John Callahan: 1951-2010
For those who think the cartoons in the pages of Playboy or Hustler are racy, or the cartoon cavalcade of Seth MacFarlane pushes the boundaries of taste… sit down, and get something cold to drink. Last week, the world lost John Callahan, taboo cartoonist extraordinaire. Callahan, a quadriplegic since a car accident at 21, turned to cartooning to share his worldview. By clasping a pen between his two hands (akin to a “praying” pose, if you will) John spent his years sharing his darkly funny worldview with the public at large.
Callahan was an original voice in his oddly-drawn world. His cartoons were dark, and funny. For those who are familiar with the webcomic The Parking Lot Is Full, or finds Family Guy’s “Prom Night Dumpster Baby” song to be hilarious… know now that this godfather to that raunch has passed.
While his cartoons were shown in local Portland papers, where John was considered an often seen man-about-town, he was a varied artist at heart. He wrote his own “quasi-memoir”, Will the Real John Callahan Please Stand Up? His songwriting skills led him to record an album in 2006, Purple Winos In the Rain. In addition to this, Callahan’s cartoons became the basis for a pair of animated series, Nickelodeon’s Pelswic, and the Canadian-Australian Quads. Quads retains Callahan’s more darkly twinged humor.
Feel free to take a look at Callahan’s website, which includes both raving good reviews, as well as hate mail, and the subsequent store, where you can purchase some his wickedly funny cartoons. And as a treat, enjoy John’s uke and harmonica twinged tune…Touch Me Someplace I Can Feel.