by John Heilprin
Democrat Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 6, 1991
ROCHESTER, NH Even Pete Sanfaçon thinks his newly published collection of cartoons is more than a little weird.
Still, the 31-year-old Rochester native had a tough time coming up with a suitable title for a book on cartoon subjects ranging from "The Desert Dunemouse in Full Harness" to "Uncontrollable Nosehairs."
So after some deliberation, the offbeat Sanfaçon finally settled on what must now seem like an obvious choice: "Freaks, Geeks & Chicken Beaks," a title which he admits has absolutely no meaning whatsoever.
But Sanfaçon, a 1977 Spaulding High graduate who says he has been drawing cartoons and "all kinds of goofy stuff" since he was 3, thinks his bawdy, "bathroom or locker room" humor will strike appeal to many college and high school students.
"I don't try to be disgusting, although there are a couple in there that are borderline," he says. "I'm going more for the laugh. I'd rather people laugh at it than go, 'Oh gross!' and turn the page. But, I mean, if that's the reaction I get, I'll take it. If I get a blank stare, that's not good."
Dedicated to a childhood dog named Prince, the book doesn't try to "pick on specific groups as far as making fun of anyone," Sanfaçon adds. "It's more like a broad kind of humor, very far from political. It's more straightforward silliness."
Sanfaçon says he began work on the book in the fall of 1988, though some of the cartoons date back to 1985, when he'd originally tried to get them published in magazines.
"In high school, I used to doodle all the time during math class, whatever class I was supposed to be paying attention to the teacher," he explains. "It was easier to do cartoons because it's so simple. When you're a kid, you just want to draw shapes."
"I'm into either dinosaurs or nonbeings or aliens or prehistoric monsters," he adds. "They're just fun to draw because you don't have to look at anything. You're making it up, totally."
With the book just published, Sanfaçon now sees his creativity blossoming. He says he drew more than 400 new cartoons just in 1990, nearly three times the number he drew from 1985 to 1987.
"The way I'm going I can draw exactly the way I want, the kind of cartoons I want, whether it's sick or disgusting or just weird or funny, and I don't have to worry about someone saying, Well, why don't you do it like this instead," he says. "I just come up with an idea and do it."
"With a few, I'll just be sitting there trying to come up with an idea and it's like the cartoon draws itself. I'm just holding the pencil, keeping it on the paper," he adds.
"That's the thing I like about it, sometimes it doesn't even seem like I'm coming up with the idea. It just comes to me and I'm just writing it down."
A 1980 graduate of The Art Institute of Boston, Sanfaçon has worked as a technical illustrator for 10 years. He and his wife, Joy, live in Watertown, Mass.
© 1991 Foster's Daily Democrat. Originally published Wednesday, March 6, 1991.
Freaks, Geeks & Chicken Beaks is a trademark of The Chicken Coop.
© 1990-2016 Pete Sanfaçon (Registration No. TX-3-082-770). All Rights Reserved.