Highlights from THE PULPSTER

Aug 7, 2019 by

'The Pulpster' #28 (2019)The 28th edition of THE PULPSTER will be in your hands at PulpFest 2019 in just a week, and, once again, it lands with a Pow! Smash!

Echoing the “Children of the Pulps” portion of this year’s PulpFest theme, THE PULPSTER takes a look at how characters and fictioneers from the pulpwood paper magazines influenced other characters, television, movies, and more that came after them.

Fronting the magazine is art by Rudolph Belarski from the cover for the September 1939 BLACK BOOK DETECTIVE magazine. It illustrates one aspect of how the pulps influenced the creation of the superhero in comics, with a decidedly Batman-looking Black Bat. That leads into the first of our cover stories.

Will Murray recalls how he and Anthony Tollin pieced together how the creators of Batman lifted elements from THE SHADOW MAGAZINE for their Dark Knight. Will also writes about Johnston McCulley, whom he calls the grandfather of the superhero. Meanwhile, D. Kepler looks at how McCulley’s most famous character — Zorro — on the 100th anniversary of his debut, has been portrayed on screens around the world.

Scott Tracy Griffin surveys how Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan begat generations of jungle men, women, and children in popular culture.

Three articles examine the pulp magazines’ influence on movies and television: Aaron H. Oliver writes about the 1960s western/spy TV series THE WILD WILD WEST; Jess Terrell looks at the original STAR WARS trilogy; and Sara Light-Waller details how Japanese anime (animated) and tokusatsu (live-action special effects film) drew from the pulps.

THE PULPSTER also celebrates the 100th anniversaries of two pulp magazines: THE THRILL BOOK and ROMANCE. Richard Bleiler looks at the ambitious oddity that was THE THRILL BOOK, while Doug Ellis writes about how ROMANCE struggled for a year with its name and its place in the adventure field.

Then editor emeritus of THE PULPSTER, Tony Davis, writes about Bertrand Sinclair and his nearly 50-year career in the pulps. And THE PULPSTER reprints a letter from fictioneer G. T. Fleming-Roberts in which he reflects on the influence of Sherlock Holmes on his career.

Of course, this issue has the regular departments: “Final Chapters,” by Davis, which notes those of the pulp community who have passed away during the last year; and columns by publisher Michael Chomko and editor Bill Lampkin. And we would be remiss without noting assistant editor Peter Chomko’s help with this issue.

A longstanding tradition cherished by attendees of the summer pulp con, THE PULPSTER will be released at PulpFest 2019. Every member of PulpFest — including supporting members — will receive a complimentary copy of THE PULPSTER.

(The cover art for THE PULPSTER #28 was originally painted by Rudolph Belarski  for September 1939 BLACK BOOK DETECTIVE, published by Better Publications Inc.

Following the convention, a limited number of copies of our program book will be available for purchase through Mike Chomko, Books. Please write to Mike — who also serves as the marketing and programming director for PulpFest — at mike@pulpfest.com or 2217 W. Fairview St., Allentown, PA 18104-6542 to reserve your copy. Mike also has selected back issues of THE PULPSTER. Please write to him to learn about availability.

For questions about submissions to THE PULPSTER or comments about the issue, please write to Bill Lampkin at bill@pulpfest.com. For any questions about advertising in future issues of THE PULPSTER, back issues, or ordering issue #28 of THE PULPSTER, please write to Mike Chomko at mike@pulpfest.com.)

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