Vaughn Bode was born in Utica, New York on July 22, 1941.
Vaughn began drawing at the age of five. He remembered himself
as "an extremely introverted kid, completely unable
to relate to the world around me...I started creating my
own fantasy world populated with my own little creatures."
On September 27, 1957 at 2:30 pm, he designed a unique
little wizard who wore a huge hat and that became the infamous
Cheech Wizard. The inspiration for the name came from a
can of Cheechy Nuts.
Incredibly prolific in a career that barely spanned two
decades, Vaughn produced a phenomenal body of work. Among
his publications are the self-published DAS KAMPF, which
was one of the first underground comics in 1963. He was
the editor of GOTHIC BLIMP WORKS the first weekly underground
comic published by the EAST VILLAGE OTHER in the 1960's.
DEADBONE was featured in GALAXY MAGAZINE from 1969-1971
and CHEECH WIZARD for NATIONAL LAMPOON MAGAZINE from 1971-1975.
His JUNKWAFFLE comics 1-4 were published by Last Gasp 1971-1974.
Vaughn is one of the most influential American cartoonists
of our time. Much of graffiti art itself comes from the
work of Vaughn Bode. Rendering his characters, lettering
and cartoon semiotics is a rite of passage for graffiti
art crews. Vaughn Bode's art was made popular by writers
like Dondi, Seen, Tracy and Mare 139. Unrecognized by most
in the fine art realm, the worlds and characters he created
permeate our collective pop image bank like a classic visual
rock & roll soundtrack for our times. Vaughn was the
recipient in 1969 of a Hugo Award. In 1975 he received the
Yellow Kid award in Lucca, Italy.
Vaughn Bode died on July 18,1975 in San Francisco in a
mystic experiment gone wrong.