Contact the Committee
PulpFest is organized by a committee of six—Jack Cullers, Barry Traylor and Mike Chomko, who for many years managed the auctions for Pulpcon; Chuck Welch, social media consultant and sitesmith for the Hidalgo Trading Company; Sally Cullers, who for many years has helped to man the registration desks of both Pulpcon and PulpFest, and Bill Lampkin, who has worked on the convention’s program book, THE PULPSTER, for many years. Assisting the committee with design work is Chris Kalb, the art director for Age of Aces Books and one of the leading developers of pulp-related websites on the Internet. Here’s a little background….
Chairman Jack Cullers was born on a ranch in Montana (or maybe it was a farm in Ohio) where he grew up wrestling pet dogs and garter snakes. It was there that a steady diet of Frank Gruber westerns turned him into the rough and tumble character we all know and love. Now a resident of Bellbrook, Ohio, Jack has turned in his six-guns for a job with the Greene County Public Library System. He lives with his charming wife Sally, his lovely daughter Samantha and her husband, Sam Childers, and several rambunctious dogs. Jack is well known in convention circles for his organizing skills. He has also been known to ask people to “step outside” if they desire an exceptionally nice copy of WESTERN STORY MAGAZINE that he needs for his collection. Generally, these miscreants are taken away in a cardboard box. “While parts of my bio may be a bit of an exaggeration, there is something about this committee that is not. I really enjoy working with the other members. While we sometimes disagree, we are able to discuss problems and move on. There is no ‘I am the Boss’ feeling here. We are all looking forward to an exciting and well-attended PulpFest this year.” In 2012, Jack and Sally Cullers were recognized for their outstanding service to the pulp community by being named the recipients of the first Rusty Hevelin Service Award. In addition to his chairmanship, Jack also serves as the convention’s business manager and membership director.
Although he spends every October preparing his yard for his “Halloween Haunt,” J. Barry Traylor’s enjoyment of pulps matches his love for that holiday. Barry has been breathing pulp flakes for longer than most people spend in the workaday world. He has been organizing book and pulp auctions for just about the same amount of time, almost single-handedly putting together a couple hundred items for sale in a single night’s auction. In 2008, Barry quickly mastered the art of digital photography and stunned the convention crowd with his wonderful images of pulps ranging from rarities like FAR EAST ADVENTURE STORIES to more common titles such as AMAZING STORIES. Retired from the printing industry, Barry makes his home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in a relatively uncluttered home with his lovely and understanding wife Lynn. His biggest delights are his two granddaughters, Ajilon — who still enjoys tea parties — and Zoe — who now enjoys reading Tolkien. She also likes Edgar Allan Poe as they share the same birthday. During their visits, Barry usually removes his high-grade copies of TERROR TALES from display. His favorite pulp is WEIRD TALES, something he began to enjoy while learning at the feet of his pulp mentor, the late Richard Minter. In 2014, Barry’s outstanding service to the pulp community was recognized by his peers when he was named the winner of the Rusty Hevelin Service Award. Barry serves as the PulpFest auction coordinator.
Mike Chomko, the winner of the 2010 Munsey Award, has been a regular at pulp cons since the early nineties. Somewhere along the way, he started helping his friends, Jack Cullers and Barry Traylor, with the auctions held at Pulpcon. In September of 2008, Jack, Barry, and Mike joined with Ed Hulse to launch PulpFest, the convention that has become the summer show to attend in the pulp community. A former member of the Pulp Era Amateur Press Society, Mike was the publisher of PURPLE PROSE, a highly respected pulp fanzine that ran for seventeen issues in the late nineties and early 21st century. Mike’s former PulpFest partner, Ed Hulse, once told him that PURPLE PROSE helped to inspire the launching of today’s leading pulp fanzine, BLOOD ‘N’ THUNDER. In real life, Mike is a registered nurse, working in the operating room of one of Allentown, Pennsylvania’s several hospitals. He is also a well-known bookseller of pulp reprints and related reference materials. He has been married to Dianne for nearly forty years and is the father of two adult children. Mike’s pulp-related book catalog is posted about every six weeks at his Mike Chomko Books website. You can also receive Mike’s catalog via email by writing to him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mike serves as the marketing and programming director for PulpFest.
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 is his wont, Chuck immediately started volunteering and making suggestions to Jack, Barry, Ed, and Mike. Having enough of his puppy-dog eyes, the fearsome foursome asked Chuck if he’d like to join the team. Recently moved and having foisted off his old businesses, Chuck accepted. His goal for PulpFest is to not have any other committee members call for his head.
Chuck resides in La Crosse, Wisconsin with his wife and daughter, JJ. Though the youngest Welch — who accompanies her dad to PulpFest and helps with the convention’s auction and technology needs — has access to three complete collections of Doc Savage novels, she hasn’t yet found her parents’ love for the character. A generalist by heart, Chuck won’t claim an expert’s knowledge in any area of pulps or pulp collecting. However, he brings technical expertise in the fields of social media, new and dinosaur journalism, and organization. Which explains why Chuck is the convention’s technology director and webmaster.
Sally Williams Cullers
Sally attended her first pulp convention in 1983 when she first started hanging out with Jack Cullers. She and Jack’s son Aaron would spend convention weekends helping out wherever they could. Although she never fell in love with the hobby of collecting pulps, she did fall for Mr. Cullers (and his son Aaron). Pulp conventions became an annual thing and soon Sally was helping Mary Ramlow run the registration desk at Pulpcon. Then came a daughter, Samantha, and somewhere along the way, Sam and her mom started selling baked goods to help occupy the time during the convention. Sadly, the bake sale is no more (venue rules), but Sally and Samantha continue to run the registration table at PulpFest.
PulpFest has become a Cullers family tradition. Aaron and his wife, Tess, come to PulpFest from Austin, Texas most years. Samantha and her husband, Sam Childers, also attend. Sam’s mom, Maura Childers, is another of the convention’s registration desk personnel. “The pulp community is a tight group of wonderful people,” Sally comments. “We look forward to connecting and catching up with our pulp friends twice a year at PulpFest and Windy City.”
Sally works as a Program Manager at LexisNexis, based out of Miamisburg, Ohio. She serves as PulpFest‘s registration and volunteer coordinator. In 2012, Sally and her husband received the Rusty Hevelin Service Award for outstanding service to the pulp community.
A freelance writer/editor and publication designer, Bill Lampkin 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 ThePulp.Net, which he created in 1996, and also writes the Yellowed Perils blog. A resident of Florida, he has designed THE PULPSTER, the PulpFest program book, since 2008 and served as its designer/editor since 2013. In late 2013, Bill began to design PulpFest‘s print advertisements. He currently serves as the convention’s director of advertising and assists with web content and design.
And helping . . .
Designer and cartoonist Chris Kalb is known in pulp circles for his hero pulp websites, like The 86th Floor and The Spider Returns. 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. Out in the real world, Chris is a website designer and freelance artist, illustrating books such as ‘SCUSE ME WHILE I KISS THIS GUY AND OTHER MISHEARD LYRICS by Gavin Edwards (Fireside), UP YOUR (SAT) SCORE (Workman), and COOKING ROCKS! RACHAEL RAY’S 30-MINUTE MEALS FOR KIDS, a NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller in 2004. Chris has continued to work with Rachael on EVERYDAY WITH RACHAEL RAY magazine and with the 2008 cookbook YUM-O! More years ago than he cares to mention, Chris’ comic strip in the YALE DAILY NEWS won him the Scripps Howard Foundation’s Charles M. Schulz Award for the nation’s most promising college cartoonist. You can sample his comics at breakupgirl.net. For more about Chris, please visit Chris Kalb’s Pop-Up Portfolio. Chris is the designer of PulpFest‘s original website and for many years, put together the convention’s print advertisements.
Garyn G. Roberts
Professor Garyn G. Roberts has written extensively about the pulps, both professionally and as a fan. He has edited or co-edited some of the best collections from the pulps including A CENT A STORY: THE BEST FROM TEN DETECTIVE ACES, MORE TALES OF THE DEFECTIVE DETECTIVE IN THE PULPS, THE COMPLEAT ADVENTURES OF THE MOON MAN, THE MAGICAL MYSTERIES OF DON DIAVOLO, and THE COMPLEAT GREAT MERLINI SAGA. His anthology, THE PRENTICE HALL ANTHOLOGY OF SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY, a college level textbook, is notable for the attention paid to the pulp magazines. Additionally, Garyn has helped other researchers with various pulp-related projects and often serves as a presenter and panelist at conventions. In 2013, Professor Roberts received the Munsey Award. He helps the convention with its programming needs.
For decades now, Ed Hulse has been scouring the back alleys and deserted farmhouses of his home state of New Jersey, searching for old pulps and 16mm prints of vintage motion pictures. Not content with what he was finding in Jersey, he can now be found rummaging through boxes of old pulp magazines in places as far away as Singapore and Kodiak, Alaska, trying to find a pulp that measures up to his lofty standards. Retired from the journalism field, Ed has been helping to organize pulp and film conventions for many years. He’s the guy who runs the movie projector at the Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention and also publishes BLOOD ‘N’ THUNDER, the leading pulp and popular culture fanzine of our day and age, and Murania Press books. Additionally, Ed has written extensively about both the pulp and motion-picture fields. His THE BLOOD ‘N’ THUNDER GUIDE TO PULP FICTION should be on the bookshelves of every pulp collector. Ed’s publications are available through Amazon.com and other fine booksellers. In 2007, Ed was presented with the Lamont Award for his exceptional work within the pulp community. Ed formerly served as the convention’s public relations and programming director.
For questions about these guys, contact local law enforcement. If you’d like to reach any of them via email, simply type their first names followed by “@pulpfest.com.” or use the form below: