn’t wait for 2018 to be over. Basically 2018 was a year of disappointments. It wasn’t all bad – there was good times during the year. I think going to all those concerts, especially during the summer was among some of the high points. Did loads of new artwork, and landed some good commissions. On the personal front, that’s when things went sour. Five people from different periods of my life died during the course of 2018. Out of the five, two were formerly close friends, while one was from the present. Attending the latter’s funeral just reminded me of my own mother’s passing in 2015. There was a lot of betrayal. My arm became flexible as I had to take a few knives out of my back. Then there was the discovery that I was being used.

Not pulling the victim card, however. It is what it is. Perhaps that guy who I had met on the Metro North back in October was correct. When he told me that the secret to life “…is not giving a fuck.” If you look at his drunken statement from a Buddhist point of view, it just means not being attached to anything. It makes sense.

2018 stunk to the very end. Right before new year’s eve, some jerk off had the nerve to ask me over the phone if I had “art connections.” Oh. Is that the reason for the conversation? How convenient. My response: “If I had any art connections, I certainly wouldn’t be sharing them with you.”

If you were in NYC, did you go to Times Square to watch the ball drop? I didn’t. No self respecting resident of New York City puts themselves through that. People who live in NYC do not foolishly freeze in the street. We have much better options. We have clubs, we have bars, we have parties, we have friends, or at least friends of friends that will let us crash those parties. Better yet, real New Yorkers will gladly stay at home watching new year eve television coverage while some lame mainstream pop singer lip-syncs some auto tuned song. Because we pay enough money on the rent damnit! So we’re gonna stay under the bed sheets and get our money’s worth! If a native New Yorker does go to Times Square, it’s this. It would be at some party on the 23rd floor with the perfect window view laughing at the tourists below. We’re going to munch on the free buffet while the open bar has top shelf liquor, thank you very much. So the fact is, only silly tourists will stand in Times Square in the cold rain while they pee in their pants. If you were one of these silly tourists, I hope you catch the flu.

Okay. Let’s say you get some cabin fever and decide to go out after all. To bring in 2019, I went to a Goth party in Bushwick. We were having a good time at first. The music was good. Slowly the annoying hipsters crept in. Two such drunks came up from behind us on the dance floor. How could we forget them, for they blew into a Viking ox horn near our ears. You know these millennials would not survive one second in Ragnarok. No, I don’t mean Marvel’s version of Thor.

Anyway, these douchey millennials show up. One guy took off his coat. Once he did that, we could smell the B.O. He stood on the dance floor with his unkempt hair and beard. Looking more like an early ’90s Grunge reject with his flannel shirt as he drank his beer. Is it suddenly edgy not to shower? At this point, the body odor could not be ignored. He wasn’t homeless, nor was he a chaos punk squatter. He was some hipster schmuck that probably lived in some gentrified apartment formerly rented to some working class family. Maybe even in an area that used to be heavily ethnic. Then he had the nerve to show up in a sub-cultural party, particularly a party from one of my favorite sub cultures, smelling like a pig trough. Dude had no reason not to take a bath.

Hey. At least my last meal of 2018 was a nice sushi dinner.

If you come this far, thanks for reading my rants.

Now here’s Psycho Bunny, since he’s recovered from his hangover…

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Psycho Bunny sketch of the week. Psycho Bunny celebrates the new year of 2019 with booze and bitterness. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo, on WitchesBrewPress. Jan. 2019.

 

Your new year resolutions is to follow 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.

 

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Talk about really catching up. Way back in October 2018 I had a table in the first ever IncrediCon. Taking place all the way in Poughkeepsie, Upstate New York. I was invited to take part back in the summer. Now I’m glad I did. Turns out I needed to get out of NYC, even if it was only for a day.

Usually I’m not into having comic cons in malls. IncrediCon took place in the Poughkeepsie Galleria. The Galleria looks like every other mall in America, with the same stores and the same type of food courts. Regardless, the comic con worked. Most of the participating artists were local. My friends Ray Felix and Robert j Sodaro had tables. Also got to meet the voice over actor who worked on the Cartoon Network program “Courage The Cowardly Dog.” (Amanda Stephen, the actress from “Orange Is The New Black” had to cancel.) There was a few cosplayers sprinkled about. Most of the mall shoppers thought the cosplayers were there due to Halloween being around the corner.

The highlight was doing a commission. The request was for a goddess sketch, similar to what I used to draw for Babalon Babes. I decided to do Mama Quilla, a Peruvian moon goddess. Thought the commission came out okay, despite having limited time to do the sketch.

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Commission of Mama Quilla, a Peruvian moon goddess. Photo taken while the sketch was in progress. Done by Michele Witchipoo. Oct. 2018.

So traveling to Upstate NY was much needed. I could even imagine myself moving there. It would be a nice change of pace. The older I get, the more I like to be surrounded by nature. However, reality called. It was time to head back to NYC.

The Metro-North train going towards the Poughkeepsie area was smooth and peaceful. Taking the Metro-North back to Grand Central was a different story. The minute I boarded the train back to NYC, chaos ensued. There was a trashy woman who looked like she was probably 19 or 20. She argued with her boyfriend on her cellphone loudly throughout the entire ride. As much as I tried to block this out by listening to music on my iPhone, the cellphone battery was dying.

A few stops later, two men boarded the train. They were the African-American equivalent of Jay and Silent Bob. These two men were totally lost. The gentlemen looked completely lit, and had no clue where they were heading. Of course, they had to sit next to me. The black Jay was roasting on his friend black Silent Bob. He was roasting black Silent Bob for anything. For not knowing where they were going. For wearing a fisherman’s hat. For not responding to his roasting. Black Silent Bob just shook his head, probably used to his friend’s antics.

The black version of Jay stopped for a second. We listened to the woman who was STILL arguing with her boyfriend in public. So black Jay started yelling at the woman to shut the hell up. The woman completely ignored him. The guy went from busting on his friend to loudly insulting the angry woman. The woman was too wrapped up into her bickering, so this turned into an impromptu comedy routine. To fair, the woman was getting on my nerves as well. Since my cell battery died by this point, I chatted with the two gentlemen. The two gentlemen took a shine to me. They kept on calling me “sis” and trying to get me to party with them. I politely declined. At least it was entertaining. Black Jay told me that his adult daughter just graduated from UCLA. He was also a designer, but his designs were ripped off. When I asked about what it felt like having his work stolen, he offered this advice. He basically told me to never give a fuck. The way 2018 has been, he probably has a point. It’s sort of like when the Buddhists say not to have attachments. The two men bid me a gracious farewell as they got off at the Yankee Stadium stop. Welcome back to NYC and reality. Here’s to not giving a fuck.

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There’s a reason why I’m posting this sketch. Mind you, it’s not one of my best. Then again as of this posting, I’m sick at home with serious flu.

A few days, a local DJ from the Goth/Post Punk scene passed away. The news has come to a shock among many. He had been battling depression.

In various subculture scenes, those within the communities tend to eat their own. You have to swim against the sharks, the leeches, the bottom feeders. However, Alex Von Nihil was different. He was funny, kind, sincere, non pretentious sort of person. He was a resident DJ at the Pyramid Club during it’s No Return Post Punk Society parties. Alex was also an established DJ at many other parties. While I didn’t know him well, it was obvious that music was one of his true loves.

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NYC Goth DJ Alex VOn Nihil.

On Facebook Alex was the guy who always tried to make others laugh. In private who knows what he was feeling inside. During the holiday season last year in 2017, I dropped by the Pyramid after attending a company Christmas party. He came down from his DJ station, went straight up to me, and gave me the sweetest bear hug. It surprised me a tiny bit, but I knew that his hug came from the heart. Never forgot that.

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NYC Goth DJ Alex VOn Nihil spinning at The Pyramid Club for the No Return Post Punk Society parties.

The last time I saw him in person was at Brooklyn Bizarre for the Clan of Xymox concert. Which ironically I blogged about earlier this year.

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Alex gave the impression that he loved to make others giggle. He wasn’t without friends. They had this inside joke: “that’s burnt.” Oh, and Alex was a fan of pineapple pizza. Which leads to the sketch. No matter how unappetizing the pizza looks, this sketch is for him. Besides. Pineapple on pizza really isn’t bad. So in an underground scene where you come across users, losers and creeps, Alex was genuine.

R.I.P. Alex. You will be missed.

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Pineapple Pizza. Quickly done sketch by Michele Witchipoo. Nov. 2018.

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As you geeks know, New York Comic Con happened last month. Let’s just call it NYCC for short. I attend every year, even if my own comic book tastes run more towards alternative than Marvel or DC. I’ll go to do the ‘networking’ thang, check out the current trends, but it’s also become a bit like a mini-vacation. NYCC also reminds me why I got interested in comics, sci-fi and other related genres in the first place.

The first five years of attending NYCC, I got caught up in all the buzz, the excitement, the cosplay, etc. Things shifted a few years ago. Like last year, a lot of time was spent attending panels.

This blog post will focus on NYCC 2018 cosplay. I was surprised on the type of cosplay seen this year. Despite Black Panther being huge at the box office, I didn’t see a lot of Wakanda. There’s this photo:

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Black Panther cosplay at NYCC 2018. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Was more surprised on witnessing more Harry Potter cosplay. Doctor Who cosplay went down. Bob’s Burger cosplay went up. Star Wars cosplay from any era will always be a staple of any comic book convention. That’s a given.

 

Another reminder about many years I’ve been attending NYCC. In 2008, I saw a man outside the Javits Center play the accordion while wearing a Boba Fett helmet. Exactly ten years later, he was back!

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Boba Fett playing the accordion outside 2018 NYC. First saw him back in 2008. Renegade Accordion on FB and IG. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Oct. 2018.

Deadpool cosplay was still going strong, but it was usually in some form of mash-up/crossplay.

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Pope Deadpool. NYCC 2018. Photo by Michele Witchipoo Oct. 2018.

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Cosplay at NYCC 2018. Photo by Michele Witchipoo. Oct. 2018.

Ending part one of NYCC 2018 is the inescapable photobomb. None other than good old Deadpool himself.

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When you’re photo bombed by Deadpool. NYCC 2018. Photo by Michele Witchipoo. Oct 2018.

This report on NYCC 2018 will be continued on another blog post. Until then, enjoy some tasty grub from the Bob’s Burgers food trucks outside of Javits Center.

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This past weekend was New York Comic Con 2018. NYCC for short. I spent all four days at Javits Center, and now I’m literally exhausted. Was it worth it? Absolutely.

While NYCC felt like a second home, the MTA was an entirely different story. What genius decides to close off the 7 train stop right during the busiest weekend in the Hudson Yards area!?! On Saturday I decided to attend the CBDL after con party. Made the mistake of taking that wretched shuttle bus. It was the cattle call from f’ing hell. The bus driver himself had no clue what he was doing. Instead the driver did this zig-zag route that barely made it to West 44th street. The original destination was West 42nd street. The L train chimed in by doing it’s shuttle run from Williamsburg instead of it’s usual run to Canarsie. Then the R train joined in the fun.

Once inside NYCC, it was smooth sailing. If the subway didn’t drain you first.

Due to my exhaustion, I will blog about NYCC 2018 in another post. Lots of photos, panel reviews and good times. In the meantime, here’s the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for Oct. 8th, 2018.

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Psycho Bunny tries to commute to NYCC 2018. The MTA has other plans. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. Oct. 2018.

Blah, blah, blah…social media promo time.

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.

End of October, I will have a table at a small comic con in Upstate NY.

Stay tuned for more Inktober 2018 sketches.

 

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Last weekend was the annual Bushwick Open Studios. It’s right in my backyard, since I live on the near borderline between Brooklyn and Queens. My residence is in Queens. Fortunately, the area of Queens where I live is close enough to hop on a bus to Bushwick. Although BOS reeks of gentrification, I’m lucky to live close to an art event. I’ve done BOS three times. The first time was in 2012. That was a complete mess. The second and third scored much better, 2016 being the best one over at OUTPOST. The opening party at OUTPOST was amazing. One reason was because they had open bar with free Finback beer.

This year I could only venture in baby steps. Usually for BOS I’ll take a whole day to explore. I had tickets to see The National for both nights over at Forest Hills Stadium that same weekend. Therefore I couldn’t take in as much. Hopefully next year there will be more opportunities to explore.

 

 

The first stop on BOS 2018 was this mobile gallery. It was run by Japanese transplants. (You can check out Shihorks on Tumblr.) They were taking names of people who stopped by, and offering to include the first names into an open art piece they were doing. My name is all the way on top. After thanking them, I went inside the check to check out the rest.

 

 

Walked around some more. Walked inside which I guessed used to be a former factory converted into either artist studios and/or lofts. Saw some nude body painting, and stumbled across a robot. The robot was part of something called Toaster Unplugged.

 

 

Walking around some more, you can still see some of the anti-Trump sentiment in the Bushwick area.

 

 

Last stop before going to Forest Hills was something I haven’t seen since leaving the Midwest. A fake beach. Having grown up on the East Coast with natural beaches, I always turned up my nose at this concept. Guess it shouldn’t be surprised that a fake beach with a bar hit Bushwick. Wyckoff Beer Garden were part of BOS too.

 

 

 

 

Until next year.

 

 

All photographs taken by Michele Witchipoo 2018. 

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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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