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All you geek rejoice! This upcoming Saturday, May 4th means two things. We not only have the annual Free Comic Book Day, but also Star Wars Day.

Although technically the very first Star Wars installment premiered on May 25th, 1977, it hasn’t stopped dedicated Star Wars fans to choose May 4th as its commemorative day. “May the fourth be with you” as it is told.

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As of this blog post, Ben and me were discussing actor Peter Mayhew. He’s the British 7 feet tall three inches actor who portrayed Chewbacca, one of the most beloved characters in the Star Wars universe. His family broke the news via Twitter about Mayhew’s recent passing.

Chatting about the world’s most famous Wookie, I relayed my own Chewbacca story. It’s both amusing, yet sad with a slight sprinkle of Hollywood Babylon.

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Chewbacca realizes Han Solo needs help for his gambling addiction. Originally drawn in 2014 for Sketch Lottery, by Michele Witchipoo.

It was the year 2007. The setting was at the second annual New York Comic Con. I was walking around the Javitis Center with another friend, Mario. We found ourselves upstairs in the autograph section. Our purpose was to locate the three top winners of the SyFy Channel program “Who Wants To Be A Superhero.” As someone who usually despises reality shows, “Superhero” was one of the rare exceptions. So as Mario and me sought out Major Victory, Fat Momma and Feedback, we glanced over at the other celebrities. There was actress Hayden Panettiere from the then-popular show Heroes. Her signing price was, at the time, $100. That was considered a lot for autographs back then. Since 2007, pop culture autographs have become more lucrative. Charging $100 and up is now standard for actors like Mark Hamill, David Tennant, Matt Smith and Jason Momoa. Anyhow, before all the A-list actors jumped onto the John Handcock racket, autograph signings were formerly reserved for washed-up celebrities.

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This is where Gary Coleman comes in.

If you grew up during the late ’70s and early ’80s, then surely you must remember the American TV sitcom “Different Strokes.” Gary Coleman was the breakout star. Unfortunately, once the network canceled the comedy, Coleman’s career was never the same. When Coleman’s star fell, it fell pretty bad. The actor tried everything. I even remember Coleman pretty much grasping for straws when he tried to become a rapper. It was a very short-lived venture. My accidental discovery happened during my late teens. Having yet another insomniac moment. Couldn’t sleep, so I turned on the television. Since I lived in the NYC outer borough of Queens, we were stuck without cable. No MTV, no HBO, no nothing. Which meant there was nothing to watch but filler. Local station programming consisted of forgotten ’60s syndicated shows, Time/Life info-commercials, ads for the Jessica Hahn party line, and rejected talk shows. The latter is where Gary Coleman wound up with his rap act.

Below are two videos to prove I’m not making this up:

(Below is an example what I had, living in Queens, NYC late ’80s/early ’90s. Late night TV. Sans cable. We got stuck with this bullshit.)

It got worse as time went on. Turns out Gary Coleman was broke because his own foster parents and former manager stole most of his money. Despite a judge ruling in Coleman’s favor later on, the only work he could secure was as a security guard. His fate seemed to be resigned to supermarket tabloid articles along with the occasional self-deprecating appearances. His health problems didn’t fare any better. Coleman suffered from congenital kidney disease causing nephritis (an autoimmune destruction of the kidney). This stunted his growth from an early age. Up until his death he required daily dialysis. This was additionally compounded by his anger management problems.

So back to 2007. We’re at the second annual New York Comic Con. Mario quickly turns to me, stammering “Ohmigod, don’t turn around!”

Me: “Why?”

Mario: “That’s Gary Coleman! I can’t look at him! Don’t look at him! I’m going to laugh…”

After we both snicker, I look over Mario’s shoulder. Sure enough, there was Gary Coleman, sitting in a booth. He was hawking autographs. The actor was trying to put on a friendly face, but nobody was lining up for his signature.

Suddenly commotion ensues. A whole crowd of rabid Star Wars cosplayers and fans rush past us. It wasn’t a stampede, yet as they sped, we swore we felt out hair blow back. Our spot was soon crowded with these fanatics, overcome with glee. They surround a very tall man as if he was a demigod.

“Who’s that?” Mario asked someone.

“That’s the guy who played Chewbacca” was the response.

Various Stormtroopers practically dance around this man as if they were Ewoks from Return of The Jedi. More people approach this impromptu homecoming. It casts a dark shadow upon Gary Coleman’s booth. In their rejoicing, the Star Wars fans inadvertently eclipse Coleman. It was as if Coleman didn’t even exist. This was a comic book convention after all. Upstaging wasn’t Peter Mayhew’s intention. This didn’t matter to Coleman. The man of 4ft and 8 inches looked visibility upset. Mario and I silently watched as Coleman chomp down on his hot dog, garnished with a painful mixture of anger and sadness.

Mario shares his observation: “Wow. He bit into that hot dog with such bitterness…” 

After watching the Star Wars fans worship the original Chewbacca for another few minutes, we walked off to find the winners of “Who Wants To Be A Superhero.” Left behind was the clashing juxtaposition of Chewbacca and Arnold Jackson. Ironically, those two characters were symbols of my ’70s childhood.

We all know about what became of the Star Wars franchise after 2007. In fact, I saw Last Jedi twice during its theatrical release. Last Jedi has become my personal favorite next to the original trilogy. Rouge One was also fantastic. Just recently I caught Han Solo on Netflix. Star Wars has outgrown and will outlive George Lucas. Regardless of how Disney currently handles the Star Wars property, it’s become part of the American storytelling mythos. It’s just like the retelling of ancient folktales from various cultures, such as Norse, Celtic, Greek, Egyptian, Japanese, Indian, English, African, Buddhist, Jewish, Islamic, Christian, Pre-Christian/Pagan, etc. Only substitute them with various stories from the Star Wars universe, along with classic Marvel and DC characters.

After NYCC 2007, I heard another personal Gary Coleman antidote. It from my other friend Bejay. So I mention seeing Coleman at the comic con. Bejay tells me that he met the actor once. It was during Bejay’s time as a party promoter. Gary Coleman complimented Bejay on his Club Kid platforms. Unlike Mario, Bejay expressed more compassion for Coleman: “I felt sorry for him…”  Gary Coleman passed away in 2010. On April 30th 2019, Peter Mayhew, aka, the original Chewbacca also passes away. He was 74.

On May 2nd, 2019, I talk to Ben about the time I saw Chewbacca and Gary Coleman at NYCC 2007.

Me: “…so that’s my Chewbacca story. It’s both funny and sad…”

Ben, as he refers to Gary Coleman while having a horrified expression upon his face: “…That’s kinda depressing!”

May the fourth be with you.

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Chewbacca. Drawn with a portable Pentel ink brush, other with other art pens. Michele Witchipoo. May 2019.

 

 

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The pop culture website Sketch Lottery is no more. So I’m taking some of my past contributions and re-posting my sketches here. Here’s Grover, a popular Sesame Street character, done in a Rockabilly style. Originally created in 2017. Always thought this rendition was cute.  At least here he doesn’t have a thing for chickens.

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Grover, a classic Sesame Street character, re-imagined as a Rockabilly dude. Originally done for Sketch Lottery in 2017. Drawn by Michele Witchipoo. 

This week has been busy. Although there’s been a few Psycho Bunny weekly sketches completed, I haven’t had a chance to scan them. Therefore the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week might be postponed until next week. If it’s not posted by tonight, then next week I will continue where it was left over. See you then.

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Last week I was scrolling through Facebook. A few mentions of that Netflix film “The Dirt” popped up in my feed. I wasn’t that big of a Motley Crue fan. Only like the first two albums. Afterwards, they kinda sucked. You know, same old tired rock formula. Maybe the lackluster was due to ditching the satanic imagery and makeup. During that time I switched to Post Punk, Goth and Punk. It was so uncool to be caught listening to Motley Crue. Even the metalheads I knew listened to early Metallica, Venom, Anthrax, etc. Motley Crue wasn’t even in the equation.

Anyway, might as well make use of my Netflix subscription. I checked out the film. They managed to squeeze an hour’s worth of Dirt. It had the feel of a made for TV movie, only more T&A and without Perry King. I expected the round-the-clock gratuitous groupie sex. What blew me away was Nikki Sixx’s $1000 a day heroin habit. Hey – that’s most of the rent for my apartment! Second, he lived to tell about it. While the band did kinda come across as sexist, narcissistic clowns, one gathers it was the norm. It’s probably the norm now, with rappers, even with crappy boy bands. At least Crue didn’t pull an R. Kelly.

The Dirt was still a guilty pleasure. Perhaps I’ll get the Crue bio after all. During the early 2000s, I used to walk into this local Barnes and Noble out in Long Island, read parts of the book, then purchase another title.

Without further ado, here’s the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week. I picked Nikki Sixx because I can’t get the junkie price tag out of my head.

Confession: I owned a copy of Shout At The Devil on vinyl right before or during freshman year of high school. During a trip to Philadelphia, an ex gifted me the album on CD. Which I received some flak. Hey. The CD was a present.

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Psycho Bunny does Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. March/April 2019.

Too Fast For Love – 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.

 

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WARNING: Strong language – NSFW

You know you feel the same way too…even if 2017 seems scarier.

Introducing the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week.

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How Psycho Bunny feels about 2016. The Psycho Bunny sketch of the week. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo, published on WitchesBrewPress. Dec. 2016.

The usual plugs. Don’t forget to like the Psycho Bunny Comix Facebook page. There’s also the WitchesBrewPress FB page for my other illustration work. Till next time.

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Check it out; the Rozz Williams tribute event, “Necessary Discomforts” was featured in Gothic Beauty magazine! Issue # 33 is on sale now. This show I had an illustration exhibited, titled “Rozz.”

Cover of Gothic Beauty magazine,issue # 33. There's an article about the Rozz Williams tribute show, which I had an illustration exhibited.

Everyone that loves Rozz Williams should pick up issue #33 of Gothic Beauty Magazine. Major feature story on ‘Necessary Discomforts: An Artistic Tribute to Rozz Williams’ curated by A Raven Above Press at the Hyaena Gallery. If you don’t get it in your neighborhood, demand it of your local bookstore. Not to be missed!

When I was in high school, I was so immersed in the Goth subculture. Used to read stuff like Propaganda magazine. So many years later, I still can’t believe that an exhibit, in which I had artwork displayed, made it to a publication like Gothic Beauty. An awesome feeling indeed.

You can order your own copy here:
http://www.gothicbeauty.com/gothic_beauty_latest_news/pre_order_issue_33_3083.html

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Unless you’re a golf ball sinking in quicksand, you know about Tiger Woods’ situation. About how he cheated on his wife and whatnot. About how he seemed to have a penchant for blond women. Many blond women, but that’s besides the point.

It may not be the most kosher thing to cheat on your wife. While that may not be right, its also not right for the media & paparazzi constantly tearing him down as if its the latest blood sport. Well, yeah, okay…no one likes a two timer. However, the mass media isn’t any better. Who are these people to cast the first stone? Many people within the paparazzi industry also have skeletons in their grubby little closets. Let’s take a bet, how many members of this mass media are failed actors, musicians, athletes, etc. Not all, but some. As they report about the sex-a-bouts, they’re secretly venting their bitterness of never been. After all, the pen is mightier than the sword.

I’m not the type of person who says “oh that’s racist!” Yet ever notice that when David Letterman confessed about his infidelities, it lasted probably about like…a half a month. Let’s not forget that Letterman slept with his co-employees! Then Tiger Woods’s little car crash happened. Suddenly, Letterman’s scandal got swept under the rug. Even today, the media continues to pick this Tiger carcass down to the bone.

Okay, so Tiger got busy with a lot of tanned blond cocktail waitresses. So what. So fuckin’ what. (No pun intended) Like you never cheated on your significant other. Maybe you didn’t, but you know someone that did. Not saying that its cool to cheat behind someone’s back. With everything else that’s going on in the world, couldn’t we find more important news to talk about?

In the end, who are we to cast judgment? Clearly we forget that unless we are Tiger and his former model wife, we will never know the whole story. Could’ve been nothing but an illusion for all we know. Cheaper to keep up appearances than some expensive divorce. Perhaps they’re staying together for the sake of the kids, hey, you never know. Remember this; there are three sides to every story. His side, her side, and the truth.

Perhaps Tiger melted under celebrity pressure. Perhaps there’s only so much temptation to withhold from. It’s not always so easy to live under a perfected microscope. For example, how many people in high end stressful careers burn off steam by going to a dominatrix? That’s one example. Cause deep down inside, sex is psychological. Loneliness, sure, sometimes. Many times people participate in kinky games like domination and submission as stress release. It doesn’t matter what side you’re playing on. The point is, sexual fantasies are commonly used as an escape from everyday dilemmas. For example, take the film Secretary. In this movie, the main character is a mousy office worker with various emotional and mental issues. Somewhere between the interaction between her and her boss, she learns how to channel this energy into being a submissive.

You don’t even have to get extreme as with the whole S&M/bondage role playing trip. I was just using the aforementioned as an example. Tiger, crumbling under the pressure of sponsorship, competing, what have you, he escaped with fair-haired maidens.

So really in the end…who are we to cast judgment? If Tiger Woods is nothing but a low down dirty dog, then don’t worry. He got his already. Karma got served on a silver platter. The main course was public humiliation.

Leave the man alone. Woods and his family suffered enough already.

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone…

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