Sunday, March 1, 2009

Silly Milly's a dilly!

Happy March to you!

Laurel and I tip our hats to one of our favorite cartoonists, Stan Mac Govern (1904-1977), creator of the daily strip SILLY MILLY, which ran in the New York Post from 1938 into the 1950s. Mac Govern was a triple threat on the Post staff, supervising its art department, drawing five editorial cartoons weekly and amazingly finding time and creative verve to spare for MILLY. Originally titled EXTRA EXTRA, the strip would take a news item or social trend, then weave gags around it involving the strip's polka-dot-dressed leading lady. Mac Govern himself often got into the act--that's him center stage in the sample strip. Owing to its topical theme, SILLY MILLY was not syndicated, yet scored a five-borough hit with the Post's readership and even inspired a song and received a nod from Sinclair Lewis in GIDEON PLANISH. (Lewis also mentioned Worcester in one of his novels, but that's a future post.) Recently, comics historian Dan Nadel included 30 MILLY strips and a biographical profile on Mac Govern in his must-read comics anthology ART OUT OF TIME: UNKNOWN COMICS VISIONARIES 1900-1969. To borrow from the great J. Wellington Wimpy, thank you too much, Messrs. Nadel and Mac Govern!