The Wheeler-Nicholson family are very saddened to learn of the recent death of Creig Flessel, the legendary comic book artist who was one of the Major’s early hires back at New Fun Comics in the mid-’30s, and may have been the last living person to have actually worked with the Major during that period. Mr. Flessel lived to the incredible age of 96, remaining not only in full possession of his faculties but still actively drawing. He is survived by his wife, Marie.

This death comes at a particularly poignant moment as Mr. Flessel was preparing to be honored in just a few days with the same Lifetime Achievement Award as Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson at this year’s ComicCon 2008 in San Diego.

Ian Wheeler-Nicholson, grandson of the Major, had the honor and privilege of meeting Creig at his home in California this past December, where the two spoke for several hours about the old days. Creig’s memories of the major were entirely positive, and he scoffed at the persistent rumors that the Major was a crook. As Creig pointed out, nobody had any money in those days, and you didn’t go into the comics business to get rich–it was a labor of love for all concerned.

Our condolences to Mr. Flessel’s family. The comic book world has truly lost one of its giants.

[Editor’s note: This was written by Ian Wheeler-Nicholson who details his conversation with Creig Flessel in this month’s AlterEgo, August 2009.  (IJ photo/Jeff Vendsel)]