Pulp AdventureCon — Autumn’s Great Pulp Con

Oct 19, 2015 by

Pulp AdventureCon

On the first Saturday of November, fall’s great pulp con returns to Bordentown, New Jersey, for another grand convention. At last year’s Pulp AdventureCon, Robert Gould — son of pulp artist John Fleming Gould — visited and brought several magnificent pieces of original artwork for display and sale. Brendan Faulkner had his usual extensive selection of vintage movies, some of which are so rare the actors and crew don’t even remember them! Gary Lovisi, the leader at Gryphon Books and hand-on-the-crank at PAPERBACK PARADE magazine, had his usual fine publications, and John Gunnison of Adventure House had his usual extensive stock of vintage and rare pulp magazines. Mala Mastroberte, our favorite pin-up model, was present — and that’s good enough for us — but Mala also had a selection of photos, books, and postcards.

Located in the Ramada Inn of Bordentown, just off exit 7 of the New Jersey TurnpikePulp AdventureCon is a one-day show that features an afternoon of pawing through boxes of pulp magazines, vintage paperbacks, vintage movie memoribilia, golden age comics and more! You’ll find fifty tables of swell swag at this show. For further details, sign up for the convention’s mailing list by visiting http://boldventurepress.us10.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=895b936a0770f2ab003d81f30&id=ea92fbffc6.

Hopefully, conventions such as Pulp AdventureCon will keep you satisfied until the big one — PulpFest 2016 — takes place at the Hyatt Regency Columbus from  July 21 – 24, 2016. We’ll try to keep you posted about such conventions in the months ahead.

(The Pulp AdventureCon banner features the artwork of Robert A. Maguire, the twentieth-century American illustrator and fine artist known primarily for his crime noir paperback cover art. Between 1950 and his death in 2005, Maguire created over 600 covers for such publishers as Pocket, Dell, Ace, Harper, Avon, Silhouette, Ballantine, Pyramid, Bantam, Lion, Berkeley, Beacon and Monarch.)

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George and Jerome Rozen at 120

Oct 15, 2015 by

Shadow33-08-01Born nearly 120 years ago on October 16, 1895, George Rozen and his twin brother, Jerome, were both pulp artists. George’s first published assignments were covers and interior pen-and-ink story illustrations for Fawcett magazines. In 1931, he replaced his brother as the cover artist for THE SHADOW MAGAZINE. George Rozen became the Street & Smith pulp’s most renowned cover artist, while his brother branched into the more prestigious fields of advertising and slick magazines.

As time passed, George Rozen continued to work for the pulp industry, selling cover art to all of the major publishers including Popular and the Thrilling Group. For Ned Pines, Rozen painted adventure, detective, western, war, and even science-fiction covers, including the first issue of CAPTAIN FUTURE, dated January 1940. As the pulp market began to contract, his work was increasingly found on paperbacks from Popular Library and Ace. In later years, he worked as an art instructor at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio.

Jerome Rozen preceded his twin brother, George, into the world of illustration. After working as an art instructor in Chicago, he moved to New York and began selling interior pen and ink story illustrations to Fawcett. His first covers appeared on BATTLE STORIES, COMPLETE STORIES, THE POPULAR MAGAZINE, WAR BIRDS, WESTERN STORY MAGAZINE, and other pulps. In 1931, he painted the covers for the first four issues of Street & Smith’s THE SHADOW MAGAZINE. Although he continued to work for the pulp industry throughout the thirties, contributing a number of classic covers for Popular’s THE MYSTERIOUS WU FANG as well as other pulps, the bulk of Jerome’s work was now done for the advertising and slick magazine markets.

Following a traffic accident in 1938, Jerome renewed his art career through the pulp market, selling covers to TEN DETECTIVE ACES, THRILLING ADVENTURES, WESTERN ACES, and other magazines. Soon thereafter, he was back in the advertising field and selling to slick magazines such as BOY’S LIFE and LOOK MAGAZINE. In 1978 he was rediscovered by fans of pulp magazines and was commissioned to recreate several of his classic pulp paintings.

PulpFest seeks to draw attention to the profound effect that the pulps had on American popular culture, reverberating through a wide variety of mediums — comic books, movies, paperbacks and genre fiction, television, men’s adventure magazines, radio drama, and even video and role-playing games. Planned as the summertime destination for fans and collectors of vintage popular fiction and related materials, PulpFest honors pulp fiction and pulp art by drawing attention to the many ways the magazines and their creators — people like George and Jerome Rozen — have inspired writers, artists, film directors, software developers, game designers, and other creators over the decades.

Join PulpFest 2016 to be part of this great celebration of American popular culture. Start making your plans right now to join the 45th convening of “Summer’s Great Pulp Con” in 2016. It will take place July 21 – 24 at the Hyatt Regency Columbus.

(George Rozen’s painting for the August 1, 1933 issue of THE SHADOW MAGAZINE is perhaps one of the most iconic images of Walter Gibson’s “Dark Avenger.”)

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100 Years of the Specialty Pulp

Oct 8, 2015 by

Detective Story 1915-10-05Although it’s not as widely collected as its successors — magazines such as BLACK MASK and DIME DETECTIVE — Street & Smith’s DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE was a trailblazer. Its debut issue, dated October 5, 1915, was the first pulp magazine successfully dedicated to one fiction genre. Its first editor, Frank E. Blackwell, explained in an early issue, “I feel that stories dealing with the detection of crime are of more interest to the reading public than any others.” Many more specialty pulps would follow in the ensuing years, culminating in single-character magazines such as THE SHADOW or DOC SAVAGE MAGAZINE.

DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE was a continuation of the nickel weekly, NICK CARTER STORIES, in which the first part of the lead story of the new pulp — “The Yellow Label” — had appeared. According to dime novel and story paper expert, J. Randolph Cox, “The intent was to transfer the reading public of Nick Carter’s adventures over to a more adult and sophisticated fiction magazine.” Judging from its long life — DETECTIVE STORY would run for thirty-four years, from October 5, 1915 through the Summer of 1949, a total of 1,057 issues — Street & Smith’s intent was very ably achieved.

Unlike its highly prized successors — particularly BLACK MASK, the magazine where the hard-boiled detective story first took shape — DETECTIVE STORY emphasized the more traditional or “clued” detective story. Carolyn Wells, Ernest M. Poate, Arthur B. Reeve, Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Ellery Queen, and others all wrote stories along the traditional line, while Edgar Wallace, J. S. Fletcher, Johnston McCulley, Christopher Booth, Herman Landon, and more offered tales of rogue or “bent” heroes. Sax Rohmer was also a contributor to the magazine, introducing the “yellow peril” theme to the magazine’s mix. In later years, the fiction took on a more realistic tone, resembling the stories found in ELLERY QUEEN’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE, the mystery digest that had debuted during the second half of 1941.

Although DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE did little to further the development of the detective or crime story, its success would lead to a proliferation of pulp magazines devoted to a single theme or genre. According to the late pulp and science-fiction scholar Sam Moskowitz, “While not the first of the specialized fiction magazines, being preceded by THE OCEAN and THE RAILROAD MAN’S MAGAZINE, it accomplished what they had not by creating a trend that would result in the proliferation of the pulps into western, love, air, science fiction, and supernatural, as well as detective.” Likewise in 1931, the CBS radio series inspired by the magazine’s fiction, DETECTIVE STORY HOUR, would introduce the public to The Shadow, the announcer for each episode. Soon thereafter, Street & Smith would launch THE SHADOW DETECTIVE MAGAZINE, and the single-character pulp would be born.

In 2016, PulpFest intends to salute one-hundred years of the specialty pulp, first popularized during the fall of 1915, when DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE premiered. Join us at the Hyatt Regency Columbus from  July 21 – 24, 2016. It should be a very special convention!

(The first issue of DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE featured front cover art by John A. Coughlin, a Chicago-born artist who got his start in his home town’s advertising business. Coughlin moved to New York City in 1912 and painted his first pulp cover a year later — for Street & Smith’s THE POPULAR MAGAZINE. Other pulp clients included ARGOSY, DETECTIVE FICTION WEEKLY, SHORT STORIES, TOP-NOTCH, and WILD WEST WEEKLY. He also contributed cover art for HARPER’S WEEKLY, FARM AND FIRESIDE MAGAZINE, and THE SATURDAY EVENING POST. According to pulp art scholar David Saunders, Coughlin’s cover for the March 7, 1931 issue of DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE marks the first painted appearance of The Shadow on a pulp magazine.)

Happy Halloween from Our Sponsors

Oct 1, 2015 by

Detective Story 31-02-07 HalloweenEvery year, PulpFest invests a lot of time, thought, and effort to come up with a top-notch programming schedule. We think 2015 was one of our best yet. Our celebration of Standard Magazines had presentations on a wide range of topics, including looks at sports and western pulps, once popular genres that are little explored. We even touched on Standard’s line of Golden Age comic books. Of course, the highlight of our “Thrilling” salute was Philip Sherman’s intimate presentation on his uncle, Leo Margulies, the managing editor of the Standard line of pulp magazines.

This year also marked the 125th birthday of H. P. Lovecraft, the master of cosmic horror. PulpFest celebrated this important anniversary with panels on the author’s so-called “Cthulhu Mythos” and WEIRD TALES, the pulp magazine where the bulk of his work appeared. We also featured films that were inspired by Lovecraft’s fiction as well as presentations featuring WEIRD TALES artists and authors inspired by his tales.

We kept you apprised about all these exciting topics through our website and social media sites and we’ll continue to do so as we plan for our 2016 convention, scheduled to take place from July 21 – 24 at the Hyatt Regency Columbus and The Greater Columbus Convention Center. But such things cost money and we have site sponsors such as PureCostumes.com to thank for their help to defray such costs.

The PulpFest organizing committee is now hard at work, planning for next year’s convention. In the months ahead, we’ll be redesigning our website for another go-round and announcing our plans right here, thanks to PureCostumes.com and our other site sponsors. So please bookmark www.pulpfest.com or follow us on RSS. You’ll also be able to find information at our Facebook site and through our Twitter account. Additionally, we’re in the process of adding Instagram and Tumblr accounts and reviving our email update list. All aboard!!!

(Although John A. Coughlin’s depiction of the grim reaper appeared on the February 7, 1931 issue of Street & Smith’s DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE, we could not resist using it for this year’s Halloween post. It’s a good one, don’t you think? Notice the blurb for the contest to describe The Shadow who, at the time, was the announcer for the CBS radio series, DETECTIVE STORY HOUR. The direct result of this advertising campaign was the first of the single-character pulp magazines, THE SHADOW DETECTIVE MAGAZINE. Its success would lead to the hero pulp explosion of 1933 and all of the great character pulps to follow.)

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Have a Bronze October at Doc Con XVIII

Sep 28, 2015 by


This year marks the 40th anniversary of DOC SAVAGE: THE MAN OF BRONZE, producer George Pal’s film adaptation of the Street & Smith pulp hero’s first adventure.

To celebrate, Doc Con XVIII has lined up a very special guest: actor Ron Ely, who starred as the Man of Bronze in the 1975 film. (He also played another pulp character, Tarzan, for two seasons on TV in the 1960s.) Ely will talk about the movie and be available for photos and autographs.

Other guests will include Bob Larkin, who painted more than 50 covers for Bantam’s Doc Savage paperback series; Anthony Tollin, publisher of Sanctum Books, who expects to finish reprinting all of the Doc Savage novels by the end of the year; and sociologist October Surprise, who has studied the readership of DOC SAVAGE MAGAZINE through its letter columns.

Doc Con XVIII will be Friday through Sunday, Oct. 9-11, 2015, at the Comfort Suites, 9824 W. Camelback Rd., Glendale, Ariz. You can find out more about Doc Con on its Facebook page, or by emailing Jay Ryan at JRyanDS@aol.com.

A Great Deal on THE PULPSTER

Sep 25, 2015 by

The-Pulpster-24-coverInterested in buying a copy of THE PULPSTER #24, our Lovecraft issue? Highlighted by a round-robin article on H. P. Lovecraft and WEIRD TALES with contributions from filmmaker Sean Branney; Marvin Kaye, the current editor of WEIRD TALES; W. Paul Ganley, founder of WEIRDBOOK; Derrick Hussey, the publisher at Hippocampus Press; authors Jason Brock, Ramsey Campbell, Cody Goodfellow, Nick Mamatas, Tim Powers, Wilum Pugmire, Jessica Amanda Salmonson, Darrell Schweitzer, and Chet Williamson; poet Fred Phillips; and pulp scholars and collectors John Haefele, Don Herron, Morgan Holmes, S. T. Joshi, Tom Krabacher, Rick Lai, Will Murray, and J. Barry Traylor, it’s truly a slam-bang issue from the esteemed editor of our highly popular program book, William Lampkin. With less than forty copies remaining, it’s quickly disappearing.

For a limited time, you can get free shipping on THE PULPSTER #24 if you pair it with an order for a copy of THE PULPSTER #23, released at PulpFest 2014That number focuses on the 75th anniversary of the blossoming of science fiction’s Golden Age, when fantastic fiction “grew up.” Additionally, the magazine also examines the so-called “shudder pulps,” magazines such as Terror Tales and Spicy Mystery Stories.

The Pulpster 23 Final CoverLeading off the issue is “Science Fiction and the Pulps,” the unabridged version of Mike Chomko‘s “History of Magazine Science Fiction,” serialized on the PulpFest home page in 2014. Munsey Award winner Garyn G. Roberts is on board with an article on Futuria Fantasia, the fanzine that Ray Bradbury debuted at the first World Science Fiction ConventionDon Herron, the creator of San Francisco’s Dashiell Hammett Tour, the longest-running literary tour in the USA, takes a look at Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, Fritz Leiber’s classic characters that made their first appearance in the August 1939 UnknownDwayne Olson contributes several letters written by Donald Wandrei concerning the death of his friend, Hannes Bok, born one-hundred years ago on July 2, 1914. Additionally, Argentine pulp writer Alfredo Julio Grassi is profiled by Christian Lawson.

Weird-menace fiction came into its own in 1934 and The Pulpster looks back to those days with “Pulp Horrors of the Dirty Thirties,” written by Don Hutchison, author of The Great Pulp Heroes and many other works. Archaeologist  Jeffrey Shanks is also on hand with a look at “Zombies from the Pulps,” an overview of the undead writings of H. P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Manly Wade Wellman, Henry Kuttner, and other great pulpsters.

Filling out the issue is editor Bill Lampkin’s editorial, Tony Davis’ “Final Chapters,” and a tribute to the late Frank M. Robinson, written by John Gunnison of Adventure House.

As long as copies of both issues remain, you can get THE PULPSTER #23 24 for $20 from Mike Chomko, BooksThis offer is good only in the United States. Mike will accept payments made via check or money order or through Paypal. Please write to him at mike@pulpfest.com or 2217 W. Fairview Street, Allentown, PA 18104-6542 for further instructions. Quantities of both issues are very limited.

(Ed Cartier painted the cover used on THE PULPSTER #23. It originally appeared on the December 1939 issue of Street & Smith’s UNKNOWN and illustrated L. Sprague de Camp’s classic fantasy novel, “Lest Darkness Fall.” Four of the sixteen illustrated covers for UNKNOWN were painted by Cartier. He also created the cover for the 1948 reprint issue, FROM UNKNOWN WORLDS.)

THE PULPSTER: Open for submissions

Sep 21, 2015 by

PulpFest 2016 is still 10 months away, but it’s not too soon to start thinking about writing an article for THE PULPSTER.

The Pulpster logoEditor Bill Lampkin is looking for a variety of features on the pulps, and the writers, editors, and illustrators who worked on them. If you have an idea, he’d like to hear about it. You can contact him at bill@pulpfest.com.

Next summer’s issue — #25, if you’re keeping count — will debut in July at PulpFest 2016, but the magazine must be edited and assembled before then. Deadline for submissions is May 1, 2016, but early submissions are encouraged.

If you’re interested in advertising in THE PULPSTER, please write to PulpFest marketing and programming director Mike Chomko at mike@pulpfest.com. Mike can provide pricing and print specifications.

Looking for a copy of the 2015 issue? Mike Chomko, Books has THE PULPSTER #24 available for $13, postage paid. The issue features articles on Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, adventure writer and the founder of DC Comics; the Thrilling Group of pulps and comic books; Erle Stanley Gardner; DETECTIVE FICTION WEEKLY; and other topics. The highlight of the issue is a round-robin article on H. P. Lovecraft and WEIRD TALES featuring contributions from filmmaker Sean Branney; Marvin Kaye, the current editor of WEIRD TALES; W. Paul Ganley, founder of WEIRDBOOK; Derrick Hussey, the publisher at Hippocampus Press; authors Jason Brock, Ramsey Campbell, Cody Goodfellow, Nick Mamatas, Tim Powers, Wilum Pugmire, Jessica Amanda Salmonson, Darrell Schweitzer, and Chet Williamson; poet Fred Phillips; and pulp scholars and collectors John Haefele, Don Herron, Morgan Holmes, S. T. Joshi, Tom Krabacher, Will Murray, and J. Barry Traylor. It’s truly a slam-bang issue from the esteemed editor of our highly popular program book. With less than forty copies remaining, it’s quickly disappearing.

The-Pulpster-24-coverYou can also order back issues of THE PULPSTER through Mike Chomko, Books. Copies of THE PULPSTER #4, 5, 6, 9, 15, 17, 20, 22, and 23 are also available for $13 each, postage paid. All other issues of THE PULPSTER are out of print. Reduced postage is available on orders for multiple books. A copy of THE PULPSTER Mini-Edition, published in 2005 and featuring a history of the Lamont Award, will be included free of charge with every order of three or more books. These prices are good only in the United States. Buyers from other countries must inquire about shipping charges before ordering. Mike will accept payments made via check or money order or through Paypal. Please write to him at mike@pulpfest.com or 2217 W. Fairview Street, Allentown, PA 18104-6542 for further instructions. Quantities of most issues are very limited.

(THE PULPSTER #24 features a round-robin article on H. P. Lovecraft and WEIRD TALES written by a wide range of contributors. Copies are quickly disappearing. Write to Mike Chomko, Books at mike@pulpfest.com to learn how you can order the issue.)

News and Reviews of PulpFest 2015

Sep 14, 2015 by

2015 FlyerIf you weren’t able to make it to Columbus, Ohio, for PulpFest 2015 or if you’d like to relive the many fine times of this year’s convention, there are plenty of opportunities via the Internet.

For your listening pleasure

A couple of websites offer audio recordings of PulpFest programming:

Read all about it

A number of blogs have posts where PulpFest 2015 attendees recount their experiences at the convention:

You can find updated report lists at Bill Thom’s Pulp Coming Attractions, and at Yellowed Perils.

(Most of our promotional materials for PulpFest 2015 featured Matt Fox’s cover for the November 1944 issue of WEIRD TALES, one of about a dozen covers the artist painted for “the unique magazine.” Also pictured here is a trio of thumbnails from the “Thrilling Group,” the nickname for Standard Magazines, likewise lauded during our 2015 convention. Each year, PulpFest is packed with programming highlighting a range of topics.

To see what you’ve been missing, start making your plans right now to join the 45th convening of “Summer’s Great Pulp Con” in 2016. Your PulpFest organizing committee is already starting to plan for next year’s convention. PulpFest 2016 will take place July 21 – 24 at the Hyatt Regency Columbus.)

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The Organizing Committee Grows

Sep 7, 2015 by

Amazing Stories 1943-09On this day when we salute the American worker, PulpFest is pleased to welcome its newest “laborers,” William Lampkin and Garyn G. Roberts, to its organizing committee.

William Lampkin, or Bill, has been reading fiction from the pulp magazines and collecting the magazines since the 1970s. He became involved in pulp fandom in the early 1990s when he discovered other like-minded individuals on the then-new Internet.

In 1996, he founded what later became ThePulp.Net, a website devoted to the pulps. The five-page website, which originated on AOL as .Pulp, has grown over the past two decades to include blogs, articles, histories, bibliographies, and more. He also writes the Yellowed Perils blog.

He attended his first pulp show in Tampa in the late 1990s, Pulpcon 35 in 2006, was actively involved with Doc Con from 2004 to 2011, and is on a two-year string of PulpFest appearances. In 2008, he became designer of THE PULPSTER. Bill assumed the editorship in 2013 when founding editor Tony Davis stepped down after 20 years.

Bill has been designing promotional material and advertising for PulpFest the past few years. His new role on the PulpFest organizing committee will be as director of advertising. He will also continue designing and editing THE PULPSTER. Why mess with a great thing?

Our other new committee member, Garyn Roberts, is an avid pulp collector and fan. He has written extensively about the pulps, both professionally and as a fan.

Garyn has edited or co-edited some of the best collections of stories from the pulp magazines, including A CENT A STORY: THE BEST FROM TEN DETECTIVE ACES, MORE TALES OF THE DEFECTIVE DETECTIVE IN THE PULPS, THE COMPLEAT ADVENTURES OF THE MOON MAN, THE MAGICAL MYSTERIES OF DON DIAVOLO, and THE COMPLEAT GREAT MERLINI SAGA. His anthology, THE PRENTICE HALL ANTHOLOGY OF SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY, a college-level textbook, is notable for the attention paid to the pulp magazines.

In 2013, Garyn received the Munsey Award, which 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.

A long-time college professor, Garyn also taught a class in science fiction at Northwestern Michigan College.

In addition to pulps, he is an expert on the Dick Tracy comic strip, was a friend of creator Chester Gould, and has written DICK TRACY AND AMERICAN CULTURE: MORALITY AND MYTHOLOGY, TEXT AND CONTEXT. Garyn will help with the convention’s programming.

If you’d like to congratulate Bill or Garyn via email, please write to them at bill@pulpfest.com or garyn@pulpfest.com.

(Robert Gibson Jones, a native of Ohio, began to work as a commercial artist for a Chicago advertising agency during the First World War. Nearly thirty years later, his first pulp magazine cover appeared on the January 1943 issue of FANTASTIC ADVENTURES. According to pulp art scholar David Saunders, “He was soon painting many covers for this title as well as for AMAZING STORIES, MAMMOTH ADVENTURE, MAMMOTH DETECTIVE, and MAMMOTH WESTERN, all of which were produced in Chicago by the Ziff-Davis Publishing Company.” During the 1950s, Jones painted painted covers for OTHER WORLDS SCIENCE STORIES and UNIVERSE SCIENCE FICTION. His cover for the September 1943 is a wonderful depiction of the women who took on many non-traditional roles, helping with the war effort during the Second World War.)

Get Nostalgic at the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention

Aug 31, 2015 by

Mid-Atlantic Convention

While you’re waiting impatiently for the 45th convening of “Summer’s Great Pulp Con,” we’ll try to keep you posted about other conventions taking place around North America. They just might help to keep your hunger at bay while you wait for the main course – PulpFest 2016, scheduled to take place July 21 – 24, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency ColumbusIt should be an AMAZING time!

The Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention is an annual pop culture event recognizing the by-gone era of classic movies, retro television, old-time radio, pulp magazines and comic books. Hollywood celebrities sign autographs and pose for photos with fans. The movie room features rare films 24 hours a day. Slide show seminars offer insight from museum curators, authors, historians, magazine editors and other authorities on their respective subjects. Over 200 vendor tables offer loads of merchandise. The event is held every September in Hunt Valley, Maryland. Attendance grows an average of 200 people every year — last year’s attendance topped 2,400. This year’s dates are September 17 to 19, 2015. For more information call 443-286-6821 or visit www.MidAtlanticNostalgiaConvention.com.

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