John Klamik, artist and activist, succumbed to pneumonia Jan. 5 in Anaheim, Calif., following a series of strokes and a diagnosis of lung cancer, listed as the official cause of death.
John was born on July 22, 1935 in Chicago, where he studied at the Art Institute.
He moved to California in the mid '60s, settling in West Hollywood which, next to Chicago, was his favorite city. While working as an artist and Display Director for the Akron Stores, he combined two of his loves—art and activism—as the original editorial cartoonist 'Buckshot' for the old Advocate.
During the next three decades, as 'Shawn' he contributed mainstream cartoons to mainstream gay newspapers and magazines and, as 'Sean,' to more specialized gay publications—including Drummer, Bound & Gagged and Red Tails ... created murals for such famous Hollywood sites as Manspace, Hollywood Spa and The Sewers of Paris, as well as for Leather bars in Los Angeles and San Francisco ... wrote and illustrated graphic novels ... and illustrated many books and short stories for such writers as Larry Townsend and R.F.M. ( Roger Mays ) . Indeed, he worked until nearly the end, delivering his final illustrations the day before his first stroke.
He exhibited at the Tom of Finland Foundation art shows, and his original art is owned by collectors worldwide.
He was active in the fight for gay rights—picketing, sitting in and serving repeated terms on the Boards of Directors for the Los Angeles organizations The Kingmasters and Christopher Street West, the planning organization for Los Angeles'/West Hollywood's annual Gay Pride Parade and Festival.
John was also a member of American Coaster Enthusiasts—ACER499—and, last year, realized his lifelong dream of having finally ridden every roller coaster in America.
John loved all animals, especially cats, horror movies—he created the lobby poster for the 1987 film, Berserker!—gourmet cooking, helping his fellow man and watching the sunset while enjoying a perfect Manhattan.
He is survived by Jim Newberry, his companion of 40 years; his sisters, Dorothy Fay of Chicago and Louise Doty of Wayland, Mich.; and literally thousands of close friends and fans. John is mourned by all who knew him.
See www.seantheartist.com .