CHEECH WIZARD & VAUGHN (& MARK) BODÉ
|Born||July 22, 1941
Utica, New York
|Died||July 18, 1975 (aged 33)
San Francisco, California
|Awards||Hugo Award, Best Fan Artist, 1969
Yellow Kid Award, 1974
Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame, 2006
|Spouse(s)||Barbara Hawkins (m. 1961, divorced 1972)|
Vaughn Bodē (/boʊˈdeɪ/; July 22, 1941 – July 18, 1975) was an American underground cartoonist and illustrator known for his character Cheech Wizard and his artwork depicting voluptuous women. A contemporary of Ralph Bakshi, Bodē has been credited as an influence on Bakshi’s animated films Wizards and The Lord of the Rings. Bodē has a huge following among graffiti artists, with his characters remaining a popular subject.
Bodē was inducted into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame for comics artists in 2006.
Cheech Wizard, in a characteristic discussion of the search for God. Art by Vaughn Bodé.
|Publisher||National Lampoon, Last Gasp, Fantagraphics|
|Created by||Vaughn Bodé|
Cheech Wizard is an American underground comics character created by artist Vaughn Bodē and appearing in various works, including the National Lampoon, from 1967 until Bodé’s death in 1975. A mysterious character of unknown origins, The Wizard is constantly in search of a good party, cold beer, and attractive women. The Cheech Wizard is often drawn in graffiti murals and street art, and has been repeatedly referenced in pop music.
The Wizard wears a very large yellow Phrygian cap decorated with wizard symbols instead of a wizard’s pointed hat, with his legs, clad in what appear to be red tights, visible underneath. His appearance and species have never been revealed. In an early comic, Captured by Morton Frog (1967), Cheech takes off his hat for a police officer, a priest and a political leader. You can clearly see him holding his hat in his hands, away from the rest of his body. The face is hidden by the speech balloon, but you can see glimpses of hair on top. All three persons witnessing his face fall into cataleptic states forever. Cheech walks away from their fortress claiming that “Their primitive minds couldn’t accept da truth”. In a later comic, Who is C.W.? (1974), one of Cheech’s lovers insists on seeing his true face. Cheech claims that she will die instantly, or go insane. After having her sign a waiver freeing him of legal responsibilities, he agrees to take off his hat. The comic ends abruptly at mid-page with Cheech saying “Okay! Here goes, but I bet you go blind!”, followed by a blank (white-out) panel.
Cheech Wizard speaks in an ungrammatical sort of urban dialect. He was generally accompanied by his lizard apprentice, Razzberry (until that character was killed off). Cheech was depicted as foul-mouthed, often drunk or high on drugs, and constantly on the make. His attitude towards his fellow residents of the magic forest in which he lived (generally talking male animals and human females, the latter invariably under-dressed) was usually one of contempt. Curiously, he was referred to (often by himself) as the Cartoon Messiah, which suggested Bodé’s long-standing interest in mysticism. But his general reaction to anyone who annoys him (and the list there is quite long) is to deliver a swift kick to the groin. Mark Bodé claims that the Cheech Wizard was his father’s “alter-ego, . . . a bad-mouth hat with no respect for anyone, completely the opposite of Vaughn, who was charismatic but shy.”
|Born||February 18, 1963
Utica, New York
The Lizard of Oz
|Collaborators||Vaughn Bodé, Larry Todd|
Mark Bodé (born February 18, 1963 in Utica, New York) is an American cartoonist. The son of underground comics legend Vaughn Bodé, Mark often produces works similar to the elder Bodé’s style. He is best known for his work on Cobalt-60, Miami Mice, and The Lizard of Oz. Bodé has also worked for Heavy Metal magazine and on The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.