Life and Death on the Front Lines: The Art of the War Pulps

Jun 8, 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 first of these pulps — WAR STORIES — debuted with its November 1926 number and demonstrated that tales of men in battle could sell magazines, including ones about the war in the air.

Of course, it wasn’t only the stories that sold such magazines. Although the writers and editors “made” the magazines, it was the cover and interior artists who often piqued the interest of potential readers. Artists such as Rudolph Belarski, Frederick Blakeslee, H. T. Fisk, Eugene Franzden, F. R. Glass, John Fleming Gould, George and Jerome Rozen, Frank Tinsley, and others coaxed many a coin out of a Depression era pocket. Join PulpFest on Saturday, July 28, at 8:25 PM for “Life and Death on the Front Lines: The Art of the War Pulps.”

Pulp art historian David Saunders will explore the sensational cover art of the war pulps, often painted by artist veterans of the Great War, who served as Army Doughboys, Naval Gunners, Ace Aviators, or Marine Corps Sergeants. The “blood and guts” cover art of the war genre makes it a perfect example of how Pulp Art is different from the mundane art of Slick Magazine illustration.

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. All this, plus you can get ten dollars off the daily admission to Confluence. It’s taking place the same weekend as summer’s AMAZING pulp con! All you have to do is show your PulpFest badge at the door to Pittsburgh’s long-running science fiction, fantasy and horror conference.

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!

(The son of pulp artist Norman Saunders, David Saunders was awarded a special “retro” Lamont Award to recognize his substantial service to the pulp community over the years. David is, quite probably, 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 including Rudolph Belarski, who painted the cover for the April 1929 issue of Ramer Reviews’ AIRPLANE STORIES. Additionally, he has written biographical profiles of artists for ILLUSTRATION MAGAZINE and several coffee-table art books on pulp artists.)

 

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.)

FarmerCon 100 — The Dark Heart of Loki: Philip José Farmer Visits 1918

Jun 1, 2018 by

Not only does 2018 mark the centennial of the armistice that ended The First World War, it is also the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José Farmer. Beginning on Thursday evening, July 26, and running through Sunday, July 29, PulpFest 2018 and its partner, FarmerCon 100will honor both the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I AND the century mark of Philip José Farmer. We’ll be celebrating at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just outside Pennsylvania’s Steel City.

Few people think of Philip José Farmer as a pulp writer, but he was a child of the pulps and launched his career in the pulps. Born January 26, 1918 in North Terre Haute, Indiana, Farmer grew up in Peoria, Illinois. He spent much of his childhood reading everything he could find from the classics through the pulps.

Farmer’s interest in the rough-paper magazines of his youth would lead him to pen two biographies about pulp characters  TARZAN ALIVE: A DEFINITIVE BIOGRAPHY OF LORD GREYSTOKE and DOC SAVAGE: HIS APOCALYPTIC LIFE during his career. He would also author official Doc Savage and Tarzan novels: ESCAPE FROM LOKI, and THE DARK HEART OF TIME. Interestingly enough, both stories were set in the year of their author’s birth — 1918.

ESCAPE FROM LOKI concerns a sixteen-year-old Clark Savage as a prisoner-of-war during the First World War. Sent to the escape-proof German prison camp of Loki, the young Savage meets the five men who would later join him in his global fight against evil in the years following the war.

Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan is the protagonist of THE DARK HEART OF TIME. Set in the fall of 1918, the story has Tarzan searching for his beloved Jane. It is set between Burroughs’ TARZAN THE UNTAMED and TARZAN THE TERRIBLE. With trackers harassing him — sent by an American billionaire who believes the jungle lord holds the secret of immortality — the ape man’s trail leads to the City of God and the Crystal Tree of Time.

Join us on Saturday, July 28, at 9:10 PM as Paul Spiteri moderates a discussion with Christopher Paul Carey and Win Scott Eckert about “The Dark Heart of Loki: Philip José Farmer Visits 1918.” Carey will discuss the hidden secrets of ESCAPE FROM LOKI and THE DARK HEART OF TIME. He will also have on hand his forthcoming book, THE GRANDEST ADVENTURE: WRITINGS ON PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER, featuring several essays on ESCAPE FROM LOKI. Eckert’s focus will be his introduction to the new Meteor House edition of TARZAN AND THE DARK HEART OF TIME. The new volume will be released at PulpFest 2018/FarmerCon 100.

Enjoy this great panel and a ten-dollar discount off the daily admission to Confluence. It’s taking place the same weekend as summer’s AMAZING pulp con! All you have to do is show your PulpFest badge at the door to Pittsburgh’s long-running science fiction, fantasy and horror conference.

What better way to celebrate the 100th birthday of Philip José Farmer than by registering for Pulpfest 2018/FarmerCon 100? The Science Fiction Grand Master will be one of the main themes of the conventions, with plenty of programming about Farmer and his work. Also planned is a rare gallery showing of original art by acclaimed writer-illustrator Mark Wheatley, plus the conventions’ Guest of Honor — Joe Lansdale — the author of over forty novels, numerous short stories, and the introduction to THE BEST OF PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER. You can join both conventions 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!

(Stay tuned to www.pulpfest.com. On Friday, May 25, we’ll tell you about the very special plans of Mark Wheatley — cover artist for the Meteor House edition of TARZAN AND THE DARK HEART OF TIME. Authored by Hugo Award winner, Nebula Grand Master, and author of the incredible Riverworld saga, Philip José Farmer, Meteor House will be premiering the new edition of TARZAN AND THE DARK HEART OF TIME and THE PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER CENTENNIAL COLLECTION at this year’s convention. We hope to see you in Mars!)

FarmerCon 100 — Philip José Farmer: His Influence and Legacy

May 30, 2018 by

Not only does 2018 mark the centennial of the armistice that ended The First World War, it is also the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José Farmer. Beginning on Thursday evening, July 26, and running through Sunday, July 29, PulpFest 2018 and its partner, FarmerCon 100will honor both the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I AND the century mark of Philip José Farmer. We’ll be celebrating at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just outside Pennsylvania’s Steel City.

Few people think of Philip José Farmer as a pulp writer, but he was a child of the pulps and launched his career in the pulps. Before trying his hand at science fiction, he wrote mainstream stories. He sold his first story, “O’Brien and Obrenov,” to ADVENTURE magazine. It was published in the March 1946 issue. His first science fiction story, “The Lovers” — published in the August 1952 STARTLING STORIES — is famous for breaking the taboo on sex in science fiction. It launched his science fiction career and won Farmer the 1952 Hugo Award as the “Most Promising New Talent.”

Over a long career, Farmer continued to write and sell science fiction short stories to such pulps and digests as AMAZING STORIES, ARGOSY, BEYOND FANTASY FICTION, FANTASTIC UNIVERSE, GALAXY, THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, THE SAINT MYSTERY MAGAZINESCIENCE FICTION PLUSSTARTLING STORIES, THRILLING WONDER STORIESWORLDS OF IF, and WORLDS OF TOMORROW. He also wrote novels and published stories in anthologies. In 1967, he won a second Hugo Award for the story “Riders of the Purple Wage,” published in DANGEROUS VISIONS. Farmer was also one of very few writers to win both the lifetime achievement award from the World Fantasy Society and the Grand Master Award presented by the Science Fiction Writers of America.

When Philip José Farmer died on February 25, 2009 at home in Peoria, Illinois, there were countless tributes on the author featured in such diverse forums as LOCUS MAGAZINE and Tor Books to CNN and THE NEW YORK TIMES. PulpFest 2018 guest of honor, Joe Lansdale, credited Farmer with changing the face of science fiction. “I just can’t begin to tell you how important he is to the field as well as other fields,” Lansdale said.

Farmer’s legacy endures and continues to entertain his many fans and readers. Perhaps the best testament to this is the annual FarmerCon gathering, held at PulpFest since 2011. This year, we’re very pleased to welcome our FarmerCon members back to our joint conference, particularly during the centennial year of Philip José Farmer’s birth. We’ll be celebrating the occasion with an expanded FarmerCon programming schedule.

On Friday, July 27, at 7 PM our FarmerCon programming continues with “100 Years of Philip José Farmer: His Influence and Legacy,” a panel featuring authors Joe Lansdale and Christopher Paul Carey, artist and illustrator Mark Wheatley, and FarmerCon co-founder and Meteor House publisher Mike Croteau. They’ll be discussing the importance of the author to the fields of science fiction and fantasy, as well as his importance to the many fans and readers of his work.

What better way to celebrate the 100th birthday of Philip José Farmer than by registering for Pulpfest 2018/FarmerCon 100? The Science Fiction Grand Master will be one of the main themes of the conventions, with plenty of programming about Farmer and his work. Also planned is a rare gallery showing of original art by acclaimed writer-illustrator Mark Wheatley, plus the conventions’ Guest of Honor — Joe Lansdale — the author of over forty novels, numerous short stories, and the introduction to THE BEST OF PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER. You can join both conventions 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 the late 1990s, one of the local newspapers published an article on Philip José Farmer. It was illustrated by a picture of the author, seated in front of some of his book cases. The same photograph was used for Farmer’s obituary in THE DAILY TELEGRAPH, a national British daily founded by Arthur B. Sleigh in 1855.)

Countdown to PulpFest

May 28, 2018 by

It’s just sixty days to PulpFest 2018. On Thursday, July 26, be one of hundreds of pop-culture fans who will be arriving at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just nineteen miles north of the exciting city of Pittsburgh. Please click one of the Register buttons on our home page to learn how to join the annual summertime get-together for fans of popular fiction and art.

In the weeks ahead, we’ll be talking about our dealers, our terrific programming, our PULPSTER program book, the PulpFest auction, and much more. You can keep abreast of all these updates by bookmarking pulpfest.com or liking our Facebook page. You can also follow us on Twitter where we’ll be tweeting about our home page updates. We’ll also be posting to a variety of Yahoo newsgroups including Pulpmags.

PulpFest is known for its superb programming. The presentations that we have planned for this year’s convention will be great! PulpFest 2018 will honor the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War. The convention will focus on the so-called “war pulps” of the early twentieth century and the depiction of war in popular culture. We’ll also salute the centennial of the birth of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José FarmerJoin PulpFest 2018 and FarmerCon 100 for panels and presentations on the celebrated author of TARZAN ALIVE: A DEFINITIVE BIOGRAPHY OF LORD GREYSTOKEDOC SAVAGE: HIS APOCALYPTIC LIFE, the Riverworld and World of Tiers series, and many other works. Also planned is a rare gallery showing of original art by acclaimed writer-illustrator Mark Wheatley.

The convention’s guest of honor will be award-winning author Joe LansdaleThe author of over forty novels and many short stories, Lansdale has also written for comics, television, film, Internet sites, and more. Joe will be talking with Tony Davis on Saturday evening, July 28, and be available at select times during the convention. We’d like to thank our sponsor AbeBooks.com for helping to bring Mr. Lansdale and his wife to PulpFest 2018.

Our dealers’ room will feature tens of thousands of pulp magazines, vintage paperbacks, digests, men’s adventure and true crime magazines, original art, first edition hardcovers, genre fiction, series books, reference books, dime novels and story papers, Big Little Books, B-Movies, serials and related paper collectibles, old-time radio shows, and Golden and Silver Age comic books, as well as newspaper adventure strips.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time for you to register for PulpFest 2018! There’s no other way for you to be part of our convention. While you’re at it, you can reserve a room at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. Simply click one of the links on the PulpFest home page that reads “Book a Room.” Alternately, you can call 1-800-222-8733 to book a room by telephone. When calling, be sure to mention PulpFest to get the special convention rate. By staying at the DoubleTree by Hilton, you’ll help to ensure the convention’s success. Given its popularity, we urge every member to book a hotel room for PulpFest 2018 as soon as possible. The earlier you place your room reservation for this year’s PulpFest, the greater chance you will have of landing a room at this beautiful hotel.

Although the DoubleTree by Hilton is the ideal place to stay during the convention, we want everyone to be able to make it to the “pop culture center of the universe” and “Summer’s Great Pulp Con.” With our terrific programming line-up and our spacious dealer’s room, we want everyone to have a chance to attend PulpFest. Rest assured, you’ll have a FANTASTIC time! We look forward to seeing you at the DoubleTree from July 26 – 29 for PulpFest 2018.

(PulpFest 2018 will focus on the “war pulps” as part of its celebration of the centennial marking the end of World War I. The first magazine devoted to tales of war — WAR STORIES — was introduced by Dell Publishing in late 1926. About a year later, Fiction House issued the first aviation fiction magazine, AIR STORIES. The two genres were combined about half a year later when Dell’s WAR BIRDS hit the stands.

The pilots who flew and fought over Europe’s Western Front were naturals to a public starving for heroes and escape. Their exploits were told again and again in the magazines that followed the debut of WAR BIRDS: BATTLE BIRDS, DARE-DEVIL ACES, FLYING ACES, SKY FIGHTERS, WAR ACES, WINGS, and many others.

One of the more successful of the “air war” magazines was ACES. Published by Fiction House, it debuted at the end of 1928 and lasted for 74 issues. The May 1929 number featured cover art by H. C. Murphy. The artist — best remembered today for his BLACK MASK covers — painted many covers for the Fiction House line of pulps. His work can be found on ACES, ACTION STORIES, AIR STORIES, DETECTIVE BOOK MAGAZINE, FIGHT STORIES, LARIAT, WINGS, and other Fiction House titles.)

Life and Death on the Front Lines: The Men’s Adventure Magazines

May 25, 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.

Although the pulps played a very important role in the evolution of American popular culture, they had essentially disappeared by the early fifties. While some continued in the smaller digest format, the rough paper magazines seemed increasingly out of step to the generation coming home from the Second World War. They needed something else.

“The heroes who beat Hitler and Hirohito came back home to a period of difficult adjustment. . . .  Men who had walked through the charred remains of Hiroshima or the gory battlefields of Europe returned to families and friends acquainted only with the sanitized version of the war that had been fed to the home front. Sex with prostitutes or starving refugees, the need to kill a sixteen-year-old kid or be killed, and suicide missions that left battalions decimated were experiences that only other vets could understand. Men’s adventure magazines spoke their language, and reassured an entire generation that they were indeed heroes.”

Some of the great old pulps became men’s adventure magazines. ADVENTURE, BLUEBOOK, and ARGOSY — the first pulp of them all — were all retooled as “sweat magazines.” But most of the approximately 160 titles in the men’s field were introduced fresh and raw, designed to appeal to the returning veterans of World War II, and later, the soldiers shipped off to fight in Korea and Vietnam.

“Almost all included war stories of various kinds: true history pieces and eyewitness accounts; serious dramatic war fiction; highly-embellished articles that mixed fact and fiction; and, wild over-the-top yarns featuring sadistic Nazis and Commies, scantily-clad babes, and battling Yanks.”

Join PulpFest 2018 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry to learn more about the men’s adventure field. On Friday, July 27, at 7:50 PM, Bob Deis and Wyatt Doyle will explore the roots of the men’s adventure genre and its depiction of war in such magazines as BATTLE CRY, MEN IN COMBAT, REAL COMBAT STORIES, SALVO, TRUE WAR STORIES, WAR CRIMINALS, WAR STORIES, and WOMEN-IN-WAR.

You’ll get all of this, plus a ten-dollar discount off the daily admission at Confluence, Pittsburgh’s long-running science fiction, fantasy and horror conference if you choose to attend both conventions. You can join PulpFest by clicking the Register for 2018 button on our home page. And while you’re at our site, you can book a room at the DoubleTree. They’re going fast!

(Bob Deis has worked as a teacher, an artist, a musician, a logger, a magazine writer, and a state government bureaucrat. By accident, he fell into a lengthy career as a political consultant. Now retired, Bob spends much of his time collecting, writing, and publishing books about the men’s adventure men magazines such as the December 1965 issue of STAG, featuring cover art by Mort Künstler. In 2009, Bob created the popular website about the genre, MensPulpMags.com. Several years later he became friends with another fan of the men’s adventure genre, writer and publisher Wyatt Doyle, co-founder of the New Texture imprint.

Together, Bob and Wyatt co-edit and publish the Men’s Adventure Library series of books that collect classic stories and artwork from the men’s adventure magazines. Their books include WEASELS RIPPED MY FLESH!, HE-MEN, BAG MEN, & NYMPHOS, CRYPTOZOOLOGY ANTHOLOGY, A HANDFUL OF HELL, BARBARIANS ON BIKES, I WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE, and POLLEN’S WOMEN: THE ART OF SAMSON POLLEN.)

 

Fighting Aces of War Skies

May 23, 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. From the war pulps would sprout an even more specialized category — the air war magazine.

Prior to the introduction of the air war pulp, stories about fighter pilots appeared irregularly in the general fiction magazines. The majority of aviation stories prior to 1930 were unrelated to the Great War. Most air fiction of the period involved daredevil aces and barnstormers, airmail pilots and governments agents, or bootleggers and rum runners. Leading aviation author Thomson Burtis primarily wrote about the Army Air Service guarding America’s borders or tangling with criminals.

Although Fiction House would introduce the first air-oriented pulp magazine — AIR STORIES — it was Dell Publishing that melded the air with the war. The first issue of Dell’s WAR BIRDS hit the stands with its March 1928 number. It was joined about a year later by Fiction House’s ACES. Later came another Dell magazine called WAR ACES, Popular’s BATTLE ACES, BATTLE BIRDS, and DARE-DEVIL ACES, Standard’s SKY FIGHTERS and THE LONE EAGLE, and a variety of George Bruce magazines from Fiction House. The latter would also rebrand WINGS, adding “Fighting Aces of War Skies” to its title bar during the summer of 1931.

The stories in the air war magazines ranged from realistic tales “about men suffering real emotions flying real planes in real situations” to the humorous “howlers” of Phineas Pinkham and Elmer & Pokey to the science fiction versions of the First World War found in Robert J. Hogan’s G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES and Donald Keyhoe’s Philip Strange stories for FLYING ACES.

“The air pulps meant different things to different people. They filled the heads of all sorts with Arthurian type heroes. We needed those during the dark days of the Great Depression.”

Join PulpFest on Friday, July 27, at 8:30 PM as award-winning writer and author Don Hutchison moderates a panel on the air war magazines of the pulps. He’ll be joined by graphic designer, illustrator, and pulp premium enthusiast Chris Kalb. Aviation fiction expert Bill Mann will also be along for the flight. With Chris and David Kalb, Bill founded Age of Aces BooksMunsey Award winner and PulpFest marketing and programming director Mike Chomko will round out the panel. With Steve Young, Mike authored a portrait of WINGS for WINDY CITY PULP STORIES #18.

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!

(Fiction House was one of the leading publishers of both aviation pulps and air war magazines. The first of their titles to specialize in stories about the war in the air was ACES. Its first issue was dated January 1929. It ran for fifty-five issues, including the February 1929 number with cover art by F. R. Glass. The Spring 1940 issue was the final number of ACES.

One of the more successful air war magazines was WINGS, also published by Fiction House. Debuting with its January 1928 number, it was originally subtitled “The Magazine of Air-Adventure Stories.” It became an air war title during the summer of 1931. WINGS would run for 133 issues. Its pilots fought in both World Wars as well as the Korean War and in a variety of settings during the early days of the Cold War. The final number of WINGS was dated Summer 1953.)

PulpFest 2018 Art Show — Mark Wheatley

May 18, 2018 by

PulpFest 2018 is very pleased to announce that it will host a rare gallery showing of original art by Mark Wheatley. Held in conjunction with the convention — which begins Thursday, July 26, 2018 — the event will showcase Wheatley’s extensive array of illustrations for the new Christopher Paul Carey novel, SWORDS AGAINST THE MOON MEN.

Wheatley, the acclaimed writer-illustrator of the DC/Vertigo graphic novel BREATHTAKER, the cutting edge First Comics series MARS, pioneering WaRP Graphics mini-series BLOOD OF THE INNOCENT, ComicMix/IDW Publishing graphic novel series LONE JUSTICE, and other works, is also a longtime pulp collector. Active with The Burroughs Bibliophiles, he has contributed cover art and interior illustrations for THE BURROUGHS BULLETIN, THE NATIONAL CAPITAL PANTHANS JOURNAL, and EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS: THE SECOND CENTURY. With frequent collaborator Marc Hempel, Wheatley also created TARZAN THE WARRIOR and produced other Tarzan comic book series for Semic International, published by Malibu in the United States. Additionally, two new Wheatley illustrated Philip José Farmer books — TARZAN AND THE DARK HEART OF TIME and THE PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER CENTENNIAL COLLECTION — will be released by Meteor House at PulpFest 2018/FarmerCon 100.

Mark Wheatley has also painted covers for Norvell W. Page’s THE SPIDER: SATAN’S MURDER MACHINES and AMAZON NIGHTS by Arthur O. Friel. He adapted The Spider into a graphic novel and followed that up with his own pulp-inspired FRANKENSTEIN MOBSTER for Image Comics. He has also illustrated the award-winning Rick Ruby series for new pulp fiction publisher Airship 27. His most recent pulp-infused project is a collaboration with G. D. Falksen entitled DOCTOR CTHULITTLE. Copies of the signed, limited edition will be available at PulpFest. Art from DOCTOR CTHULITTLE and several other pulp projects will also be on view at the convention.

SWORDS AGAINST THE MOON MEN is part of the new “Wild Adventures of Edgar Rice Burroughs” series published by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. Conceived as a continuation of Burroughs’ Moon novels, Christopher Paul Carey expands on the original series while remaining solidly true to the established lore of Edgar Rice Burroughs. “This was a great project to be a part of, and I can’t wait for everyone at PulpFest to see the art from it,” Wheatley told us. “As a long-time Burroughs fan, I can tell you that Christopher is an excellent author, very much to my taste. If I had any problem illustrating this book, it was that I was limited to eighteen pages of illustrations, and Christopher easily had a hundred great scenes in his manuscript!”

Wheatley drew and painted the illustrations for the book, using a combination of traditional and digital media. “I’ve been painting in Photoshop for over a decade, but I still prefer to draw in ink. So I rough out my composition in Photoshop, print that and ink over it, scan that back into the computer and paint!”

The inked originals will be framed and presented along with high quality, full size Giclée prints of the digital paintings, offering a unique chance to see the entire set of illustrations for the book all in one place. The showing is made possible because a single collector purchased all the art for the book, and is allowing it to be displayed for the public.

“I have had my art displayed in museums across the country, but sharing my art with pulp fans is connecting with my own clan. And there is nothing better than that!” Wheatley concluded.

PulpFest 2018 will take place July 26 – 29 at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just outside Pennsylvania’s Steel City. PulpFest 2018 and its partner, FarmerCon 100will honor both the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I AND the century mark of author Philip José Farmer. Also on hand will be the conventions’ Guest of Honor — Joe Lansdale — the author of over forty novels, numerous short stories, and co-author of TARZAN: THE LOST ADVENTURE, a novel left unfinished when Edgar Rice Burroughs passed away in 1950. All this, plus you can get ten dollars off the daily admission to Confluence. It’s taking place the same weekend as summer’s AMAZING pulp con! All you have to do is show your PulpFest badge at the door to Pittsburgh’s long-running science fiction, fantasy and horror conference.

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

(Inducted into The Overstreet Hall of Fame in July 2017, Mark Wheatley most recently has continued his string of popular DOCTOR WHO covers for Titan, completed a set of STARGATE ATLANTIS covers for American Mythology, and provided the cover and interior illustrations for the new novel MAN OF WAR, by Heidi Ruby Miller from Meteor House. Prior to that, his work for CBS Television was featured on THE MILLERS, 2 BROKE GIRLS, and SUPER CLYDE, and the SQUARE ROOTS pilot for ABC.

In print Mark was featured in the acclaimed JUNGLE TALES OF TARZAN from Dark Horse Comics, on the cover of the Meteor House release of EXILES OF KHO by Christopher Paul Carey, and his own well-received art book, STARS, which presents elaborate line art portraits of actors, musicians, and authors. With a track record that includes FRANKENSTEIN MOBSTER, RADICAL DREAMER, RETURN OF THE HUMAN, HAMMER OF THE GODS, EZ STREET, SKULTAR, and LONE JUSTICE, Wheatley is an Inkpot, Mucker, Gem, Speakeasy, and Eisner award-winning creator. He has lectured at the Library of Congress, exhibited at the Norman Rockwell Museum, created set pieces for The Black Eyed Peas, designed for Lady Gaga, and contributed designs to ABC’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.)

FarmerCon 100: Moi, Tarzan!

May 16, 2018 by

Not only does 2018 mark the centennial of the armistice that ended The First World War, it is also the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José Farmer. Beginning on Thursday evening, July 26, and running through Sunday, July 29, PulpFest 2018 and its partner, FarmerCon 100will honor both the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I AND the century mark of Philip José Farmer. We’ll be celebrating at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just outside Pennsylvania’s Steel City.

As a child, Philip José Farmer discovered the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Farmer’s interest in the popular pulp writer would lead him to pen a biography of Burroughs’ best-known creation. Entitled TARZAN ALIVE: A DEFINITIVE BIOGRAPHY OF LORD GREYSTOKE, the book revealed that the “character” known as Tarzan was, in fact, based on a real, living person. It also served to introduce the Wold Newton Family mythos, a concept that may be one of Farmer’s most enduring creations.

Since 2011, PulpFest has been hosting its convention with the help of FarmerCon. We’re very pleased to welcome our FarmerCon members back to our joint conference, particularly during the centennial year of Philip José Farmer’s birth. We’ll be celebrating the occasion with an expanded FarmerCon programming schedule.

On Thursday, July 26, at 11:25 PM our FarmerCon programming continues with a showing of the excellent and informative French documentary MOI, TARZAN. Set in an English castle, this French documentary features George McWhorter, editor emeritus of THE BURROUGHS BULLETIN, Philip José Farmer, and popular culture expert Francis Lacassin in a discussion about Edgar Rice Burroughs’ most famous creation, Tarzan. An exploration of the fabulous jungle lord, the film adopts the viewpoint that Tarzan was a real person. MOI, TARZAN is full of fun, fancy and mystery. Here’s a link to a trailer for the film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-nvueuWYIw.

What better way to celebrate the 100th birthday of Philip José Farmer than by registering for Pulpfest 2018/FarmerCon 100? The Science Fiction Grand Master will be one of the main themes of the conventions, with plenty of programming about Farmer and his work. Also on hand will be the conventions’ Guest of Honor — Joe Lansdale — the author of over forty novels, numerous short stories, and co-author of TARZAN: THE LOST ADVENTURE, a novel left unfinished when Edgar Rice Burroughs passed away in 1950. You can join both conventions 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!

(Philip José Farmer’s biography of the Lord of the Apes — TARZAN ALIVE: A DEFINITIVE BIOGRAPHY OF LORD GREYSTOKE — has been printed in six editions in the United States and Great Britain. The first paperback edition — released by Popular Library in 1973 — featured front cover art by artist and illustrator Richard Amsel.)

 

Life and Death on the Front Lines: The War Comics

May 11, 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.

Although the pulps played a very important role in the evolution of American popular culture, they had essentially disappeared by the early fifties. While some continued in the smaller digest format, the rough paper magazines were killed by competition from paperback books, radio, television, movies, and comic books.

Just as the pulps had hesitated to revisit the battlefields of World War I, the comics medium at first shied away from the theme. Once again, it was Dell Publishing that tried its hand at the war genre. It launched WAR COMICS in 1940. The book ran for just eight issues.

The fight against the Axis powers and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor led more publishers to the war genre. With comic book superheroes such as Captain America and Daredevil slugging it out with the Führer and Hirohito, publishers launched four-color comics with military themes. AIR FIGHTERS COMICS, BOY COMMANDOS, DEVIL DOG COMICS, MILITARY COMICS, RANGERS COMICS, WAR HEROES, WINGS COMICS, and others were soon battling for newsstand space. The Korean War created a similar uptick as Atlas, Avon, Charlton, DC, Dell, Fawcett, Quality, St. John, and others entered the fray during the 1950s. The best of all was EC Comics. Although it published only a trio of titles, ACES HIGH, FRONTLINE COMBAT, and TWO-FISTED TALES towered above the competition.

Join PulpFest 2018 on Thursday, July 26, at 10 PM as Michelle Nolan explores the depiction of war in the four-color format at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. Using images selected by her friend Bob Carter, Michelle will discuss the many costumed and military heroes who battled fascism during World War II. She’ll examine the “true” type of comics, the humor books such as DEVIL DOG DUGAN and SGT. BILKO, and how war comics exploded during the Korean War. She’ll compare and contrast DC and Marvel — the leading publishers of war comics during the 1950s, talk about the explosion of Charlton war comics in the 1960s, and dissect the artistic success of Harvey Kurtzman’s war titles for EC.

You’ll get all of this, plus a ten-dollar discount off the daily admission at Confluence, Pittsburgh’s long-running science fiction, fantasy and horror conference if you choose to attend both conventions. You can join PulpFest by clicking the Register for 2018 button on our home page. And while you’re at our site, you can book a room at the DoubleTree. They’re going fast!

(Although tales of war have been with us since ancient times, the comic book industry only began to explore the war genre during the early years of World War II. Hence, four-color stories of the Great War were few and far between. Some of the best appeared in EC Comics’ ACES HIGH. Launched in 1955 and lasting five issues, the book featured the work of Jack Davis, Bernard Krigstein, Wally Wood, and air war pulp enthusiast George Evans. The latter drew all of the covers — including the September/October 1955 issue — and the lead stories of each issue of the comic.

A mainstream journalist for more than fifty years, Michelle Nolan has also covered the history of genre fiction in pulps, comics, books and films in more than 1,000 magazine, newspaper and book articles. She is the author of the definitive “LOVE ON THE RACKS: A HISTORY OF AMERICAN ROMANCE COMICS and BALL TALES: A STUDY OF BASEBALL, BASKETBALL AND FOOTBALL FICTION OF THE 1930s THROUGH 1960s. In 2014, Michelle received an Inkpot Award from Comic-Con International: San Diego for her contributions to the worlds of comics, science fiction and fantasy, film, television, and animation.)