Happy New Year from PulpFest!

Dec 30, 2019 by

The PulpFest organizing committee — Jack and Sally Cullers, Mike Chomko, Bill Lampkin, William Patrick Maynard, and Barry Traylor — would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy new year.

Ring out the old, ring in the new. Ring out the false, ring in the true. Ring out the grief that saps the mind, ring in Pulpfest and the joys you’ll find . . . on Mars (Pennsylvania, that is). That’s where PulpFest 2020 will celebrate the centennial of Ray Bradbury’s birth, the 100th anniversary of BLACK MASK, and the 120th anniversary of the birth of WEIRD TALES cover artist Margaret Brundage. There will also be presentations brimming with Baum, Burroughs, Barsoom, Brackett, B-movies, and more. And don’t forget about our guest of honor, the beautiful Eva Lynd, one of the top magazine models of the fifties and sixties.

A New Year means new beginnings. We have B’s aplenty, so forget your blues and be sure to join us August 6 – 9 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry in Mars, PA for a PulpFest like no other.

(Although primarily remembered today for the fourteen covers that he painted for DOC SAVAGE MAGAZINE during 1936 and 1937, Robert G. Harris also contributed many interior illustrations and cover paintings to other pulp magazines.

After joining the American Artists Agency in 1937, Harris began working for the slick magazines and advertising market. He worked for Coca-Cola, COSMOPILITAN, GOOD HOUSEKEEPING, LIBERTY, REDBOOK, THE SATURDAY EVENING POST, and other accounts. The cover painting for the January 1, 1938 issue of LIBERTY is an excellent example of his work for the slicks.)

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Season’s Greetings from PulpFest

Dec 23, 2019 by

The PulpFest organizing committee — Jack and Sally Cullers, Mike Chomko, Bill Lampkin, William Patrick Maynard, and Barry Traylor — would like to wish everyone a healthy and happy holiday season. We hope you’ll all be getting a PulpFest 2020 membership in your stocking from Santa this year, but if you were naughty instead, be sure to turn over a new leaf and treat yourself to another memorable extended weekend on Mars (Pennsylvania, that is).

PulpFest 2020 will celebrate the centennial of Ray Bradbury’s birth, the 100th anniversary of BLACK MASK, and the 120th anniversary of the birth of WEIRD TALES cover artist Margaret Brundage. There will also be presentations brimming with Baum, Burroughs, Barsoom, Brackett, B-movies, and more. And don’t forget about our guest of honor, the beautiful Eva Lynd, one of the top magazine models of the fifties and sixties. Be sure to join us August 6 – 9 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry in Mars, PA.

(From 1951 through 1960, Ed Emshwiller painted eight memorable holiday covers — including the January 1956 number — for H. L. Gold’s GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION.

This talented artist began working in the pulp magazine industry during the 1950s. Although he painted a few covers for various pulps, most of his work was done on the interior pages for the rough-paper magazines. He turned to the digest market as that magazine format began to dominate the industry.

Emshwiller contributed many interior story illustrations and covers to digest magazines such as ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, ELLERY QUEEN’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE, FANTASTIC, FUTURE SCIENCE FICTION, GALAXY, IF, INFINITY SCIENCE FICTION, THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION, and other titles. Emsh — as he often signed his artwork — also created interior story illustrations for men’s adventure magazines, paperback covers, and dust jackets for hardbound books.)

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PulpFest 2020 Estate Auction Update

Dec 16, 2019 by

In THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION for May 1963 — a special Ray Bradbury issue — William F. Nolan wrote:

Bradbury is indeed a prose poet in the age of space, a man possessed by the beauty of the written word; his work reflects a passion for the shape and sound and precise rhythms of the language — and he has been able to translate this passion into imaginative literature of a very high order.

PulpFest 2020 will celebrate the centennial of Ray Bradbury’s birth from August 6 – 9 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry in Mars, PA. Professor Garyn G. Roberts — Bradbury’s pal for more than thirty years — will talk about the Science Fiction Grand Master and “Poet of the Pulps.” Our 2013 Munsey Award winner promises to share many unique items he collected during his long friendship with Bradbury.

We’ll also have presentations on Bradbury in comic books, television, and film. Filling out our Bradbury salute will be several presentations concerning Mars in fiction, plus a look at early science fiction fandom.

However, we’re not planning to stop there. You’ll actually be able to purchase a copy of the Bradbury issue of THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION — featuring cover art by artist and illustrator Joe Mugnaini — during our PulpFest 2020 auction. It’s one of several Bradbury collectibles that will be featured in our estate auction.

PulpFest 2020 will be offering more than 150 lots of pulps, digests, vintage paperbacks, men’s adventure magazines, and more from the collection of the late Carl Joecks. A retired television cameraman, electronic equipment repairman, and carpenter in the state of Vermont, Carl became enamored with science fiction, comic books, radio, and astronomy during his youth. He was soon collecting the things that he loved.

Acquired over many years, Carl stored his collection in a darkened room. Most of the magazines were bagged with backing boards and stored flat for additional protection.

Given the size of the Joecks Collection, it will take a number of years to disperse everything. In 2020, PulpFest will be selling Carl’s pulps, digest magazines, men’s adventure and true crime magazines, plus a selection of joke and gag books and other material. The convention will also be selling a small selection of comic books and assorted paper collectibles. These will include the 1935 Pleasure Books edition of THE POP-UP BUCK ROGERS and a number of “Ace Doubles,” one of them being the very first double paperback issued by the company.

The PulpFest 2020 auction will begin at 9 PM on Saturday, August 8. All attendees of the convention will be able to bid on the available material.

For those who are not able to attend PulpFest 2020, the convention will accept bids placed via email. The highest of these “silent” bids will establish the opening bid for each auction lot. If no bid made during the live auction is higher than the opening silent bid, the lot will be won by the silent bidder.

All silent bidders will have to register with PulpFest to place their bids. We will begin accepting registrations for silent bidding after the Joecks material has been lotted and photographed. All silent bids will have to be placed by 9 PM on Saturday, July 25, two weeks prior to the start of our PulpFest 2020 auction.

Click here for an inventory of the Joecks material that we are currently planning to offer during the PulpFest 2020 auction. Please note that this list is not final. Nor is it the auction lot list. The material to be offered will be lotted and photographed some time after the holidays. We will also be posting a picture of each auction lot online. This will appear either on the PulpFest website or via an auction website.

We are planning another auction update in late February. So please stay tuned to pulpfest.com.

(Although all of the items pictured are part of the Joecks collection, the displayed images are not photographs of the actual copies found in the collection.

The three magazines in the middle of the post all feature work by Ray Bradbury. The short story, “A Blade of Grass,” appears in the December 1949 issue of THRILLING WONDER STORIES, with cover art by Earle Bergey. “Death and the Maiden,” another short story, can be found in THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION for March 1960, with cover art by Mel Hunter. The April 1949 SUPER SCIENCE STORIES — with cover art by Lawrence Sterne Stevens — features the short story, “I, Mars.” It has rarely been reprinted. Bid on the Joecks copy for a chance to read this Bradbury story.

The lower images are miscellaneous items that are part of the collection. The 1935 Pleasure Books edition of THE POP-UP BUCK ROGERS is illustrated by Dick Calkins. Ace Books number D-1 — the first of the Ace Doubles — features the complete and unabridged novel “The Grinning Gismo,” by Samuel W. Taylor. The flip side of the book is an original novel by Keith Vining, “Too Hot for Hell.” Both covers are by Norman Saunders. The third item pictured is the March 1936 SPICY-ADVENTURE STORIES, featuring cover art by William F. Soare.

Finally, because it has been one of our most popular PulpFest 2020 Internet images, below you’ll find Hannes Bok’s original wrap-around cover art for the November 1963 issue of THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION. There will be two copies of this issue — featuring Roger Zelazny’s classic Mars story, “A Rose for Ecclesiastes” — in the PulpFest 2020 auction. Start making your plans to attend right now!)


Margaret Brundage

Dec 9, 2019 by

No one defined the look of WEIRD TALES like pulp’s premier cover artist Margaret Brundage. The talented woman who dressed (and undressed) countless Seabury Quinn, Robert E. Howard, Jack Williamson, Edmond Hamilton, and Manly Wade Wellman characters was born December 9, 1900 into a devout Christian Science household in Chicago. Her parents were Swedish and Irish immigrants from Scotland.

Editor of her high school newspaper where classmate Walt Disney was a cartoonist, Margaret graduated to become a fashion designer. She supplemented her income with newspaper illustrations and by decorating speakeasies during Prohibition. It was in the latter pursuit that she met and married speakeasy bouncer and janitor Slim Brundage. Her new husband was an alcoholic womanizer, self-professed hobo, and avowed leftist who was born in an insane asylum.

Sadly, as a husband Slim was not a consistent breadwinner. He founded the College of Complexes in 1933, but it closed three months later. He became director of the Hobo College in 1936. His commitment to radical communism led to continuous trouble with authorities and even periods of incarceration.

Forced to support herself, their young son, and her sickly mother, Margaret found work as a cover artist for WEIRD TALES, ORIENTAL STORIES, and MAGIC CARPET. Editor Farnsworth Wright paid her $90 per cover painting. She provided cover art for 66 issues of WEIRD TALES between 1932 and 1945, making her the most in-demand cover artist for the magazine. Only Virgil Finlay was a close rival.

Margaret initially disguised her gender by signing her work as M. Brundage. She redefined sensuality for the already scandalous pulp market, but later found her work the target of New York Mayor LaGuardia’s 1938 decency campaign. Censorship and Farnsworth Wright’s retirement in 1940 saw a lessening of demand for the talented artist in the pulp market.

In spite of her stormy marriage and demanding career depicting half-naked damsels about to be lashed, life was not all Brundage and Discipline for Margaret. Slim abandoned his wife and their son just as America began climbing out of the Great Depression. He would later cash in his pension and re-open the College of Complexes in 1951. It would become Chicago’s most popular beatnik bistro of the decade.

Margaret’s final pulp cover sale was in 1953, but she continued to paint and exhibited and sold her work at art fairs and science fiction conventions. Clark Ashton Smith was highly critical of her sexually-charged paintings as his contemporaneous correspondence with H. P. Lovecraft and R. H. Barlow proved. A leering Forrest J. Ackerman and the dubious claims of L. Sprague de Camp helped keep her work in vogue during the early years of science fiction fandom. Robert Weinberg’s early scholarship did much to correct erroneous claims that she used models (with de Camp propagating the rumor that a nonexistent daughter posed for her, in various stages of undress). Margaret Brundage died in poverty in 1976. Her work survives and continues to define popular conceptions of pulp fiction, sword & sorcery, and weird fantasy.

Pulp scholar and co-founder of the Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention Doug Ellis will present “The Weird Tales of Margaret Brundage” on Friday evening, August 7 as PulpFest 2020 celebrates the 120th anniversary of the birth of Margaret Brundage, the centennial of Ray Bradbury’s birth, and the 100th anniversary of BLACK MASK. The convention will also feature presentations brimming with Baum, Burroughs, Barsoom, Brackett, B-movies, and more, including the beautiful Eva Lynd. Be sure to join us August 6 – 9 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry in Mars, PA.

(Although remembered primarily for her WEIRD TALES covers, Margaret Brundage also painted covers for other Popular Fiction Publishing magazines. She contributed two covers to ORIENTAL STORIES and twice that number to THE MAGIC CARPET MAGAZINE, including the October 1933 number.

In addition to her sixty-six covers for WEIRD TALES, Brundage also contributed two covers to GOLDEN FLEECE, a Sun Publications pulp magazine, also based in Chicago.

For a more detailed look at Margaret Brundage, we urge you to pick up a copy of Stephen D. Korshak’s and J. David Spurlock’s book, THE ALLURING ART OF MARGARET BRUNDAGE. David’s “book within a book” — entitled “The Secret Life of Margaret Brundage” — was largely used for the biographical information found in our post. Prior to David’s detailed revelations, so much of what is now known about Brundage was totally unknown.

THE ALLURING ART OF MARGARET BRUNDAGE is available through Amazon and other booksellers. You can also get it direct from the publisher — Vanguard Publications — by visiting http://www.vanguardpublishing.com/.)


Dec 2, 2019 by

The Beginning of a Legacy

Happy birthday to ASTOUNDING/ANALOG magazine! It has been in continual production since late 1929. Its editors are some of the most influential in the field, and have shaped science fiction destiny for nine decades. The title may have changed, but the magazine’s original purpose — to tell stories that are scientifically accurate and vividly told — remains true to this day.

ASTOUNDING STORIES OF SUPER-SCIENCE launched as a Clayton magazine with Harry Bates as editor. Its first issue was dated January 1930. Clayton paid much better rates than AMAZING and WONDER STORIES — two cents a word upon acceptance as opposed to half a cent a word — and drew better-known writers such as Ray Cummings, Murray Leinster, Jack Williamson, and Victor Rousseau. Although the editors’ original intent was to include stories which “forecasted scientific achievements of To-morrow,” in practice the Clayton ASTOUNDING was primarily an action/adventure pulp magazine.

While the magazine was successful, poor business decisions made during the Great Depression stretched Clayton’s resources. In 1933 they went bankrupt and ASTOUNDING became part of the Street & Street line. The magazine’s new publisher was no stranger to successful pulps magazines as THE SHADOW and DOC SAVAGE were also their properties, both with big circulation numbers. The first Street & Street issue of ASTOUNDING STORIES — dated October 1933 — hit the stands with F. Orlin Tremaine as editor.

In the December 1933 number, Tremaine began a discussion forum called “Brass Tacks.” It has run continuously since then. In that first column, Tremaine wrote a statement of editorial policy. He called for “thought variant” stories to open “the way for real discussion . . . connected with social science, the present condition of the world, and the future.” The magazine published some fascinating thought variant stories — Jack Williamson’s “The Legion of Space,”  Murray Leinster’s “Sidewise in Time,” “The Bright Illusion,” by C. L. Moore, and “Twilight,” by John W. Campbell.

Space opera remained popular and ASTOUNDING serialized both “The Skylark of Valeron,” by E. E. “Doc.” Smith, and “The Mightiest Machine,” by John W. Campbell. By the middle of 1934, the magazine’s circulation was up to an estimated 50,000. By the end of that year, ASTOUNDING was the clear leader in the field.

John W. Campbell, Jr.

It’s fair to say that John W. Campbell, Jr. is the most influential editor in science fiction history. He succeeded Tremaine and gained full editorial control of ASTOUNDING as of the March 1938 issue. Campbell continued as editor until 1971. During those thirty-four years, he developed not only a superior stable of writers, but also changed the face of science fiction for all time. The “Golden Age of Science Fiction” began when Campbell became editor of ASTOUNDING.

Immediately, John Campbell made changes to target a more mature reading audience. He added additional non-fiction articles and demanded that his writers understand both science and people, a hard requirement for some of the established pulp writers of the 1930s.

He spearheaded a modification to the magazine’s title, changing it from ASTOUNDING STORIES to ASTOUNDING SCIENCE-FICTION. Over time, the magazine played an interesting visual trick on readers, slowly decreasing the importance of the word “Astounding” (which Campbell felt was too sensational) and bringing the words “Science Fiction” to greater prominence. This transition is completed when the hyphen in “Science-Fiction” disappears on the November 1943 number, making it ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION. This is how the title remained until 1960.

Campbell also changed the direction of the cover art, seeking a less juvenile approach. Howard V. Brown, Charles Schneeman, and Hubert Rogers were his new favorites and their art graces many “Astounding” covers. This change in visual art style immediately differentiated ASTOUNDING from its rivals.

Within two years, Campbell had an extraordinary group of writers working for him — L. Ron Hubbard, Clifford Simak, Jack Williamson, L. Sprague de Camp, Henry Kuttner, C. L. Moore, Lester del Rey, Theodore Sturgeon, Isaac Asimov, A. E. van Vogt, and Robert A. Heinlein.

He held a firm editorial line, emphasizing scientific accuracy over literary style. Some of his top writers — Asimov, Heinlein, and de Camp — were trained scientists and engineers. During and after the war, several of these appeared less frequently. The writers who remained notably — van Vogt, Simak, Kuttner, Moore, and Fritz Leiber — were less technologically-oriented, leading to more psychological stories such as van Vogt’s “World of Null-A” and Kuttner and Moore’s “Galloway Gallagher” stories. More literary stories — such as Kuttner/Moore’s “Mimsy Were the Borogoves” and Fritz Leiber’s “Gather, Darkness!” — also began to appear. Both of these stories were published in 1943.

Campbell finally achieved his goal of ridding the magazine’s title of the word “Astounding”  in 1960. From then on it was ANALOG SCIENCE FACT — FICTION or some variation thereof. Campbell chose the word, “Analog” partly because he thought of each story as an “analog simulation” of a possible future. He also saw an analogy between the imagined scenes in a science fiction story and real science being done in the laboratories of the world.

AStounding Transitions to Analog

The full list of works published during Campbell’s tenure reads like a “Who’s Who of Science Fiction.” He was a man of strong opinions and although he did much for the field of science fiction, his regressive social views have lately come under fire. This has caused ANALOG SCIENCE FICTION AND FACT to drop the name of John W. Campbell from its annual prize for best new writer.

ANALOG after Campbell

Ben Bova succeeded Campbell as editor of ANALOG in 1972. Also a technophile with a scientific background, Bova immediately declared his intention to keep publishing stories with scientific foundations. Under his direction the character of the magazine changed, allowing fiction that included sexual content and profanity. Ben Bova won five consecutive Hugo Awards for his editing of ANALOG.

Bova was succeeded by Stanley Schmidt in 1978. Schmidt, an assistant professor of physics at the time of the transfer, continued the established editorial policies and a long-standing tradition of writing provocative editorials. Schmidt remained at the helm of ANALOG until 2012 when the current editor, Trevor Quachri, took over.

Says Quachri: “Real science and technology have always been important in ANALOG, not only as the foundation of its fiction, but as the subject of articles about real research with big implications for the future. . . . It’s true that we care very much about making our speculations plausible, because we think there’s something extra special about stories that are not only fantastic, but might actually happen.”

ANALOG comes out bi-monthly and issues are available in print and digital formats. With its January 2020 number, the magazine will begin a year-long celebration to honor its 90th anniversary. The ANALOG website can be found at: https://www.analogsf.com/.

When ASTOUNDING launched in the last month of 1929, Herbert Hoover was President. It was the beginning of the Great Depression, and Mickey Mouse had just made his first appearance. The dwarf planet, Pluto, wouldn’t be discovered until February 1930 and The Chrysler Building wouldn’t open until May. In India, Mohandas Gandhi was holding non-violent protest marches.

It’s hard to imagine that long-ago world when science fiction was in its infancy. It’s just as hard to image a world without ASTOUNDING/ANALOG. Science fiction would be nothing like we know it today. And that is an alternate reality I would not want to see.

Astounding 1930 and Analog 2019

(Dated January 1930, the first issue of ASTOUNDING STORIES OF SUPER-SCIENCE — published by Clayton Publishing — appeared on America’s newsstands in December 1929, ninety years ago. The pulp featured front cover art by Hans Wessolowski, a German-born artist who entered the United State illegally in 1912. After establishing himself as a commercial artist in New York City, he began to sell interior art and cover paintings to various pulp magazines in 1928. His work was generally signed “Wesso.”

Hired by Street & Smith in 1937, John W. Campbell became the editor of ASTOUNDING STORIES after F. Orlin Tremaine was promoted to editorial director at Street & Smith. Campbell’s first issue of ASTOUNDING with full editorial control was dated March 1938, when the title of the magazine became ASTOUNDING SCIENCE-FICTION. The cover art is by Hans Wessolowski.

ASTOUNDING morphed into ANALOG over a series of issues in 1960. The change began with the February 1960 number, featuring an uncredited photographic cover. Behind the “Astounding” in the title bar are the letters “nalog,” outlined in red. Gradually, the “nalog” was brought more to the forefront, as in the May 1960 issue, with cover art by H. R. Van Dongen. A commercial artist, Van Dongen sold his first pulp cover painting to Popular Publications in 1950.

With the October 1960 number — with a cover sometimes credited to Campbell — the change was complete. “Astounding” completely disappeared from the title. Thereafter, the magazine was called ANALOG SCIENCE FACT — FICTION, or some variation thereof. The “Fact” and “Fiction” were flip-flopped in 1965. It became ANALOG SCIENCE FICTION AND FACT with the January 1993 issue, its current title. You can find the November/December 2019 number — with cover art by Tuomas Korpi — at book stores. The magazine’s 90th birthday issue — dated January/February 2020 — will go on sale on December 18, 2019.)

Bradbury, BLACK MASK, and Brundage

Nov 25, 2019 by

Programming at PulpFest 2020


PulpFest is the summertime destination for fans of popular culture both old and new. It seeks to honor the pulps by drawing attention to the many ways these throwaway magazines have inspired writers, artists, film directors, game designers, and other creators over the years.

From August 6 – 9 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry in Mars, PA, PulpFest will focus on a pair of creators and a magazine.

PulpFest 2020 will salute the centennial of author Ray Bradbury’s birth; the 100th anniversary of BLACK MASK — the pulp where the hardboiled detective story took root; and the 120th anniversary of the birth of WEIRD TALES artist Margaret Brundage. “Bradbury, BLACK MASK, and Brundage” have inspired and continue to inspire creators the world over.

And if three “B’s” aren’t enough for you, how about Burroughs, Brackett, Baum, a couple of “B” movies, plus our special guest: the “B”eautiful Eva Lynd.

Eva was a top model for artists Norm Eastman and Al Rossi, and a frequent collaborator with Doc Savage model Steve Holland.

So what’s your taste? Uncanny tales of wizards and warriors? Mysteries that leave you breathless? Dark demonic plots? Awe-inspiring intergalactic wars? They all have their roots in the pulps.

At PulpFest, you’ll discover new tales by the writers of Batman and Green Lantern. The novels that inspired STAR WARS. Horror tales that’ll freeze your spine and thrillers awash in enough blood to make Quentin Tarantino blanch.

Join us at PulpFest 2020 to find your next favorite read!


PulpFest 2020 Schedule

Thursday, August 6

Dealers’ Room
1:00 PM – 7:30 PM — Dealers’ Room Set-Up
3:00 PM – 7:30 PM — Member Registration and Early-Bird Shopping

Evening Programming
8:00 – 8:30 PM — Visions of Mars: The Early Years (Henry Franke)
8:35 – 9:20 PM — Science Fiction Fandom: The Early Years (David and Daniel Ritter)
9:25 – 10:10 PM — BLACK MASK: The Early Years (Walker Martin and Ed Hulse) (1920 – 1940)
10:15 – 10:55 PM — Bradbury in Hollywood (Martin Grams)
11:00 – 11:40 PM — Visions of Mars: The Pulp Years (Sara Light-Waller)
11:45 – 1:15 AM — Ray Bradbury’s IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE

Friday, August 7

Dealers’ Room
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM — Early Registration and Dealers’ Room Set-Up
10:00 AM – 4:45 PM — Dealers’ Room Open to All

Afternoon Programming
1:00 – 2:30 PM — 2020 Art Show (sponsored by The Burroughs Bibliophiles)

1:00 – 1:30 PM — Author reading (to be announced)
1:35 – 2:05 PM — Author reading (to be announced)
2:10 – 2:40 PM — Author reading (to be announced)
2:45 – 3:15 PM — Author reading (to be announced)
3:20 – 3:50 PM — Author reading (to be announced)

4:00 – 4: 50 PM — Bradbury in Oz: How Baum’s Classics Influenced the Pulp Era (Sara Light-Waller)

3:45 – 4:45 PM — Auction Preview

Evening Programming
6:55 – 7:00 PM — Welcome to PulpFest (Convention Chairman Jack Cullers)
7:00 – 7:45 PM — BLACK MASK: The Popular Years (John Wooley and John Gunnison) (1940 – 1951 and beyond)
7:50 – 8:35 PM — Visions of Bradbury: The Author at 100 (Garyn Roberts)
8:40 – 9:25 PM — The Weird Tales of Margaret Brundage (Doug Ellis)
9:30 – 10:10 PM — Visions of Mars: The Modern Years (Heidi Ruby Miller)
10:15 – 11:00 PM — FarmerCon XV Presentation: Topic Forthcoming (panelists to be announced, with Paul Spiteri moderating)
11:05 – 11:40 PM — Visions of Mars: Bradbury in the Comics (Don Simpson)
11:45 – 1:15 AM — Ray Bradbury’s THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS

Saturday, August 8

Dealers’ Room
10:00 AM – 4:45 PM — Dealers’ Room Open to All

Afternoon Programming
1:00 – 2:30 PM — 2020 Art Show (sponsored by The Burroughs Bibliophiles)

12:50 – 1:20 PM — Author reading (to be announced)
1:25 – 1:55 PM — Author reading (to be announced)
2:00 – 2:30 PM — Author reading (to be announced)

2:35 – 3:20 PM — News from Tarzana: Thrilling Updates from Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. (panelists to be announced, with Christopher Paul Carey moderating)
3:25 – 4:10 PM — The Edgar Rice Burroughs Universe Expands: New Tales of Tarzan, John Carter, Carson of Venus, and More! (panelists to be announced, with Christopher Paul Carey moderating)
4:15 – 5:00 PM — World-Building in Genre Fiction (authors Win Scott Eckert, Sara Light-Waller, Heidi Ruby Miller, and Joab Stieglitz, with Christopher Paul Carey moderating)

3:45 – 4:45 PM — Auction Preview

Evening Programming
7:00 – 7:30 PM — PulpFest Annual Business Meeting (meet the convention organizers)
7:30 – 7:40 PM — Munsey Award Presentation (presented by George Vanderburgh)
7:45 – 8:45 PM — An Evening with Eva Lynd (interview by Bob Deis and Wyatt Doyle)
9:00 – 11:30 PM — Saturday Night Auction

Sunday, August 9

Dealers’ Room
9:00 AM – 2:00 PM — Dealers’ Room Open to All (dealers may be packing up; buying opportunities may be limited)

Please note that the schedule above is subject to change.

(Every year, PulpFest celebrates mystery, adventure, science fiction, and other forms of genre fiction. The rough paper magazines played a major role in the development of fiction categories. Pulp publisher Street & Smith pioneered the specialized fiction magazine when it introduced DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE in late 1915. Although DETECTIVE STORY emphasized the more traditional or “clued” detective story, it helped to pave the way for BLACK MASK and its gritty style of crime fiction.

Debuting in 1920, BLACK MASK would introduce the world to the hardboiled detectives of Carol John Daly, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, and many other fine writers. The BLACK MASK style of storytelling continues to influence fiction writers to this very day.

Perhaps one of the most iconic of the BLACK MASK detectives was Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade. The character was the protagonist of “The Maltese Falcon,” a novel serialized in five parts, beginning with the September 1929 number of BLACK MASK. The issue featured cover art by H. C. Murphy.)


Contribute to THE PULPSTER

Nov 18, 2019 by

The PulpsterEven though the next issue of THE PULPSTER won’t be released until PulpFest 2020, we’re already starting work on it.

Top on the to-do list is filling out the lineup for the issue, and that means turning to you for those for articles.

The theme of next year’s PulpFest is “Bradbury, BLACK MASK, and Brundage.” We’re always happy to have articles related to that theme, but we don’t limit contributions to the convention’s theme. We like to have a variety of articles in each issue, articles related to the men and women who wrote, illustrated, edited, and published the pulps, and to the pulp collecting hobby itself.

There are two routes you can take to help us out:

• Do you have an idea for an article that you would like to write for THE PULPSTER? Please let us know.

• Or, do you have an idea for an article that you would like to read in THE PULPSTER (but not necessarily write)? Let us know that, too, and we will see what we can do about finding someone to write it.

'The Pulpster' #28 (2019)You can drop editor Bill Lampkin an email at bill@pulpfest.com. The sooner he hears from you, the better. He has to plan space for articles and start collecting artwork and illustrations.

If you’d like to advertise in THE PULPSTER, please write to PulpFest marketing and programming director (and THE PULPSTER‘s publisher) Mike Chomko at mike@pulpfest.com. Mike can provide pricing and print specifications.

There are limited quantities of issues #27 (2018) and #28 (2019) remaining in stock at Mike Chomko, Books. Visit his website for details.

If you missed out getting your copy of THE PULPSTER this year, don’t delay. Register for PulpFest 2020 to ensure you get a copy of next year’s issue. (If you can’t attend PulpFest, consider registering as a supporting member, and your free copy of the issue will be mailed following the convention.)

(The cover art for THE PULPSTER #28 was painted by Rudolph Belarski  for the September 1939 BLACK BOOK DETECTIVE, published by Ned Pines’ Standard Magazines.)

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Register Now for PulpFest 2020

Nov 11, 2019 by

PulpFest is now accepting advance registrations for our 2020 convention, August 6 – 9. Register now and beat the rush. You’ll save money and get free early-bird shopping if you book a room at the convention’s host hotel. By staying at the DoubleTree, you help defray the convention’s expenses and show our hotel that PulpFest will help their bottom line.

There are plenty of rooms available at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. You can book a room directly through the PulpFest website. Just below the PulpFest banner at the top of our home page,  you’ll find a link that reads “Book a Room.” Click the link and you’ll be redirected to a secure site where you can place your reservation.

You can also reserve a room by calling 1-800-222-8733. Be sure to mention PulpFest to receive the special convention rate of $129 plus tax per night. Included in the room rate are two complimentary breakfasts per room during your stay. Also included is free Wi-Fi in each sleeping room. Parking is free. You must book your room by July 22, 2020 in order to get the special convention rate.

For All Members

All PulpFest 2020 members — including dealers — must register for the convention.

Full weekend membership to PulpFest 2020 if staying at the DoubleTree: $35 (includes free early-bird shopping)
Full weekend membership to PulpFest 2020 if staying elsewhere: $40 (without early-bird shopping)
Full weekend membership to PulpFest 2020 if staying elsewhere: $70 (with early-bird shopping)

Full weekend membership to PulpFest 2020: $40 (available at the door)

Single-day membership for Friday or Saturday: $20
Single-day membership for Sunday: $10 (available only at the door)
Supporting Membership: $25

Additional Details

Children age 15 and younger, accompanied by an adult, will be admitted for free. However, they must be registered.

An early-bird membership will get you into the dealers’ room from 3 to 7:30 PM on Thursday, August 6. Only staff, dealers, and early-birds will be allowed into the dealers’ room during these hours. Please realize that due to travel conditions and other contingencies, PulpFest cannot guarantee that each and every registered dealer will be available during our early-bird hours. Our evening programming will start at 8 PM on August 6.

If you register for a Sunday single-day membership, please be aware that many dealers will be packing up. Buying and selling opportunities may be limited.

All paying members, including supporting members, will receive a complementary copy of our program book, THE PULPSTER, a $10 value.

Early registration will be held outside the entrance to our dealers’ room at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry on Thursday evening, August 6, running from 3 PM to 7:30 PM, and on Friday morning, August 7, running from 9 to 10 AM. If you are paying at the door, please have your completed registration form on hand to speed up the process. A full week-end membership at the door will cost $40. If you wish to participate in early-bird shopping and are not staying at the DoubleTree, your cost will be $70. You’ll be able to pay for your registration at the door using cash, check, or credit card.

Please click here to download our 2020 member registration form. To pay for your membership, please see the instructions below.

For Dealers Only

Island-table rental fee: $90 per table
Wall-table rental fee: $100 per table

All dealers and their helpers are also required to purchase a membership to PulpFest 2020.

Our Tables

PulpFest 2020 will have over 100 six-foot tables in its 10,880-square-foot dealers’ room. Wall tables and placement within the dealers’ room will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Over forty wall tables will be available in our dealers’ room.

There will be no height restrictions on any tables. Displays will be allowed on tables as long as they can safely stand. Please use common sense and courtesy to design your displays. All members registering as dealers must have material for sale at their tables. If you have any special needs — positioning within the room, unique display requirements, electrical needs, and so on — please let us know when you register.

Although the focus of PulpFest 2020 will be pulp magazines and related materials, genre fiction, vintage paperbacks, digests, men’s adventure and true crime magazines, first edition hardcovers, series books, dime novels, original art, Big Little Books, B-movies and serials and related collectibles, old-time-radio shows, and Golden and Silver Age comic books can also be sold. Please remember that PulpFest is not a comic book convention. Sexually explicit material, including PLAYBOY, PENTHOUSE, and OUI, will not be allowed.

Additional Details

Dealer set-up will take place on Thursday, August 6, from 1 – 7:30 PM. Selling to early-bird shoppers will be allowed on August 6, beginning at 3 PM and running until 7:30 PM. The dealers’ room will be open to dealers on Friday, August 7, beginning at 9 AM. It will open to all PulpFest members beginning at 10 AM. All dealers are expected to be set up on Thursday evening by 7:30 PM, and be open for business on Friday, August 7, at 10 AM. If you are not able to comply, please discuss your needs with convention chairperson Jack Cullers by emailing him at jack@pulpfest.com or writing him at the address noted below.

All registered dealers will be profiled in a series of posts that will run on the PulpFest website during July. Our marketing director, Mike Chomko, will be contacting you about this.

Please click here to download our 2020 dealer registration form. To pay for your dealer membership, please see the instructions below.

Payment Instructions

If you have any questions about member or dealer registrations, please write to Jack Cullers at one of the addresses noted below.

The deadline for advance registrations is Monday, August 3, 2020, at 10 PM eastern time. To pay for your registration, please send your check or money order to David J. Cullers, 1272 Cheatham Way, Bellbrook, OH 45305, or use our PulpFest Paypal page. If you pay via Paypal, you’ll also have to register via email, providing all of the information required on our registration forms to Jack Cullers at jack@pulpfest.com.

To Learn More

If you’d like to learn more, please write to Jack Cullers for a copy of our 2020 newsletter (available around the end of March).

(Designed by PulpFest’s advertising director, William Lampkin, our PulpFest 2020 post card features Margaret Brundage’s cover painting for the October 1933 issue of WEIRD TALES. Brundage’s work — one of the most iconic images ever created for “The Unique Magazine” — illustrates the first segment of Edmond Hamilton’s four-part serial, “The Vampire Master.”

The back of our PulpFest 2020 post card features the work of Norm Eastman. His painting — featuring models Eva Lynd and Steve Holland — was used for the cover of BLUEBOOK for October 1966.

Our post cards are being distributed to book stores, comic shops, mail order dealers, conventions, book fairs, and other venues. They’ll be used to publicize all the wonders that are PulpFest 2020. If you’d like to help promote PulpFest, please email the convention’s marketing director, Mike Chomko, at mike@pulpfest.com.)

Tom Johnson

Nov 9, 2019 by

Not long after midnight on the morning of November 5, 2019, the pulp community lost one of its cornerstones. Tom Johnson passed away after a long battle with cancer.

Tom and his wife of many years, Ginger Johnson, were the longtime editors and publishers of ECHOES, a fanzine about the pulp magazines. For nearly twenty years, Tom and Ginger could be counted on for a new issue of ECHOES every other month. Started in 1982, the Johnsons’ fanzine lasted for 100 issues, its final number dated August 1998. Afterward, ECHOES continued as an eight-page newsletter for another 76 issues. Its final number was dated December 2004.

ECHOES was a treasure-trove of popular culture. It featured articles about the pulps, old-time-radio, movie serials and old movies, juvenile books, and more. During its life as the leading journal about the pulp magazine era, ECHOES published countless articles by leading popular culture scholars Nick Carr, Shawn Danowski, Don Hutchison, Will Murray, Robert Sampson, Albert Tonik, and many others. William Thom also began his “Coming Attractions” in the pages of ECHOES.

The Johnsons were also the publishers of BEHIND THE MASK and THRILLING NOVELS, two reprint magazines that featured stories drawn from the pulps. They also published a number of genre fiction magazines — CLASSIC PULP FICTION STORIES, DOUBLE DANGER TALES, WEIRD STORIES, and others — that ran stories inspired by pulp fiction.

Tom Johnson was also a writer himself, creating new “pulp fiction” such as the adventures of The Masked Avenger and The Black Ghost, as well as tales set in the Lost Land of Jur. Tom also wrote several non-fiction books about the heroes of the pulp magazines. These included THE BLACK BAT COMPANION, DAN FOWLER: G-MAN COMPANION, OPERATOR #5: THE HISTORY OF THE PURPLE WARS, THE PHANTOM DETECTIVE COMPANION, and THE SECRET AGENT COMPANION (co-authored with Will Murray). They are all available from Steeger Books.

A twenty-year veteran of the United States Army, Tom Johnson is survived by his wife, Ginger, as well as several children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

(The cover art for THE BLACK BAT COMPANION — painted by Rudolph Belarski — is a reworked version of the artist’s cover for the Fall 1945 issue of Standard Magazines’ BLACK BOOK DETECTIVE. The issue featured Norman Daniels’ Black Bat story, “Murder Among the Dying.”)

Ten Months to PulpFest

Nov 4, 2019 by

PulpFest will return to Mars, Pennsylvania for our 2020 convention. What better location for a convention saluting the 100th anniversary of Ray Bradbury‘s birth? We’ll also be looking at Edgar Rice Burroughs, Leigh Brackett, and others who wrote about Mars at PulpFest 2020.

We’ll be trekking to Mars to honor pulp fiction and pulp art by celebrating the many ways both have inspired creators over the years. Please join us at PulpFest 2020 for “Bradbury, BLACK MASK, and Brundage.” Expect another great dealers’ room and superb programming at PulpFest. And don’t forget our special guest — the beautiful Eva Lynd, a favorite model for artists Norm Eastman and Al Rossi.

PulpFest will be returning to the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. Located where three major roadways intersect, the DoubleTree boasts a world-class restaurant. Many other restaurants are nearby, suitable for a variety of tastes. The adventurous can find more dining, shopping, and nightlife in downtown Pittsburgh. Click the “Book a Room” button just below the PulpFest banner on our home page.

You can also make a reservation by calling 1-800-222-8733. Be sure to mention PulpFest to receive the special convention rate of $129 plus tax per night. Included in the room rate are two complimentary breakfasts per room during your stay. Also included is free Wi-Fi in each sleeping room. Ample free parking surrounds the hotel. You must book your room by July 22, 2020 in order to get the special convention rate.

Our 2020 convention will begin on Thursday evening, August 6, and run through Sunday, August 9. Please join us for our celebration of mystery, adventure, science fiction, and more. If you enjoy  genre writers such as J. K. Rowling, Michael Connelly, and Stephen King, you’ll love PulpFest!

(Along with Ray Bradbury, the late Roger Zelazny was one of many writers to explore the red planet of Mars. Zelazny’s story, “A Rose for Ecclesiastes,” was originally published in the November 1963 issue of THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION. The issue featured a special wraparound cover painting by Hannes Bok.

Regarded as one of Roger Zelazny’s best stories, “A Rose for Ecclesiastes” was nominated for a Hugo Award in 1964 in the short fiction category. Anthologized several times, it was included in THE SCIENCE FICTION HALL OF FAME VOLUME ONE, 1929-1964, an anthology of the greatest science fiction short stories prior to 1965, as judged by the Science Fiction Writers of America.)