chickfactor: what’s your favorite modern lovers tune?
shawn: I like the segment between “astral plane” and “old world,” that little segue, more than any one song over another. I’m talking about the first album, of course. other than that very special moment, I’d have to say “I’m straight.”
cf: you just moved from d.c. to l.a. to nyc. why?
shawn: d.c.? you mean “the armpit of virginia”? “the crotch of maryland”? I was tired of d.c., but l.a. made me tense. my flight out was on the day after the king verdict and I spent my first three days there under curfew. when I finally got a job it was to move boxes around at harvey comics for low pay, and I might have taken it if I wasn’t in constant fear of being killed in a race war.
cf: what was l.a. like?
shawn: tense. filled with great social and economic disparities. I lived next door to a starlet who played a high school student in encino man. she was forever parading around in a tiny bikini, which made it hard to concentrate on my lame cartoon.
cf: some people in d.c. think your cartoon has been better since you’ve been unemployed. do you?
shawn: yes and no. it’s not as stiff as it was, but now it’s too all-over-the-place. I still don’t think the thing is very funny, and that makes me feel constantly ashamed. I’m dealing with a lot of self-hatred. I hate myself for loving me.
cf: have you finished reading remembrance of things past?
shawn: I understand that this is a joke about the length and supposed incomprehensibility of the book and that I’m a guy who draws funny pictures, but I’ll let you have your hollow little laugh.
cf: has proust influenced johnny?
shawn: in future episodes johnny will be driven slowly insane by the secret lesbian shadow lives of all the other characters.
cf: you’re a cartoonist. what do you think of whatzit, the new computer-created mascot of the 1996 atlanta games?
shawn: he looks like something that crawled out of my cat’s ass.
cf: what’s your opinion of peter bagge?
shawn: I like hate a lot, and have consciously and unconsciously, more to my shame, occasionally stolen from him. I think martini baton, a strip he did for weirdo, cowritten with david carrino, is the best comic I’ve ever read.
cf: if we make bootleg t-shirts of your junk, will you sue us?
shawn: no. do it. I don’t care. I hate copyright laws.
cf: let’s talk about ozzy and led zeppelin.
shawn: please. I’ve grown away from all that. but still, my suburban heart beats now and then for ozzy and “the rover.” I actually like no more tears — the whole album — what’s wrong with me? am I just insecure about the size of my penis? my five favorite songs are “rocks off” (rolling stones), “get it hot” (ac/dc), “radio station” (run-dmc), “just what I needed” (the cars), and “raw ramp” (t-rex). I’m disappointed that you didn’t ask me for my desert island discs.
cf: does getting all liquored up fuel your creativity?
shawn: no. I drank to excess in d.c. because I was almost constantly depressed. but I’ve broken those shackles!
cf: are you still a gin man?
shawn: no. gin can make a man lose all powers of communication and drive him crazy. I’ve turned my back on gin. anyway, isn’t it just for chicks? isn’t drinking gin…a chick factor?
cf: have you ever been to a “rave”?
shawn: no. sob! I’ve never been invited.
cf: what’s wrong with alternaculture?
shawn: nothing. it’s just dress-up time down at the daycare center.
cf: how do you feel about perry farrell?
shawn: I don’t. he’s kind of like the mom hired at the daycare center to make sure there’s always new activities for the kiddies.
cf: have you heard the “theme from shaft” lately?
shawn: not since I’ve been out of a job. the “theme from shaft” is celebratory music. I need something to celebrate.
cf: why are you obsessed with alyssa milano?
shawn: I don’t know. it’s like she came out of nowhere and became my favorite media chick. I never watched who’s the boss?, so essentially, she remains a mystery to me. perhaps like swann (proust), I’ll spend my life pursuing a woman who isn’t my type.
cf: closing comments?
shawn: I apologize for using the words “lesbian,” “ass,” and “penis” for cheap comedic effects. cf
check out shawn’s website: joenetsfan.com
You can view his cartoons in the picture library section of this site!