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Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

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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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The day after the great CAKE and Ben Folds Five concert, me and Ben headed over to Connecticut. There was a comic con happening that weekend over at the Mohegan Sun casino. Terrificon was good that it’s focus was more on the comic book creators rather than obtaining celebrities autographs. That particular artist alley featured established comic book writers and artists, as local talent. Of course there was plenty of cosplay to be found. There was a few known media guests such as model/actress Pom Klementieff, who portrayed Mantis from Guardians of The Galaxy 2. She was sitting next to Henry Winkler in the autograph section.

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No, I didn’t have a table. This time I went as a spectator. It was also an excuse to get out of NYC for a few hours. Despite the dismal Greyhound bus ride, I’d say it was worth the trip. Even if the bus was delayed for over thirty minutes. The passengers were mostly disgruntled Anita Baker fans, trying to catch her concert also happening at Mohegan Sun later that evening.

It was a relief to find a comic con featuring more comic book professionals rather than pop culture personalities. Before the comic con winded down on Saturday, there was a panel honoring comic book writer Roy Thomas. Thomas was presented with an award for his contribution in the sequential field.

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Panel featuring comic book writer Roy Thomas. Prior to receiving an award. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Aug. 18th, 2018.

Apparently a few exits before Mohegan Sun, there’s a Pez museum. The kid inside me loudly acknowledged this, as I spotted the billboard through my bus window. Sure enough, there was a Pez vendor table at the Terrificon. Kinda wished I had never discarded my old Pez containers. Especially the reissued Star Wars and Halloween editions.

Among some of the comic creators in artist alley: met Bob Almond again, who created the Inkwell Awards, Ray Felix who does Bronx Heroes Con, Barbara Friedlander who I unfortunately missed by the time I arrived at the venue, Art Baltazar, Neal Adams, Afua Richardson, Scott Hanna, C.F. Cebulski, and many others. Below are photos are David Thorn Wenzel and Tifa Chii.

The cosplayers and gamers weren’t left out. Here’s a few other cosplayer photos to round out this blog post.

Last but not least, here’s a cosplayer doing a mash-up of Booster Gold and Goldstar.

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Terrificon is highly recommended as a comic con. If given the opportunity I would attend again. It’s geared towards more mainstream comics rather than self-published and indie. Then again, it’s still a good excuse to get out of NYC for the day. Didn’t spend much time in Mohegan Sun itself. Pretty much all casinos reek of desperation and spilled soda on carpets. As for the return ride to NYC; that was purgatory. Some jackass held up the bus for almost two hours. If there’s anything I learned, the bus drivers that work for Greyhound have the patience of saints. Seriously. That day I witnessed two drivers who had more than enough reason to lose their tempers. Had they done so, it would’ve been justified – but yet they didn’t. So kudos to them. Greyhound itself however, truly sucks. Even those cheapo companies like GoBus, BoltBus or MegaBus seem to have smoother rides. My advice for next year is to get a Zipcar or arrange a carpool. Seriously.

Enough kvetching. In late October I’m going to have my own table at a local comic con. Details forthcoming. So with my luck, I’ll probably end up taking Greyhound again.

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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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That’s right. It’s a blog post about a comic con I vended at in Cambridge, MA during Oct. 2016. Finally having the chance to post some long delayed photos from when I was lucky enough to get a table at MICE 2016. It was one of the best comic cons I’ve had the pleasure of taking part since I’ve started publishing my own comics.

MICE, which stands for the Massachusetts Independent Comic Expo focuses mostly on indie, alternative, undergound, and art house comics. Many of the comic artists were self published. The annual event takes place in Cambridge area just outside of Boston.

Despite my NYC loyalty, I’ve always loved Massachusetts. Particularly Boston, Salem and Cambridge. Best part was MICE 2016 took part during Halloween weekend. After MICE was over, I managed to zip down to Salem on Halloween day, right before taking the bus back to the Big Apple. In between MICE and Salem was a night at karaoke in Quincy, MA at some old style Chinese/Polynesian restaurant.

 

The night before MICE was going to kick off, there was a cartoonist party at HUB Comics. Located in the Somerville, Union Square area, the next town after Cambridge. Was very impressed by Hub comics. If I opened my own comic shop, this is what it would resemble. A very good mixture of mainstream and alternative comics, graphic novels and other merch. Also got to mingle with the other local cartoonists. My friend and fellow cartoonist E.J. Barnes (who helped put together the tribute anthology to Luisa Felix along with Paul Curtis) showed me around the area, and helped introduce me to the locals.

Also checked out the main drag around Cambridge. Discovered a shop called Cheapo Records, ate at a vegetarian diner, checked out and paid a visit to the Middle East.

Back to business. After setting up my table, anyone who had a table was treated to breakfast and a quick lecture, if anyone wanted to listen. Through out the day, the artists were given water and snacks by volunteers. MoCCA could use a few pointers from MICE.

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Michele Witchipoo/WitchesBrewPress table at MICE 2016. Oct. 2016.

After the first day, there was a celebratory dinner for everyone in MICE 2016 at another venue. Artists were encouraged to doodle on the wall with some free art supplies. Some even showed up in costume.

Day two was more or less the same. Breakfast and someone was doing a quick lecture on the floor before the con started. Since it was Halloween weekend, many showed up in costume.

Part two begins on the next blog post. 

 

 

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It’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog. For those who chose to live inside their self imposed exile inside their caves, a lot has happened. Especially in New York City. There was the New York Comic Con back in early October. Then right before Halloween, there was that bitch called Sandy. As in Hurricane Sandy. If that wasn’t enough, the US had to deal with its presidential elections. Yup. All that good stuff. Hopefully I’ll get to address each event of my blog, one by one. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I’m going to reminiscence a few months back to April 2012. Back when I won my scholarship to study in Austria for a week. When I traveled to the lovely town of Salzburg, I took my manual film camera. Now although digital is much easier to work with, there’s a certain beauty you can only get with film.

Here’s a few examples.

On the grounds of Schloss Leopoldskron in Salzburg, Austria.
Taken by Michele Witchipoo, April 2012.
Manual black and white film.

 

During the stay at Schloss Leopoldskron for the Salzburg Global Seminar, the students took a day trip to Munich, Germany. A visit to the Dachau concentration camp.
Photo by Michele Witchipoo. April 2012.
Manual black and white film.

 

Another photo from the Dachau concentration camp.
April 2012. Manual black and white Kodak film.
Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Last day in Salzburg. The students were given a free day to explore the town. Salzburg is known for a few things. The architecture, for example. It ranges from Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical modernism and post-war modernism, as well as Contemporary. Mostly it’s where the story of “The Sound of Music” is based. Also the birthplace of  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Here’s a shot of people just walking through the square.
April 2012. Manual black and white Kodak film.
Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

 

 

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