Archive for the ‘comparative religions’ Category

Two days after my birthday, I left for my first ever trip to Europe. Austria to be exact and it was through a school scholarship. Although it’s been a month since the trip, I’m still processing my week in Austria. That’s probably due to the fact that finals are underway as this semester is winding down.

The purpose of the trip was to attend a seminar about Global Citizenship. I’ll probably make another blog post about what I learned during this trip, when school isn’t so busy. Before the trip though, my friend suggested doing a blog post about Austria when arriving back. In the meantime, here are a few photos from Easter Sunday, from the week of April 7 to April 14th 2012.

For the record I’m not a deeply religious person. Although I did explore a number of faiths, in the end I decided it was better to be spiritual than religious. Actually, no matter what you believe in, or even if you choose not to believe anything at all, in the end it’s better to be a good person.  It’s best to live life on your own terms.

On the morning of the snowy Easter Sunday, the visiting students were given the morning off. We had the choice of either heading into the old town, attend Easter Mass, or do whatever. At first I followed most of the group into town. Somehow because I started taking photographs with my manual film camera, suddenly I found myself, by myself. Joining another student who had also been left behind, we walked into town deciding to explore for ourselves.

We found ourselves walking inside one of the oldest churches in the town, St. Peter’s Abbey. The lovely scent of myrrh and frankincense permeated the air as we walked around the church. Normally one doesn’t take photos during mass, out of respect. Yet I knew though I would probably never have an opportunity such as this ever again. So I switched my iPad to silent mode as not to disturb anyone, and snapped these photos.

Despite the snow falling, I didn’t find the weather to be too cold. If anything, it just added to the overall beauty of that day.







At this point, it was starting to feel as if an art history lesson had come to life.



The above is my favorite out of the entire series.

Below are two photos after leaving the church. We didn’t stay for the entire service. Soon it was time to head back to the Schloss Leopoldskron, where we had been staying.



I could’ve manipulated these pics in Photoshop. In the end I decided to let these untouched photographs speak for themselves.

Here’s a link about this church: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/austria/salzburg-st-peters-abbey-church

Wikipedia link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Peter%27s_Archabbey,_Salzburg

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In Spring 2010, I did the back cover of IF-X vol. 2 issue # 6. Today, I was doing a quick search, and stumbled upon this by accident:


Photo featured in online article about International Read Comics in Public Day for The Detroit News, late August 2010. Amber Guffey is reading IF-X issue 6, which I did illustrated the back cover and was published in Spring 2010.

It was an article about International Read Comics in Public Day. The article was published on The Detroit News website, and reported by Eric Henrickson. Here’s the news photo up close:

If you want to get your own copy, you order yours here:

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Last week I mentioned that I was nominated for three CAG/Haller awards. Best Artist, Best Cartoonist, Best Webcomic. I thought the elections were private. However, it looks as if voting is open to the public at large.

Well, if that’s the case, then you can vote for me by clicking on these links:




It should be noted that I didn’t ‘create’ the webcomic “Shitty Mickey.” John Reed wrote the script, I do the art. Just wanted to give credit where its due.

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A few years back, I tried to create my own religion of sorts. Perhaps maybe, I could make a few bucks, just like every other cult leader in America. It was a faith called Bubblism, based on the teachings of Mr. Bubble. Originally I had started the concept back in 1991. It barely left the starting gate when someone charged Mr. Bubble of covert misogyny. Why? Apparently his bubble bath was known to give women yeast infections. Mr. Bubble has vehemently denied these charges. Despite the heresy, accusations of vaginal irritation still continue to mount. Some blame the Sodium Laureth Sulfate, others blame Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Quaternium or simply the fragrance.

In 2007, Bubblism tried again. This time its plan was to convert new members through its MySpace page. A creed was planned to maximize this effect, with the planned release of “The Bubblism Manifesto.” A call to all filthy humans wishing to cleanse of all impurities and is willing to part with thee dirty money. Dirty people looking to join yet another movement.

Once again, both of these efforts failed to even reach the starting gate. The reason? Some genius forgot the password to both the Bubblism MySpace and email accounts.


One of the most sacred of Bubblism deities is The Goddess of The Air Conditioner. You can say the Goddess of The Air Conditioner is sort of like a mod con Kwan Yin. Divine air filters through this Goddess. Not many people know about her, but I was privy to her existence. She provides mercy upon those who need comfort from the blistering heat of the day. She provides comfort to those who need to sleep with cool air at night. She can often be found in supermarkets, or movie theaters. She can understand the need of viewing yet another dire mainstream film for the sake of coolness.

Not much is required in offerings. She would just prefer it if your unit was energy efficient and pay your electric bill on time.

To give you an ideal of what she looks like, here’s an image:

The Goddess of The Air Conditioner. 2007

All Hail The Goddess of The Air Conditioner!

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Doubt I will do the Monday movie trailer of the week today. Instead, here’s a recent illustration:

Pillar. Illustration done by Michele Witchipoo. Done late April 2010

You can also view a high resolution version here.

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Through a friend’s posting on Facebook, I discovered this:


Malcolm McLaren's Coffin

Malcolm McLaren's Coffin, April 2010. Photo from New York Times online article.

It reads on McLaren’s coffin, “Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die.” Now I have to laugh. Don’t know about you, but age 64 wasn’t that young. Actually, it qualifies for AARP membership. McLaren didn’t have that long of a lifespan, but it wasn’t that short either. Plus, McLaren led a life full accomplishments. Regardless what one may think about this twisted impresario, he was a man of many achievements.

In the New York Times online article, it mentions fashion designer and former McLaren girlfriend Vivienne Westwood. At McLaren’s funeral, Westwood was wearing a headband with the word “Chaos.”

Fashion designer Vivenne Westwood wearing Chaos headband at Malcolm McLaren's funeral. April 2010.

Fashion designer Vivianne Westwood wearing Chaos headband at Malcolm McLaren's funeral. April 2010.

Part of me is snickering at that so-called styling, and a part of me thinks its absolute brilliant. Would have to admit though, when its time for your “Greater Feast” one should leave this earth with style. It’s sheer genius to have a coffin embrazed with a slogan from your personal philosophy. Like you only life once right? So on that same accord, since you only die once, you should go out with with style.

A fine example is the king of Gonzo himself, Hunter S. Thompson. Back in August 2005, his ashes were fired from a cannon during a private ceremony. The cannon was shot from a tower from Thompson’s own design along with red, white and blue fireworks. The tower design itself was in the shape of a double-thumbed fist clutching a peyote button. If that’s not pure Americana, then I don’t know what is.


Perhaps its time for some candid honesty. When its my time to go, I want to have a funeral to die for. Get it? “To die for”…? Okay, bad joke, but anyway. Certainly wouldn’t mind having an awesome looking coffin to be buried in. One idea is to maybe have a shiny black lacquered coffin encrusted with a rhinestones. Easy on the rhinestones though, don’t want it to look like a Liberace reject. The rhinestones could be set in an Art Deco style pattern. The inside could be padded with silky white or red satin, with rose pedals scattered on top of my body. Oh, and of course I better be dressed in my finest. Like hell I’m going to meet my maker as if I just walked out of Old Navy. I want to be a ‘Dandy In The Underworld

That’s just one idea for my burial. I just gave you my Hollywood Babylon theme. Other themes could be Egyptian, Norse, or just have a coffin with Santa Muerte’s likeness painted on top of the lid. Ah, the endless possibilities. Get it? Okay, another bad joke. When it comes to death, I’ve got a ton of them. Whether or not they’re actually funny is besides the point.

Another thing…don’t know if I would want people to cry at my funeral. I don’t even know if people are actually gonna attend my funeral, but whatever. Wouldn’t be nice to turn mourning into a party instead? Have a celebration about the life one lead instead of wiping away tears with a snot filled Kleenex. Doesn’t have to be all wild and decadent, but a few cocktails in my honor would be nice.

Remembering back to when I was a small child, I would sit in my bed terrified of death. (I was a strange child to begin with.) As I grew up in Queens, NY, slowly I became fascinated with various graveyards nearby my neighborhood. After all, Queens is the land of the dead. No wonder I had spent my high school years as a ‘Death Rocker.’ (That’s a ’80s term for Goth, again those who don’t know.) Going back six years, I used to watch television shows like Six Feet Under and Dead Like Me. Guess I’ve accepted the dark cloud that hoovers over me.

However its not like I think about death 24-7. I’m just not as freaked out about the concept of death like I was during my childhood. Death is one of the eternal mysteries, just like love and sex. Besides, I believe that hell is right here on earth. Especially since the majority of us humans seems to be bound by our attachments. Doesn’t matter whether the attachments are material, cardinal desires, illusions. Attachments that bring forth pain if not dealt with properly. I still have a few attachments of my own, but at least I’m working on them.

Kudos does go to Malcolm McLaren. Why? It’s due to the fact that he (or whoever handled his funeral) made it unique, and a final lasting statement.

Oh, and btw, relatives of McLaren are asking for a “minute of mayhem” today as he is buried in London’s Highgate Cemetery.


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Today is March 17th, 2010. Which means it’s Saint Patrick’s Day.

Big fucking whoop-de-do.

I’ve always hated this day. Seriously. Nothing against the Irish per say you know. On my mother’s side of the family, there’s English. As a child she grew up in Liverpool. Going further into her background, she can trace it back to Ireland and Scotland. You still won’t catch me wearing any green on March 17th, and I’ll tell you why.

As a native New Yorker, I hate parades. I just really hate them. The last parade I truly enjoyed was in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, 1999. Yeah, I got a few beads from various parade floats, big whoop. However, I didn’t show any boobs.

However, I digress. Let’s focus on one of the most annoying parades ever, especially in New York City; The Saint Patrick’s Day parade. The parade in honor of the holiday I truly detest the most. Good old St. Patrick.


A bit of quick history about Saint Patrick. Supposedly he did exist. His birth could be traced to either 385 AD or 387 AD, and he died around 461 AD or 493 AD. At age 16 he was taken captive from Britain, and made to be a slave in Ireland for about six years. St. Patrick heard God whispering in his ear, and soon escaped. Now safe in Britain, this dude heard yet another voice from above, urging him to go back to Ireland as a missionary. So after many years in training, he went back to in the hopes of Christian conversion. Now this gets murky because the story of Saint Patrick tends to get exaggerated quite a bit. The person formerly known as Maewyn Succat is credited for converting most Irish folks. It was believed that most Irish folks were practicing a more nature-based spiritual belief system, similar to Paganism, and/or Celtic Druidism. Please keep in mind that further confusion is due to the fact that very little contemporary evidence about the original Druids exists. Particularly since their knowledge was passed on within an oral tradition.

So Patrick was made a hero cause supposedly he ‘drove the snakes out of Ireland.’ This is complete and utter bullshit. Ireland never had any snakes to begin with, and there’s scientific proof of this fact. So in regard to this, ‘driving the snakes out of Ireland’ is more of a metaphor of converting pagans into good God-fearing Christian sheep. In the Judeo-Christian mythos, snakes are looked upon as a symbol of evil and temptation. The best known example is probably that hussy Eve and how some nasty reptile tempted her in The Garden of Eden. Eve got down with Adam, which ruined everything. Blame it on the snake.

Which leads to one of the main reasons why I loathe this holiday. Basically this is just a celebration about how one religion trampled over another culture. Yay! Let’s drink to that!

If you’re still reading this blog post, you’re probably sensing my sarcasm steeping through. Very good! Here’s a Jameson shot for ya.

St. Patty’s Day started out as a Christian holy day, but it’s more renown as a secular celebration. The saint himself died on March 17th, hence, the feast known as St. Patrick’s Day. On this day of the 17th, they have parades. Saint Patrick Day parades. New York City, where I’m from, is known for the biggest parade to rule them all. Did I mention how much I hate parades?

Parades are supposed to be fun. No they are not. They’re annoying. Parades block up traffic, and makes it harder to arrive to work or school on time. Makes it hard to get around in general. Thanks to people coming in from the suburbs, subways, buses and streets are ten times more crowded than usual. More ugly people to look at. Ugh. Of course, since many of these parade spectators live in the suburbs, they take on this persona of “whatever happens in the city stays in the city.” Basically allowing themselves an excuse to act like the touristy morons that they truly are. Then there’s the alcohol. Add beer, get instant asshole.

Hey, I’m not knocking drinking. Not too proud to admit I’ve acted like a drunken fool many a time. At least I’ve done it with style. However, there is nothing more irritating than some bridge and tunnel jackass swilling in public drunken ignorance.

While we’re at it, why don’t we all go ahead and wolf down corned beef and cabbage. Here’s another round of Guinness. Woohoo! Way to go. Let’s continue to perpetrate annoying stereotypes. It’s okay, you’re Irish, you’re supposed to get drunk. Oh. Okay. Here’s a shot of Kilbeggan. Aww shoot, now you’re on the floor. Because you’re supposed to be rip-roaring drunk on St. Patty’s Day. Hey, what’s that accessory on your green sweatshirt? Oh, it’s puke. Now you’re a hangover martyr. Hope you die of alcohol poisoning you dipshit.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong of being proud of who you are, and your roots. I just think there’s better ways of celebrating your heritage. So read Yeats and James Joyce. Listen to Sinead O’ Connor, Stiff Little Fingers, The Pogues. Oh wait…The Pogues…bad example.

Shane McGowan formerly of The Pogues

Singer Shane McGowan, formerly of The Pogues

Shane With No Teeth

Okay we get the point.

Thin Lizzy anyone? I’ll even take early U2. Just as long as its not Black 47 and that Riverdance crap. Please. Anything but that.

So on Saint Patrick’s Day, feed your friendly pet snake. Besides, Guinness may be nice, but Smithwick tastes much better.

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