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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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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).

idwpanelnycc2016

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.

jaffepanelnycc2016

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.

artistalleythursdaynycc2016

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.

pugly_poster1_missing1

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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So today, I get a notice from WordPress in the upper right corner of the laptop screen, and it’s telling me it’s been six years since I started this blog. Six years. Wow. I remember leaving NYC in 2005 for what turned out to be the biggest mistake in my life. So when I moved back to NYC at the end of 2007, it started a completely brand new chapter in my life.

Also, I was lucky to move back to NYC at the end of 2007, for I got to see NYC before all the sterilization and gentrification began to take full effect. It was like being given a chance to say goodbye to many things familiar to me since my childhood and teen years.

I don’t think NYC is as spontaneous as it was six or seven years ago. Fifteen, or even ten years ago, you could step outside your door, and there would be something to do. Now everything is just too overpriced as it crawls full of hipsters, Wall Street yuppies, or just plain smucks. Don’t get me wrong. New York City is my hometown. I was born in The Bronx, raised in Queens, and attended high school in Manhattan. I’m not some transplant living off a trust fund. I’m someone whose roots are deep inside the Big Apple. Despite all my bickering, I still love New York. NYC landlords are shifty, the subways never run properly, the buses feels like cattle transport, cyclists on those Shittybikes, aka Citibikes are always trying to run you over, finding work sucks, it’s hard to find a decent relationship of any nature in this town, and sometimes people are just plain jerks. A lot of my friends have moved out of NYC, and many others constantly talk about moving out. Guess what – I don’t care what others say. I love New York City, warts and all. It’s MY town. Even if it seems as if it’s been overrun with arrogant transients with a sense of entitlement.

Don’t get me wrong. If I had an opportunity to live in Europe, I just might take that chance. In a way, I wouldn’t mind living outside of NYC, even if it was in another state, or just outside of NYC. For now, NYC is my home until further notice.

Why am I even bringing this all up?

There’s a few reasons. (One being at the time of this particular post, Mercury is in retrograde, a time to look back) I was talking about going to LIT Lounge the other day with a friend. There was a Post Punk/Goth party happening. Suddenly I remembered the time in December 2008, when me and a few friends went to another party at LIT. After the hell I endured during 2006 and 2007, 2008 was a banner year. A fun, exciting time, and got my first chance to get my artwork published by others, besides myself. Also had my work exhibited that year for a one night art show. Goals were accomplished.

I had copies of my own self published comic with me, which at the time, was Psycho Bunny issue three. One of my best friends came up with the brilliant idea of having club goers pose with the comic. So off he went on his ‘secret’ mission.

Undercover WitchesBrewPress agent on a mission to get club goers to pose with a Psycho Bunny comic. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Dec. 2008 at LIT Lounge.

Undercover WitchesBrewPress agent on a mission to get club goers to pose with a Psycho Bunny comic. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Dec. 2008 at LIT Lounge.

Thus began his ‘undercover’ assignment to expose Psycho Bunny to the world…or at least to those at the party.

Undercover WitchesBrewPress agent on a mission to get club goers to pose with a Psycho Bunny comic. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Dec. 2008 at LIT Lounge.

Undercover WitchesBrewPress agent on a mission to get club goers to pose with a Psycho Bunny comic. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Dec. 2008 at LIT Lounge.

Taking one final swig of the brew, the agent located his first target:

Undercover WitchesBrewPress agent on a mission to get club goers to pose with a Psycho Bunny comic. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Dec. 2008 at LIT Lounge.

Undercover WitchesBrewPress agent on a mission to get club goers to pose with a Psycho Bunny comic. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Dec. 2008 at LIT Lounge.

It didn’t take long before the unsuspecting targets were willing to take a pose:

Undercover WitchesBrewPress agent on a mission to get club goers to pose with a Psycho Bunny comic. Here, a WitchesBrewPress undercover agent finds a willing target to pose. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Dec. 2008 at LIT Lounge.

Undercover WitchesBrewPress agent on a mission to get club goers to pose with a Psycho Bunny comic. Here, a WitchesBrewPress undercover agent finds a willing target to pose. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Dec. 2008 at LIT Lounge.

Undercover WitchesBrewPress agent on a mission to get club goers to pose with a Psycho Bunny comic. Here, a WitchesBrewPress undercover agent finds a willing target to pose. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Dec. 2008 at LIT Lounge.

Undercover WitchesBrewPress agent on a mission to get club goers to pose with a Psycho Bunny comic. Here, a WitchesBrewPress undercover agent finds a willing target to pose. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Dec. 2008 at LIT Lounge.

Undercover WitchesBrewPress agent on a mission to get club goers to pose with a Psycho Bunny comic. Here, a WitchesBrewPress undercover agent finds a willing target to pose. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Dec. 2008 at LIT Lounge.

Undercover WitchesBrewPress agent on a mission to get club goers to pose with a Psycho Bunny comic. Here, a WitchesBrewPress undercover agent finds a willing target to pose. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Dec. 2008 at LIT Lounge.

Undercover WitchesBrewPress agent on a mission to get club goers to pose with a Psycho Bunny comic. Here, a WitchesBrewPress undercover agent finds a willing target to pose. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Dec. 2008 at LIT Lounge.

Undercover WitchesBrewPress agent on a mission to get club goers to pose with a Psycho Bunny comic. Here, a WitchesBrewPress undercover agent finds a willing target to pose. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Dec. 2008 at LIT Lounge.

Undercover WitchesBrewPress agent on a mission to get club goers to pose with a Psycho Bunny comic. Here, a WitchesBrewPress undercover agent finds a willing target to pose. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Dec. 2008 at LIT Lounge.

Undercover WitchesBrewPress agent on a mission to get club goers to pose with a Psycho Bunny comic. Here, a WitchesBrewPress undercover agent finds a willing target to pose. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Dec. 2008 at LIT Lounge.

Undercover WitchesBrewPress agent on a mission to get club goers to pose with a Psycho Bunny comic. Here, a WitchesBrewPress undercover agent finds a willing target to pose. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Dec. 2008 at LIT Lounge.

Undercover WitchesBrewPress agent on a mission to get club goers to pose with a Psycho Bunny comic. Here, a WitchesBrewPress undercover agent finds a willing target to pose. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Dec. 2008 at LIT Lounge.

Undercover WitchesBrewPress agent on a mission to get club goers to pose with a Psycho Bunny comic. Here, a WitchesBrewPress undercover agent finds willing targets to pose. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Dec. 2008 at LIT Lounge.

Undercover WitchesBrewPress agent on a mission to get club goers to pose with a Psycho Bunny comic. Here, a WitchesBrewPress undercover agent finds willing targets to pose. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Dec. 2008 at LIT Lounge.

Undercover WitchesBrewPress agent on a mission to get club goers to pose with a Psycho Bunny comic. Here, a WitchesBrewPress undercover agent finds willing targets to pose. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Dec. 2008 at LIT Lounge.

Undercover WitchesBrewPress agent on a mission to get club goers to pose with a Psycho Bunny comic. Here, a WitchesBrewPress undercover agent finds willing targets to pose. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Dec. 2008 at LIT Lounge.

Undercover WitchesBrewPress agent on a mission to get club goers to pose with a Psycho Bunny comic. Here, a WitchesBrewPress undercover agent finds a willing target to pose. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Dec. 2008 at LIT Lounge.

Undercover WitchesBrewPress agent on a mission to get club goers to pose with a Psycho Bunny comic. Here, a WitchesBrewPress undercover agent finds a willing target to pose. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Dec. 2008 at LIT Lounge.

Undercover WitchesBrewPress agent on a mission to get club goers to pose with a Psycho Bunny comic. Here, a WitchesBrewPress undercover agent finds willing targets to pose. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Dec. 2008 at LIT Lounge.

Undercover WitchesBrewPress agent on a mission to get club goers to pose with a Psycho Bunny comic. Here, a WitchesBrewPress undercover agent finds willing targets to pose. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Dec. 2008 at LIT Lounge.

Mission completed. Not content with spreading the word at LIT Lounge, we headed over to Double Down on Avenue A, to infiltrate some more.

Bartender at Double Down bar, NYC. Posing with Psycho Bunny comic issue 3. Taken Dec. 2008 by Michele Witchipoo.

Bartender at Double Down bar, NYC. Posing with Psycho Bunny comic issue 3. Taken Dec. 2008 by Michele Witchipoo.

Psycho Bunny mini-issue 2.75 behind the bar at Double Down saloon, NYC. Dec. 2008.

Psycho Bunny mini-issue 2.75 behind the bar at Double Down saloon, NYC. Dec. 2008.

Psycho Bunny mini-issue 2.75 behind the bar at Double Down saloon, NYC. Dec. 2008.

Psycho Bunny mini-issue 2.75 behind the bar at Double Down saloon, NYC. Dec. 2008.

The mission was successful, and wrapped it up with a Brooklyn Beer.

Psycho Bunny issue three. Dec. 2008.

Psycho Bunny issue three. Dec. 2008.

*These photos were originally posted on MySpace back in 2008/2009. 

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Submitted another sketch to the blog Sketch Lottery. This time of Drizzt Do’Urden. Prior to this, I was not familiar with this character at all. He’s associated with the Dungeons and Dragons realm, as this site might explains Drizzt’s background. Never played Dungeons and Dragons, not ever. Yet I’m always up to drawing new things, so this was considered somewhat of a challenge.

Here’s the link for my version of Drizzt, as done for Sketch Lottery.

http://www.sketchlottery.com/2014/07/drizzt-dourden-9-michele-witchipoo.html

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We interrupt this blog for an important announcement.

inkwellbanner1Starting from April 15 to April 30th, 2013 you can vote in the Inkwell Awards.

http://www.inkwellawards.com/

The Inkwell Awards is a non-profit organization dedicated to the education and promotion of the art of inking. Inking is a much over-looked but crucial element to the comic book process. Everyone is encouraged to vote, whether you’re a fan or professional. The only difference this year is that the public is not allowed to vote in the The Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement category. The winners will be announced live at Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC June 7-9 2013. For more information, please click on the above Inkwell Awards link.

My previous post about the Inkwells: https://witchesbrewpress.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/inkwell-awards/

Also please feel free to click on the below link:

http://www.firstcomicsnews.com/?p=71158

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I illustrated a sequential art story written by horror artist extraordinaire Nicolas Caesar. It’s an awesome comic book anthology featuring many great artists and writers. So what are you waiting for? It debuted at the APE show in San Fransisco recently, in which the books sold out. A new batch is being printed as we speak. So don’t miss out – order your copy today! 

Cover for Filthy Cake, published by Scary-Art Publishing.
http://www.scary-art.com/scaryartpublishing.htm

http://www.scary-art.com/scaryartpublishing.htm

 Many thanks to Nicolas Caesar again.

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This online comic book/sci-fi website puts the spotlight on the latest issue of IF-X. The 2010 Halloween issue features “Costumes”, a children story written by Patrick McEvoy and drawn by Michele Witchipoo. Click on the link below to check it out:

http://scifipulse.net/?p=35118

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