Nona Narcisse on the wing.

Photo by Jeff Schock

This was Nona Narcisse’s second time posing for Dr. Sketchy’s Baltimore.  As Alexis likes to put it, Nona is like a bird – she spends her winters in New Orleans and migrates up to Baltimore and other places here and there for the summer.  If we get lucky, maybe we’ll get a chance to see her again next summer.

Atomic Books, up on the corner of the Avenue and Falls Rd in Hampden, provided a fancy-pancy Betty Paige hip flask for one lucky contest winner and Baby Tattoo Books provided a copy of Atrum Secretum by Gris Grimly for another.

Thank you to John Schloman, Kimberly Keyes Stark, Hannah LeVasseur, and Tim Kelly for sending in their artwork which we’ve included below.

Thanks to Nona Narcisse of Slow Burn Burlesque for being our muse for the evening; thanks to our sponsors Atomic Books and Baby Tattoo Books for providing prizes for the contests; thanks to Russell for slinging booze and music; thanks to Jeff for some of the photos you see below; thanks to Valeria Voxx for helping set up the stage and hold down the fort at the door; and thanks to Alexis for emceeing the whole affair.

La Bella Muerte

Holy Mictecacihuatl.  Well, Nona Narcisse of Slow Burn Burlesque out of New Orleans was [ 5 pages of expletives removed due to space considerations and Aaron’s repetitiveness – Alexis ], fucking amazing.  If you were there for our Day of the Dead session, you know.  If you weren’t—well, remember that Christmas where you really, really, really wanted He-Man’s Attak Trak and when you got up that morning, not only was the Attak Trak under the tree, but your dad robbed a Toys R Us after you went to bed and left everything under the tree, THEN, stormed Mattel headquarters and left the senior executives tied up under the tree so you could personally place an order for shit they hadn’t even thought of yet?

IT WAS LIKE THAT.

But, umm, in a way that was kind of scary in a “You don’t think she’s really Mictecacihuatl, do you?  I’m kind of scared to look her in the eye” way.  (Which, to be fair, is somewhat similar to that “Oh shit, one of these execs has a GPS bracelet on!” moment about 30-minutes into that Christmas morning oh so many years ago.)

So, best Dr. Sketchy’s ever?  I don’t know—maybe Nona Narcisse and Reverend Valentine can have a face-off session and settle the matter with knives or something.  I’d draw that.

By the way, we’ve NEVER gotten this many drawings sent in for a session.  It took FIVE HOURS to download them all and insert them in this post, so let’s get rolling, cause, folks, this is a LONG post.  Go make a cup of coffee, I’ll wait.

Ready?

We started off with the 1- and 2-minute poses.

Adam J. Tolman

Fred Zeleny

Adam J. Tolman

Fred Zeleny

Our photographer Jeff is seriously knocking it out of the park with the photos too.  Probably the best he’s ever done—Lord knows it would have been hard to take a bad photo with all this, but still.

We took a short break so folks could flex their drawing hands, get a drink, a smoke, pee-pee, whatever floated their boat, and then it was time for the 5-minute poses.  The first was the traditional opposite-hand drawing contest, where if you’re right-handed you draw with your left, if you’re left-handed you draw with your right, and if you’re ambidextrous, you spend most of the pose crying quietly in a bathroom stall because you’re different and we can only support so much “being different” at Dr. Sketchy’s before we turn into a middle-school cafeteria and give you a swirly.

The two winners received a mystery concoction from Russell at the bar.

Tim Kelly

John Schloman

Fred Zeleny

Daniel Govar

Fred Zeleny

Cecilia Strakna

John Schloman

Fred Zeleny

Clarice Jones

Cecilia Strakna

Tim Kelly

After that, it was time for a second break, and then, once everyone was safely squirreled away in their seats, the lights dimmed, Nona performed one of the best burlesque routines I’ve ever seen in my life.

Watch.  If you skip this video, I don’t even understand why you’re reading all this anyway.

Here are two photos Jeff snapped during the performance as well :

After Nona’s well-earned break, it was time for the 10-minute poses, the first of which was the random noun contest where the audience calls out drunken gibberish.  This time around it turned out to be “David Bowie.”  The winner received Miss Mindy’s Sassy Paper Doll Bonanza by Miss Mindy from Baby Tattoo Books.  Baby Tattoo runs the LA branch of Dr. Sketchy’s; if you’re ever out there, check ’em out.

Tim Kelly

John Schloman

Clarice Jones

Tim Kelly

Seeks

John Schloman

Edward Williams

Clarice Jones

Adam J. Tolman

Next up were the 20-minute poses—and whoa nelly, did these produce some amazing sketches.  The contest for the first one had the appropriate theme of “Voodoo” with the winner receiving a Flying Dog Limited Edition barrel-aged Gonzo Imperial Porter from Flying Dog Brewery, who not only provided THAT, but had Flying Dog beers for sale all night at insanely cheap prices.

Seeks

Tim Kelly

Fred Zeleny

Edward Williams

Clarice Jones

Brian Dugan

Last pose of the night . . . the contest for this one had the theme “Occupy Dr. Sketchy’s” with the winner receiving Day of the Dead : El Dia De Los Muertos by Antoni Cadafalch from Atomic Books, our longest-running sponsor and the best damn indie bookstore you’ll find in Baltimore (right up there in Hampden on the corner of the Avenue and Falls).

Tim Kelly

Seeks

Fred Zeleny

Daniel Govar

Clarice Jones

Brian Dugan

Adam J. Tolman

(This next photo was of Nona watching the finalists get picked.)

Last, but not least, there were a few drawings that for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out where they belonged in the night.  They were pretty cool, so I didn’t want to leave them out.

Tim Kelly

David Wright

David Wright

David Wright

Adam J. Tolman

More thanks than I could possibly express to Nona Narcisse for posing for us while she was up from New Orleans; thanks to our amazing sponsors: Atomic Books, Baby Tattoo Books, and Flying Dog Brewery; thanks to Russell for slinging drinks and booze and hosting us at the Windup Space; thanks to Jeff for turning out the best photos he’s done yet; thanks to all of you for making it a great night and sending in the best selection of drawings we’ve ever seen; and thanks to Alexis manning the mic regardless of the quite real peril of being devoured by an ancient Aztec goddess.

So what next?  What could have a chance of towering over what’s come before?

What about Paco Fish ON STILTS???

Have you ever drawn anyone on stilts?  I sure as hell haven’t.  Not only that, but he’s got a slew of costumes you’ve never drawn before and a performance that will rattle you in your shoes.  I could go on further (and I *did* on the event page—if you’re coming, you should go let us know).  In any case, next session is Monday, November 28th at the Windup Space.  Doors at 6, start at 7, show up early if you want a good seat.  18+ to draw, 21+ to drink, 55+ for fisticuffs.  Only two sessions left this year, folks!  Get it while the gettin’s good.

Reverend Valentine rocks out with her (pea)cock out.

So, at the end of the last session with Reverend Valentine, three different people proclaimed, “THIS WAS THE BEST SESSION EVER OF DR. SKETCHY’S BALTMORE!”  That’s paraphrased by the way—-not all of them screamed it, as the all-caps imply (though one did).  I don’t think anyone said “Baltimore” either since, you know, the context made it pretty clear they weren’t including sessions in the Philippines or Waco, Texas or whatnot.

Suffice it to say, Reverend Valentine was good.  Real good.

We’d love to take credit for the session be amazing, but in the end, all we did was see her perform a couple times and think, “Wow, she’d make a great model for Dr. Sketchy’s.”

We were right.

I’m sure having one of the funniest burlesque routines we’ve ever seen didn’t hurt either.

Shawn Adomanis

Shawn Adomanis


Shawn Adomanis

Tom Symonds

El Stabo

There was a short break for folks to aquire cocktails and dispose of the previous, and then it was time for the 5-minute poses, the first of which was AN ATTACK BY A GIANT DINOSAUR!!!!

Okay, it wasn’t.  It was the non-dominant hand contest where [deep breath] if you’re right-handed you draw with your left, if you’re left-handed you draw with your right, and if you’re ambidextrous you cheat and make everyone else look like a bunch of drunken whatsits.

Shawn Adomanis

El Stabo

Shawn Adomanis

Want to know a secret?  There was a wee bit of confusion here that shows just how awesome Reverend Valentine is.  We accidentally gave her the impression that she was going to do her routine before the 5-minute poses, not after.  So she held all four poses while hiding the true nature of her costume.  That’s downright amazing, and as far as I know, no one noticed.

True nature, you ask?

Well, everything is not quite what it seems in the above photos because the Reverend is mere moment from performing one of the best routines of all time.  I’ve never in three years heard the crowd of Dr. Sketchy’s Baltimore laugh so hard.  People were starting to hyperventilate and shit.

Here’s an itty-bitty video clip to give you an idea.

Quick aside—the quality of this video sucks.  Why?  Because 1) the tripod dumped the camera on the floor ten seconds beforehand because, well, frankly, I didn’t understand what one of the levers did.  Luckily, Jeff fixed the thing using his mad camera skills, so hopefully that will never happen again, and 2) the lights were probably a tad too low for shooting.

Anyway, enough hemming and hawing.

We then dived into the 10-minutes.  Rev didn’t even take a break, though we offered!  How damn amazing is she?

El Stabo

Shawn Adomanis

The second ten-minute pose was the random noun contest, in which your hosts forget to think  of a contest and so turn to the audience for help, in the form of suggestions of whatever person, place, or thing comes to the minds of the artists. “Armadillo” won out, so everyone was asked to incorporate this creature into their drawings. The prize? It was either a mini-Munny, or a copy of  Sparrow, vol. 4: Shane Glines—time and alcohol have made our memories hazy. Either way, these prizes were donated by the always awesome and generous Atomic Books of Hampden.


Craig Hankin

Adam J. Tolman

Shawn Adomanis

El Stabo

After another break, it was time for the first 20-minute pose which was also a contest.  This time, we asked the audience for a random verb, and thus came about the Best Incorporation of “Sparkle” contest, for the remaining Atomic Book prize.

Craig Hankin

Angela Hogarty

Shawn Adomanis

Carolyn Gilde

Adam J. Tolman

Harmony Farner

Tom Symonds

El Stabo

There was one last 20-minute pose of the evening, along with one last contest, which was a tribute to the B-movie director, Ed Wood, whose birthday was that day. The winner got to take home a copy of Karen Hsiao’s Rubber Duck, generously donated by Baby Tattoo Books, who also runs the Los Angeles branch of Dr. Sketchy’s.

Shawn Adomanis

Adam J. Tolman

El Stabo

Thanks to Reverend Valentine inspiring everyone’s sketches with her sheer awesomeness; thanks to our wonderful sponsors Atomic Books, Flying Dog Brewery, and Baby Tattoo Books; thanks to Russell for slinging drinks and tunes; thanks to Jeff for the photos you see above and learning me on proper tripod use; thanks to Styger for manning the door and setup; thanks to Fred for lending a hand; and thanks to Alexis for her slick microphone wrangling.

So, what’s next?

It’s our special Day of the Dead themed session with Nona Narcisse of Slow Burn Burlesque in New Orleans in honor of Halloween!

We’ve been looking forward to this session for MONTHS.  It’s going to be a doozy and I’m not just blowing up hot air up your thingamajob.  Check the Facebook event—a LOT of people have been waiting impatiently for her to pose for awhile now.  People are coming from OTHER STATES to draw her.

Want to know more?  Read the blog post below this one.  Who knows when, or if, Nona will ever make it to Baltimore again.  You’re really only going to one chance at this.