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.)

 

PulpFest 2018 Begins Today

Jul 26, 2018 by

PulpFest 2018 will begin this afternoon at 3 PM, as our dealers begin to erect their displays for “Summer’s Great Pulp Con!” All members — dealers included — will be able to register for the convention from 4 to 8 PM, at the entrance to our dealers’ room at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. Everyone can pick up their registration packets at this time. To help things move smoothly, please bring along a completed registration form. You can download a copy by clicking here or through the link found on our registration page.

There will be free early-bird shopping in the dealers’ room from 5:30 to 8:30 PM for loyal attendees who help to defray the convention’s costs by staying at our host hotel. The cost is $30 for those who stay elsewhere. Our full evening programming slate will begin at 8:40 PM with a presentation by Sai Shankar on Leonard H. Nason — Soldier and Writer.

2018 marks the centennial of the armistice that ended the First World War. Also called “The War to End All Wars” and “The Great War,” PulpFest will be honoring the 100th anniversary of the war’s end by focusing on the so-called “war pulps” of the early twentieth century and the depiction of war in popular culture.

We’ll also be celebrating the century mark of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José FarmerPulpFest and its associated convention — FarmerCon — will be saluting the acclaimed author of such works as ESCAPE FROM LOKITHE DARK HEART OF TIME, the classic Riverworld series, and more.

And don’t forget about our Guest of Honor — Joe Lansdale — the award-winning author of over forty novels and numerous short stories. The convention will also be hosting a rare gallery showing of original art by Mark Wheatley. Mark is a much acclaimed comic book artist, book illustrator, and graphic designer.

We’ll also have author readings, films, and even a Farmer Jam at this year’s PulpFest.

You can find additional details about all of our programming by clicking the button found at the top of our home page. Each event on the schedule is linked to a post that provides further information on that event. Just click on the event’s title. Watch for the “panels” banner to find our programming area at the convention.

When our programming is over, PulpFest members are welcome to socialize together in our hospitality suite at the DoubleTree. You’ll be able to enjoy drinks and snacks with your comrades in collecting and talk about the things that you love and collect. Perhaps you’ll even clear up some of the great mysteries of the pulps with your pals — both old and new — at PulpFest 2018. You sure can’t do that on your smart phone!

If you are not from the Pittsburgh area and have yet to book your room for this year’s PulpFest, you can try calling 1-800-222-8733 to reach our host hotel. Perhaps there is an opening. Please be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive any special convention deals that may still be available. 

The DoubleTree is very conveniently located at the intersection of three major roadways in Cranberry Township. It’s just off the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Interstate-79. The address is 910 Sheraton Drive, MarsPennsylvania. We have a map on our home page or click here for a link to a large map of the area.

For those of you who have not yet registered for PulpFest 2018, Thursday evening will be an ideal time to do so. Our full weekend memberships will be available at the door, with early-bird shopping costing an additional $30 for those members not staying at the DoubleTree. Please click one of the Register buttons on our home page for further details.

From 3 PM to 11 PM on Thursday, the dealers’ room will be open for exhibitors to set up their displays. At this point, we urge all of our dealers to take full advantage of our generous load-in and set-up period. Access to the dealers’ room for unloading will be through the ballroom back entrance and the nearby banquet dock. Click here for a map showing the loading area of the hotel and here for a map of the DoubleTree’s Grand Ballroom.

Remember that we’ll also be offering early-bird shopping in the dealers’ room from 5:30 to 8:30 PM on Thursday evening, an extra three hours of selling opportunities to people who are ready to buy!

Although the focus of PulpFest is pulp magazines and related materials, digests, vintage paperbacks, men’s adventure and true crime magazines, first-edition hardcovers, series books, dime novels, original art, Big Little Books, B-movies, serials and related paper collectibles, old-time-radio shows, and Golden and Silver Age as well as pulp-related comic books and games are also allowed.

(EC Comics’ TWO-FISTED TALES ran for 24 issues from 1950 through 1955. Originally an adventure comic, its focus turned toward war, following the start of the Korean War. Like all of EC’s comics, it featured well-written stories and top-notch art. Wally Wood, George Evans, and Jack Davis — who drew the cover for issue #34, dated July – August 1953 — were just some of the great illustrators who worked on the book.

Popular culture scholar Michelle Nolan will explore the depiction of war in the four-color format on Thursday evening. She will discuss the many costumed and military heroes who battled fascism during World War II, the “true war” type of comics, the humor books such as DEVIL DOG DUGAN and SGT. BILKO, and how war comics exploded during the Korean War. She’ll compare and contrast DC and Marvel — the leading publishers of war comics during the 1950s, talk about the explosion of Charlton war comics in the 1960s, and dissect the artistic success of Harvey Kurtzman’s war titles for EC.

Our complete schedule for Thursday, July 26, is below. If you’d like to access our schedule via your mobile phone or tablet, go to http://www.pulpfest.com/schedule/.)

 

PULPFEST 2018 SCHEDULE

Thursday, July 26

Dealers’ Room

3:00 PM – 11:00 PM — Dealers’ Room Set-Up

4:00 PM – 8:00 PM — Early Registration

5:30 PM – 8:30 PM — Dealers’ Room Open for Early-Bird Shopping

Programming

8:40 – 9:10 PM — Leonard H. Nason — Soldier and Writer (Sai Shankar)

9:20 – 9:50 PM — Edgar Rice Burroughs and The Great War (Henry G. Franke, III)

10:00 – 10:40 PM — Life and Death on the Front Lines: The War Comics (Michelle Nolan)

10:45 – 11:15 PM — FarmerCon 100: World Building and Writing in the Nine Continuity (Paul Spiteri with Win Scott Eckert & Frank Schildiner)

11:25 – 12:30 AM — FarmerCon 100: MOI, TARZAN — (George McWhorter, Philip José Farmer, & Francis Lacassin)

Life and Death on the Front Lines: The War Comics

May 11, 2018 by

At this year’s convention, PulpFest 2018 will honor the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War. Our programming will focus on the so-called “war pulps” of the early twentieth century and the depiction of war in popular culture.

Although the pulps played a very important role in the evolution of American popular culture, they had essentially disappeared by the early fifties. While some continued in the smaller digest format, the rough paper magazines were killed by competition from paperback books, radio, television, movies, and comic books.

Just as the pulps had hesitated to revisit the battlefields of World War I, the comics medium at first shied away from the theme. Once again, it was Dell Publishing that tried its hand at the war genre. It launched WAR COMICS in 1940. The book ran for just eight issues.

The fight against the Axis powers and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor led more publishers to the war genre. With comic book superheroes such as Captain America and Daredevil slugging it out with the Führer and Hirohito, publishers launched four-color comics with military themes. AIR FIGHTERS COMICS, BOY COMMANDOS, DEVIL DOG COMICS, MILITARY COMICS, RANGERS COMICS, WAR HEROES, WINGS COMICS, and others were soon battling for newsstand space. The Korean War created a similar uptick as Atlas, Avon, Charlton, DC, Dell, Fawcett, Quality, St. John, and others entered the fray during the 1950s. The best of all was EC Comics. Although it published only a trio of titles, ACES HIGH, FRONTLINE COMBAT, and TWO-FISTED TALES towered above the competition.

Join PulpFest 2018 on Thursday, July 26, at 10 PM as Michelle Nolan explores the depiction of war in the four-color format at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. Using images selected by her friend Bob Carter, Michelle will discuss the many costumed and military heroes who battled fascism during World War II. She’ll examine the “true” type of comics, the humor books such as DEVIL DOG DUGAN and SGT. BILKO, and how war comics exploded during the Korean War. She’ll compare and contrast DC and Marvel — the leading publishers of war comics during the 1950s, talk about the explosion of Charlton war comics in the 1960s, and dissect the artistic success of Harvey Kurtzman’s war titles for EC.

You’ll get all of this, plus a ten-dollar discount off the daily admission at Confluence, Pittsburgh’s long-running science fiction, fantasy and horror conference if you choose to attend both conventions. You can join PulpFest by clicking the Register for 2018 button on our home page. And while you’re at our site, you can book a room at the DoubleTree. They’re going fast!

(Although tales of war have been with us since ancient times, the comic book industry only began to explore the war genre during the early years of World War II. Hence, four-color stories of the Great War were few and far between. Some of the best appeared in EC Comics’ ACES HIGH. Launched in 1955 and lasting five issues, the book featured the work of Jack Davis, Bernard Krigstein, Wally Wood, and air war pulp enthusiast George Evans. The latter drew all of the covers — including the September/October 1955 issue — and the lead stories of each issue of the comic.

A mainstream journalist for more than fifty years, Michelle Nolan has also covered the history of genre fiction in pulps, comics, books and films in more than 1,000 magazine, newspaper and book articles. She is the author of the definitive “LOVE ON THE RACKS: A HISTORY OF AMERICAN ROMANCE COMICS and BALL TALES: A STUDY OF BASEBALL, BASKETBALL AND FOOTBALL FICTION OF THE 1930s THROUGH 1960s. In 2014, Michelle received an Inkpot Award from Comic-Con International: San Diego for her contributions to the worlds of comics, science fiction and fantasy, film, television, and animation.)