John Fleming Gould, Pulp Illustrator

Jun 6, 2018 by

At this year’s convention, PulpFest 2018 will honor the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War. Our programming will focus on the so-called “war pulps” of the early twentieth century and the depiction of war in popular culture.

The war pulps would become a substantial category in the rough-paper industry — particularly those specializing in stories about the air war. These ranged from realistic tales “about men suffering real emotions flying real planes in real situations” to humorous “howlers” and fantasy versions of The Great War. Regardless of the story type, one of the leading artists of the air war field was interior illustrator John Fleming Gould.

Working as a free-lance artist in the rough paper field, Gould created over 15,000 published illustrations for such pulp magazines as ADVENTURE, ASTOUNDING STORIES, BLUE BOOK, CLUES DETECTIVE, COWBOY STORIES, DANGER TRAILS, and 10-STORY WESTERN.  Although best remembered for his interior illustrations for THE SPIDER, OPERATOR #5, and DIME DETECTIVE, John Fleming Gould was also an accomplished aviation artist. He sold interior illustrations to Dell’s WAR BIRDS, Fiction House’s ACES, AIR STORIES, and WINGS, and to Harry Steeger’s BATTLE ACES. When Popular Publications converted the latter to G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES in late 1933, Gould was ready. He created every interior illustration for the magazine through 1941, when he left the pulp field.

Although John Gould destroyed most of his original art when he left New York City in 1950, he saved over 3000 magazine tear sheets and many sketches that were used in preliminary compositions. Additionally, he kept notebooks that contained story titles, their publishers, and how much he was paid for each illustration. Gould also saved correspondence that complimented the depth and clarity of his story illustrations, revealing a great deal about how the artist expressed himself in his work.

Join PulpFest on Friday, July 27, at 9:10 PM as Robert Gould — son of the artist — shares the life and legacy of his father in “John Fleming Gould, Pulp Artist.”

A retired high school and college math instructor, Robert Gould continues to be active in the promotion of his father’s art work. In growing up in the art business, Robert and his brothers were models for their father’s work and saw how the finished art work was developed. Robert and his wife, Loretta, reside in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He is an active volunteer in the American Red Cross and serves on the Board of the Eastern Tennessee American Red Cross.

PulpFest 2018 will also be celebrating the 100th birthday of Philip José Farmer with FarmerCon 100. We’ll be welcoming  Joe Lansdale — the author of over forty novels, numerous short stories, and more — as our Guest of Honor and hosting a rare gallery showing of original art by acclaimed writer-illustrator Mark Wheatley. Additionally, there will be author readings, a great programming line-up, two auctions featuring unique collectibles, and a dealers’ room filled with pulps, digests, and men’s adventure magazines, collectible paintings and illustrations, rare first editions, vintage paperbacks and comic books, unique films and more. PulpFest 2018 begins on Thursday, July 26, and runs through Sunday, July 29 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry.

You can join both PulpFest and FarmerCon by clicking the Register for 2018 button on the PulpFest home page. And don’t forget to book a room at the DoubleTree while you’re visiting the PulpFest site. They’re going fast!

(In 1930, John Fleming Gould began a long and fruitful relationship with Popular Publications, drawing interior story illustrations for many of their pulp magazines, including this illustration of Robert J. Hogan’s “flying spy,” originally published in G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES.)

Season’s Greetings from PulpFest

Dec 25, 2017 by

From July 26 – 29, 2018, PulpFest will celebrate the centennial of “The Armistice that Ended The Great War.” The convention will also mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José Farmer.

We’ll be exploring the so-called “war pulps” of the early twentieth century and the depiction of war in popular culture. PulpFest 2018 will feature presentations on art in the war pulps and men’s adventure magazines, plus a look at war comics. We’ll also have expert presentations on air war pulps, Edgar Rice Burroughs and The Great War, and the life and fiction of Leonard Nason, an author who served in the First World War and wrote about his experiences. Robert Gould, the son of pulp illustrator John Fleming Gould — who contributed interior illustrations to G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES and many other pulps — will also be on hand to discuss his father’s life and artistic career.

Of course, we’ll also be celebrating the life and legacy of science fiction author and pulp fan Philip José Farmer. The members of FARMERCON 100 will be offering panels and presentations on “World Building and Writing in the Nine Continuity,” the author’s novels set in 1918, and much more (including a showing of the French documentary, MOI TARZAN).

And don’t forget about our convention’s Guest of Honor — Joe Lansdale — the author of over forty novels and numerous short stories. He’s also won 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 honors.

Why not treat yourself to a gift and register for PulpFest 2018? Better yet, bring your entire family. Pittsburgh is a great city to visit, particularly when the Pirates are in town!

Wishing everyone a healthy and happy holiday season from your PulpFest organizing committee — Jack and Sally Cullers, Mike Chomko, Bill Lampkin, Barry Traylor, and Chuck Welch

(Rudolph Belarski painted the cover for the December 20, 1928 issue of Dell Publishing’s WAR STORIES. It’s a particularly moving portrait of a soldier making his way carefully across no-man’s-land. The glare of a flare, rather than that legendary star, lights his way.)

The Pulp Art of John Fleming Gould

Jun 23, 2017 by

The legacy art of illustrator John Fleming Gould is coming to PulpFest 2017 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry — just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City.”

Robert Gould, son of the artist, will be coming to PulpFest with many originals and prints by his father, pulp illustrator John Fleming Gould. The artist graduated from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York in 1926. He soon moved into a studio in New York City, sharing space with Walter Baumhofer and other artists. John Fleming Gould soon began free-lancing in the pulp paper field and continued to do so until 1941. He created an estimated 15,000 illustrations. These were all pen and ink , dry brush, scratch board and coquille board drawings.

Gould began with Clayton Publishing, illustrating titles such as DANGER TRAILS and COWBOY STORIES. In 1930 he began a long and fruitful relationship with Popular Publications, drawing interior illustrations for their pulp magazines. He was the lead interior artist for many titles, including DIME DETECTIVE, G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES, OPERATOR #5, THE SPIDER, and 10-STORY WESTERN. The artist also contributed work to ACES, ADVENTURE, ASTOUNDING STORIES, BLUE BOOK, CLUES DETECTIVE, WAR BIRDS, WINGS, and other pulp magazines.

During the Second World War, the artist began working for the slick magazines. He became one of the top illustrators for the SATURDAY EVENING POST, COUNTRY GENTLEMAN, COLLIER’S, and REDBOOK. He expanded into advertising art in 1946, working for General Electric and other top corporations. Throughout the 1950s he worked for men’s adventure magazines, such as ARGOSY, OUTDOOR LIFE, and TRUE. In later years he turned to Fine Art. He was also a teacher and lecturer, lecturing at Pratt for 22 years.

Robert Gould has continued the traditions of his father and mother, the founders of Bethlehem Art Gallery in Cornwall, New York. Robert and his wife Loretta have strived to meet and expand the vision of his parents, working to provide images as well as the stories behind the illustrations that thrilled the original pulp readers. At PulpFest 2017, Robert will offer framed and unframed original sketches — some matched to the original publication page — magnets, and framed and unframed John Fleming Gould pulp prints.

PulpFest 2017 will take place from Thursday evening, July 27, through Sunday afternoon, July 30. You can join PulpFest by clicking the Register for 2017 button on our home page. And don’t forget to book a room at the DoubleTree. They’re going fast!

(In 1930, John Fleming Gould began a long and fruitful relationship with Popular Publications, drawing interior story illustrations for their pulp magazines, including the March 1942 issue of THE SPIDER.)