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Archive for the ‘television’ Category

From Thursday Oct. 6 to Sunday Oct. 9, I felt as if I lived at the Javits Center. That’s because it was the annual New York Comic Con. Earlier this year I received my Pro pass for which itself felt good.

As usual it was packed and the cosplayers were out in full force.

To the left as you walked into the main entrance, there was a entire section dedicated to Wonder Woman. Not just because the Wonder Woman movie will be released in 2017, but Oct. 2016 marked the 75th anniversary of the character’s first appearance. There were also a lot more Wonder Woman cosplay than ever before.

To my relief there wasn’t as many Harley Quinns, but plenty of Pokemon characters. There was some unique ones that stood out above the others. Darth Maul looks happy here.

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NYCC. Photo by Michele Witchipoo Oct. 2016

NYCC 2016 had an increase in Bob’s Burgers cosplayers. Louise and Tina Belcher were the most seen. Occasionally you would run into the entire family.

During the course of the four day event, I checked out a few panels. Panels are very good. For one, they give you a wealth of information in regards to the comic book industry, or discuss pop culture. If all else fails, you can rest your weary feet in the seat closest to an outlet to recharge your cell.

Some of the panels I attended were: BOOM Studios, DC Comics, and IDW (where they discussed an upcoming release to benefit the Orlando Pulse shooting victims).

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Panel for IDW during NYCC 2016.

Two panels however intrigued me the most. One was for Trump magazine (NO! Not Donald Trump!!!) put on by Dark Horse and Kitchen Sink Press. In 1956, Trump Magazine was a short-lived publication financed by Hugh Hefner, and put together by MAD Magazine’s Harvey Kurtzman. Among some of the speakers on that panel were Denis Kitchen and Al Jaffee.

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The Panel for Trump Magazine (No, not Donald!), a short-lived publication from the 1950s.

The other panel that grabbed my attention was the panel titled ‘Bringing Stories To Life: Holding a Comic Con at Your Library.’ Here local librarians from Connecticut explained the ins and outs of operating local comic cons from the library.

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Librarians from CT discuss how to do comic cons at the local library. NYCC Panel. Photo by Michele Witchipoo. Oct. 2016.

Back for more cosplay.

One thing you cannot forget. The real reason why we have comic cons in the first place. To promote comics. As in artists, writers, pencilers, inkers, etc. Onward to Artist Alley.

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Walking around the Javits Center was exhausting. It was time to head home and come back another day.

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Everyone needs rest sometime. NYCC. Photo by Michele Witchipoo. Oct. 2016.

During the NYCC, I found out there was going to be a panel for the latest Planet of The Apes reboot series. Since I was a huge fan of POTA, I trekked all the way out of the Javits Center to the Theater At Madison Square Garden. That’s where they held the special events, like the one for Doctor Who earlier during NYCC.

Point blank, this Q&A ‘career conversation’ with actor Andy Serkis, who portrays Ceasar in the Apes reboot was the only letdown during NYCC 2106. This might be clarified why in separate blog post.

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Actor Andy Serkis after finishing his Q&A panel during NYCC 2016.

I stuck around however to catch the Stan Lee panel at the same venue. Which went off much smoother. Moderated by film director and famous geek Kevin Smith, the panel also had Walt Simonson and Chris Claremount. The packed house was treated to an oral recollection of Marvel comic history. Insert very crappy photo of the panel itself.

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Very bad, blurry photo of the Stan Lee panel at NYCC 2016 with Kevin Smith, Walt Simonson and Chris Claremount.

Barely getting enough rest, it was time to head back to NYCC.

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Classic Star Trek cosplay on the NYC subway. Photo by Michele Witchipoo. Oct. 2016.

Since NYCC has become so popular, expect free swag. During the weekend I got a free Monster energy drink which I usually never touch, some wafer cookies and a complimentary sample of Death Coffee.

The cosplaying continued.

The last day of NYCC was spent getting merch I didn’t need like this Muttley POP. Then off to cruise Artist Alley once more.

This year there was some new interesting talent in Artist Alley, as well as those established such as Terry Moore (Strangers In Paradise), Joe Staton, and Erik Larsen (Savage Dragon).

One person that stood out was graffiti artist Andre Charles, otherwise known as ACharlesNYC. I brought a pin from him. He was so kind to give me a second one for free. Which was a score because I was having trouble which color to choose from. Besides, it’s always good to share old school NYC memories with someone.

Another new comic I discovered during NYCC was titled Pugly.

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Also snagged a free issue of Faith, a popular comic book title now published by Valiant.

Of course some more cosplay.

Some T-Rex creatures were spotted as well.

Another trend I noticed. This year people were cosplaying with their pet dogs. I asked someone cosplaying a character from Adventure Time how he got his dog in. He replied listing your pup as a service dog. While it’s cute, I was left wondering if it was safe at all for the dogs themselves.

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Adventure Time cosplay. NYCC. Photo by Michele Witchipoo. Oct. 2016.

Another curious observation during the NYCC weekend. I kept on seeing something scribbled on the bathroom doors inside the ladies room. Later I discovered it was a quote from The Handmaid’s Tale in Latin: ‘don’t let the bastard grind you down.’  Quite fitting for these times, especially during the current U.S. Presidential election, in which NYCC was the perfect escape from. Ironically, this was the same weekend that news broke out about Trump ‘grabbing pussy.’

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Quote from Margaret Atwood’s book The Handmaid’s Tale in Latin: ‘Don’t Let The Bastards Grind You Down.’ NYCC. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

In all it was fun as always. Maybe one day I’ll have another table at NYCC Artist Alley again. Till next year.

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Superheroes resting at the shoe shine stand. NYCC 2016. Photo taken by Michele Witchipoo. Oct. 2016.

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Not since the days of Pacman has a game have such impact. Apparently downloads of the Pokemon Go app has surpassed even Twitter.

I’m on the fence in regards to this game. On one hand it’s fun. On the other hand, it’s definitely Orwellian. The last thing we need is a soul sucking app. Another perceptive is that it’s making people get up, and get out of the house, despite the blistering summer heat. It’s a very physical game. A form of low-fi exercising, if you care about that sort of thing. As you look on your screen for a Pokemon to catch, you discover little tiny details about your surroundings. For example, in my own neighborhood, I wasn’t even aware about some fake owl attached to a building on my block. That fake owl just happens to be a Pokemon stop.

Is it privacy invading? Of course it is. It’s like every other tool in life. It’s how you use it that makes the difference. I wouldn’t worry about this game too much. This trend will probably burn itself out. By next summer, we will have already moved on to the next trend. At least it wasn’t that stupid ice bucket challenge from two summers ago.

I was extremely cynical about Pokemon Go at first. Blending fantasy with reality had curiosity getting the best of me. Of course, now that I’m excelling at this game, half the time the servers are down.

This game comes out at a crucial time in American history. So why are we allowing ourselves to be distracted by cute little pocket monsters?

Better than sitting in misery, I suppose. Yes, there’s the TTIP, the U.S. Presidential race, and every other tragedy that’s been happening since Bowie died ten days into 2016. Actually, it really started when Lemmy died a few days before New Year’s Eve. That was definitely a sign of things to come, then Prince sealed the deal. (Alan Vega died most recently). Look. We knew the world sucked already. For those who sit in their cruddy apartments alone bickering about how “I don’t follow pop culture, I have better things to do…” In response there’s two words: Sturgeon’s Law. Politics and religion cannot bring people together, but perhaps this game will. It all depends on your perceptive.

This video represents Summer 2016. Video by Daquan Wiltshire. I can relate, especially people used to get on my case for watching vintage cartoons.

Why would one want to live in a world of constant misery, being haunted by ghosts of your past for example, and trying to bring down everyone around you. Personally, I appreciate the little whimsical things in life.

Enough of this haphazard editorial. Here’s the Psycho Bunny pic of the week.Of course, don’t forget to order any comics from my website, or from my RedBubble shop, or my two Facebook pages, one for Psycho Bunny, and one for WitchesBrewPress.

Till next time folks.

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Here’s my latest submission to the Sketch Lottery website. Last week’s character was Cleo. Cleo was RiffRaff’s girlfriend from the animated cartoon show Heathcliff and The Catillac Cats.

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Crop of Cleo, from Heathcliff and The Catillac Cats. From Sketch Lottery.  Feb. 2016. Sketch by Michele Witchipoo.

 You check out the sketch here by clicking on the link here.

 

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Memories of a ridiculous debate.

Back in the ’90’s, I had this part-time job. It was pretty much a slacker gig, doing telephone surveys at night. Yeah, I was that person interrupting dinner with those annoying phone calls. That job was perfect cause it meant no stupid office dress code. Anyway one night it was kinda slow, and someone mentions Hanna Barbera animation.

What started out as nostalgia turned into a heated debate about who was better – Penelope Pitstop or Josie and The Pussycats.

Seriously.

I took the position of Josie and her crew against someone who thought Penelope was better solely based on her looks and sexual appeal. The person defending Penelope the most – wait for it – was a man…yeah, it gets predictable from here. The man was Australian, and to be honest, I found him kind of arrogant. Had he been American, most likely today he would’ve been a Trump supporter.

My stance regarding Penelope was “Well yeah, but why would someone want to be a victim all the time?” Penelope always found herself in helpless peril, dependent on a man to save her. Meanwhile Josie and The Pussycats a) played their own instruments, b) according to the story line, was a successful pop band c) hold their own as they traveled through space, and finally d) still looked good while doing it. I mean, who wouldn’t want that?

Nope. According to the Penelope fan, Penelope was the prettier one, and due to that, she gets the prize. I disagreed. Long story short, the guy who was so into Penelope somehow got insulted. As this debate continued, he started to get a bit angry. No matter how I counter-acted with Josie’s merits, he stood firm. His only reasoning being this; Penelope was sexier. 

When the guy’s voice raised, the supervisor had to break it up. I remained calm, but remember thinking ‘WTF?’

It’s a good thing this happened during the early ’90’s. Had this been posted online, all the seventh-wave internet feminists would’ve pounded him.

Unless you’re into bondage, I just can’t imagine siding with Penelope Pitstop.

That I believe, was my first encounter with geek sexism. You can laugh, or you can cry. It all depends on interpretation. 

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As seen on Sketch Lottery. Introducing my extremely quick sketch of the Fourth Doctor, also known as British actor Tom Baker.

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Quick drawing of Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) and his best known companion, Sarah Jane. Of course, daleks are never satisfied. Drawn by Michele Witchipoo, Nov. 2015 for Sketch Lottery. Pen and ink.

I have a particular fondness for the Fourth Doctor. Growing up during the early 1980s, I discovered Doctor Who by syndication. It was broadcast on a local NYC television station, WOR, which was channel nine on the dial. It’s Saturday early afternoon slot was right before wrestling.

For the hell of it, I’ll slap on this video:

For months watching Doctor Who became my weekend ritual, watching the Fourth Doctor and his companion Sarah Jane Smith on their various adventures. Not much was known back about Doctor Who. I didn’t know that Doctors regenerate, with companions that come and go. So when Sarah Jane left, I was heartbroken. Leela just wasn’t the same. Foolish, I know. Thus stories of Time Lords was eventually dropped along with those tacky wrestling matches that followed afterwards. Besides, music was taking over. It was the age of New Wave and ’80s Pop. Joan Jett, The Go-Go’s, and later Culture Club with Boy George captured my imagination. After all, I was only 13 years old.

Of course years later, Doctor Who finally broke out of PBS obscurity. If you follow pop culture, you probably know the rest. As they say, you never forget your first Doctor. While I’m fond of the Tenth Doctor, portrayed by David Tennant, my favorite still remains the Fourth, as defined by Tom Baker.

Anyway, check out my piece on Sketch Lottery, and of course, don’t forget to check out the other artists. I’ll leave you with another WOR station identification clip.

 

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Last week’s character on Sketch Lottery was none other than Morticia Adams. You can see my version of this Goth-prototype on the site.  Threw in a tad bit of an Art Nouveau influence in this sketch.

Morticia Adams drawn by Michele Witchipoo for Sketch Lottery. Dec. 2014.

Morticia Adams drawn by Michele Witchipoo for Sketch Lottery. Dec. 2014.

 

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Usually I don’t like to go back into the past. The only thing I tend to get nostalgic for is music. Usually people think I’m much younger. Once someone talks to me about music, bands I’m into and concerts I’ve seen, thus my true age is revealed. Music is one of the few things that tends to date me. Outside of music and fashion, I don’t like to look back. Much rather live in the present.

Back in March 2004, I had a one day gig. The time I was an extra for a FOX network show.

Jonny Zero never really had a chance, as it was canceled just after eight episodes. Back in 2005, the show was put in the Friday night ‘death slot.’  As an action drama it really had no fighting chance against the popular reality shows.

Me as an extra at the Jonny Zero TV shoot. March 2004. Here you can see me kinda cranky, since I had been up since 6:58 am in the morning, so I could arrive in full outfit for a shoot beginning at 11am.

Me as an extra at the Jonny Zero TV shoot. March 2004. Here you can see me kinda cranky. Need my caffeine. Had been up since 6:58 am in the morning, so I could arrive in full outfit for a shoot beginning at 11am. Among some of my accessories was my beloved vinyl bat shaped purse. Still miss that bag.

As my recollections would have it, I remember having to get up around 6:58 am to be on time for the 11am shooting. The location was at a now defunct club located on West 14th street, known for having goth and fetish parties. As a non union extra, I was told during the audition to bring two outfits for the taping. On set, it was easily seen who were the ‘lifestyle’ Goths and the actors under the SAG banner. The SAG extras had the cliche’ touches such as black lipstick, badly applied eyeliner and layers of ultra white face makeup. The true Goths had the Frankenstein platform boots, for example, popular within that subculture during the first 2000 decade. Think New Rock boots.  Used to own a few platforms myself.

Me at the Jonny Zero filming, March 2005. NYC. My time as a 'Goth' TV background/extra.

Me at the Jonny Zero filming, March 2004. NYC. My time as a ‘Goth’ TV background/extra. What ever happened to this outfit?

Among the SAG extras, this pretty platinum blond lady with a long fake ponytail sat next to me.  “What’s your name” she demanded. I replied “Michele. What’s your name?” With a swish of her fake ponytail extension, her response was “I’m bitter.” Another swish, she snorted “I’m too old for this shit.” Okay…thus set the tone. Continuing the one side convo, she began name dropping. “I’m friends with Voltaire.” The singer, not the philosopher. I was not impressed.

Non union 'Goth' extras at the 'Jonny Zero' filming. March 2005. NYC. Photo by Michele WItchipoo.

Non union ‘Goth’ extras at the ‘Jonny Zero’ filming. March 2004. NYC. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

I found better company among my own crew, the non union real time Goths. A few club kids were roped in for Jonny Zero as well. In between camera takes, I mostly hung out with Grace. We had both worked at both the same punk clothing store on St. Mark’s Place and the Rave clothing shop on West 8th street. This was dating back in 2000, and later again in 2001. Same owner, same shady business practices. As Grace gave me the update about the owner and the wholesale manager (both who I suspect later got deported back to Israel), we overheard the script’s dialogue. It was dismal. No wonder the show got canceled after only eight episodes. We kept the snickering to a minimal before doing the dancing scenes. Which took take after take after take…after take…after take…after take. Is it any wonder the show got the ax after eight episodes.

Another sign things weren’t going well for Jonny Zero. My friend who helped me get the gig saw someone from the crew get hit by an SUV. Right outside the club where the episode was being filmed. Yikes.

Usually when you do a shoot for television or film, expect to stay at location for the entire day. As filming continued, the extras were sent to a building across the street to change into their second outfits. Afterwards we were to wait for word as to when the extras were needed. So we waited quite some time.

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Me, March 2004 at the Jonny Zero filming. My time as a ‘Goth’ extra. NYC. When I was younger and thinner.

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Me, March 2004 at the Jonny Zero filming. My time as a ‘Goth’ extra. NYC. I loved that dress. It was a sleeveless number, and had added the extra shirt for the contrast. Now wondering: whatever happened to that dress?

When you’re on set, they give you free food. If you’re there for the entire day, you get breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the case where SAG and non-Union are on the same set together, the SAG members always eat first. When SAG and the camera crew were done, the non Union was allowed to get their dinner. Of course when it came to our turn, there wasn’t much food left. If anything can be learned from this blog posting, go SAG.

Waiting on set during the Jonny Zero filming. March 2005, NYC. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Waiting on set during the Jonny Zero filming. March 2004, NYC. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

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During in-between takes during the Jonny Zero television filming. March 2004, NYC. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

After dinner, both extras and non extras continued to be holed up in the building across the street from filming. As the saying goes, the natives were getting restless. The natives being the real non – Union Goths while the SAG extras behaved themselves. Some of the Goths and Club Kids were becoming slightly rowdy. Boredom was kicking in, as the more mature SAG members sat quietly away from the non-Union crowd.

Can’t remember much afterwards. Think we pretty much hung around until dismissed. Some came back to finish the scenes a week later. The show was broadcast, in which it sunk without a trace. The funny thing was, don’t think I ever saw the completed episode. Me and a friend tried to watch it in his apartment, but we missed most of it. My friend was featured in some scenes. As for myself, I was told you couldn’t see me. Just as well.

Despite my kvetching, Jonny Zero was the most fun I had on a television set. Prior to that, I had done extra work for a NYC Lottery commercial in 1999, and other scattered stuff. It would be years before I got on television again, and that might have been for a Queens public access show during one of the New York Comic Cons, around 2008. By then I had put all my energy into my self-published comics, which eventually led me to get published by others. Things have a way of working out.

I’ll leave you with this video clip.

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