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Nov 16, 2018 by

If you’ve been to a recent PulpFest, you’ve probably met Joab Stieglitz. He’s one of several writers who have found PulpFest to be a great convention for selling their books.

Joab is the author of the acclaimed UTGARDA TRILOGY. A Cthulhu-oriented pulp adventure set in the 1920s, Joab’s story concerns a group of college friends that dabbled in the occult and released a malign presence into the world. Years later, the last of these students enlists the aid of three newcomers to banish the thing he had helped to summon.

The first book in Joab’s trilogy — THE OLD MAN’S REQUEST — has been called “a tantalizing and utterly delicious homage to H.P. Lovecraft that will have fans of Cthulhu Mythos literature swooning and shivering in delight.”

Joab is pleased to announce that Amazon.com will be offering the Kindle version of THE OLD MAN’S REQUEST for free beginning Sunday, November 18, at 12:00 AM PST through Thursday, November 22, at 11:59 PM PST. Afterward, it will cost 99¢ through Monday, November 26, at 11:59 PM PST. The Kindle edition is normally priced at $2.99.

Currently working on the fifth and sixth books in the UTGARDA series, Joab is an avid tabletop role-playing game player and game master of the horror, espionage, fantasy, and science fiction genres.

If you’d like to learn more about Joab Stieglitz and his work, check out his blog at RANTINGS OF A WANDERING MIND ~ The Writing Blog of Joab Stieglitz. You can also hear Joab talk about his UTGARDA books with author Chris Ryan on TELL THE DAMN STORYrecorded live at PulpFest 2018 on July 27, 2018.

(Joab Stieglitz — author of THE OLD MAN’S REQUEST — featuring cover art by Lee Pfenninger  — will be returning to PulpFest in 2019 as one of our dealers and “New Fictioneer” readers.

We hope you’ll join Joab at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennyslvania’s “Steel City” in Mars, PA. Click the button below the PulpFest banner to “Book a Room.” PulpFest 2019 will begin on Thursday, August 15, and run through Sunday, August 18.)

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Stan Lee, Pulp Fan

Nov 15, 2018 by

Comic book legend Stan Lee passed away on Monday, November 12. He was 95 years old.

Nearly sixty years ago, Stan Lee — along with Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and others — introduced the world to The Amazing Spider-Man, The Avengers, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, The X-Men, and other superheroes. Together, they “revolutionized entertainment and the then-dying superhero-comics industry by introducing flawed, multidimensional, and relatable human heroes — many of whom have enjoyed cultural staying power beyond anything in contemporary fiction, to rival the most enduring icons of the movies (an industry they’ve since proceeded to almost entirely remake in their own image).”

Marvel’s greatest success of the period was Peter Parker, The Amazing Spider-Man. Debuting in the August 1962 AMAZING FANTASY, Spider-Man blended a mixture of “unconventional humor and emotional agony.” In short, Spider-Man mirrored the rather unconventional pulp hero that Lee claimed as inspiration: Richard Wentworth, The Spider.

“When I was about 10 years old, I used to read a pulp magazine called THE SPIDER and sub-titled ‘Master of Men.’ Perhaps it was the Master of Men that got me, but to my impressionable, preteen way of thinking, the Spider was the most dramatic character I had ever encountered. He ranked right up there with Doc Savage and the Shadow. Even better, he wasn’t as well known as the others, which gave me the warm feeling that his fans belonged to an elite club. At any rate, in searching for a title for our newest superhero, I remembered by old pulp favorite — and the title Spider-Man instantly hit me. I didn’t mind borrowing the Spider part of his name because everything else about our new character would be completely different. I was determined to make our next production the most original, most unique comic book character ever to swoop down the pike.”

Although it’s debatable how much credit Lee actually deserves for the creation of Marvel’s now iconic characters, Stan was “The Man” who sold The Marvel Universe and, in turn, the comic book medium. “Stan, because of his personality and ability to talk in front of people, became the spokesman for all the comic books.”

So rest in peace, Stan Lee, comic book creator, promoter, and . . . pulp fan.

(Spider-Man made his debut in the final issue of AMAZING FANTASY, dated August 1962. Featuring the cover art of Jack Kirby, the fifteenth issue would be one of Marvel Comics’ best selling issues to date. Seven months later, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN would make its debut.

Beginning on Thursday evening, August 15, and running through Sunday, August 18, PulpFest 2019 will celebrate the many ways that pulp fiction and pulp art have inspired creators such as Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, and Jack Kirby. We hope that you’ll join us for “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories,” an examination of the pervasive influence of pulps on contemporary pop culture. We’ll be back at the wonderful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry.)

 

 

Happy Birthday Gloria Stoll Karn

Nov 12, 2018 by

In 2017, PulpFest welcomed pulp artist Gloria Stoll Karn as as its Guest of Honor. A resident of Pittsburgh, the artist is one of very few living individuals who worked in the pulp magazine industry. Tomorrow is her 95th birthday.

In a field dominated by men, Gloria Stoll was quite unique. At age seventeen, she began contributing black and white interior illustrations to pulp magazines. In a few years, Stoll was painting covers.

Rafael DeSoto inspired Gloria to become a commercial artist. A graduate of New York’s High School of Music and Art, Stoll became an interior artist for Popular Publications. This evolved into painting covers for the publisher’s line of women’s pulps. She contributed covers to ALL-STORY LOVELOVE BOOKLOVE NOVELS, LOVE SHORT STORIES, NEW LOVE, RANGELAND ROMANCES, ROMANCE, and ROMANCE WESTERN.

In late 1943, Stoll 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. She also did interior illustrations for ARGOSY magazine. Gloria 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 career ended 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, the Pittsburgh Watercolor Society’s International Exhibition, and the Norman Rockwell Museum. It 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. She currently works in abstraction and draws upon her life experience.

(One of Gloria Stoll’s cover paintings graced the March 1945 issue of Popular Publications’ BLACK MASK. Although tomorrow is Tuesday the 13th, we thought it was close enough. PulpFest wishes the best of luck to Gloria Stoll Karn on her 95th birthday.)

Armistice Day

Nov 11, 2018 by

All was quiet on the Western Front on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1919. At that time, an armistice between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect. One year later, the first “Armistice Day” was celebrated in the United States. It became a national holiday in 1938 and was changed to Veterans Day in 1954.

One hundred years ago, the struggle for the battered village of Passchendaele — officially called the Third Battle of Ypres — was drawing to a close. The town’s remnants would be reclaimed by British and Canadian forces on November 6, but the fighting would continue.

Edwin Vaughan — an officer of the 1st/8th Warwickshire Regiment of the British Expeditionary Force — wrote about the carnage of the First World War in his journal:

“Up the road we staggered, shells bursting around us. A man stopped dead in front of me, and exasperated I cursed him and butted him with my knee. Very gently he said, “I’m blind, Sir” and turned to show me his eyes and nose torn away by a piece of shell. “Oh God! I’m sorry, sonny,” I said. “Keep going on the hard part,” and left him staggering back in his darkness . . . A tank had churned its way slowly behind Springfield and opened fire; a moment later I looked and nothing remained of it but a crumpled heap of iron; it had been hit by a large shell. . . .

From other shell holes from the darkness on all sides came the groans and wails of wounded men; faint, long, sobbing moans of agony, and despairing shrieks. It was too horribly obvious that dozens of men with serious wounds must have crawled for safety into new shell holes, and now the water was rising about them and, powerless to move, they were slowly drowning. Horrible visions came to me with those cries, (of men) lying maimed out there trusting that their pals would find them, and now dying terribly, alone amongst the dead in the inky darkness. And we could do nothing to help them; Dunham was crying quietly beside me, and all the men were affected by the piteous cries.”

On August 25, when he awoke to take muster, Vaughan’s worst fears were realized: “Out of our happy little band of 90 men, only 15 remained.”

Such were the horrors of Passchendaele and the “War to End All Wars.” In 1914 as war was declared, there were street celebrations across Europe. No one envisaged the stalemate of the trenchs nor the appalling casualties of four years of fighting. About 8.5 million soldiers on both sides of the conflict died of wounds and disease. According to the ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA“It has been estimated that the number of civilian deaths attributable to the war was higher than the military casualties, or around 13,000,000. These civilian deaths were largely caused by starvation, exposure, disease, military encounters, and massacres.”

PulpFest 2018 honored the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War by focusing on the so-called “war pulps” of the early twentieth century, as well as the depiction of war in popular culture. Beginning on Thursday evening, August 15, and running through Sunday, August 18, PulpFest 2019 will celebrate the “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories,” an examination of the pervasive influence of pulps on contemporary pop culture. We hope you’ll join PulpFest at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry.

You can book your room directly through our website. Book early and don’t miss the chance to stay at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. Just click the link that reads “Book a Room” below the PulpFest banner. You’ll be redirected to a secure site where you can place your reservation.

(Designed by PulpFest’s artistic director, William Lampkin, our PulpFest 2018 post card featured the work of artist Gertrude C. Orde. Her painting was originally used as the cover for the January 1932 number of Fawcett Publications’ BATTLE STORIES. It was based on the poster art for the classic World War I film, ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT.)

 

Book a Room at the DoubleTree

Oct 22, 2018 by

Are you planning to attend PulpFest in 2019? You can book your room directly through our website. Book early and don’t miss the chance to stay at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. Just click the link that reads “Book a Room” below the PulpFest banner. You’ll be redirected to a secure site where you can place your reservation.

You can also make a reservation by calling 1-800-222-8733. Be sure to mention PulpFest to receive the special convention rate of $129 plus tax per night. Included in the room rate are two complimentary breakfasts per room during your stay. Also included is free Wi-Fi in each sleeping room. Ample free parking surrounds the hotel. You must book your room by July 31, 2019 in order to get the special convention rate.

By staying at our host hotel, you help defray the convention’s expenses. It also helps our hotel’s bottom line. To thank you for making PulpFest look good, you’ll receive free early-bird shopping on Thursday evening in the PulpFest dealers’ room. That’s a savings of $35 by staying at the DoubleTree!

Conveniently located at the intersection of three major roadways, the DoubleTree boasts a fine restaurant in an open air setting. There are many other restaurants nearby — some within walking distance — suitable for a variety of tastes. The more adventurous can discover plenty of dining, shopping, and nightlife just a short drive away in downtown Pittsburgh. The DoubleTree also offers a 24-hour fitness center, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and a sauna.

We’re very happy the DoubleTree Cranberry will be hosting the summertime destination for pop culture fans and collectors. PulpFest seeks to honor pulp fiction and pulp art by drawing attention to the many ways they have inspired popular writers, artists, film directors, software developers, game designers, and other creators over the decades. Per our members, the DoubleTree is a terrific venue for our convention.

PulpFest 2019 will begin on Thursday evening, August 15, and run through Sunday, August 18. We hope to see you at the DoubleTree.

(As mentioned in our recent post, Doc Savage and Superman resembled each other. Doc was “The Man of Bronze,” while Superman was “The Man of Steel.” Both characters had a “Fortress of Solitude.” Both were named “Clark.” And in a 1934 advertisement, Street & Smith labeled Doc Savage a “superman.” Thus, PulpFest art director has created a PulpFest banner using H. J. Ward’s depiction of Superman and Walter Baumhofer’s “Man of Bronze.”

We hope you’ll join PulpFest in 2019 as we explore the many ways pulp fiction and pulp art have influenced writers, artists, film directors, software developers, game designers, and other pop culture creators over the decades.)

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Ten Months to PulpFest

Oct 15, 2018 by

The PulpFest organizing committee has decided to return to Mars, Pennsylvania for our 2019 convention. We’ll be back at the wonderful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. Per our members, it’s a terrific venue for PulpFest.

Located where three major roadways intersect, the DoubleTree boasts a world-class restaurant. Many other restaurants are nearby, suitable for a variety of tastes. The adventurous can find more dining, shopping, and nightlife in downtown Pittsburgh.

We’re happy to return to Mars for summer’s gathering of fans and collectors of pop culture. We seek to honor pulp fiction and pulp art by celebrating the many ways they’ve inspired creators. We hope you’ll join us at PulpFest 2019 for “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories.” Expect another great dealers’ room and superb programming from PulpFest and FarmerCon.

PulpFest 2019 will begin on Thursday evening, August 15 and run through Sunday, August 18. Please join us for our celebration of mystery, adventure, science fiction, and more. If you enjoy  genre writers such as J. K. Rowling, Michael Connelly, and Stephen King, you’ll love PulpFest!

(Despite reading DOC SAVAGE MAGAZINE as a boy, Jerry Siegel couldn’t recall if the character had influenced him when he created Superman. It had been “so doggone long ago.”

There were similarities between the two characters. Doc was “The Man of Bronze,” while Superman was “The Man of Steel.” Both characters had a “Fortress of Solitude.” Both were named “Clark.” And in a 1934 advertisement, Street & Smith labeled Doc Savage a “superman.”

We hope you’ll join PulpFest in 2019 as we explore the many ways pulp fiction and pulp art have influenced writers, artists, film directors, software developers, game designers, and other creators over the decades.)

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Classicon — Fall’s Last Pulp Con

Oct 8, 2018 by

As the leaves disappear from the trees, the pulp and paperback convention scene draws to a close. Classicon, one of the oldest pulp and paperback shows, marks the end of the season. Two times each year, Classicon takes place in Lansing, Michigan. A one-day show, you’ll find calendar, pin-up, and illustration artwork, plus thousands of rare pulp magazines, paperbacks, vintage comic books, and other collectibles for sale or trade. Although a date has not yet been set for this fall’s Classicon, you can learn more about the convention by visiting curiousbooks.com/classicon.html.

Remember to bookmark http://www.pulpfest.com/ to stay informed about PulpFest 2019 and other pulp-related conventions. Or like the PulpFest facebook site at http://www.facebook.com/PulpFest. You can follow our twitter feed at https://twitter.com/pulpfest. Wherever you look for PulpFest on the web, we’ll be sure to keep you up to date.

Many thanks to everyone who attended this year’s PulpFest. We hope that you enjoyed yourself and will return for PulpFest 2019. Please join us for “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories” at our 48th summertime pulp con. We’ll be celebrating mystery, adventure, science fiction, and more.

PulpFest 2019 will take place from August 15 – 18, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry.

(We hope you’ll get to this fall’s Classicon. It’s a great show. Then join PulpFest in 2019 as we explore such stories as the 150th anniversary of the birth of Robert H. Davis. The editor of THE ALL-STORY — including the October 1912 issue with cover art by Clinton Pettee — Davis discovered Edgar Rice Burroughs, A. Merritt, Max Brand, and other writers.)

New Jersey’s Pulp AdventureCon

Oct 1, 2018 by

Pulp AdventureCon returns to New Jersey on November 3. What’s there? Rare pulp magazines, vintage paperbacks, golden age comic books, movie memorabilia, and more! It’s in Bordentown, just off exit 7 of the New Jersey Turnpike. Check out their website.

Pulp AdventureCon is a pop culture paradise. If you like cloaked crimefighters, tough gunslingers, damsels in distress, hardboiled detectives, space pirates, or weird monsters, you’ll love Pulp AdventureCon! What more do you want?

Events like Pulp AdventureCon may keep you satisfied until the next PulpFest. So stay informed. Bookmark pulpfest.com to learn about all things pulp! Then like us on facebook and follow us on twitter.

PulpFest 2019 will take place from August 15 – 18, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry.

(The Pulp AdventureCon banner is designed by Rich Harvey of Bold Venture Press. Check them out!)

Have a Programming Idea? Share It with PulpFest!

Sep 24, 2018 by

For the last ten years, PulpFest has put on some of the best programming around. It’s our claim to fame.

PulpFest is the summertime destination for fans of vintage popular fiction and related collectibles. It has become the “pop culture center of the universe” due to our celebration of mystery, adventure, science fiction, and more. If you enjoy  genre writers such as J. K. Rowling, Michael Connelly, and Stephen King, PulpFest is for you!

PulpFest celebrates the pulps by calling attention to the ways these throw-away magazines still inspire writers, artists, film directors, game designers, and other creators.

Tell us what you want to see at PulpFest. Write to programming director Mike Chomko at mike@pulpfest.comHe wants to hear from you. Then join us next year at PulpFest 2019 for “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories.”

PulpFest 2019 will take place from August 15 – 18, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry.

(Released in 1939, THE OUTSIDER AND OTHERS collects the stories  of H. P. Lovecraft. With jacket art by Virgil Finlay, Arkham House only printed 1,268 copies. You can find it at PulpFest.

Earlier this year, Scribner released THE OUTSIDER by bestselling author Stephen King. We don’t know how many copies were printed, but it was more than 1,268. If you like King, you’ll love PulpFest.)

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Announcing PulpFest 2019

Sep 6, 2018 by

The fall pulp con season is getting into full swing. Adventure House’s PULP AND COLLECTIBLES CONVENTION gets the ball rolling on Sunday, September 9. It will be followed by other fine conventions. But what about the main event?

PulpFest 2019 will take place from Thursday, August 15, through Sunday, August 18.  We’ll be returning to the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennyslvania’s “Steel City.” PulpFest will be joined by FarmerCon. Hopefully, they’re not too hung over from this year’s Philip José Farmer centennial.

Start making your plans for the 48th convening of PulpFest and its celebration of mystery, adventure, science fiction, and more. Join us for “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories” at “Summer’s Great Pulp Con.” Please bring your friends!

Bookmark http://www.pulpfest.com/ to keep informed about PulpFest 2019. You’ll find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/PulpFest. And for those who prefer their news short and sweet, follow our Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/pulpfest. Wherever you look for PulpFest on the web, we’ll be sure to keep you informed of our plans.

(Doc Savage has been called the first superhero. Created by Lester Dent, the character debuted in the March 1933 issue of DOC SAVAGE MAGAZINE, published by Street & Smith. Artist Walter M. Baumhofer contributed the first painted image of “The Man of Bronze.”

About five years later, Superman made his first appearance in the June 1938 issue of ACTION COMICS. Before long, the Man of Steel was joined by many other superheroes.

We hope to see you at PulpFest in 2019 as we explore the many ways pulp fiction and pulp art have influenced writers, artists, film directors, software developers, game designers, and other creators over the decades.)