Originally posted at Pencil Panel Page.
I am fascinated by Musical Mose, an obscure humor comic strip by George Herriman, better known for his critically-acclaimed series Krazy Kat. Published as Herriman’s first continuing series for New York World in 1902, Mose is a traveling black musician whose recitals go awry when he attempts to impersonate a performer of a different ethnicity. In “No Use These Days, To Try To Break Into Those Exclusive Professions” from March 9, Mose is pummeled by a group of Italian men for posing as an organ grinder (see below), while in another episode, he plays an Irish fiddle beautifully, but is assailed by the Tipperary Guards for singing “The Wearing of the Green.”
The series lasted for only three or four strips and I’m grateful that Allan Holtz at the Stripper’s Guide blog has made these scans available online.
An archive of my online writing on comics, literature, and culture. (Illustration above by Seth!)