More Hobo Fun With Brainy Bowers!


There are three character archetypes that dominated the comic strips of a hundred years ago: bad little kids, ethnic and racial stereotypes, and tramps. Brainy Bowers is most clearly a member of that maligned third class, a hobo forever locked in a struggle against cops and polite society. But he’s also an ethnic stereotype; though modern eyes might not pick up on it, his caricature and speech patterns (“de odder” for “the other”) would have read as clearly Jewish to its turn-of-the-(last)-century audience.

It’s another feature from Ed Carey, whose Simon Simple was recently posted here at Barnacle Press. But where Simon succeeds through pluck, luck, and blithe cluelessness, Bowers is thoroughly clever. One wonders why he wouldn’t use his prodigious wit and industriousness in a job of work, but perhaps he’s too clever for that…

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