Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Illustration’ Category

Ever had a song you’ve heard your whole life stuck in your head?

maxresdefault

This was the case maybe around two years ago. I was in my local neighborhood, doing some shopping. The store radio was tuned to the local NY oldies station, WCBS.FM. Suddenly a song I’ve been hearing in the background which dates all the way back to my childhood comes on. Afterwards the DJ states the song title and the artist. Finally after all these years, I found out who did this exact song. The singer was Benny Mardones, and the song was titled “Into The Night.”

I go home, hit Google and Spotify. Then I mosey on over to YouTube.

2c7cd93b-5ceb-4873-a0b8-a8bb852dbeef

Oh my.

Like, where do I start? Perhaps the first question really should be – who the hell thought this video would be a good idea? For those who have no idea what the hell I’m talking about, which I’m guessing is the Zoomer/Gen Z crowd, allow me to show you this:

Hmmm…yeah. In the promo video, he stalks a teenage girl after her father clearly says “NO!“,  and it’s so obvious that he’s like, way older than his intended. In the post-Jeffery Epstien era of the year 2020, this would not work at all. But apparently some people got together, smoked some really good weed, and thought the plot for this video was a fantastic idea. Thus it was made, and the tune became a huge hit.

b47217d3-7755-4a3e-96a3-af32876b623f_screenshot

If you’re of the the Millennial or Zoomer mindset, you might find this video offensive. You know, being Woke and all that. If it was made today, the Cancel Culture would’ve been all over this on Twitter. But chill out, cause remember – this video was done around 1979 or 1980. A year prior was the film Pretty Baby, staring Brooke Shields. So maybe the poor judgement gets blamed on the drugs. You know, like how they say LSD was the best during the 1960s? You might want to keep that in mind.

I kid, I kid. Since I’m from the Gen X crowd, I don’t get offended. Instead, I become snarky. Watch the video a few more times, and I’m roasting on it as if I was Beavis and Butthead, but without the brain damage. I know unintentional humor when I see it.

DGiO79k

Luckily the song was such a big hit, it transcended the video. The video wasn’t even controversial then. Into The Night was not only a hit once, but twice; 1980, and 1989.

What is not too known is the story behind the music. Into The Night sounds like a love song, but it was written about a teen girl going through a rough time. It was the year 1979. Living in Spanish Harlem, the girl’s father left the wife and kids for another woman. Sympathetic, Mardones started helping the family out. One day, as Mardones and his song writing partner Robert Tepper was working, the 16 year old teen comes by to walk Mardones’ dog. Tepper appreciates the teen beauty, but Mardones stepped in saying “leave her along, she’s just 16 years old…” The light bulb switched on above his head, and the rest is history. Years afterwards, the teen muse and Benny kept in touch. Therefore the song was not sexual in the least.

F8352669-5C76-49D4-B6B9-ED5895AD8EA1

The song propelled Benny Mardones into stardom, but it didn’t last too long. After a few years, Mardones developed a drug addiction. In an attempt to begin his life anew, he moved to Syracuse, NY. From 1985 onward, he became a favorite son in his adopted hometown. In 2017, he played one final concert before settling in California to receive treatment for Parkinson’s Disease. Recently I read that Benny Mardones’ wife was requesting correspondence. Parkinson’s Disease was taking over. His wife said any letters, cards, etc., would mean the world to him. So I thought I should send him something. Alas, I never got around to it – he died a few weeks soon after I read the online article. Found out about his death through a Facebook post.

Hearing about Mardones’ passing broke my heart. Despite me busting on the original promo video, the song itself will always be a classic.

In honor of Benny Mardones, and for the song I’ve been hearing since childhood, I did a quick watercolor sketch. In a few days this sketch will be mailed to his wife. I understand his wife might be taking donations to Parkinson’s Research at USC.

MAILING ADDRESS FOR CARDS/LETTERS:
Benny & Jane Mardones
28039 Scott Rd, D397
Murrieta, CA 92563

BennyMardonesJuly2020WEB

Quick sketch of Benny Mardones (1946 – 2020). Watercolor. July 2020. Done by Michele Witchipoo.

R.I.P. Benny Mardones.

Read Full Post »

Here’s a very quick sketch done only in watercolor, with some digital enhancements. Since this Saturday is not only Caturday, but also the Fourth of July. What better way to start the weekend than to post art of a patriotic cat mermaid. Here’s the Caturday sketch of the week, featuring one of my cats, Netzach Wondercat. She’s more known as simply Nettie. 

NettieMermaid2020WEB

Nettie The Cat Mermaid. Watercolor done by Michele Witchipoo. July 2020. 

The past few years, I’ve been doing historic renditions of the American Revolution featuring my cartoon characters. The original intention was to get the focus away from mindlessly blowing up fireworks. In 2020 though, that might not be such a good idea.

Given the current political climate in the United States, I decided to switch it up. Instead of doing something based in the Colonial era, I give you a kitty sea siren.

Regardless of what your political beliefs are, enjoy the weekend.

Read Full Post »

So if you survived 2020 so far, you’re in for a treat. The latest episode of my webcomic, Psycho Bunny – Summer of COVID19 is now up and running on WEBTOONS. This episode is based on a dream Psycho Bunny had while he was passed out drunk. I put Psycho Bunny in a ’90s style Versace shirt.

Introducing the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for July 2, 2020.

PBSketchofTheWeekCOVIDcatwalkJuly2020

Scenes from the webcomic Psycho Bunny – Summer of COVID19, now on WEBTOONS. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo, on WitchesBrewPress. July 2020.

 

Michele Witchipoo’s Social Media links.

 If you haven’t heard,  I’ve re-opened my Etsy store: Michele Witchipoo. You can purchase some of my comics there. There’s also handmade holiday ornaments, greeting cards, and eventually other items for sale. Check back every so often, the store will continue to have more merch posted.

DD7CF2A4-7A12-41F4-8E12-B8FC55ED597F

I’ve also officially launched my Patreon account. Still learning the in and outs of Patreon fund raising. You can subscribe starting at $5.00 a month.

1925AD7F-F184-4DB6-B1B6-D70442BE8385

NOT READY FOR RE-OPENINGS? QUARANTINE GOT YOU BORED? HERE’S SOME SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS TO FOLLOW:

WEBTOONS: Psycho Bunny – Summer of COVID-19.

 Facebook: 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

Want to buy some of my designs? There’s RedBubble: Witchipoo

Also. I’m available for commissions. Comics and greetings are available for purchase. No shame in this plug. Especially with the financial impact. Questions? Hit me up: Witchipoo@witchesbrewpress.net. You can also contact me via Instagram, @WitchipooArt

Be safe everyone.

 

Read Full Post »

Been on a kick lately. Listening to music from the late ’70s and early ’80s. Which means lots of classic New Wave and Punk Rock.

11589467-DE7A-4FD9-9683-103B6E06C453

Due to this, it was time for a portrait of Poly Styrene. For those who don’t know, Poly Styrene is best known as the lead vocalist for the seminal British Punk band X-Ray Spex. X-Ray Spex’s album Germ Free Adolescence is considered a Punk classic.

0EEEF45F-A0E2-4CB0-9F01-386EB98EF1C6

X-Ray Spex. 

Born to a Scottish-Irish mother and Somali-born father, Poly was born Marianne Joan Elliott-Said in 1957 England. Her mother raised her as a single parent. After trying her hand in Ska and Reggae, Poly was inspired to form a band after catching The Sex Pistols in concert. That band was X-Ray Spex.

 

After performing at a gig in 1978, Poly started getting visions. Her mother, alarmed about Poly’s hallucinations, took her to the hospital. There, the singer was misdiagnosed with schizophrenia, and taken out of the public eye. Thirteen years later in 1991, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. In 1983, she converted into the Hare Krishna faith.

Around 1980 she embarked on a solo career. Poly Styrene released a few albums over the past few decades. Her last album, Generation Indigo was produced by Martin Glover, best known as Youth from the band Killing Joke. Generation Indigo was released on April 24, 2011, a day before Poly’s passing. The cause of death was  metastatic breast cancer.

In 2017, her daughter started a crowd funding online for the documentary Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché. Two years later in 2019, a biography titled Dayglo! was published. The documentary is expected to be finished in 2020, unless Covid19 gets in the way.

Without further ado, here’s a portrait of Poly Styrene, in one of her famous stage outfits. After doing the illustration, I read that Poly later complained about the ensemble. While I could understand why she wasn’t fond of the gear, like many others, I beg to differ. If anything, it would be considered highly couture today.  The illustration was done in pen, ink and watercolor. Another little bit of irony. After just finishing the piece, I discovered Poly Styrene’s birthday was only a few days away, on July 3rd.

PolyStyreneJune2020WEB

Poly Styrene, from X-Ray Spex, and later on solo singer. Completed June 27, 2020. Pen, ink and watercolor. Done by Michele Witchipoo. 

 

Additional Links:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/my-secret-life-poly-styrene-singer-51-811129.html

https://www.polystyrenefilm.com/

https://www.anothermag.com/fashion-beauty/9857/the-unforgettable-poly-styrene-first-woman-of-punk

Read Full Post »

 

Happy Caturday! For cat aficionados, Saturdays are for cat lovers who have the weekends off, so they spend their Saturdays with their cats. For this week’s Caturday, here’s a tribute to my beloved tuxedo cat, Squeaky Squeakums.

64257672_960160167649129_7508131204579721216_o

Photo collage by Michele Witchipoo. Featuring Squeaky Squeakums. Created in 2011.

Squeaky was one of the best cats I ever had.

 

Squeaky was the inspiration behind the comic I published last year, The Temptation of Squeaky. (You can buy your own copy from my rebooted Etsy store.)

 

 

It was around this time last year that Squeaky dropped her body. On the anniversary of her death, I did this watercolor sketch.

SqueakyWatercolorJune2020WEB

Watercolor sketch of Squeaky Squeakums. Pen, ink, watercolor. June 2020 by Michele Witchipoo.

Squeaky Squeakums is survived by Netzach Wondercat, aka Nettie.

Although I’ve adopted another rescue cat since then, nobody can ever take the place of Squeaky Squeakums. Mr. Jet Alister, an all black male cat has some big paws to fill.

Rest in peace, Squeaky.

11351210_119794508352370_453268576999318619_n

Read Full Post »

So news came down that comic book inker Joe Sinnott passed away the morning of June 25th, 2020. Sinnott was best for his work with Marvel comics. The legendary artist drew for iconic titles such as Fantastic Four, Captain America, and The Avengers. The comic book industry, such as the Inkwell Awards has been paying their respects to a legend. (Sinnott was involved with the Inkwell Awards)

58419132_2345722848825101_1818061133865549824_o

Last year I was lucky enough to meet him at an Upstate NY comic con, IncrediCon. That day was a good day. My table was in between two talented artists, sold some of my own comics, did a commission, and met an Instagram friend.

18D446F1-5DD2-453B-B82F-D3032765EB52

Legendary comic book inker Joe Sinnott, with his son Mark. Photo taken last year in Upstate, NY, during the IncrediCon comic con. June 2019.

As things were winding down, I decided to pop by Joe Sinnott‘s table. Sinnott, the guest of honor was sitting next to his son. Taking a chance, I asked if Mr. Sinnott was still doing commissions. Surprise – he was! So I got a commission as a birthday present for Ben. Sinnott drew one of the classic Marvel characters, Thor.

3E094501-BD12-4037-A560-7BD8C63DC7B0

After I picked up the commission, I believe his son told me Joe was still drawing everyday. Apparently he drew everyday until the end. That itself, is inspiring to any artist. Age really is just a number. Age only matters when you allow yourself to be limited.

With that, my condolences to the Sinnott family. Thank you Joe Sinnott for the many years you spent creating. Godspeed.

*Thanks to Ben Herman for images of comics featuring Joe Sinnott’s signature. 

 

Read Full Post »

The latest episode of my summer webcomic Psycho Bunny – Summer of COVID19 is now up. You can check it out on WEBTOONS. So make sure you give me some hearts and hit subscribe.

This week’s installment, Psycho Bunny tries to file for unemployment. Like many Americans who lost their jobs due to Covid.

7B3526D1-0D91-45AB-9084-EDBF56F6F533

Scene from the Psycho Bunny – Summer of COVID19 webcomic, now up on WEBTOONS. Psycho Bunny himself waits at a Queens bus stop. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. June 2020.

Michele Witchipoo’s Social Media links.

 If you haven’t heard,  I’ve re-opened my Etsy store: Michele Witchipoo. You can purchase some of my comics there. There’s also handmade holiday ornaments, greeting cards, and eventually other items for sale. Check back every so often, the store will continue to have more merch posted.

DD7CF2A4-7A12-41F4-8E12-B8FC55ED597F

I’ve also officially launched my Patreon account. Still learning the in and outs of Patreon fund raising. You can subscribe starting at $5.00 a month.

1925AD7F-F184-4DB6-B1B6-D70442BE8385

QUARANTINE GOT YOU BORED? HERE’S SOME SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS TO FOLLOW:

WEBTOONS: Psycho Bunny – Summer of COVID-19.

 Facebook: 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

Want to buy some of my designs? There’s RedBubble: Witchipoo

Also. I’m available for commissions. Comics and greetings are available for purchase. No shame in this plug. Especially with the financial impact. Questions? Hit me up: Witchipoo@witchesbrewpress.net. You can also contact me via Instagram, @WitchipooArt

Be safe everyone.

 

Read Full Post »

There was once a crazy looking and sounding decade known as the 1970s. During the first part of those ten years, there was the Glam rock phenomenon. Glam rock, sometimes known as Glitter rock was massive in the U.K. For starters, you had David Bowie, at the height of his Ziggy Stardust period. There was T. Rex, with Marc Bolan. Another influential band was Roxy Music. Around the same time were rocks outfits such as Queen, Mott The Hoople, and early Elton John.

In the U.S., you had acts like shock rocker Alice Cooper, The NY Dolls, Suzi Quatro, KISS, Lou Reed (briefly after breaking with The Velvet Underground), and maybe Iggy and The Stooges, or just Iggy himself. Jobriath was an American music artist that was extremely hyped, but his overt gay sexuality was too much during that time. It’s only within the past ten years that Jobriath is being discussed. This is not to be confused with Glam Metal, which dominated mainstream rock during the ’80’s.

After that, you had your “Bubblegum” pop crew, with acts like Gary Glitter, Wizzard, Alvin Stardust, and a few others. We won’t discuss Gary Glitter cause like, that would be awkward.

Then we had Sweet.

sweet

Originally called The Sweetshop, the intital lineup formed in 1968. Bassist and vocalist Steve Priest was one of the founding members, along with Brian Connelly and Mick Tucker. It wasn’t until around 1970 when The Sweet met up with songwriters Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman. Chinn and Chapman for short. After a few attempts, The Sweet struck gold on the British charts with Bubblegum type hits like ‘Little Willy‘, ‘Block Buster‘, and ‘Wig-Bam-Wam‘. In 1973, the song ‘The Ballroom Blitz‘ became an international hit, charting in Canada, Europe, Australia, and the U.S.

The Sweet also had a then-considered outrageous look, which boosted their image. The Sweet’s makeup and wardrobe fit in perfectly with the Glam rock craze of the early ’70s.

The end of 1973, and from 1974 onward, the word ‘the’ was dropped from the band name. They were officially known as simply Sweet.

SweetDesolationBoulevardOriginal

The year of 1974 was also the year Sweet were tired of the Chinn and Chapman formula. Wanting to go in a more harder rock direction, this was reflected in the next two albums, Sweet Fanny Adams and Desolation Boulevard. The U.S. release of Desolation Boulevard differs from the U.K. version. For example, the U.S. pressing includes the international ditty, ‘Ballroom Blitz.’ Interjecting a personal opinion, Desolation Boulevard is one of my favorite albums.

 

Their biggest hit was ‘Fox On The Run‘, released in 1975. Following Desolation Boulevard was the albums Give Us a Wink, and the live album Strung up. Strung Up, was released only in Europe. After proving the band was self sufficient in both songwriting and production, Sweet officially broke away from the Chinn-Chapman partnership.

Nothing lasts forever as the saying goes. Things slowly went from sweet to sour. They had one last international hit with the epic ‘Love Like Oxygen.’ Again, ‘Love Like Oxygen‘ and the album ‘Level Headed‘ showed another change in direction. A more mellower sound emerged. ‘Level Headed‘ would be the last good album Sweet would release.

After 1978, Sweet would fall from grace. Vocalist Brian Connelly left the band. The rest of Sweet carried on, until the 1980 breakup. Since 1984, there’s been various version of Sweet, all led by different members, going in different directions. Brian Connelly died in 1997. Mick Tucker passed away in 2002. With Steve Priest’s death on June 4, 2020, Andy Scott is the last Sweet member alive.

Taking a break from the pandemic and the current U.S. civil unrest, I drew a quick illustration of Sweet. It’s a bit rushed, but it captures Sweet during their Glam Bubblegum era. Done in pen, ink, watercolor, and shimmer watercolor. The shimmer watercolor adds to the Glam rock image.

SweetJune2020WEB

Sweet. Quick illustration by Michele Witchipoo, June 2020. Pen, ink, watercolor, shimmer watercolor.

 

Read Full Post »

Been meaning to do a portrait of Little Richard, since hearing about his death. Earlier last month, one of the founders of a musical genre we all know as Rock n’ Roll passed away on May 9, 2020. He was was 87 years old.

Rock and Roll would not exist if it wasn’t for both black and white musicians, both coming from poor backgrounds. It was created by combining country, bluegrass, swing, and blues. Thus creating America’s most famous bi-racial child. We often hear about Elvis. Don’t get me wrong – watching early footage of Elvis before the ’70s, you can see Elvis’ natural charisma shining through. Elvis had that superstar quality. But there were others in the early Rock and Roll game. One of best from that era was Little Richard.

Heavily influenced by Esquerita, Little Richard was one of the first crossover artists with  integrated audiences during the segregation era. Despite many venues having segregated entrances – i.e., separate entrances and seating for white attendees, and for black attendees. His songs topped the charts in both the U.S, and the U.K. Later on many of those same songs were covered by white performers. Among his peers were Buddy Holly, Bill HaleyJerry Lee Lewisthe Everly BrothersGene Vincent , Eddie Cochran and yes, even Elvis Presley himself.

My mother would occasionally tell me what a huge fan my aunt was back in Liverpool, England. Needless to say, my mother NOT being a rock and roll fan, was annoyed by my aunt constantly playing “Lucille.” In my mother’s defense, her tastes were more aligned with Roy Orbison, Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra. My mother accidentally got caught up in music history, when she was dragged by her friends to see a certain band called The Beatles. That’s another post altogether.

Speaking of which, Little Richard’s influence was felt by such acts like The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones. Little Richard himself had a ’60s comeback after having a turn at evangelism. (Little Richard would also flip flop on sexuality) He would go back and forth from music to religion, then back again. During 1964, Little Richard hired a then unknown musician named Jimi Hendrix to play in Little Richard’s backup band, World Famous Upsetters. Unfortunately, Little Richard and Hendrix clashed a bit, over matters like lateness, wardrobe, Hendrix’s stage antics, and money. It worked out for Hendrix in the end, as he later became one of the most famous guitarists of all time.

Little Richard kept on performing throughout the ’70s, up until his final concert in 2014. He also made appearances on talk shows, award ceremonies, and film. In the end, he was acknowledged as The Innovator, The Originator, and The Architect of Rock and Roll.

Wrapping up this blog post, here’s an illustration I did earlier tonight. Done in pen, ink, watercolor and shimmer watercolor. Although the scan never picks up on the shimmer. Here’s Little Richard during his iconic heyday during the 1950’s.

LittleRichardJune2020WEB

Little Richard. Illustration by Michele Witchipoo. June 2020. Pen, ink, watercolor, shimmer watercolor. 

One of my own heroes, filmmaker John Waters, discusses meeting Little Richard:

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2010/nov/28/john-waters-met-little-richard

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/john-waters-little-richard-996961/

Read Full Post »

Self explanatory title. Episode two of my summer series webcomic is now up. It’s titled Psycho Bunny – Summer of COVID19. You can read it on WEBTOONS.

In episode two, Psycho Bunny has the shakes after having nightmares about Covid19. At the corner bodega, he runs into his friend Gabriel, who he calls ‘Chubbmiser.’ Gabriel sets him straight about the virus, but Psycho Bunny is still freaking out. Episode three should be uploaded soon.

So without further ado, here’s the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for Sunday, June 7, 2020. I waited a week between uploading episodes due to current U.S. events.

PBNoBoozeJune2020WEB

The Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for June 7, 2020. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo, on WitchesBrewPress. Currently on WEBTOONS.

Again, understandably people are focused on the U.S. nationwide protests. If you want a break from recent events, here’s some social media links.

 If you haven’t heard,  I’ve re-opened my Etsy store: Michele Witchipoo. You can purchase some of my comics there. There’s also handmade holiday ornaments, greeting cards, and eventually other items for sale. Check back every so often, the store will continue to have more merch posted.

DD7CF2A4-7A12-41F4-8E12-B8FC55ED597F

I’ve also officially launched my Patreon account. Still learning the in and outs of Patreon fund raising. You can subscribe starting at $5.00 a month.

1925AD7F-F184-4DB6-B1B6-D70442BE8385

QUARANTINE GOT YOU BORED? HERE’S SOME SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS TO FOLLOW:

WEBTOONS: Psycho Bunny – Summer of COVID-19.

 Facebook: 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

Want to buy some of my designs? There’s RedBubble: Witchipoo

Also. I’m available for commissions. Comics and greetings are available for purchase. No shame in this plug. Especially with the financial impact. Questions? Hit me up: Witchipoo@witchesbrewpress.net. You can also contact me via Instagram, @WitchipooArt

Be safe everyone.

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »