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Portland Oregon’s John Callahan passes at 59

John Callahan, a local cartoonist, children’s book author in Portland, OR, has passed away at the age of 59.

He lived in Northwest Portland and was a fixture in the community. He could often be easily spotted by his bright red hair as he piloted his powered wheelchair through the area.

Callahan had been a quadriplegic since a car accident at age 21. He also was the author of 10 books including an autobiography called “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot: The Autobiography of a Dangerous Man.” He also produced a children’s book that sidestepped his typically dark sense of humor.

His cartoons and life inspired an animated series called Quads that retained his very un-PC humor. However, his persona was also at the heart of a children’s animated series called Pelswick, which used a lighter touch to show the challenges for a boy confined to a wheelchair.

Community Comments

#1 Scott Nickel
July/26/2010
@ 12:49 pm

Callahan was brilliant. Very sad to hear of his passing.

I hope he left a huge stockpile of gags to unleash upon an unsuspecting world.

#2 Matt Wuerker
July/26/2010
@ 12:54 pm

Callahan was truly a natural. I always loved how he showed that great ideas are sometimes drawn the simplest way.
The stuff he was doing on alcoholism back in the early 80’s were some of the funniest cartoons I’ve ever seen.

#3 Bill Hinds
July/26/2010
@ 4:38 pm

Very funny work.

#4 Charles Brubaker
July/26/2010
@ 5:06 pm

I first discovered John’s work through his kids cartoon “Pelswick”, which aired for a short time on Nickelodeon. I later discovered his print cartoons and found it hard to believe that the guy who created the show did some raunchy, raunchy (and hilarious) stuff.

S’long, John.

#5 dan reynolds
July/27/2010
@ 9:38 pm

He was a riot! Earth’s loss is heaven’s gain.

#6 Kelly Ferguson
August/11/2010
@ 11:22 am

Wow, I just heard about this, I’m truly saddened to hear he’s gone. I was a huge fan of his twisted humor even before I ended up in a chair, myself. I’ll always count him as one of my early influences & inspirations.

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