With the appearance of New Fun in early 1935 and its mixture of educational material and classics (Ivanhoe) along with the funnies there is a natural progression in the Major’s ideas. This culminated in Detective Comics with the adventure stories in picture form that were reminiscent of the pulp fiction he knew so well. Thus it was in the midst of the economic darkness of the 1930s that the ideas of the Major and the two kids from Cleveland, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, met and a new, never-before-seen kind of hero was born. The Major was the first publisher to believe in the vision of Siegel and Shuster. In the figure of Superman, the Major saw the ideal representative of hope, Nietzsche’s Übermensch, literally the “super man,” who could lift the American spirit out of the depths of the Great Depression.
His contribution to comics was just one of the events that made up the life of this visionary man. Born January 7, 1890 in Greeneville, Tennesse, MWN died September 21, 1965 on Long Island, NY. “The Major” had a truly adventurous life.
In 2008 Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson was awarded an Eisner for his contributions to the comic book industry and inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame.
In 2011 he was inducted into The Overstreet Hall of Fame in Robert Overstreet’s 41st Guide to Comic Books.