a unique artist/provocateur passes

John Callahan

by problembear

like Gahan Wilson and Gary Larson, John Callahan was a cartoonist of the dark side of life. he depicted what people think but never utter in polite society. i like that in any artist. so long John. it’s been good to know you.

many people, when confronted with John’s dark humor for the first time were offended, until they met him in person. John did not shy away from anything. John’s courage and bold independence as he cruised the streets of Portland are legendary.


  1. Big Swede

    If I’d scribbled a cartoon such as this one I wonder what your reaction would’ve been?

    http://www.callahanonline.com/calhat17.htm

  2. Jose Soplar

    Swede, are you implying that the cartoon is racist? Well, it’s not. Callahan lived in Portland. After the Vietnam War ended, large numbers of Vietnamese settled in Portland. Soon, there were no dogs roaming the streets, and even some local pets began to disappear. Seems the the Vietnamese had brought with them their cultural proclivities that included a taste for dog meat. It was quite a topic of discussion in Portland at the time. But racist, no. Just a clash of cultures. I remember it well from relatives living there.

    • Big Swede

      Well that’s a relief.

      So how ’bout this one.

      What do you call a Lamedeer BLT?

      Black Lab on Toast.

      • callahan’s humor was dark and controversial but it was original and bold, bs…..

        repeating old moldy bad racist jokes is not bold. it’s just clumsy and sad.

      • Jose Soplar

        That’s funny. I always thought it was a Cheyenne Turkey! But you see, Swede, I heard these jokes from the Indian people themselves. I can tell that you’ve never lived among the Indian people. Their sense of humor is extraordinary. Everyone uses humor, even the distinguished looking old elders. It’s a way of preventing anyone from getting too big a head. I love Indian humor.

  3. Charles Martin

    Loved Callahan and still have a book or two. Didn’t know he was gone. Thanks for the update. Harvey Pekar was another blow for me.




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