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Posts Tagged ‘michele witchipoo drawing’

Last night was Walpurgis, also known as Walpurgistnacht. It’s a hoilday based in European tradition. It could be Catholic or Pagan, depending on how it’s celebrated. Walpurgistnacht, according to Wikipedia: ‘In Germany, Hexennacht (“Witches’ Night”), the night from 30 April to 1 May, is the night when witches are reputed to hold a large celebration on the Brocken and await the arrival of spring and is held on the same night as Saint Walpurgis Night (Sankt Walpurgisnacht).’ 

In honor of Walpurgistnacht, here’s an illustration. Hand drawn, pen and ink.

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Walpurgistnacht. April 2020. Hand drawn by Michele Witchipoo. Pen and ink. 

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Here’s an illustration finished earlier today. It’s archangel Michael, better known as St. Michael. Done in pen, ink, regular watercolor and shimmer watercolor. Too bad the scan doesn’t pick up on the shimmer paints.

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Archangel Michael, or St. Michael. Pen, ink, watercolor. Illustrated by Michele Witchipoo. April 2020. 

Here’s a prayer for St. Michael, Roman Catholic version:

“Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and the other evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.”

 

 

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In the past few years, I’ve done portraits of famous musicians and icons, such as David Bowie, Lemmy Kilmister, Quentin Crisp, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Elizabeth Taylor, Wendy O Williams, and a few others. My focus are on those who had some sort of impact on my psyche, whether it’s small or significant.

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Which brings me to Marc Bolan. My introduction to the ’70s Glam band T Rex was through covers by Bauhaus, Violent Femmes, The Power Station, Siouxsie and The Banshees, etc. Being curious, I decided to go straight to the source.

Recently came the news that T Rex is going to be an inductee into the 2020 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Usually I don’t give a rat’s ass about who’s been included. Being part of Gen X, I should’ve been happy for Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails. Instead I’ll wait to rejoice when Kraftwerk gets in. I’m always that one person who goes against the grain.

232 Marc Bolan

For those who don’t know who Marc Bolan is, here goes. Marc Bolan, real name Marc Feld. His father was an Askenazi Jew, his mother English. Marc was born for the showbiz life. He first appeared as an extra on the British television show Orlando as a Mod. Age nine he was given his first guitar, and his life course was set. After being expelled from school at the age of 15, he tried modelling. It’s rumored he was bisexual, piling his trade as a ‘rent boy.’ In 1964, Marc met his first manager. The result was one of Bolan’s professional recordings. The track was in the style of U.K. teen idol Cliff Richard. Marc soon moved on to a second manager. He had changed his style, adopting a Boho-chic look. The contract was later sold to a landlord to back off back rent, in which the contract was later destroyed. In 1965, Marc signed Decca Records. It was this point Marc switched his stage name to Marc Bolan. Two Decca released singles went nowhere. In 1966, British music producer Simon Napier-Bell, met Bolan, listening to Bolan’s claims about how he was going to be a ‘big star.’ Napier-Bell was managing The Yardbirds at that point. He put Bolan in the band John’s Children, which had some success. It was short-lived, so Marc had to reconstruct his plans for stardom. Influenced by fantasy and romance, he came back with the first formation of T Rex, originally known as Tyrannosaurus Rex

Tyrannosaurus Rex gained a cult following among the U.K.’s Hippie subculture, releasing four Psychedelic-Folk-Rock albums. However, Marc wanted more. Despite charting success, percussionist Steve Peregrin Took was terminated due to drug use. Tyrannosaurus Rex then developed into T Rex, adding electric to the sound. Took was replaced with Mickey Finn on the bongos.

1970 saw the release of the rebooted formation with the self titled album T Rex. As the cliche goes, the rest is history. Marc reinvented himself yet again, setting the bar for what would be known as ‘Glam Rock.’

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. This also synchronized with David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust era. In fact, both T Rex and Bowie worked with the same music producer, American Tony Visconti and the same manager, Les Conn. Hippies were replaced with teenage fans as Marc performed on stage wearing satin and glitter. This is the iconic T Rex everyone knows. At one point T Rex was as huge as The Beatles over in his native country. T Rex did have success over in the U.S., with the top 40 hit ‘Bang A Gong’, but never as massive as they were back in the U.K. With releases such as Electric Warrior and The Slider, the band was rumored to be selling 100,000 records a day.

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What’s up with these ’70s rock stars wearing pants a certain way?

It really should be noted that Marc would probably never had the success if it wasn’t for his wife, June Ellen Child. June Child already had connections within the British music industry, and was instrumental in T Rex’s success. Finally Marc achieved the rock star status he so desired.

The wave continued to ride high, appearing in Ringo Starr’s film, Born To Boogie. After the album Tanx in 1973, the success T Rex had started to taper off. His marriage was disintegrating too. Marc found new love with American R&B singer Gloria Jones. Jones has her own interesting history. She was involved with Motown. Finding success in the U.K., she was the Queen of  the Northern Soul movement. Most importantly, Jones was the original vocalist for the song Tainted Love, later made internationally famous by ’80s New Wave band Soft Cell.

Marc and Gloria’s paths first crossed in 1969. It wasn’t until 1972, when Jones got a gig as T Rex’s backup singer.  You can guess the rest, as Jones and Bolan became romantically involved. Out of that union, Jones gave birth to their only son, Rolan Bolan in 1975. By that time, Bolan’s star was fading. He had gained a bit of weight, acquired a drug habit, and record sales slowly declined. Jones and Bolan continued to collaborate. In 1975 Jones did background vocals for the T Rex album Bolan’s Zip Gun. Unfortunately the tenth studio album did poorly, only being released in the U.K. (The American version was Light of Love, released on then new Casablanca record label) Another pairing for Jones’ 1976 album Vixen. Jones continued her tenure with T Rex with the albums Futuristic Dragon and Dandy In The Underworld.

Marc’s luck turned around in 1977, when he landed his own variety show on Granada Television. Now this synchronized with the imminent U.K. Punk movement. (The Damned opened up for T Rex on a later British tour) Marc had a few appearances from bands like The Jam and Generation X (with future ’80s New Wave superstar Billy Idol). Thin Lizzy also did a guest spot on Marc. The rest was littered with local performers, never to be heard from again. David Bowie was the most significant delegate, with a spot on the last Marc episode. Bowie was both a rival and a friend – but later proved himself to be a loyal friend as we’ll find out later.

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Marc was renewed by Granada, but the next season never came to be. After celebrating on September 16, 1977, Marc and Gloria got into a car crash. Jones was the driver of the Mini 1275GT. While Jones survived, Bolan died instantly. Marc Bolan was only two weeks from his 30th birthday.

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While the funeral was taking place, Gloria Jones was hospitalized in a coma. When she came to, to her horror she discovered the home she had shared with Marc had been looted dry. Matters were further complicated because Bolan never divorced his estranged wife June. This meant that Bolan’s assets was tied up, freezing out both Jones and child. Skipping the U.K. legal inquiry over the car crash, Jones and son returned back to Los Angles, California. Jones continued to be involved with the music industry, but destitute. This is where David Bowie comes into play. Bowie just happened to be the godfather to Rolan Bolan. Refusing to let Rolan suffer, Bowie stepped in providing financial assistance, paying for Rolan’s education. It was all due to Bowie’s loyalty towards friendship he shared with Marc Bolan. It wasn’t until June Child’s death in Back in the U.K., a plaque was placed where the crash occurred. For decades, the site has, become a small pilgrimage to T Rex fans.

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Over the years, people have held torches in Marc’s memory. Marc On Wax was a label run by two former heads of Bolan’s fan club. Most importantly, the influence Marc and T Rex had continues. As mentioned earlier, many late ’70s/’80s Post-Punk and Alternative bands have covered many a T Rex ditty.

As for Gloria, she later co-founded with the Light of Love Foundation UK, a music school in Sierra Leone, West Africa named in honor of Marc. Called Marc Bolan School Of Music, it gives children opportunities to learn all facets of music and film. Oh, and in 2007, she did a duet with Marc Almond once on a U.K. stage performing Tainted Love.

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Gloria Jones and Marc Almond on stage. 2007.

Honestly, I don’t know why there’s hasn’t been a biopic film about Marc. If they can do one on Freddie Mercury and Elton John, surely they can do one on Marc. I digress.

Now that you’ve read more about Marc Bolan than you originally wanted to, here’s my portrait of him, just in time for his induction into the class of 2020, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Hand drawn, pen, ink and watercolor. There’s a tiny bit of sheen and glimmer with the watercolor, but I don’t think Marc would’ve minded. Here’s a little Marc in your heart.

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Marc Bolan. Pen, ink, watercolor. Illustration by Michele Witchipoo. Completed March 2020.

 

 

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Caturday isn’t over yet. Here’s my weekly Caturday sketch featuring some key figures of the Beat Generation as cats. Hanging out in front of City Lights bookstore in San Francisco, California are William S. Burroughs, Neal Cassady, and Jack Kerouac. When I visited San Francisco in 2000, I had a drink in the bar that was right across the street from the famous bookstore. It was late night, and had just arrived in town. Didn’t get a chance to go inside the shop. Perhaps next time.

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Links:

https://www.litkicks.com/BeatGen

https://www.newyorker.com/books/double-take/sunday-reading-the-beat-generation

https://poets.org/text/brief-guide-beat-poets

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Out of all the greeting cards I’ve designed, the most popular one is Krampus. It was the first card released, and still remains popular. It’s been a while however, and my Krampuskarten needs an update.

So I present to you…my latest greeting card. Krampus In Love.

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Krampus and his honey were originally hand drawn.

The card size should be around 4 x 7 in size, comes with envelope inside with plastic wrapping. If anyone is interested, please send $4.00 to Venmo: Witchipoo or PayPal: psychobunnycomix@aol.com. Just say you want the ‘Krampus In Love’ greeting card.

I’ve also sketched St. Nicholas. He’s not available on a greeting card, unless there’s enough demand. Everyone seems to want Krampus! Well, who can blame them?

 

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Yesterday we heard the news. Lil Bub, one of the first major internet cats passed away. She was eight years old.

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Lil Bub. One of the original internet celebrity cats. (2011 – 2019) 

To say Lil Bub was unique is an understatement. Born to a feral cat, Lil Bub was not only the runt of the litter, but suffered many ailments. Along with her many genetic mutations, she had feline dwarfism. This did not stop her from becoming one of the world’s most famous and beloved cats.

Within a span of five years she already had books, a web series, highly anticipated personal appearances, an album, merchandise, and a documentary under her furry belt.

They used to say a dog is a man’s best friend. Nowadays, cats rule with a velvet paw. Five years ago, the first holy trinity of internet cats came to be: Colonel Meow, Grumpy Cat and Lil Bub. Grumpy Cat was the most famous, but Lil Bub was the holiest of the holy.

Colonel Meow was the first to pass away in 2014. Grumpy cat passed away earlier in 2019. Now with Lil Bub gone, it’s the end of an era.

Lil Bub’s human, Mike Bridavsky decided to turn down Grumpy Cat’s management, headed by Ben Lashes. Instead, Bridavsky decided to share proceeds with animal charities, focusing on special need and homeless pets. Lil Bub also helped contribute to science. After a crowd funding campaign, researchers discovered Lil Bub had a mutation in gene RANK/TNFRSF11A. The findings were published on the website bioRxiv.

Science aside, Lil Bub always found a way to warm your hearts. Her human used to joke that Lil Bub came from outer space. Now it seems like she left earth. While today cats flood social media, no other cat has come close to making an impact like the way the original holy internet cat trilogy did. Particularly with Grumpy Cat and Lil Bub. Only recently the torch has been passed down to Smudge Lord.

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Smudge Lord. 

I’ve always wanted to do a portrait of Lil Bub. After all, I did portraits of Colonel Meow and Grumpy Cat (Colonel Meow was always my personal favorite. Grumpy came in a close second.) Of course, I never got around to doing it. You would think I would have – especially after meeting Lil Bub back in 2013. It was only the day after her death I decided to do a tribute. Done in pen and ink.

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Original sketch, drawn by Michele Witchipoo. Tuesday Dec. 3rd, 2019. Pen and ink. 

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Now that Lil Bub has gone back to outer space, planet Earth has become a little darker. While she was alive, she helped make the world a kinder place. Good job, Bub.

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Not a flattering photo. Meeting Lil Bub back in 2013. Social Tees animal shelter. L.E.S, NYC. 

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Here’s something loosely based on the Rider-Waite/Pamela Coleman Smith tarot deck. Most tarot decks follow this system, unless one uses the Thoth/Crowley deck, or various oracles, gypsy cards, etc. Drawn in pencil and ink, colored in watercolor. Two types of watercolor was used. Shimmer/glitter and regular watercolor.

The scan, done at a low dpi didn’t do the illustration justice. Doesn’t show the details nor the depth of the colors. Below is a photo of the illustration itself:

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Photo of The World illustration by Michele Witchipoo. Done May 2019. Pen, ink, watercolor. 

The other photo is a scan with the fore mentioned low dpi normally used for web and other devices.

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Scan of The World, by Michele Witchipoo. May 2019. 

At this point, the only left for this illustration is a frame, for exhibiting. There could be the rare exception of selling the original. Once it’s framed, of course.

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You probably heard the news. Yesterday Stanley Martin Lieber passed away at age 95. The world knows him better as Stan ‘The Man’ Lee.

While with Marvel comics, Stan Lee collaborated with various artists. Among some of those artists were Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. During Lee’s tenure at Marvel he worked on numerous titles. You might’ve heard of a few: Spider-Man, The Hulk, The Fantastic Four, X-Men, Black Panther, Thor, Ironman, and countless others. These various titles became many of the staples within the Marvel legacy.

After Lee retired from Marvel, he continued to stay in the spotlight. During 2006 and 2007, he hosted a reality show on the Sci-Fi Channel, now known as Syfy. It was titled Who Wants To Be A Superhero. As someone who usually hates reality shows, I absolutely adored season one. Later I got to meet the winner Feedback and runner-up Fat Momma. The contestant I was personally rooting for was Major Victory. Hugging him was one of my highlights during NYCC 2007.

Go to any comicbook related news source, and you’re sure to hear more detailed accounts Stan Lee had on modern pop culture. I was lucky enough to catch a panel Lee was on, during NYCC 2016. Moderated by film director Kevin Smith, it was Stan Lee, Walter Simonson and Chris Claremont. In my files I have a crappy photograph of the panel. However, this YouTube video will suffice.

I’ve had enough of death lately (personal reasons). So with that I’ll leave you with my tribute to Stan Lee. My second tribute which included Spider-Man, when Steve Ditko passed away a few months prior. He’s with Spider-Man, superhero from Forest Hills, Queens. Queens being my hometown. Excelsior!

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Stan Lee with Spider-Man. Sketch by Michele Witchipoo. Nov. 2018. 

 

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Saturdays is Caturday. All cat lovers rejoice! With that, here’s Squeaky spending her Caturday with her new demon buddy. Taking some time to reflect in the woods.

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Eventually I will have to either have to print, or post the upcoming Squeaky comic to a website. Check back to hear the latest.

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Thanks to the internet, cats have ruled the world wide web. Among extreme cat lovers, Saturdays have now become ‘Caturdays.’

Here’s my Caturday sketch, featuring none other than Squeaky Squeakums. She’s the star of my new upcoming mini-comic, which should be released soon. The idea for this character came from doing the Inktober 2018 challenge. Here she’s serving tea to a certain creature.

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Squeaky Squeakums serving some tea. Drawn by Michele Witchipoo. Nov. 2018. 

I’m having a lot of fun drawing these two new characters. More characters will reveal themselves soon. Happy Caturday!

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