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Posts Tagged ‘music’

It happened yet again. Last Friday I received a surprise text on my cell. Apparently I won tickets to see Wasabassco’s House of Deveraux: Tribute to Led Zeppelin. This was the second time this year I won tickets to an event (double bill Judas Priest and Deep Purple), and third time winning tickets in general (to see Kite back in 2016). What luck! A few hours later I hopped on the subway to (Le) Poisson Rouge.

2018 has become a Led Zeppelin themed year. A few months ago I saw Robert Plant perform at Forest Hills Stadium. Since then I’ve been on a Led Zeppelin kick. Even if I still skip ‘Stairway To Heaven’ when using Spotify. House of Deveraux blended the art of strip tease dancing to songs like Kashmir effortlessly. All the burlesque performers did their own take of each Led Zep tune to a packed audience. Here’s a review of the show on Brooklyn Vegan.

Which leads to the weekly Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for Sept. 19th, 2018.

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Psycho Bunny takes in some burlesque! Based on the comic book written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo, on WitchesBrewPress. September 2018.

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.

Come back next week for a new Psycho Bunny sketch.

 

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Since Fall 2017, I’ve been attending more concerts than usual. This personal trend started when my friend sold me her ticket to the Front 242 gig over at Irving Plaza. This was followed by Gary Numan, then Television. Over the past few months I’ve seen bands going across the board from local, national and even international. 2018 started with a show over at St. Vitus. The bill was Royal Thunder, Backwoods Payback and Heavy Temple. This was followed by Mac Sabbath, Clan of Xymox, Anvil, Melvins, Robert Plant, Culture Club/The B-52s, Slayer/Lamb of God/Anthrax/Testament/Napalm Death which was the next day after Culture Club, and now capping it off with CAKE.

So far in the summer of 2018, I’ve been to Forest Hills Stadium three times. It’s not a bad venue. Even if your seats are all the way back next to Saint Philomena, you can still have a decent view. Since I live in Queens, it’s convenient. The bad part is there’s an enforced curfew of 10 pm for all shows. That’s because the stadium is smack in the middle of a residential area. Boo.

Anyway, I’ve always wanted to see CAKE live. They do one of my favorite songs from the ’90s, ‘The Distance’, but the band is so much more than that hit single. The concert itself was a double bill with Ben Folds Five, with Tall Heights opening. Somehow during the Ben Folds Five set, someone from that band didn’t show up. So a member of Tall Heights had to fill in. Ben Folds Five isn’t usually my “cup of tea” as they say, but live they were all right.

So CAKE comes on despite the grueling humidity. Hey. Kudos to any band that can perform under those nasty weather conditions. CAKE performed their latest single “Sinking Ship.” It wasn’t long until the band had everyone singing along to “Sick of You.” John McCrea also raised some good points. Like how everyone is so into their smartphones nowadays, we forget to live in the moment. He requested that people put down the cells just to enjoy the concert, but many ignored his plea.

Somehow in the middle of the concert, they started rushing through their set. Apparently they were told by management they had to cut the perform short. There was barely enough time for the tree giveaway shtick. (Too bad; I wanted that tree!) Yet the crowd adored the band. By the time ‘The Distance’ came on, people were dancing in their seats.

The best part of the concert in my opinion? Catching glimpses of lightening during the gig. There was thunder, but no rain. Once the thunder started to crack, some people left their seats in hast. Not me. I thought seeing thunder during a show was awesome. Slightly dangerous, maybe, but still awesome.

After the last song, the entire crowd demanded an encore. The audience loved CAKE. After two to five minutes, the band finally came back, doing a clever cover of Black Sabbath’s “Warpigs.” Then things got serious when John McCrea made another plea to the audience. This time, for Americans to register to vote. I’m not kissing his ass, but he’s right. Yes, the election voting system is flawed – but don’t give up on the process. Sometimes voting is the only voice someone could have.

Which leads up to…yup, you got it. The Psycho Bunny sketch of the week. Influenced by CAKE and their tradition of giving away a tree during each concert.

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CAKE and the free tree giveaway. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. August 2018.

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.

Come back next week for a new Psycho Bunny sketch. Also keep an eye out, I might be posting more commissions this week. If you have an extra cash floating around, buy one of my comics, or get a commission. You won’t regret it.

UPDATE: Added additional photographs taken from the cheap seats at Forest Hills Stadium. Including Ben Folds Five. 

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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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Inside the Brooklyn Musuem for the Bowie Is exhibit. Photo taken by Natasha Michalina, July 2018.

On Sunday, July 15th 2018, the Bowie Is exhibit wrapped up it’s five year tour at the Brooklyn Museum. Since the V&A traveling exhibit began in 2013, it has visited four continents, twelve museums, and attracted 1.8 million viewers. It was Bowie’s personal request that the touring exhibit end in New York City, where he spent the last twenty years of his life.

I was lucky to have caught this exhibit during its last week at the Brooklyn Museum. Advanced tickets were completely sold out. The alternative was to wake up at the crack of dawn, just to get in line before the doors open. Right before 11 am, the line was starting to feel like general admission to a concert rather than an exhibit.

Luck was on my side last Wednesday. I was able to get in for the 12 afternoon showing.

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My ticket for the special Bowie Is exhibit inside the Brooklyn Museum. July 2018.

First of all, the exhibit itself is far from any form of hero worship. It showed almost every era of Bowie’s career. While the initial attraction was seeing his stage outfits up close, it was the breakdown of his creative process that stood out. Handwritten lyrics, rough sketches of stage design, storyboards, scripts, all documents showing behind the scenes.

One example was the “cut-up technique“, originally created by Tristan Tzara, and brought into the public consciousness by Brion Gysin. Bowie, being a William S. Burroughs fan, used the cut-up method on and off in various stages of his recording career. In 1995, Bowie took this a step further when creating lyrics for his Outsider album. He used a custom program called the Verbasizer on his Mac computer, shown during the Bowie Is exhibit.

That’s only one clue what the exhibit had to offer. Entering the exhibit, it was a bit overwhelming at first. There’s a helluva lot to take in. In all, the entire exhibit took three hours to complete.

Apparently Bowie was a huge literature fan. He took a trunk of his favorite books on tour with him, since he was an avid reader. Bowie was huge into German Expressionism at one point, which showed up in his own paintings, also on display. Bowie was more of a polymath than the public realized. At one point Bowie tried creating his own tarot deck. It was for his own private use, inserted into film slide frames. The personal project was never completed, only going as far as most of the major arcana. Unless if that was what Bowie had intended.

 Bowie was also an actor, art collector, collaborator, world traveler, well, perhaps just an overall innovator. But we all knew that last part.

After spending three hours in the Bowie Is exhibit, I was literally too exhausted to check out the rest of the Brooklyn Museum. A few days later, I drew something from Bowie’s Thin White Duke era. (A few years back, I had already did something from his Ziggy/Aladdin Sane era)

So which leads us to…yes, you guessed it. The Psycho Bunny sketch of the week. Psycho Bunny as The Thin White Duke.

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David Bowie during his Thin White Duke era, mid-70s.

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Psycho Bunny as David Bowie during his Thin White Duke era. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo, on WitchesBrewPress. July 2018.

Here we go. The usual promotional hints:

Facebook: pages for Psycho Bunny and for Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress. Just put new widgets for both FB pages on this blog.

 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: My WildlifeOnTheMTA Instagram is active once again.

Come back next week for a new Psycho Bunny sketch.

Additional Links: 

https://www.npr.org/sections/therecord/2018/03/17/594326984/what-you-could-take-away-from-david-bowie-is

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/david-bowies-secret-life-inside-the-stunning-david-bowie-is-exhibit-in-brooklyn-202335/

 

 

Special thanks to Natasha Michalina, who let me use her photos. Cellphone pics weren’t allowed, but she was brave enough to sneak a few. 

 

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Two weeks ago, I landed two free tickets to see Robert Plant in concert. The venue was nearby where I live in Queens, NY., at Forest Hills Stadium. My musical tastes usually runs towards more other genres, such as Post Punk, Punk, New Wave, Goth, Industrial, Experimental, etc. However, my very first exposure to music was when classic rock ruled the airwaves. Way back when, it was WPLJ and WNEW, both on FM radio that had exposed me to Rock music. So it was only natural that I progressed from ’70s Disco to listening to bands like, Queen or Led Zeppelin. The very first ‘Rock’ song I was exposed to was Cheap Trick’s “I Want You To Want Me.” So in a sense, these bands were a part of my transition from childhood to adolescence. That wasn’t to last long since the U.S. was just entering the 1980s. It’s very obvious I am a product of the ’80s. Soon I became a fan of groups like The B-52s, Devo, Duran Duran, Culture Club, then later The Smiths, The Cure, Siouxsie and The Banshees, etc. As the ’80s evolved, radio formats changed as well. Just as well.

So that day I’m walking through the land of Peter Parker. Saw this Ramones mural underneath the Long Island Railroad.

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Street mural of The Ramones in Forest Hills, Queens, NYC. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Met up with my friend, entering the venue. Fell in love immediately with Forest Hills stadium. For free tickets, our seats weren’t that bad. We sat through opening act Sheryl Crow. My friend was more into Sheryl Crow than me. Never cared for her music, but she was good live.

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Sheryl Crow opening for Robert Plant at Forest Hills Stadium, June 13th, 2018. Crappy photo by Michele Witchipoo.

As the sun began to transition into night, Robert Plant took the stage.  What threw me for a surprise was he actually did not just one, but four Led Zeppelin songs. I was only expecting maybe one, perhaps something acoustic. This review on Brooklyn Vegan was pretty spot on.

Since that show I’ve been a minor Led Zeppelin kick. Which got me Googling links regarding Led Zeppelin and their association with the occult. It’s known that Jimmy Page brought Boleskine House, a former residence of Aleister CrowleyPage was so immersed with Crowley and Thelema, the first printing of Led Zeppelin ‘Led Zeppelin III’ has ‘do what thou wilt’ stamped on the vinyl. Robert Plant himself always had a fascination with Celtic folklore. The most famous Led Zeppelin song ‘Stairway To Heaven’ was slightly by occult researcher Lewis Spence.

Then there’s the urban legend that three out of the four Led Zeppelin members made a pact with the devil. Which started to bring bad luck upon the band. That’s just a rumor.

Yet curiously Led Zeppelin bass player John Paul Jones did a collaboration with Avant-garde opera singer Diamanda Galas. It was released in 1994.

download

Which finally leads us to the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week.

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Psycho Bunny does Robert Plant and Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. June 2018.

Now for the social media quips.

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.

 

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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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