Part I

by Hobo Moon (2020)

What is a hobo?
Well, it's funny that you ask.

A Hobo isn’t some crazed loon
Screaming at the night.
He isn’t a funny character 
in some comic strip cartoon, 
though that would be all right.
Nor is he a strong man or goon 
with great feats of might.
A hobo finds comfort and reassurance in the moon 
when his inspiration seems out of sight.
He’ll never arrive too late 
or too soon. 
He’ll join his friends and family when the time is just right.
It doesn’t matter if he sleeps passed noon
Cause he follows the moon by the starry twilight.

He rides the rails from sea to sea
Collecting each and every memory
He is not woeful and does not worry
For his life makes him happy
And I think you will find without difficulty 
That there is a hobo living free 
inside the mind of both you and me.

Hobo Moon Cartoons (2021)

Animated walk cycle loop by Hobo Moon

Hobo Moon Cartoons’ vision is a growing community of animation lovers worldwide who depend on Hobo Moon Cartoons to identify, showcase, and champion animation that entertains and inspires them. By creating meaningful animation experiences online, Hobo Moon Cartoons harnesses the emotional power of art to strengthen our communities and serve the greater social good. Hobo Moon Cartoons is an ad-free animation experience showcasing animation and the arts through preservation and celebration, and we hope to be a source of inspiration for all.

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Rudolf Carl Ising & Hugh Harman (1930)

Bosko and a pig are hobos in a runaway boxcar.

A train rolls along the tracks in a rhythmic pattern. The train engine blows its whistle three times. The wheel turns into a hand and chokes the whistle to make a honk noise. The two-car train has a stowaway outhouse tied to the back. Inside one of the cars, Bosko and a pig with a banjo are hobos on a train, having fun. Bosko and the pig start playing “Cryin’ for the Carolines” with Bosko scat-singing and the pig on the banjo. He then begins to scat-sing a sorrowful part of the song even causing the pig to tear up.

The boxcar turns to an angle sliding the pig and Bosko toward the wall of the boxcar. The pig is knocked out and unresponsive while the train is climbing up a steep hill. It reaches the top and goes into a dark cave and begins another climb up a steeper hill. It rides like a caterpillar up the hill, inching along until it reaches a section where there is no track. It grabs a sheet of land but pulls down the mountain’s “pants”. The mountain pulls up his pants and the train journey continues. The boxcar carrying Bosko and the pig breaks off, plunging downhill at such speed.

Bosko ventures on top of the oxcar and repeatedly screams for help. The boxcar goes through a series of bumps while Bosko hangs onto a lever. The boxcar goes through three tunnels, at the third one, Bosko screams “Mammy!” The boxcar splits in two but regroups after a few seconds. A low tunnel launches Bosko off and onto a cow on the tracks. A second tunnel launches Bosko back onto the boxcar. A rock launches Bosko into the air. Fearing he might fall off, Bosko holds onto the lever until it collapses onto the train track and again like “Sinkin’ in the Bathtub” getting an array of trees. The cow bellows on the track in fright before Bosko gets a telephone pole to the crotch repeatedly.

Getting back on the car due to a rock, Bosko retreats inside the car. The tracks lead to a tree and the cow is caught in the middle. The boxcar smashes the cow into the tree who walks away outstretched and frustrated while Bosko and the pig land on a small board with wheels, distraught. The two dodge the debris from the boxcar falling from the sky as the pig grabs an umbrella to shield them. When it appears safe, the pig closes the umbrella but then his banjo clocks him in the head provoking the pig to screech in pain and start to whimper. Then Bosko pushes the small cart and plays the banjo before entering a dark tunnel.

Winsor McCay (1921)

After eating a cheese cake, a hobo falls asleep and dreams of a strange vaudeville show performed by bugs.

Winsor McCay was an American cartoonist and animator. He is best known for the comic strip Little Nemo and the animated film Gertie the Dinosaur. For contractual reasons, he worked under the pen name Silas on the comic strip Dream of the Rarebit Fiend.

From a young age, McCay was a quick, prolific, and technically dextrous artist. He started his professional career making posters and performing for dime museums, and in 1898 began illustrating newspapers and magazines. In 1903 he joined the New York Herald, where he created popular comic strips such as Little Sammy Sneeze and Dream of the Rarebit Fiend. In 1905 his signature strip Little Nemo in Slumberland debuted—a fantasy strip in an Art Nouveau style about a young boy and his adventurous dreams. The strip demonstrated McCay’s strong graphic sense and mastery of color and linear perspective. McCay experimented with the formal elements of the comic strip page, arranging and sizing panels to increase impact and enhance the narrative. McCay also produced numerous detailed editorial cartoons and was a popular performer of chalk talks on the vaudeville circuit.

McCay was an early animation pioneer; between 1911 and 1921 he self-financed and animated ten films, some of which survive only as fragments. The first three served in his vaudeville act; Gertie the Dinosaur was an interactive routine in which McCay appeared to give orders to a trained dinosaur. McCay and his assistants worked for twenty-two months on his most ambitious film, The Sinking of the Lusitania, a patriotic recreation of the German torpedoing in 1915 of the RMS Lusitania. Lusitania did not enjoy as much commercial success as the earlier films, and McCay’s later movies attracted little attention. His animation, vaudeville, and comic strip work was gradually curtailed as newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, his employer since 1911, expected McCay to devote his energies to editorial illustrations.

In his drawing, McCay made bold, prodigious use of linear perspective, particularly in detailed architecture and cityscapes. He textured his editorial cartoons with copious fine hatching, and made color a central element in Little Nemo. His comic strip work has influenced generations of cartoonists and illustrators. The technical level of McCay’s animation—its naturalism, smoothness, and scale—was unmatched until the work of Fleischer Studios in the late 1920s, followed by Walt Disney’s feature films in the 1930s. He pioneered inbetweening, the use of registration marks, cycling, and other animation techniques that were to become standard.