Children of the Pulps Meet Children of the Night

Oct 29, 2018 by

HORROR STORIES was introduced in January 1935 as the sister title to TERROR TALES. Both Popular Publications titles harkened back to pulp’s roots in penny dreadfuls. They fell victim to the wartime paper shortage in 1941. During its six year run, HORROR STORIES boasted some of the genre’s best cover art by the great John Newton Howitt.

The Children of the Pulps, much like “the Children of the Night,” are happily still with us. As Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula noted, “What music they make.” Beginning on Thursday evening, August 15, and running through Sunday, August 18, PulpFest 2019 will celebrate that heritage with “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories,” an examination of the pervasive influence of pulps on contemporary pop culture.

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

 

“On the last of October
When dusk is fallen
Children join hands
And circle round me
Singing ghost songs
And love to the harvest moon;
I am a jack-o’-lantern
With terrible teeth
And the children know
I am fooling” to go

To PulpFest 2019!

 

(Hugh B. Cave’s “Death Calls from the Madhouse” was the lead story for the September 1935 issue of HORROR STORIES. The cover art was by the great John Newton Howitt (1885-1958). An accomplished landscape artist whose work was showcased at fine arts galleries, the prolific Howitt worked for slicks as well as pulps . He was also active in the advertising industry as a graphic artist. His 1936 legal battle with Street & Smith over tax burden established a precedent that benefits artists to this day. Howitt turned his back on pulps in 1939 at the behest of his wife. A veteran of the First World War, Howitt painted propaganda posters for the U.S. Government during World War II.)

 

 

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Sunday at PulpFest

Jul 24, 2016 by

Dime Detective 34-04-15PulpFest 2016 is drawing to a close, but there is still time to get in on the action. The dealers’ room will be open from 10 AM until 2 PM today. With most of our dealers getting ready to head for home, our admission for the day is only $10, which includes a copy of our highly collectible program book, THE PULPSTER. Children who are fifteen and younger and accompanied by a parent, will be admitted free of charge. There are no programming events scheduled for Sunday.

Although our dealers’ room will be open, buying opportunities may be limited as most of our dealers will be packing up their displays, preparing for their trip home.

If you have not been able to attend PulpFest in 2016, start making your plans right now to join the 46th convening of “Summer’s Great Pulp Con” in 2017. Your PulpFest organizing committee is already starting to plan for next year’s convention. We’ll be celebrating “Hardboiled Dicks, Dangerous Dames, and Some Psychos” at PulpFest 2017. As always, expect a great dealers’ room and superb programming.

To keep informed about PulpFest 2017, bookmark http://www.pulpfest.com/ and visit often. News about the convention can also be found on the PulpFest Facebook site at http://www.facebook.com/PulpFest. And for those who prefer their news short and sweet, follow our Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/pulpfest. You’ll also find us on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/pulpfest/ and Tumbler at http://pulpfest.tumblr.com/. Wherever you look for PulpFest on the web, we’ll be sure to keep you informed of our plans.

Many thanks to all of you who attended this year’s convention. We hope that you enjoyed yourself and will return for PulpFest 2017. Please bring your friends!

Your PulpFest Organizing Committee — Mike Chomko, Jack Cullers, Sally Cullers, Bill Lampkin, Barry Traylor, & Chuck Welch

(One of the anniversaries celebrated by PulpFest 2016 was “A Century of Specialty Pulps.” Beginning with the October 5, 1915 issue of DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE, pulps devoted to a single theme or genre began to blossom on the newsstands across America. “While not the first of the specialized fiction magazines, being preceded by THE OCEAN and THE RAILROAD MAN’S MAGAZINE, it accomplished what they had not by creating a trend that would result in the proliferation of the pulps into western, love, air, science fiction, and supernatural, as well as detective.”

One of the most successful genre magazines was Popular Publications’ DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE. Among the publisher’s most popular magazines, it debuted in the fall of 1931 and ran for 274 issues. Its final issue was dated August 1953. Pictured here is the April 15, 1934 number, with front cover art by John Newton Howitt.

Start making your plans right now to join PulpFest 2017. You just might meet up with some hardboiled dicks, dangerous dames, or even a few psychos. We look forward to seeing you.)

The Mystery and Mastery of John Newton Howitt

Jul 30, 2014 by

Terror Tales 34-11John Newton Howitt studied at the Art Students League with George Bridgman and Walter Clark. A devoted landscape painter, his work was sold at fine art galleries in New York City. In 1905 he began to freelance for The New York Herald Tribune, This Week, and other publications. His later markets included Red Book, Woman’s Home Companion, Maclean’s, and Scribner’s. Following the First World War, Howitt’s work could be found in Country Gentleman, Farm Life, Liberty, and The Saturday Evening Post.

The Great Depression vastly diminished the markets to which Howitt had been selling. Needing an income, he turned to the pulps. An excellent painter, Howitt found a ready market in the rough-paper periodicals, selling freelance pulp covers to Adventure, Dime Detective, Dime Mystery, Horror Stories, Love StorySecret Service Operator #5, The Spider, Terror Tales, Top-Notch, The Whisperer, and Western Story. Although he signed his covers for the western, adventure, and romance pulps with his professional signature, his work for the hero and weird-menace pulps was signed with only his initial, “H.”

Although John Newton Howitt’s iconic cover images for Terror Tales, Horror Stories, The Spider, and Operator #5 are among the most disturbing in the history of pulp art, his painting technique is among the most dignified of all the pulp artists. On Saturday, August 9th, at 8:30 PM, please join art historian David Saunders for an exploration of “The Mystery and Mastery of John Newton Howitt” at PulpFest 2014.

Born in 1954, David Saunders is a New York artist. His work has been exhibited worldwide in museums and corporate and private collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the Hirschhorn Museum of Art in Washington, DC. He has taught art at colleges nationwide, including Yale, Oberlin, R.I.S.D., S.C.A.D., Middlebury, Washington University, as well as art schools in France, Korea, Mexico and Japan.

David’s father was the legendary illustrator, Norman Saunders. His mother, Ellene Politis Saunders, worked at Fawcett Publications as Chief Executive Editor of Woman’s Day Magazine. In 1972, David became his father’s business and correspondence secretary, which started a long project to catalog his father’s 7,000 published illustrations. He spent the next seventeen years gathering published examples of his father’s work from used bookshops and submitting each new entry to his father’s inspection. What began as a sentimental hobby for a father and son grew into an impressive archive of 20th century American illustration. After his father’s death in 1989, he continued to complete the archive on his own. He interviewed his father’s surviving associates to record their oral histories. These transcripts helped to broaden his viewpoint of the popular culture publishing industry and also recorded vital information about the lives of other historic illustrators. Some of this material has been published as biographical profiles of classic illustrators in Illustration Magazine and a number of book-length biographies and appreciations of pulp artists.

David Saunders is the foremost scholar of American pulp illustrators. His free public website, Field Guide to Wild American Pulp Artists, has over three-hundred biographical profiles of these creators of popular culture. David continues to research, document, and promote a greater appreciation of pulp artists. To find out more, please visit pulpartists.comdavidsaunders.biznormansaunders.com, and the illustratedpress.com.

To learn more about the image used in this post, click on the illustration.