A Birthday Bash for A. A. Wyn

May 21, 2018 by

Tomorrow will be the 120th anniversary of the birth of A. A. Wyn. A one-time proof reader for a printer, Wyn rose to become the publisher of Ace Magazines — which published both pulps and comic books — and Ace Books.

Born on May 22, 1898, Wyn became an associate editor for Magazine Publishers in 1930. He was promoted to editor in 1931. He became the publisher of the firm’s magazines one year later. Based in New York City, Magazine Publishers produced an array of pulp magazines including ACE MYSTERY, LOVE FICTION MONTHLY, SECRET AGENT-X, SKY BIRDS, SPY STORIES, TEN DETECTIVE ACES, TEN STORY LOVE, WESTERN ACES, and WESTERN TRAILS.

Perhaps the publisher’s most successful title was FLYING ACES. It ran as a fiction magazine for 179 issues — from September 1928 through November 1943. The magazine is best remembered for publishing the adventures of Captain Philip Strange. Created by Donald Keyhoe, the flying ace was also known as “the Brain Devil” and “the Phantom Ace of G-2.” He had ESP and other mental powers, and “was so terrifyingly effective as the Allies’ top agent that the Germans were offering a king’s ransom for his death.”

Keyhoe’s stories were a fantastic version of World War I featuring zombies, giant skeletons, exploding heads, invisible airplanes, and more. Strange is believed to have inspired Robert J. Hogan’s adventures of G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES. The Keyhoe series ran for nine years and 64 stories. It is currently being reprinted by Age of Aces Books, a regular exhibitor at PulpFest.

FLYING ACES was converted to a non-fiction aviation magazine at the end of 1943. It became FLYING MODELS in 1947. Sold to Carstens Publications in 1969, the former pulp magazine folded in 2014.

Although we won’t be throwing a birthday bash for A. A. Wyn at this year’s PulpFest, you might want to check out this year’s Monster Bash at our convention’s host hotel. The “International Classic Monster Movie Conference and Film Festival,” Monster Bash celebrates the classic horror and science fiction films of the silent era through the 1960s. It’s a film festival: a place to meet the people in the movies and behind the scenes. It’s also a monster memorabilia shopping gala. This year’s Bash will take place June 22 – 24 at the DoubleTree.

PulpFest chairman Jack Cullers and marketing and programming director Mike Chomko will be at this year’s Monster Bash. They’ll be selling science fiction pulps and related materials. They’ll also be promoting July’s PulpFest to the “Monster Boomers” and their “Monster Kids” who will be attending The Bash.

Why not join The Bash and check out our host hotel? Then start planning to attend PulpFest 2018, the destination for fans and collectors of genre fiction — both vintage and new — pop art and illustration, and much more. It will begin on Thursday, July 26, and run through Sunday, July 29.  Join us at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War and the centennial of the birth of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José Farmer will be the focal points of this year’s PulpFest. Click our Programming button just below our home page banner to get a preview of all the great programming we’re planning for July.

To join PulpFest 2018, please click the Register button just below our home page banner. To book a room at the DoubleTree, click one of the Book a Room buttons also found on our home page. Then join hundreds of pulp and genre fiction fans at the pop culture center of the universe. You’ll have a great time, especially if you’re planning to stay at the DoubleTree! We look forward to seeing you in July.

(FLYING ACES was one of the leading war pulp titles. Paul Bissell was one of the magazine’s leading artists (and authors) of the 1930s. He painted covers — including the March 1932 number — for both FLYING ACES and its sister title, SKY BIRDS. They’re just two of the war pulps that PulpFest will be exploring at this year’s centennial celebration marking the end of World War I.)