Fans of Bronze to Gather for Doc Con XIX

Sep 26, 2016 by

Doc Con XIX (2016)Fans of Doc Savage, the Man of Bronze, will gather for the 19th annual Doc Con on Friday, November 4, through Sunday, November 6, in Glendale, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix.

The con has grown from the five fans who first got together in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 1998, to almost 100 fans who attended last year to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1975 movie DOC SAVAGE: THE MAN OF BRONZE with its star and con Guest of Honor Ron Ely.

This year, fans will have a chance to meet guests Will Murray, pulp historian and author of the “All-New Wild Adventures of Doc Savage,” and Joe DeVito, the artist for Murray’s original Doc Savage books at Bantam and Altus Press. “Attendees will meet Will and Joe in a way that they never have before,” says Jay Ryan, one of Doc Con‘s organizers. “We hope our format will make them more personable and accessible and that we will get to know them as a human being rather than just for their roles as Doc’s author and artist.”

Jay also says that with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson having announced that he’s signed on to play Doc in a new movie, written and directed by Shane Black, this may be the last year for Doc Savage fans to gather before the flood gates of fandom open wide.

Doc Con XIX begins Friday evening with a group dinner, continues Saturday with a day full of programming, and wraps up Sunday morning. Evenings — “Doc Con After Dark” — include a variety of activities and a chance to mingle with fellow fans and their families.

The convention will again be held at the Comfort Suites Glendale, 9824 W Camelback Rd, Glendale, Ariz. A pre-registration web page remains open for a short while longer. For more information, visit the Doc Con Facebook page, or email Jay Ryan at jryands@aol.com.

Friday at PulpFest

Jul 22, 2016 by

Amazing Stories 47-09PulpFest 2016 enters it second day, following a successful night of dealer set-up, early registration, early-bird shopping, and a full slate of exciting programming. If you missed our first day, there’s still plenty of action to come.

From 9 to 10 AM today, the dealers’ room will be open only to dealers for set-up. All visitors will also be able to register for the convention this morning — beginning at 9 PM — and at any time during regular dealers’ room hours. Three-day memberships will be available at the door for $40. Single day memberships will be available for $20 for Friday or Saturday and $10 for Sunday. Children who are fifteen and younger and accompanied by a parent, will be admitted free of charge. 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.

The dealers’ room will open to all at 10 AM and will remain open 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!”

Western Story 1932-09-03Our afternoon programming will start at 1 PM with our New Fictioneers readings. Our evening programming will begin shortly before 7 PM as PulpFest chairman Jack Cullers offers an official welcome to all attendees. Friday night’s programming will include our FarmerCon XI presentation which will feature a panel of writers who will discuss their collaborations with Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José FarmerPulpFest favorite David Saunders starts off our celebration of the 120th anniversary of the first pulp magazine with “The Artists Who Make ARGOSY — 120 Years of Sensational Pulp Art;” our salute to the 90th anniversary of the first science fiction magazine continues when Joseph Coluccio, president of the Pittsburgh Area Fantasy and Science Fiction Club, explores the history of AMAZING STORIES during the pulp era; closing out the evening will be pulp historian Laurie Powers with a look at “LOVE STORY MAGAZINE and the Romance Pulp Phenomenon” and author and pop culture scholar Will Murray examining “WESTERN STORY MAGAZINE and the Evolution of the Pulp Western,” both part of PulpFest‘s remembrance of “A Century of the Specialty Pulp.”

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. All of our programming events will take place in the Union Rooms on the second floor of the Hyatt Regency. Watch for the “panels” banner and you’re there.

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 on Saturday and Sunday. It concludes at 2 PM on Sunday, July 24. 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!

(Artist Malcolm Smith‘s cover painting for the September 1947 issue of  AMAZING STORIES illustrated Edmond Hamilton’s “The Star Kings,” one of the author’s finest space operas. Smith’s first cover for AMAZING was the January 1942 number. He also contributed covers and illustrations to FANTASTIC ADVENTURES and Ziff-Davis’s MAMMOTH line of pulp magazines.

Walter M. Baumhofer — best remembered for his classic covers that appeared on DOC SAVAGE MAGAZINE — was one of many great artists whose work — including the September 3, 1932 issue — graced the front covers to Street & Smith’s WESTERN STORY MAGAZINE.)

PulpFest 2016 Begins Today

Jul 21, 2016 by

Skipper 37-01PulpFest 2016 will begin this afternoon at 4 PM, as our dealers begin to erect their displays for “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con!” All members — dealers included — will be able to register for the convention from 4 to 8 PM, right outside our dealers’ room in Battelle South, located across from the Regency Ballroom’s foyer in the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Everyone can pick up their registration packets at this time. To help things move smoothly, please bring along a completed registration form. You can download a copy by clicking here or the link found on our registration page.

There will be free early-bird shopping in the dealers’ room from 6 to 9 PM for loyal attendees who help to defray the convention’s costs by staying three nights at our host hotel. The cost is $30 for those who stay elsewhere. Our full programming slate for the evening will begin shortly after 9 PM with a look at The Skipper and The Whisperer, two pulp superheroes that debuted eighty years back in 1936. Our presenter will be Will Murray, author of “The All-New Wild Adventures of Doc Savage and Tarzan” and a noted expert on the pulps and pulp history.

PulpFest will also be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of science fiction author H. G. Wells with a presentation by Garyn G. Roberts, winner of the 2013 Munsey Award. Professor Roberts has written extensively about the pulps, both professionally and as a fan. His work, THE PRENTICE HALL ANTHOLOGY OF SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY, a college level textbook, is notable for the attention paid to the pulp magazines.

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.

When our programming is over, PulpFest members are welcome to socialize together in the Hyatt Regency’s Big Bar on 2. Buy a round for your table and talk about the magazines we love and collect. “What’s your favorite Doc Savage adventure? How many people died in ‘Death Reign of the Vampire King?’ Did Joan Randall have a thing for Gragg the Robot? Remember when Conan bit off that vulture’s head in ‘A Witch Shall Be Born?’ How the hell do you say Cthulhu? And what about Tsathoggua? Do you pronounce that with a lisp? Why does the Phantom Detective wear a top hat? Who the hell is Pinky Jenkins?” These are just some of the mysteries you might clear up with your pals — old and new — at PulpFest 2016.

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

For those of you who have not yet registered for PulpFest 2016, Thursday evening will be an ideal time to do so. Four-day memberships will be available for $40. There will be no single-day memberships available for Thursday only. Children who are fifteen and younger and accompanied by a parent, will be admitted free of charge. Please visit our registration page for further details. Members will also be able to register for the convention on Friday morning, beginning at 9 PM, and at any time during regular dealers’ room hours. Single day memberships will be available for $20 for Friday or Saturday and $10 for Sunday.

From 4 PM to 11 PM on Thursday, the dealers’ room will be open for exhibitors to set up their displays. At this point, we urge all of our dealers to take full advantage of our generous load-in and set-up period. Since our dealers’ room will be located in the Greater Columbus Convention Center, unloading and loading for those selling at the convention will be at the center’s loading dock.

Amazing ad-1926To reach the convention center’s loading dock, go north on High Street until you come to Warren Street.  Turn right on Warren and follow it to Summit Street. Summit becomes 3rd Street.  Stay on this street and pass the exit to I-670.  As soon as you pass the exit, you will see a sign that reads, “Right lane ends.” At this sign there is a ramp that goes off to the right.  Take this ramp and it curls around to the docks. The convention plans to have people there to help dealers unload.  After unloading, follow the ramp away from the dock and it takes you to the Chestnut Street garage area.

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

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

(The first issue of THE SKIPPER went on sale with a December 1936 cover date. The magazine’s lead character, Captain John Fury — the Skipper — was a variant of Doc Savage. The series was written by Laurence Donovan, under the house name Wallace Brooker. Front cover art — including the second issue, dated January 1937 — was by  Lawrence Donner Toney, During the 1930s and 1940s, Toney painted covers for CLUES, COMPLETE STORIES, WESTERN STORY MAGAZINE, WILD WEST WEEKLY, and other pulps, all published by Street & Smith.

The fiction of Herbert George Wells played a prominent role in the early years of AMAZING STORIES. Along with Ray Cummings, Edgar Allan Poe, and Jules Verne, Wells is mentioned in the advertising copy for the first issue of the new science fiction magazine. The ad ran in the April 1926 issue of RADIO NEWS.

During his three years as editor and publisher of the first science-fiction magazine, Hugo Gernsback turned to Wells’ fictional output for nearly thirty stories, reprinting such classics as “The First Men in the Moon,” “The Time Machine,” and “The War of the Worlds” in his flagship title and its companions.

Both H. G. Wells and The Skipper — along with The Whisperer — will be profiled during PulpFest’s opening night programming, scheduled to begin at 9:10 PM this evening. We hope to see you in Columbus for “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con!)

Premiering at PulpFest 2016

Jul 12, 2016 by

Wild Adventures of King KongAs they do every year, a number of publishers have chosen to roll out new titles at PulpFest 2016. Altus Press, Murania Press, and Stark House Press will be premiering reprints of classics from the past, while Adventures in Bronze, Airship 27, and Meteor House will offer new work inspired by the great fiction of the past. And since PulpFest will be hosting five New Fictioneer readings, expect to meet some of the creators of today’s pulp fiction at the convention. Click the 2016 schedule link on our home page to learn more about the readings.

Although Tarzan, the king of the jungle, won’t be quite ready to meet King Kong — the greatest ape of them all — in time for PulpFest 2016, author Will Murray will have copies of the second edition of WORDSLINGERS, his classic study of the pulp western. On Friday, July 22, please join Will as he discusses “WESTERN STORY MAGAZINE and the Evolution of the Pulp Western” during our evening programming. In addition to WORDSLINGERS, you’ll find copies of the recently released “Wild Adventure of Doc Savage” novel GLARE OF THE GORGON at Will Murray’s Adventures in Bronze tables.

Age of Aces SquadronAge of Aces Books is a publisher of lost pulp fiction treasures with a keen eye for design. At this year’s PulpFest, Chris and David Kalb will be releasing two thrilling collections of stories from the tattered pages of the air war pulps: Donald E. Keyhoe’s CAPTAIN PHILIP STRANGE: STRANGE SPECTRES — their fifth collection to feature the ace pilot and so-called “Brain-Devil” of G-2 Intelligence — and Frederick C. Painton’s SQUADRON OF THE DEAD — a series set during the First World War that is remindful of the classic war film THE DIRTY DOZEN.

MetropolisCVRNew pulp fans will see a number of new and recent books at PulpFest 2016, courtesy of Ron Fortier and Rob Davis of Airship 27 Productions. In addition to their recent anthology of stories — TOWERS OF METROPOLIS — based on the classic science fiction film directed by Fritz Lang — the “new pulp” aces of Airship 27 will have a special PulpFest edition of their forthcoming HOLMES AND HOUDINI, uniting two of their best-selling characters in the same book. There will be only fifteen copies of this special edition — featuring cover art by Rob Davis — produced for the convention. This collector’s edition — written by by award-winning author, I. A. Watson — will only be available at PulpFest 2016. Additionally, please remember to join Ron Fortier on Saturday afternoon, July 23, for our annual “new pulp” panel, “The AMAZING World of New Pulp.” Ron and four of the premier writers of new pulp fiction will be discussing “Writing Hero Pulp.”

Yen Sin 1As he does every year, Mike Chomko will be premiering the latest books from America’s leading pulp reprint house Altus Press. Thanks to an arrangement with Altus publisher Matt Moring, Mike will be offering both hardcover and softcover editions of THE MYSTERIOUS WU FANG #1, DR. YEN SIN #1, SUPER-DETECTIVE JIM ANTHONY, VOLUME 3, KI-GOR, VOLUME 3, THE MOON MAN, VOLUME 2, THE BLACK BAT OMNIBUS, VOLUME 5, and much more. For a complete list of the Altus Press books that Mike will be offering at PulpFest 2016, please visit http://www.altuspress.com/blog/altus-press-books-premiering-at-pulpfest-2016Mike Chomko, Books has been one of the leading purveyors of pulp reprint books and periodicals since the early nineties. Look for his tables just inside the entrance to the PulpFest 2016 dealers’ room and say “hello” to the convention’s marketing and programming director.

Lara DestinyDick and Norma Enos of Fantasy Publishing will have a new adventure of Rick Steele at PulpFest 2016. In DEATH MAKES A SCREEN TEST, the ace trouble buster of the fifties and his crew are called to do a bit of ghost busting on the set of a Hollywood film. “The world needs heroes!  The world needs Rick Steele!” Dick and Norma will also have a new Lara Destiny private eye novel on hand: VACATION HOODOO.

GravesendPlease welcome to PulpFest author Phil Farina. Born in New York City and raised in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn, Mr. Farina is a water treatment professional, working on developing technologies to improve our water supplies. He lives with his wife in Toledo, Ohio and writes books for the love of the story. He will be selling copies of his “coming-of-age” novel, GRAVESEND, at this year’s PulpFest. We are looking forward to hosting this Ohio author for years to come.

Midnight GuardianJim Beard and John Bruening of Flinch Books, publishers of “in-your-face pulp-style adventure fiction,” will be on hand with their noted prose anthologies BIG TOP TALES and SOMETHING STRANGE IS GOING ON: NEW WORLDS OF FLETCHER HANKS. They’ll also have copies of John’s brand new full-length novel, THE MIDNIGHT GUARDIAN: HOUR OF DARKNESS. Jim — who also also provides regular content for Marvel.com, the official Marvel Comics website — will also be offering a wide selection of his own fiction work, including publications from Airship 27, Meteor House, and Pro Se Productions.

The “Flinch Founders” will also be announcing the winner of their very first “Flinchin’ Contest,” live from PulpFest 2016 on Friday, July 22. To learn more about this exciting event, please visit the Flinch Books Facebook page at www.facebook.com/flinchbooks/.

Blood of Ancient OparMeteor House, a publisher of science fiction and fantasy that specializes in works set in the worlds created by Philip José Farmer as well as original science fiction and fantasy novels and novellas, hopes to offer four new books at PulpFest 2016:  Christopher Paul Carey’s BLOOD OF ANCIENT OPAR; Sean Lee Levin’s CROSSOVERS EXPANDED; Philip José Farmer’s and Danny Adams’ DAYWORLD: A HOLE IN WEDNESDAY; and Josh Reynolds’ PHILEAS FOGG AND THE HEART OF OSRA. Croteau and many of his authors will be on hand at the convention for their annual book-signing party. We’ll be announcing further details during the convention. And don’t forget about the FarmerCon XI presentation on Friday, July 22. Join us in the Hyatt Regency’s Union Rooms for “Collaborating with a Grand Master.”

BNT 46-47Ed Hulse and Murania Press will be offering a new issue of the award-winning “Journal of Adventure, Mystery and Melodrama in American Popular Culture” BLOOD ‘N’ THUNDER at this year’s PulpFest. Ed also hopes to have several new titles from the Murania Press book line at the convention: three volumes of crime and mystery yarns written by Johnston McCulley, the creator of Zorro — ALIAS THE THUNDERBOLT, THE RETURN OF BLACK STAR, and THE SPIDER SPINS HIS WEB.

Handful of HellNew Texture, publisher of the Men’s Adventure Library, will be testing the pulp waters with four volumes drawn from the pages of the men’s adventure magazines: CRYPTOZOOLOGY ANTHOLOGY, collecting wild, “true” accounts of savage, fist-to-claw duels between man and Sasquatch, man and fishman, and man and monster; A HANDFUL OF HELL, a collection of “Classic War and Adventure Stories” written by the late Robert F. Dorr; HE-MEN, BAG MEN, AND NYMPHOS, fifteen high-intensity Walter Kaylin classics from pulp fiction purgatory; and WEASELS RIPPED MY FLESH, an anthology of two-fisted action stories from the men’s adventure magazines of the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. New Texture will be represented by Mike Chomko, Books at PulpFest 2016.

Lion BooksIn the business of reprinting some of the best mysteries and supernatural fiction of the past 100 years, Stark House Press hopes to have several new titles ready for PulpFest 2016. You’ll find ANCIENT EGYPTIAN SUPERNATURAL TALES, a superb new anthology of stories in which ancient Egyptian mysticism, mummies, and other supernatural occurrences play a significant role; Vin Packer’s THE GIRL ON THE BESTSELLER LISTHEROES LUST, THE MAN I KILLED, & HOUSE OF EVIL, three forgotten noir novels from the 1950s from the paperback publisher who first promoted the careers of Jim Thompson and David Goodis — Lion Books; James Hadley Chase’s gangster novels HE WON’T NEED IT NOW & THE DEAD STAY DUMB; Elisabeth Sanxay Holding’s KILL JOY & THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS; SCRATCH A THIEF & HOUSE OF EVIL, two classic crime stories from the early 1960s by John Trinian; and Charlie Stella’s first new novel since 2012, TOMMY RED. Mike Chomko, Books will be representing Stark House at PulpFest.

These are just a few of the great publications that you’ll find in the PulpFest 2016 dealers’ room. So what are you waiting for? Book a room for three nights and register now for “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con.” To book a room for this year’s convention, please click our hotel information link on our home page.

(Not only will the publishers exhibiting at PulpFest 2016 be offering great writing, they’ll have some great art to share. The talented Joe DeVito — the artist behind the latest Doc Savage book covers — will be contributing the art to the forthcoming volume in Will Murray’s “The Wild Adventures of King Kong.”

In 2009, Chris Kalb designed the first PulpFest website. Since then, he’s helped us time and again. This year, he’s been nominated for the 2016 Munsey Award. We wish him the best of luck. Along with his brother David, Chris is the publisher of Age of Aces books. He’s also the company’s art director, the person who comes up with all the great covers featured on each of their books, including one of their latest entries, Frederick C. Painton’s SQUADRON OF THE DEAD.

In 1927, German filmmaker Fritz Lang brought to the screen one of the most ground-breaking science fiction films of all time. METROPOLIS is regarded as a classic and one of the first full-length movies in the genre. THE TOWERS OF METROPOLIS — published by Airship 27 — is an anthology of  four dramatic tales which unfold in this amazing world prior to the events of thE film. It features front cover art by the award-winning Michael W. Kaluta.

Jerome George Rozen was born October 16, 1895 in Chicago. In 1931 he painted the four earliest original pulp magazine covers for THE SHADOW, but starting with the January 1932 issue he was suddenly replaced by his brother George, who went on to become The Shadow‘s more renowned cover artist. Jerome branched out into the more lucrative and prestigious fields of advertising and slick magazine illustration. Jerome also painted the cover to the May-June 1936 issue of DR. YEN SIN, the first issue of the short-lived pulp magazine.

Dick Enos’ Lara Destiny novels concern a former New York City police detective who becomes the metropolis’ first transgender private eye. Enos is also the author of the Rick Steele adventures. Steele is the ace trouble buster of the fifties.

Phil Farina’s GRAVESEND is the story of a young man growing up in Brooklyn who has “experiences.” As he grows older these things become more and more important to young Robbie, until one day he and his best friends come across an ancient Ouija board. They begin a journey that can only end in disaster and soon learn that actions have consequences.

The debut novel from Flinch Books publisher and editor John C. Bruening is a high-octane pulp adventure that will be debuting at PulpFest 2016. A longer work than readers are used to in the new pulp world, with world-building off the charts, John has created a city that you’ll really get to know from the ground up. The characters that inhabit it are as fascinating as the city itself — especially the bad guy! The cover art for THE MIDNIGHT GUARDIAN: HOUR OF DARKNESS is by Thomas Gianni.

Christopher Paul Carey’s novel BLOOD OF ANCIENT OPAR is graced with cover art by Bob Eggleton, who also painted a handful of covers for AMAZING STORIES during the TSR years. An extremely versatile artist, he has worked in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and as a landscape artist. Eggleton has won the Hugo Award for Best Artist eight times.

Ed Hulse’s BLOOD ‘N’ THUNDER is “The Journal of Adventure, Mystery and Melodrama in American Popular Culture of the Early 20th Century!” It’s designed to appeal to anybody who is enthusiastic for fanciful storytelling teeming with “lost races, death rays, trap doors, buried treasures, secret formulas, hidden passages, mad scientists, gangster chieftains, Oriental masterminds, hooded villains, distressed damsels and intrepid heroes.”

Wyatt Doyle is a co-founder of New Texture, helping to launch their publishing imprint in 2006. He’s also the designer and co-editor — with Robert Deis — of A HANDFUL OF HELL, a collection by the late Robert F. Dorr. The cover art is drawn from a variety of men’s adventure magazines.

Lion Books began in 1949 as Red Circle Books, part of the Martin Goodman publishing empire that also included such magazines as FOR MEN ONLY, STAG, and MOVIE WORLD, as well as various pulps and the early Marvel Comics. Lion Books only lasted for nine years, but during that time at least a third of their books were noir reprints and originals. Under the editorship of Arnold Hano, Lion published early novels by Jim Thompson, David Goodis, Robert Bloch, Richard Matheson, Day Keene, Shirley Jackson and many other authors who went on to popular or cult success. The three novels in the Stark House collection represent some of the hidden treasures of the Lion Books line, crime novels from the early 1950s — the golden age of the paperback. Unfortunately, Lion didn’t credit its artists, and quite often chopped off their signatures.)

 

 

WESTERN STORY MAGAZINE and the Evolution of the Pulp Western

Jun 15, 2016 by

Buffalo Bill Stories 1909-04-24The western story got its start with James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales, a series of five novels that fictionally adapted the adventures of frontiersman Daniel Boone. In the years following Cooper’s Natty Bumppo stories, authors such as Bret Harte, Francis Parkman, and Mark Twain further expanded the field.

According to an essay written by pulp author John A. Saxon and published in 1945 by WRITER’S DIGEST, the western story became a genre of its own during the second half of the 19th century. In 1869, writer Edward Zane Carroll Judson convinced hunter, scout, and showman William F. Cody to lend his name and reputation to a fictionalized account of his life, “Buffalo Bill, King of the Borderman,” originally serialized in Street & Smith’s NEW YORK WEEKLY. Phenomenally received, Judson found a public hungry for further adventures of the real life hero of the American frontier. Thus started “. . . the fictionalized form of the Western story . . . based partly on fact, but mostly on imagination.”

Given the great success of Street & Smith’s Buffalo Bill tales, nickel weeklies and dime novels devoted to western heroes and outlaws soon followed: DEADWOOD DICK LIBRARYDIAMOND DICK LIBRARY, JAMES BOYS WEEKLY, KLONDIKE KIT LIBRARY, WILD WEST WEEKLY, and more. These as well as stories featuring detective heroes such as Nick Carter and Old Sleuth and sports heroes such as Frank Merriwell, reigned supreme for nearly forty years. Then, following the introduction of the pulp magazine by Frank A. Munsey in 1896, the story papers and dime novels began to give way to the more economical rough-paper periodicals.

Western Story 19-09-05The first all-western pulp magazine was introduced by Street & Smith when they converted their tired old story paper, NEW BUFFALO BILL WEEKLY, to WESTERN STORY MAGAZINE with its September 5, 1919 number. Within a year, the magazine reached a circulation of 300,000 copies and began to be released weekly, a status it enjoyed for the next twenty-five years. Soon thereafter, the magazine began publishing the western fantasies of poet turned pulp writer Frederick Schiller Faust – better known as Max Brand – and really took off. By the late 1920s, WESTERN STORY was competing against countless imitators – ACE-HIGH, COWBOY STORIES, FRONTIER, GOLDEN WEST, LARIAT, NORTH-WEST STORIES, RANCH ROMANCES, WEST, and others.

Following the collapse of the world economy in 1929, ten-cent western pulps began to flood the market as publishers sought reliable markets to help them keep afloat. Beginning with DIME WESTERN MAGAZINE — introduced by Popular Publications in late 1931 — many western pulps took on a more mature, often violent tone. Others, including Ned Pines’ Standard Magazines, coupled the western with the highly popular single character magazine. With managing editor Leo Margulies riding herd over “thrilling tales of the gallant West where danger lurks and cowboys are supermen,” Standard introduced Jim Hatfield in TEXAS RANGERS, Wayne Morgan in MASKED RIDER WESTERN, and other western pulp superheroes in their own magazines.

Street & Smith’s WESTERN STORY MAGAZINE would last for thirty years and nearly 1300 issues. Following its launch in 1919, it would change the pulp fiction magazine industry forever. At its peak, it was released once a week and sold 500,000 copies of each issue. Like its predecessor in the specialty pulp market — DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE — it inspired a host of imitators and fostered the western genre, helping the pulps to survive the Great Depression and the Second World War.

At 10:30 PM on Friday, July 22, please join noted popular culture historian Will Murray to PulpFest‘s programming stage in the Union Rooms on the second floor of the Hyatt Regency Columbus for an examination of “WESTERN STORY MAGAZINE and the Evolution of the Pulp Western,” part of our celebration of “A Century of the Specialty Pulp.”

Will Murray has been researching and writing about the pulps for nearly half a century. One of the most respected authorities on the pulp magazine, having authored countless articles and books, including WORDSLINGERS: AN EPITAPH FOR THE WESTERNMurray was the ghost-writer for about forty of the Destroyer action-adventures novels. He has also written nineteen Doc Savage novels and a fully authorized Tarzan novel, RETURN TO PAL-UL-DON. A second is forthcoming.

Western Story 31-12-12Start making your plans to attend “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con” as we salute 100 years of the specialty pulp from July 21 through July 24 in the Columbus, Ohio Arena district at the Hyatt Regency hotel and the city’s spacious convention center. “You’ll have a rip-snorting time” at the pop culture center of the universe. Please 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 CenterAlternately, 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.

(THE BUFFALO BILL STORIES was the first publication devoted to fiction about frontiersman William F. Cody. A weekly publication “devoted to border history,” it debuted with its May 18, 1901 number and was published by Street & Smith. To learn more about the evolution of the pulp western, read John Dinan’s THE PULP WESTERN, Ron Goulart’s CHEAP THRILLS, and Will Murray’s WORDSLINGERS. Then come to PulpFest 2016 and hear Will Murray discuss the genre’s roots and development.

According to dime novel scholar J. Randolph Cox, most of the covers for Street & Smith periodicals published during the early 1900s were drawn by Charles L. Wrenn, Marmaduke Russell, Ed Johnson, and J. A. Cahill. The particular artist of the April 24, 1909 issue — pictured above — is not known.

The work of Stanley L. Wood — an English illustrator noted for his paintings featuring horses in action, often featured with boys’ adventure stories — was used as the cover art to the first issue of WESTERN STORY MAGAZINE, dated September 5, 1919. Later issues of the rough paper magazine — including the December 12, 1931 number — featured covers by the “King of the Pulps,” Walter M. Baumhofer. The artist is best remembered for his classic covers that appeared on DOC SAVAGE MAGAZINE.)