Influential underground comic artist Vaughn Bodé may have left this mortal coil too soon (passing away in 1975 at the young age of 33), but he left behind a rich and influential legacy of artwork which has since become an iconic signature of the early 1960s underground comic art movement. His trademark character Cheech Wizard, a crude con man with a small conscience, would go on to become a counterculture icon featured in music, art, tattoos and graffiti for decades. Cheech Wizard was fist published in one of Bodé’s college newspapers in 1956 and although the character’s image is familiar to most, the original comics he first appeared in have been out of print for some time. That is until early next year when Fantagraphic Books plans to release an oversized omnibus of Bodé’s early work entitled The Big Book of Me.
In a press release from Fantagraphics last week, editor Mike Baehr said, “Cheech Wizard is a decades-spanning countercultural icon whose image and attitude bridged two very distinct and influential subcultures, and it’s high time the little imp was unleashed once more to see what new havoc he’ll wreak. Fans have been clamoring for new Bodé books for years, and I’m excited to be working with Mark Bodé to bring his father’s essential, seminal underground work back into print.”
The Big Book of Me is set to be released sometime in April of 2015.