One of the things I like most about what we do here at Barnacle Press is shedding light onto forgotten creations and and forgotten creators. When I'm digging through old newspapers, I'm mostly keeping my eye open for obscure features, often avoiding the big names for a glimpse of the unknown. Not so today - Baron Mooch may have been a short lived strip, but it's from the hand of one of the most celebrated artists of the form, Mr. George Herriman.
Baron Mooch is portly gentleman, a supposed aristocrat who is always on the lookout for a handout, especially a free lunch. Herriman would later go on to give us Baron Bean, who may be a better known and better loved character cut from this cloth, but Mooch is certainly fun in his own right. In my favorite sequence of the handful of strips we have to share, Mooch winds up in jail and Herriman himself joins the effort to spring him. You see, the Baron's incarceration is delaying the production of the paper in which the strip appears - the icing on the cake is Herriman reminding Mooch that if he spends any more time in jail, there could very well be a new face appearing in his spot on the page.
By George Herriman