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Babcia certainly means well, but–she may just be selling Rudek up the river. It’s unlike her to not be a step ahead. though.

For this comic I did a little research on Belarusian folk motifs. And it turns out there’s a whole vocabulary of symbolic designs. Fascinating stuff! The design Babcia’s working on incorporates protective talismanic motifs and a symbol for family. So, it’s more than just a scarf–it’s a self-expression.


6 Responses

  1. Honzinator

    I cannot wait to see if this trio is NKVD, or OGPU or whatever the KGB was back then.
    Also, babicka may be seeming to sell Rudek “down the river” or “downriver”, because conditions for slaves and convicts were always worse near river deltas on the US East Coast, on the sugar plantations and salt works in the Mediterranean, along the northern Nile (which is downriver), and closer to New Orleans. (Up the river would only be bad if someone were being sold to the Iroquois or “five civilized tribes”, as far as I can figure.) Since babicka is a good one, perhaps “up the river” was intentional or unconscious foreshadowing?

    • Ah — I had no idea the phrase “down the river” had such history behind it. And I guess I was mixing it up with “up the river” which, now that I think of it, I’ve only heard used to mean being sent to jail. Whoops!

      • “Up the river” (meaning ‘sent to jail’) may have been from New York City slang, as the major New York prisons included Sing Sing state prison, built next to the Hudson River, in Ossining, New York, immediately north of the New York metro area.

  2. Chiron Rocket III

    Please keep them coming. I look forward to every new comic.

    However, can you explain the eyepatch? I don’t notice it in “Shady Characters,” but here it is. I hope I haven’t missed something, but I don’t mind going back to the beginning…

    • thanks!

      well, he’s got different facial hair too…. he’s in disguise :)

      • Chiron Rocket III

        Ah! Gotcha! Why didn’t I get that? Hmm…anyway, love it!

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