Happy Birthday Gloria Stoll Karn

Nov 13, 2017 by

PulpFest was extremely proud to welcome pulp artist Gloria Stoll Karn as our 2017 Guest of Honor. A resident of Pittsburgh, the artist is one of the very few individuals alive today who worked in the pulp magazine industry. Today is her 94th birthday.

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 Stoll began contributing black and white interior illustrations to pulp magazines. In a few years, the young artist was painting covers.

It was Rafael DeSoto who inspired Gloria to become a commercial artist and introduced her to Popular Publications. A graduate of New York’s High School of Music and Art, Gloria Stoll began her career doing black and white interior illustrations for Popular. This evolved into painting covers for the publisher’s line of women’s pulps. She contributed covers to Popular’s ALL-STORY LOVELOVE BOOKLOVE NOVELS, LOVE SHORT STORIES, NEW LOVE, RANGELAND ROMANCES, ROMANCE, and ROMANCE WESTERN, as well as Standard Publications’ THRILLING LOVE.

Beginning in late 1943, Stoll also began painting covers for Popular’s mystery and detective pulps. Her work was featured on BLACK MASK, DETECTIVE TALES, DIME MYSTERY MAGAZINE, and NEW DETECTIVE. In addition, she did interior illustrations for ARGOSY magazine. The artist continued working in the pulp field until 1949.

In Ms. Stoll Karn’s own words: “Pulp artists were required to come up with ideas for the magazine covers which reflected the general flavor of the stories within. Moving on to painting covers for mystery and detective magazines involved a radical conceptual switch. It was a surprise when I came up with gruesome ideas and concluded that, within the human psyche, there is a shadow side of which we are often unaware. I am grateful that my work struck a balance which uncovered the dark side within, along with the light side depicting the joys of romance.”

Gloria’s pulp artist career ended abruptly when she married Fred Karn in 1948. The couple moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where they raised three children. In the 1950s, Stoll Karn began teaching art classes. Her work has been exhibited at the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum’s National Print Annual, and the Pittsburgh Watercolor Society’s International Exhibition. Her work is in the permanent collections of Yale University, the Carnegie Museum of Art, Westinghouse Corporation, the Speed Art Museum, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the Pittsburgh Department of Education. She is listed in WHO’S WHO IN AMERICAN ART. Her current work is in abstraction and draws upon her life experience.

PulpFest would like to wish Gloria a very happy birthday.

(One of Gloria Stoll’s pulp covers graced the December 1943 issue of Popular Publications’ LOVE SHORT STORIES. Painted during the Second World War, it was one of several covers depicting members of the United States military.

Gloria Stoll Karn was PulpFest’s 2017 Guest of Honor. Award-winning author Joe Lansdale will be PulpFest‘s Guest of Honor in 2018. The convention will begin on Thursday evening, July 26, and run through Sunday, July 29. We hope to see you at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry.)

 

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Reviews and Recordings of PulpFest 2017

Sep 11, 2017 by

The dealers' room at PulpFest 2017

The dealers’ room at PulpFest 2017

PulpFest 2017 wrapped up six weeks ago. If you weren’t able to attend, that’s unfortunate. You missed over three days of pulp presentations, pulp deals, and plenty of pulp talk among true fans. But all is not lost.

You can catch a glimmer of what PulpFest is through the post-convention reports, the photos, and the podcasts that are available online.

PulpFest 2017 Guest of Honor Gloria Stoll Karn

PulpFest 2017 Guest of Honor Gloria Stoll Karn

Read all about it

Check out what these folks had to say about this year’s AMAZING summer pulp convention in their reports:

Tuning in

If you’re not in the dealers’ room during the day, you may be attending one of the New Pulp readings or FarmerCon panel discussions. In the evenings, you may be at one of the pulp panels.

Re-live — or listen to for the first time — a selection of the PulpFest 2017 programming:

After you’ve read the reports and listened to the recordings, go ahead and start planning to attend 2018’s PulpFest to experience it first-hand. It will take place over the last weekend in July, beginning on Thursday evening, July 26 and running through Sunday, July 29.

 

Saturday at PulpFest

Jul 29, 2017 by

There’s still time to get in on the action. The PulpFest dealers’ room will be open today from 10 AM until 4:45 PM. Located in the Grand Ballroom of the DoubleTree, our dealers’ room will feature exhibitors selling and trading pulp magazines and related materials, digests, vintage paperbacks, men’s adventure and true crime magazines, first-edition hardcovers, series books, dime novels, original art, Big Little Books, B-movies, serials and related paper collectibles, old-time-radio shows, and Golden and Silver Age as well as pulp-related comic books and games. That’s why PulpFest is known as the “pop culture center of the universe!”

Single-day memberships to PulpFest will be available for $20 for Saturday and $10 for Sunday. Children who are fifteen and younger and accompanied by a parent, will be admitted free of charge. The general public is welcome to attend. There is ample free parking surrounding our host hotel, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry.

Members will be able to register for the convention at any time during regular dealers’ room hours. To help things move smoothly, please bring along a completed registration form. If you have not yet registered, you can download a copy by clicking herePaper forms will also be available at the door. Please visit our registration page for further details.

Our Saturday afternoon programming will start at 12:30 PM with our New Fictioneers readings. Afterward, author and editor Ron Fortier will be joined by five authors to discuss their writing and today’s “New Pulp Fiction.” It will be followed by an encore presentation of an audio drama, staged by the Narada Radio Company and their PULP-POURRI THEATREThe Adventures of Mr. Fye” introduces a new hero inspired by classic pulp fiction and the single character hero pulps. The play will begin at 3:30 PM.

The PulpFest dealers’ room will be closing today at 4:45 PM. This should allow plenty of time for people to prepare for our Saturday Night Dinner. Currently, we’re planning to dine informally at ember & vine, located right in the DoubleTree. However, if you don’t plan to attend PulpFest‘s group meal, there are plenty of other restaurants close to the hotel. You’ll find a guide to the many restaurants in the vicinity of the DoubleTree by clicking here.

Saturday evening’s events will include the PulpFest 2017 business meeting, starting at 7 PM. It will be followed by the 2017 Munsey Award presentation. Laurie Powers, the winner of our 2017 Munsey, will reveal the name of this year’s recipient. Laurie was selected through a vote cast by all the living Lamont, Munsey, and Rusty Award winners. The Munsey is a fine art print created by Dan Zimmer of a David Saunders painting. It is presented annually to a person who has worked for the betterment of the pulp community.

Our programming for Saturday evening will include Our Guest of Honor presentation, featuring one of the few living pulp magazine artists, Gloria Stoll Karn. A Pittsburgh resident, Gloria will be joined by fine artist and pulp art historian David Saunders — winner of our 2016 Lamont Award — to discuss her freelance career in the pulps and much more. 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 Stoll 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?

Another dangerous dame of the pulps — Pat Savage — gets her night to shine when members of the Narada Radio Company read from Will Murray’s SIX SCARLET SCORPIONS, the first book in the author’s THE ALL-NEW WILD ADVENTURES OF PAT SAVAGE series.

The convention’s celebration of the hardboiled dicks of the pulps continues with a look at The Don Everhard Stories of Gordon Young, featuring Professor Tom Krabacher of California State University. A member of the Pulp Era Amateur Press Association, Tom has often presented at PulpFest. He’ll be joined by Walker Martin, one of the foremost collectors of pulp magazines in the country. Walker is one of the few people who have owned and read complete runs of both BLACK MASK and DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE.

Our evening will conclude with the annual PulpFest Saturday Night Auction. The convention will be offering about 100 lots of material from the collection of Woody Hagadish. We’ll have a variety of both pulps and digests from such diverse genres as air war, science fiction, western, and the detective fields. Also included will be several premiums offered to readers of Street & Smith’s DOC SAVAGE and THE SHADOW MAGAZINE. Finally, there will be a number of Gnome Press, Shasta, and Avalon first edition hardcovers offered. The estate is hoping to find good homes for all of these collectibles, getting them to the people who would best appreciate them, as Woody Hagadish had done during his lifetime.

This year’s auction will also feature a number of pulp magazines from the collection of the late Larry Latham. Larry enjoyed a varied career in animation, film, TV, theater and teaching. PulpFest will be offering a variety of pulps from Larry Latham’s collection, such as copies of THE ARGOSY and THE ALL-STORY, the first three issues of FAMOUS FANTASTIC MYSTERIES, a selection of THE WIDE WORLD, and a number of hero pulps, including the May 1934 issue of DOC SAVAGE, autographed to Latham by cover artist Walter Baumhofer.

One of our members has also mentioned that he may be offering a complete set of the second volume of AMRA — no. 1 to no. 71 — published by George Scithers from 1959 to 1982. AMRA featured high-quality artwork by Roy G. Krenkel, Gray Morrow, and other articles. The magazine’s writers included L. Sprague de Camp, Poul Anderson, Leigh Brackett, Fritz Leiber, Marion Zimmer Bradley, and many others.

Click on the “PulpFest Auction” link along the right side of our home page for highlights featured in this year’s auction.

Rounding out the auction will be material consigned by our membership. Any member of PulpFest 2017 can submit items to the auction. Your PulpFest badge number will be used as your auction bidder and/or seller number. To learn more about selling material through our Saturday night auction, please click here.

You can find additional details about these and all of our events by clicking the Programming for 2017 button found at the top of our home page. Each event on the schedule is linked to a post that provides further information on that event. Just click on the event’s title. Watch for the “panels” banner to find our programming area.

PulpFest members are also welcome to socialize together in our hospitality suite at the DoubleTree. You’ll be able to enjoy drinks and snacks with your comrades in pulpdom and talk about the things that you love and collect. If you’re new to the hobby, please join us in our con suite and learn more about pulps and pulp fiction and art.

Saturday’s sponsor of the PulpFest hospitality suite is Meteor House, a publisher of science fiction and fantasy. Their main specialty is authorized limited edition novels and novellas, set in the worlds of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José FarmerPulpFest is extremely pleased to have Meteor House as our Saturday evening hospitality suite sponsor.

If you are not from the Pittsburgh area and have yet to book your room for this year’s PulpFest, you can try calling 1-800-222-8733 to reach our host hotel. Perhaps there is an opening. Please be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive any special convention deals that may still be available.

PulpFest 2017 will continue tomorrow. Our dealers’ room will be open to all members from 9 AM to 2 PM as our exhibitors pack up. If you are coming just for the day, please be aware that buying and selling opportunities may be limited. Admission to the convention for Sunday, July 30, will be $10, the cost of our annual program book, THE PULPSTER.

Please join us at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry — just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” — for “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con!” You’ll have a FANTASTIC time!

(Like Robert Bloch, John D. MacDonald — who was born 0n July 24, 1916 — got his start in the pulp magazines. From about 1946 through 1951, he placed dozens of stories each year with various pulp magazines. His output included adventure, detective, fantasy, science fiction, sports fiction, and western stories. When his story “Dead to the World” garnered the cover spot for the February 1947 issue of Popular’s DIME DETECTIVE — featuring cover art by Robert Stanley — MacDonald had become a reliable producer for the pulp market. Not long after, MacDonald began selling increasingly to the original paperback market. His first Travis McGee novel — THE DEEP BLUE GOOD-BY –was published by Fawcett in 1964.

Granted, the PulpFest auctions are a bit more tame than this depiction by Milton Luros for the DIME DETECTIVE from February 1939. Nevertheless our auctions are quite exciting. Plan to attend PulpFest 2017 and find out for yourself why it’s called “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con!”

Pulp Fiction’s “hardboiled dicks” will come to the fore during PulpFest’s final night of programming, scheduled to begin at 7 PM this evening. We hope to see you in at the DoubleTree Grand Ballroom for “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con! You’ll find today’s schedule immediately below.)

Saturday, July 29

Dealers’ Room

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

3:00 – 4:30 PM — Auction Viewing at the DoubleTree

Programming

12:30 – 2:00 PM — New Fictioneers Readings — (author readings by Win Scott Eckert and Frank Schildiner)

2:15 – 3:15 PM — Six Writers of New Pulp (moderator Ron Fortier and authors Fred Adams, Jr., John Bruening, Wayne Carey, Michael Maynard, and Charles Millhouse)

3:30 – 4:00 PM —  Pulp-Pourri Theatre Presents “The Return of Mr. Fye”

5:00 – 6:50 PM — PulpFest 2017 Group Meal at Ember & Vine in the DoubleTree (Volunteer Coordinator Sally Cullers)

7:00 – 7:20 PM — PulpFest 2017 Business Meeting (meet the convention organizers)

7:20 – 7:30 PM — 2017 Munsey Award Presentation (presented by Laurie Powers)

7:30 – 8:10 PM — Guest of Honor Gloria Stoll Karn with David Saunders

8:10 – 8:20 PM — The Wild Adventures of Pat Savage by Will Murray — A Reading by Pulp-Pourri Theatre

8:20 – 8:50 PM — Hard-Boiled at 100: The Don Everhard Stories of Gordon Young (Tom Krabacher & Walker Martin)

8:50 – 9:10 PM —  Intermission (Auction Viewing)

9:15 – 12:15 AM — Saturday Night at the Auction (John Gunnison and Joseph Saines, Auctioneers)

PulpFest Primer

Jul 25, 2017 by

PulpFest welcome banner, with AbeBooksPulpFest 2017 will begin on Thursday, July 27, at 4 PM, as our dealers begin to erect their displays for “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con!” All members will be able to register for the convention from 4 to 8 PM, right outside our dealers’ room. There will be early-bird shopping in the dealers’ room from 6 to 9 PM for loyal attendees who help to defray the convention’s costs by staying three nights at our host hotel. The cost is $30 for those who stay elsewhere. Our full programming slate for the evening will begin shortly after 9 PM with a reading by author Chet Williamson. Closing out the evening programming will be an audio drama, staged by the Narada Radio Company and their PULP-POURRI THEATRE.

PulpFest 2017 will be celebrating the “hardboiled dicks, dangerous dames, and a few psychos” of the pulps.

If you are not from the Pittsburgh area and have yet to book your room for this year’s PulpFest, you can try calling 1-800-222-8733 to reach our host hotel, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. Perhaps there is an opening. Please be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive any special convention deals that may still be available.  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.

Early registration for the general membership will take place on Thursday, beginning at 4 PM, at the entrance to our dealers’ room in the Grand Ballroom of the DoubleTree. All members, dealers included, can pick up their registration packets at this time. To help things move smoothly, please bring along a completed registration form. You can download a copy by clicking here or the link found on our registration page. Look for the SHOP banner to find our dealers’ room. You’ll also see our large welcome banner, sponsored by AbeBooks.com. With its strong focus on rare and collectible books as well as ephemera such as maps, posters, prints and photographs, AbeBooks is a company with a passion for books, art and collectibles.

For those of you who have not yet registered for PulpFest 2017, Thursday evening will be an ideal time to do so. Full weekend memberships will cost $35 for those staying at the DoubleTree and $40 for those staying elsewhere. There will be no single-day memberships available for Thursday only. Children who are fifteen and younger and accompanied by a parent, will be admitted free of charge. Please visit our registration page for further details. Members will also be able to register for the convention on Friday morning, beginning at 9 PM, and at any time during regular dealers’ room hours. Single day memberships will be available for $20 for Friday or Saturday and $10 for Sunday.

Please note that advance registrations are no longer available. Our Paypal page was shut down around 10 PM on Monday night.

From 4 PM to 11 PM on Thursday, the dealers’ room will be open for exhibitors to set up their displays. At this point, we urge all of our dealers to take full advantage of our generous load-in and set-up period. Access to the dealers’ room for unloading will be through the ballroom back entrance and the nearby banquet dock. Click here for a map showing the loading area of the hotel and here for a map of the DoubleTree’s Grand Ballroom.

If you need additional help getting to the hotel and/or the loading area, please call or text Jack Cullers at 937.671.1574. If Jack is not available, please text Chuck Welch at 608.406.4774. You can also call Chuck, but text will probably be faster.

Remember that we’ll also be offering early-bird shopping in the dealers’ room from 6 to 9 PM on Thursday evening, an extra three hours of selling opportunities to people who are ready to buy!

Although the focus of PulpFest is pulp magazines and related materials, digests, vintage paperbacks, men’s adventure and true crime magazines, first-edition hardcovers, series books, dime novels, original art, Big Little Books, B-movies, serials and related paper collectibles, old-time-radio shows, and Golden and Silver Age as well as pulp-related comic books and games are also allowed.

From 9 to 10 AM on Friday, July 28, the dealers’ room will be open only to dealers for set-up. It will open to all at 10 AM and remain open until 4:45 PM. Our afternoon programming will start at 1 PM with the first of our New Fictioneers readings. Our evening programming will begin shortly before 7 PM as PulpFest chairman Jack Cullers offers an official welcome to all attendees. Friday night’s programming will include our FarmerCon XII presentations, plus several discussions of Robert Bloch, psychos, and hardboiled dicks. Once again, the Narada Radio Company and their PULP-POURRI THEATRE will close out our programming. They’ll be performing “Return to the Sabbath,” a WEIRD Audio Play based on a story by Robert Bloch.

On Saturday, July 29, the PulpFest dealers’ room will be open from 10 AM to 4:45 PM. Afterward, all convention attendees are welcome to join an informal Saturday Night Dinner. Details will be announced at the convention. If you don’t plan to attend PulpFest‘s group meal, there are plenty of other restaurants close to the hotel. You’ll find a guide to the many restaurants in the vicinity of the DoubleTree by clicking here.

Our Saturday afternoon programming will start at 12:30 PM with our New Fictioneers readings and a panel on “New Pulp Fiction.” It will be followed by an encore presentation by the Narada Radio Company

Saturday evening’s events will include the PulpFest 2017 business meeting, starting at 7 PM. All members of the convention are urged to attend. The 2017 Munsey Award — presented for service to the pulp community — will also be awarded on Saturday evening.

Other programming on Saturday night will include Our Guest of Honor presentation, featuring one of the few living pulp magazine artists, Gloria Stoll Karn. A Pittsburgh resident, Gloria will be joined by fine artist and pulp art historian David Saunders — winner of our 2016 Lamont Award — to discuss her freelance career in the pulps and much more. We’ll also have another presentation on the hardboiled dicks of the pulps.

Our evening will conclude with the annual PulpFest Saturday Night Auction. The convention will be offering about 150 lots of material from the collections of Woody Hagadish and Larry Latham. Included will be several premiums offered to readers of Street & Smith’s DOC SAVAGE and THE SHADOW MAGAZINE, as well as the May 1934 issue of DOC SAVAGE, autographed by cover artist Walter Baumhofer.

Any member of PulpFest 2017 can submit items to the auction. Your PulpFest badge number will be used as your auction bidder and/or seller number. We will begin taking consignments for the auction when our dealers’ room opens at 10 AM on Friday and Saturday. The sooner you submit your consignment to our auction coordinator, Barry Traylor, the more likely that it will be included in our auction. We will be accepting material for our auction near the entrance to the PulpFest dealers’ room. Watch for the auction banner. All auction lots must be submitted to Barry prior to 2 PM on Saturday, July 29.

All lots submitted must have a minimum value of $20. All lots that do not receive a bid of $20 or more will be passed. If you plan to offer an auction lot with a reserve price, your reserve must be $50 or more. No lots with a reserve price of less than $50 will be accepted. PulpFest reserves the right to reject any auction material that is unlikely to meet our minimum bid or reserve price standards as well as our content standards. The convention charges sellers 10% of the selling price for anything sold in the auction.

For additional details on all of our afternoon and evening programming events, please click the Programming for 2017 button found at the top of our home page. Each event on the schedule is linked to a post that provides further information on that event. Just click on the event’s title. Watch for the “panels” banner to find our programming area.

On Sunday, July 30, the dealers’ room will be open to all members from 9 AM to 2 PM as our dealers pack up. If you are coming just for the day, please be aware that buying and selling opportunities may be limited. Admission to the convention for Sunday only will be $10, the cost of our annual program book, THE PULPSTER.

We are hoping that this year’s con will be our biggest and best yet. We’ve already registered a record number of dealers. We’ve also been receiving registrations every day, many from people who have never attended PulpFest before. If you’ve been thinking about attending, but have yet to pull the trigger, please book a room without delay. You can try calling 1-800-222-8733 to reach our host hotel. Perhaps there is an opening. Be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive any special convention deals that may still be available.

The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry is located at 910 Sheraton Drive in Mars, Pennsylvania, just outside the city of Pittsburgh. It is easy to find at the intersection of three major roadways: Interstate 79, the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and State Route 19. Please click here for a map of the hotel’s location or click the map along the right side of our home page. There is ample free parking surrounding the hotel.

For those attendees who would like to ship their purchases to their homes, there is a FedEx Office Print & Ship Center about a half-mile away from the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. Located at 19095 Perry Highway in Mars, Pennsylvania, it is open from 8 AM to 6 PM on Saturdays and from 11 AM to 6 PM on Sundays.

If you have other questions, please refer to our FAQ page. Hopefully, we’ll have it covered for you there.

The entire PulpFest 2017 organizing committee – Mike Chomko, Jack and Sally Cullers, Bill Lampkin, Barry Traylor, and Chuck Welch – is looking forward to seeing all of you. Have a safe trip to Pittsburgh for “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con.”

(Designed by PulpFest’s artistic director, William Lampkin, our PulpFest 2017 welcome banner —  sponsored by AbeBooks.com —  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.

Robert Bloch’s “Return to the Sabbath” originally ran in the July 1938 issue of WEIRD TALES, featuring front cover art by the great pulp and fantasy artist, Virgil Finlay. The artist got his start during the Great Depression when he sent unsolicited illustrations to his favorite pulp magazine, WEIRD TALES. In addition to “The Unique Magazine,” he also contributed interior illustrations and covers to many other pulps and digests. Even today, Finlay remains one of the most highly regarded and collected artists in the fields of science fiction and fantasy.

DETECTIVE TALES was the number three title in Popular Publications’ detective pulp group. It was preceded by DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE and BLACK MASK, the pulp where the hardboiled detective genre originally took form. Between 1943 and 1945, Gloria Stoll Karn contributed six covers to DETECTIVE TALES, including the July 1945 number.

The cover art for the 2017 PULPSTER was painted by Norman Saunders for the July 1949 number of BLACK MASK. The painting appears courtesy of his son, pulp art historian David Saunders. A limited edition poster of the painting is available in the “gift shop” at the Norman Saunders website, normansaunders.com.)

What’s This PulpFest All About?

Mar 27, 2017 by

So what’s this PulpFest that has so many people talking? With almost 3,000 likes on Facebook and more than 700 followers on Twitter, it certainly has been generating a lot of excitement. But what’s it all about?

All-Story 12-10PulpFest is named for pulp magazines — fiction periodicals named after the cheap 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, then 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 with DIME MYSTERY MAGAZINE, SPICY MYSTERY STORIES, and TERROR TALES scaring the wits out of readers. The late thirties saw an explosion of science fiction pulps — led by John W. Campbell’s ASTOUNDING STORIES — with other titles such as FANTASTIC ADVENTURES and PLANET STORIES thrilling readers of all ages.

By the early fifties, the pulps were gone, killed by competition from paperback books, comic books, radio, television, and movies. But the fiction and artwork that appeared in the rough-paper consumables of the early twentieth century kept them alive in the hearts and minds of countless individuals. Haunting back-issue magazine shops, flea markets, science fiction conventions, and other venues, these hearty souls 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 that 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 articles have inspired writers, artists, film directors, software developers, and other creators over the decades.

Why not come see what it’s all about? 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 — where the hard-boiled detective story developed into an important fiction genre — 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 rough-paper magazines like THE SHADOW. 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.

The convention’s 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 Stoll 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? One of the few surviving contributors to the pulp magazine industry, Ms. Stoll Karn will be joined by pulp art historian David Saunders — winner of our 2016 Lamont Award — to discuss her freelance career in the pulps and much more on Saturday evening, July 29.

We’ll have all this plus 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. For a look at our planned schedule, please visit our home page and click the Programming for 2017 button just below our banner.

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 join in our exploration of “Hardboiled Dicks, Dangerous Dames, and a Few Psychos” at the “pop culture center of the universe” called PulpFest 2017.

(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 — who illustrated many of the Munsey magazines as well as the pulp, SHORT STORIES — painted the front cover art for the magazine. Burroughs’ Tarzan is perhaps the most famous character to emerge from the pulps.

Over thirty years after the publication of “Tarzan of the Apes,” a young Gloria Stoll Karn contributed the cover art for the November 1943 issue of Popular Publications’ DIME MYSTERY MAGAZINE. The artist would paint more than 100 covers for the pulps of the 1940s.)

Artist Gloria Stoll Karn to be PulpFest GOH

Feb 27, 2017 by

With 2017 being the year that PulpFest celebrates the hardboiled dicks, dangerous dames, and psychos of the pulps, we’re very pleased to welcome as our Guest of Honor, pulp 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 Stoll 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?

It was Rafael DeSoto who inspired Gloria to become a commercial artist and introduced her to Popular Publications. A graduate of New York’s High School of Music and Art, Gloria Stoll began her career doing black and white interior illustrations for Popular. This evolved into painting covers for the publisher’s line of women’s pulps, particularly RANGELAND ROMANCES. She also did covers for Popular’s ALL-STORY LOVE, LOVE BOOKLOVE NOVELS, LOVE SHORT STORIES, NEW LOVE, ROMANCE, ROMANCE WESTERN, and Standard Publications’ THRILLING LOVE.

Beginning in late 1943, Stoll also began painting covers for Popular’s mystery and detective pulps. Her work was featured on BLACK MASK, DETECTIVE TALES, DIME MYSTERY MAGAZINE, and NEW DETECTIVE. In addition, she did interior illustrations for ARGOSY magazine. The artist continued working in the pulp field until 1949.

In Ms. Stoll Karn’s own words: “Pulp artists were required to come up with ideas for the magazine covers which reflected the general flavor of the stories within. Moving on to painting covers for mystery and detective magazines involved a radical conceptual switch. It was a surprise when I came up with gruesome ideas and concluded that, within the human psyche, there is a shadow side of which we are often unaware. I am grateful that my work struck a balance which uncovered the dark side within, along with the light side depicting the joys of romance.”

Gloria’s pulp artist career ended abruptly when she married Fred Karn in 1948. The couple moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where they raised three children. In the 1950s, Stoll Karn began teaching art classes. Her work has been exhibited at the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum’s National Print Annual, and the Pittsburgh Watercolor Society’s International Exhibition. Her work is in the permanent collections of Yale University, the Carnegie Museum of Art, Westinghouse Corporation, the Speed Art Museum, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the Pittsburgh Department of Education. She is listed in WHO’S WHO IN AMERICAN ART. Her current work is in abstraction and draws upon her life experience.

PulpFest is very pleased to welcome as its 2017 Guest of Honor, one of the few surviving contributors to the pulp magazine industry, Gloria Stoll Karn. Pulp art historian David Saunders — winner of our 2016 Lamont Award — will be joining Ms. Stoll Karn to discuss her freelance career in the pulps and much more on Saturday evening, July 29, from 7:30 to 8:10 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry — just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City.”

We look forward to seeing you at the “pop culture center of the universe” from July 27 through July 30 at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton in Mars, Pennsylvania. Please join Gloria Stoll Karn — that “dangerous dame of pulp art” — and PulpFest for our celebration of the hardboiled dicks, dangerous dames, and psychos of the pulps. You can register for the convention by clicking one of the registration buttons on our home page. To make place a reservation with the DoubleTree, please click one of our “book a room” buttons.

Thanks so much to everyone who has reserved a room at our host hotel. By staying at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, you’ve helped to ensure the convention’s success.

(DETECTIVE TALES was the number three title in Popular Publications’ detective pulp group. The publisher’s number one title was DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE, which saved Popular from going under during the challenging years of The Great Depression. After that came BLACK MASK, the pulp where the hardboiled detective genre originally took form. Popular had purchased the magazine from Pro-Distributers Publishing in 1940. DETECTIVE TALES ran for eighteen years, mainly on a monthly basis, producing a total of 202 issues. Most of the issues offered twelve stories for ten cents. In 1953, Popular merged it with NEW DETECTIVE to form FIFTEEN DETECTIVE STORIES. Between 1943 and 1945, Gloria Stoll Karn contributed six covers to DETECTIVE TALES, including the July 1945 number.

Although it is best remembered for its action-oriented pulps — magazines such as DIME WESTERN, ARGOSY, G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES, and THE SPIDER — Popular also boasted a strong women’s line-up. Although it never approached the popularity of Street & Smith’s LOVE STORY MAGAZINE or Warner Publications’ RANCH ROMANCES, the Popular line featured a number of successful titles. RANGELAND ROMANCES — which debuted with its June 1935 number — was one of its leading pulps for the women’s market. It lasted into 1955 — when it was absorbed by DIME WESTERN MAGAZINE — and ran for over 200 issues. Between 1943 and 1949, Gloria Stoll Karn contributed forty-two covers to RANGELAND ROMANCES, including the July 1944 number.)