Fighting Aces of War Skies

May 23, 2018 by

At this year’s convention, PulpFest 2018 will honor the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War. Our programming will focus on the so-called “war pulps” of the early twentieth century and the depiction of war in popular culture. From the war pulps would sprout an even more specialized category — the air war magazine.

Prior to the introduction of the air war pulp, stories about fighter pilots appeared irregularly in the general fiction magazines. The majority of aviation stories prior to 1930 were unrelated to the Great War. Most air fiction of the period involved daredevil aces and barnstormers, airmail pilots and governments agents, or bootleggers and rum runners. Leading aviation author Thomson Burtis primarily wrote about the Army Air Service guarding America’s borders or tangling with criminals.

Although Fiction House would introduce the first air-oriented pulp magazine — AIR STORIES — it was Dell Publishing that melded the air with the war. The first issue of Dell’s WAR BIRDS hit the stands with its March 1928 number. It was joined about a year later by Fiction House’s ACES. Later came another Dell magazine called WAR ACES, Popular’s BATTLE ACES, BATTLE BIRDS, and DARE-DEVIL ACES, Standard’s SKY FIGHTERS and THE LONE EAGLE, and a variety of George Bruce magazines from Fiction House. The latter would also rebrand WINGS, adding “Fighting Aces of War Skies” to its title bar during the summer of 1931.

The stories in the air war magazines ranged from realistic tales “about men suffering real emotions flying real planes in real situations” to the humorous “howlers” of Phineas Pinkham and Elmer & Pokey to the science fiction versions of the First World War found in Robert J. Hogan’s G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES and Donald Keyhoe’s Philip Strange stories for FLYING ACES.

“The air pulps meant different things to different people. They filled the heads of all sorts with Arthurian type heroes. We needed those during the dark days of the Great Depression.”

Join PulpFest on Friday, July 27, at 8:30 PM as award-winning writer and author Don Hutchison moderates a panel on the air war magazines of the pulps. He’ll be joined by graphic designer, illustrator, and pulp premium enthusiast Chris Kalb. Aviation fiction expert Bill Mann will also be along for the flight. With Chris and David Kalb, Bill founded Age of Aces BooksMunsey Award winner and PulpFest marketing and programming director Mike Chomko will round out the panel. With Steve Young, Mike authored a portrait of WINGS for WINDY CITY PULP STORIES #18.

PulpFest 2018 will also be celebrating the 100th birthday of Philip José Farmer with FarmerCon 100. We’ll be welcoming  Joe Lansdale — the author of over forty novels, numerous short stories, and more — as our Guest of Honor and hosting a rare gallery showing of original art by acclaimed writer-illustrator Mark Wheatley. Additionally, there will be author readings, a great programming line-up, two auctions featuring unique collectibles, and a dealers’ room filled with pulps, digests, and men’s adventure magazines, collectible paintings and illustrations, rare first editions, vintage paperbacks and comic books, unique films and more. PulpFest 2018 begins on Thursday, July 26, and runs through Sunday, July 29 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry.

You can join both PulpFest and FarmerCon by clicking the Register for 2018 button on the PulpFest home page. And don’t forget to book a room at the DoubleTree while you’re visiting the PulpFest site. They’re going fast!

(Fiction House was one of the leading publishers of both aviation pulps and air war magazines. The first of their titles to specialize in stories about the war in the air was ACES. Its first issue was dated January 1929. It ran for fifty-five issues, including the February 1929 number with cover art by F. R. Glass. The Spring 1940 issue was the final number of ACES.

One of the more successful air war magazines was WINGS, also published by Fiction House. Debuting with its January 1928 number, it was originally subtitled “The Magazine of Air-Adventure Stories.” It became an air war title during the summer of 1931. WINGS would run for 133 issues. Its pilots fought in both World Wars as well as the Korean War and in a variety of settings during the early days of the Cold War. The final number of WINGS was dated Summer 1953.)

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.)

PulpFest 2018 Art Show — Mark Wheatley

May 18, 2018 by

PulpFest 2018 is very pleased to announce that it will host a rare gallery showing of original art by Mark Wheatley. Held in conjunction with the convention — which begins Thursday, July 26, 2018 — the event will showcase Wheatley’s extensive array of illustrations for the new Christopher Paul Carey novel, SWORDS AGAINST THE MOON MEN.

Wheatley, the acclaimed writer-illustrator of the DC/Vertigo graphic novel BREATHTAKER, the cutting edge First Comics series MARS, pioneering WaRP Graphics mini-series BLOOD OF THE INNOCENT, ComicMix/IDW Publishing graphic novel series LONE JUSTICE, and other works, is also a longtime pulp collector. Active with The Burroughs Bibliophiles, he has contributed cover art and interior illustrations for THE BURROUGHS BULLETIN, THE NATIONAL CAPITAL PANTHANS JOURNAL, and EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS: THE SECOND CENTURY. With frequent collaborator Marc Hempel, Wheatley also created TARZAN THE WARRIOR and produced other Tarzan comic book series for Semic International, published by Malibu in the United States. Additionally, two new Wheatley illustrated Philip José Farmer books — TARZAN AND THE DARK HEART OF TIME and THE PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER CENTENNIAL COLLECTION — will be released by Meteor House at PulpFest 2018/FarmerCon 100.

Mark Wheatley has also painted covers for Norvell W. Page’s THE SPIDER: SATAN’S MURDER MACHINES and AMAZON NIGHTS by Arthur O. Friel. He adapted The Spider into a graphic novel and followed that up with his own pulp-inspired FRANKENSTEIN MOBSTER for Image Comics. He has also illustrated the award-winning Rick Ruby series for new pulp fiction publisher Airship 27. His most recent pulp-infused project is a collaboration with G. D. Falksen entitled DOCTOR CTHULITTLE. Copies of the signed, limited edition will be available at PulpFest. Art from DOCTOR CTHULITTLE and several other pulp projects will also be on view at the convention.

SWORDS AGAINST THE MOON MEN is part of the new “Wild Adventures of Edgar Rice Burroughs” series published by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. Conceived as a continuation of Burroughs’ Moon novels, Christopher Paul Carey expands on the original series while remaining solidly true to the established lore of Edgar Rice Burroughs. “This was a great project to be a part of, and I can’t wait for everyone at PulpFest to see the art from it,” Wheatley told us. “As a long-time Burroughs fan, I can tell you that Christopher is an excellent author, very much to my taste. If I had any problem illustrating this book, it was that I was limited to eighteen pages of illustrations, and Christopher easily had a hundred great scenes in his manuscript!”

Wheatley drew and painted the illustrations for the book, using a combination of traditional and digital media. “I’ve been painting in Photoshop for over a decade, but I still prefer to draw in ink. So I rough out my composition in Photoshop, print that and ink over it, scan that back into the computer and paint!”

The inked originals will be framed and presented along with high quality, full size Giclée prints of the digital paintings, offering a unique chance to see the entire set of illustrations for the book all in one place. The showing is made possible because a single collector purchased all the art for the book, and is allowing it to be displayed for the public.

“I have had my art displayed in museums across the country, but sharing my art with pulp fans is connecting with my own clan. And there is nothing better than that!” Wheatley concluded.

PulpFest 2018 will take place July 26 – 29 at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just outside Pennsylvania’s Steel City. PulpFest 2018 and its partner, FarmerCon 100will honor both the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I AND the century mark of author Philip José Farmer. Also on hand will be the conventions’ Guest of Honor — Joe Lansdale — the author of over forty novels, numerous short stories, and co-author of TARZAN: THE LOST ADVENTURE, a novel left unfinished when Edgar Rice Burroughs passed away in 1950. All this, plus you can get ten dollars off the daily admission to Confluence. It’s taking place the same weekend as summer’s AMAZING pulp con! All you have to do is show your PulpFest badge at the door to Pittsburgh’s long-running science fiction, fantasy and horror conference.

You can join PulpFest by clicking the Register for 2018 button on our home page. And don’t forget to book a room at the DoubleTree while you’re visiting the PulpFest site. They’re going fast!

(Inducted into The Overstreet Hall of Fame in July 2017, Mark Wheatley most recently has continued his string of popular DOCTOR WHO covers for Titan, completed a set of STARGATE ATLANTIS covers for American Mythology, and provided the cover and interior illustrations for the new novel MAN OF WAR, by Heidi Ruby Miller from Meteor House. Prior to that, his work for CBS Television was featured on THE MILLERS, 2 BROKE GIRLS, and SUPER CLYDE, and the SQUARE ROOTS pilot for ABC.

In print Mark was featured in the acclaimed JUNGLE TALES OF TARZAN from Dark Horse Comics, on the cover of the Meteor House release of EXILES OF KHO by Christopher Paul Carey, and his own well-received art book, STARS, which presents elaborate line art portraits of actors, musicians, and authors. With a track record that includes FRANKENSTEIN MOBSTER, RADICAL DREAMER, RETURN OF THE HUMAN, HAMMER OF THE GODS, EZ STREET, SKULTAR, and LONE JUSTICE, Wheatley is an Inkpot, Mucker, Gem, Speakeasy, and Eisner award-winning creator. He has lectured at the Library of Congress, exhibited at the Norman Rockwell Museum, created set pieces for The Black Eyed Peas, designed for Lady Gaga, and contributed designs to ABC’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.)

FarmerCon 100: Moi, Tarzan!

May 16, 2018 by

Not only does 2018 mark the centennial of the armistice that ended The First World War, it is also the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José Farmer. Beginning on Thursday evening, July 26, and running through Sunday, July 29, PulpFest 2018 and its partner, FarmerCon 100will honor both the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I AND the century mark of Philip José Farmer. We’ll be celebrating at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just outside Pennsylvania’s Steel City.

As a child, Philip José Farmer discovered the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Farmer’s interest in the popular pulp writer would lead him to pen a biography of Burroughs’ best-known creation. Entitled TARZAN ALIVE: A DEFINITIVE BIOGRAPHY OF LORD GREYSTOKE, the book revealed that the “character” known as Tarzan was, in fact, based on a real, living person. It also served to introduce the Wold Newton Family mythos, a concept that may be one of Farmer’s most enduring creations.

Since 2011, PulpFest has been hosting its convention with the help of FarmerCon. We’re very pleased to welcome our FarmerCon members back to our joint conference, particularly during the centennial year of Philip José Farmer’s birth. We’ll be celebrating the occasion with an expanded FarmerCon programming schedule.

On Thursday, July 26, at 11:25 PM our FarmerCon programming continues with a showing of the excellent and informative French documentary MOI, TARZAN. Set in an English castle, this French documentary features George McWhorter, editor emeritus of THE BURROUGHS BULLETIN, Philip José Farmer, and popular culture expert Francis Lacassin in a discussion about Edgar Rice Burroughs’ most famous creation, Tarzan. An exploration of the fabulous jungle lord, the film adopts the viewpoint that Tarzan was a real person. MOI, TARZAN is full of fun, fancy and mystery. Here’s a link to a trailer for the film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-nvueuWYIw.

What better way to celebrate the 100th birthday of Philip José Farmer than by registering for Pulpfest 2018/FarmerCon 100? The Science Fiction Grand Master will be one of the main themes of the conventions, with plenty of programming about Farmer and his work. Also on hand will be the conventions’ Guest of Honor — Joe Lansdale — the author of over forty novels, numerous short stories, and co-author of TARZAN: THE LOST ADVENTURE, a novel left unfinished when Edgar Rice Burroughs passed away in 1950. You can join both conventions by clicking the Register for 2018 button on the PulpFest home page. And don’t forget to book a room at the DoubleTree while you’re visiting the PulpFest site. They’re going fast!

(Philip José Farmer’s biography of the Lord of the Apes — TARZAN ALIVE: A DEFINITIVE BIOGRAPHY OF LORD GREYSTOKE — has been printed in six editions in the United States and Great Britain. The first paperback edition — released by Popular Library in 1973 — featured front cover art by artist and illustrator Richard Amsel.)

 

FarmerCon 100 — World Building and Writing in the Nine Continuity

May 14, 2018 by

 

Last week, we discussed how 2018 marks the centennial of the armistice that ended The First World War. Our current year is also the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José Farmer. Beginning on Thursday evening, July 26, and running through Sunday, July 29, PulpFest 2018 and its partner, FarmerCon 100will honor both the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I AND the century mark of Philip José Farmer. We’ll be celebrating at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just outside Pennsylvania’s Steel City.

Few people think of Philip José Farmer as a pulp writer, but he was a child of the pulps and launched his career in the pulps. Born January 26, 1918 in North Terre Haute, Indiana, Farmer grew up in Peoria, Illinois. He spent much of his childhood reading everything he could find in the local library and drug store. Farmer read everything from the classics by Baum, Carroll, Cervantes, Chesterton, Cooper, Defoe, Dickens, Dumas, Homer, London, Shaw, Stevenson, Swift, Thackeray, Twain, Verne, Wells, and others, to popular fiction by Burroughs, Doyle, Haggard, and on through the pulps: AIR WONDER STORIES, ARGOSY, BLUE BOOK, DOC SAVAGE, SCIENCE WONDER STORIES, THE SHADOW, WEIRD TALES, and more.

Farmer’s interest in the rough-paper magazines of his youth would lead him to pen two biographies about pulp characters  TARZAN ALIVE: A DEFINITIVE BIOGRAPHY OF LORD GREYSTOKE and DOC SAVAGE: HIS APOCALYPTIC LIFE. He would also author official Doc Savage and Tarzan novels: ESCAPE FROM LOKI, and THE DARK HEART OF TIME. Farmer would also create “The Secrets of the Nine” series, beginning with the controversial novel A FEAST UNKNOWN, followed by two more straightforward adventure novels, LORD OF THE TREES and THE MAD GOBLIN.

Since 2011, PulpFest has been hosting its convention with the help of FarmerCon. We’re very pleased to welcome our FarmerCon members back to our joint conference, particularly during the centennial year of Philip José Farmer’s birth. We’ll be celebrating the occasion with an expanded FarmerCon programming schedule. The fun begins on Thursday, July 26, at 10:45 PM, with a panel exploring “World Building and Writing in the Nine Continuity.” England’s Paul Spiteri, who served as co-editor of FARMERPHILE and the collection PEARLS OF PEORIA, and also collaborated with Phil, finishing the short story “Getting Ready to Write,” will be moderating the panel.

Paul will be joined by authors Win Scott Eckert and Frank Schildiner to talk about the challenges and rewarding aspects of writing in the world of Philip José Farmer’s Lord Grandrith, Doc Caliban, and the Nine.

Win Scott Eckert is the coauthor with Philip José Farmer of the Wold Newton novel THE EVIL IN PEMBERLEY HOUSE and the author of THE SCARLET JAGUAR, both featuring Patricia Wildman, daughter of the pulp hero Doc Wildman, the bronze champion of justice. He is the editor of and a contributor to MYTHS FOR THE MODERN AGE: PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER’S WOLD NEWTON UNIVERSE, a 2007 Locus Awards finalist, and the coeditor with Christopher Paul Carey of TALES OF THE WOLD NEWTON UNIVERSE. He was the coeditor of FARMERPHILE from 2007–2009. In 1997, he launched the first Wold Newton website, The Wold Newton Universe. He is currently completing Philip José Farmer’s manuscript of THE MONSTER ON HOLD, the fourth novel in the Secrets of the Nine series.

Frank Schildiner is a martial arts instructor at Amorosi’s Mixed Martial Arts in New Jersey. He is the writer of the novels, THE QUEST OF FRANKENSTEINTHE TRIUMPH OF FRANKENSTEIN, NAPOLEON’S VAMPIRE HUNTERS,  THE DEVIL PLAGUE OF NAPLES, and the forthcoming SATANIC GANGS OF NEW YORK. He is a regular contributor to the fictional series TALES OF THE SHADOWMEN and has been published in THE NEW ADVENTURES OF THUNDER JIM WADE, Airship 27’s SECRET AGENT X series, THE LONE RANGER AND TONTO: FRONTIER JUSTICETHE AVENGER: THE JUSTICE FILES, and other anthologies. He resides in New Jersey with his wife Gail, who is his top supporter and two cats who are indifferent on the subject.

What better way to celebrate the 100th birthday of Philip José Farmer than by registering for Pulpfest 2018/FarmerCon 100? The Science Fiction Grand Master will be one of the main themes of the conventions, with plenty of programming about Farmer and his work. Also on hand will be the conventions’ Guest of Honor — Joe Lansdale — the author of over forty novels, numerous short stories, and the introduction to THE BEST OF PHILIP JOSÉ FARMERYou can join both conventions by clicking the Register for 2018 button on the PulpFest home page. And don’t forget to book a room at the DoubleTree while you’re visiting the PulpFest site. They’re going fast!

(Philip José Farmer began his “Secrets of the Nine” series with the controversial novel, A FEAST UNKNOWN. First published in 1969 by Essex House, the book has gone through numerous international printings, including four by Playboy Press in the early 1980s. Each featured front cover art by Jordi Penalva.

Farmer’s THE MAD GOBLIN was originally released in 1970 by Ace Books as part of their double line of paperbacks. The other half the book featured LORD OF THE TREES. Both sides of the book featured covers created by Gray Morrow, a comic book and paperback artist who also illustrated many science-fiction magazines. He was nominated for the Hugo Award for best professional artist in 1966, 1967, and 1968.)

Life and Death on the Front Lines: The War Comics

May 11, 2018 by

At this year’s convention, PulpFest 2018 will honor the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War. Our programming will focus on the so-called “war pulps” of the early twentieth century and the depiction of war in popular culture.

Although the pulps played a very important role in the evolution of American popular culture, they had essentially disappeared by the early fifties. While some continued in the smaller digest format, the rough paper magazines were killed by competition from paperback books, radio, television, movies, and comic books.

Just as the pulps had hesitated to revisit the battlefields of World War I, the comics medium at first shied away from the theme. Once again, it was Dell Publishing that tried its hand at the war genre. It launched WAR COMICS in 1940. The book ran for just eight issues.

The fight against the Axis powers and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor led more publishers to the war genre. With comic book superheroes such as Captain America and Daredevil slugging it out with the Führer and Hirohito, publishers launched four-color comics with military themes. AIR FIGHTERS COMICS, BOY COMMANDOS, DEVIL DOG COMICS, MILITARY COMICS, RANGERS COMICS, WAR HEROES, WINGS COMICS, and others were soon battling for newsstand space. The Korean War created a similar uptick as Atlas, Avon, Charlton, DC, Dell, Fawcett, Quality, St. John, and others entered the fray during the 1950s. The best of all was EC Comics. Although it published only a trio of titles, ACES HIGH, FRONTLINE COMBAT, and TWO-FISTED TALES towered above the competition.

Join PulpFest 2018 on Thursday, July 26, at 10 PM as Michelle Nolan explores the depiction of war in the four-color format at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. Using images selected by her friend Bob Carter, Michelle will discuss the many costumed and military heroes who battled fascism during World War II. She’ll examine the “true” type of comics, the humor books such as DEVIL DOG DUGAN and SGT. BILKO, and how war comics exploded during the Korean War. She’ll compare and contrast DC and Marvel — the leading publishers of war comics during the 1950s, talk about the explosion of Charlton war comics in the 1960s, and dissect the artistic success of Harvey Kurtzman’s war titles for EC.

You’ll get all of this, plus a ten-dollar discount off the daily admission at Confluence, Pittsburgh’s long-running science fiction, fantasy and horror conference if you choose to attend both conventions. You can join PulpFest by clicking the Register for 2018 button on our home page. And while you’re at our site, you can book a room at the DoubleTree. They’re going fast!

(Although tales of war have been with us since ancient times, the comic book industry only began to explore the war genre during the early years of World War II. Hence, four-color stories of the Great War were few and far between. Some of the best appeared in EC Comics’ ACES HIGH. Launched in 1955 and lasting five issues, the book featured the work of Jack Davis, Bernard Krigstein, Wally Wood, and air war pulp enthusiast George Evans. The latter drew all of the covers — including the September/October 1955 issue — and the lead stories of each issue of the comic.

A mainstream journalist for more than fifty years, Michelle Nolan has also covered the history of genre fiction in pulps, comics, books and films in more than 1,000 magazine, newspaper and book articles. She is the author of the definitive “LOVE ON THE RACKS: A HISTORY OF AMERICAN ROMANCE COMICS and BALL TALES: A STUDY OF BASEBALL, BASKETBALL AND FOOTBALL FICTION OF THE 1930s THROUGH 1960s. In 2014, Michelle received an Inkpot Award from Comic-Con International: San Diego for her contributions to the worlds of comics, science fiction and fantasy, film, television, and animation.)

Edgar Rice Burroughs and the Great War

May 9, 2018 by

At this year’s convention, PulpFest 2018 will honor the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War. Our programming will focus on the so-called “war pulps” of the early twentieth century and the depiction of war in popular culture.

One of the most popular and widely known authors to emerge from the pulps was Edgar Rice Burroughs. When World War I broke out in 1914, Burroughs was 39 years old. “Under the Moons of Mars” and “Tarzan of the Apes” had been published by Munsey in 1912. His writing career was reaching full stride. The war years would see the introduction of the worlds of Pellucidar in “At the Earth’s Core” and Caspak in “The Land that Time Forgot.” Such Burroughs classics as “The Mucker,” “Beyond Thirty,” and “Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar” would also appear during The Great War.

Like most Americans of his day, Edgar Rice Burroughs’ feelings about the war evolved over time. In “Barney Custer of Beatrice” — published in 1915 — Burroughs’ protagonist witnesses Austria-Hungary’s invasion of Serbia. February 1916 saw the initial publication of “Beyond Thirty” in ALL AROUND MAGAZINE. Later entitled “The Lost Continent,” Burroughs’ novel imagines a future world where the western hemisphere isolates itself from the war. While the Americas prosper, Europe reverts to wilderness and savagery.

In August of 1918, the first novella in the three-part Caspak trilogy — “The Land That Time Forgot” — would appear in THE BLUE BOOK MAGAZINE. Inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s THE LOST WORLD and Jules Verne’s THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND and A JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH, the story concerns an American headed to Europe to serve in the American Volunteer Motor Ambulance Corps. The vessel on which he is traveling is sunk by a German U-boat. Following a series of adventures, the survivors take control of the submarine and discover the lost world of Caspak.

Burroughs’ TARZAN THE UNTAMED — originally published as two separate stories in 1919 and 1920 — is the novel tied most directly to The Great War. As reported on ERBzine:

“While John Clayton, Lord Greystoke (Tarzan), is away from his plantation home in British East Africa, it is destroyed by invading German troops from Tanganyika. On his return he discovers among many burned bodies one that appears to be the corpse of his wife, Jane Porter Clayton. Another fatality is the Waziri warrior Wasimbu, left crucified by the Germans. . . . Maddened, the ape-man seeks revenge not only on the perpetrators of the tragedy but all Germans, and sets out for the battle front of the war in east Africa.”

Join PulpFest 2018 on Thursday, July 26, at 9:20 PM as Henry G. Franke, III discusses Edgar Rice Burroughs’ personal and professional life during The First World War. Henry will explore the impact that the war had on Burroughs’ fiction, including his tales of Tarzan. It’s all at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. You can join PulpFest by clicking the Register for 2018 button on our home page. And don’t forget to book a room at the DoubleTree. They’re going fast!

(One of the most popular writers to emerge from the pulps, Edgar Rice Burroughs often landed the front cover for the start of one of his serials. “Tarzan and the Valley of Luna” is one of two stories that formed the basis for TARZAN THE UNTAMED, first published in book format by A. C. McClurg in 1920. The story originally ran in the March 20 through April 17 issues of Munsey’s ALL-STORY WEEKLY. The initial segment of the story featured front cover art by P. J. Monahan.

Henry G. Franke III is the Editor of The Burroughs Bibliophiles, the non-profit literary society devoted to the life and works of Edgar Rice Burroughs. The Bibliophiles publish THE BURROUGHS BULLETIN journal and THE GRIDLEY WAVE newsletter.  Henry is only the third editor of THE BURROUGHS BULLETIN since its debut in 1947. He was the Contributing Editor and penned the introductions for IDW Publishing’s Library of American Comics archival series reprinting Russ Manning’s Tarzan daily and Sunday newspaper comic strips. The first volume won the 2014 Eisner Award for Best Archival Collection – Strips. He has written articles and other book introductions on Tarzan comic books and strips for TwoMorrows Publishing, Titan Books, and IDW’s Library of American Comics. Henry was the Official Editor of the Edgar Rice Burroughs Amateur Press Association (ERBapa) in 1994-1996 and 2004. He served in the U. S. Army from 1977 to 2009 and is now a government civilian employee of the Army.

For a look at our entire programming schedule, please click the Programming button below the PulpFest banner on our home page.)

 

Leonard H. Nason — Soldier and Writer

May 7, 2018 by

At this year’s convention, PulpFest 2018 will honor the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War. Our programming will focus on the so-called “war pulps” of the early twentieth century and the depiction of war in popular culture. The first of these pulps — WAR STORIES — debuted with its November 1926 number. Featuring authors such as Larry Barretto, Robert Sidney Bowen, Harold F. Cruickshank, George Fielding Eliot, Steuart Emery, Arthur Guy Empey, Robert H. Leitfred, Ralph Oppenheim, Alexis Rossoff, and Raoul Whitfield, WAR STORIES demonstrated that tales about soldiers in battle could sell magazines.

The war pulps would become a substantial category in the rough-paper industry — particularly with stories about the air war. However, until Dell Publishing launched WAR STORIES, the so-called Great War was rarely explored in the pulps. As Tom Roberts writes in THE ART OF THE PULPS: “Following World War I, the reading public had grown weary from the news of battlefield atrocities. They wished to escape, to forget the realities of the recent conflict; fiction of the European front became taboo, as did war stories in general.”

One author who bucked this trend was Leonard H. Nason. After enlisting in the United States Army in 1917, he was sent to France, serving under General Pershing. He fought in the Meuse-Argonne offensive and was wounded in action. Following the war, Nason found work as an insurance claims adjuster. After marrying in 1920, he turned to writing to earn extra income:

“The only thing I knew well enough to write about was the war. True, millions had been to the war, but many more millions hadn’t, and those who had been in the big fight liked to talk about it, and to hear others talk about it. I had noticed that wherever two or three overseas men got together they invariably began yarning about the war. I had heard some good stories from some of these men, and I had told a few myself that seemed to go over pretty well.”

Nason sent his first tale, “The Patrol,” to ADVENTURE in early 1922. In THE LURE OF ADVENTURE, Robert Kenneth Jones writes, “All the editors in the office . . . enthusiastically embraced it — all, that is, but Arthur Sullivant Hoffmann (the magazine’s editor-in-chief) who questioned its point of view and method of telling.”

Thankfully, Hoffmann relented and accepted the story, sending its author a check for fifty dollars. Included with the payment was a note suggesting that ADVENTURE was not in the market for additional stories about The Great War. After unsuccessfully trying his hand at stories about “pirates and buried treasure and cowboys and Chicago gunmen,” Nason returned to the trenches of Europe.

ADVENTURE had said they wanted no more war stories. That was all right, but I had to write war stories, so I sat down and wrote an account of my first battle. . . . I decided to set it down just as it had happened, and then it sounded all right. In other words, it was sincere. The incidents fell naturally into place and the story rang true. . . . I had to write about the war as I knew it, or not at all. I couldn’t doctor my stories, color them, fix ’em up to read the way I might have wished they had happened. I had to write them just as they were, maybe adding a little here and taking out a little there, but leaving the essential truth and incidents just as they had come to me.”

It wasn’t long before Nason’s stories were being noticed by readers. One letter-writer to ADVENTURE remarked, “You have certainly made a find in young Nason, as his stories are so natural as to be classed almost as facts.” Even today, the author’s work rings true. According to pulp fan and historian, Walker Martin, “His work is just not about World War I, but about men and how they deal with the horrors of war.”

Join PulpFest 2018 on Thursday, July 26, at 8:40 PM as Sai Shankar looks at this substantial but largely forgotten author at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. You can join PulpFest by clicking the Register for 2018 button on our home page. And don’t forget to book a room at the DoubleTree. They’re going fast!

(Sai Shankar is a resident of Washington state, where he works in the computer industry. He explores pulp magazines, authors and their stories on Pulp Flakes. You’ll also find photographs from the pulp conventions that he attends on the same site.

Between 1922 and 1928, Leonard H. Nason published over seventy articles and stories in ADVENTURE. Beginning in 1926, he found another steady market for his work in THE SATURDAY EVENING POST. His stories also appeared in THE AMERICAN LEGION MONTHLY, BLUE BOOK MAGAZINE, COLLIER’S, THE COUNTRY GENTLEMAN, FAWCETT’S BATTLE STORIES, LIBERTY, and other magazines. His novella, “Three Lights from a Match,” appeared in the February 20, 1924 issue of ADVENTURE. The issue featured front cover art by H. C. Murphy. It was one of very few ADVENTURE covers depicting The First World War.

For a look at our entire programming schedule, please click the Programming button below the PulpFest banner on our home page.)

Ten Dollar Discounts!

May 4, 2018 by

 

Hey PulpFest members? Are you interested in genre fiction? Then you’ll be happy to know that PulpFest has worked out a discount exchange with Confluence, Pittsburgh’s longest-running literary conference, with a strong focus on science fiction, fantasy and horror.

All PulpFest members will receive $10 off the price of a daily membership to Confluence. The conference runs from 3 PM on Friday, July 27, through 3 PM on Sunday, July 29. It takes place at the Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport Hotel, located at 1160 Thorn Run Road in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. To receive your discount, simply show your PulpFest badge when you register at the door.

Confluence members are also welcome to attend PulpFest 2018. They will receive the same $10 discount off the price of a daily PulpFest admission with proof of membership. Click one of the Register buttons on our home page for our daily rates.

About Confluence 2018

Confluence is a cooperative effort between the University of Pittsburgh science fiction club and Parsec, a non-profit organization that has been promoting science fiction, fantasy and horror in literature, media and music for over 25 years. Joe Coluccio, who has attended PulpFest for the last few years, serves as the president of Parsec.

Award-winning authors, editors, artists and song-writers gather in Pittsburgh for three full days, holding panel discussions, concerts and talks that broaden and deepen appreciation of the genres. Welcoming and personal, Confluence gives attendees a unique opportunity to meet and chat with the writers and artists who create the science fiction, fantasy, and horror of today, helping to shape those genres for the future.

This year’s Confluence will offer many activities including musical filk concerts, an exciting dealers’ room, science programming, an art show, poetry readings, workshops, art demos, a cosplay/costume contest, and Saturday night entertainment. Additionally, Hugo-winning science fiction writer David D. Levine will conduct a Writers’ Workshop. A select number of authors will have the chance to have a professional writer and several of their peers critique their work. These will be done in a round-robin, Clarion West style, allowing all the participants to read and critique everyone’s work.

NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Catherynne M. Valente will be the Confluence 2018 Guest of HonorA writer of fantasy and science fiction novels, short stories, and poetry, Catherynne has  won or been nominated for every major award in her fields, including the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards. She has taken home the James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award, the Mythopoeic Award, the Lambda Literary Award, and other honors. Singer-songwriter S. J. Tucker and filk performer and interpreter Judi Miller will also be appearing at the 2018 Confluence.

About PulpFest 2018

PulpFest 2018 begins on Thursday, July 26, with early-bird shopping in our dealers’ room from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM. We’ll also have a full slate of programming, beginning at 8:40 PM. Our dealers’ room is open on Friday and Saturday from 10 AM until 4:45 PM and on Sunday from 9 AM until 2 PM while dealers are packing up for their trip home. We’ll also have programming events on Friday and Saturday afternoons, plus evening programming on both nights from 7 PM until 10 PM. There will be no programming on Sunday.

The convention will salute the centennial of the birth of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José FarmerJoin PulpFest 2018 and FarmerCon 100 for panels and presentations on the celebrated author of TARZAN ALIVE: A DEFINITIVE BIOGRAPHY OF LORD GREYSTOKEDOC SAVAGE: HIS APOCALYPTIC LIFE, the Riverworld and World of Tiers series, and many other works. We’ll also honor the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War. The convention will focus on the so-called “war pulps” of the early twentieth century and the depiction of war in popular culture. Click the Programming button under our home page banner to learn more.

Award-winning author Joe Lansdale will be the PulpFest 2018 Guest of Honor. The author of over forty novels and many short stories, Lansdale has also written for comics, television, film, Internet sites, and more. His novella “Bubba Ho-Tep” was adapted to film by Don Coscarelli, starring Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis. The film adaptation of his novel COLD IN JULY was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, and the Sundance Channel has adapted his Hap & Leonard novels for television.

In addition to our great programming, our dealers’ room features tens of thousands of pulp magazines, vintage paperbacks, digests, men’s adventure and true crime magazines, original art, first edition hardcovers, genre fiction, 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. It’s perfect for the reader and/or the collector!

PulpFest 2018 will also hold two live auctions featuring material from two estates. The convention will be offering pulps, books, and digests from such diverse genres as science fiction, adventure, sports, and the western field. Some highlights include a number of rare premiums offered to pulp readers, over twenty Gnome Press, Shasta, and Avalon first edition hardcovers, rare science fiction paperbacks including a selection of Ace Doubles, British science fiction magazines, long runs of Analog, Galaxy, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and other digests, and much more. The auctions will begin on both Friday and Saturday nights at 10 PM.

PulpFest will take place at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. Nineteen miles north of Pittsburgh, the DoubleTree is conveniently located at the intersection of Interstate 79, the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and State Route 19. Our host hotel is at 910 Sheraton Drive, Mars, Pennsylvania. For driving directions, please visit http://doubletree3.hilton.com/en/hotels/pennsylvania/doubletree-by-hilton-hotel-pittsburgh-cranberry-PITMADT/maps-directions/index.html.

(Philip José Farmer was a leading contributor to the science fiction digests of the fifties and sixties. THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION — which published “Open to Me, My Sister” in its May 1960 issue, featuring front cover art by Mel Hunter — was one of many magazines to which he sold.)

2018 Munsey Award Nominees

May 2, 2018 by

The PulpFest Organizing Committee is pleased to announce that fifteen individuals have been nominated by their peers for the 2018 Munsey Award. The honor is named after Frank A. Munsey — the man who published the first pulp magazine. This annual award recognizes an individual or institution that has bettered the pulp community, be it through disseminating knowledge about the pulps or through publishing or other efforts to preserve and foster interest in the pulp magazines we all love and enjoy. Congratulations to all of the nominees for this prestigious award, presented annually at PulpFest.

The nominees listed below — who received multiple nominations — will be forwarded to a committee made up of all the living LamontMunsey, and Rusty Award winners who will select the recipient of this year’s Munsey.

Author, bibliographer, critic, editor, and historian MIKE ASHLEY has a special expertise in the history of magazine science fiction, fantasy, and weird fiction. In 2002, he received a Pilgrim Award from the Science Fiction Research Association in recognition of his distinguished contributions to the study of science fiction. He is the author or co-author of numerous works related to the pulps, science fiction, and fantasy. These include THE AGE OF THE STORYTELLERS: BRITISH POPULAR FICTION MAGAZINES, 1880-1950, ALGERNON BLACKWOOD: A BIO-BIBLIOGRAPHY, “BLUE BOOK — The Slick in Pulp Clothing,” THE GERNSBACK DAYS: A STUDY IN THE EVOLUTION OF MODERN SCIENCE FICTION FROM 1911 TO 1936, MONTHLY TERRORS: AN INDEX TO THE WEIRD FANTASY MAGAZINES PUBLISHED IN THE UNITED STATES AND GREAT BRITAIN, SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY AND WEIRD FICTION MAGAZINES,  THE SUPERNATURAL INDEX: A LISTING OF FANTASY, SUPERNATURAL, OCCULT, WEIRD AND HORROR ANTHOLOGIES, and others. In 2000, Ashley began to publish his multi-part THE HISTORY OF THE SCIENCE-FICTION MAGAZINES, beginning with THE TIME MACHINES: THE STORY OF THE SCIENCE-FICTION PULP MAGAZINES FROM THE BEGINNING TO 1950. Mr. Ashley has also edited many anthologies and single-author collections, often drawing work from the pulps. He is currently working to compile an index to the most important British popular fiction magazines between 1880 and 1950.

The Collections Librarian at the University of Connecticut, RICHARD BLEILER is a bibliographer and researcher in the areas of science fiction, fantasy, horror, crime, and adventure fiction. In 2002, he was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for Best Non-Fiction for the second edition of SUPERNATURAL FICTION WRITERS: FANTASY AND HORROR. With his father, Everett Bleiler, Richard compiled SCIENCE-FICTION: THE EARLY YEARS and SCIENCE-FICTION: THE GERNSBACK YEARS, both published by Kent State University Press. His other work includes THE INDEX TO ADVENTURE MAGAZINE, THE ANNOTATED INDEX TO THE THRILL BOOK, the second edition of SCIENCE FICTION WRITERS: CRITICAL STUDIES OF THE MAJOR AUTHORS FROM THE EARLY NINETEENTH CENTURY TO THE PRESENT DAY, and REFERENCE AND RESEARCH GUIDE TO MYSTERY AND DETECTIVE FICTION. Richard’s essay, “Forgotten Giant: A Brief History of ADVENTURE MAGAZINE,” originally published in EXTRAPOLATION: A JOURNAL OF SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY, is considered the finest overview of the classic pulp magazine. He has also written essays on early science fiction, fantasy, and mystery authors for THE DICTIONARY OF LITERARY BIOGRAPHY and other reference works, as well as articles on the writings of Frank Belknap Long and Clark Ashton Smith for Gary Hoppenstand’s PULP FICTION OF THE ’20S AND ’30S.

CAMILLE CAZEDESSUS has been publishing a fanzine devoted to pulp fiction for more than fifty years, first as ERB-DOM and later as THE FANTASTIC COLLECTOR. All told, he has edited and published almost 250 issues, as well as several books. In its earliest incarnation, Caz’s magazine focused on the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs, presenting background information and bibliographic details about the author’s work as it appeared in magazines, books, comics, and movies. ERB-DOM won a Hugo Award in 1966. In the late nineties, Caz rechristened his fanzine as PULPDOM, a publication devoted to “studying the authors that wrote for the pulps and reprinting the ‘fantastic adventure’ type stories from pulp magazines.” With the help of various writers and indexers including Gary Lovisi, Al Lybeck, Jerry Page and, most recently, Mike Taylor, PULPDOM has explored nearly every pre-1932 general fiction pulp ever published, including ARGOSY, ALL-STORY, BLUE BOOK, CAVALIER, and THE POPULAR. Caz continues to publish PULPDOM today as an online pulp fanzine.

Probably best known for the SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, AND WEIRD FICTION MAGAZINE INDEX that he originally compiled with Steve Miller, WILLIAM CONTENTO has assembled other works that have become essential tools of reference. These include his INDEX TO SCIENCE FICTION ANTHOLOGIES AND COLLECTIONS, INDEX TO CRIME AND MYSTERY ANTHOLOGIES (with Martin H. Greenberg), THE SUPERNATURAL INDEX (with Mike Ashley), and others. In the last seventeen years, he and Phil Stephensen-Payne have built up the online FictionMags Index into a research juggernaut. It currently lists the contents of over 75,000 issues of thousands of different magazine titles. Pulps are heavily represented, of course, but pulp writers turn up in other magazines, too, and the FictionMags Index allows them to be discovered. A huge endeavor, the FictionMags Index has been a tremendous boon to pulp-magazine research.

RON FORTIER has been a professional writer for three decades. In 2007, Ron teamed up with illustrator Rob Davis to start Airship 27 Productions and build a home for new adventures featuring long moribund pulp characters such as the Green Lama, the Masked Rider, Secret Agent X, and Fortier’s own version of Ace Periodicals’ Captain Hazzard. Ron’s books have inspired contemporary writers and artists to turn out new adventures featuring many of the characters long remembered by the pulp community. They have also served as ports of entry for new people to become involved with the world of pulps. In 2009, Ron helped develop the Pulp Factory Awards, inaugurated to support and encourage the creation of new pulp fiction and art. The first PFAs were awarded at the 2010 Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention. Ron helped publish LEGENDS OF NEW PULP FICTION, an all-new anthology to help with the medical expenses of publisher, editor, and writer Tommy Hancock. Mr. Fortier has often moderated panels on new pulp fiction for PulpFest.

The late JOEL FRIEMAN worked for many years in the publishing industry. He was the person most responsible for taking The Shadow to a new paperback house — Pyramid/Jove — after it had failed at Bantam Books. It was Joel who worked to have Jim Steranko do the covers for the new Shadow line. Joel was also responsible for the Pocket Books editions of The Spider in the 1970s and, as the fiction editor at Freeway Press, he reprinted several Operator 5 adventures in paperback, featuring cover art by pulp illustrator George Gross. In 1981, Joel purchased Popular Publications from Popular Publications International. Joel was directly involved with every Popular Publications reprint in any format ever since. He licensed The Spider to paperback numerous times, as well as G-8 and His Battle AcesOperator 5, and numerous novels from ARGOSY for various book projects. Joel rarely attended conventions outside of New York, but was well known by pulp fans and publishers throughout the country.

STEPHEN HAFFNER — The “Big Poobah” of Haffner Press — has been returning the work of a number of well-regarded pulp fiction writers into print for nearly twenty years. Specializing in science fiction, fantasy, and mystery fiction, Stephen has brought back the early work of Leigh Brackett, Fredric Brown, Howard Brown, Edmond Hamilton, Henry Kuttner, C. L. Moore, Manly Wade Wellman, and Jack Williamson in a series of beautifully designed hardcovers. He is also working on volumes featuring the fiction of Robert Bloch, Donald Wandrei, and others. Ed Gorman wrote the following about Haffner Press books: “They’re among the best made and most handsomely illustrated of all the collectibles I’ve ever seen. These are masterpieces in every way.” Stephen has also been involved in furthering interest in the pulps among both academia and the general public. He has been associated with the annual Jack Williamson Lectureship at Eastern New Mexico University for many years and in 2009 was a co-sponsor with the Kinsman Historical Society of the first Edmond Hamilton Day in the late author’s hometown. Finally, Stephen has been a presenter at a number of pulp conventions.

Although pulp reprints abound in our day and age, such was not only the case. Along with John Gunnison of Adventure House, RICH HARVEY was one of the first small publishers to get the pulp reprint movement off the ground. He started in the pages of his fanzine, PULP ADVENTURES — begun in 1992 — where he published stories from COMPLETE NORTHWEST NOVEL, DIME DETECTIVE, .44 WESTERN MAGAZINE, NEW DETECTIVE MAGAZINE, and other pulps. Two of the highlights were two short stories by Norvell Page, offering the first two adventures of the popular pulp hero The Spider. Rich — along with his onetime partner, Cat Jaster, would go on to reprint two dozen of The Spider’s adventures. As Bold Venture Press, he has published a six-volume series reprinting the complete run of Johnston McCulley’s Zorro tales, reprinted unique tales from one of the longest lived pulp magazines, RAILROAD STORIES, “new pulp” adventures in AWESOME TALES, and pulp old and new in the continuing PULP ADVENTURES. Along with his current partner, Audrey Parente, Rich manages the twice-a-year Pulp AdventureCon in two locations, New Jersey and Florida. These one-day events help to bring the world of pulp to a wider geographic range of fans. Rich is also great at personally communicating with fans one-on-one, whether on email or facebook.

CHRIS KALB is known in pulp circles for his hero pulp websites, like The 86th Floor and The Spider Returns, ventures that have helped to attract people who are new to the pulps. There isn’t anyone out there making better use of all the new technology while still preserving the “oldness” of pulps and popular culture. He has become the person to go to for publishers who want a retro-design for their books or website, including Ed Hulse’s Murania Press. He is also the lead designer for Age of Aces Books, a pulp reprint house that specializes in air war fiction. In 2010, Age of Aces received two National Indie Excellence Awards for Chris’ work on the bestselling THE SPIDER VS. THE EMPIRE STATE. Chris was the designer of PulpFest‘s original website and for many years, put together the convention’s print advertisements.

WILLIAM LAMPKIN is a freelance writer/editor and publication designer who has spent much of his work life in the newspaper field, much like Rambler Murphy (but without the cool nickname and crime-solving). Like many from his generation, Bill discovered the pulps through paperback reprints of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, The Shadow, Doc Savage, and The Spider. He bought his first actual pulp in the seventies. Bill runs The Pulp.Net, which he created in 1996, and also writes the Yellowed Perils blog. He founded the Facebook group Southern Pulpsters in 2015. A resident of Florida, he has designed THE PULPSTER since 2008, and beginning with its 22nd issue, became editor of the award-winning program book. The first twenty-one issues of the magazine were edited by Tony Davis, winner of the 1999 Lamont Award. Tony calls Bill: “One of the unsung heroes of contemporary pulp fandom.” In late 2013, Bill also began to design PulpFest‘s print advertisements, badges, and other materials. He is a member of the PulpFest organizing committee, serving as the convention’s advertising director and webmaster.

While some nominees are like Doc Savage — out front and known to most — others are like The Shadow — hidden from view for most the time, yet still there and appearing when needed. A pulp collector since a teenager, SHEILA VANDERBEEK began attending pulp conventions in 1975. She has attended 62 of the 63 major pulp conventions since her first. She helped with all the radio recreations that were performed at Pulpcon. A member of the Battered Silicon Press pulp advisory committee, Sheila has helped on many books for the publisher. In addition to recommending authors and series, she has supplied all or most of the stories included in Battered Silicon’s Great Merlini, John Solomon, Needle Mike, Park Ave Hunt Club, Satan Hall,  and Suicide Squad collections, as well as others. She has also provided copies of stories to Altus Press and other pulp-related publishers. Owning one of the largest and widest ranging pulp collections in existence, Sheila also provided content information to Leonard Robbins for his groundbreaking pulp magazine indices. She has also helped on countless other research projects in the pulp field. Sheila has been a member of the Pulp Era Amateur Press Society since 1997.

GEORGE VANDERBURGH has published over 600 books through his Battered Silicon Dispatch Box, many of them directly related to the pulps. He was largely responsible for finally getting all of Fred Davis’ classic Moon Man stories back into print. And what about his Peter the Brazen series, his five volumes featuring the work of Seabury Quinn, THE COMPLEAT ADVENTURES OF THE PARK AVENUE HUNT CLUB, his Green Ghost set, THE COMPLEAT SAGA OF JOHN SOLOMONTHE ADVENTURES OF THE GOLDEN AMAZONTHE COMPLEAT ADVENTURES OF THE SUICIDE SQUAD, and others? He has also given us numerous collections of detective fiction, including volumes featuring the Thinking Machine, Dr. Thorndyke, and Martin Hewitt. Looking at his website, his future plans include several books reprinting pulp authors who have been unjustly forgotten. Along with the late Robert Weinberg, George served as the co-editor of Arkham House Publishers until the death of April Derleth. A regular attendee of pulp conventions, George has helped both longtime and new fans to collect the tales of some of the most fantastic heroes from the pulps.

Although some may believe he is old enough to have purchased pulps off the newsstand, CHUCK WELCH is a mere whippersnapper. As one of the original Internet Fans of Bronze, Chuck started attending the summer pulp convention in the late 1990s. After meeting his future wife at one of those conventions, Chuck took some time off to start a family. At the behest of Bill Mann, he returned to attend PulpFest. As was his wont, Chuck immediately started volunteering and making suggestions to the organizing committee. Having enough of his puppy-dog eyes, he was asked to join the team. Chuck is the convention’s technology director. When the Internet began to take off, Chuck began Flearun, a Doc Savage group now at Facebook. He is also the creator of the Hidalgo Trading Company — perhaps the closest anyone has come to presenting an online Doc fanzine — and the current editor of the Doc Savage fan magazine THE BRONZE GAZETTE.

For twenty-five years, HOWARD WRIGHT was the publisher of the Doc Savage fan magazine THE BRONZE GAZETTE. He created his magazine when there was no real Internet and very little information readily available about Lester Dent’s “Man of Bronze.” His main reason for starting the publication was to gather information about Doc Savage, disseminate this news to the “Fans of Bronze,” and keep Doc fans going during the “lean” years when Doc was, for the most part, a mere memory. Through Howard’s sustained efforts, interest in Doc was maintained and his return to the limelight assured. His final issue of the GAZETTE was published at the beginning of 2017. The magazine is being continued by Terry Allen, Kez Wilson, and Chuck Welch, creator of the Hidalgo Trading Company and a member of the PulpFest organizing committee. It takes three people to duplicate Howard’s superb work on the GAZETTE.

DAN ZIMMER has been working to promote greater awareness of pulp artists by producing and distributing ILLUSTRATION MAGAZINE since 2001. He is nearing the sixtieth issue of his magazine. Dan has tirelessly contributed his time, expertise and personal wealth to promote a more respectful awareness of the artistic accomplishments of pulp artists through the deluxe publication of the many biographical articles on such artists that have appeared in his magazine. He has done this despite the overwhelming fact that his creative vision is far beyond receiving any reasonable economic return for his efforts. His devotion to classic American illustrators is manifest in the elegant presentation of his magazine and has helped to turn the tide in our culture’s growing appreciation of pulp art. Dan has also published illustrated biographies of pulp artists Walter Baumhofer, H. J. Ward, and Norman Saunders through his book-publishing arm, The Illustrated Press. Additionally, he has supported the pulp community by drawing his readers’ attention to various pulp conventions, including the Windy City Pulp and Paper ConventionPulpcon, and PulpFest. Dan has also served as the sponsor of Windy City’s annual pulp art exhibit and created the limited edition print of David Saunder’s Munsey Award painting without cost to the PulpFest organizing committee.

Other nominees — who each received a single nomination — include Gene Christie, Digges LaTouche, Michelle Nolan, James Reasoner, and Sai Shanker.

The recipient of the 2018 Munsey Award will be announced on July 28 as part of our Saturday evening programming, open to all PulpFest 2018 registrants. A limited edition of thirty-six numbered and signed prints, designed by artist and pulp enthusiast David Saunders, serves as the Munsey Award. Congratulations to all of the nominees for the 2018 Munsey Award.

(A New York artist whose work can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, The New Museum and at other museums and in public buildings throughout the United States and other countries, David Saunders has taught art at Yale, Oberlin and many other colleges worldwide, including schools in Paris, London and Tokyo. An expert on pulp art, he has been a guest speaker on the subject, including The Pulp Art Show held at the Brooklyn Museum in 2003, and has served as the guest of honor at various pulp conventions. David has written biographical articles on pulp artists Allen Anderson, Rudolph Belarski, Frederick Blakeslee, Ernest Chiriacka, Rafael DeSoto, John Newton Howitt, J. W. Scott, and others. He is also the author of WALTER BAUMHOFER, NORMAN SAUNDERS, and H. J. WARD, book-length biographies and appreciations of these great pulp artists. David’s website — Field Guide to Wild American Pulp Artists — is a leading source of information for those interested in the artwork found in the pulp magazines. In 2016, David was honored with a special “retro” Lamont Award, to acknowledge his generous and substantial work for the pulp community.)

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