The Edgar Rice Burroughs Chain of Friendship

Aug 31, 2020 by

The 2020 Edgar Rice Burroughs Chain of Friendship (ECOF) Gathering will be held Sunday, October 11 through Tuesday, October 13 in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. Guest of Honor is acclaimed comic book artist and Hollywood illustrator Daniel Parsons.

COVID-19 restrictions dictate this will be a small gathering in two large meeting rooms at the Country Inn & Suites located at 1650 Doris Drive. Fort Atkinson is located just 35 miles from Madison or 65 miles from Milwaukee. It’s 100 miles from Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

The gathering is for registered attendees only and will not be open to the public. A limited dealer room with guest speakers will be open on October 11 and 12. The annual banquet dinner will be replaced with dinner at a local restaurant adhering to COVID-19 restrictions. October 13 will begin with a hotel breakfast followed by a tour of the local printing plant where THE BURROUGHS BULLETIN and ECOF organizer and host Gary Buckingham’s new authorized continuation collection, TARZAN: UNTAMED FRONTIERS, are printed.

A special reduced hotel rate of $99 per night plus taxes is available with the code ERBLIT when you call Radisson Reservations at (800) 333-3333 or direct at (920) 542-1600. The reduced rate is guaranteed through September 10 only. Tables are free for dealers, but space is limited for health concerns.

Convention registration includes a membership button, dinner at a local restaurant, a signed and numbered limited edition trade paperback of the new authorized novel, TARZAN: UNTAMED FRONTIERS featuring the bonus short story, “Tarzan and the Secret of Katanga” by Gary Buckingham (former editor of ERB, Inc.’s authorized continuation novels) with a full-color wraparound cover painting (and interior drawings) by 2020 ECOF Guest of Honor Daniel Parsons.

The gathering’s $85 registration fee may be sent via check payable to Gary Buckingham, 5009 Ladera Ct NE, Albuquerque, NM  87111.

(Gary Buckingham’s two-story collection, TARZAN: UNTAMED FRONTIERS — free to all members of the 2020 ECOF — features a color wraparound cover painting and four interior drawings by Daniel Parsons. This year’s ECOF guest of honor, Parsons is an award-winning American comic book artist and illustrator, best known for his work on Dark Horse Comics’ STAR WARS comic books. He has also drawn for HBO’s GAME OF THRONES.

Like many other contemporary creators, Parsons and Buckingham are “Children of the Pulps.” Both have been inspired by the fiction and the art found in the rough-paper magazines of the early twentieth century.

Conventions like the 2020 ECOF help keep alive the spirit of the pulps. Hopefully, the Wisconsin gathering’s safety precautions will keep everyone safe, sound, and more than ready to join PulpFest 2021 from August 18 – 21 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry in Mars, PA.)

Pittsburgh’s Convention Scene Shuts Down

Jun 5, 2020 by

Like dominoes, Pittsburgh’s pop culture conventions have shut down for the summer.

First, it was the Three Rivers Comicon, scheduled to take place May 30 – 31 at the spectacular David L. Lawrence Convention Center overlooking the Allegheny River in downtown Pittsburgh.

Founded by a couple of Pittsburgh nerds who were hoping to make comic con all about comics again, Three Rivers was postponed until May 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Next came Confluence, the region’s longest-running literary conference. Slated for the Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport Hotel in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, the conference was postponed until July 23 – 25, 2021.

Organized by Parsec — a non-profit organization that has been promoting science fiction, fantasy, and horror in literature, media, and music for over 25 years — Confluence features award-winning authors, editors, artists and songwriters. With panel discussions, concerts, and talks that broaden and deepen appreciation of the genres, Confluence gives attendees a unique opportunity to meet and chat with the writers and artists who create the science fiction, fantasy, and horror of today, helping to shape those genres for the future.

The PulpFest organizing committee canceled this summer’s conference on Memorial Day. Postponed until July or August 2021, you can read about the cancelation of PulpFest 2020 in our post, “There Is Nothing Wrong with Your Television Set . . .

The last domino to fall was Monster BashLike PulpFest, the “International Classic Monster Movie Conference and Film Festival” was to be held at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry in Mars, Pennsylvania. Realizing that their attendees wouldn’t be able to enjoy the usual Bash experience, Ron and Ursula Adams decided to cancel their June show shortly after PulpFest 2020 had met a similar fate.

Monster Bash celebrates the classic horror and science fiction films of the silent era through the 1970s. It’s a film festival; a place to meet the people in the movies, behind the movies, and fellow fans of the movies; and a monster memorabilia shopping spree.

Produced by Ron Adams of Creepy Classics Collectibles and SCARY MONSTERS MAGAZINE, Monster Bash is a state of mind — a place, like Skull Island, where our imaginations ignite and burn through our everyday lives. The Bash is an appreciation of the fun movies we all love. Whether it’s THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN or THE KILLER SHREWS, if you have fun watching it . . . that’s what Monster Bash is all about.

The “Monster Boomers” and their Monster Kids flock to Monster Bash from all over the world. Now, instead of one or two friends in the neighborhood who love monster movies, there are thousands! At Monster Bash you’ll meet others who, like you, loved Forry Ackerman’s FAMOUS MONSTER OF FILMLAND, the local TV horror host, the Aurora monster models, and much more.

Sadly, you’ll now have to wait until October 16 – 18 when the fall Monster Bash is scheduled for the Pittsburgh Marriot North in Mars. A Bela Lugosi Film Fest is also planned for August 14 – 15 at the Palace Theater in Canton, Ohio. We’ll have more details about these and other pop culture conventions, right here at

Which is one of the many reasons why PulpFest is a Pittsburgh Smash!

Confluence convention logo

(The 2020 Monster Bash was to be a MUNSTER Bash! Green was Herman Munster’s skin tone (although his co-workers at Gateman, Goodbury and Graves never seemed to notice). Both Pat Priest — who played the “abnormal” Marilyn Munster — and Butch Patrick — Eddie — on THE MUNSTERS — were scheduled to be the convention’s special guests. Joining them were many other notables. Special events such as Mexican Monster Night — featuring free tacos and burritos — and a drive-in style showing on Saturday night were also planned.)


And Then There Was One

Apr 27, 2020 by

PulpFest 2020 is still over three months away. The coronavirus lockdown is impacting many of the great conventions we normally would look forward to attending come June.

For now, pulp con history still looks to be made when you attend the very first Pulp Fiction Convention on June 14 at the Doubletree by Hilton Cleveland-Westlake. It’s being organized by Jeff Harper, a longtime comic book convention promoter and friend and supporter of PulpFest. Forty dealers will gather from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM  alongside special guests: Edgar-nominated historical mystery author Craig McDonald; new pulp writers Charles F. Millhouse, S. T. Hoover, and Faryl Hoover; Flinch! Books author/publishers John Bruening and Jim Beard, and vintage pulp continuation authors William Patrick Maynard and Jim Fix. Check out Jeff’s webpage for more information. In the event, circumstances dictate a cancellation; you can be certain Jeff will re-schedule as he has with other shows earlier this year.

Unfortunately, the 2020 Edgar Rice Burroughs Dum-Dum planned for the weekend of June 24 – 28 has been cancelled. Roger and Sheila Herzog had planned to host guests Burroughs Bibliophile Jim Goodwin, Edgar Rice Burroughs Books’ Jim Gerlach, and the good folks at Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. at the Embassy Suites by Hilton in San Antonio, Texas. Attendees were to receive a copy of “The Terrible Tenderfoot” (the pulp version of ERB’s THE DEPUTY SHERRIFF OF COMANCHE COUNTY), take part in tours of The Alamo, and sail away on a river barge tour of San Antonio. Regrettably, concerns over the Coronavirus have caused the cancellation of the 2020 Dum-Dum. Refunds of registrations will be processed shortly. If you have further questions, please contact the

We would be remiss if we did not mention at this time the passing of George T. McWhorter, the retired Curator of the Edgar Rice Burroughs Collection at the University of Louisville. McWhorter passed away on April 25, 2020 at the age of 89. Please visit the Reminiscences Page on the ERBzine website for more on this giant from the world of Burroughs fandom.

Hopefully, life has reverted to normal enough that we can enjoy PulpFest 2020 —  the destination for fans and collectors of genre fiction — both old and new — pop art and illustration, and much more. This year’s PulpFest will begin on Thursday, August 6, and run through Sunday, August 9.  Join the convention at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” of Pittsburgh. PulpFest will be celebrating “Bradbury, BLACK MASK, and Brundage” at this year’s gathering. Click the Programming button below the PulpFest homepage banner to get a preview of all the great presentations at this year’s event.

To join PulpFest 2020, click the Register button below our homepage banner. To book a room at the DoubleTree by Hilton — the convention’s host hotel — click the Book a Room button, likewise on the PulpFest homepage.

(Usually, we also have great news to share about Robert E. Howard Days, held annually in the author’s hometown of Cross Plains, Texas. This year, unfortunately, all we can say is that the 2020 edition of Robert E. Howard Days has been cancelled.

According to the convention’s homepage, “The uncertainty of the current timelines for the outbreak, the potential risks involved in bringing people from all over the US and other countries, from places with varying rates of infection, to a very small town with limited health care resources, and the need to make a decision now so everyone can adjust their plans, have led the Board of the Robert E. Howard Foundation and our partners at Project Pride to this extremely difficult decision. Ultimately, we had to come down on the side of everyone’s safety.”

So here’s a salute to our friends in Howard Fandom and the fine folks of Cross Plains, Texas. We’ll be here for you when you get ready to mount Robert E. Howard Days in June of 2021.

Although Robert E. Howard wrote about many different characters — Pike Bearfield, Sailor Steve Costigan, Solomon Kane, Kull of Atlantis, Turlogh O’Brien, and others — his most famous is Conan.

Howard’s inspired character was introduced to readers in the story “The Phoenix on the Sword.” Published in the December 1932 issue of WEIRD TALES, it was quickly followed the next month by “The Scarlet Citadel.” By the time of his death in 1936, Howard had completed twenty-one stories of the Cimmerian. WEIRD TALES would publish seventeen of them, including “The People of the Black Circle,” serialized over three monthly issues. The initial segment — published in the September 1934 number — would garner a cover illustration by Margaret Brundage.

On Friday evening, August 7, we hope you’ll join PulpFest as we welcome award-winning writer and publisher Doug Ellis for “The Weird Tales of Margaret Brundage.” It’s part of the convention’s celebration of the 120th anniversary of the birth of this great female pulp artist.

Please join us for “Bradbury, BLACK MASK, and Brundage” at PulpFest 2020. We’ll be at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry in Mars, Pennsylvania from August 6 – 8.)

Lights, Camera, and . . . No Action!

Apr 20, 2020 by

Cinevent 2020 Is Canceled

If you’re a fan of silent and early sound films or a collector of motion pictures and related items, then Cinevent is for you. One of the associated conventions – along with FarmerCon and Monster Bash – found on our home page, this year’s Cinevent at the Renaissance Columbus Downtown Hotel on 50 North 3rd Street in the heart of Columbus, Ohio has been cancelled.

For over fifty years, Cinevent has gathered fans of silent and early sound films, as well as collectors of motion pictures and related items. A Memorial Day tradition for hundreds of attendees who gather together every year, the convention was co-founded by the late Steve Haynes — a big fan and supporter of PulpFest.

Cinevent features an extensive schedule of classic sound and silent films running from morning through late evening. Additionally, Cinevent hosts over one-hundred tables of movie-related collectibles such as posters, lobby cards, press kits, DVDs and 16 mm films and one of the country’s largest live auctions of vintage posters. Please be sure to help the convention’s vendors out during these difficult times by shopping their online inventory. You’ll find links to their sites on the Cinevent home page.

Rest assured, Cinevent will return in 2021. It will be held Memorial Day Weekend in the coming year. To keep abreast about this fun convention, be sure to like their Facebook page.

Although PulpFest 2020 will have a limited film program, the convention will have a lot of great programming. Add onto that a dealers’ room featuring tens of thousands of pulp magazines, vintage paperbacks, digests, men’s adventure and true crime magazines, original art, first edition hardcovers, genre fiction, series books, reference books, dime novels and story papers, Big Little Books, B-Movies, serials and related paper collectibles, old-time radio shows, and Golden and Silver Age comic books, as well as newspaper adventure strips. We’ll also have a hospitality suite featuring wine, beer, snacks, and more. So what are you waiting for? Start making your plans to celebrate “Mystery, Adventure, Science Fiction, and More” at PulpFest 2020.

(One of the highlights of this year’s Cinevent was to be a centennial showing of THE MARK OF ZORRO. A 1920 silent film, THE MARK OF ZORRO is the first of three adaptations of Johnston McCulley’s novel, “The Curse of Capistrano.” Initially serialized in five parts in ALL-STORY WEEKLY — beginning with the August 9, 1919 issue — McCulley’s novel sold more than 50 million copies in book form.

Starring Douglas Fairbanks as the title character and his alter ego, THE MARK OF ZORRO was the first film to be released by United Artists, the company formed by Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, and D. W. Griffith. The film’s advertising prominently mentioned ALL-STORY WEEKLY, its pulp source.

The success of Fairbanks’ adaptation, convinced Johnston McCulley to author further adventures of Zorro. Over the next forty years, McCulley penned a total of five Zorro novels and nearly 60 short stories featuring the masked avenger. The stories appeared in ARGOSY, WEST, and other pulp magazines.)

Fantastic Pulps Show & Sale — Postponed Until 2021

Apr 13, 2020 by

The Fantastic Pulps Show & Sale, Canada’s premier pulp event held in the hallowed halls of the Toronto Public Library, has been postponed until 2021 due to the Coronavirus outbreak. A small show, but one that satisfies the hardcore collector and the pulp curious alike with twenty-five dealers’ tables crammed with vintage pulp, affordable reprints, collectible paperbacks, posters, and much more. So pulp fans, mark your calendar for 2021 because the Fantastic Pulps Show & Sale is already scheduled to return next year.

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Ontario has declared a state of emergency and all non-essential business has been closed. The organizers of the Fantastic Pulps Show & Sale hope you will plan on joining them next year to attend their one-day event. For additional information about next year’s con, please email Neil or Leigh Mechem at Tell ’em PulpFest sent you.

(This year’s poster for the now-cancelled Fantastic Pulps Show & Sale — designed by Neil and Leigh Mechem — featured Rafael M. DeSoto’s cover art for the October 1933 issue of BLACK BOOK DETECTIVE MAGAZINE. Originally published by Newsstand Publications of Chicago, the pulp’s first issue was dated June 1933. The magazine’s early issues seem to be very much along the lines of the first detective pulp, Street & Smith’s DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE.

For about six years, BLACK BOOK DETECTIVE plodded along, occasionally pushing the envelope by introducing weird menace fiction or a continuing character such as A. J. Raffles or Arthur B. Reeve’s Craig Kennedy. Then, in its July 1939 number, the magazine published a story entitled “Brand of the Black Bat.”

Written by Norman Daniels, “Brand of the Black Bat” introduced the “mysterious nemesis of crime” known as The Black Bat. Modeled after The Shadow and other popular pulp heroes, Daniels’ tale would be the start of a lengthy series that would run for over fifty issues.

Although we won’t be focusing on The Black Bat at PulpFest 2020, we will have plenty of other “B’s” for you. The convention 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 guest of honor, 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.

PulpFest 2020 will have panels and presentations on all of these topics and a whole lot more. We hope you can join us from August 6 – 9 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry in Mars, PA.

Currently, the PulpFest organizing committee is monitoring the situation resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic 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

Windy City Pulp & Paper Convention

Mar 23, 2020 by

The Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention 20 commemorates twenty years of pulp con excellence as it returns to the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center from September 11 to 13 this year. The convention doors open at 11:00 AM on Friday, but Early Bird Shoppers can get in 90 minutes early starting at 9:30 AM. The con suite will be open from 8:00 PM on Thursday, September 10, until midnight. The convention runs until 3:00 PM on Sunday.

This year’s show marks the centennial of BLACK MASK, the pulp that came to define the hardboiled detective and crime story genre, as well as the 90th anniversary of ASTOUNDING, Street & Smith’s pulp predecessor to today’s ANALOG SCIENCE FICTION AND FACT digest.

Additionally, there’s the annual Windy City Film Festival, organized and emceed by the one and only Ed Hulse of Murania Press. The Friday and Saturday night auctions will feature the collections of the Robert Weinberg Estate and the Glenn Lord Estate. The annual art show, panels, and New Pulp Sunday are also on the schedule.

Click on the link that starts our post to learn more about this year’s Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention or visit the convention’s Facebook page.

You don’t have to wait until September to discover pulp treasures. This year, Windy follows PulpFest 2020, “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con.” PulpFest 2020 will begin Thursday evening, August 6, and run through Sunday afternoon, August 9. It will take place just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. It’s easy to register, just click the register button below the PulpFest homepage banner.

(In conjunction with their host hotel, The Westin Lombard, the organizers of Windy City 20 have rescheduled their convention to early September to help assure the safety of its members. Please watch the Windy City homepage or Facebook site for additional announcements.

The revised Windy City Pulp & Paper Convention 20 promotional flyer was adapted from Fred Craft‘s front cover art for the December 1927 issue of BLACK MASK. From 1927 to 1936, Craft sold freelance artwork to pulp magazines, primarily to western and detective pulps. He is best remembered today for his extensive cover work for BLACK MASK, the magazine that PulpFest will be celebrating in August.)

California, Here I Come!

Feb 10, 2020 by

The Los Angeles Vintage Paperback Collectors Show & Sale

PulpFest 2020 may be six months off, but the annual Los Angeles Vintage Paperback Collectors Show & Sale is right around the corner. It will take place on Sunday, March 8, at the Glendale Civic Auditorium at 1401 North Verdugo Road in Glendale, California from 9 AM to 4 PM. Featuring an admission price of five bucks, it’s the best bargain in town!

Now in its 41st year, the convention was started by Tom Lesser in 1980. It has grown to be the world’s largest vintage paperback gathering. The 2020 show will feature over eighty dealer tables with tens of thousands of vintage paperbacks for sale, from inexpensive filler copies to the rarest collectibles in the hobby. In addition to collectible paperbacks, you’ll also find pulp magazines, original illustration art, hardbound science fiction and mystery books, and more. There is no telling what might show up! Even with a crowd of collectors around, it’s possible to be the one who discovers a hidden gem at the event. This year, you could be that lucky person!

Meet Authors and Artists

Over the years, the show has featured an exciting roster of guest authors and artists. It has included such notables as Robert Bloch (18 years); Poul Anderson, Ray Bradbury, Frederik Pohl, and A. E. Van Vogt (all for over 10 years); and the champ, William F. Nolan (with nearly 35 appearances). This year’s show will feature over forty authors and artists talking with attendees and signing their works for free! Click here for a schedule of the show’s guests.

You’ll find more information on this great collectors gathering at the convention’s website, its Facebook page, or by calling Tom Lesser at 818-855-1786. While you’re at the show, pick up a PulpFest 2020 post card to learn more about “Summer’s Great Pulp Con.”

PulpFest 2020 will begin Thursday evening, August 6, and run through Sunday afternoon, August 9. It will take place just outside of Pittsburgh at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry in Mars, Pennsylvania. To learn how to join PulpFest 2020, click the register button below our home page banner.

(The Los Angeles Vintage Paperback Collectors Show & Sale’s posters were originally designed by the late Glenn Souza. He started in the early 1990s and continued through 2007. He then handed the job over to Tony Gleeson.

Tony’s 2020 poster for the Los Angeles Vintage Paperback Collectors Show & Sale features the artwork of the talented illustrator Earle K. Bergey. The painting was originally used as the front cover art for the June 1951 issue of Standard Magazines’ THRILLING WONDER STORIES.)

Coming Soon! Pulp AdventureCon and Classicon!

Oct 7, 2019 by

Pulp AdventureCon returns to New Jersey on November 2. What’s there? Rare pulp magazines, vintage paperbacks, golden age comic books, movie memorabilia, and more! It’s in Bordentown, just off exit 7 of the New Jersey Turnpike. Check it out on the Bold Venture Press website.

Pulp AdventureCon is a pop culture paradise. If you like cloaked crimefighters, tough gunslingers, damsels in distress, hardboiled detectives, space pirates, or weird monsters, you’ll love Pulp AdventureCon! What more do you want?

How about Classicon? It’s one of the oldest pulp and paperback shows in the country. Two times each year, Classicon takes place in Lansing, Michigan. A one-day show, you’ll find calendar, pin-up, and illustration artwork, plus thousands of rare pulp magazines, paperbacks, vintage comic books, and other collectibles for sale or trade. Although a date has not yet been set for this fall’s Classicon, you can learn more about the convention by visiting

Events like Pulp AdventureCon and Classicon may keep you satisfied until the next summer’s PulpFest. To keep informed about our 2020 convention,  please bookmark or like our Facebook page. Over on Twitter, you’ll find tweets with our updates. You’ll also find selected posts on various newsgroups, including Pulpmags. And don’t forget about our Instagram page where we continue to explore “The Children of the Pulps.”

PulpFest 2020 will take place from August 6 – 9, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry.

(The Pulp AdventureCon advertisement — based on Allen Anderson’s cover art for the July 1952 issue of PLANET STORIES — was designed by Rich Harvey of Bold Venture Press. Check them out!)

Reviews and Recordings of PulpFest 2019

Sep 23, 2019 by

The dealers' room at PulpFest 2019

PulpFest 2019 is over a month past now, but you can partly re-live it through the reports and recordings posted online.

We’re sorry if you couldn’t make PulpFest this year. You missed a pulp-packed weekend of programming, readings, signings, dealers, and more. Hopefully these links will encourage you to make the trip next August 6-9 to PulpFest 2020.

Read all about it

  • Lewis Forro posting as “The Supreme Leader” once again has a bit of fun with his photographic report from PulpFest 2019 on his blog, The Leader’s Chronicles.
  • Mike Glyer has posted about this year’s Munsey Award winner, George Vanderburgh, at his File 770 blog.
  • J.L. Gribble posted her report of PulpFest on her blog.
  • Ed Hulse, publisher at Murania Press, offers his report of traveling to PulpFest 2019 on his EDitorial Comments blog.
  • Walker Martin‘s annual report on PulpFest has moved to Sai Shankar’s Pulp Flakes blog this year.
  • Raw Dog Screaming Press, which celebrated its 16th anniversary at PulpFest 2019, has posted photos from author readings it held at the convention.
  • Speaking of Sai Shankar, his PulpFest report is a photographic one, with shots of some of the interesting and rare pulps he came across in the well-stocked dealers’ room.
  • Bill Lampkin of ThePulp.Net posted photos from PulpFest 2019 to Instagram throughout PulpFest 2019, but you can now view them on his blog, Yellowed Perils.

For your listening (or viewing) pleasure

  • Bold Venture Press, which has reprinted the Zorro stories, has posted a video of editor Rich Harvey’s presentation, “A Century of Zorro,” from PulpFest 2019.
  • Raw Dog Screaming Press also posted a reading by author John Edward Lawson on its Facebook page.
  • ThePulp.Net has posted audio recordings and photos of 11 PulpFest 2019 panels (almost seven-and-a-half hours) on its website, as well as through its Pulp Event Podcast. The podcast is available for free through the iTunes App Store or Google Play store
  • And ThePulp.Net did a Facebook Live video walk-through of the PulpFest 2019 dealers’ room.

This year’s PulpFest may be over, but there’s plenty of time to start planning to attend 2020’s gathering. The convention returns to the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pittsburgh, from Thursday, August 6, through Sunday, August 9. See you then!

(The dealers’ room at PulpFest 2020 was a popular gathering spot during the day, as pulp fans and collectors searched for items and visited with friends.)

Why PulpFest?

Jul 10, 2019 by

Today, we’re sharing a short essay written by Walker Martin for Steve Lewis’ Mystery*File blog. Walker has been a reader and collector for over sixty years. In 1997, he received the Lamont Award at Pulpcon 26 in Bowling Green, Ohio. We’re proud to have him as one of our own and can think of no one better to answer the question, “Why PulpFest?” Take it away Walker . . .

The last couple days I’ve been thinking about PulpFest, which will be held August 15 through 18 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. That’s about a month from now! I’ve been deluged by logical and sane-looking collectors and non-collectors all asking me the same question: why bother attending PulpFest? They have shown up at my house; they have called me on the telephone; they have sent me emails. Enough is enough! Here’s a list of excuses for not attending that I hear all the time, and why none of them are valid:

1 – I have no money! Sorry, but I’ve attended many a Pulpcon in the 1970’s, 1980’s, and 1990’s and I went with very little money. Are there no credit cards? Are there no credit unions? Are there no non-collecting spouses to borrow money from? Even when I had the money, I often blew it before the convention by visiting local bookstores like Bonnett’s and Dragon’s Lair in Dayton, Ohio. If not in the bookstores, then in the hotel rooms of friends who let me see what they were bringing to sell. I learned to go without much cash, but I brought a few boxes of pulps to trade and sell at my table.

2 – I’m in poor health and too sick to attend. Sorry again! I had a friend who had a terminal illness and came to Pulpcon anyway. Another friend actually collapsed at the convention and died soon after. I myself once threw my back out three days before the show and my doctor and chiropractor both told me to forget about making the long drive to the convention. I felt like I was crippled for life, but I managed to squeeze into the car and drive out. I had to stop numerous times near hotels because I thought I was not going to make it. Perhaps I could rent a room and lay there for a couple weeks until I could stand. It took me 16 hours instead of the usual 9 hours, but I made it. I spent the entire convention standing because sitting down caused back spasms.

3 – I have no space or I live in a small apartment. Collectors always make space for the things they love! When I first met Bob Lesser in the 1970’s he had an apartment full of Disney toys. This was New York City and the place was tiny. A path from the front door to the bed and another path to the bathroom. Otherwise, every inch was toys, robots, and paintings. I once ran out of space and I hunted for over a year until I found a bigger house. I went to dozens of open houses and looked at hundreds of houses. I finally found a big house. Unfortunately, I soon filled it up with books. Now I need a bigger place! The old story. . .

4 – My wife is a non-collector and forbids me to go. Tell me about it! I’ve been married over 40 years and I’ve heard it all. I still go and I still collect. Les Mayer told me in 1990 at the Wayne, New Jersey Pulpcon that his wife thought he was at a business meeting. If she knew he was at Pulpcon she might burn his pulps. Collectors have to become masters of deception and great liars to defeat the non-collector. Many a time I’ve lied and many a time I’ve smuggled books into the house in the dead of night while “she who must be obeyed” slept the innocent sleep of the non-collector. Non-collectors exist to be ignored . . .

5 – I can’t get off from work. Sorry, but this is not a valid reason. My employers always knew I was a rabid book collector who took off without exception a week for Pulpcon in the summer. I made sure that my vacation request was in as early as I knew the convention dates. Once they sorrowfully told me I couldn’t go because of some work bullshit. I went anyway and left it to them to ignore my absence without leave or put up with one pissed-off book collector. I realize the employment situation is different nowadays, but which is more important, your job or your collection? Your marriage or your collection? Right, your collection.

6 – Who cares about the convention? I can buy my pulps off ebay. Back in the 1920’s and 1930’s, dime novel collectors existed. But they didn’t have a convention and died off. Now I know of only a few in existence and dime novels are just about worthless. If I had a table full of dime novels priced at a buck apiece, most collectors would scurry away in disgust. We have to support the two big pulp conventions — Windy City in Chicago and PulpFest in Columbus. If we don’t, then one day we will wake up and the pulps will be dead. These shows garner a lot of attention and people keep talking about the pulps because of the efforts of Mike Chomko, Jack and Sally Cullers, Doug Ellis, John Gunnison, Bill Lampkin, Barry Traylor, William Patrick Maynard, and all the other people who lend a hand.

7 – It’s too late! Like hell. There are hotels with rooms available nearby. What’s the most important thing in a serious collector’s life? His collection, without a doubt. We work, we slave, we march on to the bitter end where we will eat dirt in the boneyard. We live lives of quiet desperation and worry about the afterlife. Go to PulpFest and collect some books and pulps! You only live once . . .

8 – And finally the best reason for attending! They are a hell of a lot of fun. Not only do you get to roam around a gigantic dealers’ room full of books and pulps, but you get to meet and talk to some of the greatest collectors and dealers. These will lead to future deals and contacts. Plus you can eat and drink with them! Though I seem to be one of last of the drinkers. And the panels! All day and all night, we will be discussing pulps and books. What’s cooler than that?

I’ve never met a magazine or book collector who regretted attending PulpFest. I hope to see some of you there!

(And so do we. The convention will take place from Thursday evening, August 15, through Sunday afternoon, August 18, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just outside Pennsylvania’s “Steel City.” Start making your plans to join us at the “pop culture center of the universe” for PulpFest 2019. You’ll have a GREAT time!

If you don’t make it to PulpFest 2019 . . . The Shadow will know!

If you are not from the Pittsburgh area and have yet to book your room for this year’s PulpFest, you can book your room directly through the PulpFest website. Below our banner, you’ll find a link that reads “Book a Room.” Click on this link and you’ll be redirected to a secure site where you can book a room at the DoubleTree. You can also reserve a room by calling 1-800-222-8733. Please be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive the special rate. Thanks so much to everyone who has reserved a room at our host hotel. By staying at the DoubleTree, you’ve helped to ensure the convention’s success.

Our lead image is based on George Rozen’s cover art for the August 1, 1933 number of THE SHADOW MAGAZINE. Walker Martin’s essay, “Why Attend PulpFest?” originally appeared — in slightly different form — on Steve Lewis’ Mystery*File blog on August 9, 2015 as the seventeenth segment of “Collecting Pulps: A Memoir.”)