That selfsame contact marks Cranly's first appearance in Ulysses. In Telemachus, Buck Mulligan links arms with Stephen and parades him around the top of the tower (at page 18), and Stephen thinks simply "Cranly's arm." It's a moment of stark contrast between Cranly and Mulligan, for while Mulligan has replaced Cranly's role in Stephen's life, he has failed to do so with the same level of care and love.
Cranly also appears in Nestor and twice in Scylla and Charybdis, where Stephen also remembers his smile.
Ulysses opens with Stephen mourning his mother, May Dedalus. Those who've read Portrait will remember how that book ended with Stephen refusing to take Easter commune, despite his mother's earnest wishes. This rebellion bleeds into Ulysses, where Stephen has refused to kneel down and pray by his dying mother's side.
Dedalus works as a teacher while unproductively developing his own private thoughts on religion and literature, such as his famed theory on Hamlet. He is in some debt to his friend Buck Mulligan. Stephen Dedalus is the second character to appear in Ulysses, on page 5 of the comic.
Fun Fact: Rob's drawing of Stephen was inspired by his friend, the Philadelphian actor Allen Radway. "I never imagined him as anyone else," Rob says.