Although there were a few family members who had grand visions that DC was going to canonize the Major in the recent documentary on the 75 years of DC, Secret Origin, yours truly was not among them. I’m just relieved that DC/WB included him and were nice! Thank you again, Sean and Mac.

Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson was called Nick at least by the time he was attending Manlius Military Academy in upstate New York. Several items in the yearbook from 1911 identify him with that nickname. Evidently he was also known for being quite elegant in his dress, once again disproving the French boulevardier’s cape and hat story. Sorry about that Gerard.

Here’s how I came to share a “nick” name with the illustrious grandfather. At birth I was given an unwieldly name four times as long as I was, encrusted with the ancient European connections from both sides of the various ancestors. Left in the care of my southern maternal grandparents since both my parents were in New York, (it’s complicated) Granddaddy Pickens who named everything and everybody in his own dry way immediately referred to me as the Wheeler-Nick. This promptly got shortened to Nick and Nicky and that’s what I’ve been called my entire life no matter which gentleman came along and attached his name to mine. Although I am an ardent champion of Grandfather Nick’s creative energy I know he wasn’t a saint and since I’m pretty clear I’m not a saint we’ll leave it to the real Saint Nick to imbue his spirit forthwith for the season.

Santa’s Reality © respective holders

The following is all about giving fun to someone else. Wasn’t that the idea for comics in the first place? None other than Pete Marston, son of William Moulton Marston of Wonder Woman fame recently stated that he felt the Major was well aware of how important it was to cheer people up in bad times. I’d like to think that is so.

Giving is a two-way street. If you purchase from the heroes and heroines toiling away in publishing as the publishers, creators, writers and artists you give them a gift as well and believe me, they deserve it!  One of the things I love about comics and pulps is that almost every one of the incredibly prolific and creative people I’ve met is fun and unbelievably nice.

So fellow procrastinators and harried over-worked bohemians–take heart! It’s not too late to get things together for the seasonal gift-giving. You know you’re going to buy at least a few gifts even if you’re pinching pennies so think about spending them wisely and well. I’ve left out some of the obvious gift choices because they’re being touted non-stop by the giant machine of hyperbole. Herewith the Un-saint Nick’s quirky list of books, pulps and comic books for all those who’ve been Naughty or Nice. You know very well who and what you are.

Part One–Big Art Books and Collections

Grab anything from The Library of American Comics run by two incredibly talented guys—Dean Mullaney and Bruce Canwell. Check out this photo of them at the IDW booth from NY Comic Con 2010. The Library of American Comics provides archival editions of newspaper comic strips. The books are all beautifully accomplished and award winning productions. With everything from Blondie to Rip Kirby you’ll find something here for everyone on your list. Clicky on the pic to go right on over to their gorgeous site with Bruce’s informative and fun blog as an added bonus. I love these guys.