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Encyclopedia > Fawcett Publications

Fawcett Publications was an American publishing company founded in 1919 in Robbinsdale, Minnesota by Wilford Hamilton "Captain Billy" Fawcett (1883-1940). At the age of 16, Fawcett ran away from home to join the Army, and the Spanish-American War took him to the Philippines. Back in Minnesota, he became a police reporter for the Minneapolis Journal. While a World War I Army captain, Fawcett's experience with the Army publication Stars and Stripes gave him the notion to get into publishing, and his bawdy cartoon and joke magazine, Captain Billy's Whiz Bang, became the launch pad for a vast publishing empire. Image File history File links Whizbang2. ... Robbinsdale is a city in Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States. ... 1883 (MDCCCLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1940 calendar). ... Combatants United States Republic of Cuba First Philippine Republic Spanish Empire Commanders Nelson A. Miles William R. Shafter George Dewey Máximo Gómez Emilio Aguinaldo Patricio Montojo Pascual Cervera Casualties 3,289 U.S. dead (only 332 from combat); considerably higher although undetermined Cuban and Filipino casualties Unknown[1... The Star Tribune is the largest newspaper in Minnesota and is published seven days each week in an edition for the Minneapolis-St. ... Combatants Allied Powers: Russian Empire France British Empire Italy United States Central Powers: Austria-Hungary German Empire Ottoman Empire Bulgaria Commanders Nicholas II Aleksei Brusilov Georges Clemenceau Joseph Joffre Ferdinand Foch Herbert Henry Asquith Douglas Haig John Jellicoe Victor Emmanuel III Luigi Cadorna Armando Diaz Woodrow Wilson John Pershing Franz...

Contents

Captain Billy's Whiz Bang

Wilford H. Fawcett, aka Captain Billy
Wilford H. Fawcett, aka Captain Billy

The title Captain Billy's Whiz Bang combined Fawcett's military moniker with the nickname of a destructive WWI artillery shell. According to one account, the earliest issues were mimeographed pamphlets, typed on a borrowed typewriter and peddled around Minneapolis by Captain Billy and his four sons. However, in Captain Billy's version, he stated that when he began publishing in October, 1919, he ordered a print run of 5,000 copies because of the discount on a large order compared with rates for only several hundred copies. Distributing free copies of Captain Billy's Whiz Bang to wounded veterans and his Minnesota friends, he then circulated the remaining copies to newsstands in hotels. With gags like, "AWOL means After Women or Liquor," the joke book caught on, and in 1921, Captain Billy made the highly inflated claim that his sales were "soaring to the million mark." Image File history File links Captbilly. ... Image File history File links Captbilly. ... This article is about the city in Minnesota. ...


The book Humor Magazines and Comic Periodicals notes, "Few periodicals reflect the post-World War I cultural change in American life as well as Captain Billy’s Whiz Bang. To some people [it] represented the decline of morality and the flaunting of sexual immodesty; to others it signified an increase in openness. For much of the 1920s, Captain Billy’s was the most prominent comic magazine in America with its mix of racy poetry and naughty jokes and puns, aimed at a small-town audience with pretensions of ‘sophistication’." Combatants Allied Powers: Russian Empire France British Empire Italy United States Central Powers: Austria-Hungary German Empire Ottoman Empire Bulgaria Commanders Nicholas II Aleksei Brusilov Georges Clemenceau Joseph Joffre Ferdinand Foch Herbert Henry Asquith Douglas Haig John Jellicoe Victor Emmanuel III Luigi Cadorna Armando Diaz Woodrow Wilson John Pershing Franz... This article is about the magazine as a published medium. ...


Captain Billy's Whiz Bang is immortalized in the lyrics to the song "Trouble" from Meredith Willson's The Music Man (1962): "Is there a nicotine stain on his index finger? A dime novel hidden in the corncrib? Is he starting to memorize jokes from Captain Billy's Whiz Bang?" Yet this is an anachronism, since The Music Man takes place in River City, Iowa, during 1912, seven years before the magazine's premiere issue. Robert Meredith Willson (18 May 1902 – 15 June 1984) was an American composer and playwright, best known as the writer of The Music Man. ... This article is about the Broadway musical. ...


The magazine often featured a picture of Captain Billy in uniform along with the comment, "This magazine is edited by a Spanish-American and World War veteran and is dedicated to the Fighting Forces of the United States and Canada." With its 64-page, saddle-stitched, digest-size format, the humor publication soon saw a dramatic increase in sales. By 1923, the magazine had a circulation of 425,000 with $500,000 annual profits. Combatants United States Republic of Cuba First Philippine Republic Spanish Empire Commanders Nelson A. Miles William R. Shafter George Dewey Máximo Gómez Emilio Aguinaldo Patricio Montojo Pascual Cervera Casualties 3,289 U.S. dead (only 332 from combat); considerably higher although undetermined Cuban and Filipino casualties Unknown[1... Combatants Allied Powers: Russian Empire France British Empire Italy United States Central Powers: Austria-Hungary German Empire Ottoman Empire Bulgaria Commanders Nicholas II Aleksei Brusilov Georges Clemenceau Joseph Joffre Ferdinand Foch Herbert Henry Asquith Douglas Haig John Jellicoe Victor Emmanuel III Luigi Cadorna Armando Diaz Woodrow Wilson John Pershing Franz...

June 1934 Norman Saunders cover
June 1934 Norman Saunders cover

Image File history File links Smoke1934. ... Image File history File links Smoke1934. ... Norman Saunders (1907-1989) was a prolific commercial artist who produced paintings for pulp magazines, paperbacks, mens magazines, comic books, and trading cards. ...

Expansion

With the rising readership of Captain Billy's Whiz Bang, Fawcett racked up more sales with Whiz Bang annuals, and in 1926, he launched a similar publication, Smokehouse Monthly. The popularity of Whiz Bang peaked during the 1920s. It continued into the 1930s but circulation slowed as readers graduated to the more sophisticated humor of Esquire, founded in 1933. George Lois cover design for Esquire (May 1969) Esquire is a magazine for men owned by the Hearst Corporation. ...


Captain Billy's success as a publisher prompted him to create the Breezy Point Resort [1] on Pelican Lake in Breezy Point, Minnesota. Since celebrity visitors came to the resort, Captain Billy had the road from Breezy Point into Pequot Lakes blacktopped at his own expense. His building program at the Resort included the construction of a massive lodge, planned to accommodate 700 people, using native Norway pines, some 70 feet in length. Celebrities who stayed at Breezy Point included Carole Lombard, Tom Mix and Clark Gable. The Fawcett House, Captain Billy's personal log mansion, is made available for public rental today. Decorated with elk and deer skins, Fawcett House [2] has ten bedrooms, eight baths. The living room has a cathedral ceiling, a loft, bar and a large field rock fireplace. Breezy Point is a city located in Crow Wing County, Minnesota. ... Carole Lombard (October 6, 1908 – January 16, 1942) was an American actress. ... Thomas E. Mix (January 6, 1880 – October 11, 1940) was an American film actor, the star of many early Western movies. ... William Clark Gable (February 1, 1901 – November 16, 1960) was an Academy Award-winning American film actor and the biggest box office star of the early sound film era. ...


Harry Truman was another Breezy Point guest. Edward McKim, a friend of Truman's since World War I, told of visits to the Resort in 1932 and Truman's success at the Breezy Point slot machine: "Captain Billy was quite a shot with a shotgun. He was on the American Olympic team at one time. He had some traps out there, so we did a little shooting with him. He had a couple of guests, one of whom was Dr. Joe Mayo, the son of Dr. Charlie Mayo. Dr. Joe was killed a few years later in an automobile accident. He was the brother of Dr. Chuck Mayo who just retired from the Mayo Foundation. We did a little trap shooting at that time, but we went up there almost every night for dinner. It was a 35 or 40-mile drive. We stopped at a barber shop at Brainerd going up, and he hit the jackpot in a machine in the lower lobby of the hotel. Then he hit the jackpot up at Breezy Point the same night." For the victim of Mt. ...


In some issues of Whiz Bang, Captain Billy wrote about his vacations in Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Paris, along with items about his celebrity friends, including Jack Dempsey, Sinclair Lewis and Ring Lardner. William Harrison Jack Dempsey (June 24, 1895–May 31, 1983) was an American Boxer who held the world heavyweight title between 1919 and 1926, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest champions of all time. ... Sinclair Lewis Sinclair Lewis (February 7, 1885 — January 10, 1951) was an American novelist and playwright. ... Ringgold Wilmer Lardner (March 6, 1885 - September 25, 1933) was an American sports columnist and short story writer best known for his satirical takes on the sports world, marriage, and the theatre. ...


During the 1930s, Fawcett and his sons established a line of magazines which eventually reached a combined circulation of ten million a month in newsstand sales. True Confessions alone had a circulation of two million a month. However, during the World War II paper shortages Fawcett folded 49 magazines and kept only 14. Magazines published by Fawcett over the decades included Battle Stories, Cavalier, Daring Detective, Dynamic Detective, Family Circle, Motion Picture, Movie Story, Rudder (later merged with Sea), Screen Secrets, Secrets, Triple-X Western and True. Woman's Day, added to the line-up in 1948, had a circulation of 6,500,000 by 1965. True Confessions was a magazine published by Fawcett Publications, beginning in the 1920s. ... Cavalier is a magazine launched by Fawcett Publications in 1952 and continuing for decades, eventually evolving into a Playboy-style mens magazine. ... Family Circle is an American womens magazine published 15 times a year by Meredith Corporation. ... John Clymer cover for Womans Day (December, 1942) Womans Day is a magazine, aimed at a female readership, which A & P launched in the 1930s. ...


The flagship of Fawcett magazines was Mechanix Illustrated. It began in the 1920s as Modern Mechanics and Inventions, was retitled Modern Mechanix and Inventions, shortened to Modern Mechanix and then altered to Mechanix Illustrated before it became Home Mechanix in 1984. Acquired by Time Inc., it was retitled yet again to become Today's Homeowner in 1993. The illustrator Norman Saunders became a Fawcett staffer in 1927 after doing some spot illustrations for Fawcett editor Weston "Westy" Farmer, and Saunder's first cover illustration was for the August, 1929 issue of Modern Mechanics and Inventions. He continued to do covers for Fawcett into the 1930s, and when Fawcett opened Manhattan offices in 1934, Saunders and other staffers relocated in New York. Cover of April 1957 Mechanix Illustrated Mechanix Illustrated was an American magazine founded in the first half of the twentieth century to compete against the older Popular Science (magazine) and Popular Mechanics Billed as The How-To-Do Magazine, Mechanix Illustrated (MI) aimed to guide readers through various projects from... Norman Saunders (1907-1989) was a prolific commercial artist who produced paintings for pulp magazines, paperbacks, mens magazines, comic books, and trading cards. ...

Captain Marvel's debut in issue #2.
Captain Marvel's debut in issue #2.

Larry Eisinger, the workshop and science editor of Mechanix Illustrated, spearheaded the national "do-it-yourself" movement as the editor-in-chief of Fawcett's How-To book series and special interest magazines. He created Fawcett's Mechanix Illustrated Do-It-Yourself Encyclopedia and The Practical Handyman's Encyclopedia, which had combined sales of almost 20 million copies. Whiz Comics #2 This image is a book cover. ... Whiz Comics #2 This image is a book cover. ...


After the huge growth during the early 1930s, Fawcett Publications relocated its offices to both New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut in the mid-1930s. Wilford Fawcett's sons continued the expansion of the company after their father's death on February 7, 1940. That same year, the company launched Fawcett Comics, as recalled by circulation director Roscoe Kent Fawcett: "I was responsible, I feel, for Captain Marvel. I got us into the comic book business. I said, 'Give me a Superman, only have his other identity be a 10 or 12-year-old boy rather than a man.' I put Al Allard in charge of coordinating the project with some assistance from editorial director Ralph Daigh." February 7 is the 38th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1940 calendar). ... Whiz Comics #2, the first appearance of Captain Marvel, the companys most popular character. ... For other uses, see Captain Marvel. ...


In 1939, Daigh put the project in the hands of Fawcett staff artist Clarence Calvin Beck and Fawcett editor William Parker. The character they devised, Captain Marvel, was introduced in Whiz Comics #2 (February, 1940) and quickly caught on, moving into his own title, Captain Marvel Adventures, early in 1941. The success prompted spin-off characters, beginning with Captain Marvel Jr. in 1941 and Mary Marvel in 1942. Fawcett's line of comics expanded with such colorful characters as Captain Midnight, Bulletman and Bulletgirl, Nyoka the Jungle Girl and Spy Smasher (who became Crime Smasher after WWII). The circulation of Captain Marvel Adventures continued to soar until it outsold Superman during the mid-1940s. Captain Marvel Jr. had such an impact on Elvis Presley that he borrowed the character's poses, hairstyle and lightning flash chest insignia, as described in Elaine Dundy's biography, Elvis and Gladys. [3] Captain Marvel Jr. ... Mary Marvel is a fictional character, a superhero derived from the DC Comics (formerly Fawcett Comics) character Captain Marvel. ... 1941 Big Little Book Captain Midnight was a U.S. radio serial broadcast from 1938 to 1949. ... Bulletman was a Fawcett Comics superhero created by Bill Parker and Jon Smalle for Nickel Comics #1 in May, 1940. ... Nyoka the Jungle Girl is a Fawcett and later Charlton and AC comic book first published in 1940. ... Spy Smasher (real name Alan Armstrong) is a DC Comics superhero, formerly owned by Fawcett Comics. ... Superman is a fictional character and one of the most famous and popular comic book superheroes of all time. ... Elvis Aron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977), often known simply as Elvis and also called The King of Rock n Roll or simply The King, was an American singer, musician and actor. ... Elaine Dundy Elaine Dundy (born Elaine Brimberg in 1927 in New York City, New York) is an American, actress, journalist, novelist, biographer, and playwright. ...


Gold Medal Books

Fawcett was also an independent newsstand distributor, and in 1949 the company negotiated a contract with New American Library to distribute their Mentor and Signet titles. This contract prohibited Fawcett from becoming a competitor by publishing their own paperback reprints. However, Roscoe Fawcett wanted to establish a line of Fawcett paperbacks, and he felt original paperbacks would not be a violation of the contract. In order to test a loophole in the contract, Fawcett published two anthologies -- The Best of True Magazine and What Today's Woman Should Know About Marriage and Sex -- reprinting material from Fawcett magazines not previously published in books. When these books successfully sailed through the contract loophole, Fawcett announced Gold Medal Books, their line of paperback originals. It was a revolutionary turning point in paperback publishing. Fawcett's editor-in-chief was Ralph Daigh, who had been hired by Captain Billy in 1928, and the art director for Gold Medal was Al Allard, who also had been with Fawcett since 1928. A typical newsstand in New York City. ... New American Library (aka NAL) began publishing paperbacks in the 1940s. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... The term loophole could refer to a number of things: See Embrasure; a slit in a castle wall Loophole (1954 movie) Loophole (1981 movie) for other meaning see Loophole at Wikionary Cash Loopholes ... In addition to their lines of magazines and comic books, Fawcett Publications was also an independent newsstand distributor, and in 1949 the company negotiated a contract with New American Library to distribute their Mentor and Signet titles. ...

Gold Medal's first editor was Jim Bishop, a former Collier's editor later known for his series of best-selling non-fiction titles -- The Day Lincoln Was Shot, The Day Christ Died and The Day Kennedy Was Shot. When Bishop left after a year, he was replaced by William Charles Lengel (1888-1965), a veteran magazine editor, agent, short story author and novelist (Forever and Ever, Candles in the Wind). In February 1951, former Hollywood story editor Richard Carroll signed on as an editor with Gold Medal. Carroll was once described as "the Maxwell Perkins of Gold Medal." Image File history File links Prathervanish. ... November 24, 1917 cover Colliers Weekly was an American magazine that was published between 1888 and 1957. ...


Another early Gold Medal editor was former literary agent Knox Burger, who recalled, "Through its Gold Medal series, Fawcett was able to give many now well-known authors a chance at book publication early in their careers -- among them John D. MacDonald and Kurt Vonnegut. It also gave established writers like William Goldman and MacKinlay Kantor a chance to flex their creative muscles under pseudonyms." John D. MacDonald John Dann MacDonald (July 24, 1916 – December 28, 1986), writing as John D. MacDonald, was an American writer best known for his series of detective novels featuring protagonist Travis McGee. ... Kurt Vonnegut, Jr Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. ... William Goldman (born August 12, 1931) is an American novelist, playwright and two-time Academy Award-winning screenwriter. ... MacKinlay Kantor (1904–1977) was an American novelist and screenwriter who won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1956 for his novel Andersonville. ...


Radcliffe graduate Rona Jaffe, who joined the company in the early 1950s as a file clerk, was promoted to an associate editor position. After four years at Fawcett, she left to pursue a writing career. Her best-selling 1958 novel, The Best of Everything, obviously drawn from her experiences at Fawcett and Gold Medal, was adapted for a 1959 film and a 1970 TV series. At the time of Jaffe's departure from Fawcett in 1955, the new associate editor who stepped in was Leona Nevler, formerly with Little, Brown but best known in 1950s publishing circles as the person who saw the potential of Grace Metalious' best-selling Peyton Place after picking it from the slush pile at publisher Julian Messner. During her 26 years at Fawcett, Nevler became the editorial director in 1972. Rona Jaffe (June 12, 1932 — December 30, 2005) was an American novelist. ... Grace Metalious (1924 - 1964) was an American author, best known for the controversial novel Peyton Place. ... Peyton Place, derived from the 1956 novel by Grace Metalious; a common catch phrase to describe any place known for its sordid atmosphere or nefarious doings. ...


Beginning their numbering system at 101, Gold Medal got underway with Alan Hynd's We Are the Public Enemies, the anthology Man Story (102) and John Flagg's The Persian Cat (103). Writing about the demise of pulp magazines in The Dime Detectives, Ron Goulart observed, "Fawcett dealt another blow to the pulps when, in 1950, it introduced its Gold Medal line. What Gold Medal specialized in was original novels. Some were merely sleazy, but others were in a tough, hard-boiled style that seemed somehow more knowing and more contemporary than that of the surviving pulps. Early Gold Medal authors included John D. MacDonald, Charles Williams and Richard S. Prather." Others were Benjamin Appel, Bruno Fischer, David Goodis, Day Keene, Dan J. Marlowe, Wade Miller, Jim Thompson, Lionel White and Harry Whittington. Charles Williams Charles Williams (August 13, 1909 – ca. ... David Goodis (1917–1967) was a popular American noir writer. ... James Myers Thompson (September 27, 1906, Anadarko, Oklahoma Territory–April 7, 1977, Los Angeles, California) was an American writer of short stories, screenplays and novels, largely of the pulp fiction kind. ...


Interviewed by Ed Gorman in 1984, MacDonald recalled, "In late 1949, I wrote a long pulp novelette. My agent, Joe Shaw, asked me to expand it. I resisted, but complied. I hate puffing things. Cutting is fine. Everything can use cutting. But puffing creates fat. Gold Medal took it for their new line of originals. It was titled The Brass Cupcake." Numbered as Gold Medal 124, The Brass Cupcake was John D. MacDonald's first novel.


Gold Medal 129 was an unusual graphic novel experiment, John Millard's Mansion of Evil, an original color comic book story packaged as a paperback. Other 1950 Gold Medal originals included the Western Stretch Dawson by William R. Burnett and three mystery-adventure novels -- Nude in Mink by Sax Rohmer, I'll Find You by Richard Himmel. After Donald E. Keyhoe's article "Flying Saucers Are Real" in True (January 1950) created a sold-out sensation, with True going back to press for another print run, Keyhoe expanded the article into a top-selling paperback, The Flying Saucers Are Real, published by Fawcett that same year. William Ripley Burnett (November 25, 1899 - April 25, 1982), often credited as W.R. Burnett, is a novelist and screenwriter. ... Arthur Henry Sarsfield Ward (February 15, 1883 - June 1, 1959), better known as Sax Rohmer, was a prolific English novelist. ... Donald Edward Keyhoe (June 20, 1897 - November 29, 1988) was an American Marine Corps officer and writer best remembered for his many books and articles about unidentified flying objects. ...


Sales soared, prompting Ralph Daigh to comment, "In the past six months we have produced 9,020,645 books, and people seem to like them very well." However, hardcover publishers resented Roscoe Fawcett's innovation, as evidenced by Doubleday's LeBaron R. Barker, who claimed that paperback originals could "undermine the whole structure of publishing."


With an increase from 35 titles in 1950 to 66 titles in 1951, Gold Medal's obvious success in issuing paperback originals revolutionized the industry. While Fischer, MacKinley Kantor, Louis L'Amour, John D. MacDonald, Richard Matheson and Richard Prather were joining Gold Medal's roster of writers, other paperback publishers were soon asking agents for original manuscripts. Literary agent Donald MacCampbell stated that one publisher "threatened to boycott my agency if it continued to negotiate contracts with original 25-cent firms." Cover Louis LAmour book, Showdown at Yellow Butte. ... Richard Matheson Richard Burton Matheson (born February 20, 1926) is an American author and screenwriter, typically of fantasy, horror or science fiction. ...


Prather had a bank account of $100 when his wife handed him a telegram from literary agent Scott Meredith on July 7, 1950 indicating his first sale. Although Prather's first novel was unsold, Gold Medal liked his second novel and his Shell Scott character enough to offer a four-book contract, and Prather's Case of the Vanishing Beauty soon set sales records. July 7 is the 188th day of the year (189th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 177 days remaining. ... 1950 (MCML) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ...


In 1950, Bruno Fischer's House of Flesh sold 1,800,212 copies. In 1951, Charles Williams' Hill Girl sold 1,226,890 copies, Gil Brewer's 13 French Street sold 1,200,365 and Cassidy's Girl by David Goodis sold 1,036,497. [4] Authors were attracted to Gold Medal because royalties were based on print runs rather than actual sales, and they received the entire royalty instead of a 50-50 split with a hardback publisher. Gold Medal paid a $2000 advance on an initial print run was for 200,000 copies. When a print run increased to 300,000, the advance was $3000. [5]


Mickey Spillane's I, the Jury paperback bestseller got a huge boost from Fawcett, as Spillane explained to interviewer Michael Carlson: "Now at that time you had to go through hardback. So I wrote I, the Jury and turned it in to E. P. Dutton. It had been rejected by four different publishers, saying no, no, this is too violent, too dirty... and it was picked up by Roscoe Fawcett, Fawcett Publications. He was a distributor, doing comic books, but he saw the potential, and he went to New American Library, which was Signet Books, and he said 'If you print this book, I'll distribute it.' Now they can't get distribution, so it's a win-win thing for them, but they have to get it published in hardback, so they go to Dutton and say if you print this, we'll do the paperback. So now it's win-win-win, and they offer me $250, and I say no, I need a thousand dollars to build a house in Newburgh, so I get a $1,000 advance, which was unheard of. So Roscoe ordered a million copies, and that was unheard of! So somebody in his outfit says, oh, that wasn't what he meant, he must've meant a quarter million. So they bring out a quarter of a million at the wrong time, cause books sell great at Christmas time, but my book came out between Christmas and New Year, which is death, and it went straight to the top, because it was word of mouth, and it's sold out, and Fawcett says get the rest of them out, and the guy says there aren't any more and Roscoe says whaddaya mean, I ordered a million, and a guy got fired!" Frank Morrison Spillane (March 9, 1918 – July 17, 2006), better known as Mickey Spillane, was an American author of crime novels. ... I, The Jury (1947) is Mickey Spillanes (b. ...


In 1952, when their contract with NAL expired, Fawcett immediately began doing reprints through several imprints. Red Seal started April 1952 and published 22 titles before it folded a year later. Launched September 1955, Premier Books offered non-fiction titles, such as The Art of Thinking by Ernest Dimnet. Crest Books, which also started September 1955, spanned all genres with an emphasis on Westerns and humor, including Best Cartoons from True and Lester Grady's Best from Captain Billy's Whiz Bang, and one successful Crest title was their movie tie-in edition of Robert Bloch's Psycho. The managing editor of Crest and Premier was Leona Nevler. Robert Albert Bloch (April 5, 1917, Chicago-September 23, 1994, Los Angeles) was a prolific American writer. ...


Between 1960 and 1993, Gold Medal was the exclusive American publisher of Donald Hamilton's Matt Helm spy novel series. In the early 1960s, John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series got underway after Knox Burger contacted MacDonald: "At the request of Knox Burger, then at Fawcett, I attempted a series character. I took three shots at it to get one book with a character I could stay with. That was in 1964. Once I had the first McGee book, The Deep Blue Good-by, they held it up until I had finished two more, Nightmare in Pink and A Purple Place for Dying, then released one a month for three months. That launched the series." Donald Hamilton (born March 24, 1916) is a U.S. writer of novels, short stories, and non-fiction about the outdoors. ... Matt Helm as depicted on the back cover of The Wrecking Crew, 1960 Matt Helm, a fictional character created by author Donald Hamilton, is a U.S. government counteragent—a man whose primary job is to kill or nullify enemy agents—not a spy or secret agent in the ordinary... The Deep Blue Good-by was the first of 21 novels in the Travis McGee series by American author John D. MacDonald. ...


After his retirement in 1972, Daigh recalled, "From our entrance into the paperback business, we paid authors at a more generous rate than had been the custom. In 1955, when we started the Crest line to reprint hardcover books, we extended this practice to what we offered for softcover rights. It caused quite a sensation in the trade when we paid $101,505 for James Gould Cozzens' By Love Possessed and later $700,000 for James A. Michener's The Source. Giving the author a bigger share of the pie paid off handsomely. However, I gather that the practice has been overdone in recent years and has led to some of the book industry's current troubles." James Gould Cozzens (1903 13 August 1903 - 8 August 1978) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. novelist. ... James Albert Michener (February 3, 1907? - October 16, 1997) was the American author of such books as Tales of the South Pacific (for which he won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1948), Hawaii, The Drifters, Centennial, The Source, The Fires of Spring, Chesapeake, Caribbean, Caravans, Alaska, Texas, and Poland. ...


The Fawcett family

Roscoe Kent Fawcett
Roscoe Kent Fawcett

Captain Billy and Claire Fawcett had four sons and a daughter -- Roger, Wilford, Marion Claire, Gordon Wesley and the youngest, Roscoe. As a boy, Roscoe Kent Fawcett (February 7, 1913-December 23, 1999) attended Minneapolis schools and was assigned tasks such as dusting furniture and beach cleaning at his father's Breezy Point Resort before he became a vice president and circulation manager for the family publishing company. After Captain Billy's death, his sons, including Roscoe Fawcett, managed the Breezy Point Resort for a short time before they sold it. However, Roscoe Fawcett also maintained his own private hunting retreat, the Tsawhawbitts Lodge (pronounced Cha-ha-bich), in Jarbidge, Nevada. This two acre (8,000 m²) riverfront bed and breakfast estate, now valued at $1 million, has 7,500 square feet (700 m²) of living area in three buildings -- the seven-bedroom log house, the guest house with garage and shop, and the party house with full kitchen, bar and barbeque patio. Image File history File links Roscoefawcett. ... Image File history File links Roscoefawcett. ... February 7 is the 38th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Year 1913 (MCMXIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar). ... December 23 is the 357th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (358th in leap years). ... 1999 (MCMXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday, and was designated the International Year of Older Persons by the United Nations. ...


Roscoe Fawcett was a veteran of World War II, serving in the anti-aircraft division of the U.S. Army, and later was in charge of entertainment for Camp Hahn in Riverside, California. He was married twice, had four sons and died at the age of 86 in Brainerd, Minnesota. One of his sons, Roscoe Fawcett Jr., became the publisher of American Fitness magazine. Combatants Major Allied powers: United Kingdom France Soviet Union United States Republic of China and others Major Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Winston Churchill Charles de Gaulle Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Chiang Kai-Shek Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tojo Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian... Current city logo Riverside is the county seat of Riverside County, California, United States and is also a focus city of the Greater Los Angeles Area. ... Brainerd is a city located in Crow Wing County, Minnesota. ...


Born in Minneapolis in 1912, Gordon Fawcett graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1934. He married Vivian Peterson in 1935 and moved to Los Angeles where he was Fawcett Publications' office manager. He held the title of secretary-treasurer when the company moved to Greenwich, Connecticut in 1940, and he was 81 when he died in West Palm Beach, Florida, on January 16, 1993. Gordon Fawcett had four children: Vivian Creigh of Springfield, Vermont, and his three sons, Dennis of Greenwich; David of Stuart, Florida; and Gordon Jr. of San Diego. Fawcett Publications was very much a family affair, as indicated by a list of the company's stockholders: Claire Sue Bagg, James Wesley Bagg, Marion Fawcett Bagg, William Bagg, Gordon W. Fawcett, Helen Aline Fawcett, John Fawcett, John Roger Fawcett, Mary Blair Fawcett, Blair Redding Fawcett, Michael Blair Fawcett, Roger Fawcett, Roscoe K. Fawcett, Marie F. Fawcett, Thomas Knowlton Fawcett, Vivian D. Fawcett, W.H. Fawcett, Jr., W.H. Fawcett III, William Blair Fawcett, Mrs. Virginia Kerr, Mira King, Gloria Fawcett Leary and Mrs. Eva Roberts. Travis Fawcett, living in San Diego, is the son of John Roger Fawcett. Washington Avenue Bridge at night The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, almost always abbreviated U of M, and sometimes referred to as The U by locals, is the oldest and largest part of the University of Minnesota system. ... Location of West Palm Beach in Palm Beach County, Florida. ... January 16 is the 16th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ... Springfield, Vermont Springfield is a town located in Windsor County, Vermont. ...


Fawcett Publications had offices at 67 West 44th Street in Manhattan where vice-president Roger Fawcett liked to show visitors around the publishers' penthouse and serve them drinks dispensed through the gold penis of a nude male statue. The Borough of Manhattan, highlighted in yellow, lies between the East River and the Hudson River. ...



Notes on The Fawcett Family By Roger K. Fawcett 1970


On April 27, 1885, Wilford Hamilton Fawcett was born in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. His was to be a life of fantastic pleasure. Not that it didn’t have a moment here and there of interruption, but his flow of life was always to have a great time. Here today and gone tomorrow!


His parents, Maria B. Neilson and Dr. John Fawcett gave birth to eight children – six boys and two girls of which Wilford was the third born. John W. Fawcett, the firstborn was a newspaper reporter for the Chicago Tribune when at the age of 30, was killed in an automobile crash. Gordon only lived two years. Roscoe the fourth born pretty much ran the publishing business from 1923 to 1936 for his older brother, who was off on an African Safari, around the world by boat for months, etc.


The fifth and sixth children were the two girls, Margaret and Eva. Margaret begot two girls and Eva two sons and one girl. Although both mothers are now gone, all the children are wise and healthy.


Clarence Fawcett was the only child that didn’t match up. All the others were quite successful in life. He was a streetcar motorman in Portland, Oregon. Had two sons, Leland and Robert. One became a supermarket manager and the other opted for a career in the Army Air Force.


Harvey, the youngest and really smart – too smart for his own good – became father’s business manager until my old man found him taking a dollar commission for each ton of paper purchased. Fired he was. Harvey then successfully published a magazine called “The Calgary Eye Opener.”


My younger son, Tom, asked me a year or so ago if his grandfather was a genius. I answered no but he was brilliant. I also said that Tom’s great grandfather, Dr. John, was a near genius if not one. He not only was a doctor of medicine, incidentally, he brought me into this world, but he plied the first steamship on the Red River of the North bringing wheat from Winnipeg, Manitoba to Fargo, North Dakota from which the wheat was taken to Minneapolis by rail to be processed.


Dr. John was also Superintendent of all schools in Winnipeg for several years. He had on the drawing board an airplane before the Wright Brothers but a trip to England failed to secure the needed financing.


Maybe his most memorable undertaking was organizing 150 men to travel over land to Alaska from Ontario during the gold rush. It was doomed to failure. About two thirds of the way, the caravan encountered forty degree below weather, heavy snows and hurricane winds. Before the expedition retraced their steps, about 25 men were already lost, another 30 died before reaching their Ontario homes.


In keeping with his flamboyant personality, Wilford ran away from home at the age of sixteen to enlist in the N.A. Army which was then involved in the Philippine insurrection. He had to lie about his age as the requirements were eighteen years. At this time the family lived in Grand Forks, North Dakota.


In no time at all, the young soldier was on the way by ship to Mindanao, Philippines. The war lasted about two years but father was discharged six months early due to a bad wound in his right leg that became infected and the curing of same was beyond the ability of the army doctors. He was also uncomfortable due to a bad case of dysentery. The year was 1900.


Wilford left the Philippines by ship to San Francisco determined to have a last fling before the infection proved fatal. He had $5,000 cash comfortably in his pocket. This as a result, when off duty, making moonshine up in the hills to be easily sold to his fellow soldiers and $5,000 in those days is equivalent to roughly $50,000 now.


After landing in San Francisco, he journeyed around the South and finally landed in New Orleans, Louisiana. While shooting the bull in a bar one night, it was suggested he contact a country doctor a few miles out of the city. It was said that the man had great success with infections using mostly a variety of herbs. Of course he would try anything and sure enough in a few treatments over two weeks was fully cured. By this time though, most of his $5,000 had been used up. Wilford decided to hitchhike for home in North Dakota. Took about 5 days and he arrived home in darkness afraid to confront his father, who I understand was quite a stern taskmaster. The first night was spent in the haystack in the family barn.


As morning arrived, he saw his brother Roscoe outside and motioned him to the barn. After interrogation, Roscoe convinced his older brother that their father had long forgiven Bill and was actually somewhat proud of one who would join the army at a tender age. So, the reunion was joyfully made.


That fall, Wilford returned to finish high school and became the standout football player in Grand Forks. He was a 180lb running halfback who led the team to the North Dakota State Championship. North and South Dakota were always fiercely competitive so a game with South Dakota’s champs was arranged to be played in Sioux Falls. At my father’s urging, his team bet all the money they had upon North Dakota. It was no contest. The score was 48-0 and the star was “Chinaman” Fawcett. His teammates hung the nickname on him.


The team was not to return North until the next day. So, with their new found money, a night on the town was a sure thing. It wound up in the local whorehouse where a good time was had by all. But the coaches heard about the escapade and reported to the school principal, who notified the parents and banished the players for one week. Father also said it was well worth it. He believed the coaches were just jealous that they were not invited along.


Father married Viva Claire Meyers, from the small town of Hawarden, Iowa in 1906 at the age of 21. Mother was the same age. The marriage produced five children – Marion and Wilford, Jr., twins, Roger, Gordan and Roscoe in that order. This union lasted about twelve years and father had two more marriages – Mother none. We children lived with Mother nine months of the year and Father the three months of school’s summer vacation.


Wilford enlisted at Fort Snelling, St. Paul for World War I and spent the duration at Camp Georgia. He rose to the rank of Captain where his name, Captain Billy came from. As he had been a reporter on the Mineapolis Tribune, he liked to write and it was in his blood. Incidentally, Flloyd Gibbons, who wore a patch over one eye, was on the paper at the same time. He was fired and then landed a job on the Chicago Tribune who later sent him to Europe as a war correspondent where he became.


(Roger stopped writing here and did not get back to this as he had cancer).


Acquisition and recent history

A declining comics market in the 1950s, along with a major lawsuit (National Comics Publications v. Fawcett Publications), resulted in Fawcett folding its line of comic books. Lash Larue, Nyoka, Strange Suspense Stories and other titles were sold to Charlton Comics. In 1972, after licensing Captain Marvel and featuring him in new stories, DC Comics purchased the Marvel Family and related characters in 1991. Holdings Fawcett Publications Captain Marvel comic strips proven to have plagiarized those of National Comics Superman character. ... Big C logo, used from Sept. ...


In 1970, Fawcett acquired Popular Library and renamed it Fawcett Books. Fawcett Publications was bought by CBS in 1977 for $50 million. When Ballantine Books (a division of Random House) acquired Fawcett Books in 1982, it inherited a mass market paperback list with such authors as William Bernhardt, Amanda Cross, Stephen Frey, P.D. James, William X. Kienzle, Anne Perry, Daniel Silva, Peter Straub and Margaret Truman. Fawcett also became the official home of Ballantine's mass market mystery program. Popular Library was a paperback book company established by Ned Pines in 1942, who at the time was a major pulp magazine publisher. ... CBS (an abbreviation for Columbia Broadcasting System, its former legal name) is one of the largest television networks, and formerly one of the largest radio networks, in the United States. ... Ballantine Books, founded in 1952 by Ian Ballantine, is a major book publisher and is currently owned by Random House. ... Random House is a publishing division of the German media conglomerate Bertelsmann based in New York City. ... Phyllis Dorothy James, Baroness James of Holland Park (born 3 August 1920 in Oxford) is a British writer of crime fiction and member of the House of Lords. ... Anne Perry (born October 28, 1938), born Juliet Hulme in England, is a British historical novelist and convicted murderer (see also Parker-Hulme Murder). ... Peter Francis Straub, born March 2, 1943 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is a writer of fiction and poetry, best known as a prolific horror author. ... Margaret Truman on cover of February 26, 1951, issue of Time Magazine Mary Margaret Truman Daniel (born February 17, 1924 in Independence, Missouri) is an American writer and the author of biographies, books on the White House and several best-selling mystery novels. ...


An annual four-day festival held in Robbinsdale, Minnesota is Whiz Bang Days. [6] Robbinsdale's city celebration, recalling the glory years of Fawcett Publications, began during World War II. The original Fawcett Publications building, which remained standing in Robbinsdale for decades, was torn down during the mid-1990s. It was located at what is now the terrace for Robbinsdale's "Thistles" Restaurant (4168 West Broadway Avenue). Robbinsdale is a city in Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States. ...


Footnotes

References

  • Dundy, Elaine. Elvis and Gladys. Macmillan, 1985. ISBN 1-57806-634-4
  • Gorman, Ed. Mystery File: John D. MacDonald
  • Hamerlinck, P.C., editor. Fawcett Companion. TwoMorrows Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-893905-10-1
  • Thomas, Roy. "Captain Billy's Whiz Gang," The Best of Xero. Tachyon Publications, 2004. ISBN 1-892391-11-2
  • Walters, Ray. "Paperback Talk," New York Times (April 11, 1982).
  • Fawcett, Travis "Notes on The Fawcett Family", 'Roger K. Fawcett' [1](January 8th, 2007)

TwoMorrows Publishing is a publisher of magazines about comic books. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Index to Comic Art Collection: "Fawcett Publications" (A-Z titles) (3247 words)
Ibis, the Invincible [microform] -- Greenwich, Conn. : Fawcett Publications, 1943-1948.
Ibis the Invincible [microform] -- Greenwich, Conn. : Fawcett, 1943-1948.
Lance O'Casey [microform] -- Greenwich, Conn. : Fawcett Publications, 1946-1948.
Fawcett Comics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (354 words)
Fawcett Comics, a subsidiary of Fawcett Publications, was one of several successful comics publishers during the Golden Age of Comic Books in the 1940s.
Its most popular character was Captain Marvel (not to be confused with Marvel Comics' character of the same name), the alter ego of boy radio reporter Billy Batson, who transformed into the hero whenever he spoke the magic word "SHAZAM!".
Fawcett Publications began in 1919 with the magazine Captain Billy's Whiz Bang and eventually expanded into a line of periodicals with a combined circulation of ten million a month.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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