Interview w/ John Callahan – Cartoonist

SM: Where are you at in your work right now?

JC: Well, I’m doing the cartoons for the different papers I’m in, and I’ve got a new book going, I’m kind of getting into the idea of the book. I’m getting an animated show on the air about a perverted dog…I’m writing songs, Tom Waits is sort of my mentor right now, he’s helping me along. He likes my songs. I’m trying to get a demo together – I’m looking for famous people… for interesting people to cut it with. It’s kind of like Morrissey meets Leonard Cohen. I’ve been drawing nudes. I’m doing a whole book of nude women. It’s extremely weird.

SM: What is one thing you are absolutely sure of?

JC: That we are spiritual beings.

SM: What was the last circumstance in your life that you absolutely could not explain?

JC: I had a deep intuition that everything was going to be okay. A voice in my heart that completely reassured me. It was beyond the human ability to fathom.

SM: What’s your first reaction to sudden and complete silence?

JC: Bliss.

SM: If you had to spend the next twenty hours immersed in three words (i.e., all you can hear, speak, or think are these three words) what would they be and do you think you could ever bear to encounter them again afterwards?

JC: I am that.

SM: When was the last time you became acutely aware of an important moment passing?

JC: One second ago.

SM: What was the last piece of art or music that really had a serious effect on you?

JC: Leonard Cohen’s song “Sisters of Mercy” has a transcendental quality.

SM: Hypothetical: names spoken aloud are outlawed, and every one has to choose a visual symbol to represent themselves. Describe your symbol.

JC: My symbol would be the question mark.

SM: What captivates your attention in your life right now?

JC: The present moment, really.

SM: Do you have a lucky number?

JC: Five.