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Archive for May, 2010

Here’s a recent illustration inspired by two things: Beto Hernandez’s cover for New Love issue one and Lady Gaga.

Glam Bam Madam. Illustration by Michele Witchipoo 2010

I’ve always loved Los Hernandez Bros. I especially love the 1996 cover to New Love issue one, published by Fantagraphic Books.

New Love by Beto Hernandez

As for Lady Gaga…I should hate her. I’m aware about how she puts product placement in her videos. Check out her ‘Telephone’ video for example. Let’s see, there’s Virgin Mobile, her special line of Heartbeats headphones, Beats laptop, among others. If it wasn’t for this video extravaganza, I would have never known that PlentyofFish.com was an actual dating website.

Lady Gaga Pulls A Poker Face

Besides the brand name dropping, Lady Gaga has obviously ripped off many of edgy entertainers that came before her. On the roll call you can find Grace Jones, Dale Bozzio, and maybe a tiny bit of Madonna. If you’ve heard the rumors of Lady Gaga being either a transsexual or a hermaphrodite, nods can be given to both Amandas. Amanda Leer along with current model Amanda Lepore. Then there’s the various Disco 2000 club kid outfits. No question Leigh Bowery was one of the many influences behind the Bad Romance video.

Lady Gaga From Bad Romance Video

Leigh Bowery

Despite all of the evidence, I can’t bring myself to hate Lady Gaga. In fact, I love Lady Gaga. Her kind of music isn’t what usually gets me into the groove. Doesn’t matter though.

I adore the garnish stage outfits, admire her “don’t give a fuck” attitude, and thinks its awesome that she brought back extreme glam fantasies into the pop consciousness. Besides taking the crown from Madonna, she’s this generation’s answer to music extremities. We needed a Lady Gaga actually. After a while, you get bored with manufactured sex kittens like Britney Spears. You just wanna puke after watching blank slates try to build their careers on the American Idol factory line. Plus underneath the electro euro trash beat, there’s a woman who could actually sing. A muse for the odd kid stuck in suburban wasteland.

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Well, one can interpret these snappy sandals anyway they want. Talk about having people right under your feet!

Sandals Designed By Rupert Sanderson

Originally designed by Rupert Sanderson for Amneris in the Royal Opera’s production of Aida. If this isn’t the ultimate in high end fetish fashion, I don’t know what is.

Original link here (with more photos): http://www.vogue.co.uk/blogs/fashion/shoes/rupert-sanderson/100506-shoes-fit-for-a-princess.aspx

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This past weekend I was interviewed for a local radio program. The show was titled The Phoenix Perspective, broadcast on WVOX.com based in the Westchester area of New York.

I decided to head into the Metro North area early to avoid rushing. The result was arriving into Larchmont a wee bit too early. Since there was some time to kill, I walked around town a bit. Came across this upscale child clothing store.

Twinkle Toes Children Clothing Store In Westchester, NY

A step closer to the store window and there was live chickens being used as a store window display. A local woman strolling around with her grandchildren also gathered around. As the woman was about to point out the chickens to her other female friend, one of the birds turned around and pooped in fill view of everyone.

Chickens used as a window display, May 2010 in Westchester, NY

“So that’s what downtown Larchmont has become” replied the woman, “chickens shitting in windows.” With that being said, Grandma and crew walked away slurping on their ice creams cones.

Chicken in store window display, May 2010

As I took a few more pics of these chickens with my cellphone camera, couldn’t help but notice something. One of these chickens had dirt trapped within its wings. So if this one bird has crud smeared in its feathers, imagine other poultry on a commercial mass production farm.

Soon it was time to head to the radio station. After again arriving ridiculously early, I met up with the radio host herself, Phoenix, her friend Jaye and radio announcer Chuck. Before going on the air, me Phoenix and Jaye sat around consuming Entenmann donuts and coffee. Jaye took some pre-show pics, which you can see here. As for me, I was still nervous about being interviewed live on air. I’ve done interviews before, but usually it would be for some podcast which I would never hear afterwards. Out of sight, out of mind I suppose.

Me and Radio Host Phoenix Prior To The Show, Sat. May 15th, 2010

The interview itself went pretty smooth. Me and Phoenix chatted about my two self-published titles, Psycho Bunny and Babalon Babes. Also plugged this book I did about five illustrations for, Tales of Woe. If all goes well, Tales of Woe should be released sometime this summer. Pre-sales for the book are now up on Barnes & Noble, Powerhouse Books and Amazon.com.

Wondering if I do should do a Don Pardo impression. Sat. May 15th, 2010 at WVOX

Before coming on the show, I took a friend’s advice about not taking the interview too seriously. Even Phoenix herself said it was about hanging out, talking and whatnot. Phoenix herself is a very nice person. We talked about a few different things like female cartoonists, sub-cultural stuff, etc. For the record, I’m no expert about all of this so-called ‘counter culture’ subject matter. Never claimed to be. Just know what I like. Let’s just say you won’t catch me in front of the TV anticipating Dancing With The Stars.

Radio Interview at The Phoenix Perspective, Sat. May 15th, 2010

After the show was over, Phoenix was nice enough to drive me back to the city. Arriving back in Queens, I was embarrassed to find the Soul Train chugging on next door. Apparently my next door neighbors were ass enough to throw a loud house party, continuing past 3am. Despite this, it was still a fun night.

Me and Phoenix, Sat. May 15th, 2010

You can listen to the show here: http://podcastmachine.com/podcasts/4573/episodes/22835

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Hey Ladies & Germs, just letting you know I’m going to interviewed tomorrow night. It’s going to be a radio interview, on a program called The Phoenix Perspective. Check it out on WVOX.com and WVOX1460am, broadcast at 12:30AM this Saturday. So, you can hear my New York accent live on the airwaves. In the meantime, I’ll try my best not to make an ass out of myself.

http://thephoenixperspective.webs.com/
http://www.wvox.com/

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Here’s a rare video of Brion Gysin:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brion_Gysin

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Here’s a piece completed last week:

Spacey. May 2010

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Original Bitter Sketch. Pen, ink and marker. May 2010

The idea for this sketch came from a chance encounter back in 2005. My friend had gotten me a gig as a extra for some television show. We were supposed to be ‘Goth clubgoers’ or whatever. Not even gonna bother mentioning what TV show it was, for it got canceled after what, two episodes.

Anyway, in between takes, this blond woman comes up to me. She tries to start a conversation with me, asking my name. I replied and in turn ask for her name.

“I’m bitter” she retorted, with a swish of her fake ponytail. “I’m too old to be doing this shit.” After her complaints about how she was supposed to be a professional actress, she mentions something about her friendship with some famous local Goth musician. The namedropping failed to impress me. However, the impression she did leave behind is to never be bitter, unlike her.

Bitter, Photoshop Revised May 2010

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At my table I sold the latest issue of Babalon Babes, Psycho Bunny, assorted prints and issues of IF-X that I had done cover art for. In a back-handed way, its an odd compliment if a comic fan tries to steal one of your books. Especially if you’re an unknown artist. Okay, I’ll explain.

Cover for Babalon Babes No. 4, The Astrology Issue

So here I am at the show, when another pair of two young girls approach my table. As the girls were looking through my prints, a young male, probably about 13-14 years of age comes over to where Babalon Babes No. 4 was displayed. The girls were asking about the magnets, in which I replied the magnets were free with a purchase. So the guy standing next to the girl on the left, takes a magnet, and then Babalon Babes No. 4. Tries to walk away without paying. “Three dollars please” was my response. As the guy pretended he didn’t hear me, the girl standing on the left snatches the issue away from the boy’s grubby paws, slightly sucked her teeth in annoyance and puts the book back on the table.

Centerfold For Babalon Babes Issue 4

The girls leave, but the delinquent pre-teen stays behind. He looks at the issue of Babalon Babes No. 4 again. He picks up the issue and attempts to walk away again. Apparently this kid wasn’t so slick because he blatantly tried the thievery right in front of me. “Three dollars” was my second response. Again the kid turns around and puts Babalon Babes back in its rightful place on my table.

An adult couple walk up to my table, and they like what they see. Sold the very last Babalon Babes 2010 desk calendar to the dreadlocked gentlemen as his female companion purchases a Psycho Bunny sampler. Well wouldn’t you know it, during this transaction, the kid attempts yet again. He probably figured the third time might be a charm. Obviously the charm didn’t work, particularly when I observed him staring longingly at Babalon Babes for a good 5-10 minutes. And no, taking off his gray stripped sweater to disguise himself didn’t help. Nice try, but if he wanted an issue it was going to be three bucks. At this point I was starting to sound like that newspaper boy from that 80’s film ‘Better Off Dead.’ All I needed was John Cusack to show up any second. Two dollars!

Pisces Interpertation From Babalon Babes Issue 4. By Michele Witchipoo. Copyright 2009-2010.

I thought I had gotten rid of this sticky fingered pest after the third failed heist. After he left empty handed, I couldn’t help but snicker. It was kinda funny in an twisted way. Hey, you can laugh, I won’t get mad. Had to admit this whole exchange was kinda amusing. Now had he succeeded, that would’ve been a different story. Nice to know that my time in retail has served me well.

It suddenly dawned on me; the kid in question wasn’t your typical klepto. If he had wanted to just steal, he would’ve taken anything from anybody. However, his focus was on Babalon Babes No. 4. So in a way you know your stuff is good if people try to steal your product. Go figure.

If this kid wanted the item so bad, I would’ve given him the book in the end. I’m not such a hard ass, you know. However, had to extra careful because this preteen was exactly that-underage! All I needed was for him to have the book in his hands, and I would get in trouble for ‘corrupting minors.’ No thank you.

Then I started remembering back to when I was a preteen. Good old puberty. Those formative years where we discover what turns us on as human beings. Started to recall the stories that various exes and friends would tell me about what got them off during those precious years. Once again I realized that not only was this kid focused on stealing this one particular sketchbook, but he probably had something else in mind. Dunno, maybe I’m reading too much into this. Yet it wouldn’t surprise me that years later he’ll probably tell his girlfriend, or (most likely) his prison cellmate about this little self-published comic from way back when.

However, what I can suggest to Shifty Le Pew is to check out Abbie Hoffman’s classic, ‘Steal This Book.’ You don’t even have to physically steal the book, just read it online right here. ‘Cause if you’re gonna steal something in life, make sure you do it right. Just don’t go around stealing my shit.

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This past Saturday was the second annual Bronx Heroes Comic Con. The free event itself took place at Hostos Community College. Although this comic con was located in The Bronx, in actuality, it really was only two subway stops away from Manhattan’s 125th Street.

The Bronx Heroes Comic Con 2 very small compared to last month’s MoCCA Art Fest, yet still fun. Sometimes you can enjoy yourself more at the more low-key cons. Really wasn’t expecting much from this event, so I was surprised about the general reaction to my stuff. Made some sales and received plenty of compliments. The best feedback I heard during the day was these two young girls. One of the girls was an animation student over at Hostos. They were delighted that the women I drew ‘had curves, just like real women.’ Whenever I hear a comment such as this, I’m ever so delighted. For far too long women are brainwashed to believe that if we’re not skinny pretty perfect specimen, then we cease to exist. It just proves that you don’t have to illustrate women to stereotypical shallow standards.

Scene From The Bronx Heroes Comic Con 2. Saturday May 1st, 2010.

The best part of this particular comic con was, believe it or not, the space between and behind the tables! That was such a great feeling, not to be so cramped in. Like MoCCA was fun, but there was so little space between tables. It was so packed at MoCCA for the artists, that if suffering from acute claustrophobia, I guarantee that you would have been calling your therapist the next day. Don’t get me wrong, MoCCA is still one of the best NYC cons. Yet the seating was getting a little uncomfortable. There was none of that at the Bronx Heroes comic con. Not only did the artists have plenty of table space to showcase their wares, but you could put your display sign safely behind your chair. No worries, no stress about knocking anything over.

My Display For The Bronx Heroes Comic Con 2, Sat. May 1st, 2010

Of course, there wouldn’t be a comic con without a mishap. Well in my case anyway. Right before a planned event, something always seems to happen. This time I had this homemade display sign showing off some illos created last year. So far its been used in the Welcome To My Nightmare 2 show in Brooklyn, and at the MoCCA Art Fest 2010. Usually before each show I switch the panels around a bit. What I usually do is hang this sign up on this black artist easel. Not surprisingly, in my attempt to arrive to this con on time, I left one of the main easel parts at home. Basically the part which connects and holds everything together. Luckily Ray Felix, one of the guys who put this con together gave me a wooden stick as a substitute. The crowd had no idea that this display was being held together by yards of duct tape. It was so beyond low brow, but hey, it worked.

Jim Salicrup @ Bronx Heroes Comic Con 2, Sat. May 1st, 2010

Other guests featured in Artist Alley had mostly been in other local NYC comic cons, such as Big Apple and MoCCA. Mostly local artists and writers connected with the NYC comicbook culture. To my right from the table, Allison Braun was selling her comics. To my left, Mark Mariano was selling his children’s books. Newspaper strip cartoonist Irwin Hasen was selling Dondi books, but left early after his panel discussion. After all, he is getting on in years.

Mark Mazz @ Bronx Heroes Comic Con 2, Sat. May 1, 2010.

To be continued.

Photos by Ben Herman

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If you’re not doing anything on Saturday, come on down for the Bronx Heroes Comic Con.

Pardon for me waiting until last minute to post about this event. I do it this way ’cause I’m so organized. *A-hem*

Anyway, this event is taking place over at Hostos Community College, and it’s free. Hours are from 12pm to 5pm. Here’s a link with more info:
http://www.bronxheroescomiccon.com/location.html

I will be selling the latest issue of Babalon Babes No. 4 (Astrology Issue), which I sold out at MoCCA Art Fest 2010 last month! Also on hand will be Psycho Bunny issues, the IF-X anthologies I did covers for, and other goodies. Will also be doing sketches.

It will be the six year anniversary since I started self-publishing my own comics, under WitchesBrewPress.

If I don’t see you at Hostos, then I’ll see you at the Punk Island Art Show happening next month.

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