Shawn Kerri was the iconic cartoonist of the L.A. punk scene of the late 70s and early 80s. I’ve never been to southern California, and definitely missed out on that era of the punk scene, but even so, I knew her work, which showed up in liner notes of punk records, and such.

You may know the skull-with-mohawk illustration that became a semi-official symbol for the Germs. More likely, you’ve seen the character commonly referred to as “Skank Kid”. She drew this character fairly often, including a piece called “Do the Slam”, and the Jerks liked it so much they appropriated it (without her consent) as a mascot. If you were an L.A. punk around 1980, you saw her work a lot. Probably more people saw her work in those days in CARtoons, a magazine dedicated to hot rods and humor, as one of the few women to draw for them.

She dropped out of sight, and was widely believed to have died in the 1990s, but was rediscovered about a dozen years ago living with her mother, apparently suffering cognitive problems due to an accident falling down stairs, or maybe drug use… maybe both.

I loved the music of the scene she was an important part of – I was a punk born too late for punk – and she was a great artist. This page of comix – based on “Do the Slam” – is my homage to her.