« Who Was Harvey Pekar?: A Guest Post by Tim Madigan | Main | Farewell, Paul Conrad (1924-2010) »

August 02, 2010


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


"Will Work for Shit" was on my bathroom door during my years in college. Love it!


"Touch Me Someplace I Can Feel" can be seen in its entirety at


You need to have Silverlight and other Microsoft codecs installed but it's worth the effort (and worked even under Linux)!

Craig Fischer

Thanks for the link, FrF! I had found the whole documentary on another website a couple of years ago, but couldn't get that link to work when I was writing this post. Good to know FEEL is still out there somewhere--and yeah, the whole thing is well worth watching.

Charles Hatfield

Great post, Craig, a lovely reminder of how terrific Callahan's cartoons could be.

Me, I think Callahan's stuff is on a whole other level than the "sick" cartoons of Brunetti et al. For one thing, Callahan's best gags wring humor from the oft-thought but seldom expressed, daring to bring to the surface attitudes about ability and disability and handicaps. By contrast, Brunetti's panel cartoons seem to be working over some private animus, again and again, without tapping that social and ideological dimension. They're merely left-field bizarre, as opposed to Callahan's "just right" or "damn straight" satire. In other words, Brunetti only flouts taboos, he doesn't get at the queasy sensitivity and confused sense of etiquette that Callahan satirizes.

For another, Callahan's wobbly drawing is perfect for his sort of humor, whereas Brunetti has got this (to me) distasteful combination of compulsive unpleasantness with overworked "craft" that just rubs me the wrong way.

I also don't care for a lot of Ryan's comic strips (too many compulsive gags about buggering, etc.), though _Prison Pit_ does take it to a new level. :)

I guess the bottom line is that I feel a great deal of sympathy for Callahan's persona, and not for the others. He really did something salutary and important with those cartoons. He really shook up something. The others, not so, I'd say.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

Who's Reading Us Where