I gave an interview to the great BAT SEGUNDO show in which I accidentally revealed some of the secrets of cartooning . . .
Rees: Well, I trade (profanity) on the gray market. I trade â€” you know, cap and trade with carbon emissions? They set up the same thing for cartoonists, where you get a given amount of profanity. “Fuck,” “goddam,” “asshole,” “shit,” “cocksucker,” “bitch,” all that stuff. And then if you want to use more, you buy a set on the International Profanity Market. You buy a certain amount from other cartoonists.
Correspondent: They come in 200 units, I think.
Rees: Right. Well, itâ€™s 200 syllables. You donâ€™t actually buy the profanity by the word. You buy it by the syllable. So â€œmotherfuckerâ€ is four syllables. You can use those four syllables to deploy one â€œmotherfuckerâ€ or four â€œasses.â€ So I usually just buy them from cartoonists like Bil Keane, who does The Family Circus. He never uses his allotment. In a year, he never says â€œfuckâ€ in The Family Circus more than ten times. So I will buy him out usually at the beginning of the year, so that I have enough to get me through a season.
You can listen to the interview here.