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Posts Tagged ‘Queens NY’

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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Earlier last month (July 2018), I had the pleasure of doing a commission from a lovely lady I had met at Second Star salon, which my friend owns. Two weeks later she contacted me, requesting a commission for her birthday. In her request, she wanted something slightly retro with a rock n’ roll edge, cakes and bees. The bunny, would be the ‘Honey Bunny.’

Including the bees and honeycombs was especially important. That’s because she has her own honey making business called Well-Beeing Concepts.

Below is the black and white pen version, before the color.

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“Honey Bunny” birthday commission, July 2018. Art by Michele Witchipoo. Black & white, pen before the coloring. 

Here’s a scan of the same commission, this time done in glitter watercolor. Although the glitter part of the paint doesn’t really come through in the scan, in person you can see the shimmer.

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“Honey Bunny” A birthday commission done in July 2018. Art by Michele Witchipoo. The scan fails to pick up on the shimmer of the glitter watercolors, but still an awesome piece. Pen, ink, glitter watercolor. 

Really pleased about the way this commission came out. Stay tuned folks. I’m going to be posting another commission soon, which will be done in a darker style. Of course, if you want your own commission, email me: Witchipoo@witchesbrewpress.net.

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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.

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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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This Saturday I’ll be at this one day zine fest happening near L.I.C., Queens, NYC. It’s free admission from 2-6pm, located at 34-09 Queens Blvd & 43rd Avenue.

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Flyer for the Artist & Craftsman Zine Fest happening in L.I.C., Queens NY on Saturday June 24th, 2017.

You can check out the info on Facebook here.

Pfft…btw. Check out the Facebook pages for Psycho Bunny and Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress.

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They say in space no one can hear you scream. Unless you’re Psycho Bunny.

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This Saturday, I’ll be at the Artist & Craftsman Pop-Up Zine Fest and Swap happening in L.I.C., Queens, NY. Free admission, from 2 – 6pm.

Zine Fair Flyer

Ending this post with the usual plugs. Don’t forget to check out my Facebook pages for Psycho Bunny Comix and Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress. There’s also Instagram, WitchipooArt. On Twitter there’s Mr. Psycho Bunny and Michele Witchipoo. Till next time, or at least until the next blog post.

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This past weekend, I had a table selling my comics at WinterCon 2015. Out of all the comics cons I’ve done, WinterCon had to been the most swankest, for it took place inside Resorts World Casino.

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Setting up for my table at WinterCon 2015, at Resorts World Casino. Queens, NY. Photo by Michele Witchipoo. Dec. 2015.

Over the two days I immediately sold out of my handmade Krampus ornaments, sold Krampus greeting cards, sold a few of my comics, and towards the last hour and a half, did a commission.

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Handmade Krampus tree ornament. Created by Michele Witchipoo. Dec. 2015. Soon to be for sale on my Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/WitchesBrewPress

Here’s some photos from day one:

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WinterCon 2015. Mister Miracle. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Dec. 2015.

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WinterCon 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo. Dec. 2015.

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WinterCon 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo. Dec. 2015.

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WinterCon 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo. Dec. 2015.

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Even pets can get into the act. Cosplay at WinterCon 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo. Dec. 2015.

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WinterCon 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo. Dec. 2015.

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End of day one of WinterCon 2015. Cosplayer and friend look back at the location, which was at Resorts World Casino, in Queens, NY. View from the A subway line. Photo by Michele Witchipoo. Dec. 2015.

Day two:

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Star Wars display at WinterCon 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo. Dec. 2015.

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WinterCon 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo. Dec. 2015.

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Harry Potter cosplay. WinterCon 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo. Dec. 2015.

As mentioned before, out of the blue someone dropped by my table requesting a commission. My work is on the right.

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Pencil commission. My work is on the right. WinterCon 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo. Dec. 2015.

Among one of the lessons learned over the weekend – don’t skimp on bringing merchandise for your table. My Krampus tree ornaments sold within the first hour, leaving me with just a sign. No worries. More will be made, and for sale at the Kinda Punky Flea Market in Brooklyn Dec. 20th, and in my Etsy store. So keep on checking my shop for updates.

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R2D2 gets ready for the holidays. Star Wars Christmas Special anyone? WinterCon 2015. Photo by Michele Witchipoo. Dec. 2015.

 

 

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What’s up with him?

Eddie Murphy's eyes....on Sketch Lottery. Character of the week was Prince Akeem from the 80s film "Coming To America." Sketch by Michele Witchipoo Nov. 2014

Eddie Murphy’s eyes….on Sketch Lottery. Character of the week was Prince Akeem from the 80s film “Coming To America.” Sketch by Michele Witchipoo Nov. 2014

A week late, but the Sketch Lottery character was Prince Akeem from the 1988 film Coming To America.’ For those who don’t know, comedian Eddie Murphy portrays Prince Akeem, a rich African prince in search of a bride. He goes to America to find the woman of his dreams, which lands him right in NYC boro of Queens.

As a side note. The scenes where Prince Akeem was working in McDowell’s were filmed on location at a local fast food restaurant. It was Wendy’s, located on Queens Boulevard, in Elmhurst, Queens. My mother used to pass by this Wendy’s during her work commute.

Years later, I moved to an area which wasn’t that far from Elmhurst. The Wendy’s location was still there. Unfortunately, that Wendy’s was known as one of the worse Wendy’s ever. In 2013, it was torn down. Below are a few online articles relating to the former business.

http://queenscrap.blogspot.com/2013/05/coming-to-america-landmark-in-process.html
http://queens.brownstoner.com/2013/06/closing-bell-what-will-happen-to-elmhursts-old-wendys/
http://www.qchron.com/editions/central/what-s-in-store-for-former-wendy-s-lot/article_a814c458-4711-5dfb-9f45-7d6745ea9352.html
http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2013/06/14/queens-boulevard-loses-a-movie-icon-disguised-as-a-fast-food-joint/
http://www.yelp.com/biz/wendys-elmhurst

The sketch I did was based on the scene where Akeem and his personal assistant/best friend Sammi hit the club in search of a bride.

Not the best work I’ve done, but regardless. Enjoy my contribution on Sketch Lottery. Don’t forget to check out work by the other artists as well.

FYI – The film poster for ‘Coming To America’ was drawn by Drew Struzan.  

 

 

 

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