Look Out for the PulpFest Banners!

Jul 18, 2017 by

PulpFest auction banner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


PulpFest 2017 will be marking its different rooms with the banners pictured above. The SHOP banner will be outside our dealers’ room at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. You’ll also be able to register at this location. Our AUCTION banner will be located at Barry Traylor’s table. This is where members — including dealers — can bring materials that they’d like to place in our Saturday Night Auction. The PANELS banner will be outside our programming area at the DoubleTree. The CON SUITE banner will be standing in — you guessed it — the PulpFest con suite. Find the banners and you’re there.

(All of our banners were designed by our talented advertising director Bill Lampkin.)

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Pittsburgh Pulpwood Signings

Jul 17, 2017 by

With PulpFest moving to Pennsylvania’s Steel City, the “New Pulp” community has decided to help promote the convention by holding two separate book signings in the Pittsburgh area over the con weekend. PulpFest 2017 will take place from Thursday evening, July 27, through Sunday afternoon, July 30.

Starting at 7 PM on Friday, July 28, the Barnes & Noble located in the Monroeville Mall, 200 Mall Circle Drive, in Monroeville, PA will host new pulp writers Fred Adams, Jr., Jim Beard, Wayne Carey, and Tommy Hancock.

Beginning at 10 AM on Saturday, July 29, Rickert & Beagle Books, 3233 W. Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, PA, will host authors Fred Adams Jr., Barbara Doran, John Simcoe, and David White.

These seven writers are among the finest in new pulp fiction and are only a few of the dozens of talented authors and artists who will be attending PulpFest 2017.

Created to continue and preserve the legacy of this unique literary form, the convention is open to the public. You can join PulpFest for a day or the entire weekend by clicking the Register for 2017 button found on our home page. And if you’re not from the Pittsburgh area, don’t forget to book a room at the DoubleTree. They’re going fast! Please call 1-800-222-8733 and be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive any convention special deals that may still be available.

(Jim Beard was introduced to comic books by his father. His dad passed on to Jim a love for the medium and the pulp characters that preceded it. After decades of reading, collecting, and dissecting comics, Jim became a published writer when he sold a story to DC Comics in 2002. Since then, he’s written official Spider-Man, X-Files, and Planet of the Apes prose fiction, Star Wars and Ghostbusters comic stories, and contributed articles and essays to several volumes of comic book history.

A native of Toledo where he provides regular content for Marvel.com, the official Marvel Comics website, Jim broke into the world of “New Pulp” in 2012 when Airship 27 published SGT. JANUS, SPIRIT-BREAKER, a collection of ghost stories featuring an occult detective, and CAPTAIN ACTION: RIDDLE OF THE GLOWING MEN, the first prose novel based on the 1960s action figure. Along with John Bruening, Jim is the founder and publisher of Flinch Books, a small press offering some of the best material to be inspired by the pulp fiction of the past. RESTLESS: AN ANTHOLOGY OF MUMMY HORROR, with cover art by Shannon Hall, is just one of the many fine books published in the “new pulp” field.)

Wedding Bells!

Jul 16, 2017 by

PulpFest marketing and programming director Mike Chomko and his wife, Dianne, are very happy to announce that their daughter, Maureen, married Jesse Abbott Klafter on Saturday, July 15, 2017. The wedding took place just outside of Leavenworth, Washington.

Mike was very honored to walk his daughter “down the aisle” at the Tierra Retreat Center, nestled in the beautiful Cascade Mountains. Although Leavenworth bills itself as “a fully-functioning Bavarian town in the middle of Washington,” Mike chose not to wear Lederhosen during the festivities. He did drink a lot though.

The proud parents will be returning to Pennsylvania about a week before the start of PulpFest 2017. Hopefully, you’ll get to congratulate Maureen’s dad at this year’s convention, taking place from July 27 through July 30 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry — just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City.”

Please remember that if you’re not from the Pittsburgh area, don’t forget to book a room at the DoubleTree. Call 1-800-222-8733 and be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive any convention special deals that may still be available.

(The November 1947 cover art for Popular Publications’ RANGELAND ROMANCES was painted by Gloria Stoll Karn. The artist, who began contributing black and white interior illustrations to pulp magazines at the age of seventeen, started to paint covers for the industry after just a few years.

Ms. Karn will be this year’s PulpFest Guest of Honor. She will be interviewed on stage by fine artist and pulp art historian David Saunders on Saturday, July 29, beginning at 7:30 PM. Please be sure to register for PulpFest 2017 to be able to enjoy this interesting and entertaining presentation.)

 

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Free Stuff at PulpFest 2017

Jul 4, 2017 by

Bring on the fireworks! It’s time to celebrate our nation’s freedom. What better time for PulpFest 2017 to offer thanks for all of the donations we’ve received? They’re all meant for our members who will receive them free of charge. The only requirement is to attend “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con” at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry from July 27 through July 30!

Caliban Book Shop, located at 410 South Craig Street in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh, is offering a 10% discount to PulpFest members off any purchase from their shop. All you have to do is show your PulpFest badge to receive the discount. Caliban Book Shop features quality used and rare books as well as indie books and ‘zines by local authors. The store is located about 30 minutes from the DoubleTree. This offer is good from Thursday, July 27 through Sunday July 30. Click here for directions.

John L. Coker, III — President of First Fandom and Editor/Publisher of SCIENTIFICTION — THE FIRST FANDOM REPORT — has donated a number of signed, pulp-related trading cards that will be given away during the convention to six lucky badge holders.

Gordon Van Gelder and FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, the award-winning magazine that is celebrating its 68th anniversary in 2017, will again be offering copies of back issues to our members. Gordon’s magazine has been supporting PulpFest — and Pulpcon before it — for many years. We’re extremely grateful for the long-standing support of F&SF.

We’d also like to offer many thanks to Chaosium Inc., the publisher of CALL OF CTHULHU role playing game. Chaosium has donated a selection of fiction books and game supplements to be used as door prizes during PulpFest 2017.

Larque Press, the publisher of THE DIGEST ENTHUSIASThas donated a run of the first six issues of their exceptional magazine. All six issues — valued at over $50 — will be offered as a single lot during the Saturday night auction. All proceeds from the winning bid will go to PulpFest.

Wyatt Doyle and Bob Deis of New Texture have donated a great book mark to give away to PulpFest members. Please check out their MensPulpMags.com to learn more about New Texture’s The Men’s Adventure Library.

PulpFest sponsor, AbeBooks.com, as well as Meteor House and FarmerCon will be helping to sponsor our con suite. Our host hotel 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. 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 organization that would like to sponsor the con suite for a night, please write to Jack Cullers at jack@pulpfest.com.

We’d also like to thank the many bookstores and comic shops throughout the Pittsburgh area, as well as the many book fairs and conventions throughout the United States that have helped to promote “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con” all through the past year. You’ve done a FANTASTIC job and we couldn’t have done it without you! Special thanks to Joe Coluccio, president of Parsec, and Harold Forman for spreading our promotional material throughout the Pittsburgh area. We also want to thank Martin Grams, Tommy Hancock, Nathan Madison, and Rick Thomas for their help promoting us at various conventions.

If you are not from the Pittsburgh area and have yet to book your room for this year’s PulpFest, tomorrow is the last day to receive the special convention rate. You can book your room directly through the PulpFest website. Below our banner and along the right hand side of our home page at pulpfest.com, you’ll find links that read “Book a Room.” Click on one of these links and you’ll be redirected to a secure site where you can book a room at the DoubleTree. You can also reserve a room by calling 1-800-222-8733. Please be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive the special rate. Thanks so much to everyone who has reserved a room at our host hotel. By staying at the DoubleTree, you’ve helped to ensure the convention’s success.

(During June 1942, six months after the United States entered World War II, magazines nationwide featured the American flag on their covers. Adopting the slogan “United We Stand,” some five hundred publications waved the stars and stripes to promote national unity, rally support for the war, and celebrate Independence Day.

For magazine publishers, displaying the flag was a way to prove their loyalty and value to the war effort. For the U.S. government, the campaign was an opportunity to sell bonds and boost morale. The magazines brought home a message of patriotism and ideals worth fighting for.)

July 5 is the Final Day to Book a Room at the DoubleTree

Jul 3, 2017 by

A block of rooms has been reserved for PulpFest 2017 attendees at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry for July 26, 2017 – July 31, 2017. However, to receive the special convention rate of $125 plus tax per night, you must book your room by Wednesday, July 5.

You can book your room directly through the PulpFest website. Below our banner and along the right hand side of our home page at pulpfest.com, you’ll find links that read “Book a Room.” Click on one of these links and you’ll be redirected to a secure site where you can book a room at the DoubleTree.

You can also reserve a room by calling 1-800-222-8733. Please be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive the special convention rate. Included in the room rate are free Wi-Fi privileges in each sleeping room and the hotel’s lobby, plus two complimentary breakfasts per room for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. There is ample free parking surrounding the hotel.

Conveniently located at the intersection of three major roadways, the DoubleTree boasts a world-class 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. You’ll find a map to the hotel and the surrounding area on the PulpFest home page.

By staying at our host hotel, you help to defray the convention’s substantial costs. You also help demonstrate to our hotel that PulpFest is a top-notch convention that will help their bottom line. To thank you for making PulpFest look good, you’ll get free early-bird shopping on Thursday evening in the PulpFest dealers’ room. That’s a savings of $35 if you stay at the DoubleTree!

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

In 2017, PulpFest will be paying tribute to the history of the pulps by saluting the hardboiled dicks that transformed the traditional mystery story into the tough guy (and gal) crime fiction that remains popular to this very day. We’ll also be focusing our attention on the dangerous dames of the pulps, the hardboiled ladies who helped to pave the way for such modern day gumshoes as Sue Grafton‘s Kinsey Millhone, Marcia Muller‘s Sharon McCone, and Sara Paretsky‘s V. I. Warshawski. And we’ll set our sites on the psychos of the pulps as we celebrate the hundredth anniversary of Robert Bloch — the pulp writer who penned the novel PSYCHO — and the countless diabolical madmen who battled the heroes of pulp fiction. We’ll also be celebrating the life and work of former pulp artist Gloria Stoll Karn, who will be attending PulpFest 2017 as our Guest of Honor.

Start planning to attend PulpFest 2017 and its celebration of pulp fiction and pulp art. Join us July 27 – 30 outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as we explore the “hardboiled dicks, dangerous dames, and a few psychos” of the pulps. You can join PulpFest by clicking the Register for 2017 button on our home page. And don’t forget to book a room at the DoubleTree. They’re going fast!

(Frank R. Paul, the “grandfather of science-fiction art,” painted the cover for the program book of the 13th World Science Fiction Convention — Clevention — held on September 2 – 5, 1955 at the Manger Hotel in Cleveland, Ohio.  Although the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry is not quite as futuristic as Paul’s illustration, the hotel was completely renovated in 2016.

If you have any problems placing your reservation, please contact PulpFest chairman Jack Cullers at jack@pulpfest.com.)

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Check Out the DoubleTree at Monster Bash

Jun 17, 2017 by

After eight enjoyable years in Columbus, Ohio, PulpFest has a new home. The 2017 edition of “Summer’s Amazing Pulp Con” will take place July 27 – 30 at the newly and beautifully renovated DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. Conveniently located at the intersection of three major roadways, the DoubleTree boasts a world-class 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.

If you are planning to attend PulpFest 2017, you can book your room directly through the PulpFest website. Below the banner at the top of our home page at pulpfest.com you’ll find a link that reads “Book a Room for 2017.” Click on this link and you’ll be redirected to a secure site where you can book a room at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry.

You can also reserve a room by calling 1-800-222-8733. Please be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive the special convention rate of $125 plus tax per night. Included in the room rate are free Wi-Fi privileges in each sleeping room and the hotel’s lobby, plus two complimentary breakfasts per room for Friday through Sunday. There is ample free parking surrounding the hotel. The DoubleTree also offers a 24-hour fitness center, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and a sauna. You must book your room by July 5, 2017 in order to get the special convention rate.

If you’d like to check out the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, why not give try it out at our associated convention, Monster Bash? The convention is taking place next weekend, June 23 – 25, right at the PulpFest 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, behind the movies, and fellow fans of the movies; and a monster memorabilia shopping gala.

Monster Bash is a state of mind — a place, like Skull Island, where our imaginations ignite and burn through our everyday jobs and life. The Bash is an appreciation of these fun movies that we love. Whether it’s THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN or THE KILLER SHREWS, if you have fun watching it . . . that’s what Monster Bash is all about.

PulpFest 2017 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 and promoting next month’s PulpFest to the “Monster Boomers” and their “Monster Kids” who will be attending The Bash.

If you’re planning to attend Monster Bash, please stop by Jack’s and Mike’s tables. If you won’t make The Bash, we hope you are planning to attend PulpFest 2017 and its celebration of pulp fiction and pulp art. Join us July 27 – 30 outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as we explore the “Hardboiled Dicks, Dangerous Dames, and a Few Psychos” of the pulps. Please book your room right now and join us at the “pop culture center of the universe” at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry for PulpFest 2017.

(Every once in a while, a toy comes along that captivates the kids of America and becomes an overnight sensation. The Frankenstein Model Kit by Aurora was one of those toys. With sales of over one million, the product caught the industry a bit by surprise. Who expected a plastic model kit of a movie monster from 1931 to suddenly become the hot toy of 1961? But it did, leading to a whole line of Universal monster models.

Why did Aurora’s monster kits sell so well? One reason was their amazing box cover paintings, all done by the incredible James Bama. Of course, the artist is very well known to pulp enthusiasts, due to his tremendous cover illustrations featured on Bantam Books’ Doc Savage paperbacks.)

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Saturday Night Dinner at PulpFest 2017

Jun 8, 2017 by

For the last few years, PulpFest has organized a group dinner on the last evening of the convention. Dining together on Saturday has been a long-standing tradition at summer pulp cons. It gives everyone the chance to break bread together, while batting the bull about pulps and collecting. This year, PulpFest will be dining informally at ember & vine, located right in the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh — Cranberry. It’s the perfect place to gather, grab a bite, and relax.

The dinner menu takes a simple approach with strong components: salt, pepper, and fire, coupled with carefully selected local ingredients, are the focal points of our classic American cuisine. The wood-fire American cooking is showcased with handcrafted flatbreads and desserts, baked mac ‘n cheese, and butter-roasted oysters with fresh thyme. Regional fare and creative pizzas lead the selection of entrees, while the large assortment of appetizers, small plates, and comfort foods blend taste and nostalgia, allowing guests to customize their dining experience from one day to the next. Upscale wines poured from the wine-preservation system, local craft brews, and signature cocktail and shrub options are in line with the spacious, flexible atmosphere. With the expansive bar, communal tables, and multiple dining options, each visit feels like a new, unique experience enhanced by mid-century modern design.

Although this is strictly an informal gathering at no set price, seating is limited. So be sure to sign up early to assure your participation in this entertaining event. Last year’s dinner was a resounding success. You can sign up when you register for PulpFest 2017 or right at the convention. Just let us know by 1 PM on Saturday, July 29 that you’ll be coming. We will need to give our hotel an estimated head count. We look forward to gathering with you and talking about our wonderful shared interest — the pulps!

(On Saturday evening, July 29, from 5 to 6:50 PM, join your friends — old and new — at ember & vine in the heart of the DoubleTree Cranberry. It’s an opportunity to socialize after a hearty day of collecting in the PulpFest dealers’ room, prior to taking in the convention’s exceptional evening programming.)

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Starting Today — A Daily PulpFest Post!

Jun 5, 2017 by

For the last month, we’ve had an announcement about PulpFest 2017 three days per week. Beginning today, we’ll have at least one post every weekday, Monday through Friday. We’ll be maintaining that pace through the last day of the convention on July 30. We’ll even have an occasional Sunday post and a post every day of the convention. But even the PulpFest promotion department needs a day off every now and then.

Starting next week, we’ll get back to discussing our programming for the upcoming convention. PulpFest 2017 will be paying tribute to the “hardboiled dicks, dangerous dames, and a few psychos,” of the pulps. We’ll be exploring DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE — one of the pulps where the hard-boiled detective story began to take shape — and Robert Leslie Bellem’s tough-guy detective, Dan Turner; Pat Savage, The Domino Lady, and other dangerous dames of the pulps, the hardboiled ladies who helped pave the way for such modern day gumshoes as Sue Grafton‘s Kinsey Millhone, Marcia Muller‘s Sharon McCone, and Sara Paretsky‘s V. I. Warshawski; and some of the mad scientists, crazed hunchbacks, and foul cultists who decimated American cities on a monthly basis in the rough-paper magazines. We’ll also be saluting the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Robert Bloch, the author of PSYCHO — later adapted to film by Alfred Hitchcock. Bloch got his start as a writing professional in the pulps. We’ll also be celebrating the life and work of former pulp artist Gloria Stoll Karn, who will be attending PulpFest 2017 as our Guest of Honor.

So what are you waiting for? Are you a psycho? There’s no need to live dangerously! Register now for PulpFest 2017! How else can you be part of “Summer’s hard-boiled Pulp Con?” While you’re at it, you can reserve a room at the newly and beautifully renovated DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry by clicking one of the links on the PulpFest home page that reads Book a RoomYou can also call 1-800-222-8733 to book a room by telephone. However, be sure to mention PulpFest 2017 to get the special convention rate. By staying at the DoubleTree by Hilton, you’ll help to ensure the convention’s success. Given the convention’s popularity, we urge every member to book a hotel room forPulpFest 2017 as soon as possible.

(Designed by PulpFest’s artistic director, William Lampkin, our PulpFest 2017 post card features the work of artist John Newton Howitt. His painting was originally used as the cover for the April 15, 1934 number of Popular Publications’ DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE.)

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AbeBooks.com Welcomes You to PulpFest

Jun 2, 2017 by

PulpFest is very proud to announce that AbeBooks.com has renewed its sponsorship of our convention. Launched in 1996, AbeBooks.com is an online marketplace for books. AbeBooks has a strong focus on rare and collectible books as well as ephemera such as maps, posters, prints and photographs.

Millions of rare and used items are offered for sale through the AbeBooks websites from thousands of sellers around the world. The unique inventory of products for sale from AbeBooks sellers includes the world’s finest antiquarian books, countless out-of-print gems, millions of signed, used and new books,  plus a vast selection of collectible items.

AbeBooks is a company with a passion for books, art and collectibles. Sellers love AbeBooks for helping them sell items to buyers around the globe – 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Buyers love AbeBooks for helping them to find and purchase items from its vast online inventory, stretching around the world with six international sites. The AbeBooks blog, Reading Copy, is a valuable daily source of company and book-related news.

PulpFest is extremely pleased to have AbeBooks as a sponsor. Not only has AbeBooks added their name to our growing list of web site sponsors — you’ll find their logo on our home page — they have also asked to sponsor this year’s convention badges, our welcome banner, and the PulpFest program book. AbeBooks — along with FarmerCon — will also be sponsoring our con suite for a night. So the snacks and suds will be on them. You’ll have to bring the pulps and a good sense of humor.

AbeBooks is not only passionate about books, but also a company with a “passion for pulps!” Be sure to watch for their banners at the PulpFest 2017 entrance and in our convention suiteWe hope to see you at “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con,” taking place from 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. 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.

(For a number of years, PulpFest has accepted sponsors for its website. In addition to AbeBooks.com, we’d like to thank College Homework Help, DoMyEssay.net, EssayScribes.com, and SmartWritingService.com. If you or your organization is interested in discussing a PulpFest sponsorship, please contact Mike Chomko, the convention’s marketing director, at mike@pulpfest.com.)

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Countdown to PulpFest 2017

May 28, 2017 by

It’s just sixty days to PulpFest 2017. On Thursday, July 27, be one of hundreds of pop-culture fans who will be arriving at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just nineteen miles north of the exciting city of Pittsburgh. Please visit our registration page to learn how to join the annual summertime get-together for fans of pulp art and fiction.

In the weeks ahead, we’ll be talking about our dealers, shopping for collectibles at PulpFest 2017, our PULPSTER program book, and much more. You can keep abreast of all these updates by bookmarking pulpfest.com and visiting often or by liking our Facebook page. So be sure to like PulpFest on Facebook and ask for our posts to be delivered to your personal Facebook page. You can also follow us on Twitter where we’ll be tweeting about our home page updates. We’ll also be posting to a variety of Yahoo newsgroups including Pulpmags.

PulpFest is known for its superb programming and the line-up that we’re planning for our 2017 convention is shaping up to be great! PulpFest 2017 will be celebrating the hardboiled dicks, dangerous dames, and a few psychos of the pulps. We’ll also be saluting the 100th anniversary of the birth of Robert Bloch and the fantastic artwork of former pulp artist Gloria Stoll Karn, our guest of honor. PulpFest 2017 will feature presentations on DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE and SPICY DETECTIVE STORIES; the many characters of Erle Stanley Gardner and the first hardboiled pulp character; the dangerous dames of Maxwell Grant and Lester Dent; the Domino Lady and Pat Savage; and the psychos of THE SHADOW MAGAZINE and of Philip José Farmer. We’ll also have live theater, author readings, and more.

Our dealers’ room will feature 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.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time for you to register for PulpFest 2017! There’s no other way for you to be part of “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con.” While you’re at it, you can reserve a room at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry by clicking one of the links on the PulpFest home page that reads “Book a Room for 2017.” You can also call 1-800-222-8733 to place a reservation by telephone. However, be sure to mention PulpFest to get the special convention rate. By staying at the DoubleTree by Hilton, you’ll help to ensure the convention’s success. Given its popularity, we urge every member to book a hotel room for PulpFest 2017 as soon as possible. The earlier you place your room reservation for this year’s PulpFest, the greater chance you will have of landing a room at this beautiful hotel.

Although the DoubleTree by Hilton is the ideal place to stay during the convention, we want everyone to be able to make it to the “pop culture center of the universe” and “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con. So if you’re not from the Pittsburgh region, please book a room as soon as possible to be sure you have a place to stay for PulpFest 2017. With the programming line-up that we have and our spacious dealer’s room, we want everyone to have a chance to attend our convention. Rest assured, you’ll have a FANTASTIC time! We look forward to seeing you near Pittsburgh from July 27 – 30 for PulpFest 2017.

The Dangerous Dames of Maxwell Grant

May 10, 2017 by

Maxwell Grant was a pen name used by the authors of The Shadow pulp magazine stories. Street & Smith, the publishers of THE SHADOW MAGAZINE, asked Walter B. Gibson, the writer they originally hired to chronicle the Shadow’s adventures, to create a pen name so that numerous authors could be used to write the stories without confusing the readers. Gibson, who was also a nonfiction writer, adopted the pen name Maxwell Grant, taking the name from two magic dealers he knew, Maxwell Holden and U. F. Grant.

Four authors besides Gibson have used the Maxwell Grant pseudonym over the years: Theodore Tinsley, who wrote 27 Shadow stories between 1936 and 1943; Lester Dent, who wrote one story, “The Golden Vulture,” in 1938; Bruce Elliott, who wrote fifteen Shadow stories between 1946 and 1948; and Dennis Lynds, who wrote nine Shadow paperback novels between 1964 and 1967.

Although most hardboiled pulp fiction in the pulps featured male protagonists, some very dangerous dames also found their way into the rough paper magazines. These hardboiled ladies helped to pave the way for such modern day gumshoes as Sue Grafton‘s Kinsey Millhone, Marcia Muller‘s Sharon McCone, and Sara Paretsky‘s V. I. Warshawski. As part of our celebration of the “hardboiled dicks, dangerous dames, and a few psychos,” of the pulps, please join PulpFest 2017 on Thursday evening, July 27, at 10:30 PM as Anthony Tollin explores “The Dangerous Dames of Maxwell Grant: Myra Reldon, Margo Lane, and Carrie Cashin.”

Although Margo Lane is, by and large, the best known of these three characters, she is probably the least dangerous of Grant’s dames. Writing in DEADLY EXCITEMENTS, the late Robert Sampson remarked, “. . . she was a feather-headed nitwit, a flighty pest who lacked any sense of personal danger. . . . The Shadow treated her rather humorously, as if she were a kitten full of catnip. She caused more trouble than she was worth.”

The character was originally created for the Mutual radio broadcasts networks and debuted in 1937. A friend and companion to Lamont Cranston, Margo Lane spies for his alter ego, The Shadow. She would later make her first print appearance in the The Shadow newspaper strips. In 1941, Walter B. Gibson included her in her first pulp novel, “The Thunder King.”

Myra Reldon was the first female agent to work for The Shadow. Born in Shanghai, she had spent many years in Asia learning the languages and the customs of the Chinese. This led her to become an undercover agent for the U. S. Department of Justice, where she disguised herself as “Ming Dwan,” and investigated Chinese matters. The Shadow came in contact with her while working on a case in San Francisco’s Chinatown. He was impressed with her talents and brought her into his organization. Her first appearance was in the 1937 story, “The Teeth of the Dragon.”

Although he used his real name for the Carrie Cashin stories, Theodore Tinsley was the writer who most often — after Walter Gibson — hid behind the Maxwell Grant house name. Attractive as sin, hard-boiled as hell, and one of the very first of the hardboiled lady dicks of the pulps, Carrie Cashin appeared in over three dozen action-packed, fast-paced stories, starting in the November 1937 issue of Street & Smith’s CRIME BUSTERS. This dangerous dame continued in that magazine through a name change — to MYSTERY MAGAZINE in 1939 — right up to her final appearance in November 1942, one of the last issues of the pulp.

Anthony Tollin, publisher, writer, and researcher, is best known for his reprints of Doc Savage, The Shadow, The Spider, and other pulp heroes, issued through the Sanctum Books imprint. These books serve as a source of entertainment and knowledge for veteran pulp fans as well as a major gateway for new people to enter the pulp-collecting hobby. Additionally, Tony was the co-author — with Walter Gibson — of THE SHADOW SCRAPBOOK, and helped to put together and introduce numerous recorded collections of pulp-related radio programs during his association with Radio Spirits. He was also involved with several comic book interpretations of the great pulp heroes and worked as a colorist for many years, primarily for DC Comics. In 2011, Anthony received the Munsey Award for his many contributions to the pulp community.

(Myra Reldon, one of the dangerous dames created by the authors who hid behind the pseudonym of Maxwell Grant, first appeared in the November 15, 1937 issue of THE SHADOW, published by Street & Smith and featuring front cover art by George Rozen.

Although he used his own name for the Carrie Cashin stories, Theodore Tinsley also used the Grant pseudonym, writing 27 of The Shadow’s pulp adventures. His most dangerous dame, Ms. Cashin, was featured in 39 issues of CRIME BUSTERS and MYSTERY MAGAZINE. From time to time, she garnered top cover billing on the magazine — including the November 1938 issue, featuring work by an unknown artist — that also ran the adventures of Lester Dent’s Click Rush, Walter B. Gibson’s Norgil the Magician, Frank Gruber’s Jim Strong, Norvell Page’s The Death Angel, and others.)

 

More Cons! ECOF, REH Days & Classicon

May 8, 2017 by

With eighty days to go until PulpFest 2017, you might be getting a little bit hungry for some pulps or pulp fiction. To whet your appetite for “Summer’s Hardboiled Pulp Con,” here are three more conventions that will take place in the next month or so.

This year’s Robert E. Howard Days will feature Paul Herman — author of THE NEVERENDING HUNT: A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF ROBERT E. HOWARD — as its guest of honor. Mr. Herman will be the speaker at the “Celebration Dinner” on Friday evening at the convention. He will discuss Howard as leading, “A Mildly Adventurous Life.” Additionally, Mr. Herman will be interviewed by Mark Finn and serve on two panels during the convention.

This annual gathering of Two-Gun Bob’s fans is presented by Project Pride of Cross Plains and sponsored by the Robert E. Howard Foundation, with help from the members of the Robert E. Howard United Press Association. Visit the convention’s home page or Facebook site to learn more about this great event, taking place in Cross Plains, Texas — Howard’s home town — on June 9 – 10.

The 2017 gathering of the Edgar Rice Burroughs Chain of Friendship is planned for the weekend of June 8 – 11. It will be held at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport North Marriott in Irving, Texas. Hosted by Jim Goodwin, the gathering will feature discussions on at least three new books: Buddy Saunders’ TARZAN AND THE CANNIBAL KING, Bob Zeuschner’s new Burroughs bibliography, and Joe Lukes’ THE DESCRIPTIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE GROSSET AND DUNLAP REPRINTS. For additional information on the 2017 ECOF — including a schedule of events — please visit Bill and Sue-On Hillman’s ERBzine or email Jim Goodwin at jimmiecg@PRODIGY.NETYou can also reach Jim by calling 940-704-6499.

Classicon is one of the oldest pulp and paperback shows. Featuring 35 tables and thousands of collectible pulp magazines, paperbacks, vintage comic books, original artwork, and more, it is held in the spring and the fall in Lansing, Michigan. The next Classicon will take place later in June. Admission is $3. For more information, please write to the Curious Book Shop at 304 East Grand River Avenue, East Lansing, Michigan 48823, by email at curiousbooks@gmail.com, or by telephone at 517-332-0112.

Hopefully, these cons will keep you satisfied while you wait for PulpFest 2017 —  the destination for fans and collectors of vintage popular fiction, art and related materials. It will begin on Thursday, July 27, and run through Sunday, July 30.  Join us at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” of Pittsburgh. PulpFest will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Robert Bloch and the work of pulp artist Gloria Stoll Karn, as well as the “Hardboiled Dicks, Dangerous Dames, and a Few Psychos” of the pulps! Click our Programming for 2017 button just below our home page banner to get a preview of all the great programming we’ll have at this year’s convention.

To register for PulpFest 2017, please click the Register for 2017 button just below our home page banner. To book a room at the DoubleTree by Hilton — our host hotel — click one of the Book a Room buttons likewise located on our home page. Start planning now to attend PulpFest 2017 and join hundreds of pulp fiction fans at the pop-culture center of the universe. You’ll have a pulp-filled time, especially if you’re planning to stay at the DoubleTree! We look forward to seeing you in July.

(The Robert E. Howard Days 2017 banner was designed by Jeff Shanks and features Howard’s Underwood typewriter, the machine that he used to pound out 2.8 million words.)

3 Rivers Comicon: Putting Comics Back in Conventions

May 5, 2017 by

During the third weekend of May, a couple of Pittsburgh nerds are hoping to make comic con all about comics again. 3 Rivers Comicon — which runs May 20 – 21 in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania — is the latest addition to the many conventions in the Pittsburgh area.

New Dimension Comics owner Todd McDevitt and general manager Jon Engel launched 3 Rivers Comicon in 2016 after hearing complaints from customers about the increasing cost of conventions and how the shift to an array of pop culture has left comics in the shadows. “I felt like we were almost being challenged. No one said it, but we made it our mission to do it,” McDevitt said. “This is going to be a comic convention. If you want something else, go somewhere else.”

McDevitt and Engel both have years of experience under their utility belts, attending and also working at comic conventions. From that involvement, as well as feedback from customers, they have the knowledge for what will work at their own event.

One major goal is to make 3 Rivers Comicon affordable. Admission is $13 per day or $18 for a weekend pass. Tickets are available through the convention’s website or at any of the six New Dimension Comics locations. They will also be available at the door. Guests include KINGDOM COME and DAREDEVIL writer Mark Waid, NIGHTWING artist Scott McDaniel, and SPIDER-MAN and THOR artist Ron Frenz. Weekend events include panels, gaming, photo opportunities and costume contests for kids and adults. Sunday is Family Day at 3 Rivers Comicon, with kid-focused programming all day. There is also the very popular beer party on Saturday evening.

Tickets to the beer party are $50 and include both days of the convention in addition to a bunch of take-home loot including a T-shirt, exclusive comics, graphic novels and two bottles of BEEREDEEMABLE. McDevitt once again convinced Helltown Brewing to create a beer for the convention. This year’s recipe is a Russian imperial stout, a blend of young beer and barrel-aged whiskey. The name is a nod to the comic IRREDEEMABLE, whose artist Peter Krause illustrated the beer’s label.

“I always thought it would be fun to get a comic artist to do a beer label,” McDevitt said. “And if I was going to do it, I wanted it to be for one of our events.”

Krause and IRREDEEMABLE writer Mark Waid will both attend the beer party to autograph bottles.

“The beer party was the aspect we sold the most of last year,” McDevitt said. “We had people who didn’t care for comics and came for the beer, and people who didn’t care about beer, but came for the comics.”

Let’s hope that Todd and Jon save a few bottles of BEEREDEEMABLE to help us celebrate our first Pittsburgh PulpFest from July 27 through July 30 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City.” Although PulpFest 2017 will not have its own beer, the convention will still have a lot of great programming. Add to that 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. We’ll also have a con suite. So what are you waiting for? Start making your plans to join us at the “pop culture center of the universe” for PulpFest 2017.

(Our illustration is the banner for the 3 Rivers Comicon home page, featuring a New Dimension Comics’ rack in the background. New Dimension Comics has six stores in the Pittsburgh region, providing the opportunity for feedback as well as year-round promotion of the convention.)

PulpFest’s New & Improved PayPal Page

May 3, 2017 by

PulpFest is always seeking new and improved ways to help keep the pulps vibrant and alive. That’s why we’ve revised our PayPal page. Click here and check it out. You’ll find that the page is far smoother and sleeker. Best of all, after you place your Paypal order, you’ll be sent back to PulpFest.comThat’s where you’ll find the latest news about summer’s fantastic pulp con!

If you don’t use Paypal, you can also pay for your registration by sending a check or money order to David J. Cullers, 1272 Cheatham Way, Bellbrook, OH 45305.

If you have any questions about member or dealer registrations, please write to Jack Cullers at the address noted above or by email at jack@pulpfest.com. If you’d like a copy of our PulpFest 2017 newsletter — packed with information about the convention — you can download a copy by clicking here or by writing to Jack Cullers at one of the addresses noted above.

We look forward to seeing you at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry from July 27 – 30 for PulpFest 2017 and our salute to the “hardboiled dicks, dangerous dames, and a few psychos,” of the pulps.

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Starting Today — A PulpFest Post Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday!

May 1, 2017 by

Since the beginning of September 2016, we’ve had an announcement about PulpFest 2017 once a week. Starting today, we’ll be releasing a post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We’ll be maintaining that pace until early June when we’ll begin offering one post every weekday. Even the PulpFest promotion department needs a day off every now and then.

During the next month, we’ll be discussing our 2017 Munsey Award nominees, related conventions, and some of our programming plans for the upcoming convention. PulpFest 2017 will be saluting the 100th anniversary of the birth of Robert Bloch and the “hardboiled dicks, dangerous dames, and a few psychos” 0f the pulps. We’ll be exploring DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE — one of the pulps where the hard-boiled detective story began to take shape — and Robert Leslie Bellem’s tough-guy detective, Dan Turner; Pat Savage, The Domino Lady, and other dangerous dames of the pulps; and some of the mad scientists, crazed hunchbacks, and foul cultists who decimated American cities on a monthly basis in the rough-paper magazines.

Our Guest of Honor will be Pittsburgh 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 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?

So what are you waiting for? Register now for PulpFest 2017! There’s no other way for you to be part of “Summer’s HARDBOILED Pulp Con.” While you’re at it, you can reserve a room at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry by clicking one of the links on the PulpFest home page that reads “Book a Room.” You can also call 1-800-222-8733 to book a room by telephone. However, be sure to mention PulpFest to get the special convention rate. By staying at the DoubleTree, you’ll help to ensure the convention’s success. Given its popularity, we urge every member to book a hotel room for PulpFest 2017 as soon as possible.

(Designed by PulpFest’s artistic director, William Lampkin, our PulpFest 2017 post card features the work of artist John Newton Howitt. His painting was originally used as the cover for the April 15, 1934 number of Popular Publications’ DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE. PulpFest 2017 has used Howitt’s cover art since last fall to promote our convention at book stores, comic shops, and other conventions and fairs.)

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Lights, Camera Action — Cinevent 2017

Apr 24, 2017 by

If you’re a fan of silent and early sound films or a collector of motion pictures and related items, then Cinevent 2017 is for you. One of the associated conventions – along with FarmerCon and Monster Bash – found on our home page, this year’s Cinevent runs from May 25 through May 28 in the Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel on 50 North 3rd Street in the heart of Columbus, Ohio.

For nearly fifty years, Cinevent has gathered fans of silent and early sound films, as well as collectors of motion pictures and related items. The convention was co-founded by Steve Haynes — a big fan and supporter of PulpFest — who passed away in April of 2015.

In addition to over one-hundred tables of movie-related collectibles such as posters, lobby cards, press kits, DVDs and 16 mm films, Cinevent hosts one of the country’s largest live auctions of vintage posters. The convention also features an extensive schedule of classic sound and silent films. For a look at this year’s Cinevent film program, click here.

To book a room at the Renaissance Columbus, the convention’s host hotel, click here. And to keep abreast of the latest details on this fun convention, be sure to like the Cinevent Facebook page.

Although PulpFest 2017 will not have its own film program, the convention will still have a lot of great programming. Add to that 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. So what are you waiting for? Start making your plans to join us at the “pop culture center of the universe” for PulpFest 2017. It will be held July 27 through July 30 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” of Pittsburgh.

(George Waggner’s 1941 film MAN-MADE MONSTER, starring Lionel Atwill and Lon Chaney, Jr., will be one of the many films shown at this year’s Cinevent. The convention screens 16mm films nearly continually through the entire weekend.)

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Head North Young Pulp Fan

Apr 17, 2017 by

The Fantastic Pulps Show & Sale is celebrating its 21st year! The show is held annually in the lower level of the Lillian H. Smith Branch of the Toronto Public Library, 239 College Street in Toronto, Ontario.

A small but terrific show featuring a wide variety of pulp and pulp-related items, you’ll find over twenty-five dealers’ tables crammed with collectible pulp magazines, pulp reprints, vintage paperbacks, posters, and other ephemera. There’s also a half-hour pulp magazine cover slide show. It’s a great time for both serious pulp collectors as well as the casually interested, with lots of great stuff to see!

Admission is only $3, with tickets available at the door. Children under ten are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.

So if you reside in the states, grab your passport, and head north to Ontario for the Fantastic Pulps Show & Sale on Saturday, May 13, beginning at 10 AM and running until 4 PM. For additional details, you can email Neil or Leigh Mechem at info@girasolcollectables.com or call 905-820-7572. Please tell them that PulpFest sent you.

(This year’s Fantastic Pulps poster — designed by Neil and Leigh Mechem — features the art of the great Earle K. Bergey. It originally appeared on the cover to the Winter 1944 issue of CAPTAIN FUTURE, a pulp magazine published by Ned Pines’ Standard Magazines. Bergey painted many covers for the Thrilling line of pulps, as well as paperback covers for the publisher’s Popular Library. He died in 1952 at the age of fifty-one.)

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Read All About It! PulpFest 2017

Apr 10, 2017 by

With the Windy City Pulp and Paperback Convention a couple weeks away, PulpFest chairman Jack Cullers and his stalwart corps of volunteers have been manning the presses and rolling off copies of our annual newsletters. With the ink barely dry, the latest edition of THE PULPFEST NEWS is being stuffed into envelopes, stamped, addressed, and mailed.

Although our newsletter will be filled with information about this year’s convention — a preview of our programming plans, a look at our Guest of Honor, information about our hotel, early-bird shopping details, registration instructions, auction instructions, and much more — please stay tuned to our announcements here and on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We’ll be regularly providing updates in the coming months. So be sure to bookmark our home page, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

In addition to all the news about PulpFest 2017 that’s fit to print, a registration form will be included with your copy of the newsletter. If you have not received your copy of our newsletter and registration form by the end of April, please contact David J. Cullers at jack@pulpfest.com or at 1272 Cheatham Way, Bellbrook, OH 45305. Let him know your mailing address and he’ll get a copy of our newsletter to you.

If you can’t wait, please visit our home page. Click on one of the registration links and scroll down to the “Payment Instructions” section. There, you’ll find a link to our newsletter.

Start making your planning to attend PulpFest 2017 and join hundreds of pulp fiction fans at the pop-culture center of the universe. We look forward to seeing you July 27 – 30 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just nineteen miles north of the beautiful city of Pittsburgh. If you still need a hotel room, you can book one 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.

(Our 2017 newsletter was written by marketing and programming director and designed by advertising director and PULPSTER editor William Lampkin.)

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One Hundred Years of Robert Bloch

Apr 3, 2017 by

Born one-hundred years ago on April 5, 1917, Robert Bloch is best remembered for his novel PSYCHO,  which became the basis for Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film of the same name. The author of more than 200 stories, nearly thirty novels, and a large number of non-fiction articles, screenplays, and teleplays, Bloch got his start as a writing professional in the pulp magazines that are celebrated each summer at PulpFest.

Born in Chicago, Bloch was a precocious child who developed an early interest in vaudeville and theater, as well as storytelling and reading. According to his autobiography, ONCE AROUND THE BLOCH:

Sometime late in the summer of 1927 the family, accompanied by my father’s sister, entered Chicago’s Northwestern Railroad Station to entrain for a suburban destination. Where we were going eludes memory, and it’s not important. What matters is that we passed the huge magazine stand in the terminal.

Here literally hundreds of periodicals — including the then-popular weekly and monthly “pulp” magazines — were ranked in gaudy array. Row after row of garish covers caught the eye; comparatively respectable offerings like ARGOSY, BLUE BOOK, ALL-STORY, and ADVENTURE competed for attention with scores of titles featuring romance, mystery, detective stories, westerns, and every variety of sports. There were even pulps devoted exclusively to railroad yarns, pirates, and WWI air combat. I stared at them, fascinated by this abundance of riches.

It was then that Aunt Lil, with her usual generosity, offered to buy me a magazine to read during the train journey. Scanning titles and covers, I stood poised in delicious indecision. Here was a mustached member of the French Foreign Legion battling a bearded Arab armed with a wicked-looking scimitar . . . beside it, an Indian chief preparing to discharge a flaming arrow at an ambushed wagon train . . . directly overhead, a helpless maiden struggling in the clutches of a gigantic gorilla whose glaring red eyes indicated his zooreastic intentions. Salivating, I surveyed this feast of literature. For a dime I could devour the exploits of a master detective; fifteen cents whould satisfy my appetite for mutiny on the high seas; twenty cents might gorge me with a huge helping of Secret Service operatives foiling the hellish Huns who presumably had substituted a bomb for the torch held by the Statue of Liberty.

But in the face of these attractions, what more might be offered for an entire quarter?

That price was imprinted on the cover of a magazine featuring a cloaked, bearded, evil-looking man confronting a recumbent, half-naked girl clad in Oriental garb against a background of Egyptian hieroglyphs. The featured story was “The Bride of Osiris,” by one Otis Adelbert Kline.

Snatching the magazine from the rack, I paged through it quickly, noting such promising titles as “Satan’s Fiddle,” “Creeping Shadows,” “The Phantom Photoplay” and “The Man with a Thousand Legs.”

That did it. “This is the one I want,” I said.

And it was thus that I was introduced to a magazine which changed my life, my very first copy of WEIRD TALES. . . .

What my parents thought of my taste remains unclear to me. Although they seemed uninterested in reading my favorite magazine they offered no objections to cover illustrations of damsels in various stages of distress and undress, and continued to supply me with quarters for monthly issues. . . . to me personally WEIRD TALES became a sort of non-theological BOOK OF REVELATION. What it revealed was that fantastic fiction was not necessarily the work of long-deceased authors like Poe, Hawthorne or de Maupassant; its prose and poetry were not entombed in pages from the past. Death was alive and well and living in Chicago.

By far the most horrifying concept, and to me the most convincing, was an account of ghouls feasting in their burrows below the cemeteries and subways of modern Boston. The story, “Pickman’s Model,” was credited to one H. P. Lovecraft, and I made a mental note to remember both the title and the name of the author. . . . By cutting down on my consumption of carbohydrates, borrowing streetcar passes and confining motion picture attendance to nights when tickets were ten or fifteen cents, I managed to keep the necessary quarter in reserve for the next issue of WEIRD TALES. . . . my addiction to the work of H. P. Lovecraft increased. . . . A Lovecraft junkie, I was hungry for more highs. What could I do?

As it has so frequently during a long lifetime, sheer stupidity came to my rescue. I sat down and . . . scrawled out a letter to Mr. Lovecraft care of the magazine. Identifying myself as an ardent fan (and a brash, presumptuous teenage idiot), I inquired if he might inform me as to where I could locate some of his stories presently out of print.

Thus began a friendship between the young Bloch and “The Old Gentleman.”

I had become a regular correspondent . . . a member of what was later styled the Lovecraft Circle — a group of friends and fans, many of whom were themselves writers or aspired to be. . . . Quite early in our correspondence HPL suggested I might be interested in trying my own hand at writing with an eye to publication. . . . And since Lovecraft’s suggestion generously included his willingness to inspect my efforts, what more did I need. . . . I trained my sights on the most obvious and visible target, WEIRD TALES. Instead of bombarding them with contributions, I took careful aim before shooting off a story in their direction. . . . Why a battle-scarred veteran of longtime literary warfare would notice the feeble dud I delivered remains a mystery to this very day. But in July, 1934, less than a month after graduating from high school, I received a letter of acceptance for my story. . . . I had suddenly and almost miraculously become a professional writer, a contributor for the very magazine which published the work of my favorite author and present pen pal. . . .

By the end of 1935, Robert Bloch began to sell on a frequent and regular basis to WEIRD TALES. Between that first 1934 sale and the demise of the publication in 1954, he sold nearly seventy stories to “The Unique Magazine.” Having started his career as a mimic of his Lovecraft, his writing gradually took on more psychological overtones and often a sense of humor. He began to branch out in 1939, selling fiction to AMAZING STORIES, STRANGE STORIES, and UNKNOWN. The forties found him contributing to DETECTIVE TALES, DIME MYSTERY MAGAZINE, FANTASTIC ADVENTURES, MAMMOTH DETECTIVE, NEW DETECTIVE, SUPER SCIENCE STORIES, THRILLING MYSTERY, and others. His best-known story of this period, “Yours Truly – Jack the Ripper” — published in the July 1943 WEIRD TALES — led to an assignment writing scripts for a radio program called STAY TUNED FOR TERROR.

It was also during the 1940s that Robert Bloch became a regular attendee of science fiction conventions. In 1948, he was invited to be the professional guest of honor for the World Science Fiction Convention, held in Toronto, the first truly international event of its kind. In 1954, at the San Francisco Worldcon, he met Samuel Peeples, a longtime pulp fan and Hollywood writer. It was this friendship that led to Bloch venturing to Hollywood, where Peeples helped him land an assignment with the television show LOCK-UP. Bloch was soon writing for other series, including ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS, THRILLER, TRUE, and WHISPERING SMITH. In later years, he would contribute to THE GIRL FROM U.N.C.L.E., I SPY, NIGHT GALLERY, STAR TREK, TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE, and others. Bloch would also write the screenplays for THE CABINET OF CALIGARI, THE NIGHT WALKER, THE SKULL, THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD, and other films. He died on September 23, 1994 in Los Angeles, California.

PulpFest 2017 will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Robert Bloch’s birth with several special presentations. On Thursday, July 27, author Chet Williamson will read from his novel, Robert Bloch’s PSYCHO: SANITARIUM. Mr. Williamson was the guest of honor at PulpFest 2015. Garyn Roberts — who engaged in an extensive correspondence with Robert Bloch — will discuss the author and his works on Friday, July 28. Professor Roberts — who is working on a Robert Bloch biography — will be sharing rare and landmark material from throughout the author’s life. Garyn was honored with our Munsey Award in 2013.

There will be two other Bloch presentations on Friday evening. First, Michael Croteau, creator of Philip José Farmer’s Official Home Page and one of the founders of both FarmerCon and Meteor House, will do a short presentation on Robert Bloch’s relationship with Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José Farmer. To close the evening, the Narada Radio Company and PULP-POURRI THEATRE will present a mock radio drama of Bloch’s “Return to the Sabbath,” originally published in the July 1938 WEIRD TALES. PULP-POURRI THEATRE is an all-new audio drama anthology series that has its origins in vintage pulp fiction, but presents its stories in the modern way. Pete Lutz is the company’s producer-director. You can sample their work online or via iTunes.

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. 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.

Start making your plans now to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of PSYCHO author Robert Bloch at the “pop culture center of the universe” called PulpFest 2017.

(Released in 1960, Alfred Hitchcock’s PSYCHO is considered to be a masterpiece of suspense. This classic film was based on Robert Bloch’s novel of the same name, originally published in 1959 by Simon and Schuster. Hitchcock’s film was nominated for four academy awards and helped its author to achieve fame and fortune, largely through his work in television and motion pictures.

Robert Bloch — who got his start as a writing professional working for the pulps — first discovered the rough-paper magazines through the August 1927 issue of WEIRD TALES, featuring front cover art by Hugh Rankin. A newspaper illustrator, Rankin began working for WEIRD TALES in 1927, doing the vast majority of the magazine’s interior illustrations during the late twenties and all of its covers, beginning with the July 1927 number. He continued as the pulp’s sole cover artist through the February 1931 issue. Afterward, he began sharing the cover with such artists as C. C. Senf, J. Allen St. John, and Margaret Brundage. Rankin continued to paint covers for WEIRD TALES into 1936.

Bloch’s fourth published story — “The Shambler from the Stars” — was not only dedicated to his writing mentor, H. P. Lovecraft, but also featured “The Old Gentleman” as an important character. Published in the September 1935 issue of WEIRD TALES and featuring cover art by Margaret Brundage, the story concerns a would-be writer who obtains a copy of an occult volume known as DE VERMIS MYSTERIIS. He takes the forbidden volume to a Providence-based mystic who, in his excitement, calls down an invisible, vampiric monster. Bloch’s tale would lead Lovecraft to write “The Haunter of the Dark,” published in the December 1936 WEIRD TALES. It was dedicated to Robert Bloch and featured a character named “Robert Blake.”

Following a write-up in the Milwaukee papers in 1935, the new author was invited to join The Milwaukee Fictioneers. A professional writers’ group, its membership also included pulp writers Fredric Brown, Ralph Milne Farley, Lawrence Keating, Ray Palmer, and Stanley G. Weinbaum. Soon after assuming the editorship of AMAZING STORIES in 1938, Palmer would publish Robert Bloch’s first science fiction story,“Secret of the Observatory.” Bloch would author a substantial number of stories for Palmer’s AMAZING STORIES, FANTASTIC ADVENTURES, and OTHER WORLDS SCIENCE STORIES, including “It’s a Small World,” the cover story for the March 1944 AMAZING, featuring artwork by J. Allen St. John.

Although PSYCHO is certainly Robert Bloch’s most famous novel, his first book-length work, THE SCARF — originally published in 1947 by Dial Press — is considered by many critics to be his best work. According to Cullen Gallagher, “It tells the story of a writer . . . who uses real women as models for his characters. But as soon as he is done writing the story, he is compelled to murder them, and always the same way: with the maroon scarf he has had since childhood.” One of the finest editions of THE SCARF is Avon’s 1952 paperback reprint of the work, featuring a beautiful cover by Charles Binger.)

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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