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

Mar 20, 2017 by

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

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

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

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

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

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

California Here I Come

Feb 20, 2017 by

Although PulpFest 2017 is about five months off, do not despair. There are other collectors conventions fast approaching. For instance, on Sunday, March 19, the annual Los Angeles Vintage Paperback Collectors Show & Sale will take place at the Glendale Civic Auditorium at 1401 North Verdugo Road in Glendale, California from 9 AM to 4 PM. It’s still the best bargain in town, featuring an admission price of five bucks!

Now in its 38th year, this convention was started by Tom Lesser, who invited dealers, fellow collectors and paperback enthusiasts to his home in Chatworth, California in 1980. Since then, it has grown to be the world’s largest vintage paperback gathering. This year’s show will feature more than 80 dealer tables with tens of thousands of vintage paperbacks for sale, from inexpensive filler copies to the most elusive and rare collectibles in the hobby. In addition to collectible paperbacks, you’ll also find pulp magazines, original illustration art, hardbound science fiction and mystery books, and more. There is no telling what might show up! Even with a crowd of collectors around, it’s possible to be the first person to discover a hidden gem during the event. Each year there are great finds reported by folks who attend the show. This year, you could be the person telling the story.

Over the years, an important attraction of the show has been its exciting roster of guest authors and artists. It has included such notables as Robert Bloch (18 years); A. E. Van Vogt , Ray Bradbury, Poul Anderson, and Fredrik Pohl (all for over 10 years); and the show’s champ, William F. Nolan (with over 30 years of appearances). This year the show will feature nearly sixty guests who will be available to meet the attendees and sign their works for free! Click here for a schedule of this year’s guest writers and artists.

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

(The Los Angeles Vintage Paperback Show & Sale’s characteristic poster images were originally designed by the late Glenn Souza, starting in the early 1990s and continued by him through 2007, when he handed on his legacy to Tony Gleeson. Pictured here is the convention’s banner for their Facebook page.)

Returning to Sunny Florida: Pulp AdventureCon

Jan 16, 2017 by

Timely Comics artist Allen Bellman

Timely Comics artist Allen Bellman

A new year of pulp conventions kicks off with the southern edition of Pulp AdventureCon on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Special guest for the event will be Timely Comics artist Allen Bellman, who contributed to CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS, THE HUMAN TORCH, MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS, SUB-MARINER COMICS, ALL-WINNERS COMICS, and many other Timely titles. (Timely, of course, would morph into Marvel Comics.) Bellman, a longtime South Florida resident, will be on hand to sign autographs and talk about Timely publisher Martin Goodman and his company’s comics and pulps.

Pulp AdventureCon takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Universal Palms Hotel, 4900 Powerline Rd., Fort Lauderdale. But attendees staying at the hotel usually hold informal gatherings Friday night before the show, and Saturday evening afterward, and anyone who’d like to participate is welcome. If you’re planning to stay overnight, use the special codeword “pulp” to receive the $109 room rate.

The Florida con, now in its third year, features pulp magazines, of course, but also a variety of pulp culture collectibles, such as New Pulp books, Golden Age comic books, Big Little Books, old-time radio and movie memorabilia, and more. (It’s also a great way to escape the winter weather; typical seasonal temperatures in Fort Lauderdale in February are highs in the upper 70s and lows in around 60.)

For more information, visit the Pulp AdventureCon website and the con’s blog.

Fans of Bronze to Gather for Doc Con XIX

Sep 26, 2016 by

Doc Con XIX (2016)Fans of Doc Savage, the Man of Bronze, will gather for the 19th annual Doc Con on Friday, November 4, through Sunday, November 6, in Glendale, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix.

The con has grown from the five fans who first got together in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 1998, to almost 100 fans who attended last year to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1975 movie DOC SAVAGE: THE MAN OF BRONZE with its star and con Guest of Honor Ron Ely.

This year, fans will have a chance to meet guests Will Murray, pulp historian and author of the “All-New Wild Adventures of Doc Savage,” and Joe DeVito, the artist for Murray’s original Doc Savage books at Bantam and Altus Press. “Attendees will meet Will and Joe in a way that they never have before,” says Jay Ryan, one of Doc Con‘s organizers. “We hope our format will make them more personable and accessible and that we will get to know them as a human being rather than just for their roles as Doc’s author and artist.”

Jay also says that with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson having announced that he’s signed on to play Doc in a new movie, written and directed by Shane Black, this may be the last year for Doc Savage fans to gather before the flood gates of fandom open wide.

Doc Con XIX begins Friday evening with a group dinner, continues Saturday with a day full of programming, and wraps up Sunday morning. Evenings — “Doc Con After Dark” — include a variety of activities and a chance to mingle with fellow fans and their families.

The convention will again be held at the Comfort Suites Glendale, 9824 W Camelback Rd, Glendale, Ariz. A pre-registration web page remains open for a short while longer. For more information, visit the Doc Con Facebook page, or email Jay Ryan at jryands@aol.com.

Get Nostalgic at the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention

Aug 15, 2016 by

Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention

While you’re waiting impatiently for the 46th convening of “Summer’s Great Pulp Con,” we’ll try to keep you posted about other conventions taking place around North America. They just might help to keep your hunger at bay while you wait for the main course – PulpFest 2017. You just might meet up with some hardboiled dicks, dangerous dames, or even a few psychos (or at least learn something about them). We look forward to seeing you at the “pop culture center of the universe.”

The Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention is an annual pop culture event recognizing the by-gone era of classic movies, retro television, old-time radio, pulp magazines and comic books. Hollywood celebrities sign autographs and pose for photos with fans. The movie room features rare films 24 hours a day. Slide show seminars offer insight from museum curators, authors, historians, magazine editors and other authorities on their respective subjects. Over 200 vendor tables offer loads of merchandise. The event is held every September in Hunt Valley, Maryland. Attendance grows an average of 200 people every year — last year’s attendance topped 2,400. This year’s dates are September 15 to 17, 2016. For more information call 443-286-6821 or visit www.MidAtlanticNostalgiaConvention.com.

Why PulpFest?

Jul 13, 2016 by

Today, we’ve decided to share a short essay written by Walker Martin for Steve Lewis’ Mystery*File blog. Walker has been a reader and collector for over sixty years. In 1997, he received the Lamont Award at Pulpcon 26 in Bowling Green, Ohio. We’re proud to have him as one of our own and can think of no one better to answer the question, “Why PulpFest?” Take it away Walker . . .

PulpFest 2016 — Summer's AMAZING Pulp Con!

The last couple days I’ve been thinking about PulpFest, which will be held July 21 through 24 in Columbus Ohio. That’s just a week from tomorrow! I’ve been deluged by logical and sane-looking collectors and non-collectors all asking me the same question: why bother attending PulpFest? They have shown up at my house; they have called me on the telephone; they have sent me emails. Enough is enough! Here’s a list of excuses for not attending that I hear all the time, and why none of them are valid:

1 – I have no money! Sorry, but I’ve attended many a Pulpcon in the 1970’s, 1980’s, and 1990’s and I went with very little money. Are there no credit cards? Are there no credit unions? Are there no non-collecting spouses to borrow money from? Even when I had the money, I often blew it before the convention by visiting local bookstores like Bonnett’s and Dragon’s Lair in Dayton, Ohio. If not in the bookstores, then in the hotel rooms of friends who let me see what they were bringing to sell. I learned to go without much cash, but I brought a few boxes of pulps to trade and sell at my table.

2 – I’m in poor health and too sick to attend. Sorry again! I had a friend who had a terminal illness and came to Pulpcon anyway. Another friend actually collapsed at the convention and died soon after. I myself once threw my back out three days before the show and my doctor and chiropractor both told me to forget about making the long drive to the convention. I felt like I was crippled for life, but I managed to squeeze into the car and drive out. I had to stop numerous times near hotels because I thought I was not going to make it. Perhaps I could rent a room and lay there for a couple weeks until I could stand. It took me 16 hours instead of the usual 9 hours, but I made it. I spent the entire convention standing because sitting down caused back spasms.

3 – I have no space or I live in a small apartment. Collectors always make space for the things they love! When I first met Bob Lesser in the 1970’s he had an apartment full of Disney toys. This was New York City and the place was tiny. A path from the front door to the bed and another path to the bathroom. Otherwise, every inch was toys, robots, and paintings. I once ran out of space and I hunted for over a year until I found a bigger house. I went to dozens of open houses and looked at hundreds of houses. I finally found a big house. Unfortunately, I soon filled it up with books. Now I need a bigger place! The old story. . .

4 – My wife is a non-collector and forbids me to go. Tell me about it! I’ve been married over 40 years and I’ve heard it all. I still go and I still collect. Les Mayer told me in 1990 at the Wayne, New Jersey Pulpcon that his wife thought he was at a business meeting. If she knew he was at Pulpcon she might burn his pulps. Collectors have to become masters of deception and great liars to defeat the non-collector. Many a time I’ve lied and many a time I’ve smuggled books into the house in the dead of night while “she who must be obeyed” slept the innocent sleep of the non-collector. Non-collectors exist to be ignored . . .

5 – I can’t get off from work. Sorry, but this is not a valid reason. My employers always knew I was a rabid book collector who took off without exception a week for Pulpcon in the summer. I made sure that my vacation request was in as early as I knew the convention dates. Once they sorrowfully told me I couldn’t go because of some work bullshit. I went anyway and left it to them to ignore my absence without leave or put up with one pissed-off book collector. I realize the employment situation is different nowadays, but which is more important, your job or your collection? Your marriage or your collection? Right, your collection.

6 – Who cares about the convention? I can buy my pulps off ebay. Back in the 1920’s and 1930’s, dime novel collectors existed. But they didn’t have a convention and died off. Now I know of only a few in existence and dime novels are just about worthless. If I had a table full of dime novels priced at a buck apiece, most collectors would scurry away in disgust. We have to support the two big pulp conventions — Windy City in Chicago and PulpFest in Columbus. If we don’t, then one day we will wake up and the pulps will be dead. These shows garner a lot of attention and people keep talking about the pulps because of the efforts of Mike Chomko, Jack and Sally Cullers, Doug Ellis, John Gunnison, Bill Lampkin, Barry Traylor, Chuck Welch, and all the other people who lend a hand.

7 – It’s too late! Like hell. There are hotels with rooms available nearby. What’s the most important thing in a serious collector’s life? His collection, without a doubt. We work, we slave, we march on to the bitter end where we will eat dirt in the boneyard. We live lives of quiet desperation and worry about the afterlife. Go to PulpFest and collect some books and pulps! You only live once . . .

8 – And finally the best reason for attending! They are a hell of a lot of fun. Not only do you get to roam around a gigantic dealers’ 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 them! Though I seem to be one of last of the drinkers. And the panels! All day and all night, we will be discussing pulps and books. What’s cooler than that?

I’ve never met a magazine or book collector who regretted attending PulpFest. I hope to see some of you there!

(And so do we. The convention will take place from Thursday evening, July 21, through Sunday afternoon, July 24, in the Columbus, Ohio Arena district at the Hyatt Regency hotel and the city’s spacious convention center. Start making your plans to join us at the “pop culture center of the universe” for PulpFest 2016. You’ll have an AMAZING time!

If you are not from the Columbus area and have yet to book your room for this year’s PulpFest, you can try calling 1-888-421-1442 to reach the Hyatt Regency. Perhaps there are rooms still available. Alternately, you can search for a room at tripadvisor  or a similar website to find a hotel. Other sites include www.columbusconventions.com/thearea.php, courtesy of the Greater Columbus Convention Center, and the Experience Columbus lodging page at http://www.experiencecolumbus.com/stay.  Thanks so much to everyone who has reserved a room at our host hotel. By staying at the Hyatt Regency, you’ve helped to ensure the convention’s success.

Walker Martin’s essay, “Why Attend PulpFest?” originally appeared — in slightly different form — on Steve Lewis’ Mystery*File blog on August 9, 2015 as the seventeenth segment of “Collecting Pulps: A Memoir.)