Twenty Years of Doc Con!

Sep 18, 2017 by

Doc Con XX (2017)In fall 1998, five Doc Savage fans gathered together in a hotel in the Phoenix area to celebrate their shared love of a 1930s and ’40s pulp hero and his 181 adventures at the first Doc Con.

This year many more fans will again gather in Glendale, Ariz., for the 20th Doc Con on Oct. 20 – 22 to celebrate the exploits of Doc Savage, the Man of Bronze. (Fifty attended last year’s Doc Con XIX.)

“I am glad that what I started in 1998 has endured for so long,” said Rob Smalley, who organized the original con. “It’s a testimony to the dedication of the core group of people, which by the way gets larger every year. The Doc Con has changed in format and venues over the years, but each and every Doc Con over the last 19 years has been tons of fun no matter where it was held or how many fans attended.”

Jay Ryan, who with Rob has attended all Doc Cons, said, “Twenty years does seem like an accomplishment. The aspect that intrigues me the most is the fact that most of us were in our mid- to late 30s when we started Doc Con. Just a bunch of 30-something guys getting together to talk about a character that we appreciated. Hopefully, Doc Con is still just that except that now it is a bunch of 50-something guys.

“The most important part is still the getting together,” Jay continued, “and apparently we still enjoy that because Doc Con has grown from one day to three and in some cases four days. The die-hards still come in on Thursday and leave midway through Sunday. Of course, Doc Con has also expanded on events and the time is filled to the brim but all of it still revolves around hanging out together.”

The Doc Con XIX (2016) group photo

The Doc Con XIX (2016) group photo

Jay, Rob, and the other Arizona Fans of Bronze who organize and put on the convention have big plans for number 20. “Doc Con XX will be special in the obvious way… a milestone accomplishment reached,” Jay said. “Of course, as special guest, author David Avallone’s attendance will be appreciated by everyone. We had the current Doc Savage novel writer, Will Murray, in attendance last year, and this year it seemed fitting to have the current Doc Savage comic-book writer, Mr. Avallone, meet everyone and have him fill us in on that medium of Doc Savage. We also have some very special things planned for this year and the pre-registration gift is going to knock everyone’s socks off.”

Doc Con XX returns to the Comfort Inn University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix. You can register for the con at

“My whole intent for starting Doc Con was to get Doc Savage fans together. Too many of us enjoyed our Doc Savage experience in solitude,” Rob said. He, like other Doc fans, is looking forward to this year’s con. “Every year I enjoy the company of all my Doc friends, and I really enjoy seeing new people attending and joining in the excitement and fun.”

Fans of Bronze to Gather for Doc Con XIX

Sep 26, 2016 by

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a Bronze October at Doc Con XVIII

Sep 28, 2015 by


This year marks the 40th anniversary of DOC SAVAGE: THE MAN OF BRONZE, producer George Pal’s film adaptation of the Street & Smith pulp hero’s first adventure.

To celebrate, Doc Con XVIII has lined up a very special guest: actor Ron Ely, who starred as the Man of Bronze in the 1975 film. (He also played another pulp character, Tarzan, for two seasons on TV in the 1960s.) Ely will talk about the movie and be available for photos and autographs.

Other guests will include Bob Larkin, who painted more than 50 covers for Bantam’s Doc Savage paperback series; Anthony Tollin, publisher of Sanctum Books, who expects to finish reprinting all of the Doc Savage novels by the end of the year; and sociologist October Surprise, who has studied the readership of DOC SAVAGE MAGAZINE through its letter columns.

Doc Con XVIII will be Friday through Sunday, Oct. 9-11, 2015, at the Comfort Suites, 9824 W. Camelback Rd., Glendale, Ariz. You can find out more about Doc Con on its Facebook page, or by emailing Jay Ryan at

Autumn Leaves and Pulp Cons

Sep 8, 2013 by

StartlingStories50-03With fall just two weeks away, here in the Northeast our thoughts are turning to autumn’s vibrant colors and a bevy of conventions in the coming weeks including the pop culture extravaganza, Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention, the 25th New York City Collectible Paperback & Pulp Fiction Expo, the Southwest’s Doc Con, and the Northeast’s Pulp AdventureCon and Classicon.

Beginning September 19th and running through September 21st, the annual Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention will take place at the Wyndham hotel in Hunt Valley, Maryland. The brainchild of PulpFest dealer Martin Grams and his wife, Michelle, the convention is a three-day festival designed to stimulate interest in nostalgia. During the event, you can watch screenings of vintage movies and television shows, world premiere documentaries, Hollywood celebrities posing for photos and signing autographs for fans, slide show seminars from authors and historians, and visit over 200 vendor tables featuring retro-merchandise, antiques, and collectibles. It’s a lot of fun.

For the last 25 years, Gary Lovisi, the publisher of Paperback Parade, has hosted the New York City Collectible Paperback & Pulp Fiction Expo. This one-day show is centered around a dealers’ room featuring tens of thousands of vintage and collectible paperbacks, pulps, digest, and mens’ adventure magazines, videos and DVDs, original art, hardcovers, and much more. There’s always a substantial guest list and this year’s convention is no exception. Announced appearances include Hard Case Crime publisher and author Charles Ardai; mystery and crime writer Lawrence Block; artist Marcus Boas; pop culture authority Ron Goulart; artist Bob Larkin; F. Paul Wilson, creator of the Repairman Jack series; and many others. Gary’s expo will occur on Sunday, October 13th, at the Holiday Inn at 440 West 57th Street in the Big Apple.

Doc Con 2013Beginning five days later on October 18th, Doc Con 16 will take place at the Comfort Suites in Glendale, Arizona. Dedicated to the fans of bronze and the eightieth anniversary of America’s first superhero, Doc Savage, the convention will run through Sunday, October 20th. According to Doc Con  organizer Jay Ryan, “a surprise is scheduled for Friday night’s Doc Savage Suite, while Saturday promises to be fast paced and entertaining.” Will Doc’s cousin, Pat, pop out of a cake? You’ll only find out only by joining Doc Con 16.

Bordentown’s Ramada Inn, just off exit 7 of the New Jersey Turnpike, will become a pulp collecting Mecca on Saturday, November 2nd when Rich Harvey’s Pulp AdventureCon 2013 moves into its banquet area. “There’s something for everyone, whether you collect H. P. Lovecraft or Dashiell Hammett, The Shadow or Doc Savage, Argosy or Black Mask . . . the list could, quite possibly, be endless.” This one-day event is always a lot of fun so why not sign up?

On the same day many miles to the north, Classicon 44 comes to the University Quality Inn, located in Lansing, Michigan. One of the first-established pulp and paperback shows, Classicon offers thousands of collectible pulp magazines, digests, and paperbacks for sale or trade. Also available are vintage comic books, pin-ups and calendars, original paperback art from the fifties and sixties, and much more. It is hosted by PulpFest dealer Ray Walsh and his Curious Book Shop.

So while you await PulpFest 2014, why not tryone of these fine shows. If you do, please tell them that PulpFest sent you.

Erle Bergey painted the cover for the March 1950 issue of Startling Stories, published by Ned Pines’ Standard Magazines. The Doc Con 2013 poster is the work of Julián Puga, Cristian Diaz, and Alvaro Fernandois.