Sunday, May 29, 2011
There is also a story. This is my Vaughan Bode story...
I became a fan of Vaughan Bode when I saw "The Masked Lizard" published in a paperback book called "Wonder Warthog, Captain
Crud and Other Super Stuff" somewhere around 1967 or 68. I began seeing his stuff in Galaxy Science Fiction magazine and
really fell for the comic "Sunpot". I once had a softcover book of "Deadbone" that was a collection of the pencil toned comics Vaughan did for Cavalier. This book had a self portrait of Vaughan, circa 1971. This self portrait eventually allowed me to identify him when we met.
My friends Dave Ferrari and Greg Wallace and I went to Phil Seuling's 1972 New York Comic Convention during the first week in July. Toward the evening, Wally and I were in the hallway heading for our suite when we saw a man sitting on the floor drawing a picture in a sketchbook. If my memory is still OK, he was wearing a black turtleneck sweater and purple bell bottom jeans. He had a leather bag that he wore around his waist, like a belt. But we kept walking. When we got to the room I told Wally that the man sure looked like the drawing of Vaughan Bode in the Deadbone book.
About an hour later, we headed downstairs toward the all-night movies and the man was still there. I snuck a peek at the drawing and confirmed this was indeed Vaughan Bode. I grew roots. We began talking about nearly everything you can imagine. For the next three and a half hours, we were literally best friends. Vaughan told me about buying an orange Opal that he had no idea how he was going to pay for, then he received several checks for Junkwaffel comics. He seemed to be in a spiritual mood and talked about God being a process. He told me about a fifteen year old guru that was then in New York City. I was doing a comic strip in college newspapers called "Sydney of the Sewers" a superhero farce.
While we were there in the hall, a fellow introduced himslf as Denis Kitchen, who was beginning to publish undergrounds under the Krupp Comix imprint. Denis asked if he was Vaughan Bo-day. I think Vaughan gave Denis his contact information and Denis left. Vaughan advised me to always draw comics but to avoid drawing for work for hire companies. He may have been, in a polite way encouraging me to keep this as a hobby. He instilled in me the avoidance of pandering.
Before we parted, Vaughan wrote out his address and phone number. He shook my hand and looked me in the eye while doing so. He finished the handshake by saying, "I WILL see you again". Sadly, that reunion never happened. The next month Vaughan's toons in Cavalier had his orange Opal and the following month there was a character swimming out of a toilet, saying I see the truth...and light. I always thought that one was directed at me (Sydney of the Sewers).
Back in those days news didn't travel very fast. I was in a record store in Charleston, West Virginia and the store owner had just got his subscription copy of a comics newsletter and broke the news to me that Vaughan had recently died. I was pretty low for quite a while.
In 1976, out of the blue, I got a phone call from Charles Law, Vaughan's publisher who ran Northern Comfort Communications in Vancouver, B.C. Turns out that he was from West Virginia and was visiting. He came to my house and we had an enjoyable chat. He told me that I should get to know a fellow Bode fan named David Rains. David an I exchanged letters and he sent me some photos and some xerox copies of stuff from when he visited Barbara and a very young Mark Bode in california, He sent photos of clay figures Vaughan had made of some lizards and a lot of sketchbook stuff in the Junkwaffel vein.
If only he had enjoyed a longer career, Vaughan Bode would day be a very mainstream figure. To my knowledge, only Winsor McKay and Vaughan Bode were successful in transforming comics into a performance art. Bode's Cartoon Concert was well regarded. His cartoon art was perfect of projecting on a screen because the balloons were outside of the panels. Vaughan was one of the few artists to work in full color without touching a brush.
He worked on three-ply bristol board using a fine point Flair brand felt tip pen and the color was from AD Markers. I think he drew preliminary drawings in Flair and traced these onto the bristol board. It is kind of hard to work in full color on paper that you have erased the surface.
It looks like he sometimes used a bit of chalk on the drawings.
Let's just say that Vaughan Bode was a completely original comics creator who cannot be imitated. Believe me... I've tried.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Glad to see old friends again and also glad to meet new friends.
I tend to be more focussed on old time comics but we do live in the present day. I am curious about your opinion.
What is the best thing going on in comics today? Please comment on this blog or on facebook and let me know.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Who are my favorite cartoonists? I'm glad you asked. I'll limit the list to a very few.
1. Elzie Segar
2. Charles Schulz
3. Al Capp
4. Milton Caniff
5. Don Martin
6. Carl Barks
7. Steve Ditko
8. Jack Davis
9. Jack Kirby
10. Harvey Kurtzman
It was good to see you and hear from you this week. Please come back to my website and pass the word along to your friends.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
There are many comics on Bob Lilly's Comics and Stories. Today we have the 45th episode of the "Snipe" in black and white. The color comics are from Don't Tell Grandma.
When I draw the "Snipe", I am pretty much drawing with the ink. In Grandma, I work with a brush and follow the pencil lines a bit closer. I also have to leave Grandma open for collor.
Come back again whenever you want and enjoy the other comics posted here. Navigation can be achieved by scrolling down the page or by opening the month by month date lines on the right.
I really enjoy the rare comments that people leave under the comics. See you again. That's a promise. Happy birthday
Saturday, May 14, 2011
There are 22 Don't Tell Grandma comics remaining until I decide if this is a success... or not. Know that I am enjoying doing this comic and have benefitted from the experience. I am developing many new skills for an old dog like me.
I have created comics for many years and have never worked with someone who could be considered my editor. I do however thing I would benefit from interacting with an editor. I know for sure that comics are a form of communication and that fact should make me consider to whom am I communicating. You for one. If you have friends who might be compatible with my work, please bring them here with us.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Today's comic is dedicated to anyone out there who can remember VOOTIE.
I hope many of my long time friends are clicking their way to view this and I hope YOU come back on Sunday for the next Don't Tell Grandma comic in full color. Grandma may find it necessary to wash out somebody's mouth with soap.
See ya soon!
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
So I did the essentially the same gag two weeks in a row.
Don't rule this out for next week either.