Author Archives: Suzanne Forbes

About Suzanne Forbes

Suzanne Forbes is a traditionally trained figurative artist, writer and bricoleur. She is an expat New Yorker living and thriving in Berlin with her third husband and their two cats. In previous lives she was a courtroom artist for CBS and CNN, a penciller for DC Comics on Star Trek, and a live-drawing chronicler of Bay Area alternative culture.

Portraits of two powerful Black German women who are doing critical work.

MisSa Blue performs Rising of the Black Sheep drawn by Suzanne Forbes July 23 2020MisSa Blue is a legendary German performer who has lived in London for years, because she was so sick of German racism.

Yes, there’s racism in Germany. Disingenuous, gaslighting racism, and violent, murderous racism. MisSa Blue grew up with white adoptive parents in the beautiful German countryside, and that’s one of the things she talks about in her powerful new work in progress, The Rising of the Black Sheep.

I met MisSa last summer when she facilitated the Performer’s Panel on Cultural Appropriation in Showbiz at Berlin Burlesque Week. That panel had a huge impact on my understanding of how to be an ally and how to do anti-racism work, and I am so grateful to MisSa and the panelists and the BBWeek team for making it happen. I also drew MisSa during her Birthday Extravaganza earlier this summer!

Below, you can see MisSa talk about sword swallowing and other things in her TEDx talk.

The Rising of the Black Sheep is a mixed media performance which is being developed, and MisSa hopes to bring it to the stage, when there are stages again.

The sold-out show was live-streamed to an international audience – Alotta Boutte who I knew in the Bay Area was in it! – and we stayed for a Q&A afterwards. We were all moved and grateful to have been present for the show.

You can follow MisSa Blue on Instagram here and check her website for updates on the development of “Rising” and other projects.

MEP Dr Pierrette-Herzberger_Fofana by Suzanne Forbes July 2020Dr. Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana is the first woman of African descent to be elected to European Parliament from Germany.

On June 17, she told the parliament in Brussels that she had been physically abused by Brussels police while attempting to stop the harassment of Black kids. As an MEP, she was in Brussels because the European parliament was due to vote on a non-binding resolution against racism! The Belgian police have brought a defamation complaint against the 71 year old professor!! That’s where the situation stands. It is horrifying, and so typical of Brussels.

I drew this using reference from a photo by Daina Le Lardic.

I never draw from photos but I had to talk about this story which should be the shame of Europe, and Dr Pierrette who is a jewel in the crown of Parliament. I am following the case and waiting to see if Dr. Pierrette receives an apology or has to go to court.

You can find Dr. Pierrette’s website here and her Instagram here, and follow her on twitter.

Christopher Street Day in Berlin: miniature rainbow ice cream party collab with Littlest Sweet Shop!

Rainbow CSD party Littlest Sweet Shop custom rainbow ice cream collab with Suzanne Forbes June 2020It‘s Christopher Street Day and Germany is celebrating Gay Pride🌈 !!

I am so delighted to share the incredible artisan miniature cake and ice cream I commissioned from Littlest Sweet Shop for my New Mutants and X-Men Marvel legends figures !!!

Rainbow CSD ice cream party collab Littlest Sweet Shop x Suzanne Forbes July 25 2020I wanted to do something special for Germany’s big Pride day, even though I couldn’t go to an event.

So I commissioned an array of gorgeous miniature ice creams and cakes from Nadia of Littlest Sweet Shop. She is a superb creator of artisan mini food, and she really pulled out all the stops!

Rainbow CSD jelly roll cake by Littlest Sweet Shop by Suzanne Forbes July 25 2020Look how exquisite and beautiful they are!!

Every detail is perfect!! Including the tiny rainbow sprinkles on the Choco-Taco!

Rainbow CSD ice cream party collab Littlest Sweet Shop x Suzanne Forbes group shot July 25 2020

What a wonderful party!

I included some of the gay X-Men and New Mutants, including Rahne and Dani who are now CANONICALLY GAY in the New Mutants movie, and the lovely trans lady action figure customs I recently made. Northstar is chilling with ally Puck!

Littlest Sweet Shop Pride rainbow ice cream and cakes July 2020This was my first time making a good-sized commission from a miniature food artisan, and I was so lucky to work with Nadia!

Although I had the idea at the last minute, Nadia graciously accepted the commission and was an absolute dream to work with.

Rainbow CSD ice cream party collab Littlest Sweet Shop x Suzanne Forbes beautiful trans ladies July 25 2020Nadia committed to the Pride theme 200%!

She carefully matched the colors from the Trans Pride and Bi Pride flags, as well as making all the foods from the same color “batches” so they would match. She sent me photos as she worked! And she took a lovely photo series herself, where you can really see the details.

Rainbow CSD ice cream party collab Littlest Sweet Shop x Suzanne Forbes July 25 2020 Shan has a tacoOf course I had to order some of Nadia’s miniature ice cream tacos, or Choco Tacos, for the lesbian mutants!

X’ian Coy Manh (Shan to her friends) holds a nut decorated Choco Taco – you can choose whole or with a bite out!

I took over a hundred photos for this shoot.

Between lighting and editing, I feel I have graduated from a person who should never touch a camera to a poor amateur photographer.

Rainbow CSD ice cream party collab Littlest Sweet Shop x Suzanne Forbes Rahne and Dani gay mutant love July 25 2020It’s actually a big achievement and I am proud!

I will never buy or learn the equipment to become a real doll or toy photographer like the ones in my post on Action Figure Activism, but at least I am improving.

Danielle Moonstar action figure custom with Littlest Sweet Shop mini foods for Pride by Suzanne Forbes July 2020For this shoot I used the Marvel Legends Danielle Moonstar/Mirage figure head, even though she is a bit grouchy.

I finally found one in the UK, got it and quickly customized it to try it out. (My mom has one found for me by the lovely fellow behind She’s Fantastic Made of Plastic, but who knows when it will get to Berlin.) Honestly I like my own custom Dani Moonstar figure (last year’s Pride post) better for tender domestic teenage mutant love, but this sculpt is beautiful and fierce.

Marvel Legends Danielle Moonstar custom by Suzanne Forbes July 2020I had two of the Hasbro Marvel Legends Juggernaut Series Kitty Pryde bodies.

For this one I sculpted Dani’s fringed boots with my beloved Apoxie Sculpt, then painted them with regular artist’s acrylic.

I sealed them with “Matte” Mod Podge which is reading really shiny so I will probably mask off Dani’s body and spray them with Liquitex Matte Varnish, which is what I use instead of Dullcote.

Anyway a quick version that looks ok! I wanted to use the “official” movie tie-in Dani Moonstar figure’s head on the weekend when the director and all the cast of the New Mutants movie were doing a panel talking about the film’s amazing queer love story.

Littlest Sweet Shop shop imageThe real stars of the shoot are the rainbow treats from Littlest Sweet Shop.

Shop TheLittlestSweetShopUK on etsy here for ready to ship treats in 1:12 (dollhouse) and 1:6 (fashion doll) scale, and visit the Littlest Sweet Shop website to buy exclusive items (Slushy!!) in the online store, enjoy the blog, and see all the possible items you can commission if commissions are open! Or just enjoy the photo gallery!

Nadia is truly an incredible artist who is dedicated to making the most lifelike and beautiful miniature food.

thanks so much for your beautiful work for my Pride feast, Nadia!

X-Men and Action figure dollhouse projects and action figure customs:

Danger Room work in progress!

My first action figure dollhouse.

Laboratories underneath it.

My action figure subway station.

Projects for the X-Men Dollhouse – a blackboard for the library

The X-Men Dollhouse – nearly finished, and the goddam lighting

The X-Men Dollhouse – stairs and lighting

The X-Men Dollhouse – wallpaper and assembly

The X-Men Dollhouse – getting started!

Lila Cheney and Lilandra customs.

My Rahne and Dani lovebird action figure customs

Douglock custom