U OF MARYLAND: Around the second week
of every October, Michael Smith prepares for
battle. He repairs his weaponry and polishes
his chain mail armor. He cleans his draw-
string slacks and wool hosen, and sews up
his leather shoes with wax thread.
Then, on the 14th of the month, he heads
for the "Hill of Senlac" on the campus of the
University of Maryland, accompanied by fel-
low members of the Maryland Mercenary
Militia, the largest campus medieval group
in the country. As the fighting begins, Mi-
chael, a senior engineering major, is trans-
formed into Grimric Osricsson, officer of the
British Army, in a choreographed reenact-
ment of the Battle of Hastings.
For Michael, reenacting medieval battles
is more than a yearly collegiate ritual. Be-
cause of his extensive involvement with me-
dieval activities, his title is Warlord of Mary-
land. The purpose of the Maryland Mercenary
Militia, he explains, is to educate the campus
and surrounding community on medieval
lifestyle. The medieval political system, he
says, happens to revolve around wars and
combat and that is why fighting is a theme
of many of the club's gatherings.
Ever interested in the period between 500
a.d. and 1485 a.d., Michael says, "You can
have something (medieval) to do every week-
end, if you want to. But with my schedule, I
only go to battle about once a month."
',y''TO ' 'UL"1 ' ag ~ t1_
GEORGE WASHINGTON U: There's something wrong. Something bent,
twisted and out-of-shape with Shawn Belschwender. And he likes it that way.
Shawn is a cartoonist for the GW Hatchet, George Washington University's
campus newspaper. His strip's protagonist, Moonbaby, is a GW student whose
hometown is just a little farther away than Shawn's hometown in New Jersey.
He's from the moon. Moonbaby has a dog named Polyp, and last semester he
gave birth to a kid named Queebus. These extraterrestrials alternately terrorize and get terrorized by
GW. Whether he's being given the bureaucratic run-around by witless administrators or driving his
roommate Bob insane, you can be sure Shawn's Moonbaby will be hilarious, and often risque.
In one strip last year, Moonbaby clutches his groin and screams, "I want cock rock!" This provoked a
lively debate among the paper's sometimes moral editors. Former Editor in Chief Alan R. Cohen explained
his criteria for publication this way: "You see, fart lighting is within the bounds of good taste, while
actual cartoon copulation offended my sensibilities."
Like all great artists, Shawn's personality is reflected in his work. It's frightening to consider, but
Moonbaby and Shawn are soulmates, subconscious kin. That worries his mom.
"My mom's a psychologist. She's a social worker for my high school. She gets concerned about the
boobs with the nipples sticking out. But my dad loves it. He wants more boobs. He's my biggest fan."
A junior majoring in fine arts, Shawn comes from West Milford, New Jersey, where he first made his
mark as a cartoonist. In his sophomore year of high school, he treated his biology class to a strip called
Space Cowboy, which he describes as "total pornography. I got into a lot of trouble for that." Environment
is to blame, he says. "My whole town is perverted. It isn't just me."
These days, Shawn lets the GW Hatchet editors take the heat for his perversion. He enjoys the
anonymity that comes with being a cartoonist, and fears publicity will ruin that. "I like to keep my
identity a secret. Most of the people in my visual communication classes don't know I draw Moonbaby.
Appearing in this magazine is going to be scary."
Shawn loves to draw and claims it's his only healthy' release. He tries to model his art after famous
underground cartoonist Robert Crumb, who draws Fritz the Cat. He says that Calvin and Hobbes and
Bloom County are his favorite strips in the Washington Post.
He is silent on any future plans for the strip, but he does want to keep the on-campus feel. "And I'll
promise you this: there'll be more all-out raunchiness, with a lot more panty-sniffing."
Shawn Belschwender: creator of Moonbaby with a slightly ajar personality. GW loves him anyway.
Michael Smith prepared for battle.
Miami Moguls Meet Madonna
FLORIDA: Joel and Ethan Coen
are not the only dynamic duo in
film these days. Angel Gracia,
a film student at Miami Dade
Community College, and Cliff
Guest of Florida International
University, are not far behind.
Already they have raked in
$25,000 as the winners of MTV's
famous True Blue Madonna
Make My Video contest. Cur-
rently they are producing music
videos for Berlin and XTC, and
they have a future in horror
The two South 'Florida film
students made miracles happen
when they put together a plot,
gathered a cast, produced, shot
and edited the video that came
to represent the queen of rock's
6 Fall 1987
hit record 10 days before dead-
line. After personally flying the
tape to New York City, they met
Madonna, who handed them the
check and marveled at the low
cost of the video-under $1,000.
They then jetted to Miami to
get back to work.
Angel and Cliff are presently
working on a feature length
horror film which they wrote
and plan to direct. Horror, they
say, is the best genre to break
into. The classroom has provided
good technical background for
a career in film, but Cliff feels
that the best teacher of all is
the art itself. "Our textbooks are
the films we see."
Madonna presents Angel Gracia and Cliff Guest with $25,000 check.