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Archive for July, 2010

It was the winter of his fucking discontent…

Shitty Mickey does Shakespeare:

Shitty Mickey does Williams Shakespeare. July 2010. http://www.shittymickey.com

New episode up now!
www.shittymickey.com

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Shitty Mickey is back! Here’s the first episode of season two:

Shitty Mickey is back! Latest episode of the webcomic is up.

http://shittymickey.com/Shitty_Mickey/Shitty_Episodes/Pages/Episode_4.html#0

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So today I found out that the ice cream chain Baskin Robbins was retiring approximately five flavors. This news was not really much of importance at first. Until the flavor French Vanilla came up. Seems that French Vanilla, along with Campfire S’mores, Apple Pie a La Mode, Caramel Praline Cheesecake, and Superfudge Truffle are no more. Sheesh, just reading that added an additional five pounds.

This arose my curiosity. I remember when I was a child, and my mother always insisted that I didn’t like chocolate. My so-called ice cream preferences were either vanilla or strawberry. Never did recall an allergic reaction to chocolate. As a matter of fact, my current sweet flavors is either chocolate or strawberry. If I really want to indulge, there’s always peanut butter mixed with chocolate. Any flavor really, but not vanilla too much.

One of my first ever jobs actually was working at a Haagen Dazs shop. Hated that job. Only lasted a few months. Afterwards, my chump change went to Ben & Jerry’s. Although I do remember Steve’s ice cream.

As if I didn’t have anything better to do, I telephoned my mother. As the phone rang, memories of having Baskin Robbin ice cream inside a mini baseball cap came to mind. Besides, I wanted to know if she ever got me the French Vanilla.

“Hi Mom. Hey, when I was a kid, did you ever get the French Vanilla flavor from Baskin Robbins? Was it French Vanilla or just plain Vanilla?”

My mother: “I don’t know. I can’t remember.”

Speaking of forgetting, I forgot that my mother’s memory is pretty much shot nowadays. Against better judgment, I decided to press the inquiry a slight further.

“Mom. Was it true, I really didn’t like chocolate when I was a kid.”

Mom: “No, you loved chocolate when you were growing up.”

Me: “Then why when I was growing up, you would always insist that I didn’t like chocolate. You claimed that my favorite flavor was vanilla…”

Mom (interrupting me): “Oh, you liked chocolate. You liked it a lot. It’s just that whenever you had chocolate ice cream, you would make a mess. So I got you vanilla instead.”

Leave it to memory loss for a confession. Wonder what else I should know about.

After I hung up, went outside in 93 degree hot weather, and walked down the block. Decided to have the French Vanilla before it went into ‘Deep Freeze’ retirement. Went inside to the local Baskin Robbins which has merged with Dunkin Donuts. Only this local Baskin Robbins didn’t have all of the so-called “31 Flavors.” Since it was sharing space with Dunkin Donuts, it only had about ten flavors on display. Oh, and no French Vanilla. They did have the plastic mini baseball caps. One out of two ain’t bad. Even if I was wasting money on franchise corporate crappola a la mode.

Anyway…here’s a quick illustration I did in honor of ice cream.

Ice Cream Girl. July 2010. Illo by Michele Witchipoo

Eh…I always preferred Carvel to Baskin Robbins anyway. So Fudgie Whale that.

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As per usual, deaths of well known persons comes in threes: this time being George Steinbrenner, Tuli Kupferberg and Harvey Pekar. Okay, even if you hate sports, you have some idea on who Steinbrenner was. Kupferburg was a musician, counterculture poet, anti-war activist and cartoonist. Harvey Pekar was the man behind the ‘American Splendor’ comic series.

Harvey Pekar was very much an unlikely hero of sorts. Born in 1939, Pekar was a quirky Cleveland native who seemed destined for an average filing clerk life. As fate would have it, he befriended a young artist by the name of Robert Crumb. Crumb was inspired to turn Pekar’s musings into a comicbook. As they say, the rest is history. Among the years, Pekar not only became an underground comic sensation, but also an unusual media personality. For a while he was a regular fixture on the David Letterman show, until Pekar reminded the host about being a potential shill to General Electric. For those who are not aware, General Electric is the parent company of NBC, which carried The Letterman Show during this period. Pekar’s rouse wiped off that annoying know-it-all smirk off of Letterman’s face. He was never booked on the show again. This didn’t matter, for Pekar’s life was later to be captured in the art house film hit “American Splendor.”

Harvey Pekar, despite his off-beat personality, was a lot smarter than what professional smart-asses like Letterman gave him credit for. Despite his cult status, success never went to Pekar’s head. He kept his file clerk position at a local V.A. Hospital until retirement, as he continued working in the comicbook medium. In the sequential art world, he had everyone’s respect; he loved comics, and the comicbook people loved him back. Unlike Letterman, the feeling was mutual.

If anything, Pekar proved that comics could be more than just a superhero platform. A working class tale of everyday living could be just as, if not more entertaining than an unattainable fantasy world.

Here’s a sketch that my boyfriend had gotten for me last year at the King Con in Brooklyn. Artist Dean Haspiel did the art here, along with Pekar’s signature. Forgot the reason why I didn’t attend, but was it was a nice surprise to receive this. Upon hearing his death, I was a bit sad on not having met him. However, he lived a full, honest creative life as he left a large body of adored work behind. Most people should be so lucky

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If I haven’t mentioned this already, Tales of Woe will be released to the unsuspecting public, August 17th, 2010. That’s the book I did five illustrations for, written by John Reed. You can order your very own copy right now happening right now, by going to the following links:

MTV Press

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

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My mermaid piece is in the latest PDF issue of Nib Lit. Issue six has been dedicated to the vile BP oil spill. Edited by Mykl Sivak. Featuring artists like Tony Millionaire, Shannon Wheeler, Steve Stegelin, and many others. Adults only.

Click on the below link:

http://mgsivak.blogspot.com/2010/07/finally-nib-lit-vol-15-issue-6-bp-issue.html

or straight to the issue itself:
http://scidino.com/niblit/pdf/1506.html

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Here’s a page from a story I’m currently working on. It’s from a comicbook anthology that should be published sometime late this year. The title is of this story is “Strife” and Patrick McEvoy is the writer.

I wanted to expand on the range of stories that I was able to illustrate, so I took this project on. It’s in the really rough stages, hasn’t been cleaned or fine-tuned yet.

Page from the story "Strife." Art by Michele Witchipoo. Story by Patrick McEvoy.

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“I stayed at home on the Fourth of July
And I pulled the shades so I didn’t have to see the sky
And I decided to have a Bed In
But I forgot to invite anybody”

– “Fouth of July”, a song from the 1990 album “This Is Our Music” by Galaxie 500.

Those following lyrics that I just quoted…that’s exactly what I did today. I stayed at home for the Fourth of July. Not complaining though, ’cause I was working on some forthcoming stories. One is for the next season of Shitty Mickey, the webcomic I’m doing with writer extraordinaire John Reed. The other story is for a future comicbook anthology.

Lady Gaga on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, July 2010.

I only stepped outside once today from my apartment. Got my usual iced coffee and the latest issue of Rolling Stone, which I haven’t read in a hot minute. On the cover was Lady Gaga adorned in riffle gun glory. Ted Nugget would be jealous. The current cover price for Rolling Stone circa 2010 is $5.99. Made me wax nostalgic for the days when comics were $1.oo, and music magazines were $2.00 -$3.00 a pop. Not gonna lie; during my ‘tween’ years I wasted my allowance way more on music magazines than on comics. You see, I went from Harvey comic titles straight into Rock and 80s New Wave. Later on I became a serious comic fan thanks to Love and Rockets.

Safe to say that if I was a teen today, I would probably skip publications like Rolling Stone and go straight for graphic novels. For starters, most new music is utter crap. Knowing me, I would probably be the only kid in junior high who would know, for example, who The Gossip is. That’s exactly what my tastes would most likely gyrate to.  Like back then, I was the only kid into bands like (early) The B-52s, Devo, Bow Wow Wow, etc. And I watched reruns of Doctor Who, when Tom Baker was king. So most likely, if I was a kid now, I would probably go online and order graphic novels from Amazon. I mean…$5.99 for Rolling Stone? And where’s my hommie, Hunter S. Thompson? No thanks.

Anyway, a few hours later, the boyfriend starts digging through his Captain America back issue slash. For the occasion, he showed this particular one:

Captain America 1976. Marvel Treasury Edition. Artwork by Jack Kirby.

Wow, this took me back. For those who don’t know, the Marvel Treasury Editions were oversized comics popular in the 1970s. Usually it had the legendary characters like The Hulk, Conan, Thor, as well as the lesser known ones like The Defenders and Luke Cage. DC had oversized comics too, but for today we’ll focus on the Marvel stuff. Oh, and btw, you know you were made in the 1970s when you landed your very own Marvel Treasury Edition. The infamous rock band Kiss had their very own edition. So if you translate this into today’s terms, no doubt Lady Gaga would have one to call her own.

The films of the days got their own Marvel Treasury adaptations as well. I can fondly recall getting my Star Wars copy, thanks to mom. Strange, I have no idea whatever happened to that issue. Actually, I can’t really recall whether I had issue one or issue two, but I did own a Star Wars edition.

Star Wars Issue One. Marvel Treasury Edition.

You learn something new everyday. I just found out that Stanely Kubrick’s seminal 2001: A Space Odyssey” also reached Treasury status. Bet you it must be really trippy.

2001: A Space Odyssey. Marvel Treasury Edition. Artwork by Jack Kirby.

Years later as an adult, I got a Treasury edition of Howard The Duck. Picked this one up last year at the Boston Comic Con.

Howard The Duck, Marvel Treasury Edition.

Back to the Captain American issue. The artwork was done by the man himself, Jack Kirby. Check out the back cover featuring Uncle Sam (which Cap affectionately just calls ‘Sam’) and a funky inside splash page. The back cover is particularly fetching since Jack Kirby was a veteran of World War II.

Captain America Back Cover, Marvel Treasury Edition. Art by Jack Kirby. 1976

Funky splash page. Captain America, Marvel Treasury Edition. Art by Jack Kirby. 1976.

Sorry about not being able to fit the full size of these Marvel Editions onto my scanner. These Marvel Treasuries are of course, oversized. Then again, its “fitting” to say that nothing’s more American than being ‘oversized.’ The only difference between these and let’s say a McDonald’s ‘Supersize’ meal is that these comics were much more healthier. Plus comics last longer. You never have to worry about sequential art infecting your colon while leaving behind unwanted calories. So there.

Squeaky, July 2010

http://www.angelfire.com/comics2/treasury/

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