The best of the Encyclopedia of Pulp Heroes: Cagayous

cagayous

Cagayous. Cagayous was created by “Musette,” the pseudonym of Auguste Robinet, and appeared in over fifteen hundred Algerian and French cartoons, serials, and dime novels from 1895 to 1920, beginning in the Mar. 3, 1895 issue of Le Turco. Cagayous is a working class pieds noir (French colonist in Algeria)–in many ways quintessentially so, from his patois to his behavior. He is “the biggest hustler in Algiers,” and has a wide variety of picaresque adventures, working various lower class jobs and getting fired from them over points of honor or his theft from them. (Cagayous is pieds noir counterpart to Ally Sloper, albeit not influenced by him or modeled on him). A trickster and loud-mouthed braggart, Cagayous has a gang of friends and is often embroiled in fistfights on their behalf, but he never resorts to a knife or other weapon. He is also anti-Semitic, which was one reason for Cagayous’ great popularity with the French and Algerian reading public.

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