New for PulpFest 2017 — Hardboiled Dicks, Dangerous Dames, and a Few Psychos I

Oct 10, 2016 by

PulpFest 2017 Post CardBeginning with its first convention in 2009, PulpFest has annually drawn raves from pop culture enthusiasts. Planned as the summertime destination for fans and collectors of vintage popular fiction and related materials, PulpFest seeks to honor pulp fiction and pulp art by drawing attention to the many ways they have inspired writers, artists, film directors, software developers, game designers, and other creators over the decades. That’s why PulpFest is renowned for its wide range of interesting and entertaining programming. So what will be happening at PulpFest 2017?

Although the earliest pulps were general fiction magazines, the rough-paper rags eventually began to specialize. Pulps featuring aviation and war stories, fantasy and the supernatural, love and romance, the railroad, science fiction, sports, and other genres emerged. There were also titles devoted to prison yarns, firefighters, and even engineering stories. However, one of the longest lasting and most popular categories was the detective field. In fact, the first pulp magazine successfully dedicated to a single fiction genre was Street & Smith’s DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE.

Introduced in late 1915, the first pulp devoted to “stories dealing with the detection of crime” inspired dozens of similar titles: ALL DETECTIVE MAGAZINE,  CLUES, CRACK DETECTIVE, DETECTIVE-DRAGNET, DETECTIVE FICTION WEEKLY, HOLLYWOOD DETECTIVE, NEW DETECTIVE, POPULAR DETECTIVE, PRIVATE DETECTIVE STORIES, REAL DETECTIVE TALES, SPICY DETECTIVE STORIES, THRILLING DETECTIVE, and many others.

Popular Engineering Stories, 30-04Although a trailblazer as a specialty magazine, DETECTIVE STORY did little to further the development of the detective or crime story. That task would be left to its highly prized successors: BLACK MASK  — the pulp where the hard-boiled detective story began to take shape — and DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE — where the tough guy detective became extremely popular. Call them what you will — flatfoots, gumshoes, dime detectives, or private eyes  — it was these hardboiled dicks that transformed the traditional mystery story into the tough guy (and gal) crime fiction that remains popular to this very day.

We’ll be back in a month with another post on our 2017 themes. Next time, we’ll explore the dangerous dames of the pulps. Meanwhile, stay tuned to PulpFest.com for news on our “New Fictioneers” readings, Saturday Night Auction, and much more.  We’ll have a new post each and every Monday in the weeks ahead. So visit often to learn all about PulpFest 2017, “Summer’s Hardboiled Pulp Con!”

(Designed by PulpFest’s artistic director, William Lampkin, our PulpFest 2017 post card features the work of artist John Newton Howitt. His painting was originally used as the cover for the April 15, 1934 number of Popular Publications’ DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE.

The April 1930 issue of POPULAR ENGINEERING STORIES, a “Blue Circle Magazine,” was the only issue of this pulp. Published by Harold Hersey’s Magazine and Book Corporation, it featured front cover art by W. C. Brigham, Jr.)

Related Posts

Share This