Pelswick Creator John Callahan Dies at 59

Acclaimed cartoonist and creator of Nelvana/Nickelodeon’s animated series Pelswick John Callahan died last past Saturday (July 24). Callahan was confined to a wheelchair after surviving a car crash at age 21. The Portland-based cartoonist was the author of ten books including the autobiography Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot: The Autobiography of a Dangerous Man , which was optioned by Robin Williams.

Never one to let his handicap hold him back, Callahan pursued many artistic activities. His many jobs included songwriter, English teacher, and filmmaker and creator of the animated television show Pelswick, which ran on Nickelodeon (2000-2002).

“He offended a lot of handicapped people and they wrote nasty letters to the editor not knowing that Callahan himself was tragically handicapped,” said independent animator Bill Plympton, who was among the first to see Callahan’s drawings.

Callahan’s health was declining in recent months, but he never lost his sense of humor, friends said. He died at age 59.