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Posts Tagged ‘fanzine’

During the years of 2004 to 2009, I self-published a pin-up sketchbook titled Babalon Babes. Not to be confused with Babylon, the name Babalon is a goddess which comes from Aleister Crowley’s Thelema system, or the 93 current. Babalon’s attributes have many layers. Among some of those layers are known as The Scarlet Women and The Great Mother. Babalon could be seen as a deity not afraid of her sexuality, completely liberated in which she could be seen as The Great Whore. American scientist Jack Parsons wrote about Babalon, taking part of a working known as The Babalon Working.

During 2003 – 2004 I was studying a lot about Thelema. This in turn influenced me to put together a collection of pin-ups containing both erotica and esoteric nature. Most of the Thelema influences went into Babalon Babes issues 1 & 2.

Issues one, two and three were sold for a while at Jim Hanely’s Universe at their previous location.

BabalonBabesJimHanley2011

Issues of Babalon Babes being sold at Jim Hanely’s Universe between 2004 – 2008.

With issue two, the transition between Thelema and my beginning interest in Chaos Magick started to merge. It was also issue two, and continuing into issue three that I mentioned the Cut-Up method, popularized by William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin. This same Cut-Up Technique was later used by popular musicians such as David Bowie, Kurt Cobain and Radiohead. T.O.P.Y (Thee Temple ov Psychic Youth) also spoke about Cut-Up workings.

Then came issue three, which I had self-published during a tumorous time in my life. The abusive marriage I was involved with came to a head. Should have left after the new husband gave me a nasty black eye, but I foolishly stayed. Due to such, I ended up homeless, crashing on various couches, depending on the kindness of near strangers and having my vulnerability taken advantage of. Despite of all this, I managed to make it to MoCCA Art Fest 2007 in time to sell Babalon Babes issue three, and the first Psycho Bunny Scrapbook. That alone was a feat into itself. Strangely enough, the cover of this issue, drawn between 2006 – 2007 still stands on its own.

BabalonBabesIssue3CoverWEB

Issue three of Babalon Babes released in the early summer of 2007. Artist Michele Witchipoo.

After moving back to NYC for good in late 2007, I threw all my focus into my comics. In Fall 2009, I released the last issue of Babalon Babes, which finally had a theme. This time the focus was completely on Astrology.

BabalonBabesIssue4CoverLG

Why am I posting past work? Well, as someone said recently, sometimes you have to look backwards to go forward. It sounds contradictory but there’s truth to this statement. Sometimes one needs a refresher on why one chooses the path they’re on. Think of it as a wake-up from a deluded nap. Then again, everything is just an illusion, isn’t it?

Looking back at these issues, I can’t believe some of my pin-ups were that sexually explicit. Would I draw these type of images today? Probably not, but I did draw the images back then, so best to own up to it. It was after all, a different time in my life.

I thought about doing another issue of Babalon Babes. Last time this came to mind, I thought about having a Rune/Norse theme. Then I scraped the whole ideal completely. Sometimes it’s best to leave things as they are.

There will always be a slight chance that Babalon Babes will come back, but for the time being, no. I decided to stop printing issue two aeons ago due to certain reasons. Issues One and Three got eventually got the chopping block a few years after. The only issue with copies still available is issue 4, the Astrology issue. Which you can always order off my website. Warning – there’s not many of those left either. Yet who knows? Never say never. At this point it’s either burn the bridge or go with whatever is left.

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This is old news from December 2013. My self published comics were given a merit award and grant by The Carbon Based Mistake blog.

http://thecarbonbasedmistake.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/art-exchange-program-grant-v22013-winners/

The award, received through USPS, came with goodies such as stickers and zines. The grant came in the form of having my Psycho Bunny mini-issue reprinted with better quality covers. Which came in very handy so far in 2014.

Below is a photo of the last Psycho Bunny mini-issue 3.25, reprinted by The Carbon Based Mistake merit grant:

Reprints of Psycho Bunny mini issue. Comic by Michele Witchipoo.

Reprints of Psycho Bunny mini issue 3.25. Comic by Michele Witchipoo.

You can order your own copy via PayPal. It’s $3.00, which is $2.00 for the comic itself, and $1.00 for shipping costs. Either go through my website, which is http://witchesbrewpress.com/ or you can send $3.00 directly through PayPay to psychobunnycomix@aol.com (my old comix email from way back when)

Occasionally, people have asked me whether or not I plan to continue Psycho Bunny. It’s true I have put my comics on a hiatus of sorts. Lately I’ve been focusing more on illustration and other matters. Since folks have actually inquired about this, it nudged me a bit to continue my comics. So Psycho Bunny just might snap out of his hangover for pleasure of some, and the delightful chagrin to others.

The biggest boost when I decided to sell my comics at a Norma’s, a local Queens cafe in Ridgewood, NYC. Much to my surprise, this issue immediately sold out. No-one was more surprised than me. Since then I’ve restocked the issue, and you can get your copy here.

If you are into zine culture, then The Carbon Based Mistake blog is highly recommended.

 

 

 

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Hey, check it out. I won an award. A pleasant surprise indeed.

It was for the Art Exchange Program Grant v2/2013. I’m one of the winners.

You can see it for yourself here:

http://thecarbonbasedmistake.wordpress.com/2013/11/30/art-exchange-program-grant-v22013-winners/

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So I’m finally trying to get my website together. Here I was, typing my bio to post on my future website. As I was listing stuff I’ve done, I remembered contributing artwork for a UK club fanzine. My long time friend Jason used to publish a little ditty titled ‘Urban Groove.’ After his last trip to the US, Jason decided to put together his own ‘zine. The zine’s content focused on what he loved the most, which at the time was raves, music and clubbing. Jason asked me for some artwork, and at the time I thought nothing of it. This was way before I had decided to use a ‘pen name.’ Ironically, it was my friends Jason and Bejay who had always encouraged me to do something with my cartooning, artwork, and whatnot. I still consider those two, along with a few others to still count as my friends. Everyone else I knew back then…they’re long, long gone.

Jason’s skills as a professional printer back in Newport, Wales, proved to be in his favor as he was putting together issues of Urban Groove. Here’s the cover of one of his Urban Groove issues, dating to Winter 1998-1999:

UK based “Urban Groove” fanzine, winter 1998 – 1999. Published by Jason Mee. Some of my early artwork was used for this issue.

The photo of the skyline you see on the cover is when me and Jason went to visit the U.N. He used the NYC background as part of the fanzine cover design.

Another page from this issue. My artwork hadn’t fully developed yet, but the core was there.

Page from the UK fanzine “Urban Groove” dated winter 1998 – 1999. Published by Jason Mee. Angel cartoon drawn by Michele Witchipoo, dated 1997. That drawing was later used for some handmade Christmas/holiday cards, given to my friends around that time.

Here’s the centerfold of the ‘zine, with my drawing placed in the middle of the layout:

Centerfold layout from the UK fanzine “Urban Groove.” Published by Jason Mee during the late 1990s. Drawing by Michele Witchipoo, dated either 1997 or 1998.

I hadn’t looked through issues of “Urban Groove” in years. To my dismay, I had totally forgotten a photo Jason had published of me. This was back when I was thinner, and much cuter. Still surprised that this snapshot was used. This was back when I was a redhead. I’m the shorter one, on the left.

Advertisement in the back of the UK fanzine, “Urban Groove” for subscriptions. Photo taken in 1996 or 1997. Urban Groove was published by Jason Mee during the late 1990s.

I don’t think I would ever pose for a photo such as this today. Maybe as a joke. Similar to when I took part in a zombie beauty pageant back in December 2011. I knew I had no chance in winning, but did it more for the laughs. Being obnoxious, I suppose. But to pose for something like this? Not likely.Then again, the person in the photograph is nothing like the person I’ve become nowadays. After all, people do change.

Urban Groove stopped publication a long time ago. Jason moved on, and now finds work as a photographer. He mostly photographs sexy pin-ups.

Thus so ends another short trip down memory lane.

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