and again with movies and TV productions; but he had another really long-running series character that few remember today: Thubway Tham, who appeared in (if we've counted
right) 142 stories from 1918 all the way to 1960 [data from FictionMags].
McCulley defined what a pulp writer should be in those days as he churned out reams of highly readable multi-genre copy for the pulps and the slicks (the FictionMags listing runs
to six pages). In addition to "the fox" and the subway dip, he had other series characters: Dawson Clade ("The Bat") under a house name; El Torbellino ("The Whirlwind"); the Mongoose (Detective Fiction Weekly); the Spider, John Flatchley ("The Thunderbolt"),
Black Star, The Avenging Twins, Speed Sparke, Richard Staegel, Delton Prouse ("The Crimson Clown"), and Terry Trimble (Detective Story Magazine); Danny Blaney ("The
Green Ghost") (Thrilling Detective); James Peters ("The Rollicking Rogue") (All Star Detective); Peanut Pete (Clues); and Doctor Quartz (with McCulley writing as "Nick
"Thubway Tham's Thanksgiving Dinner."
By Johnston McCulley (1883-1958).
First appearance: Detective Story, November 26, 1918.
Reprinted in Best Detective Magazine, November 1931.
Short short story (6 pages).
Online at Pulpgen (HERE).
"It appears that about every time you take a ride in the subway, some gentleman of means reports that his pocket-book is unaccountably missing."Call it a generous impulse or call it self-pity, but Thubway Tham, the subway pickpocket, promises to buy a bunch of newsies a Thanksgiving dinner, only he doesn't have the moolah—and, of course, there's Detective Craddock constantly breathing down his neck. What's a mild-mannered dip to do?
Resources:- There's more about Johnston McCulley at Wikipedia (HERE), and about Thubway Tham (HERE) and the GAD Wiki (HERE); the IMDb listing (HERE) shows that Zorro got all the attention from Tinseltown, with no visible credits for Tham.
HERE), Mystery Fanfare (HERE), and Mystery Sequels (HERE).
The bottom line:
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