It’s Getting Windy: The Windy City Pulp & Paper Convention

Mar 20, 2017 by

The Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention returns to the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center on Friday, April 21, beginning with early-bird shopping at 9:30 AM. The dealers’ room will open to all at 11 AM. Additionally, the Windy City con suite will be open on Thursday night, April 20, from 8 PM to midnight. You can pick up your registration materials during this time. The convention runs through Sunday afternoon, April 23, with its dealers’ room closing at 4 PM.

This year’s Windy will be celebrating the 90th anniversary of the gangster pulps as well as Martin Goodman’s Red Circle pulps, the forerunner to Marvel Comics. As part of this celebration, Windy City has invited legendary comic artist Jim Steranko to be its Guest of Honor.

The Windy is noted for its substantial auctions; its art exhibition, sponsored by Illustration Magazine; and its extensive film program, organized by Ed Hulse of Murania Press. Once again, there will be “new pulp” panels and readings on Sunday, running from 10 AM until 3 PM.

Click on the link that starts our post to learn more about the Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention or visit the convention’s Facebook pagePulpFest chairman Jack Cullers, volunteer coordinator Sally Cullers, technology director Chuck Welch, and marketing and programming director Mike Chomko will all be attending Windy City. Stop by Mike’s table right next to the Adventure House booth and pick up a registration form for PulpFest 2017. Jack, Sally, Chuck, and Mike will be more than happy to answer your questions about this summer’s pulp con, beginning on Thursday evening, July 27, and running through Sunday afternoon, July 30, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just nineteen miles north of the exciting city of Pittsburgh. Start making your plans to join us at the “pop culture center of the universe” for PulpFest 2017. You can book your room directly through the PulpFest website. Just click the “Book a Room for 2017” link on our home page or call 1-800-222-8733. Be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive the convention rate. And we do hope to see you at Windy City!

(As pulp historian John Locke has written elsewhere, “In 1929, a new kind of magazine appeared on newsstands: the gang pulps! And nothing that came before gave the pulps a worse reputation. Month after month, the stories luridly recounted the exploits of the most sadistic killers, the most craven squealers, the most coldblooded gun molls, the most corrupt cops, the most ruthless gang bosses, the most brutal mob wars, that ever escaped the realm of the imagination — a genre of extremes. There had been outlaw heroes in crime fiction before, but none like this new breed, who toasted with bootleg liquor while their bloody victims lay dying on the floor. Almost immediately, the gang pulps came under attack from the censors. America’s morals lay dying on the pulpwood pages, they claimed.

Centered in the crosshairs was famed pulp editor Harold Hersey, creator of GANGSTER STORIES, RACKETEER STORIES, SPEAKEASY STORIES and a raft of other gang magazines.” Another Hersey title was GANGLAND STORIES — its January – February 1932 issue pictured here — which often featured cover art by Walter Baumhofer.)

Pulps, Snacks, and Suds in Our Con Suite

Mar 13, 2017 by

Why do we attend PulpFest? We’re able to find pulps and other collectibles across the Internet. So perhaps it seems foolish to travel hundreds or even thousands of miles to attend a convention dedicated to magazines that most people know nothing about.

But PulpFest is more than a dealers’ room featuring tens of thousands of pulp magazines, vintage paperbacks, digests, men’s adventure and true crime magazines, original art, first edition hardcovers, series books, reference books, dime novels and story papers, Big Little Books, B-Movies, serials and related paper collectibles, old-time radio shows, and Golden and Silver Age comic books, as well as newspaper adventure strips. PulpFest is people — readers and collectors with a common interest in pulp fiction and pulp art. People who realize that the pulps had a profound impact on American popular culture.

Why do we attend PulpFest? According to collector Walker Martin: “They are a hell of a lot of fun! Not only do you get to roam around a gigantic dealer’s room full of books and pulps, but you get to meet and talk to some of the greatest collectors and dealers. These will lead to future deals and contacts. Plus you can eat and drink with these folks!”

The con suite will return at PulpFest 2017. Our host hotel — the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry — will be providing a room for our members where they can socialize after a hearty day of collecting in our dealers’ room and partaking in our evening programming.

You’ll be able to enjoy drinks and snacks with your comrades in collecting and talk about the things that you love and collect. “What’s your favorite Doc Savage adventure? Did Joan Randall have a thing for Gragg the Robot? Remember when Conan bit off that vulture’s head in ‘A Witch Shall Be Born?’ How the hell do you say Tsathoggua? Who’d win a knock-down-drag-out between Wu Fang and Shiwan Khan? Would either stand a chance against Doctor Fu Manchu? Why does the Phantom Detective wear that top hat? Who the hell is Pinky Jenkins?”

These are just a few of the mysteries you might clear up with your pals — old and new — at PulpFest 2017. You sure can’t do that on your iPhone!

(If you’d like to volunteer to serve as a host or hostess in the PulpFest con suite or are a dealer, publisher, or other business who would like to sponsor the con suite for a night, please write to Jack Cullers at jack@pulpfest.com.

Come celebrate pulps and popular culture over the long weekend of July 27 – 30 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just nineteen miles north of the exciting city of Pittsburgh. You can book your room directly through the PulpFest website. Just click the “Book a Room for 2017” link on our home page or call 1-800-222-8733. Be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive the convention rate. And don’t forget to join us in our con suite. Perhaps you’ll have as much fun as these two Yanks are planning. They were painted by R. A. Burley — who later drew for Fiction House and DC Comics — for the June 1927 issue of Dell Publishing’s WAR STORIES.)

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Visiting Pittsburgh

Mar 6, 2017 by


If you’re thinking about attending PulpFest 2017, why not bring your spouse or even your whole family? The convention will take place from Thursday evening, July 27, through Sunday afternoon, July 30, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just nineteen miles north of the exciting city of Pittsburgh. Once the center of America’s steel industry, Pittsburgh ranks among the top places to live, work, and visit in the United States. The city is consistently recognized by major tourism organizations.

Located where the Allegheny and Monongahela converge to form the Ohio River, Pittsburgh was once known as as the “Gateway to the West.” Fort Pitt, a key British fortification during the French and Indian War, also served as the western headquarters of the Continental Army during the American Revolution. By the dawn of the 19th century, roads, canals, and eventually railroads connected Pittsburgh with the major cities of the East Coast. Pittsburgh became a hub of entrepreneurs and skilled craftsmen who created a region seething with the fire and smoke of industry, earning a new nickname, the “Smoky City.” The years following the Civil War saw an unparalleled explosion of creative genius and productivity that attracted enormous capital investment and made Pittsburgh one of the world’s great industrial centers. Steel was king and immigrants in search of a better life eagerly responded to the insatiable demand for labor. Under a mighty cloud of industrial smoke, the “Steel City” prospered and matured, giving birth to philanthropy and cultural institutions that became models for the rest of the United States.

By the 1970s and 1980s, the crippling decline of the steel industry changed the region’s image as well as its economic base. Industries and businesses retooled and diversified. Innovative leaders adapted to this changing world, engineering another remarkable renaissance. By the mid-1980s and again throughout the 2000s, Pittsburgh gained the reputation as one the nation’s most livable cities. Today’s Pittsburgh is a model of adaption, maintaining its work ethic, independence, and inventive spirit while exhibiting an “old world charm” that is cherished by people who care about heritage and preservation. It is a rapidly advancing leader in medicine, education, health care, robotics, software engineering, hi-tech industries, and cultural tourism. With 90 neighborhoods and districts, Pittsburgh is a city to be explored one delightful section at a time. What’s most amazing about the city is the people that make up each of these neighborhoods. They are proud of the heritage reflected on their streets and willing to share their stories of strength, perseverance and triumph.

Pittsburgh’s topography has played a large part in how each neighborhood developed.  Start with the city’s dynamic Downtown and Point State Park. Next, cross one of the three rivers — the Allegheny, the “Mon,” or Ohio — to find unique areas shaped by more than the region’s distinctive and beautiful topography. Natural geographic boundaries such as sloping, wooded hillsides and rivers do their part to define, but Pittsburgh neighborhoods are also known for the clusters of attractions they offer.

Visitors can plan their itineraries by the points of the compass, first focusing on attractions Downtown and in the Strip District (one of the city’s most popular spots for great food and nightlife). Across the Mon is the South Side, Mount Washington — home to the Duquesne and Monongahela Inclines — Station Square and East Carson Street. On the banks of the Allegheny is North Shore — home to the Pirates and the Steelers, the Rivers Casino, Carnegie Science Center, and the Andy Warhol Museum. Pittsburgh’s East End and Oakland are home to a number of outstanding attractions that owe their existence to the philanthropists who made their fortunes in the city’s early industry. Here you’ll find the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural HistoryPhipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, the 42-story Cathedral of Learning on the University of Pittsburgh campus, and more. While in this corner of the city, don’t miss Shadyside and Squirrel Hill, two walkable neighborhoods with an upscale flavor, and plenty of shopping and dining options. More family fun is waiting on Pittsburgh’s East End in Highland Park, home of the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, featuring an indoor penguin exhibit and a rainforest exhibit. In nearby West Mifflin, visit Kennywood Park, the century-old “roller coaster capital of the world.” And, just outside of Pittsburgh are stunning examples of Frank Lloyd Wright’s amazing architecture, including Fallingwater, called one of the “fifty places of a lifetime.”

Pittsburgh is very walkable with hip galleries, shops, dining, nightlife, sports, museums, and more throughout the city and the surrounding region. So while you’re enjoying yourself at PulpFest — the summertime destination for fans and collectors of vintage popular fiction and related materials — your family can be taking in the many sites and sounds of this very vibrant city. You can book your room at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry directly through the PulpFest website. Just click the “Book a Room for 2017” link on our home page or call 1-800-222-8733. When calling, please be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive the convention rate.

Start making your plans now to join in our exploration of “Hardboiled Dicks, Dangerous Dames, and a Few Psychos” at the “pop culture center of the universe” called PulpFest 2017. And please consider staying a bit longer in the “Gateway to the West,” the “Smoky City,” and the “Steel City” known as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Below are some resources for conventioneers and their family members to learn more about the many things that PulpFest’s host city has to offer (including a couple of sites about the city’s independent booksellers):

The Atlas Obscura Guide to Hidden Pittsburgh — 27 unusual things to do in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Best Indie Bookstores in Pittsburgh — three stores for lovers of the “old-book smell,” hardcover collectors, and bookaholics on a tight budget.

11 Independent Bookstores in Pittsburgh Worth Browsing — Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods are alive with thriving, local booksellers.

Pittsburgh Eventful — provides the most popular Pittsburgh events, concerts, movies, comedy, nightlife, and family events.

Pittsburgh Pirates — although the Bucs will be out of town during PulpFest proper, they’ll be back in town at PNC Park on August 1, facing the Cincinnati Reds.

PlanetWare’s Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Pittsburgh — ideas on where to go, what to see, and tips for making the most of your trip.

Popular Pittsburgh — information about one of the most livable cities in the USA and links to help you enjoy the experience.

TripAdvisor Things to Do in Pittsburgh, PA — helping you make the most of every trip.

U. S. News’ Best Things to Do in Pittsburgh — Pittsburgh is full of fun things to do, especially for families.

VisitPittsburgh.com — the official site of the Greater Pittsburgh Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The visitors bureau also offers these more specified pages to help you plan your visit:

Discovering a City of Neighborhoods — with 90 neighborhoods and districts, Pittsburgh is a city to be explored one delightful section at a time.

Pittsburgh: City of Champions — a look at the city’s professional sports teams as well as opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.

Pittsburgh: A Cultural Phenomenon — called one of the best arts and culture destinations in the country, Pittsburgh has built a stellar reputation for the quality and richness of its art and its cultural offerings.

Pittsburgh is Kidsburgh — Pittsburgh is fun, affordable and packed with family entertainment.

Restaurants and Culinary — choose from casual family spots, upscale and romantic eateries, late-night bites or convenient take-out.

Shopping in Pittsburgh — travel in any direction in Pittsburgh and find great shopping to suit every budget and taste.

Things to Do — find out why Pittsburgh has been named one of the best places in the world to visit.

Visitors Guide — get your one-stop guide for everything to see and do in Pittsburgh.

VisitPA — for those who’d like to check out other Pennsylvania destinations, including the birthplace of liberty, the City of Philadelphia.

What’s Next for Pittsburgh — the must-read Pittsburgh publication about the innovative and cool things happening here.

(Pictured above: a nighttime view of Point State Park and Downtown Pittsburgh from Mount Washington; pouring steel; the Duquesne Incline; Dinosaur Hall, Carnegie Museum of Natural History; and Downtown Pittsburgh from PNC Park on the city’s North Shore.

If you have any questions about Pittsburgh or Pennsylvania, Mike Chomko is the man to contact. You can reach him at mike@pulpfest.com. For questions about the Pennsylvania Dutch, please write to Barry Traylor at barry@pulpfest.com.)

Artist Gloria Stoll Karn to be PulpFest GOH

Feb 27, 2017 by

With 2017 being the year that PulpFest celebrates the hardboiled dicks, dangerous dames, and psychos of the pulps, we’re very pleased to welcome as our Guest of Honor, pulp artist Gloria Stoll Karn. In a field dominated by men, it was highly unusual for a woman to be painting covers for pulp magazines. But at age seventeen, Gloria Stoll began contributing black and white interior illustrations to pulp magazines. In a few years, the young artist was painting covers. How’s that for a dangerous dame?

It was Rafael DeSoto who inspired Gloria to become a commercial artist and introduced her to Popular Publications. A graduate of New York’s High School of Music and Art, Gloria Stoll began her career doing black and white interior illustrations for Popular. This evolved into painting covers for the publisher’s line of women’s pulps, particularly RANGELAND ROMANCES. She also did covers for Popular’s ALL-STORY LOVE, LOVE BOOKLOVE NOVELS, LOVE SHORT STORIES, NEW LOVE, ROMANCE, ROMANCE WESTERN, and Standard Publications’ THRILLING LOVE.

Beginning in late 1943, Stoll also began painting covers for Popular’s mystery and detective pulps. Her work was featured on BLACK MASK, DETECTIVE TALES, DIME MYSTERY MAGAZINE, and NEW DETECTIVE. In addition, she did interior illustrations for ARGOSY magazine. The artist continued working in the pulp field until 1949.

In Ms. Stoll Karn’s own words: “Pulp artists were required to come up with ideas for the magazine covers which reflected the general flavor of the stories within. Moving on to painting covers for mystery and detective magazines involved a radical conceptual switch. It was a surprise when I came up with gruesome ideas and concluded that, within the human psyche, there is a shadow side of which we are often unaware. I am grateful that my work struck a balance which uncovered the dark side within, along with the light side depicting the joys of romance.”

Gloria’s pulp artist career ended abruptly when she married Fred Karn in 1948. The couple moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where they raised three children. In the 1950s, Stoll Karn began teaching art classes. Her work has been exhibited at the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum’s National Print Annual, and the Pittsburgh Watercolor Society’s International Exhibition. Her work is in the permanent collections of Yale University, the Carnegie Museum of Art, Westinghouse Corporation, the Speed Art Museum, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the Pittsburgh Department of Education. She is listed in WHO’S WHO IN AMERICAN ART. Her current work is in abstraction and draws upon her life experience.

PulpFest is very pleased to welcome as its 2017 Guest of Honor, one of the few surviving contributors to the pulp magazine industry, Gloria Stoll Karn. Pulp art historian David Saunders — winner of our 2016 Lamont Award — will be joining Ms. Stoll Karn to discuss her freelance career in the pulps and much more on Saturday evening, July 29, from 7:30 to 8:10 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry — just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City.”

We look forward to seeing you at the “pop culture center of the universe” from July 27 through July 30 at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton in Mars, Pennsylvania. Please join Gloria Stoll Karn — that “dangerous dame of pulp art” — and PulpFest for our celebration of the hardboiled dicks, dangerous dames, and psychos of the pulps. You can register for the convention by clicking one of the registration buttons on our home page. To make place a reservation with the DoubleTree, please click one of our “book a room” buttons.

Thanks so much to everyone who has reserved a room at our host hotel. By staying at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, you’ve helped to ensure the convention’s success.

(DETECTIVE TALES was the number three title in Popular Publications’ detective pulp group. The publisher’s number one title was DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE, which saved Popular from going under during the challenging years of The Great Depression. After that came BLACK MASK, the pulp where the hardboiled detective genre originally took form. Popular had purchased the magazine from Pro-Distributers Publishing in 1940. DETECTIVE TALES ran for eighteen years, mainly on a monthly basis, producing a total of 202 issues. Most of the issues offered twelve stories for ten cents. In 1953, Popular merged it with NEW DETECTIVE to form FIFTEEN DETECTIVE STORIES. Between 1943 and 1945, Gloria Stoll Karn contributed six covers to DETECTIVE TALES, including the July 1945 number.

Although it is best remembered for its action-oriented pulps — magazines such as DIME WESTERN, ARGOSY, G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES, and THE SPIDER — Popular also boasted a strong women’s line-up. Although it never approached the popularity of Street & Smith’s LOVE STORY MAGAZINE or Warner Publications’ RANCH ROMANCES, the Popular line featured a number of successful titles. RANGELAND ROMANCES — which debuted with its June 1935 number — was one of its leading pulps for the women’s market. It lasted into 1955 — when it was absorbed by DIME WESTERN MAGAZINE — and ran for over 200 issues. Between 1943 and 1949, Gloria Stoll Karn contributed forty-two covers to RANGELAND ROMANCES, including the July 1944 number.)

 

California Here I Come

Feb 20, 2017 by

Although PulpFest 2017 is about five months off, do not despair. There are other collectors conventions fast approaching. For instance, on Sunday, March 19, the annual Los Angeles Vintage Paperback Collectors Show & Sale will take place at 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 38th 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! Even with a crowd of collectors around, it’s possible to be the first person to discover a hidden gem during the event. Each year there are great finds reported by folks who attend the show. This year, you could be the person telling the story.

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 nearly sixty 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.

You’ll find more information on this great collectors gathering at the convention’s website and its Facebook site, or by calling Tom Lesser at 818-855-1786. And while you’re at the show, be sure to pick up a PulpFest 2017 post card to learn more about “Summer’s Hottest Pulp Con,” taking place from Thursday evening, July 27 and running through Sunday afternoon, July 30 at its new location outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This year’s PulpFest will be at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry in Mars, PA. Start making your plans to join us at the “pop culture center of the universe” for PulpFest 2017.

(The Los Angeles Vintage Paperback Show & Sale’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. Pictured here is the convention’s banner for their Facebook page.)