Although PulpFest 2015 is still over six months off, do not despair. There are other collectors conventions fast approaching. For instance, on Sunday, March 22nd, the Los Angeles Vintage Paperback Collectors Show will take place in the Glendale Civic Auditorium at 1401 North Verdugo Road in Glendale, California from 9 AM to 4 PM. It’s still the best bargain in town, featuring an admission price of five bucks!
Now in its 36th year, this convention was started by Tom Lesser, who invited dealers, fellow collectors and paperback enthusiasts to his home in Chatworth, California in 1980. Since then, it has grown to be the world’s largest vintage paperback gathering. This year’s show will feature more than 80 dealer tables with tens of thousands of vintage paperbacks for sale, from inexpensive filler copies to the most elusive and rare collectibles in the hobby. In addition to collectible paperbacks, you’ll also find pulp magazines, original illustration art, hardbound science fiction and mystery books, and more. There is no telling what might show up!
Over the years, an important attraction of the show has been its exciting roster of guest authors and artists. It has included such notables as Robert Bloch (18 years); A. E. Van Vogt , Ray Bradbury, Poul Anderson, and Fredrik Pohl (all for over 10 years); and the show’s champ, William F. Nolan (with over 30 years of appearances). This year the show will feature approximately fifty guests who will be available to meet the attendees and sign their works for free! Click here for a schedule of this year’s guest writers and artists.
For additional information on this great collectors gathering, click here to visit the Los Angeles Vintage Paperback Collectors Show website or call Tom Lesser at 818-349-3844. And while you’re at the show, be sure to pick up a PulpFest 2015 post card to learn more about this summer’s tremendous pulp con, taking place from August 13th through the 16th at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus, Ohio.
(The show’s characteristic poster images were originally designed by the late Glenn Souza, starting in the early 1990s and continued by him through 2007, when he handed on his legacy to Tony Gleeson.)
Ninety years ago today, Edmund Alexander Emshwiller was born in Lansing, Michigan. Although known primarily for his work composed for the digest and paperback markets, “Emsh” created a few covers for pulp magazines such as the Winter 1955 issue of THRILLING WONDER STORIES, pictured here. The bulk of his work for the pulp market consisted of interior illustrations for AMAZING STORIES, ASTOUNDING SCIENCE-FICTION, FANTASTIC STORY MAGAZINE, FUTURE SCIENCE FICTION, SPACE STORIES, STARTLING STORIES, and the aforementioned THRILLING WONDER.
PulpFest will be saluting Standard Magazines–publisher of FANTASTIC STORY, SPACE STORIES, STARTLING, and THRILLING WONDER–at its 2015 convention. Be sure to join the celebration beginning on Thursday, August 13th and running through Sunday, August 16th at the beautiful Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Start planning now to attend PulpFest 2015 and join hundreds of pulp fiction fans at the pop-culture center of the universe! You can book a room by clicking here or call 1-888-421-1442. We hope to see you in August.
(Thanks to David Saunders of The Field Guide to Wild American Pulp Artists for helping us to keep our facts straight and for the THRILLING WONDER image. If you’ve never been to David’s site, you owe yourself a visit.)
Every year, PulpFest recognizes the efforts of those who work to keep the pulps alive for this and future generations through its Munsey Award (pictured at left). Named after Frank A. Munsey, the man who published the first pulp magazine, this annual award recognizes an individual who has given of himself or herself for the betterment of the pulp community, be it through disseminating knowledge about the pulps or through publishing or other efforts to preserve and to foster interest in the pulp magazines we all love and enjoy. Nominations for the 2015 Munsey are now being accepted. All members of the pulp community, whether they plan to attend PulpFest 2015 or not, are welcome to nominate a deserving person for this year’s award.
You can also nominate someone for the Rusty Hevelin Service Award. Initiated in 2012, this award is designed to recognize those persons who have worked long and hard for the pulp community with little thought for individual recognition. It is meant to reward especially good works, and is thus reserved for only those individuals who are most deserving.
Last year’s winners were J. Randolph Cox, who received the 2014 Munsey Award and J. Barry Traylor, recipient of the 2014 Rusty Hevelin Service Award. You can read about both gentleman by clicking here.
If you have someone in mind that you feel worthy to receive either of these prestigious awards, please let us know. All members of the pulp community, excepting past winners of the Munsey, Hevelin, or Lamont Awards (which had been awarded by Pulpcon), are eligible. Please send the person’s name and a brief paragraph describing why you feel that person should be honored to Mike Chomko, 2217 W. Fairview Street, Allentown, PA 18104-6542 or to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for nominations is May 31, 2015. The recipient of the Munsey and/or Rusty Hevelin Service Award will be selected by a panel of judges consisting of recognized experts in the pulp field. The award will be presented on August 15th, during the convention’s evening programming.
The Munsey Award was created by artist David Saunders, the son of legendary illustrator Norman Saunders. Dan Zimmer of The Illustrated Press and publisher of Illustration Magazine has produced a limited edition of thirty-six numbered and signed prints. The PulpFest Committee is indebted to both David and Dan for their generous support of our convention.
James Machin, a PhD student at Birkbeck, University of London, while working on a thesis on early weird fiction, circa 1880 to 1914, has located a letter dated February 2, 1924. It was written by H. P. Lovecraft to J. C. Henneberger, the publisher of WEIRD TALES. Soon after the letter was written, Henneberger offered Lovecraft the editorship of his Chicago-based pulp magazine.
Lovecraft’s letter was found in a folder of theatrical ephemera in the archives of the Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin. You can read about Machin’s discovery and view a scan of the letter by clicking here.
PulpFest 2015 will be exploring Lovecraft’s relationship with “The Unique Magazine” as part of its celebration of the 125th birthday of the 20th century’s leading practitioner of weird fiction writing. Click here to learn more details.
(Many thanks to Sam Gafford for drawing attention to this recent rediscovery. Sam writes about William Hope Hodgson, author of the novels THE NIGHT LAND, THE HOUSE ON THE BORDERLAND, THE GHOST PIRATES and THE BOATS OF THE “GLEN CARRIG,” at https://williamhopehodgson.wordpress.com/.)
This summer, PulpFest 2015 will salute Ned Pines’ Standard Magazines, also known as Beacon Magazines, Best Books, Better Publications, Nedor Publishing, and others. It’s most widely known by its nickname, the “Thrilling Group,” bestowed upon it for its use of the word “Thrilling” in many of its titles.
One of the leading publishers of the pulp era, Pines began operations during the Roaring Twenties. In the early years of the Great Depression, he was asked by The American News Company to start a chain of pulp magazines that it would distribute for him. Hiring former literary agent and Frank A. Munsey employee, Leo Margulies, to be his managing editor, Pines launched THRILLING DETECTIVE, THRILLING ADVENTURES, and THRILLING LOVE in late 1931, each selling for a dime. Within two years, the line was expanding, first with THE PHANTOM DETECTIVE, and soon thereafter with THE LONE EAGLE, SKY FIGHTERS, THRILLING RANCH STORIES, and THRILLING WESTERN.
Between 1931 and 1958, Pines published more than seventy rough-paper magazines. His titles included ARMY-NAVY FLYING STORIES, BLACK BOOK DETECTIVE MAGAZINE, CAPTAIN FUTURE, DETECTIVE NOVELS MAGAZINE, EXCITING LOVE, EXCITING NAVY STORIES, FANTASTIC STORY QUARTERLY, FIVE SPORTS CLASSICS MAGAZINE, THE GHOST SUPER-DETECTIVE, GIANT WESTERN, G-MEN, HOPALONG CASSIDY’S WESTERN MAGAZINE, THE MASKED DETECTIVE, MASKED RIDER WESTERN, POPULAR BASEBALL, POPULAR DETECTIVE, POPULAR FOOTBALL, POPULAR ROMANCES, R.A.F. ACES, RANGE RIDERS, THE RIO KID WESTERN, RODEO ROMANCES, STARTLING STORIES, STRANGE STORIES, TEXAS RANGERS, THRILLING CONFESSIONS, THRILLING FOOTBALL STORIES, THRILLING MYSTERY, THRILLING WONDER STORIES, TOP DETECTIVE ANNUAL, TRIPLE WESTERN, and WEST. In 1939 Pines debuted a couple of comic book lines, publishing AMERICA’S BEST COMICS, THE BLACK TERROR, COO COO COMICS, EXCITING COMICS, THE FIGHTING YANK, HAPPY COMICS, NEW ROMANCES, REAL LIFE COMICS, SUPERMOUSE, THRILLING COMICS, and many other titles through 1956. Paperback books under the Popular Library banner were added to the mix in 1942. They were still being published in 1977 when the company was purchased by CBS.
Although many pulp collectors find much of the fiction published by the Thrilling line to be somewhat bland, average, or “run-of-the-mill,” they often find the cover art to be quite striking. So why are we celebrating Standard Magazines in 2015? The pulp line, after all, turns 84 this year. That’s hardly a sexy anniversary. However, many leading figures in the history of Pines Publishing have notable anniversaries in 2015: Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, THRILLING ADVENTURES writer and creator of the first comic book is 125; Tom Curry, western writer and creator of The Rio Kid, and Leo Margulies, managing editor of the “Thrilling Group,” are 115; Norman Daniels, who created the Black Bat and wrote many Phantom Detective, Candid Camera Kid, and Masked Detective stories, and Thrilling publisher Ned Pines are 110; and Mort Weisinger, editor of CAPTAIN FUTURE and other Thrilling magazines, as well as editor of the Superman books for DC Comics, and Leigh Brackett and Henry Kuttner, both noted writers for Standard’s line of science-fiction pulps, are 100 years old. That’s eight reasons to make 2015 the year for Standard Magazines.
So here’s your chance to wish all these giants a “happy birthday” as PulpFest 2015 pays tribute to this leading pulp magazine publisher. The action begins on Thursday evening, August 13th and runs through Sunday, August 16th at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Click here to learn how to register for “Summer’s Great Pulp Con” and join your friends at the “pop culture center of the universe” for a salute to Ned Pines and the “Thrilling Group!”
(To learn more about Ned Pines and Standard Magazines, pick up a copy of THRILLING DETECTIVE HEROES, edited by John Locke & John Wooley, published by Adventure House, one of the leading purveyors of pulps and pulp reprints. It’s available for $20.)
(Pictured above are the first issue of THRILLING DETECTIVE, dated November 1931 and featuring artwork by J. George Janes; the first issue of THRILLING COMICS, dated February 1940 and featuring cover artwork by Alexander Kostuk; and the first issue of DC Comics ACTION COMICS, dated June 1938, and featuring cover artwork by Joe Shuster and the initial appearance of Superman.)