Sunday, November 02, 2008

Thanks Fer Nothing Creepertins


No sooner do we toss old jack Pumpkin head into the trash than i have to churn out the Thanks-Fer-Nothin' Creepertins strip. And in 2 week I'll have to do the Christmas strip no doubt. As much as i enjoy the holidays with my friends and family I have to say I dislike the pushing and haste of the tin tasting commercialization that seems to ramp up a bit each year.

So this year I am ramping down in this trickled-down economy. Time to retrench and retool the whole shebang amigos. I have already done a lot in this area because I'm back in school, but I think 2009 will be an even bigger belt tightening year even in Obama wins--which I clearly hope he does.
I guess with all of this on my mind, and thinking about how things seemed different in the last depression, or were romanticised and how different that image is in what appears to be the new depression.

What popped into my mind was the image of Hobos vs Homeless. Hobos, the ever present comedic foils of old movies, comics and TY shows. Hobos were fun, or funny in a way that I think Homeless people are not. There was even the Hobo-clown...though they were just too scary for most.

Hobos were like happy, half-baked or drunk goof balls. Harmless pranksters, like a goofy uncle or rapscallion. Hobos were white it seemed for the most part, fuck, Bing Crosby played a hobo. How many WB cartoons had hobos in them? It seemed they traveled under boxcars, ate pies and chickens they'd steal,lived in hobo-camps with other hobos. Hobos shared. They often had very mock upper-crust manners. Top hats, derbies, pinkie-out eating habits. They hardly seemed to have anything bad about them except they were dirty. They'd take their hat off when talking to a lady and were just one hair-brained scheme away from being back on their feet. Hobos, a word that is pretty much gone from out current vocabulary--it has been replaced by the Homeless. And the Homeless have little humorous attached to them. In fact the only funny Homeless person that pops to mind is Dave Chapelles homeless guy.

Homelessness isn't romantic like being a Hobo was. It seems that maybe the Hobo set some terms of his down-and-out lifestyle. The Hobo didn't seem as much of a looser or a reject. The Hobo seemed cunning, scheming, resourceful, living by his wits. Homeless is also tainted with a more of a racist stigma as for the most part all the Hobos I saw as a kid were middle aged white guys--and they are never bad people.

So maybe the Hobo needs to make a comeback, and this months strip is just such a bold stride in that direction. Kids need hobo friends like in days of yore. The bum at the end of the street that will convince you to bring him a pie or buy him a bottle of hooch. The Hobo who will regale you with the stories of his world travels beneath the clickety-clack boxcars of the Santa Fe, and the Northern Pacific.

We are soon to be reliving those Hobo times my friends, catch the rails.

2 comments:

Steve Buccellato said...

Maybe you can start by handing out top hats and bowlers to all the homeless people you meet. Give them a little DIGNITY! ;)

Mike M said...

Good idea, what have I been thinking by handing them half a cheese steak and donuts?

Bibs, forks-knives, and cumberbuns!