As if it’s not enough that Jonathan Shaw is a legendary tattoo master and outlaw artist, the man who Iggy Pop calls “the great nightmare antihero of the new age” gives us the first trade edition of his cult classic novel “Narcisa – Our Lady of Ashes.” The story that “captures the destructive addiction of love, sex and drugs, embodied in two people whose irresistible passions threaten to destroy them” comes to us from none other than Johnny Depp and his HarperCollins publishing imprint Infinitum Nihil.
Depp, who stated that he’s “been waiting too long” for Shaw’s “virulent and violent hallucinations from his not-so-cute brainscape,” pulled no punches when comparing Shaw to the likes of William S. Burroughs, Charles Bukowksi, and Henry Miller. “Jonathan Shaw’s words, work, life, lives, deaths, rants, rage, hilarity, and taste rank with the best of ‘em.”
“Narcisa – Our Lady of Ashes” chronicles the degenerative addiction between a motorcycle-riding, nomadic outlaw poet and a crack-smoking prostitute as they ride into depravity and darkness through the back alleys of Rio De Janeiro and New York City.
Sure, the book is labeled fiction, but Shaw draws from experiences he has lived. From admittedly being a teenage LSD user and eventually a heroin addict, Shaw ran on the wild side with the likes of Frank Zappa, Jim Morrison, The Manson Family and Bukowski. Marilyn Manson has called him “a decorated veteran of the drug war.”