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Posts Tagged ‘comics’

Back in April 2018, the East Coast Comic Con took place over at Meadowlands Exposition Center. It only took a quick bus ride from NYC’s Port Authority station to Secaucus, New Jersey.  I never had a table here. The three times I’ve attended (Westchester, NY, then later moved to New Jersey) it was strictly as a spectator.

Again, as with Terrificon, this event focused mostly on comics. There was media guests, but the emphasis was on more established comic creators. The guests include Howard Chaykin, John Holmstrom, David LloydJim StarlinTony Isabella, Paris Cullins, Bob Almond and more.

The attendance from this particular comic con seemed to have increased from previous times. Perhaps because East Coast is one of the better comic cons in the tri-state area, even if the comic creators have worked on more mainstream titles.

Of course, who can ever forget the cosplayers. Observing those who took part in cosplaying, their game was very strong. I’ll leave the cosplayers for last in this blog post, when I get to the contest.

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Amazing cosplay of Ghost. (Ghost as in the band). Not a fan of Ghost’s music, but this is great cosplay.

First, I’ll show some photos of comic book artist Paris Cullins with his love. Nothing is sweeter than two people who genuinely enjoy being with each other.

There was plenty of panels, but only managed to catch one. Missed a panel about Sci-fi writers. As the day was winding down, I was pretty exhausted. That’s why I decided to check out the cosplaying contest. It was really about finding a place to sit down.

 

Observing the cosplaying panel and contest was more fun than originally thought. While I admit, I was semi-roasting from the comfort of my seat, there was a lot of talent in creating those costumes. A lot of work went into all the various cosplaying.

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Ghostrider cosplay. East Coast comic con 2018.

So the contest begins. There was plenty of good contenders. Once two cosplayers walked into the panel room as Warhammer characters, you pretty much knew they were going to win the contest. In which they did. Those Warhammer outfits truly impressed me.

Here’s some other honorable mentions, posted in the photos below.

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Next year’s East Coast Comic Con already looks promising. The guests for next year include Peter Bagge, Drew Friedman, Kaz, Simon Bisley, Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, George Perez, and more to added later.

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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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When I caught the Culture Club and B-52s concert at Forest Hills Stadium, there was another concert around the corner. That same weekend I went from ’80s Pop/New Wave to Thrash Metal. The next day was Slayer, performing at Jones Beach, Long Island, NY.

I know. Go figure.

The line-up for Jones Beach was Napalm Death, Testament, Anthrax, Lamb of God and of course, Slayer. It’s a rare thing when a band goes out while still on top, and that’s exactly what Slayer did. Although there’s a part of me that expects a ‘reunion’ tour in roughly five years.

All the bands were great. Lamb of God, the band right under Slayer on the bill, had their own followers. When the intro music came on, this Lamb of God fan stood up at attention, dead serious. He was ready for battle or something.

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Would’ve brought the Slayer bootie shorts if I was thinner. Merch at the Slayer Farewell Tour. July 2018, Jones Beach theater, Long Island, NY. July 2018. Photo taken by Michele Witchipoo.

Then there was the Slayer greeting. It’s just one word: “SLAYER!” Observing the crowd, it’s usually said with male aggression. If one wished to expand the tribal greeting some more, you can go “FUCKIN’ SLAYER!!!” I witnessed men looking at each other, shouting the greeting “SLAYER” to each other. One guy in back of where I was sitting was shouting “SLAYER!!!” until he was beet red. Dude, calm down.

Slayer is also one of the few concerts you can attend wearing the shirt of the band performing. Most people look down upon this. I don’t, but others think it’s some kind of fashion faux pas. With Slayer, not only is this acceptable – it kinda makes you look slightly bad-ass.

This leads to the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week. Psycho Bunny does Slayer! However, Psycho Bunny isn’t normally a Metal head. His best and perhaps one of his only friends, is a die-hard. Loves Metal. Thrash, Groove Metal, classic Metal, you name it. He even likes classic Hardcore and Punk. But when Psycho Bunny suddenly gets into Slayer, Buddy Bear becomes suspicious.

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Psycho Bunny does Slayer. Buddy Bear thinks Psycho Bunny is a poseur. The Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for August 21, 2018. Based on the comic book written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo.

Social media time:

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. There’s dresses, tee shirts, notebooks, etc. The notebooks, and the Quentin Crisp tees seems to be one of the best selling items.

One of my hobbies is documenting what goes riding the NYC subway lines: Wildlife On The MTA. Cause if you can’t laugh, you’ll cry. MTA passengers know what I’m talking about. Even better: My WildlifeOnTheMTA Instagram is active once again.

Come back next week for a new Psycho Bunny sketch. Better yet, order my shit. Otherwise there’s going to be some Payback.

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A few weeks back I attended the Culture Club and The B-52s concert over at Forest Hills stadium. It wasn’t my first seeing both of these acts live. It was more that both groups were such a part of my early teen years, and that it was right in my own backyard in Queens, NY.

When I was about 11 or 12, I brought the first B-52s album. I was the first kid on the block to have that record, and most likely the only one. It was early ’80’s in lower working class Queens. I was considered the school weirdo. Having this album only solidified my case. Not that I really cared.

When my friend used to come over, I introduced her to Rock Lobster. I made her wear old wigs dug out from my mother’s closet, which my mom wasn’t too happy about. I wasn’t happy because the wigs weren’t styled like in beehive hairdos. In my bedroom we pretended to be Kate and Cindy, wearing mom’s old forgotten wigs. We danced to most of the songs on side one, because vinyl still ruled in those days. That album cover is still pretty iconic to me.

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Eventually I grew out of The B-52s. By the time “Love Shack” hit the charts, I was more into Post Punk, Goth, Industrial and anything non mainstream.

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Concert attendee at the Culture Club/B-52s show at Forest Hills stadium. Sat. July 28th, 2018. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Fast forward to July 2019 in Forest Hills stadium. (Wasn’t the band’s first time. The B-52s played Forest Hills stadium back in 1983. Most of the crowd was dancing to such classics like ’52 Girls’, ‘Planet Claire’, and what surprised me was ‘Mesopotamia.’ Of course they played ‘Love Shack’ and ‘Roam.’ You can see their set list here.

Thus leads to the first of the two latest sketches of the week. Decided to throw in two instead of one, due to last week’s absence.

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Psycho Bunny’s friends as The B-52s. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. Aug. 2018.

After The B-52s came Culture Club. I’ve mentioned dressing like the two women from The B-52s. However, it was the arrival of Boy George that took it from the bedroom to public display. I began to copy the Boy’s look. While going to class, I wore the hat, the baggy clothes, etc. Even had his dance moves down. Once again, I was the first kid on the block to embrace Boy George and crew. Also one of the very few. Boy George wasn’t very popular in the junior high I attended. In fact, that’s when I experienced homophobia.

Dressing like Boy George gave people the impression that they could insult me. Everyday I heard nasty remarks from other schoolmates such as “You know he’s gay, right?” “Why do you like him? He’s a man dressed like a woman!” “Boy George is a fag!” “Fag lover!!!” “You look like a freak!” “Hahahaha….” It was usually followed by “Why don’t you be normal, and listen to Michael Jackson like the rest of us?” Which led to my distaste of anything remotely related to Michael Jackson. To this day, if I hear just a few notes from a Jackson song, it makes me nauseous. I just equate Michael Jackson to general hypocrisy. Jackson is dead, and I still can’t stand the guy. It’s not his fault. It was my junior high classmates. The association. His music and image still reminds me of everything fake in today’s pop culture.

Because of all this rude behavior, it influenced me to look beyond my immediate Queens surroundings. I applied for those magnet high schools just to get away from all those rotten close minded classmates. Eventually I got accepted into the High School of Art and Design. Thanks to Art & Design, it lead me straight into a path of downtown Manhattan subculture, discovering Greenwich Village, stumbling upon small import record shops, cool clothing stores, and of course, Punk and Goth. Thus my high school years fared a helluva lot better than junior high.

I’ll never forget when word came out that I was not heading towards that local war zone, Byrant High School. Some guy quipped “oh, so you’re not going to the same high school as everyone else? What’s the matter? You’re too good for us now?”

Uh actually, when I think about it…yeah.

Not going to Byrant was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. From what I heard years later, my suspicions were all confirmed. Thanks, but no thanks. This should explain my misanthropy.

‘ “Why does everybody gets so excited when we go back into the past? It just amazes me. It’s just metaphorical.” ‘ – Boy George during the Culture Club concert at Forest Hills stadium, New York. Saturday July 28th, 2018. 

But high school is high school, and life is a lot more than that. It’s still nice to reflect, take in some nostalgia, acknowledge your influences. To be ruled by the past though, is a prison you don’t want to be trapped in. Boy George definitely didn’t want to relive his past. In fact, most of the songs on the Culture Club set list was more like a rock and soul revue than Culture Club’s greatest hits. The opening song was a cover of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance.” Fret not, they still did some of their greatest hits.

‘ “We’re a living, breathing soap opera. The amount of collective drama on this stage would kill a beginner.” ‘ Boy George during the Culture Club set at Forest Hills Stadium, Saturday July 28th, 2018. 

I appreciated that Culture Club didn’t want to rest of their retro laurels. Boy George himself waxed philosophically that night on the Forest Hills stage. He came across as intelligent and witty. There were times you sensed that he’s acknowledged lessons learned from his past experiences. This was evident with their recent single “Let Somebody Love You.” You never would’ve guessed he assaulted a male escort back in 2009. Then there was the time when he rebuked my friend’s request for an autograph that was meant to be for his mother. His mother was in her final stages of MS.

 Oh that Boy George. He’s such a Gemini.

Despite his shitty transgressions, I will always be thankful for his influence upon my life. It was a positive influence. His public image taught me that it was okay to think outside the box, to be yourself. If it wasn’t for him, Siouxsie Sioux, Joan Jett, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, and David Bowie, my outlook might’ve been very different. Probably a lot more bleak.

While I did accomplish a lot, I’m still residing in Queens. For now anyway. As someone who once wanted to ‘escape’ Queens, it’s now become the complete opposite. No thanks to the overall gentrification of NYC. I’ve learned to appreciate all the different cultures within my borough. Manhattan just isn’t the same anymore. Let’s not even talk about what happened with Brooklyn. The Bronx and Staten Island is too far away from everything. So Queens is where I stay. For now.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you. Here’s part two of the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week. Psycho Bunny as classic Boy George.

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Psycho Bunny as Boy George from Culture Club. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. August 2018.

The very next day after the B52s and Culture Club gig, I went to see Slayer over at Jones Beach, Long Island, NY. Talk about one extreme to the other. That will be discussed in next week’s blog post.

…and now. Memorize these 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.

Get yourself some cool stuff on RedBubble, featuring my designs. There’s dresses, tee shirts, notebooks, etc. The notebooks, and the Quentin Crisp tees seems to be one of the best selling items. Just in time for Pride.

One of my hobbies is documenting what goes riding the NYC subway lines: Wildlife On The MTA. Cause if you can’t laugh, you’ll cry. MTA passengers know what I’m talking about. Even better: My WildlifeOnTheMTA Instagram is active once again.

Come back next week for a new Psycho Bunny sketch. Remember to bring in good karma.

 

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Since I haven’t gotten around to the latest Psycho Bunny sketch of the week, instead let’s have a retrospective. Here’s all the past issues of Psycho Bunny, from issue one to the last release in 2011.

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This was the debut issue, released in 2004. My drawing and humor have improved ten fold since this first came out. Regardless, people had more or less a positive response. It sold out at Jim Hanley’s Universe (when it was located near Herald Square), and Forbidden Planet during 2004 and 2005. MySpace was popular during this time, so thanks to self online promotion, I managed to sell copies online. Unfortunately the printing place lost the files, so I’m unable to print anymore of issue one. Just as well. If you have issue one, hold on to it.

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Issue two was released in 2005, making it’s debut when I had a table at Big Apple Comic Con. The cover was influenced as I was walking through Queensboro Plaza on the way to my job. Literally saw a drunken man slouched on the sidewalk after pissing in his pants. The kitty street walker was added in for maximum effect. She was affectionately known as “Crack Kitty.” Charles Bukowski would’ve been proud.

In between issue two and three, I self-published two mini-issues. Both made their debut at MoCCA Art Fest 2006 and 2007.

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Spring 2008 saw the release of Psycho Bunny issue three, the double issue. Like the previous releases, this one also made it’s debut at MoCCA Art Fest 2008. The year 2008 was also when I became a NYC resident once again. Thankfully.

In 2010, I had a table in Artist Alley at New York Comic Con, otherwise known as NYCC.

The years 2009 through 2012 were very busy. One reason was a decision to go back to college. In addition I was doing the art for a web comic titled Shitty Mickey, which was published on The Brooklyn Rail website. Along the way there was a short Psycho Bunny story published in the comic book anthology IF-X #8. The April Fool’s edition was published in 2012 by Hamtramck Idea Men.

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After having some illustrations published along with various exhibits, it was time for another Psycho Bunny issue. The last one was released in 2011, debuting at MoCCA 2011. This one is still available for purchase. You can always order your copy online if I don’t have a table at a local comic convention.

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My table at MoCCA Art Fest 2011.

Next post I’ll get back on track, moving forward. Stay tuned for a new Psycho Bunny sketch of the week.

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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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As promised, I delivered this week’s Psycho Bunny sketch on a Tuesday, instead of the usual Monday. Did an awesome commission a few days ago, which will be posted another day on this blog. Have to finish some other commissions as well.

Anyway, for comic book fans you might’ve heard the news. Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko passed away over the weekend. He was also the artist responsible for bringing the world Doctor Strange, The Question and countless others. Spider-Man turned out to be his magnum opus.

Of course to Ditko fans, you can’t mention the artist without bringing in Objectivism and Ayn Rand. At some point he embraced Rand’s philosophy. Personally I feel that Objectivism might’ve ruined Ditko’s life. Hell, he was more of an Objectivist than Ayn Rand herself. Rand supposedly collected social security in her twilight years. Collecting social security within the context of Objectivism is open to debate. While I have some Ayn Rand books in my library,  I don’t subscribe to her philosophy. There has to be a better way being an individual.  Laveyan Satanism sounds more fun, plus it gets straight to the point. If one wants to be an individual, then why bother joining any collective in the first place?

I digress. You want to read about Steve Ditko, not my own opinions. To put it lightly, Steve Ditko was a brilliant sequential artist. In his personal life, he was a complicated man. Comic book veteran Tony Isabella explains this better with his blog post.

Perhaps it’s better to honor the man by retracing Spider-Man’s steps. Peter Parker after all, from Forest Hills, Queens. A local boy. He wants to help Aunt May right after Uncle Ben was killed. Even though Peter was kinda nerdy, her had Gwen and Mary Jane as girlfriends. He worked for a newspaper company, dealing with John Jonah Jameson, Jr. as his boss. Who knows if Peter was a Mets fan. After that, you can check out other Ditko titles, like his self-published work.

In Steve Ditko‘s honor, who passed away at age 90, here’s the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for July 10th, 2018.

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Psycho Bunny as Spider-Man. Based on the comic Psycho Bunny, written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. July 9th, 2018, after the passing of Steve Ditko.

And now, time for those lovely social media hints:

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. There’s dresses, tee shirts, notebooks, etc. The notebooks, and the Quentin Crisp tees seems to be one of the best selling items.

One of my hobbies is documenting what goes riding the NYC subway lines: Wildlife On The MTA. Cause if you can’t laugh, you’ll cry. MTA passengers know what I’m talking about. Even better: My WildlifeOnTheMTA Instagram is active once again.

Come back next week for a new Psycho Bunny sketch.

 

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