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John Callahan 

Published : Jun 28 2017 | Modified : Jun 28 2017

John Michael Callahan was born on February 5, 1951 in Portland, Oregon. John was raised in the Dalles, the Columbia River city about 80 miles east of Portland. He was an adopted kid and lived along with 5 older siblings Tom, Kevin, Richard, Mary and Teri. At school he was molested by a female teacher, later he started drink being just 12 years boy. After his school graduation he enrolled in the Portland State University. He received a bachelor’s degree In the middle of the 70s. Later he tried to receive master's degree in counseling at the same College, but he left because of his health.

When he was 21 he became a quadriplegic in an auto accident. This accident made him paralyzed from the diaphragm down and lost the use of many of his upper-body muscles. He finally gave up drinking alcohol at the age of 27. After passing the long courses of rehabilitation to regain mobility of hands, he decided to become an artist caricaturist. He drew by clutching a pen between his hands. He had his own art style, which usually was very simple and rough. The sense of his works often had a pretty black humor shades. John lived his life with disadvantages, some of them self-wrought, that is the main reason of his black humor cartoons, which are born from the view to the world through a dark lens. Callahan’s works were usually called politically incorrect.

In the early 90s, he said for New York Times “My only compass for whether I’ve gone too far is the reaction I get from people in wheelchairs, or with hooks for hands”. His brother Tom was saying that John was always with such kind of humor, he made fun with his friends and teachers, drawing funny pictures at school. He does not think that this is an accident made him the way he was, it always was with him.

However he had a very good sense of humor, which helped him to create something for others. He served as a cartoonist for the Portland newspaper “Willamette Week” for 27 years in a row. Several animated cartoons even were based on his work, including “Pelswick” and “Quads”.

In addition to his work as an artist, he also was a musician and songwriter. In the 2006 he released his CD, entitled “Purple Winos in the Rain”. He recorded his songs with ukulele and harmonica at the Records. In the 2005 was released a documentary movie about him, which was titled “Touch me someplace I can feel”. The film was made by Dutch director Simone de Vries.

He died on July 24, 2010 after the hard surgery for chronic bed sores. The New York Times released an obituary about his career, problems with alcohol and a peculiar ability to show human vices from a funny side. There is no information about his personal life. It seems like he was single. His net worth is not revealed at any internet resource.

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