PulpFest 2020 and COVID-19

Mar 26, 2020 by

On March 12, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a global outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. A week later, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that cases of coronavirus disease were being reported in many states, with some areas experiencing community spread of the virus.

Several US popular culture conventions — including the Windy City Pulp & Paper Convention 20 and this year’s Robert E. Howard Days — have either been postponed or canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Currently, the PulpFest organizing committee is monitoring the situation and consulting with our host hotel. At the same time, we are continuing to work toward mounting PulpFest 2020 from August 6 – 9 in Mars, Pennsylvania at the DoubleTree by Hilton Pittsburgh — Cranberry.

PulpFest will continue to assess developments. We will advise you about any changes to our plans through our website and social media pages. So please stay tuned to pulpfest.com.

In the meantime, stay safe and be aware of the needs of others. We hope to see all of you August 6 – 9 for PulpFest 2020.

Jack Cullers, PulpFest Chairperson

(The first and only issue of MEDICAL HORRORS was published in late 1931 with a cover date of January 1932. Published by Harold Hersey’s Green Band Publishing Corp. it ran for a single issue. A mix of fiction and non-fiction, it featured such articles and stories as “The Million Dollar Baby Farm,” “Chloroformed” and “Doctor A. W. Waite: Satan’s Personal Representative.”

It has never been quite understood what gave Hersey the idea that a magazine entitled MEDICAL HORRORS could be successful in a field that partially relied on drugstores for distribution. He was, however, a publisher who often thought outside the box.

Although COVID-19 can certainly be described as a medical horror, remember all of the heroic doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel tirelessly serving us and helping the world get through these difficult times. They are the first responders now putting their own well-being at risk. Please remember them in your thoughts and prayers.)

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Visiting Pittsburgh

Mar 16, 2020 by

If you’re thinking about attending PulpFest 2020, why not bring your entire family? The convention will take place from Thursday evening, August 6, through Sunday afternoon, August 9, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just nineteen miles north of the exciting city of Pittsburgh. Once the center of America’s steel industry, Pittsburgh ranks among the top places to live, work, and visit in the United States. The city is consistently recognized by major tourism organizations as a great destination.

Located where the Allegheny and Monongahela converge to form the Ohio River, Pittsburgh was once known as the “Gateway to the West.” Fort Pitt, a key British fortification during the French and Indian War, also served as the western headquarters of the Continental Army during the American Revolution. By the dawn of the 19th century, roads, canals, and eventually railroads connected Pittsburgh with the major cities of the East Coast. Pittsburgh became a hub of entrepreneurs and skilled craftsmen who created a region seething with the fire and smoke of industry, earning a new nickname, the “Smoky City.” The years following the Civil War saw an unparalleled explosion of creative genius and productivity that attracted enormous capital investment and made Pittsburgh one of the world’s great industrial centers. Steel was king and immigrants in search of a better life eagerly responded to the insatiable demand for labor. Under a mighty cloud of industrial smoke, the “Steel City” prospered and matured, giving birth to philanthropy and cultural institutions that became models for the rest of the United States.

By the 1970s and 1980s, the crippling decline of the steel industry changed the region’s image as well as its economic base. Industries and businesses retooled and diversified. Innovative leaders adapted to this changing world, engineering another remarkable renaissance. By the mid-1980s and again throughout the 2000s, Pittsburgh gained the reputation as one the nation’s most livable cities. Today’s Pittsburgh is a model of adaption, maintaining its work ethic, independence, and inventive spirit while exhibiting an old world charm that is cherished by people who care about heritage and preservation. It is a rapidly advancing leader in medicine, education, health care, robotics, software engineering, hi-tech industries, and cultural tourism. With 90 neighborhoods and districts, Pittsburgh is a city to be explored one delightful section at a time. What’s most amazing about the city is the people that make up each of these neighborhoods. They are proud of the heritage reflected on their streets and willing to share their stories of strength, perseverance and triumph.

Pittsburgh’s topography has played a large part in how each neighborhood developed.  Start with the city’s dynamic Downtown and Point State Park. Next, cross one of the three rivers — the Allegheny, the “Mon,” or Ohio — to find unique areas shaped by more than the region’s distinctive and beautiful topography. Natural geographic boundaries such as sloping, wooded hillsides and rivers do their part to define, but Pittsburgh neighborhoods are also known for the clusters of attractions they offer.

Visitors can plan their itineraries by the points of the compass, first focusing on attractions Downtown and in the Strip District (one of the city’s most popular spots for great food and nightlife). Across the Mon is the South SideMount Washington — home to the Duquesne and Monongahela Inclines — Station Square and East Carson Street. On the banks of the Allegheny is North Shore — home to the Pirates and the Steelers, the Rivers CasinoCarnegie Science Center, and the Andy Warhol Museum. Pittsburgh’s East End and Oakland are home to a number of outstanding attractions that owe their existence to the philanthropists who made their fortunes in the city’s early industry. Here you’ll find the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural HistoryPhipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, the 42-story Cathedral of Learning on the University of Pittsburgh campus, and more. While in this corner of the city, don’t miss Shadyside and Squirrel Hill, two walkable neighborhoods with an upscale flavor, and plenty of shopping and dining options. More family fun is waiting on Pittsburgh’s East End in Highland Park, home of the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, featuring an indoor penguin exhibit and a rainforest exhibit. In nearby West Mifflin, visit Kennywood Park, the century-old “roller coaster capital of the world.” And, just outside of Pittsburgh are stunning examples of Frank Lloyd Wright’s amazing architecture, including Fallingwater, called one of the “fifty places of a lifetime.”

Pittsburgh is very walkable with hip galleries, shops, dining, nightlife, sports, museums, and more throughout the city and the surrounding region. So while you’re enjoying yourself at PulpFest — the summertime destination for fans and collectors of all types of popular fiction, art, and related materials — your family can be taking in the many sites and sounds of this very vibrant city. You can book your room at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry directly through the PulpFest website. Just click the Book a Room button found on our homepage or call 1-800-222-8733. When calling, please be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive the convention rate.

Start making your plans now to join us at the “pop culture center of the universe” called PulpFest 2020. We’ll be celebrating  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.

While you’re visiting the Pittsburgh area for PulpFest, please consider staying a bit longer in this vibrant Pennsylvania city. Below are some resources for conventioneers and their family members to learn more about the many things that PulpFest’s host city has to offer (including a couple of sites about the city’s independent booksellers):

The Atlas Obscura Guide to Hidden Pittsburgh — 43 unusual things to do in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Best Indie Bookstores in Pittsburgh — three stores for lovers of the “old-book smell,” hardcover collectors, and bookaholics on a tight budget.

6 Indie Bookstores You’ll Love — a guide to some of Pittsburgh’s coolest literary hangouts.

Guide to Independent Bookstores in Pittsburgh — Pittsburgh is home to over a dozen independent booksellers

11 Independent Bookstores in Pittsburgh Worth Browsing — Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods are alive with thriving, local booksellers.

Pittsburgh Current — free weekly alternative newspaper in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that covers local news and the arts.

Pittsburgh Eventful — provides the most popular Pittsburgh events, concerts, movies, comedy, nightlife, and family events.

Pittsburgh Improv Jam — a night of spontaneous, comedic scenes inspired by audience suggestions and performed by experienced improvisers.

Pittsburgh Pirates — the Bucs will be hosting the Arizona Diamondbacks during PulpFest proper.

PlanetWare’s Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Pittsburgh — ideas on where to go, what to see, and tips for making the most of your trip.

Popular Pittsburgh — information about one of the most livable cities in the USA and links to help you enjoy the experience.

TripAdvisor Things to Do in Pittsburgh, PA — helping you make the most of every trip.

U. S. News’ Best Things to Do in Pittsburgh — Pittsburgh is full of fun things to do, especially for families.

What’s Next for Pittsburgh — the must-read Pittsburgh publication about the innovative and cool things happening in the region.

VisitPittsburgh.com — the official site of the Greater Pittsburgh Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The visitors bureau also offers these more specified pages to help you plan your visit:

Arts in the Spotlight — arts and culture in the city of Pittsburgh

Discovering a City of Neighborhoods — with 90 neighborhoods and districts, Pittsburgh is a city to be explored one delightful section at a time.

Parks and Green Spaces — the top green spaces and public parks in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh: City of Champions — a look at the city’s professional sports teams as well as opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.

Pittsburgh: A Cultural Phenomenon — called one of the best arts and culture destinations in the country, Pittsburgh has built a stellar reputation for the quality and richness of its art and its cultural offerings.

Pittsburgh is Kidsburgh — Pittsburgh is fun, affordable and packed with family entertainment.

Restaurants and Culinary — choose from casual family spots, upscale and romantic eateries, late-night bites or convenient take-out.

Shopping in Pittsburgh — travel in any direction in Pittsburgh and find great shopping to suit every budget and taste.

Things to Do — find out why Pittsburgh has been named one of the best places in the world to visit.

Visitors Guide — get your one-stop guide for everything to see and do in Pittsburgh.

VisitPA — for those who’d like to check out other Pennsylvania destinations, including the birthplace of liberty, the City of Philadelphia.

(Pictured above: a nighttime view of Point State Park and Downtown Pittsburgh from Mount Washington; pouring steel; the Duquesne Incline; Dinosaur Hall, Carnegie Museum of Natural History; and Downtown Pittsburgh from PNC Park — home to the Pittsburgh Pirates — on the city’s North Shore. Remember that the Bucs will be in town during PulpFest 2020. They’ll be hosting the Arizona Diamondbacks from August 6 through 9.

If you’re a science fiction fan, please note that Confluence — the annual science fiction convention sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh science fiction club and Parsec, the region’s speculative fiction society — will be held July 24 – 26 at the Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport Hotel. Novelist Martha Wells is this year’s guest of honor.

If you have any questions about Pittsburgh or Pennsylvania, PulpFest Marketing and Programming Director Mike Chomko is the man to contact. You can reach him at mike@pulpfest.com. For questions about the Pennsylvania Dutch, please write to PulpFest Goodwill Ambassador Barry Traylor at barry@pulpfest.com.)

Join the Winning Team!

Mar 9, 2020 by

Be a PulpFest Sponsor!

 

Join the PulpFest team! For a number of years, a range of organizations have made significant contributions to the convention through their sponsorships. Why not add your organization to the list?

One of our most popular sponsorship categories is our website sponsorship. For a contribution of $150, your link will appear in the bar on the right side of the PulpFest homepage. You’ll be alongside Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., For the Love of All Things EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS, and our other site sponsors. Six-month sponsorships are also available for $80.

This year, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. will be sponsoring the convention’s welcome banner. The banner will be displayed near the PulpFest 2020 registration desk for all of our members to admire. We’d like to thank Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. for their generous contribution to PulpFest 2020.

If you or your organization would like to sponsor the PulpFest 2021 banner, we’d be happy to talk with you.

Although our 2020 welcome banner has already been sponsored, there are other ways for you to help. If you donate $120, you can sponsor the PulpFest 2020 membership badges. Your name or logo will appear on each member’s badge, reminding them of your generosity. As our membership badges also feature a copy of the convention’s program schedule, our members regularly refer to them.

We’re looking for several sponsors who can contribute $100 or more to help defray the authorization expenses for this year’s film program. Prior to each film showing, your name and logo will be displayed on our screen, acknowledging your contribution to our programming.

For a contribution of $50 or more, you can be a hospitality suite sponsor. Last year, ten individuals and organizations contributed a substantial sum of money to help PulpFest stock its con suite with snacks and beverages. The convention was even able to buy a large quantity of pizzas for everyone’s enjoyment.

As a hospitality suite sponsor, your name or logo will be listed on a poster that will be displayed in the PulpFest con suite at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry.

All of our various sponsors, large and small, will be thanked through several posts that will run on our homepage and social media sites.

Other opportunities to help PulpFest financially include advertising in the convention’s program book, THE PULPSTER, or donating material to be given free to PulpFest members or to serve as door prizes.

To learn more about sponsorship opportunities with PulpFest, please contact the convention’s marketing director, Mike Chomko, at mike@pulpfest.com.

(Join the PulpFest team! If you or your organization is interested in discussing a PulpFest sponsorship, please contact Mike Chomko, the convention’s marketing director. We’d be honored to have your name or logo appear on something like our PulpFest 2019 welcome banner, sponsored by Meteor House. Designed by PulpFest advertising director William Lampkin and featuring art by Walter Baumhofer, it also featured the Meteor House name and logo.

Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc is sponsoring our PulpFest 2020 welcome banner. Please contact Mike Chomko at mike@pulpfest.com if you’d like to join them as a PulpFest 2020 sponsor.)

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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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.)

 

Happy Halloween from PulpFest

Oct 28, 2019 by

At PulpFest 2020, we’ll be celebrating “Bradbury, BLACK MASK, and Brundage.” Perhaps we’ll throw in a touch of Burroughs and Brackett for good measure. So why not add a couple more “B’s” to the mix? Enoch Bolles’s cover art for the November 1935 issue of BREEZY STORIES was simply too hard to resist.

With the centennial of Ray Bradbury’s birth in August 2020, there’s no better way to celebrate it than at PulpFest. Garyn G. Roberts — Bradbury’s pal for more than thirty years — will talk about the Science Fiction Grand Master. Our 2013 Munsey Award winner promises to share many unique items he collected during his friendship with Bradbury.

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

Of course, we can’t forget that 2020 also marks the centennial of the magazine where the hardboiled detective story took root — BLACK MASK. It’s also the 120th anniversary of pulp artist Margaret Brundage, best known for her 60+ WEIRD TALES covers.

Finally, our PulpFest 2020 guest of honor will be the beautiful Eva Lynd, a favorite model for artists Norm Eastman and Al Rossi. You can read more about Eva in our post “The Countess of PulpFest.”

You’ll have plenty of “B’s” in your trick-or-treat bag if you plan to attend PulpFest 2020. It will take place from August 6 – 9, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry.

We’ll keep you informed about our plans through our homepage and social media sites. So be sure to bookmark PulpFest.com. We’ll be offering a new post every Monday morning around 9 AM, eastern time. Alternately, you can read what we’ve written via our facebook site, catch our tweets by following us on Twitter, or check out our daily posts to our Instagram page.

Wherever you look for PulpFest on the web, we’ll be sure to keep you up to date about our plans.

(Enoch Bolles studied at the National Academy of Design and the Art Student’s League. His first magazine assignments appeared in 1914 on the covers of JUDGE and PUCK.

According to David Saunders’s Field Guide To Wild American Pulp Artists, Bolles “went on to establish a significant reputation for his distinctive cover paintings for the spicy magazines . . . Bolles was also a versatile illustrator who created advertising for Sun-Maid Raisins, Vicks VapoRub, and Zippo lighters.

Incidentally, BREEZY STORIES liked Bolles’s cover so much that they used it a second time. You’ll also find it on their December 1945 number.)