Dr Sketchy's Anti-art School Birmingham presents Comic Book Capers... or Whaaaaaaaaaam Bam Thank You Spiderman!
Saturday March 31st 2012
As Bruce Wayne once said 'Criminals are a superstitious cowardly lot' artists however are a little braver, and so it was pencils, pens and paints in hand it was we descended on the Victoria Pub for the latest Dr Sketchy's Birmingham.
An integral part of Dr Sketchy's is getting a good seat (they are all good seats), usually this leads to a sense of determination upon entering. Pay money. Head down. Find seat. Draw!
After this initial distraction we settled down and sat back for an afternoon of enjoyment, art and entertainment. Our long standing and beautiful host Miss Liberty Pink kicked off proceedings with a jazzy, hi energy, version of the Spiderman theme tune. Liberty was dressed in a Spidey costume so tight you could practically see her webbing. 'Its for boys age 9-10' she told us, 'I'm keeping it'. Brilliant!
Unusually for us our first two models were boys, Al and John who had just come to watch the show. Ten minutes earlier they had found themselves bundled into the gents with a costume each ( I know I walked in on them (I may never sleep again)). They took to the stage dressed as Batman and Robin and feigned uncomfortableness for about ten seconds. Then they realised they were dressed as Batman and Robin and that lots of people were looking at them, that was AWESOME!
Both of the boys embraced the role with great gusto, striking manly man poses that would of put the fear of god into any criminal. And talking of criminals the boys were joined on stage for there second pose by the latex and mask wearing Cat Woman, aka Miss Liberty Pink in what was only the first of many costume changes.
Another pose was struck and drawings were drawn, the dynamic duo and feisty feline walked among there audience surveying our work. There favourite piece belonged to the excellent Alex Hughes who can often be seen at Dr Sketchys and always produces great work.
Liberty then introduced onto the stage Miss Parma Violet with her Harley Quinn act. Never has the Jokers squeeze looked so delightful. As the act ended and we began to applaud Parma ran off stage to 'complete the look'.
While we were waiting Miss Liberty Pink rejoined us, and as a tribute to the late great Eartha Kitt (one of the original Catwomen) sung 'I wanna be evil'. Eartha would have been proud, Liberty gave it her all and was dazzling as always.
Miss Parma Violet then rejoined us, now with full Harley white face and fizzing cartoon bomb and we set about drawing her. Harley Quinn and Parma Violet are both inspiring characters, and a treat to draw, the combination of the two seemed to bring out the best in the artists and some great pieces were produced. Parma Violet gambolled amongst the crowd and chose Ann Brierley as her favourite.
A short interval was announced and we all had a chance to refill our glasses and look at each others work. Then back for the second half, and KAPOW! who is this coming from behind the spangly curtain (pub door)? Jessica Rabbit. Or rather Miss Liberty Pink dressed as Jessica Rabbit. Liberty strolled and sung her way round the audience, and in true Jessica fashion, picked on several of the male members of the audience who all looked a mixture of slightly embarrassed and thrilled (mostly thrilled).
Liberty welcomed us back and then introduced to the stage the beautiful Miss Tiffany Beau. Tiffany looked stunning as the 'Silk Spectre' and after some initial confusion and hilarity as to whether we had 'started' or not, she gave us a lovely seven minute pose with a smashing bit of foreshortening.
Tiffany was joined by Liberty on the stage in her fourth and final costume change. This time she had donned full Tank Girl regalia, complete with gun, bother boots, and snarl. Liberty gave us a seven minute pose, gun in hand and full of attitude. Both girls then wandered through the audience and chose Norma Robertson as there favourite artist, whose work was delightful and really captured both girls.
Next up was Velma Von Bon Bon, or rather not her but a sack containing her. Brought on to the stage by a villainous villain (who looked remarkably similar to our Batman) and forced to escape, with help from various props and an office chair. It's very hard to make office furniture look sexy but Velma Von Bon Bon definitely managed it, and then some. Velma then proceeded to don spangly arm bands, cape and corset to transform into the deliciously dashing Super Velma.
Velma's act was brilliantly done and very funny. We all jut about managed to control our laughter enough to complete a twenty minute pose. Whilst Velma was choosing the winner Liberty and Tiffany treated us to an impromptu dance performance of Black Lace's 'Superman' (one of many Superhero themed records chosen by our house DJ) which caused even more hilarity. Velma flew amongst the audience and chose her favourite drawing, which was by another Sketchys regular Lisa Harper. Lisa's work is always exceptional and she has a way of capturing the girls that is lovely.
Miss Ivy Wilde, whose routine saw the bookish Pamela Isley transform into the go go dancing and sizzling Poison Ivy. Dressed of course in the standard foliage bikini but this bush had a surprise. POW! A flick of a switch and a hundred million lights appeared within the greenery. Brilliant! We definitely needed 'an ocean of calomine lotion' but what we had was paper and pencils. Ivy retook the stage and gave us our final Twenty minute pose of the day.
It is a long standing tradition that whoever has the models favourite picture comes to the stage and gets to kiss both the model and Liberty Pink (and indeed anyone else that might be hanging around). Had Alex Hughes been feeling left out at only having men to kiss (he had won at the beginning of the afternoon with his Batman and Robin picture) then the Burlesque gods were smiling on him. Alex's brilliant art saw him take to the stage for a second time and this time get to kiss two girls. Liberty again and Miss Ivy Wilde. After the kisses Alex took his seat and Liberty serenaded, our punk rocked, us with one last song.
And that was it. Our comic book capers had reached the final page but before we left Miss Liberty Pink told us the next event would be on May 26 and would be themed 'Spring has Sprung'. She then proceeded to show us the website address in a way that was memorable, probably illegal, and truly amazing (see our site for photos).
We packed up our pencils, put on our capes slid down our batpoles (stairs) and headed back to the City streets vowing to return 'Same bat time (ish), Same bat channel' for the next Dr Sketchys Birmingham...
Pip (Astro) Bayley Resident artist and blogger for Dr Sketchy's Anti-art School Birmingham
Photographs by Candee Photography - www.candeephotography.co.uk