Mark Bodé: Wizards, Lizards and Broads, Part One of Three

Posted by on November 22nd, 2010 at 12:01 AM

Interview by Kim Munson

Part one ♦ Part twoPart three


Mark Bodé stands in front of a mural he painted in San Francisco’s North Beach district, celebrating the Giants World Series win. Photo courtesy of Bodé.


Comics, mural and tattoo artist Mark Bodé has been busy lately: doing mural work all over the SF Bay Area and developing a live-action Colbalt 60 film with director Zack Snyder. At the time of this interview, he had just closed his latest show, “Wizards, Lizards, and Broads” at the 1:AM Gallery in San Francisco and was preparing to show his art, and his father’s (legendary underground cartoonist Vaughn Bodé) at the Biennial Arts Le Havre in France.

KIM MUNSON: It was great to see such a wide range of your work in the 1:AM show, along with some pieces of your father’s. Do people come that don’t know about your family history and get confused about your dad’s work, your work and work you did together?

MARK BODÉ: Oh yeah, there’s three different groups of people that encompass the Bodé worlds, and it’s people who know my father, and hardly know me and my work, and then there’s people who know me, and hardly know my father, or there are people who are just into both.

MUNSON: if you could do the ideal exhibition of all this artwork, what would it look like?

BODÉ: I haven’t done this many Museum gigs as I’d like. I’ve seen a lot of urban art shows going on over in Europe and stuff, you have to tap that. I’ve always fantasized about having an erotic theme park of some kind, one for adults that could have casinos, brothels and all the fun stuff that adults like, but have everything erotic. Cheech Wizard’s tour of the Tunnel of Love would be really funny and have animatronic sex going on all the time (laughs). Ultimately, I’d like to see my work in that kind of environment.

MUNSON: Sounds like it would be popular.

BODÉ: Maybe not in this lifetime.


A mural by Bodé at the 1:AM Gallery. Photo by and ©2010 Kim Munson.


MUNSON: Were you happy with the 1:AM show?

BODÉ: It was fabulous. I didn’t really expect much from the gallery market here in San Francisco. I talked to Frank Kozik, when I first got here about five years ago, and I said, “so how are you doing out here?” And he said, “it’s a ghost town, why even bother? The art scene, it’s a ghost town.” He was really down on it and he was like, “The money’s in Japan. Screw this place.”Hearing that from him was frightening. [Laughs.] He’s supposed to be one of the guys doing better here. But I’ve learned that he’s just bitter, and there is a market here, but it’s very finicky. And if you keep your prices at a decent level, you’ll move stuff. The whole idea is to keep people talking about your work. If you hide away like a hermit, as many artists do, people just stop talking about you. And that’s financial death to an artist.

MUNSON: We were talking earlier about the Last Gasp Anniversary Show. Is it weird to you to see underground comix up on the wall as a piece of art?

BODÉ: No, I love that. I feel people aren’t as educated as they should be in the comic-art field, and the alternative-comics people are getting more notoriety and being featured at the conventions and stuff, and the underground artists are being kind of swept under the rug. It’s always refreshing to see where I come from displayed and respected. That whole era was so fresh and so exciting. I wish it would come back, but it’s one of those kind of things that just comes along once in a blue moon — a renaissance of comic art.



Next: Mark Bodé talks about continuing the Cartoon Concert tradition, becoming Cheech Wizard and painting Jesus.


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