Tag: Don’t Worry

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‘Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot’ Sketches the Life and Struggles of Cartoonist John Callahan

“Maybe you were weakened so you could become strong.”

 

This sentence comes from Donnie Green, a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, in the movie Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, and powerfully summarizes the essence of the movie and its original base of story-John Callahan‘s memoir of the same name was released in 2018. 

 

 

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John Callahan (February 5, 1951 – July 24, 2010) | Image via radio.krcb.org

 

 

Born in 1951, John Callahan was adopted as an infant and grew up in a Catholic family in The Dalles, a village in eastern Portland, Oregon. Callahan was sexually assaulted by a female elementary school teacher when he was eight. The abuse led to Callahan developing an alcohol dependency at the age of twelve. At the age of twenty-one, Callahan was involved in a car accident (in which he was a passenger) and this life-changing experience left him paralyzed from the waist down. 

 

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Callahan’s cartoon | Image via twitter.com

 

 

John Callahan started his cartoonist career using his whole upper body part, unstable hands, and never-paralyzed heart. The style of his off-color cartoon is simple, humorous, controversial, offensive, and political-provoking. The issues he’d been drawing includes disabilities and diseases. His well-known black humor excesses not only from his sketching lines but also from his personality born in his second life. As he once said that

 

 

Someday, a pathologist will be squinting through a microscope at hunks of my cadaver, and he’ll exclaim, ‘By God, Jenkins! These are not human cells at all! These are the cells of a cartoonist.

 

 

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Callahan’s cartoon | Image via twitter.com

 

 

Though he’d quit drinking since age twenty-seven, Callahan eventually succumbed in 2010, at age fifty-nine, to respiratory ailments related to his quadriplegia. Yet, his journey of self-salvation now can been seen on big screen. Based on Callahan’s own biographical recording, the Golden Palm-awarded film director Gus Van Sant (best known for his Good Will Hunting) made the movie Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, with the same name as the memoir, to pay tribute to this brave cartoonist. Featuring Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, and Jack Black, the movie tells Callahan’s life story from childhood trauma, alcoholic addiction, paralyzed wheelchair-life, to joining Alcoholics Anonymous and gained his second life. Standing up from the ashes of pain, Callahan, no matter if in the movie or real life, opens his mind to his past, weakness, and digs out his passion for art and the humor that conquers all.

 

 

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John Callahan played by Joaquin Phoenix in the movie | Image via Nerd Reactor

 

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Callahan and his life-mentor Donnie Green (starred by Jonah Hill) | Image via heraldnet.com

 

 

 

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Image via newyorker.com

 

Go check out the movie here, and find your heart-moving moment!

 

 

 

 

Featured Image via Spinal Injuries Associationm.vogue.ru, and farawayentertainment.com