Tuesday, July 27, 2010
An Appreciation of John Callahan
John Callahan died the other day.
Who was John Callahan?
He was a cartoonist who was published in various alternative weeklies starting in the 80s. He had a dark sense of humor with his work. He poked fun at anything he could with the most acidic sense of humor. His cartoons could be tasteless, insensitive, blasphemous, sexist and borderline racist but almost always funny.
He had a rough style of rendering brought about by the fact he was a near quadriplegic due to a drunk driving car accident he was in when he was 21. He wasn't driving but he drank so much He didn't know the severity of his injuries. After a few lost years, He went back to his cartoonist interests and developed his style using his hands clasped together and took the alternative comic scene of the early 90s by storm.
He wrote an autobiography complete with pictures called "Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot: The Autobiography of a Dangerous Man" is a fantastically funny read. He was able to laugh at himself about his handicapped situation, His upbringing and his outlook on life.
Of course when he made fun of the handicapped, He outraged many people. But he was an equal opportunity offender. He outraged anybody and everybody which for me as a free speech liberal was refreshing. No cows were sacred.
I wish I hadn't lost touch with his recent work and I have seen that he had not lost his edge when I checked it out when he died.
These are only a few of his cartoons. RIP John Callahan.