Obscurity of the Day: Musical Mose

George Herriman made quite the coup as a young unknown cartoonist in 1902 when he landed a berth at one of the most prestigious papers in the country, Pulitzer’s New York World. Although he certainly didn’t become a star there, he did produce some interesting series. There was little hint of the greatness to come, but this early material certainly displays an excellent knack for slapstick.

His first continuing series for the World was Musical Mose, a raucous strip about a black musician who desperately tries to get a good gig with little success. The strip ran for just three wacky episodes, in the first of which the star wasn’t even named Mose, but rather Sam. Oh well, details, details. The strip ran on January 19, February 16 and 23 1902.

Thanks to Cole Johnson for the scans!

6 comments on “Obscurity of the Day: Musical Mose

  1. Hi Mark —
    According to my North American index notes, Herriman's contributions were limited to one episode each of "Broncho Pete" and "Tattered Tim".

    –Allan

  2. The Philadelphia North American published a Musical Mose on March 9 1902 under the title "No Use, These Days, To Try to Break Into Those Exclusive Professions." (Mose tried to be an Italian organ grinder. It didn't work out so well for him.) It appears that the PNA published some comics by Herriman that were unique to the paper, but then also picked up work that I see in McClure papers, so maybe that Mose comic was for McClure or some other syndicate?

  3. Allan: My gosh I need a rest. Not only have you already posted the PNA Mose, I had already commented on it. Plesae disregard and good night!

  4. Found a Mose piano book with music published by Olman Music Publishing, signed by a Sadie Soon over in 1923. Do you have any info about this?

  5. I found a framed print that seems to be a music book of some sort that has a character named Mose. It was published by Olman Music Publishing. I can't find anything similar to it anywhere online. Would you be able to assist me? Thank you.

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