Bode Talks and Draws
March 26, 2010 8:19 PM   Subscribe

Vaughn Bode, one of the founding fathers of underground comics, talks and draws at the 1974 Toronto Comic Con. Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Subjects include: censorship, Stan Lee, Jeff Jones, and the little tiny schizophrenic world inside his head. [maybe NSFW]

Bode's Cartoon Concert: Part 1. Part 2.

Wiki page.

Cheech Wizard. [NSFW]
posted by marxchivist (16 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Used to love his stuff back in the day. Not as much as I loved Crumb, but Bode did some fine work. Thanks, marxchivist.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:31 PM on March 26, 2010

My son is working, with Zack Snyder, on the movie version of Cobolt 60, another work by Vaughn Bode. He was a fascinating cartoonist....

Thanks for the post!
posted by HuronBob at 8:31 PM on March 26, 2010

I love this's like teleporting back to the college days and finding National Lampoon. Going to the local drug store to buy the Lampoon to read Cheech (walking there from the married housing units on campus where we lived) was a religious experience.

I'm sitting here trying to describe the thoughts/feelings about this.

Back in the 70's I was a college student with two kids.. Lampoon and comics like Bode's were the escape for a young father. Neat stuff, cutting edge... Pulp rags like the lampoon were the connection we had to the rest of the world..

Now, 30 some years later.... I'm clicking links in a medium that didn't exist at the time, to see those cartoons again, and my kid is in the process of making a movie about it... (he was about 2 at the time these were drawn)...

Somewhere here there's a fantastic metaphor, damned if I know what it is, but the energy is positive and I love metafilter even more!
posted by HuronBob at 8:48 PM on March 26, 2010 [2 favorites]

DUDE! I love hearing Bode drop into Lizard-Speak in the "cartoon concert."

It shows what a goofball is hidden behind the Cool Counterculture Dude who self-presents in teh comic-con videos.

Thanks, man. I really appreciate this post.
posted by edheil at 9:05 PM on March 26, 2010

Sounds like a muppet when he does those voices, doesn't he?
posted by edheil at 9:08 PM on March 26, 2010

Good memories HuronBob. I was around 15 years old when I began reading Bode in Lampoon, Cheech Wizard comics, and some skin mags. A good friend of mine's older brother turned us on to these (and a lot more stuff). At the time, we were getting into some of the more esoteric 60's psychedelic music and this new-fangled punk rock from England. This Bode stuff and other pulp-smelly underground comics were just so out there, and so right, and so funny, and so different. No one outside a small circle of my friends in my midwest, whitebread, suburban town appreciated this stuff or knew about it. We felt like we had something secret and wonderful all to ourselves.
posted by marxchivist at 9:26 PM on March 26, 2010

Oh, and above mentioned friend's older brother had seen the Cartoon Concert live, and we couldn't believe something so cool could actually exist. Of course, it wasn't like we get a video or anything of it back then. Tonight, that friend of 35 years called me up and said: "Fuck, Bode's Cartoon Concert is on Youtube."

So you have this post.
posted by marxchivist at 9:28 PM on March 26, 2010

Oldtime fan here - somewhere in my dusty collection I have the collected Sunpot, which, of course, I will now have to find.
posted by arzakh at 10:34 PM on March 26, 2010


I'm loving the cartoon concerts. Drill down for the Cheech mini-movie
posted by warbaby at 8:04 AM on March 27, 2010

Thanks for posting this, marxchivist. I thought about doing a Bode post awhile ago, but didn't find much of his work online. I've still got the Cartoon Concert book that I bought as a wee lad back in '73, it still cracks me up ("Into da woods, baby"), and moves me ("When they go to sleep tonight, I gonna escape"). He was a great and original talent.

Looking forward to the vids.
posted by Bron at 8:24 AM on March 27, 2010

I spent probably far too many hours poring over the National Lampoon, and particularly the comics section, when I was about 14. I think I had most of the Cheech Wizard strips memorized, and used to drop quotes from them in a non-sequitur kind of way into conversations all the time ("He told me he was God, but he never done a trick"; "We used to have a worm, but our wagon squashed it"; "I is a hero. Heroes observe from da interior of their hats."). Nobody got the references, and everybody thought I was extremely weird. In retrospect, I can understand why.
posted by jokeefe at 5:26 PM on March 27, 2010

Really, jokeefe, you were a NatLamp fan? How did you like the Foto Funnies? How about O. C. and Stiggs? That was a great magazine—back in the 70s, at least. Here's my favorite NatLamp cover art ever: definitely NSFW. Although I hate to see a slide rule abused like that.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 3:57 PM on March 28, 2010

I just stopped by to say:
posted by Herodios at 4:23 PM on March 28, 2010

crabbyappleton: Sure, during its glory days circa 1972-75. It was also the first flush of underground comics, as well, which were largely held to be obscene and were not easy to find. Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, Harold Head, etc. We girls read them because they were cool and counter-cultural, and even though the cognitive dissonance involved in ignoring the sexism took a fair bit of effort to maintain... the National Lampoon had wicked political satire in amongst the stuff I passed over, and it also had treasures like Trots and Bonnie. I think its worst effect on me was to give me some misplaced ideas about young men.
posted by jokeefe at 8:00 PM on March 28, 2010

Other favourites: Lemmings ("We owe it to the Third World to off ourselves!"-- the memory of that line kept me going during many over-serious political meetings in the 80s); the High School Annual parody; a particularly vicious satire, riffing on Swift, about selling the dead bodies of starving Africans for pet food in America; Mrs Agnew's Diary; and an article written from the point of view of the elder (in their twenties!) writers giving "information and advice" about adolescence. One paragraph I can remember verbatim, even all these years later: "If you kill yourself, your parents really will feel very, very bad for a long, long time. I know a couple of guys who did it." Honest to god, those lines kept me from falling off the edge more than once during my mid-teens.
posted by jokeefe at 8:17 PM on March 28, 2010

More of my favorites: the Nuts comic by Gahan Wilson, The Appletons, Hercules Among the North Americans by Mark Marek. And, of course, the Deteriorata. "Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof."
posted by Crabby Appleton at 8:59 PM on March 28, 2010

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