News: Cartoonist John Callahan dies at 59

I don’t usually post obituary notices on URBMN, but this obituary is appropriate enough for here.  John Callahan, the quadriplegic cartoonist/musician/satirist, died July 24, 2010 from complications resulting from a 2009 surgery.  He was 59.

John Callahan has had two shows based on his works, both from Nelvana.  Pelswick aired from 2000-02.  Nickelodeon broadcast the show in the United States, while CBC handled the Canadian airings.

John Callahan’s Quads! is Callahan’s adult show, which first aired on Teletoon and Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service from 2001-02.  Quads! is notable as one of the first Flash-animated series to air on television.

I’m admittedly most familiar with Callahan through Pelswick and Quads!  He’s infamous for his one-panel cartoons.  Callahan was not afraid of offending anyone.  This was balanced with blunt honesty about his struggles with alcoholism, even after the 1972 car accident which severed his spinal cord.

Here’s a link to a Cartoon Brew post about Callahan.  Said link contains I Think I Was an Alcoholic, a short animated film of Callahan’s from 1993.

Frankly, I Think I Was an Alcoholic captures Callahan’s essence much better than either Pelswick or Quads!  Pelswick and Quads! are serviceable shows, yet hardly essential.  I also dog Teletoon for reairing Quads! way too much, since the show does not hold up in reruns.

Callahan’s life is too varied for me to properly eulogize.  Portland, Oregon citizens do this far better than I ever could.

C. Archer
Le Social