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Archive for the ‘underground/alternative/subculture’ Category

Ten years ago, in addition to self-publishing Psycho Bunny, I did a sketchbook/pinup zine titled Babalon Babes. It was a mixture of occult, esoteric and symbolism mixed in with erotica. At least I was able to give Lon Milo DuQuette a copy of issue four back in 2011.

Issue One was printed in late 2003. Very Thelemic overtones. In fact, the title itself came from Crowley’s interpretation of Babalon. Not so much into the 93 current these days, but that might change.

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Babalon Babes Issue 1, 2003. Zine/sketchbook by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. 

Issue two was released in 2005, which debuted at the Big Apple Comic Con. It continued on the 93 subject, but with more mixture from other spiritual paths. Chaos magick started to creep in. The cover was my first rendition of The Star tarot card.

As much as I liked the cover, not too thrilled about the content inside. Might’ve mentioned the cut-up method in this issue. Don’t think this will be in print again.

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Babalon Babes issue 2, 2005. Zine/sketchbook by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. Debuted at Big Apple Con, Spring 2005. 

Issue three was released against all odd. The year 2007 was a very rough year due to personal circumstances and adversaries. Despite everything, I managed to make it to MoCCA Art Fest 2007. Even managed to quickly put together The Psycho Bunny Scrapbook.

Issue three had much more content. Definitely more of the Chaos current by this point, which I truly believed might’ve saved my ass during that year. Again, other spiritual paths crept in. Such as my sketch of Freya in her chariot driven by her two cats. Looking back the tone was a bit all over the place. Reflecting on issues two and three now has a sad element. It’s best having these two being out of print.

Issue four had a nice cover though.

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Issue 4, released summer 2007. Zine/sketchbook by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. Debuted at MoCCA Art Fest 2007. 

Issue 4 was the last of the Babalon Babe series. It was printed in 2009, debuted at some NYC comic con where for a brief time, Big Apple Con and Wizard World merged together, aka Wizard World Big Apple Comic Con. I did an hour at the CAG table with this in hand. The last issue had much better art, and more of a focus. It had an official theme of astrology. The hardcore sex aspect was toned down, but it was still erotic. Each of the zodiac signs had it’s own pin-up. There’s still copies available of this issue.

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Issue 4 of Babalon Babes, fall 2009. The final issue in the series. It’s theme was Astrology. Zine/sketchbook by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress.

After 2009, I stopped doing Babalon Babes completely. In 2010 I went back to college. My focus went towards school, so something had to give. I was working on a webcomic, as well as my own Psycho Bunny character. Psycho Bunny was more accessible, so I continued with that. In 2012 I had a Psycho Bunny story in the monthly comic book anthology IF-X printed by Hamtramck Idea Men. I blogged about other IF-X issues in previous blog posts: IF-X Vol. 2 issue 5, IF-X Vol. 2 issue 9, and a news item back in 2010. (The news article has since disappeared. Should’ve done a screenshot)

The last sketchbook I self-published had nothing to do with Babalon Babes, but a slight offshoot. Pin-Ups was quickly put together in 2015, and debuted at Big Apple Con. The miracle of Adobe InDesign.

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Pin-Ups. A very small sketchbook. Released March 2015. Zine/Sketchbook by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. 

If you want a copy of Babalon Babes issue four or Pin-ups, both titles are available for purchase. It’s four dollars each issue ($3.00 plus $1.00 for S&H). You can send payment through PayPal: Psychobunnycomix@aol.com. Please specify which issue you want. Also available for commissions, email for details, etc.

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miceflyer2016

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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miceflyer2016

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 sent anything to Sketch Lottery. So I did Felix The Cat as Jerry Only from The Misfits.

Usually I will post a crop of my sketch, and send people to the site itself. This time I felt the scan didn’t do my sketch any justice. So I re-scanned the piece using a different dpi.

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Felix The Cat as Jerry Only from The Misfits. Drawn by Michele Witchipoo. Originally done for Sketch Lottery. June 2018. 

You can still check out Sketch Lottery, and all the other posts as well.

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Where are my manners? Last week was the birthday of Susan Janet Ballon, best known to the world as Siouxsie Sioux. She turned 61 on May 27th.

Siouxsie and The Banshees was my favorite band during my high school years. Still one of my all time choices actually. Over the years I’ve expanded my music tastes. The other day I played something haven’t listened to in aeons. It was Kiss In The Dreamhouse, their 5th studio album, originally released back in 1982.

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Hardcore fans know about her British television special titled Play At Home, featuring Robert Smith from The Cure. The special was broadcast around the same time as the Kiss In The Dreamhouse album was released.

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Original illustration of Siouxsie Sioux. Hand drawn, pen and ink. Drawn by Michele Witchipoo June 2018.

Again, haven’t drawn her in quite some time. Here’s an illustration started last week. Completed the art tonight, ripe for uploading. Haven’t decided whether to color the piece with watercolor. While I’m deciding, some filters will do nicely.

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Same Siouxsie Sioux illustration, only in red. Drawn by Michele Witchipoo. Pen and ink. June 2018.

 

 

 

 

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Last night I went to another concert. In the past few months I’ve been on a roll, going to live shows for Television, Front 242 and Gary Numan. Last minute a friend had an extra ticket to the sold out event at Brooklyn Bazaar to see Clan of Xymox. Here’s the strange part. I had a suspicion I was going to attend that concert. This was despite the fact I didn’t get advance tickets. Lo and behold, it was meant to be, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Two years ago around this time, my mother started to decline in health. By October 2015, she had passed away. The distraction was welcome indeed.

I’ve been in and out of the Goth subculture since I was 15 years old. My discovery of Gothic was by accident. It was my original intention to explore the ’80s Punk scene, as I was checking out for example, the Hardcore matinee at CBGB’s every Sunday afternoon. There I saw bands like Corrosion Of Conformity and Government Issue. Yes, those were the days. That phase didn’t last long with me. Something about Goth lured me in. As Siouxsie and The Banshees replaced Culture Club as a favorite band, I began to get more curious about anything Deathrock related. Soon I was meeting like minded people as I was attending concerts by The Cure back in 1985. Felt more aligned with other Goth peers than the Punks. Another factor was back in those days, you had to be careful around the hardcore scene. The violence was turning me off. The original Gothic (now known as “traditional” or “old school”) aesthetic was definitely more pleasing to the eye. Propaganda Magazine was another influence. Eventually I focused all my energy towards anything Batcave.

When I was 18 or 19, eventually I got into other genres of music. Which is only natural. Yet it’s like that horribly corny line from the film The Godfather Part III. You know that line when the Michael Corleone character says : ” Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in.” Which was my case with Goth. I’ve been dipping in and out of the local Goth scene since the late ’90s, but nothing really serious. In 2011 I was inadvertently dragged to a local Goth club party. An American expat from Germany had just came back to the U.S. He was DJing at a local event and wanted some company, which was me. That was my real introduction back towards anything Post-Punk.

So where I am going with this? Good question. Today I’m just typing with a flow of consciousness state of mind. Probably because the Clan of Xymox concert was better than I expected, so it’s still fresh. Then I realized after all these years, I never did a Psycho Bunny sketch where he was Goth. So there you have it.

Here’s the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for Monday, March 25, 2018.

 

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The Psycho Bunny sketch of the week. Psycho Bunny goes Goth. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo, printed on WitchesBrewPress. March 25, 2018. 

Now for the usual promotional plugs. I’ve been drilling these links in for sometime. So check them out. On Facebook there’s pages for Psycho Bunny and for Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress. On Twitter there’s my own account, and one for Psycho Bunny. World Ov Witchipoo is my Tumblr one. On Instagram there’s WitchipooArt. Oh, and I did start up some traditional Goth blog, but haven’t really kept up with it. It’s last entry was in 2016 when Alan Vega from Suicide passed away. It’s Dark Entries blog on where else, WordPress.

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Still have to post the other Inktober 2017 sketches. Meanwhile guess this will count as one of them. Introducing the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for Monday, Oct. 23rd, 2017.

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Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for Oct. 23, 2017. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress.

Here’s some social media in case you want to slander, spread lies, basic misunderstandings, miscommunication, er, I meant ‘follow.’ Yeah, that’s it. Follow.

 

Facebook: Psycho Bunny and Michele Witchipoo-WitchesBrewPress

Tumblr: World Ov Witchipoo

RedBubble: Witchipoo

IG: WitchipooArt

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