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 pulpfest.com.

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.)


There is Nothing Wrong with Your Television Set . . .

May 25, 2020 by

PulpFest — Postponed Until Next Year


Throughout the latter months of 2019 and early 2020, PulpFest was planning for a banner year. From our vivacious Guest of Honor — Eva Lynd — to a significant estate auction and our the plethora of “B’s” in our theme — “Bradbury, BLACK MASK, and Brundage,” with a touch of “Burroughs, Brackett, Baum, and a couple of “B” movies,” PulpFest 2020 was going to be one “B”eautiful convention.

Alas, it was not meant to be. Or should we say, “B?” Or maybe it should be “C” . . . for coronavirus.

We regret to announce that PulpFest is being postponed until August 18 – 21, 2021.

Although it is likely that businesses and events in the region where PulpFest is staged will be allowed to resume operations in June, they will have to follow guidelines issued by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

According to the most recent CDC coronavirus guidelines regarding large gatherings, “At a minimal-to-moderate level of community transmission, it is recommended to cancel community-wide mass gatherings (for example, >250 people).”

The CDC also recommends that gatherings of more than ten people for organizations that serve higher-risk populations should be canceled. According to “currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.”

Given the substantial risks involved and our desire to maintain the health and well-being of our many supporters, the PulpFest organizing committee voted unanimously to postpone this year’s convention until August 18 – 21, 2021.

The PulpFest organizing committee would like to thank Kate Knecht, the Director of Sales & Marketing for the DoubleTree by Hilton – Pittsburgh Cranberry for all her help and guidance with this difficult decision.

For those who have already registered for PulpFest 2020, the convention will be more than happy to refund your registration fee. However, if you’d like to attend PulpFest 2021, the convention will honor your 2020 registration for next year’s convention at no additional cost to you. These offers apply to both regular attendees and dealers.

PulpFest 2021 will take place at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry in Mars, Pennsylvania from August 18 – 21, 2021.

If you’ve already registered for PulpFest 2020, please write to the convention’s chairman, Jack Cullers, to inform him of your desire for a refund or to carry over your registration to 2021. You can reach Jack by email at jack@pulpfest.com or by regular mail at 1272 Cheatham Way, Bellbrook, OH 45305.

For those who have booked a room with our host hotel, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry will be canceling the reservations associated with this year’s room block. Currently, the hotel’s staffing level is minimal with only one person working. This makes it difficult to answer each phone call. Guests will receive an email confirming the cancellation, sent to the address that was provided when the reservation was made.

Because the summer of 2021 is a long way away, the PulpFest marketing staff — William Patrick Maynard, William Lampkin, Sara Light-Waller, and Mike Chomko — along with our occasional guest writers will be here for you.

To keep abreast of our updates, please bookmark pulpfest.com or like our Facebook page. Over on Twitter, you’ll find short tweet updates. And don’t forget about our Instagram page! Over recent months, PulpFest has been running a well-illustrated and informative history of science fiction in pulp magazines.

We look forward to seeing you in Mars, Pennsylvania from August 18 – 21, 2021 for our next PulpFest.

(Designed by PulpFest’s advertising director, William Lampkin, our PulpFest 2020 postcard 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.”)

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.)