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Archive for the ‘pop culture’ Category

As everyone on the internet heard, Grumpy Cat passed away.

Psycho Bunny inquires Grumpy about life after death. Per usual, she hates it.

Introducing the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for Tuesday, May 21st, 2019.

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Psycho Bunny, Grumpy Cat, the afterlife. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo, on WitchesBrewPress. May 2019.

I’ll be at Cradle Con and IncrediCon next month, selling my latest comic:

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Squeaky Squeakums with her demon friend. Comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo. Released May 2019.

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.

 

Stay tuned for more blog posts. Including East Coast Comic Con 2019 and Killing Joke.

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There’s been so much global strife lately. The U.S. isn’t faring any better. In the mist of all the upheaval, we learned that a certain cat named Tardar Sauce recently passed away. Better known to everyone as “Grumpy Cat“, the cat was only seven years old.

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Grumpy Cat confronts Alf. Drawn by Michele Witchipoo. 2018. Originally posted on Sketch Lottery (Now defunct website).

Around 2011 or 2012, the internet started exploding with celebrity animals, particularly cats. From the humble beginnings of memes posted on site like Reddit, the LOLcat phenomenon grew. The original Holy Trinity of internet cats were Colonial Meow, Grumpy Cat, and Lil Bub. Now only Lil Bub remains.

I met Tardar Sauce back in summer 2014. It was a book signing at Barnes & Noble, the Union Square location in Manhattan, NYC. There was an opportunity to meet this infamous Grumpy Cat, in town to promote her latest book The Grumpy Guide to Life: Observations from Grumpy Cat.” 

When I arrived at the bookstore to secure my position on line, there was a mother and son team. The duo were the first fans in line, wearing matching Grumpy Cat shirts. A few elder crazy cat ladies showed up. As the crowd developed, Grumpy’s fan base were from all backgrounds and ages. Despite her disgruntled disposition, Tardar Sauce made a national impact.

The strangest part was not the press, nor the hype. When Grumpy Cat arrived to the signing, half the crowd started screaming as if it was Beatlemania.

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Posing with Grumpy Cat. August 2014.

Grumpy branched out into mass merchandising. Besides books, there was beverages, clothing, calendars, even a comic. At the time of her death, Grumpy had stamped her well marketed paw on perfume and Sketcher footwear.

 

Here’s my Grumpy Cat portrait, done back in 2012.

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Grumpy Cat painting. Materials: Gouache, pen. Dec. 2012. Painting by Michele Witchipoo.

Today’s ‘Caturday’ post is dedicated to Grumpy Cat.

Rest in peace Grumpy. (April 4, 2012 – May 14, 2019)

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Star Wars probably heard by now. British actor Peter Mayhew, who portrayed the original Chewbacca, passed away. He was just weeks away from his 75th birthday.

Besides my rambling Chewbacca post, here’s a tribute to the 7’11 man. Introducing the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for May 6th, 2019.

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Psycho Bunny doesn’t get along with Chewbacca or R2D2. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo, on WitcheBrewPress. May 2019.

So far I have two comic con appearances lined up. Cradle Con in Long Island, IncrediCon in the Hudson Valley area of Upstate NY. If you’re around those areas, drop buy, purchase one of my comics and say hello.

May The Force Be With You…Here’s Some Social Media:

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.

Stay tuned, next week the latest Psycho Bunny sketch will be posted.

 

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Saturday May 4th, 2019. It’s Free Comic Book Day, Star Wars Day, and also for all you feline lovers, it’s Caturday.

Here’s a little ditty I created just for two of the three: Free Comic Boy Day and Caturday. Featuring Squeaky Squeakums with her demon buddy. We’ll call the demon Maximus. Max for short. Alongside them is Squeaky’s roommate Netzach Wondercat. Netzach is better known as Nettie. Based on the upcoming webcomic by yours truly.

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Created for Free Comic Book Day, and for Caturday. Squeaky Squeakums, Netzach Wondercat, aka Nettie and their demon buddy. We’ll call him Maxiums. Based on the upcoming webcomic by Michele Witchipoo. 

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All you geek rejoice! This upcoming Saturday, May 4th means two things. We not only have the annual Free Comic Book Day, but also Star Wars Day.

Although technically the very first Star Wars installment premiered on May 25th, 1977, it hasn’t stopped dedicated Star Wars fans to choose May 4th as its commemorative day. “May the fourth be with you” as it is told.

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As of this blog post, Ben and me were discussing actor Peter Mayhew. He’s the British 7 feet tall three inches actor who portrayed Chewbacca, one of the most beloved characters in the Star Wars universe. His family broke the news via Twitter about Mayhew’s recent passing.

Chatting about the world’s most famous Wookie, I relayed my own Chewbacca story. It’s both amusing, yet sad with a slight sprinkle of Hollywood Babylon.

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Chewbacca realizes Han Solo needs help for his gambling addiction. Originally drawn in 2014 for Sketch Lottery, by Michele Witchipoo.

It was the year 2007. The setting was at the second annual New York Comic Con. I was walking around the Javitis Center with another friend, Mario. We found ourselves upstairs in the autograph section. Our purpose was to locate the three top winners of the SyFy Channel program “Who Wants To Be A Superhero.” As someone who usually despises reality shows, “Superhero” was one of the rare exceptions. So as Mario and me sought out Major Victory, Fat Momma and Feedback, we glanced over at the other celebrities. There was actress Hayden Panettiere from the then-popular show Heroes. Her signing price was, at the time, $100. That was considered a lot for autographs back then. Since 2007, pop culture autographs have become more lucrative. Charging $100 and up is now standard for actors like Mark Hamill, David Tennant, Matt Smith and Jason Momoa. Anyhow, before all the A-list actors jumped onto the John Handcock racket, autograph signings were formerly reserved for washed-up celebrities.

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This is where Gary Coleman comes in.

If you grew up during the late ’70s and early ’80s, then surely you must remember the American TV sitcom “Different Strokes.” Gary Coleman was the breakout star. Unfortunately, once the network canceled the comedy, Coleman’s career was never the same. When Coleman’s star fell, it fell pretty bad. The actor tried everything. I even remember Coleman pretty much grasping for straws when he tried to become a rapper. It was a very short-lived venture. My accidental discovery happened during my late teens. Having yet another insomniac moment. Couldn’t sleep, so I turned on the television. Since I lived in the NYC outer borough of Queens, we were stuck without cable. No MTV, no HBO, no nothing. Which meant there was nothing to watch but filler. Local station programming consisted of forgotten ’60s syndicated shows, Time/Life info-commercials, ads for the Jessica Hahn party line, and rejected talk shows. The latter is where Gary Coleman wound up with his rap act.

Below are two videos to prove I’m not making this up:

(Below is an example what I had, living in Queens, NYC late ’80s/early ’90s. Late night TV. Sans cable. We got stuck with this bullshit.)

It got worse as time went on. Turns out Gary Coleman was broke because his own foster parents and former manager stole most of his money. Despite a judge ruling in Coleman’s favor later on, the only work he could secure was as a security guard. His fate seemed to be resigned to supermarket tabloid articles along with the occasional self-deprecating appearances. His health problems didn’t fare any better. Coleman suffered from congenital kidney disease causing nephritis (an autoimmune destruction of the kidney). This stunted his growth from an early age. Up until his death he required daily dialysis. This was additionally compounded by his anger management problems.

So back to 2007. We’re at the second annual New York Comic Con. Mario quickly turns to me, stammering “Ohmigod, don’t turn around!”

Me: “Why?”

Mario: “That’s Gary Coleman! I can’t look at him! Don’t look at him! I’m going to laugh…”

After we both snicker, I look over Mario’s shoulder. Sure enough, there was Gary Coleman, sitting in a booth. He was hawking autographs. The actor was trying to put on a friendly face, but nobody was lining up for his signature.

Suddenly commotion ensues. A whole crowd of rabid Star Wars cosplayers and fans rush past us. It wasn’t a stampede, yet as they sped, we swore we felt out hair blow back. Our spot was soon crowded with these fanatics, overcome with glee. They surround a very tall man as if he was a demi-god.

“Who’s that?” Mario asked someone.

“That’s the guy who played Chewbacca” was the response.

Various Stormtroopers practically dance around this man as if they were Ewoks from Return of The Jedi. More people approach this impromptu homecoming. It casts a dark shadow upon Gary Coleman’s booth. In their rejoicing, the Star Wars fans inadvertently eclipse Coleman. It was as if Coleman didn’t even exist. This was a comic book convention after all. Upstaging wasn’t Peter Mayhew’s intention. This didn’t matter to Coleman. The man of 4ft and 8 inches looked visibility upset. Mario and I silently watched as Coleman chomp down on his hot dog, garnished with a painful mixture of anger and sadness.

Mario shares his observation: “Wow. He bit into that hot dog with such bitterness…” 

After watching the Star Wars fans worship the original Chewbacca for another few minutes, we walked off to find the winners of “Who Wants To Be A Superhero.” Left behind was the clashing juxtaposition of Chewbacca and Arnold Jackson. Ironically, those two characters were symbols of my ’70s childhood.

We all know about what became of the Star Wars franchise after 2007. In fact, I saw Last Jedi twice during its theatrical release. Last Jedi has become my personal favorite next to the original trilogy. Rouge One was also fantastic. Just recently I caught Han Solo on Netflix. Star Wars has outgrown and will outlive George Lucas. Regardless of how Disney currently handles the Star Wars property, it’s become part of the American storytelling mythos. It’s just like the retelling of ancient folktales from various cultures, such as Norse, Celtic, Greek, Egyptian, Japanese, Indian, English, African, Buddhist, Jewish, Islamic, Christian, Pre-Christian/Pagan, etc. Only substitute them with various stories from the Star Wars universe, along with classic Marvel and DC characters.

After NYCC 2007, I heard another personal Gary Coleman antidote. It from my other friend Bejay. So I mention seeing Coleman at the comic con. Bejay tells me that he met the actor once. It was during Bejay’s time as a party promoter. Gary Coleman complimented Bejay on his Club Kid platforms. Unlike Mario, Bejay expressed more compassion for Coleman: “I felt sorry for him…”  Gary Coleman passed away in 2010. On April 30th 2019, Peter Mayhew, aka, the original Chewbacca also passes away. He was 74.

On May 2nd, 2019, I talk to Ben about the time I saw Chewbacca and Gary Coleman at NYCC 2007.

Me: “…so that’s my Chewbacca story. It’s both funny and sad…”

Ben, as he refers to Gary Coleman while having a horrified expression upon his face: “…That’s kinda depressing!”

May the fourth be with you.

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Chewbacca. Drawn with a portable Pentel ink brush, other with other art pens. Michele Witchipoo. May 2019.

 

 

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Now that Easter, Spring Equinox, and all other holidays are wrapping up, it’s time for a fresh Psycho Bunny sketch of the week. Behold, it is Psycho Bunny that has risen. Fair warning though. With this week’s sketch, only art history students and Post-Punk/Traditional Goth fans will get the joke.

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As I was pondering what to do for the next sketch, Google reminded me that it was the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus art movement. During its peak, the Bauhaus movement was revolutionary with concepts of design, architecture and art. Unfortunately, when the Nazis rose to power, the Bauhaus school was one of the first causalities. There was no room for Bauhaus ideology within Nazi framework. Unrelated was Hugo Boss, who designed the Nazi uniforms. Yes, that high-end designer. Back to Bauhaus. After the art school’s closure, various students went global, spreading its influence worldwide. Its influence still lingers in 2019.

Unless you’re a fan of ’80s Alternative, which throws you into the Post-Punk category. We’re talking about that classic Goth band Bauhaus. Bauhaus is most well known for the song ‘Bela Lugosi Is Dead.’ Later on, the lead singer Peter Murphy went on to have a solo career, with Dali’s Car in-between. The other members formed Tones On Tail, then Love and Rockets. The band Love and Rockets is not to be confused with the comic by Los Hernandez Bros.

Most recently, Bauhaus, Tones On Tail, and Love and Rockets member David J did a signing at NYC’s Rough Trade, during Record Day 2019. More about Record Day 2019 and the Wax Trax event in another blog post.

Meantime, I will be at two comic cons in June. Details forthcoming.

Speaking of which…social media links. Can’t forget about that! 

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.

 Tune in next week for a new Psycho Bunny sketch of the week.

Unless you’re in Orlando, Florida.

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Finally had some time to post. Easter is right around the corner. Today is Good Friday. That particularly Friday doesn’t look so good for Psycho Bunny.

Introducing the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week. Easter 2019 edition.

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Psycho Bunny in a police line-up. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo, from WitchesBrewPress. Easter 2019 edition. April 19th, 2019.

Social Media:

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.

 

Next week, new Psycho Bunny sketch.

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