3 Rivers Comicon: Putting Comics Back in Comicon

Apr 17, 2019 by

During the second weekend of May, a couple of Pittsburgh nerds are hoping to make comic con all about comics again. 3 Rivers Comicon will take place May 11 – 12 in the old Macy’s under the bridge in Homestead, Pennsylvania.

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 had 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. The show is dedicated to cultivating the comic culture and community by bringing in some of the bigger names in the industry. With over 100 artists, writers, and other creators and almost as many vendors, this show is one not to miss.

Admission is $10 per day or $15 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. Weekend events include panels, gaming, photo opportunities and costume contests for kids and adults. There is also the very popular beer party on Saturday evening. Check out the convention’s Guests page for a look at the many creators attending this year’s show.

3 Rivers Comicon has also commissioned a custom beer by ShuBrew of Harmony, Pennsylvania featuring original bottle label art by Josh Blaylock, creator of Mercy Sparx. Mercy Sparx Sinful Stout will be brewed exclusively for 3 Rivers Comicon and New Dimension Comics. Tickets to the convention’s beer party are $40 and include admission to both days of the convention, entry to the beer release party, two cans of this year’s custom beer, catered food, and a free graphic novel. A VIP pass costing $75 gets you even more!

Let’s hope that 3 Rivers will save a few bottles of their craft brew to help us celebrate PulpFest 2019 from August 15 through 18 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City.” Although PulpFest will not have its own beer, the convention will have some great programming. Add onto 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, genre fiction, series books, reference books, dime novels and story papers, Big Little Books, B-Movies, serials and related paper collectibles, old-time radio shows, and Golden and Silver Age comic books, as well as newspaper adventure strips. We’ll also have a hospitality suite featuring great beer and snacks. So what are you waiting for? Start making your plans to celebrate “Mystery, Adventure, Science Fiction, and More” at PulpFest 2019.

(Josh Blaylock created the label for Mercy Sparx Sinful Stout, the beer being brewed exclusively for 3 Rivers Comicon and New Dimension Comics.)

Pulp Adventurecon Returns to Sunny Florida for a Fifth Year

Jan 14, 2019 by

Pulp Adventurecon, Florida 2019Pulp Adventurecon celebrates its fifth year in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019.

The one-day event will be held at the Fort Lauderdale Grand Hotel (formerly the Universal Palms Hotel), 4900 Powerline Road, Fort Lauderdale, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5.

Bold Venture Press, run by Rich Harvey and Audrey Parente, has also hosted the Pulp Adventurecon in New Jersey each November for nearly 20 years. Both shows feature collectors and vendors of pulp magazines, vintage paperbacks, Golden Age comic books, movie memorabilia, and related paper collectibles. Pulp Adventurecon focuses on material from the 1900s through 1959, which includes a significant portion of the pulp era.

Scheduled to appear at the Florida con are:

  • Allen Bellman, Golden Age illustrator of Timely Comics and Lev Gleason Publications. He is best-known for his contributions to Captain America, The Human Torch, Sub-Mariner, and The Patriot. Allen created the one-page “Let’s Play Detective” feature, which appeared in Marvel Comics in the 1940s.
  • Bold Venture Press, the show hosts and publishers of New Pulp and classic pulp fiction, including Zorro: The Complete Pulp Adventures and Primal Spillane: Early Stories 1941-1942 by Mickey Spillane.
  • Dick Kulpa, caricaturist, cartoonist, and former publisher of CRACKED magazine.
  • Glaister “Silverback” Ormsby, author and artist.
  • The Luscious Ladies, a social group of ladies who cherish and live a retro lifestyle. Meet the women of The Luscious Ladies and join them on their pinup adventures.
  • Stuart Hopen, New Pulp author and artist.

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

PulpFest 2019 will take place from August 15 – 18, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. Click the register button below our home page banner to join us.

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

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Children of the Pulps and Other Stories

Dec 3, 2018 by

About PulpFest!

 

So what’s PulpFest? Is it one of those things where people walk around wearing costumes? Is it a comic book convention? What’s pulp?

Do these questions sound familiar?

Because of their painted covers, people often mistake pulps for comic books. But the two are quite different.

PulpFest is named for pulp magazines — fiction periodicals named after the cheap pulp paper on which they were printed. Frank A. Munsey pioneered the format in 1896 with THE ARGOSY. Stories like Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Tarzan and the Apes” and Max Brand’s “Destry Rides Again” really got things moving.

The pulps started to flourish following the introduction of genre magazines like DETECTIVE STORY and LOVE STORY. Publishing legends BLACK MASKWEIRD TALES and AMAZING STORIES debuted during the 1920s. The thirties introduced the hero pulps and weird horror magazines. Science fiction exploded as the world went to war in 1939.

By the early fifties, the pulps had essentially disappeared. Although a few continued as digest magazines, most vanished due to competition from paperback books, comics, radio, television, movies, and more. But the fiction and artwork that had appeared in the rough-paper periodicals kept them alive for scattered collectors.

These hearty pulp enthusiasts gradually assembled astounding collections of these rough and ragged magazines. Eventually,  they formed a convention dedicated to the premise that the pulps had a profound effect on popular culture across the globe. The fiction and art of the pulps reverberated through a wide variety of mediums — comic books, movies, paperbacks and genre fiction, television, men’s adventure magazines, radio drama, and even video, anime, and role-playing games. Today, we call this convention, PulpFest.

Programming for PulpFest 2019

PulpFest 2019 postcardPulpFest is the summertime destination for fans and collectors of vintage popular fiction and related materials. It seeks to honor the pulps by drawing attention to the many ways these throwaway magazines have inspired writers, artists, film directors, game designers, and other creators over the years.

Our 2019 convention will focus on the many ways pulp fiction and pulp art have inspired and continue to inspire creators. We’re calling this year’s theme “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories,” an examination of the pervasive influence of pulp magazines on contemporary pop culture. Our planned schedule appears below.

Please join PulpFest 2019 for our celebration of mystery, adventure, science fiction, and more. We’ll be back at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” in Mars, PA. Click the button below the PulpFest banner to “Book a Room.”

If you enjoy  genre writers such as J. K. Rowling, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, John Scalzi, or Stephen King, you’ll love PulpFest!

 

PulpFest 2019 Schedule

Thursday, August 15

Dealers’ Room

3:00 PM – 10:00 PM — Dealers’ Room Set-Up

4:00 PM – 8:00 PM — Member Registration and Early-Bird Shopping

Evening Programming

8:15 – 9:00 PM — Bob Davis — Grandfather of Science Fiction (Gene Christie)

9:05 – 9:50 PM — A Century of Zorro — (Rich Harvey)

9:55 – 10:40 PM — Hollywood Pulp — From Pulp Page to the Silver Screen (Ed Hulse)

10:45 – 11:30 PM — Two Sought Adventure — Eighty Years of Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser (Jason Aiken & Morgan Holmes)

11:40 – 1:00 AM — Fu Manchu Film Festival (William Patrick Maynard)

Friday, August 16

Dealers’ Room

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM — Early Registration and Dealers’ Room Set-Up

10:00 AM – 4:45 PM — Dealers’ Room Open to All

Author Readings — Today’s Fictioneers

11:00 – 12:20 AMRaw Dog Screaming Press Rapid-Fire Read & Sweet Sixteen Celebration (Publisher Jennifer Barnes)

Readings by Mike Arnzen, Carrie Gessner, John Edward Lawson, Jason Jack Miller, and Stephanie Wytovich, plus coffee, tea, and sweets, compliments of the publisher

12:30 – 1:05 PM — Wayne Carey, author of Quatermain: The New Adventures

1:10 – 1:45 PM — Craig McDonald, author of The Hector Lassiter Series

1:50 – 2:25 PM — Joab Stieglitz, author of The Utgarda Series

2:30 – 3:05 PM — Christopher Paul Carey, The Wild Adventures of Edgar Rice Burroughs Series and The Khokarsa Series author

3:10 – 3:50 PM — William Patrick Maynard, authorized author of Fu Manchu

Afternoon Programming

1:30 – 2:30 PM — Author SigningsJohn Locke, Will Murray, and Chet Williamson will be available for signings at our main entrance

4:00 – 4:40 PM — Fu Manchu Film Festival (William Patrick Maynard)

Evening Programming

6:55 – 7:00 PM — Welcome to PulpFest (Convention Chairman Jack Cullers)

7:05 – 7:50 PM — ARGOSY, ADVENTURE and BLUE BOOK — The Men’s Adventure Pulps (Bob Deis & Wyatt Doyle)

7:55 – 8:40 PM — The Game’s Afoot: Sherlock Holmes and the Pulps (George Vanderburgh & Garyn Roberts)

8:45 – 9:30 PM — The Secret Life of Women Pulp Artists (David Saunders)

9:35 – 10:25 PM — Dashiell Hammett and the Detective Story (John Wooley with John Gunnison)

10:25 – 11:10 PM — The Key of Imagination: THE TWILIGHT ZONE and the Pulps (Nicholas Parisi)

11:15 – 12:45 AM — Charles Beaumont: The Short Life of Twilight Zone’s Magic Man (A film by Jason V. Brock)

Saturday, August 17

Dealers’ Room

10:00 AM – 4:45 PM — Dealers’ Room Open to All

Author Readings — Today’s Fictioneers

10:00 – 10:50 AMPopular Fiction from Seton Hill (introduced by Heidi Ruby Miller)

Readings by Jeremiah Dylan Cook, E. C. Skowronski, and Sara Tantlinger

11:00 – 12:20 AMDog Star Books Rapid-Fire Read & Sweet Sixteen Celebration (Publisher John Edward Lawson)

Readings by Matt Betts, J. L. Gribble, Heidi Ruby Miller, K. W. Taylor, Albert Wendland, and K. Ceres Wright, plus coffee, tea, and sweets, compliments of the publisher

12:30 – 1:05 PMFlinch Fest, featuring John Bruening, author of The Midnight Guardian Series

1:10 – 1:45 PM — Roger Alford, author of The Black Spectre Series

1:50 – 2:25 PM — Sara Light-Waller, author of ANCHOR and LANDSCAPE OF DARKNESS 

2:30 – 3:05 PM — Christopher Ryan, author of Alex Simmon’s Blackjack and The Mallory and Gunner Series

Afternoon Programming

1:30 – 2:30 PM — Author Signings — Nicholas Parisi and John Wooley will be available for signings at our main entrance

3:15 – 4:15 PMContemporary Pulp: Writing Genre Fiction (featuring John Bruening, Christopher Paul Carey, and Will Murray, with William Patrick Maynard moderating)

4:15 – 4:45 PM — Auction Preview

Evening Programming

5:00 – 6:45 PM — PulpFest 2019 Group Meal

7:00 – 7:30 PM — PulpFest Annual Business Meeting (meet the convention organizers)

7:30 – 7:40 PM — Munsey Award Presentation (presented by William Lampkin)

7:45 – 8:25 PM — FarmerCon XIV: Farmer of the Pulps: A Harvest of Influences (featuring Jason Aiken, Christopher Paul Carey, Win Scott Eckert, and Garyn G. Roberts, with Paul Spiteri moderating)

8:30 – 9:30 PM — Born Writing: The Unparalleled Career of Arthur J. Burks (John Locke)

9:30 – 9:45 PM —  Last Minute Auction Viewing

9:45 – 12:00 AM — Saturday Night Auction

12:00 – 1:00 AM — Fu Manchu Film Festival Encore (William Patrick Maynard)

Sunday, August 18

Dealers’ Room

9:00 AM – 2:00 PM — Dealers’ Room Open to All (many dealers will be packing up; buying opportunities may be limited)

To learn more about each presentations, click on the available links.

Please note that the schedule above is subject to change.

(Every year, PulpFest celebrates mystery, adventure, science fiction, and other forms of genre fiction. The rough paper magazines played a major role in the development of fiction categories. Pulp publisher Street & Smith pioneered the specialized fiction magazine when it introduced DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE in late 1915. About ten years later, Hugo Gernsback debuted AMAZING STORIES — the first science fiction magazine.

Leo Morey was AMAZING’s regular cover artist from the beginning of 1930 number until early 1938. A prime example of his work is the May 1931 issue of AMAZING STORIES. It was later featured as the cover art for the first volume in Mike Ashley’s acclaimed “The History of the Science-Fiction Magazine.” Originally published by Liverpool University Press in 2000, Ashley’s book is long out of print. Copies however, can still be located via PulpFest sponsor AbeBooks.com.

Artist Walter M. Baumhofer contributed the first painted image of Doc Savage, “The Man of Bronze.” Called the first superhero, Doc’s adventures were chronicled by Lester Dent. The character debuted in the March 1933 issue of DOC SAVAGE MAGAZINE, published by Street & Smith.

About five years later, Superman made his first appearance in the June 1938 issue of ACTION COMICS. Before long, the Man of Steel was joined by many other superheroes. This is just one example of the many ways pulp fiction and pulp art have influenced writers, artists, film directors, software developers, game designers, and other creators over the decades.

Watch for our post cards featuring Walter Baumhofer’s classic Doc Savage image at book stores, comic shops, collectible conventions, and other venues. With a Superman portrait painted by H. J. Ward on its flip side, our post card is a great collectible in itself. It was designed by PulpFest Advertising Director, William Lampkin.

And watch for more adventures of The Man of Bronze via The All-New Wild Adventures of Doc Savage. They’re written by PulpFest 2019 panelist, Will Murray.)

 

Armistice Day

Nov 11, 2018 by

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Happy Labor Day from PulpFest

Sep 3, 2018 by

On the day we honor America’s laborers, we’re taking a break. It’s hard to mount a convention. So the PulpFest organizing committee is happy to have a new volunteer.

Please welcome William Patrick Maynard for offering to write for the PulpFest website. An avid reader of vintage thriller fiction and a student of film and comic art, Bill has been writing since childhood. He’s the authorized author of Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu series. Bill also writes mystery and science fiction screenplays and short fiction. He has authored nearly 300 pop culture articles and classic film commentaries.

Bill will help us all to enjoy the great pulps of the past and the genre fiction of today and tomorrow.

To volunteer for PulpFest, please write to convention chairman Jack Cullers at jack@pulpfest.com or marketing and programming director Mike Chomko at mike@pulpfest.com.

(The cowboys of the American West worked hard — mending fences, herding cattle, busting broncos, and more.

In 2019, PulpFest will return with more great programming. Next year will be the 100th anniversary of Street & Smith’s WESTERN STORY MAGAZINE. We’ll look at the great cover artists who worked for the pulp. One was Charles Durant. During his career, he painted over fifty covers for ADVENTURE, BATTLE STORIES, EVERYBODY’S MAGAZINE, SKY RIDERS, THE THRILL BOOK, WESTERN STORY MAGAZINE — including the December 11, 1920 number — and other pulps.

We hope you’ll be at PulpFest 2019 for a celebration of mystery, adventure, science fiction, and more. Join us for “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories” at PulpFest 2019.)

Get Nostalgic at the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention

Aug 13, 2018 by

Bookmark pulpfest.com. We’ll keep you posted about related conventions while you await next summer. They might satisfy your hunger until PulpFest 2019.

Martin Grams hosts the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention. It recognizes movie classics, old-time radio and television, and more. Hollywood celebrities sign autographs and pose for photos. The movie room features rare films and TV shows. This year’s con will celebrate film noir.

There are lectures by pop culture authorities. Over 200 vendor tables feature loads of collectibles. There’s also Friday’s annual charity auction.

The 2018 Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention will be September 13-15. It’s at the Hunt Valley Delta Hotel. For more information call 443-286-6821 or visit www.MidAtlanticNostalgiaConvention.comIt’s a great show!

Head for Louisiana and the 2018 Dum-Dum

Jul 30, 2018 by

Although PulpFest 2018 ended yesterday, all is not lost. Starting in just a few days is the 2018 Dum-Dum, the annual gathering of Edgar Rice Burroughs enthusiasts. Taking place August 2 – 5 in Morgan City, Louisiana, the convention is hosted by the Cajun Coast Visitors & Convention Bureau. It will be held at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, 520 Roderick Street, Morgan City, Louisiana. You can book a room by clicking here or by calling (985) 385-2200. If calling to place a reservation, please mention that you are with the Dum-Dum convention. The convention ends on Sunday, August 5, following a farewell breakfast.

Morgan City was selected as the site of this year’s Dum-Dum to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the release of the silent film classic, TARZAN OF THE APES. Directed by Scott Sidney and starring Elmo Lincoln as the jungle lord, it was filmed around Morgan City and became the first of many film adaptations of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ adventure classic.

The 2018 Dum-Dum will feature filmmaker Al Bohl; editor of The Burroughs Bibliophiles Henry G. Franke, III; Scott Tracy Griffin, the author of TARZAN ON FILM and other works; and author Win Scott Eckert, an expert on famed science fiction writer Philip José Farmer and his connections to Edgar Rice Burroughs and Tarzan.

To learn more about the 2018 Dum-Dum — including how to register — please visit erbzine.com/dumdum/.

Remember to bookmark http://www.pulpfest.com/ to stay informed about PulpFest 2019 and other pulp-related conventions and like the PulpFest Facebook site at http://www.facebook.com/PulpFest. And for those who prefer their news short and sweet, follow our Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/pulpfest. Wherever you look for PulpFest on the web, we’ll be sure to keep you up on all things pulp.

(The 2018 Dum-Dum will take place in Morgan City, Louisiana, the location where the silent movie TARZAN OF THE APES was filmed. Produced in 1918 by the National Film Corporation of America and directed by Scott Sidney, TARZAN OF THE APES starred Elmo Lincoln as the adult jungle lord.  Enid Markey played Jane. This year’s Dum-Dum will salute the centennial of Sidney’s classic film.)

Ten Dollar Discounts!

May 4, 2018 by

 

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

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

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

About Confluence 2018

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

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

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

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

About PulpFest 2018

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

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

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

In addition to our great programming, our dealers’ room features tens of thousands of pulp magazines, vintage paperbacks, digests, men’s adventure and true crime magazines, original art, first edition hardcovers, genre fiction, series books, reference books, dime novels and story papers, Big Little Books, B-Movies, serials and related paper collectibles, old-time radio shows, and Golden and Silver Age comic books, as well as newspaper adventure strips. It’s perfect for the reader and/or the collector!

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

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

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

What’s This PulpFest All About?

Apr 27, 2018 by

So what’s this PulpFest that has so many people talking? With almost 3,000 likes on Facebook and nearly 900 followers on Twitter, it certainly has been generating a lot of excitement. But what’s it all about?

PulpFest is named for pulp magazines — fiction periodicals named after the cheap pulp paper on which they were printed. Frank A. Munsey pioneered the format in 1896 with THE ARGOSY. A decade later, pulps began to pick up steam with titles like BLUE BOOK and ADVENTURE. They exploded in 1912 when THE ALL-STORY printed a little yarn by Edgar Rice Burroughs called “Tarzan of the Apes.” Soon thereafter, genre titles began to flourish, among them DETECTIVE STORY, WESTERN STORY, and LOVE STORY. In the twenties, publishing legends such as BLACK MASK, WEIRD TALES and AMAZING STORIES debuted. The following decade saw the advent of the so-called “hero pulps,” with magazines such as THE SHADOW, DOC SAVAGE, and THE SPIDER attracting new readers to the rough paper format. Weird-menace magazines premiered around the same time, scaring the wits out of readers in titles like DIME MYSTERY MAGAZINE, SPICY MYSTERY STORIES, and TERROR TALES. The late thirties saw an explosion of science fiction pulps — led by John W. Campbell’s ASTOUNDING STORIES — with other magazines, such as FANTASTIC ADVENTURES and PLANET STORIES, thrilling readers of all ages.

By the early fifties, the pulps had essentially disappeared. While some continued in the smaller digest format, most were killed by competition from paperback books, comics, radio, television, and movies. But the fiction and artwork that appeared in the rough-paper consumables of the early twentieth century kept them living in the hearts and minds of scattered individuals.

Haunting back-issue magazine shops, flea markets, science fiction conventions, and other venues, these hearty enthusiasts gradually assembled astounding collections of genre fiction, all published in the rough and ragged magazines known as pulps. Eventually, these collectors organized a convention dedicated to the premise that the pulps had a profound effect on American popular culture. The pulps reverberated through a wide variety of mediums — comic books, movies, paperbacks and genre fiction, television, men’s adventure magazines, radio drama, and even video and role-playing games. Today, we call this convention, PulpFest.

The summertime destination for fans and collectors of vintage popular fiction and related materials, PulpFest seeks to honor the pulps by drawing attention to the many ways these throwaway magazines have inspired writers, artists, film directors, software developers, and other creators over the decades.

Why not come see what it’s all about? PulpFest 2018 will honor the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War. The convention will focus on the so-called “war pulps” of the early twentieth century and the depiction of war in popular culture. We’ll also salute the centennial of the birth of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José FarmerJoin PulpFest 2018 and FarmerCon 100 for panels and presentations on the celebrated author of TARZAN ALIVE: A DEFINITIVE BIOGRAPHY OF LORD GREYSTOKEDOC SAVAGE: HIS APOCALYPTIC LIFE, the Riverworld and World of Tiers series, and many other works.

The convention’s guest of honor will be award-winning author Joe LansdaleThe author of over forty novels and many short stories, Lansdale has also written for comics, television, film, Internet sites, and more. His novella “Bubba Ho-Tep” was adapted to film by Don Coscarelli, starring Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis. The film adaptation of his novel COLD IN JULY was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, while the Sundance Channel has adapted his Hap & Leonard novels to television. Joe will be talking with Tony Davis on Saturday evening, July 28 and be available at select times during the convention.

We’ll have all this plus a dealers’ room featuring tens of thousands of pulp magazines, vintage paperbacks, digests, genre fiction, 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.

The convention will take place from Thursday evening, July 26, through Sunday afternoon, July 29, 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 one of the links on the PulpFest home page that reads “Book a Room.” Alternately, you can call 1-800-222-8733 to book a room by telephone. When calling, be sure to mention PulpFest to get the special convention rate.

Start planning now to join PulpFest 2018 at the “pop culture center of the universe.” You can do so by clicking one of the Register buttons on our home page. For a look at our planned schedule, please visit our home page and click the Programming button just below our banner.

(Published by the Frank A. Munsey Company, the October 1912 issue of THE ALL-STORY featured Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel “Tarzan of the Apes,” published in its entirety. Clinton Pettee painted the front cover art for the magazine. Burroughs’ Tarzan is perhaps the most famous character to emerge from the pulps. Others include Zorro, Kull and Conan, Dr. Kildare, The Shadow, Buck Rogers, Sam Spade, and Cthulhu.

In addition to BUBBA HO-TEP, COLD IN JULY, and HAP AND LEONARD, our guest of honor’s story, “Incident On and Off a Mountain Road,” was adapted to film for Showtime’s MASTERS OF HORROR. Lansdale himself also adapted his short story “Christmas with the Dead” to film.)

3 Rivers Comicon: Putting Comics Back in Conventions

Apr 18, 2018 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 19 – 20 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 had 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 $10 per day or $16 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 SPIDER-MAN and THOR artist Ron Frenz; fantasy, pin-up, and comic artist Joe Jusko; NIGHTWING and DAREDEVIL artist Scott McDaniel; SPIDER-GIRL and SENSATIONAL SHE-HULK artist Patrick Ollife; writer and artist Tim Truman, known for his work on GRIMJACK, CONAN, HAWKWORLD, JONAH HEX, and other titles; and many others. 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 convention’s beer party are $70 and include early admission to both days of the convention, a free graphic novel, entry to the beer release party, catered food and three free bottles of beer, one from each year! “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.”

3 Rivers Comicon has commissioned a custom beer by Helltown Brewing featuring original bottle label art by Joe Jusko. Witchblade Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout will be brewed with coffee added this year. This beer will only be made exclusively for 3 Rivers Comicon and New Dimension Comics.

Let’s hope that Todd and Jon save a few bottles of this year’s special brewed craft beer to help us celebrate PulpFest 2018 from July 26 through July 29 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City.” Although PulpFest 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, genre fiction, series books, reference books, dime novels and story papers, Big Little Books, B-Movies, serials and related paper collectibles, old-time radio shows, and Golden and Silver Age comic books, as well as newspaper adventure strips. We’ll also have a con suite featuring some great beer and snacks. So what are you waiting for? Start making your plans to join us at the “pop culture center of the universe” for PulpFest 2018.

(Our illustration is the banner for the 3 Rivers Comicon home page. The convention is organized by Todd McDevitt and Jon Engel of New Dimension Comics, with six stores in the Pittsburgh region.)