Friday, November 07, 2008

I'm Like Vaughn Bodé, I'm a Cheech Wizard...

A genuine icon to graffiti writers and influencer of street culture from the mid-70's to the present, Vaughn Bodé (1941 - 1975) was known to a great deal of folks as a cartoon messiah. Way back in 1957, Bodé designed a unique looking midget-of-a-wizard who wore an obscenely large yellow hat covered with red/black stars. He was to aptly name the infamous creation as Cheech Wizard, after being inspired by a can of Cheechy Nuts.

Personally, I was most familiar w/ and completely fascinated by his creation Cobalt 60, a comic that took place in a post-apocalyptic, Mad Max-like world inhabited by mutants, aliens and other flipped-out creatures. Its titular character embarks on a quest to avenge the death of his parents, murdered by the evil Strontium 90. His son, Mark Bodé did some additional Vaughn-inspired Cobalt 60 stories in the magazine Epic Illustrated back in 1984 that, as a young squirt, blew my fucking mind.

Anyhow, I totally missed it, but back in 2007, on the 50th birthday of his Cheech Wizard character, PUMA payed homage to Bodé with the limited edition Vaughn Bodé PUMA Clyde (and hoodie to match) above...forever immortalizing Bodé's influence by using the bold colorways and prominent star patterns made famous by Cheech Wizard himself.

This year’s collaboration dropped back in March and includes four new colorways on rarely used model - the Puma Basket II. While this offering still features Cheech Wizard and his stars, the pattern is more subdued on the four available colors (black/red/grey/white)...via a simple applied gloss and more vibrant treatment on the lining. Extremely boss...

For those of us who missed them when they originally dropped at select 'sneaker boutiques', we can pick them up now at and, fortunately, they aren't that expensive. As sweet as those Clydes are, I do like that the newer kicks are a little less eye-popping...I could rock a pair of the white or grey at work even. Whoo!

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