Thurber Thursday: Revisiting Danny Shanahan’s Nod To Dr. Millmoss
July 8, 2021
 
 
Last year I spoke with Danny Shanahan, who passed away this week, about his trio of very Thurberesque drawings that had appeared in The New Yorker. This seems like the time, place, and day to re-post that piece in its entirety.
From Ink Spill, May 7, 2020:
When Thurber’s Dr. Millmoss Returned To The New Yorker Via Danny Shanahan
I’m on record as believing Thurber’s “What have you done with Dr. Millmoss?” is a perfect drawing.  It appeared in The New Yorker,  July 14, 1934, but we didn’t get any kind of closure on Millmoss until February of 1991 when he turned up at a Returns counter in a Danny Shanahan cartoon. Two more Shanahan Thurberesque drawings over the next two years provided further glimpses of Millmoss’s world.
The Spill recently asked Mr. Shanahan to talk about his Thurber Millmoss trio, and if the originals were, as I remembered, out in Columbus.
“I always loved the Thurber Millmoss cartoon, one of my all-time favorites. It was approaching the Christmas holiday, and gift cartoons were in my head (as were “return” cartoons). I came up with the Thurber tribute, the “return” of Millmoss, but didn’t know if it would fly with Lee [The New Yorker’s art editor, Lee Lorenz]. He loved it, The New Yorker ran it, so not long after I decided to keep it going. I came up with the second idea; once again, Lee loved it but thought it was too soon, and that maybe it would work better in The New Yorker’s anniversary issue. That’s where it ran, and the following year, as the next anniversary issue approached, I thought I should take a stab at wrapping up the whole saga. It worked out well, except for a handful of readers who thought I was trying to steal Thurber’s characters. The magazine got a few angry letters. And, yes, the originals were donated to The Thurber House, where they are on permanent display.”
Danny Shanahan began contributing to The New Yorker in 1988. His Thurber trio appeared in the following issues of the magazine:
“Dr. Millmoss!” February 25, 1991
“Do you have an appointment?”  February 24, 1992
“Good show, Mitty!” April 12, 1993
 
 
 
CARTOONIST
CARTOONISTS
CARTOONS
DANNY SHANAHAN
JAMES THURBER
LEE LORENZ
NEW YORKER CARTOON
NEW YORKER CARTOONIST
NEW YORKER CARTOONISTS
NEW YORKER CARTOONS
THE NEW YORKER
THE THURBER HOUSE
Wednesday Spill: Catching Up On The Daily Cartoonists; A Daily Shouts Cartoonist; A Frank Modell Original Is A Steal
Friday Spill: Let The Pre-Laughing Begin: Joe Dator’s “Inked”; Paul Noth Interviewed On The Cartoon Caption Contest Podcast; New Book On The Horizon From Victor Varnado; Danny Shanahan’s New York Times Obit
2 COMMENTS
Paul Karasik says:
July 8, 2021 at 8:18 am
Thanks, Michael.
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Lorin Duckman says:
July 9, 2021 at 8:38 am
Every one of his panels was funny and smart. So much for the presumption of innocence or doing justice. We lost a perceptive and sharp-witted artist.
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