Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson (1890-1968) was American pulp magazine writer and entrepreneur who pioneered the American comic book, publishing the first such periodical consisting solely of original material rather than reprints of newspaper comic strips. His comics company, National Allied Publications, would evolve into DC Comics , one of the world's two largest comic book publishers, though long after its founder had left it.
A former Major in the U.S. Cavalry, Wheeler-Nicholson had fought in Mexican border Wars, fought fevers and played polo in the , and led a battalion of infantry against the Bolshevik in Siberia, helped straighten out the affairs of the army in & commanded the headquarters cavalry of the American force in the . In 1924, amid accusations by the major against senior officers, countercharges, hearings, and lawsuit threats, Wheeler-Nicholson left the service. Having already written non-fiction about military topics, he began writing short stories for the pulps. The major soon became a cover name, penning military and historical adventure fiction for such magazines as Adventure and Argosy.
In 1929, he founded Wheeler-Nicholson, Inc. to syndicate a daily comic-strip adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's novel with art by N. Brewster Morse. In the fall of 1934, having seen the emergence of Famous Funnies and other oversize magazines reprinting comic strips, Wheeler-Nicholson founded National Allied Publications and published New Fun #1 (Feb. 1935). A tabloid-sized, 10-inch by 15-inch, 36-page magazine with a card-stock, non-glossy cover, it was an anthology of humor features, such as the funny animal comic "Pelion and Ossa" and the college-set "Jigger and Ginger", mixed with such dramatic fare as the Western strip "Jack Woods" and the adventure "Barry O'Neill", featuring a Fu Manchu-styled villain, Fang Gown.
The first four issues were edited by future Funnies, Inc. founder Lloyd Jacquet, the next by Wheeler-Nicholson himself. Issue #6 (Oct. 1935) brought the comic-book debuts of