The notion behind this series seems solid enough: have readers send in actual stories about exciting experiences, which would then be illustrated. Sadly, it seems there was a dearth of thrilling experiences among the readers of this comic. The best thing about the series, viewed from our eyes (ok, my eyes) is the perspective into life in the 1930s, which seems largely rural.
The series does not have an auspicious beginning, with a tale about riding in a mule-driven wagon when a storm breaks out. The mule does die, apparently of fright, but the writer does not actually see that. The line about “going 16 miles on a wagon over lonesome rough country roads was a thrilling adventure” does not send chills up my spine.
As the series continues, with stories about overturned rowboats and cattle out of control, I felt that though the stories were true, they were certainly not thrilling.
But then, with issue 19, I began to doubt the whole basis of this series. It relates another relatively unexciting episode, with a horse getting stuck in the mud, but ends by mentioning that twenty-five year later the hero of the tale was working on a Chicago newspaper. And, I would suspect, went from there to writing comic books.
I realized that NONE of the stories cited the name or location of the child who had supposedly related the events. It’s inconceivable that this would not be included. The text pages of the comics in this period are rife with names of children who have joined fan clubs – of course the children’s names would be attached to their stories – unless no stories were sent in that were worth illustrating.
In less than a year this strip was abandoned, and I am glad.
Thrilling True Stories: More Fun 13 (Sep 36), 15 – 20 (Nov 36 – May 37), 23 (Aug 37)