However, when I investigated further I found to my surprise that beards were not common in Tom's art generally. I only managed to find 18 instances amongst a couple of thousand of pictures.
But where they do appear these characters do seem to play significant roles.
This fisting picture also proves to have a significance all it's own which I will reveal in due course.
(Note: In compiling my count of beards in Tom's pictures, I have counted the multi-frame appearances in these Kake stories as 1 per book, not 1 per picture, counting them separately would double the total approximately but not affect very much the proportion relative to the whole of Tom's work).
In No 5, the villain gets caught and is given a painful come-uppance and general seeing-to by Kake and the lads. At the end they leave him to the tender mercies of the police, having 'fitted him up' for the theft of a police uniform.
(This uniform was actually 'borrowed' by Kake in No 3 as part of a 'Tale of Two Cities' style exchange of places in jail with a sympathetic Policeman).
The bearded man plays a central role in this sequence of stories but his characterisation, though very strong, is much less generous than that of the jolly fistee of the 1974 picture and this piqued my interest to investigate further.
Revisiting this image seemed reveal to be the clue to the date of my original image (top) where the bearded man wears a similar studded, denim top with cut-off sleeves. The 1971 date of the Kake story also chimes perfectly with his fashion flares.
continued in the next post
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