125 Years of the Major

Jan 8, 2015 by

Thrilling Adventures 32-10One of the youngest majors to serve in the United States Calvary, he saw action in Mexico and the Philippines. He also worked as an intelligence officer in the far reaches of Siberia. His experiences around the world would serve him well as he turned to adventure writing during the 1920s. He would create the first original comic book in 1934 and discover Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and their character, Superman, the Man of Steel. The founder of the company that would become DC Comics, his family still calls him the “old man.”

Born 125 years ago on January 7, 1890 in eastern Tennessee, Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson was also one of the leading adventure fiction writers for the pulp industry. His fiction appeared for nearly twenty-five years in Adventure, Argosy, Battle Stories, Blue Book, Danger Trail, Far East Adventure Stories, The Popular Magazine, The Rio Kid Western, Short Stories, Soldiers of Fortune, Thrilling Adventures, Top-Notch, War Stories, and many other pulp magazines.

In August 2015, PulpFest will be paying tribute to Standard Magazines, also known as the “Thrilling” line of pulps, one of the “old man’s” leading markets. Launched by Ned Pines and Leo Margulies in late 1931, the Thrilling Group of magazines was one of the leaders of the pulp industry for many years. This was due in part to its writers; men such as Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, soon to be the subject of a new book entitled Lost Hero.

Join PulpFest 2015 in mid-August for its salute to Ned Pines’ “Thrilling” line. The convention will be held at the Hyatt Regency in beautiful downtown Columbus, Ohio, beginning on Thursday, August 13th and running through Sunday, August 16th. We’ll be announcing more about the convention as we flesh out the details in the months ahead.

The artwork above is the front cover to the October 1932 issue of Thrilling Adventures, published by Standard Magazines. The illustration, by Jerry George Janes, is for Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson’s “The Scourge of Islam. You can learn more about the Major by visiting the Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson website by clicking here.”