Joe Lansdale is Coming to PulpFest

Oct 9, 2017 by

Champion Mojo Storyteller Joe R. Lansdale will be the Guest of Honor at PulpFest 2018. The author of over forty novels and numerous short stories, his work has appeared in national anthologies, magazines, and collections, as well as numerous foreign publications. He has also written for comics, television, film, newspapers, and Internet sites. His work has been collected in more than two dozen short-story collections, and he has edited or co-edited over a dozen anthologies. He has received the Edgar Award, ten Bram Stoker Awards, the Horror Writers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the British Fantasy Award, the Inkpot Award for Contributions to Science Fiction and Fantasy, and many other awards. His novella BUBBA HO-TEP was adapted to film by Don Coscarelli, starring Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis. His story “Incident On and Off a Mountain Road” was adapted to film for Showtime’s MASTERS OF HORROR, and he adapted his short story “Christmas with the Dead” to film himself. 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. He is Writer In Residence at Stephen F. Austin State University.

According to Eric Benson, writing in February 2016 issue of TEXAS MONTHLY, Joe Lansdale got his start as a writer through the encouragement of his wife, Karen:

“My wife said, ‘Just take three months off and write — it’s what you want to do, just do it,’” Lansdale says. For the next ninety days, he wrote from morning until night, producing a story a day. Many were short: 3 to 4 pages. Others were shockingly long for a day’s work: 25 pages or more. At the end of the three months, Lansdale had nearly 1,000 pages of text. “They were some of the worst stories ever written; I was just flushing out all the crap,” he says. “But I learned to type real good.”

In 1976 he made his fiction debut, landing a detective story, “The Full Count,” with MIKE SHAYNE MYSTERY MAGAZINE. “More followed, mostly in MIKE SHAYNE, although it was hardly a living and it wasn’t his endgame.” Four years later, he sold his first two novels — TEXAS NIGHT RIDERS and ACT OF LOVE. Soon thereafter, he quit his day job to write full-time.

“Few writers can authentically claim to be their own distinct genre,” writes Lisa Morton in the October 2017 issue of NIGHTMARE MAGAZINE. “But there’s no question that Joe R. Lansdale is a category unto himself. He’s written award-winning horror, mystery, suspense, westerns, graphic novels and comics, media tie-ins, screenplays, and mainstream literature, yet each new work fits recognizably into the East Texas-slang-filled, fast-paced, fluid storytelling style that defines the Joe R. Lansdale genre.”

“I always felt that Ray Bradbury was kind of a role model for me, because he said, ‘Leap off the cliff and build your wings on the way down,’” Lansdale says. “That’s kind of what I’ve done my entire career. I’ve been told time after time, by editors and other writers, ‘Don’t do that, it’ll ruin your career,’ or ‘What are you doing? Stop writing that Batman novel. You’re getting recognition, this is the dumbest thing.’ But I like Batman. Sometimes I want to write the Batman novel.”

In 2018, PulpFest will celebrate the centennial of the birth of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José Farmer. Like Lansdale, Farmer was a genre all his own. In his introduction to THE BEST OF PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER, Joe Lansdale writes:

“No one, absolutely no one, is braver than Philip José Farmer. He’s willing to crawl out on most any limb. Like Tarzan, a name he was called as a child, he is willing to go where no one has gone before. At least as a writer. He’ll crawl out on that limb, be it rickety and weak and disease ridden, and he’ll not only crawl out there, he’ll stand up and grin at you.

Sometimes the limb breaks, but because of Farmer’s willingness to try anything, take any kind of chance, the results are often brilliant. Farmer is one of those handful of writers whose work, when it works, and on those rare occasions even when it doesn’t, that strikes sparks off the mind and sends you reeling into worlds and thoughts you might never have thought to explore.”

Farmer and Lansdale — two writers — both genres all their own.

Please join PulpFest 2018 from July 26 – 29 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. We’ll be celebrating the century mark of Philip José Farmer, plus the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. Of course, we’ll also be welcoming author Joe Lansdale. He will be talking with Tony Davis — editor emeritus of THE PULPSTER, winner of the 1999 Lamont Award, and a reader and collector of Joe Lansdale’s work since the mid-1980s — on Saturday evening, July 28, in the PulpFest programming room. Joe will also be available at select times during the convention.

(Joe Lansdale’s DEAD ON THE BONES — published by Subterranean Press in 2016 and featuring jacket art by Timothy Truman — is the author’s salute to the pulps and to pulp fiction. “I had no idea the pulps, by that point, were gone. I had no idea that they had existed, or even what a deceased pulp magazine looked like, but their leftover juice was in my blood, like unnamed parasites. . . . Now and again, however, I prefer to go back and dig into that pulp well in my head and come out with a story that might actually have appeared in those old, long defunct magazines. This book is an example of that.”

In addition to his writing, Joe is the founder of the martial arts system Shen Chuan: Martial Science and its affiliate, Shen Chuan Family System. He is a member of both the United States and International Martial Arts Halls of Fame. He lives in Nacogdoches, Texas with his wife, dog, and two cats.)

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)

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.)

 

Recordings from PulpFest 2016

Aug 29, 2016 by

We would much rather you get the full experience of PulpFest by attending each year. But if you can’t attend, you can virtually sample some of PulpFest 2016‘s highlights.

Audio recordings from much of the programming at “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con” are now available online.

The dealers' room at PulpFest 2016

The dealers’ room at PulpFest 2016

For the past few years, I have posted at ThePulp.Net audio recordings from many of the panels and presentations from PulpFest. This year’s recordings total around seven-and-a-half hours of pulp discussions. There is a special coverage page for PulpFest 2016 with links to individual pages with photographs and embedded audio recordings from nine events.

PulpFest 2016 Guest of Honor Ted White discusses AMAZING STORIES and his life in science fiction.

PulpFest 2016 Guest of Honor Ted White discusses AMAZING STORIES and his life in science fiction.

The recordings include presentations on AMAZING STORIES, THE ARGOSY and the magazine’s artists, H. G. Wells, Street & Smith’s second-string heroes, LOVE STORY MAGAZINE and the romance pulps, and WESTERN STORY MAGAZINE and the pulp western, a celebration of the 10th anniversary of Sanctum Books, and PulpFest Guest of Honor Ted White’s talk.

In addition to listening to ThePulp.Net’s recordings on the web, pulp fans can also download them as part of the Pulp Event Podcast free from either iTunes or Google Play Music.

I also have several reports from PulpFest 2016 that I published on my Yellowed Perils blog during and after the convention.

Over at Pulp Crazy, Jason Aiken has posted recordings of Ted White, FarmerCon XI author readings, a panel discussion including Paul Spiteri, Christopher Paul Carey, Win Scott Eckert, and Danny Adams on collaborating with Philip José Farmer, and a New Pulp panel featuring Ron Fortier of Airship 27, and writers Eckert, Jeff Fournier, Barbara Dorran, and Andy Fix.

Dealer Gene Carpenter talks with Will Emmons at PulpFest 2016.

Dealer Gene Carpenter talks with Will Emmons at PulpFest 2016.

While his other PulpFest posts at Pulp Crazy are recordings, Jason also has a written report on the convention, with photos.

As part of the Art’s Reviews podcast, Art Sippo is also posting recordings from PulpFest 2016. So far Art has already posted a presentation by New Pulp author John Hegensberger, FarmerCon XI author readings, and an interview with New Pulp author Dick Enos. Art says he will be posting 11 recordings in total, so keep an eye on his Art’s Reviews podcast for updates in the coming weeks.

If you’re looking for more reports from PulpFest, head over to my PulpFest 2016 Reports entry at Yellowed Perils for a complete and up-to-date listing.

Saturday at PulpFest

Jul 23, 2016 by

Argosy 20-06-12There’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 Battelle South exhibition hall on the third floor of the Greater Columbus Convention Center, 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. 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. You can download a copy by clicking here. Paper forms will also be available at the door. Those who have prepaid for their memberships, will also be able to pick up their registration packets at our door. Please visit our registration page for further details.

For those visiting PulpFest for the day, you can also use the Chestnut Street Garage for parking. Rates vary based on time, but at this writing, $14 will get you a day’s parking. Additional parking is available at the Convention Center underground garage. Again, rates are time-based and, at this writing, $14 will get you parking for 12 hours with no in and out privileges. Click here for a more detailed look at parking near the Hyatt Regency. Alternately, if you don’t mind walking a few blocks, there are many inexpensive options. Click here for an interactive parking map of Columbus and search near 350 North High Street.

Our Saturday afternoon programming will start at 1 PM with our New Fictioneers readings. Afterward, Ron Fortier will moderate a New Pulp Fiction Panel on “Writing Hero Pulp.” It will be followed by a presentation on Anthony Tollin’s Sanctum Books featuring Mr. Tollin and Doc Savage author Will Murray.

Amazing Stories 70-05For pulp fans who like games, gaming fans who like pulps, or just people who like to have fun, PulpFest 2016 will be organizing a gaming track. Many of the themes found in the world of modern games resonate from the pulps and the stories published in those magazines. There are games based on Conan, the Cthulhu Mythos, space operas such as Doc Smith’s Lensman series, westerns, mysteries and, of course, the pulp heroes. Role-playing games, or RPGs, are especially noted for quick action, cliff-hangers, and adventure.

The PulpFest 2016 gaming track will begin at 10 AM on Saturday and last until 10 PM or thereabouts. All games will be set up in the Clark Room, located on the second floor of the Hyatt Regency. The only requirements to play games at PulpFest 2016 are a PulpFest membership, your imagination, and a desire to have a good time. So if you enjoy pulps and you enjoy games, PulpFest will be the place to be.

Come out to PulpFest 2016 where you can explore our substantial dealers’ room and find exciting pulp fiction and books to read. Then stop by our game room where you can save Earth from aliens, explore new planets circling far-flung stars, or seek out ancient artifacts and knowledge.  You’ll learn how to play a variety of new games and “boldly go where no man has gone before.”

The PulpFest dealers’ room will closing be at 4:45 PM today. This should allow plenty of time for people to prepare for our Saturday Night Dinner at Dick’s Last Resort, a get-together arranged by registration and volunteer coordinator Sally Cullers. Dick’s is located at 343 North Front Street, just a few minutes’ walk from the Hyatt Regency Columbus in the Arena District. 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 fine downtown restaurants by clicking here.

Saturday evening’s events will include the PulpFest 2016 Business Meeting. Two lucky PulpFest members who prepay for their membership, book a room for three nights at our host hotel, and choose to attend our business meeting will receive free memberships to PulpFest 2017. You must provide proof of your stay at the Hyatt Regency Columbus and be present at the drawing to receive your prize. It will be followed by the 2016 Munsey Award Presentation.

Our programming for Saturday evening will include Our Guest of Honor presentation, featuring science fiction author and pulp fan Ted White. The editor emeritus of AMAZING STORIES, Mr. White will speak about his career, AMAZING STORIES, science fiction fandom, the pulps, and much, much more from 7:30 to 8:15 in the Union Rooms on the second floor of the Hyatt Regency. Pulp collector and scholar Doug Ellis — the co-founder of the Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention — will also be on hand with a presentation on 120 Years of THE ARGOSY — The World’s First Pulp Magazine. All PulpFest members are very much welcome to attend.

Our evening will conclude with the annual PulpFest Saturday Night Auction. Featuring material consigned by our membership, any member of PulpFest 2016 can submit items to the auction. Your PulpFest badge number will be used as your auction bidder and/or seller number. 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.We will begin taking consignments for the auction when our dealers’ room opens at 10 AM. Barry will be accepting material for our auction near the entrance to the PulpFest dealers’ room. The sooner you submit your consignment to our auction coordinator, Barry Traylor, the more likely that it will be included in our auction. All auction lots must be submitted to Barry prior to 2 PM on Saturday, July 23. For additional information, please click on the auction link on our programming schedule.

Spicy Adventure Stories (July 1935)Click on the “Our Auction” link under our homepage banner for highlights of this year’s auction. We’ll have a half-dozen early Arkham House books, including a very collectible copy of H. P. Lovecraft’s THE OUTSIDER AND OTHERS. We’ll also have over two hundred pulps from the collection of the late Woody Hagadish.

You can find additional details about these and all of our presentations by clicking the 2016 Schedule 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.

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 has been a cancellation. Alternately, you can search for a room at tripadvisor  or a similar website to find a hotel near the convention. Other sites include www.columbusconventions.com/thearea.phpcourtesy of the Greater Columbus Convention Center, and the Experience Columbus lodging page at http://www.experiencecolumbus.com/stay.

PulpFest 2016 will continue tomorrow. Our dealers’ room will be open to all members from 10 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 24, will be $10, the cost of our annual program book, THE PULPSTER.

Please join us in the Columbus, Ohio Arena district at the Hyatt Regency hotel and the city’s spacious convention center for “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con!” You’ll have a FANTASTIC time!

(Although Harold Lamb’s “The Caravan of the Dead” was the cover feature to the June 12, 1920 ARGOSY — featuring front cover art by Fred W. Small — the real highlight of the issue was Murray Leinster’s novelette “The Mad Planet.” Often anthologized, Leinster’s story was called “One of the greatest Munsey scientific romances” by science fiction historian Sam Moskowitz. Pulp scholar Doug Ellis will be discussing such highlights in his presentation on ARGOSY on Saturday, July 23.

Our guest of honor, Ted White, served as the editor of AMAZING STORIES and FANTASTIC from October 1968 until October 1978, upgrading the quality of both magazine’s fiction while showcasing a variety of talented illustrators. One such artist was John Pederson, Jr., whose front cover for the May 1970 AMAZING STORIES was the first original cover painting for White’s magazine. Pederson would paint a half dozen covers for AMAZING and its companion. He also contributed covers to GALAXY, IF, THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, and WORLDS OF TOMORROW.

Granted, the PulpFest auctions are a bit more tame than the sale of a slave girl, painted by the incomparable H. J. Ward’s as the cover for the July 1935 issue of SPICY ADVENTURE STORIES. Nevertheless our auctions are quite exciting. Plan to attend PulpFest 2016 and find out for yourself why it’s called “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con!”)

Our Guest of Honor — Ted White

Jun 20, 2016 by

Amazing Stories 26-04In the spring of 1926, publisher Hugo Gernsback introduced AMAZING STORIES, the first continuing science fiction magazine. Within months, the new specialty magazine was selling over 100,000 copies per issue. Gernsback had tapped a vein of wonder, shared by lonely individuals prone to “imaginative flights of fancy.” Next would come AMAZING STORIES ANNUAL, published in the summer of 1927 and featuring Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “The Mastermind of Mars.”AMAZING STORIES QUARTERLY followed in the winter of 1928. Then, in the August 1928 number of AMAZING STORIES, Gernsback introduced his readers to E. E. “Doc” Smith’s “The Skylark of Space” and Philip Francis Nowlan’s “Armageddon—2419 AD,” featuring Anthony “Buck” Rogers. These two space operas would help color science fiction for well over a decade.

Although Gernsback would lose control of his magazine in 1929, the founding of AMAZING STORIES signaled the separation of science fiction into its own category.  Before long, AMAZING was joined by other science fiction pulps, including Gernsback’s own WONDER STORIES and Clayton’s ASTOUNDING STORIES OF SUPER-SCIENCEIt was in the latter magazine — retitled ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION — that the genre would enter its golden age, under the guidance of editor John W. Campbell. Decades later, AMAZING STORIES likewise attained a golden age, thanks to the heroic efforts of editor Ted White.

In his May 1969 editorial for AMAZING, White likened the development of the New Wave in science fiction to the 1960s revolution in rock music and the emergence of heavy metal and acid rock. He pointed out that this music was able to coexist beside the more melodic rhythms of the Beach Boys and others. He also recognized that heavy rock was drawing upon its roots, in rhythm and blues, to express its new voice.

White saw no reason why science fiction should not follow the same pattern. Not only could all forms of science fiction exist side by side — the traditional alongside the modern — but the modern had itself developed from science fiction’s roots. By publishing both forms of science fiction in AMAZING, White could make it possible for the old and the new to influence each other.

Ted White strove to attract good fiction and new writers to the magazines. However, because he was paying the lowest rates in the field, he knew he wouldn’t have first shot at the best fiction around, but he might have a chance at some of the best experimental fiction, which had no ready market elsewhere, and thereby attract those writers who didn’t otherwise click with the establishment. Piers Anthony, Richard A. Lupoff, Barry N. Malzberg, David R. Bunch, R. A. Lafferty, Alexei Panshin, Christopher Priest, James Tiptree, Jr., Avram Davidson, Philip José Farmer, Gordon Eklund, Robert Silverberg, George Alec Effinger, F. M. Busby, Jack Dann,George Zebrowski, Thomas Monteleone, John Shirley, and others all found a home in Ted White’s AMAZING. They were joined by some of science fiction’s most exciting artists: Jeff Jones, Mike Kaluta, John Pederson, Jr., Joe Staton, Doug Chaffee, Vaughn Bode, Dan Adkins,  and most significantly Mike Hinge.

Fantasy & SF 2014-03-04PulpFest is very pleased to welcome as its 2016 Guest of Honor, author, editor, musician, and science-fiction and pulp fan Ted White. Winner of the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer in 1968 and nominated as Best Professional Editor or for Best Professional Magazine throughout most of the seventies, Mr. White will speak about his career, AMAZING STORIES, science fiction fandom, the pulps, and much, much more on Saturday evening, July 23, from 7:30 to 8:15 in the Union Rooms on the second floor of the Hyatt Regency.

We look forward to seeing you at “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con” from July 21 through July 24 at the beautiful Hyatt Regency and the city’s spacious convention center in the exciting Arena District of Columbus, Ohio. Please join us as editor emeritus Ted White helps PulpFest celebrate ninety years of AMAZING STORIES! Remember that the Hyatt Regency Columbus is sold out of rooms for July 21 through July 23. At www.columbusconventions.com/thearea.php, you’ll find a list of area hotels courtesy of the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Alternately, you can search for a room at tripadvisor or a similar website to find a hotel near the convention. 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.

(Our guest of honor continues to publish professionally after more than sixty years of practicing his craft. His short story, “The Uncertain Past,” appeared in the March & April 2014 number of THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION — featuring front cover art by Kent Bash — while “The Philistine” can be found in the October 2015 issue of ANALOG SCIENCE FICTION AND FACT.

AMAZING STORIES likewise continues to be published, ninety years after the appearance of its first issue. That number — dated April 1926 — featured front cover art by Frank R. Paul, the “grandfather of science fiction art.” Revived in 2012 by longtime science-fiction fan Steve Davidson as an online magazine, you can find the new AMAZING STORIES at http://amazingstoriesmag.com/. It’s also available as an ebook via Amazon.com.)

PulpFest 2016 Will Be AMAZING!!!

Jan 11, 2016 by

Amazing 69-05Over the last four days, we’ve been offering you a glimpse at the various themes that we’ll be exploring at this year’s PulpFest. “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con” will take place from July 21st through July 24th in the Columbus, Ohio Arena district at the Hyatt Regency hotel and the city’s spacious convention center.

We’ve been also providing clues to the identity of this year’s PulpFest Guest of Honor: he or she has worked for the specialty or genre-fiction magazines and for both the rough-paper and slick magazines. He or she has also been associated with super-heroes and the science-fiction genre. Still wondering? Here’s one more clue: he or she was the editor of the magazine pictured here, the May 1969 issue of AMAZING STORIES.

Give up? That’s okay because we had everyone stumped. The Guest of Honor for PulpFest 2016 will be author, editor, musician, and science-fiction and pulp fan Ted White.

Born February 4, 1938, Theodore Edwin White is a Hugo Award-winning American writer, best known as a science-fiction author and editor and as a fan and music critic. In addition to books and stories written under his own name, he has also co-authored novels with Dave van Arnam as Ron Archer, and with Terry Carr as Norman Edwards.

Since the time he was a teenager, White has been a prolific contributor to science-fiction fanzines, and in 1968 he won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer. Despite his considerable professional credits, White maintains that his achievements in fandom mean more to him than anything else he has done. In 1953, he edited and published ZIP, the first of his many fanzines. In 1956–57, he co-edited STELLAR with Larry Stark; followed by VOID in 1960, joining founding editors Gregory and James Benford; plus MINAC, EGOBOO, and others. He was also a regular columnist for YANDRO and Richard E. Geis’ PSYCHOTIC/SF REVIEW and has been active in numerous fan events, including the organizing of the 1967 World Science Fiction Convention in New York City as co-chairman. He still remains active on several fandom- and fanzine-oriented electronic mailing lists.

In 1959, at the age of 21, White moved from Baltimore to New York City with his first wife, Sylvia Dees White. That year, he began writing music criticism for METRONOME and a column for Tom Wilson’s JAZZ GUIDE (later 33 GUIDE). As a music critic, he expanded into jazz writing and journalism for ROGUE, along with record liner notes, concert reviews and interviews. He was the only person to record an interview with Eric Dolphy, the American jazz alto saxophonist, flautist, and bass clarinetist. From 1977 through 1979 as Dr. Progresso, he did the Friday afternoon DR. PROGRESSO radio show on WGTB-FM. Following the advent of the Internet, White became the music editor of the Collecting Channel website in 1999, and he continues to maintain his own website of music commentary under his Dr. Progresso pseudonym.

White’s first professional sale as a writer was a short vignette sold to PLAYBOY in 1959. Two stories released on the same day — “Phoenix,” written by Ted White and revised by Marion Zimmer Bradley for the February 1963 AMAZING STORIES and “I, Executioner,” co-authored by Terry Carr for the March 1963 IF (WORLDS OF SCIENCE FICTION) — have been cited by our guest as his first-published stories. The author later expanded “Phoenix” into the novel PHOENIX PRIME, originally published in 1966 by Lancer Books. It was the first of the QANAR series — continuing with THE SORCERESS OF QAR (1966) and STAR WOLF (1971) — all published by Lancer. “I Executioner” became the opening chapter of his Ace book, ANDROID AVENGER.

Captain AmericaTed’s first novel — INVASION FROM 2500 — was written in collaboration with Terry Carr under the pseudonym Norman Edwards. It was published in 1964. Through 1978 he wrote two science-fiction series and eleven stand-alone novels, including one Captain America novel — THE GREAT GOLD STEAL. It was published by Bantam Books and featured a nod to its pulp forebears: one of the bad guys is named Andrew “Monk” Mayfair. Two of White’s novels were written in collaboration with Dave van Arnam, one with David Bischoff and one — using White’s Doc Phoenix character — with Marv Wolfman. Ted White was a 1966 Nebula-Award nominee for his short story, “The Peacock King,” written with Larry McCombs. He was also instrumental in kick-starting the professional careers of other writers, notably Lee Hoffman. Still writing at nearly seventy-eight years of age, White has had a number of short stories published in recent years. “The Uncertain Past” appeared in the March & April 2014 number of THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION while “The Philistine” can be found in the October 2015 issue of ANALOG SCIENCE FICTION AND FACT.

Our Guest of Honor’s editorial career began as an assistant and associate editor at THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION from 1963 to 1968. He also served as an associate editor at Lancer Books, working under Larry Shaw. From October 1968 until October 1978, Ted White edited AMAZING STORIES and FANTASTIC, upgrading the quality of both magazine’s fiction while showcasing a variety of talented illustrators. According to author, anthologist, and science-fiction and popular-culture historian, Mike Ashley, White ushered “AMAZING into a silver, if not a golden, age.” He also edited two 1973 anthologies, THE BEST FROM AMAZING STORIES and THE BEST FROM FANTASTICBoth were published by Manor Books.

Ted White’s reputation as an editor impressed the publishers of HEAVY METAL who hired him in 1979 to introduce non-fiction into the magazine. White immediately hired four columnists — Jay Kinney, Lou Stathis, Steve Brown and Bhob Stewart — to cover, respectively, underground comics, music, science fiction, and movies. HEAVY METAL continued to feature mainly graphic stories during White’s tenure as the new editor wove the text into the graphic art, rather than segregating it into a separate section. In 1984-85, Ted White served as Editorial Director for STARDATEa multi-media science-fiction magazine edited by David Bischoff.

Ted WhiteTed became a pulp collector as a teenager. He owns most of the science-fiction pulps from the 1940s and many from the twenties and thirties. Among his holdings are complete runs of SCIENCE WONDER STORIES and AIR WONDER STORIES, both issues of MIRACLE SCIENCE AND FANTASY STORIES, all the Futurian-edited magazines, the complete run of CAPTAIN FUTURE, and many other titles. His library of pulp and science-fiction digests is complete from 1951 through the nineties. He also owns many single-character pulps, including all but one issue of DOC SAVAGE MAGAZINE and a couple dozen issues of THE SHADOW. He also has many issues of THE AVENGER, CAPTAIN ZERO, THE PHANTOM DETECTIVE, THE WHISPERER, and other hero pulps in his collection.

White also plays keyboards and saxophone. He currently performs with the Washington, DC area improvisational group Conduit. Although we’d love to have him play, Ted will be speaking to PulpFest attendees about his career, fandom, pulps, science fiction, and AMAZING STORIES. His Guest of Honor speech will take place on Saturday evening, July 23rd in the PulpFest programming room at the Hyatt Regency Columbus.

(The cover art for Ted White’s first issue of AMAZING STORIES — dated May 1969 — was reprinted from PERRY RHODAN #276, originally published in Germany. The artist is not known.

Created in 1961 by Karl-Herbert Scheer and Walter Ernsting, PERRY RHODAN is the most successful science-fiction book series ever written. Over 2830 installments had appeared in Germany through the end of 2015. Translations of the stories have appeared in many European countries, including France (1966), Belgium (1966), Netherlands (1967),the United Kingdom (since 1974), Finland (1975) and Italy (1976); also in Japan (since 1971), Brazil (since 1975) and in the United States, where it was published by Ace Books from 1969 through 1977.

Ted White’s Captain America novel — THE GREAT GOLD STEAL — was published by Bantam Books in 1968. It featured cover art by Peter Caras.)

Your Last Chance to Guess Our Guest’s Identity

Jan 10, 2016 by

Amazing Stories 26-04On Thursday evening, we drew your attention to the fact that we are planning to announce our convention’s 2016 guest of honor on Monday, January 11th. The news will be released here and on our social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. We also mentioned that we’re planning to offer a wide array of programming at PulpFest 2016, including salutes to the 150th anniversary of the birth of H. G. Wells — author of “The Time Machine,” “War of the Worlds,” and other classic science-fiction novels — and the 90th anniversary of the first science-fiction pulp, AMAZING STORIES.

As we mentioned in our post concerning THE ARGOSY  the first American periodical specifically designed for the common man — pulp magazines were named for the cheap paper on which they were printed. Nearly two decades after Frank A. Munsey pioneered the format in late 1896, the rough-paper periodicals began to specialize with the introduction of DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE by Street & Smith. During the 1920s more magazines geared toward specific genres were introduced: LOVE STORY, SEA STORIES, SPORT STORY MAGAZINE, GHOST STORIES, WAR STORIES, and others. The movement would culminate in single-character magazines such as THE SHADOW or DOC SAVAGE MAGAZINE.

It was hard to miss the inaugural issue of AMAZING STORIES — the first magazine to be geared toward the science-fiction reader. Larger than the typical pulp magazine with three-dimensional block letters trailing across its masthead, with a bright yellow backdrop that framed an alien landscape, a ringed planet and small moon, the magazine certainly stood out on the sales rack.

The names on the front cover of the early issues of AMAZING STORIES were also major selling points for the magazine: Edgar Rice Burroughs, A. Merritt, Edgar Allan Poe, Garrett P. Serviss, Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, and others. Using stories drawn from the Munsey magazines, BLUE BOOK, THE STRAND, and other sources, Gernsback offered reprints of science-fiction classics, eventually coupling these with new stories generated through contests. It was just as Gernsback wrote in his editorial for the pulp’s first issue: “By ‘scientifiction’ I mean the Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, and Edgar Allan Poe type story — a charming romance intermingled with scientific fact and prophetic vision.”

Amazing Stories 27-08It would be difficult to deny the importance of Herbert George Wells to the development of both science fiction and AMAZING STORIES. During his three years as editor and publisher of the first science-fiction magazine, Gernsback turned to Wells’ fictional output for nearly thirty stories, reprinting such tales as “The Country of the Blind,” “The Crystal Egg,” “The Empire of the Ants,” “The First Men in the Moon,” “The Invisible Man,” “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” “The Man Who Could Work Miracles,” “A Story of the Days to Come,” “The Time Machine,” “The Valley of the Spiders,” “The War of the Worlds,” and “When the Sleeper Wakes” in his magazine and its companion titles.

PulpFest 2016 will be celebrating both H. G. Wells and AMAZING STORIES at its convention in July. Please join us at “the pop culture center of the universe” for “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con,” from July 21st through July 24th in the Columbus, Ohio Arena district at the Hyatt Regency hotel and the city’s spacious convention center.

Here’s our final clue to the identity of our PulpFest 2016 guest of honor: in 1926, Hugo Gernsback introduced the reading public to the first science-fiction magazine, AMAZING STORIES. Since then, Gernsback’s magazine has inspired countless imitators. During our 2016 guest of honor’s career, he or she has also been associated with the science-fiction genre. Here’s your last chance to leave your guess to our special guest’s identity on our Facebook page. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to “like” us. We’ll provide a free membership to PulpFest 2016 to the first person who guesses the identity of this year’s honored guest. And remember to visit www.pulpfest.com on Monday, January 11th when we will reveal the identity of the PulpFest 2016 Guest of Honor.

(Frank R. Paul, the “grandfather of science-fiction art,” painted the covers to both the inaugural issue of AMAZING STORIES — dated April 1926 — and the August 1927 number of the magazine. The latter issue of the rough-paper periodical featured the first half of the classic H. G. Wells novel, “The War of the Worlds,” serialized by the magazine in two parts. Wells’ story of an alien invasion of planet Earth — originally published in PEARSON’S MAGAZINE in 1897 — is still enjoyed to this very day.)

A Third Clue to Our Guest of Honor

Jan 9, 2016 by

The Whisperer 1936-10On Thursday evening, we drew your attention to the fact that we are planning to announce our convention’s 2016 guest of honor on Monday, January 11th. The news will be released here and on our social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. We also mentioned that we’re planning to offer a wide array of programming at PulpFest 2016, including a salute to the 80th anniversaries of THE WHISPERER and THE SKIPPER.

In 1931, Street & Smith was promoting their DETECTIVE STORY pulp by dramatizing stories from the magazine over the radio. The program’s narrator called himself “The Shadow.” When this memorable name began to eclipse the title of the magazine being promoted, the publisher decided to launch a new form of pulp magazine, the single-character or “hero” pulp. Within two years, the phenomenal success of  THE SHADOW MAGAZINE had started a rash of hero pulps including THE PHANTOM DETECTIVE, DOC SAVAGE, THE SPIDER, and G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES.

Although most of the hero-pulp titles that were introduced during 1933 experienced long runs, two of the magazines — Street & Smith’s own NICK CARTER DETECTIVE MAGAZINE and PETE RICE WESTERN ADVENTURES — were cancelled during the summer of 1936. Their spots in the publisher’s line-up were not long left vacant. THE WHISPERER was introduced to readers with its October 1936 issue, while THE SKIPPER debuted two months later.

THE WHISPERER related the adventures of Police Commissioner Wildcat Gordon, “a new character,” as the magazine’s first number proclaimed, who was “vigorous” and “fascinating.” The new pulp hero was meant to be a more adult version of Walter Gibson’s Shadow character, battling organized crime, racketeers, political corruption, and the like. Disguised in gray and wearing special dental plates that caused him to speak in a spooky whisper, Wildcat carried a pair of silenced automatics and was prone to kill those who ignored the law. The novels of the magazine’s first run were all written by Laurence Donovan, using the house name of Clifford Goodrich.

Hoping to duplicate the success of their globe-trotting super-hero, Doc Savage, Street & Smith released THE SKIPPER. Likewise intended to be a grown-up version of the popular Lester Dent adventure hero, the publisher again turned to Laurence Donovan to create the character and his adventures. The Skipper was Captain John Fury, master of the freighter Whirlwind. Following the death of his brother — killed by ocean-faring evildoers — Cap Fury promises to rid the seas of pirates and criminals. Commanding a tramp steamer that has been outfitted for war, The Skipper battles a number of fantastic foes who control death rays, a meteorite that removes oxygen from the air, voodoo practitioners, plague-bearing rats, and other nefarious evil-doers.

The Skipper 1936-12Here’s another clue to the identity of our PulpFest 2016 guest of honor: as mentioned in our post of  January 8th, the 1930s was the era of the hero pulp, inspired by the phenomenal success of Street & Smith’s THE SHADOW MAGAZINE. During our 2016 guest of honor’s career, he or she has also been associated with super heroes. Drop by our site tomorrow for our final hint. You can leave your guess to our special guest’s identity on our Facebook page. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to “like” us. We’ll provide a free membership to PulpFest 2016 to the first person who guesses the identity of this year’s honored guest. And remember to visit www.pulpfest.com on Monday, January 11th, when we will reveal the identity of the PulpFest 2016 Guest of Honor.

(THE WHISPERER was introduced to readers with its October 1936 number, featuring front cover art by the talented John Newton Howitt, a devoted landscape painter whose work was sold at fine art galleries in New York City. With the advent of the Great Depression, the artist turned to the pulps for income. An excellent painter, Howitt found a ready market in the rough-paper periodicals, selling freelance pulp covers to ADVENTURE, DIME DETECTIVE, HORROR STORIES, THE SPIDER, TERROR TALES, THE WHISPERER, WESTERN STORY MAGAZINE, and other pulp magazine titles.

THE SKIPPER debuted two months after the introduction of THE WHISPERER, its first issue dated December 1936. Lawrence Donner Toney, a graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago, was the cover artist. During the 1930s and 1940s, Toney painted covers for pulp magazines, such as CLUES, COMPLETE STORIES,WESTERN STORY MAGAZINE, and WILD WEST WEEKLY, all published by Street & Smith. Most of his work for pulp magazines was signed only with his initials.

To learn more about these talented artists, be sure to visit David Saunders’ Field Guide to Wild American Pulp Artists where you will find more than 300 biographical profiles of American pulp artists.)