One of the most interesting and unusual influences on 70's graf in NYC was Vaughn Bode.
Bode, himself an Upstate New Yorker, created one of the most enigmatic characters (and at the same time, visual styles) that had been seen to date, which was the one and only Cheech Wizard. Running in several publications such as National Lampoon from the late 60s to the mid 70s, the comic saw the Wizard roaming the Earth as a sage, a wiseass, and a party animal. Bode himself died in 1975, but the legend of the Cheech Wizard continued to grow in many unexpected places...

"I'm a Cheech Wizard"

Cheech Wizard was not the only character in his eponymous comic - there were all sorts of cool and weird people and creatures that populated the wild world of Bode - most notably his lizard apprentice (who is an alter-ego of Vaughn's son Mark, just as Cheech is an alter-ego of Vaughn himself.) Besides the lovable and fun to draw characters of the Bode World, the comic's title consisted of colorful bubble letters, or letters that look like inflated balloons. This style was a direct influence on one of the artform's most prolific and respected pioneers: Phase 2. Phase 2 credits Bode with influence, citing him as the 'Salvador Dali of cartoon art,' and there's no doubt that his letter styles, and characters can be found throughout graffiti from the 70's all the way to modern art - Bode clearly created a whole world with his style that people want to see, if not live in. The influence certainly doesn't stop there: MARE 139, Dondi, SEEN, and many others have cited, used and birthed their own style of lettering since they first came into contact with Bode, and even Ralph Bakshi flipped Bode's style for several animated movies in the 70s. Noted graf writer/artist SKEV waxes rhapsodically:

"Underground comic just doesn’t do what Vaughn Bode did justice. It plain doesn’t. Bode created an entire civilization in his imagination. A scaffolding that reached into the soul of every teenage rebel who knew they didn’t fit in – who didn’t want to fit in. Bode in the form of his cartoon messiah – Cheech – delivered the good gospel – they didn’t need to fit in. No compromises necessary with the squares."
"Never quittin'"
Sadly, Vaughn Bode himself died in 1975, and as a result never really got to see the extent of his influence over art and culture as a whole, but his son Mark has more than admirably carried on the cool: publishing new adventures of Cheech, completing unfinished works of Vaughn's and flexing his own artistic styles in a variety of projects, most recently helping to oversee the launch of the *Limited Edition Cheech Wizard Throwie Pillow ! Very few artists in history possess the cultural cache value that Vaughn and Mark Bode bring to the table: creating new characters and worlds from whole cloth, having those characters and styles influence multiple genres across decades
"So won't you listen ?"
The Cheech Wizard Throwie Pillow is 100% Made in the U.S.A., and features a full 3D build in full, vibrant color. It's the first in a line of Limited Edition Legends of Graffiti Throwie Pillows - each one is numbered and certified via the InfiniteWorld platform, using the blockchain for added security and collectability. You'll be investing in an individual and unprecedented work of art: a remix of the decorative throw pillow with the graffiti throw-up to produce something truly unique - a living print that can be equally practical and eye-catching sitting on a collector’s shelf as it would be chilling on your couch.

Where are you going to put your Throwie Pillow ?

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