Can't believe it's taken me this long to post this little classic. Vaughn Bode was one of the great Underground cartoonists of the '60's and early '70's, his beautifully drawn, sexually explicit and mind-expanding comics causing a small revolution by bridging the gap between personal statement & commercial art in series like Erotica, Deadbone, Junkwaffel and his best known character, Cheech Wizard. ( All of which we'll be looking at as we go along ).
Bode's work is hugely influential, and much imitated, and not just in comics. The chunky, clunky style of graffiti art, and particularly of graffiti lettering, is directly traceable to his bright, unique style.
But before he tuned in, turned on and became the legendary Cartoon Gooroo, he came up with this early masterpiece, The Man.
The Man is one of those great comic strips that does what comics can uniquely do. It's a strip that expresses some huge ideas and emotions with just a few lines of dialogue and some deceptively simple looking artwork. Although it's not as polished as his later work, it's all about making you feel what the protagonist is feeling, and there it succeeds brilliantly. But don't take my word for it. Here's what Ray Bradbury had to say about this strip:
" The Man by Vaughn Bode is very sad and very touching and full of the loneliness that must have been beast/man's long before we knew more of love and what it could do to save us from the uncaring universe, and, often, ourselves. "
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