Emails from Jan 19, 2005:

Dear Jim,

Lionel gave me your email address after he checked with you. I am a GWM who has enjoyed the art of Sean for decades and am deeply saddened to learn that he has died. That he and you shared a meal with Cavelo the night before his stroke which led to his death seems almost surreal since Sean and Cavelo are my 2 favorite erotic artists.

Cavelo also gave me the Seantheartist web site which I have just begun to explore. It is great and I added it to my list of favorites so I can go back again and again to see the latest postings. I have many of his illustrated stories so eventually with the proper equipment I may eventually be able to contribute. I never knew how to contact him, which I regret since evidently he was a very interesting guy.

Thank you Jim for giving him 40 years of hopefully good loving and attention. It is always reassuring to learn of long term relationships. In his art he had a good attention to details and a wonderful sense of humor, and also a wonderful sense of horror. No wonder he enjoyed Halloween.
As in any relationship it must not always have been easy but congratulations for being together for so long. I wish you many happy memories.

I am now off for 3 weeks in Thailand/Laos but when I return I will really get into the website (did he ever have one before this? I had never found one). I also would like to chat more with you, if that would be all right. Lionel has been amazingly friendly and helpful.



I'm sorry to hear of John's untimely death. The artwork of Sean has been an entertainment and inspiration to me for many years. A longtime fan of LT's work, both as writer and compiler, my fondest recollection of Sean's work was his two wonderful illustrations to a partial short story I submitted to Larry years ago under the pen-name "Scotty." When Larry informed me he was publishing my story and Sean would illustrate, I was thrilled to have my favorite artist depict my hottest fantasies.

Of course the body of his work speaks volumes for his talent and the pleasure he gave our community. I share your loss.

George Cowen
Denver, Colorado"

Emails from Jan 12, 2005:

This is from Stuart Timmons, author and former director of the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives...

Sean's work and impact is extraordinary, if not currently appreciated. His editorial cartoons in the first years of The Advocate, which likely paid nothing, gave him free rein to comment on anything and everything. As Buckshot, he drew commentaries on gay soldiers in the Viet Nam War (more than a two decades before Gays in the Military became a catch-phrase), on the Nixon administration, and on Neil Armstrong's moon walk. Looking back on these cartoons, they are a unique confirmation of how the gay community was much more politically homogenous than it is today. In one panel, he boldly satirized the opportunism of politicians suddenly discovering the gay vote -- a comment that's just as relevant now as then, but which would scarcely be seen today.

Always clever and gently sexy, the Advocate cartoons made fun of the excesses of sexuality (such as promiscuity and leather) while acknowledging its reality. Buckshot helped gay people laugh at themselves and, incidentally, served as a humanizing bridge for the rest of the world to look at this new minority.

One of the best-known Buckshot cartoons was a gay reclamation of the classic Iwo Jima image. He drew a group of men in tight pants and clingy, open shirts raising a flag proclaiming "Gay Rights." It was a perfect image, literally illustrating the concept that it took community to make this gain; that one person alone could not achieve the task. On closer look, the characters show racially diverse features, and two are women (albeit wearing heels and skirts!)

This cartoon served as the basis for a float in one of the early LA Pride parades. The figures were made of plywood, cut with a jigsaw, and painted on both sides by Buckshot. One of the figures, a man crouching and holding the base of the flag, was saved by Jim Kepner. It is often on display at the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, which also houses many of Buckshot's original cartoons. He's certain to be rediscovered.

-- Stuart Timmons

My condolences and deep regrets on the passing of John. I remember
his work as Shawn and Buckshot, especially for the early issues of
the Advocate, he was a true pioneer. I really enjoyed John's
humorous cartoons that I've seen over the years. I have placed an
article mentioning John's passing and a link to your web site on the
from page of my web site.

hugs and warm regards,
Rick Chris


Emails from Jan 6th to Jan 11, 2005:

An email from Jeanne:

It is with infinite sadness and great personal regret that I am writing to tell you of the death at 2:34 p.m. on Wednesday, January 5, of my close friend of 35 years, John Klamik - better known to you most likely as Sean the Artist.

Although you are probably most familiar with his erotica (murals for Leather bars in San Francisco and Los Angeles, illustrations for such magazines as Drummer - Bound & Gagged - Red Tails - and many others - and for books and stories published by Larry Townsend and R.F.M.), it must also be noted that, drawing as "Buckshot," he was the editorial cartoonist for the original Advocate and, as "Shawn," a contributor of numerous mainstream cartoons to mainstream gay publications. He was also a longtime activist for gay rights, picketing, sitting in and serving many terms on the Boards of Directors of both Christopher Street West and Kingmasters.

If you'd like to share any personal thoughts about his work and how it may have impacted on you, I'll pass them on to his partner (they would have been together 40 years in March); I'm sure that he would be both comforted and gratified to know how many lives were touched by John.

Thank you,

These are two responses from someone in Canada...

Jeanne, I want to say thank you for writing me and for sharing your grief with a total stranger. I, am very sorry to hear that you lost your best friend. I, can imagine the grief impact it has on you. And I am very saddened about the passing away of your best.

Jeanne, I wish that I could write you more, but the news of the passing away of your best friend it has left me in a total shock. I, cannot write you more because I have to put myself togheter.

It was something that you said in the letter about your best friend John Klamik that was very touching to me, and it brought memories and tears to my eyes. I, would like to continue to write, but I cannot. I, have to leave it until a bit later on. The news hit me like a thunder.

Thank you,


Hello, Jeanne.

Jeanne, I want you to share this letter with John's companion.

I, am sorry about last night that I could not finish for what I had wanted to write about your best friend John Klamik. Because I was over taken with grief. Even though I do not know the man the artist, or have anything to do U.S.A. Jeanne, I would like to say something, and you know that I am writing from Toronto, Canada.

I, want to say that even though I leave here in Toronto and a distance far away, that I am thankful to John for all his hard work as a gay activist and for his artistic work. John's voice I am sure it was hard right across the border to Canada. I, have a sense of felling that he was a struggling activist and artist, who fought in many ways for us so that we all have a better life, including that his voice must have been hard here in Toronto too.

When I read your letter Jeanne, I found grief that we have lost a true brother who gave so much for us. [ even though I was not there] I, can only imagine the thoughts of hardships he must have went through for everything to give to us, including his gifted talented work of art.

Jeanne, those were golden memories in the early 1970's and I am part of those golden memories. Even though I was not a gay activist in Toronto at that time, but never the less I had my own private battles with the public to be accepted. I, was also intersted in doing work of Art myself in those early days. That is why I was over taken with grief, it brought me memories.

I, want to say that John's work is not in vain, and that his struggles for our rights will be remembered. His voice was booming to unlock the doors, and he did. Look how far we have accomlished. In the days past we did not have much.

I, want to close this letter, because tears are swelling in my eyes for such an artistic talented man. And once again I am thankful that his struggle was also a struggle for my rights to and for all of us.

John, I wish you peace, and I wish that I could have met you.

Thank you,


This comes from another buyer who likes John's work - of course, I'll send on his longer message when it arrives...

will very much appreciate you forwarding my deep regrets our community and world will experience
with our loss once I can sit down and draft a message. I am indeed sorry. thanks for letting me know.

will talk with you on sunday or monday.
take care of yourself. and you also have my condolences as his friend.

love, dennis

This comes from a buyer in Sacramento...

I'm sorry to hear about Sean. I've enjoyed his art for a long time.

This comes from a friend...

I am familiar with Sean's work although I never met him. I always thought his art was great. There was a mural on the wall on the ground floor of Manspace that I would strare at for a long time on many occassions. To you and his partner I express my condolences.

This comes from AJ...

I have no appropriate response to this news. You/one would think that I'd be used to such news by now but I pray (in my own generic way) that I never become that incapable of emotions/feelings.
So I took a moment, closed my eyes, visualized his smiling face, remembered all the stressful-but-happy times we had to make a deadline on some gay publication of yore, and I let go of him in the middle of a pleasant thought.

This comes from Ron Tate, whom I don't know but who's a friend of HIC's Billy...


From an eBay buyer...


I am so sorry to hear of John Klamik's death. I am sure you will miss him
greatly. What a wonderful imagination and talent he had.

His drawings as Sean gave vision to my thoughts during the time I was coming of
age in the early 1970's. It was so important and affirming to see that
someone else thought similar visions to mine. There was a sense of humanity
in his drawings. The men in his drawings were not unattainable muscle gods,
they were ordinary guys doing extraordinary things and enjoying those things
without any sense of shame or wrongness. You have no idea how important that
was to a young Maine boy trying to come to terms with his sexuality and
interest in S&M.

He has remained my favorite Gay artist for all these years. I still remember
clearly some of the first drawings of his I saw 30 years ago. Quite a

John, I am sure, touched many other lives as he did mine. I am not at all
surprised that he was an activist.

Well done, my brother, now journey on into the light perpetual.

Please express my condolences to his partner. It must be so hard to say
goodbye after 40 years.