Mark Bode is the son of 1970's cartoonist Vaughn Bode, best known for his Cheech Wizard comics that appeared in National Lampoon
. Vaughn died in the '70s, and Mark has taken over his father's work. Mark can draw and write in a way that's almost indistinguishable from his father's work. In this interview he talks about his 30-years-in the-making book, The Lizard of Oz
, to be released by Fantagraphics.
BB: I know that, given a cursory glance, your and Vaughn's styles are incredibly similar. I was wondering, though, if you tried to more closely mimic his style -- whether in the actual drawing or the storytelling and design aspects of the page -- consciously or not?
MB: Before I knew what was reality here on this planet, my father, when I was 4 or 5 years old, led me to believe his characters were real. He said Cheech lived up the hill by the Projects near where we lived in Syracuse, NY. And we used to visit his laboratory, which was an old sewer hole cover. But Cheech never came out. I said, "Dad, why doesn't he come out?" He replied, "He is busy balling broads or doin' important wizard stuff, son." Thus, as my imagination and drawing abilities developed, I found it easy to draw and live in that world he created. No effort, what so ever. Although I have many other styles at my disposal, I am most happy when I'm in his, or our, style ...
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