Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Obscurity of the Day: Weary Willie

Hobo strips were quite popular back in the early days of newspaper comic strips. The versatile concept allowed cartoonists to change their venue for each strip, and the hobo's constant search for a handout and his escapades with the 'bulls' made for gags that practically wrote themselves.

Later on the conception of the hobo was softened and we got weak sister versions like Pete the Tramp, Benny, and Frank and Ernest. These hobos were cast more in the light of knights of the open road, or even simply park bench philosophers. My guess is that the last true hobo strip might have been Slim Jim, who managed to hang on into the 1930s through the auspices of World Color Printing.Can anyone think of a later one?

Weary Willie, by the wonderful Ed Carey, was a cookie-cutter hobo strip, and didn't last long in the C.J. Hirt version of the McClure Syndicate Sunday funnies section. It ran from May 7 to November 26 1905.

Tip of the tomato can to Cole Johnson for the sample!


He looks alot like Carey's other hobo star Brainy Bowers, which was before and after this.
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