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Posts Tagged ‘pop culture’

Don’t watch many televisions shows nowadays. There’s a few exceptions. Got to watch season three of Stranger Things. Stranger Things is the popular Netflix series, very loosely based on The Montauk Project and The Philadelphia Experiment, combined with early to mid ’80s nostalgia.  The only reason I bothered to check out Stranger Things was The Montauk influence. After viewing season one, I was hooked.

As for both The Montauk Project and Philadelphia Experiment, those were conspiracy theories I had an interest in during the early 2000s. Although I never went so far to obtain a tin foil hat, I would entertain these theories. That was until 2016, when the phenomenon of fake news took over. Now all these conspiracy theories weren’t as amusing. Besides. Many of the hardcore conspiracy theorists were just plain nuts. You could say I lost my patience.

However, there is a special place in my heart for Montauk. If it wasn’t for my previous interest, I would have never bothered with Stranger Things. Once during the summer of 2000 or 2001 before 9/11, I spent a day trying to explore Montauk. I didn’t locate Camp Hero, but I did find the whole complete book collection in the Montauk Public Library.

It’s been said that Aleister Crowley also conducted magickal experiments at Montauk.

Back to Stranger Things. Once Hollywood got involved, there were some rearrangements. Montuak, Long Island became Hawkins, Indiana. The Duffer Brothers, the creators behind Stranger Things were almost sued. Right before it came to trail, the plaintiff withdrew. Guess The Duffer Brothers got some damn good lawyers.

We cannot deny though, that Stranger Things is one of the few decent television series. Season three did seem heavy on the mid ’80s camp, product placement, and adolescence romance. My new favorite character from Stranger Things was one I loathed; Billy Hargrove. Billy was the mean scuzbucket metal head. If you weren’t careful, he just might bang your wife. His thin porn ‘stache makes a nice touch. A few hours before working on this blog post, I wasted an hour online discussing Billy’s potential playlist. In my own theory, I figured there was two. One was for Billy himself, as he speeds down the road in his muscle car. Most likely he would blast Motley Crue, WASP, and David Lee Roth era Van Halen. The other one was when he gets together with the MILFS. He’ll get down and dirty with the Mrs. as Journey plays in the background – just before the husband gets home from work. Before I go any further, a round of applause is due for Australian actor and poet Darce Montgomery. Montgomery completely nails the role of the ’80s burnout lowlife. But I digress.

Might as well wrap this up with a long awaited Psycho Bunny sketch of The Week. From speculations, yes, this week’s sketch is Stranger Things influenced. If more time to spare, I could’ve done Billy fan fiction. Luckily there’s things I have to work on. Meanwhile, enjoy the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for July 15th, 2019.

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Psycho Bunny does Stranger Things with beer. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo. July 2019. 

Michele Witchipoo – Social media:

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.

Going to promote my RedBubble shop again. 

 Get yourself some cool stuff on RedBubble, featuring my designs.

 

…and again. Buy my latest comic. The Temptation of Squeaky. It’s about a well-fed cat who meets up with a demon in hope of getting more treats. Just to clarify, it’s not a “satanic Garfield.” That’s a flippant and lazy description. I suggest you find out for yourself. Ordering online it’s $4.00 ($3.00 + $1.00 S&H).

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The Temptation of Squeaky. Comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo. Released this year on WitchesBrewPress. 

Till next time.

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Another reminder, I will be at the second IncrediCon this Saturday. (First one was back in October 2018) Free admission, located in the Hudson Valley area of Upstate NY. Middletown to be exact. The comic con will take place at the Galleria at Crystal Run Mall, 1 Galleria Drive, Middletown NY.

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I’ll have my latest comic available for sale, along with other titles and greeting cards. Also doing commissions.

 

 

See you there this Saturday.

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As everyone on the internet heard, Grumpy Cat passed away.

Psycho Bunny inquires Grumpy about life after death. Per usual, she hates it.

Introducing the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for Tuesday, May 21st, 2019.

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Psycho Bunny, Grumpy Cat, the afterlife. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo, on WitchesBrewPress. May 2019.

I’ll be at Cradle Con and IncrediCon next month, selling my latest comic:

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Squeaky Squeakums with her demon friend. Comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo. Released May 2019.

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.

 

Stay tuned for more blog posts. Including East Coast Comic Con 2019 and Killing Joke.

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There’s been so much global strife lately. The U.S. isn’t faring any better. In the mist of all the upheaval, we learned that a certain cat named Tardar Sauce recently passed away. Better known to everyone as “Grumpy Cat“, the cat was only seven years old.

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Grumpy Cat confronts Alf. Drawn by Michele Witchipoo. 2018. Originally posted on Sketch Lottery (Now defunct website).

Around 2011 or 2012, the internet started exploding with celebrity animals, particularly cats. From the humble beginnings of memes posted on site like Reddit, the LOLcat phenomenon grew. The original Holy Trinity of internet cats were Colonial Meow, Grumpy Cat, and Lil Bub. Now only Lil Bub remains.

I met Tardar Sauce back in summer 2014. It was a book signing at Barnes & Noble, the Union Square location in Manhattan, NYC. There was an opportunity to meet this infamous Grumpy Cat, in town to promote her latest book The Grumpy Guide to Life: Observations from Grumpy Cat.” 

When I arrived at the bookstore to secure my position on line, there was a mother and son team. The duo were the first fans in line, wearing matching Grumpy Cat shirts. A few elder crazy cat ladies showed up. As the crowd developed, Grumpy’s fan base were from all backgrounds and ages. Despite her disgruntled disposition, Tardar Sauce made a national impact.

The strangest part was not the press, nor the hype. When Grumpy Cat arrived to the signing, half the crowd started screaming as if it was Beatlemania.

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Posing with Grumpy Cat. August 2014.

Grumpy branched out into mass merchandising. Besides books, there was beverages, clothing, calendars, even a comic. At the time of her death, Grumpy had stamped her well marketed paw on perfume and Sketcher footwear.

 

Here’s my Grumpy Cat portrait, done back in 2012.

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Grumpy Cat painting. Materials: Gouache, pen. Dec. 2012. Painting by Michele Witchipoo.

Today’s ‘Caturday’ post is dedicated to Grumpy Cat.

Rest in peace Grumpy. (April 4, 2012 – May 14, 2019)

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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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The weekend after CradleCon, I’ll be at IncrediCon in Upstate NY. Saturday June 8th, 2019. Hudson Valley area. Details forthcoming.

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