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.)

Happy Labor Day from PulpFest

Sep 2, 2019 by

On this day when we honor working people, PulpFest is pleased to announce that the organizing committee is taking the day off.

Planning is well underway for PulpFest 2020. We’ll be returning to the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry in Mars, Pennsylvania. The convention will run from August 6 – 9, 2020.

It will be the 49th convening of the summertime pulp con.

We’ll be focusing on Bradbury, BLACK MASK, and Brundage. We may even throw in a touch of Brackett and Burroughs for good measure.

FarmerCon XV — saluting the life and legacy of Philip José Farmer — will also join us.

As always, expect a terrific dealers’ room and superb programming.

To keep informed about PulpFest 2020,  please bookmark pulpfest.com or like our Facebook page. Over on Twitter, catch our tweets. You’ll also find selected posts on various newsgroups, including Pulpmags. And don’t forget about our Instagram page! You’ll enjoy our take on the pulps and their offspring.

Having read this post, please take the rest of the day off. You deserve it!

(A New York City building manager and apartment rental agent, Albert Roanoke Tilburne began selling freelance illustrations to Popular Publications in 1935. He became a regular contributor to SHORT STORIES and WEIRD TALES during the late thirties. In 1947, he painted the cover for H. P. Lovecraft’s THE LURKING FEAR AND OTHER STORIES, published by Avon Books in 1947. After retiring from commercial illustration, he developed a reputation as a Western artist.

Tilburne contributed a total of ten covers — including the September 1944 number — to “The Unique Magazine.” Ray Bradbury’s Johnny Choir story — “Bang! You’re Dead!” — was featured in the issue.)

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Happy New Year from PulpFest!

Dec 31, 2018 by

Your PulpFest organizing committee — Jack and Sally Cullers, Mike Chomko, Bill Lampkin, and Barry Traylor — would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy new year.

You can ring in the new year by registering for PulpFest 2019! Join us to celebrate mystery, adventure, science fiction, and more as we explore “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories.” The convention will focus its sights on the pervasive influence of pulp magazines on contemporary pop culture. We’ll also be honoring the life and legacy of science fiction author and pulp fan Philip José Farmer with the members of FarmerCon XIV.

Of course, PulpFest 2019 will also have a dealers’ room filled with detective and adventure pulps, science fiction books and magazines, westerns and digest magazines, original art and illustrations, vintage paperbacks and collectible comic books, unique films, and much more.

Running from August 15 – 18, 2019, PulpFest will be back at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” in Mars, PA. Conveniently located at the intersection of three major roadways, the DoubleTree boasts a world-class restaurant in an open air setting. There are many other restaurants nearby — some within walking distance — suitable for a variety of tastes. The more adventurous can discover plenty of dining, shopping, and nightlife just a short drive away in downtown Pittsburgh. The DoubleTree offers ample free parking, free wifi for its guests, and two complimentary breakfasts per room during your stay.

You can book a room at the DoubleTree simply by clicking the “Book a Room” button right below the PulpFest banner.

To thank those members who will be supporting PulpFest by staying at our host hotel, the convention will offer free early-bird shopping on Thursday evening in the PulpFest dealers’ room. That’s a savings of $35 if you stay at the DoubleTree and register in advance! What a great deal for the holidays!!!

(Since Thanksgiving, PulpFest has been saluting Street & Smith’s terrific general fiction pulp, THE POPULAR MAGAZINE. We’ve been turning to the magazine for our holiday covers, including the First February number for 1929 — dated January 7, 1929 — with cover art by Stockton Mulford.

If you’d like to learn more about THE POPULAR MAGAZINE, visit PulpFest dealer and presenter Ed Hulse’s Murania Press. Ed’s book, BLOOD ‘N’ THUNDER PRESENTS: PRIDE OF THE PULPS features a lengthy, in-depth survey of Street & Smith’s prestigious all-fiction magazine.)

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Season’s Greetings from PulpFest

Dec 24, 2018 by

The PulpFest organizing committee — Jack and Sally Cullers, Mike Chomko, Bill Lampkin, and Barry Traylor — would like to wish everyone a healthy and happy holiday season.

Why not treat yourself to a holiday gift and register for next year’s convention? Better yet, bring your entire family to PulpFest. Pittsburgh is a great city to visit, particularly when the Pirates are in town!

From August 15 – 18, 2019, PulpFest will be back at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” in Mars, PA. We’ll be celebrating mystery, adventure, science fiction, and more as we explore “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories.” PulpFest 2019 will focus its sights on the pervasive influence of pulp magazines on contemporary pop culture.

The fiction and art of the pulps continues to reverberate through a wide variety of mediums — comic books, movies, paperbacks and genre fiction, television, men’s adventure magazines, radio drama, and even video, anime, and role-playing games. The rough and ragged pulp magazines have had a profound effect on popular culture across the globe.

PulpFest 2019 will have presentations on Sherlock Holmes, western, detective, and science fiction, WEIRD TALES author Arthur J. Burks, the pulp influence on comic books, sword and sorcery, women pulp artists, Rod Serling’s THE TWILIGHT ZONE, and more. We’ll also be celebrating the life and legacy of science fiction author and pulp fan Philip José Farmer with the members of FarmerCon XIV. 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Grand Master of Science Fiction.

So happy holidays to one and all. We hope to see you at the DoubleTree. To make a reservation, just click the button below the PulpFest banner to “Book a Room.”

(Beginning with Thanksgiving, PulpFest has turned to Street & Smith’s general fiction pulp, THE POPULAR MAGAZINE, for its annual holiday greetings. We’ll continue with the Second January 1930 number — featuring front cover art by Edgar Franklin Wittmack — for December. The issue was released on December 20, 1929. Come back in a week to catch our cover for the new year!)

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Armistice Day

Nov 11, 2018 by

All was quiet on the Western Front on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1919. At that time, an armistice between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect. One year later, the first “Armistice Day” was celebrated in the United States. It became a national holiday in 1938 and was changed to Veterans Day in 1954.

One hundred years ago, the struggle for the battered village of Passchendaele — officially called the Third Battle of Ypres — was drawing to a close. The town’s remnants would be reclaimed by British and Canadian forces on November 6, but the fighting would continue.

Edwin Vaughan — an officer of the 1st/8th Warwickshire Regiment of the British Expeditionary Force — wrote about the carnage of the First World War in his journal:

“Up the road we staggered, shells bursting around us. A man stopped dead in front of me, and exasperated I cursed him and butted him with my knee. Very gently he said, “I’m blind, Sir” and turned to show me his eyes and nose torn away by a piece of shell. “Oh God! I’m sorry, sonny,” I said. “Keep going on the hard part,” and left him staggering back in his darkness . . . A tank had churned its way slowly behind Springfield and opened fire; a moment later I looked and nothing remained of it but a crumpled heap of iron; it had been hit by a large shell. . . .

From other shell holes from the darkness on all sides came the groans and wails of wounded men; faint, long, sobbing moans of agony, and despairing shrieks. It was too horribly obvious that dozens of men with serious wounds must have crawled for safety into new shell holes, and now the water was rising about them and, powerless to move, they were slowly drowning. Horrible visions came to me with those cries, (of men) lying maimed out there trusting that their pals would find them, and now dying terribly, alone amongst the dead in the inky darkness. And we could do nothing to help them; Dunham was crying quietly beside me, and all the men were affected by the piteous cries.”

On August 25, when he awoke to take muster, Vaughan’s worst fears were realized: “Out of our happy little band of 90 men, only 15 remained.”

Such were the horrors of Passchendaele and the “War to End All Wars.” In 1914 as war was declared, there were street celebrations across Europe. No one envisaged the stalemate of the trenchs nor the appalling casualties of four years of fighting. About 8.5 million soldiers on both sides of the conflict died of wounds and disease. According to the ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA“It has been estimated that the number of civilian deaths attributable to the war was higher than the military casualties, or around 13,000,000. These civilian deaths were largely caused by starvation, exposure, disease, military encounters, and massacres.”

PulpFest 2018 honored the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War by focusing on the so-called “war pulps” of the early twentieth century, as well as the depiction of war in popular culture. Beginning on Thursday evening, August 15, and running through Sunday, August 18, PulpFest 2019 will celebrate the “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories,” an examination of the pervasive influence of pulps on contemporary pop culture. We hope you’ll join PulpFest at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry.

You can book your room directly through our website. Book early and don’t miss the chance to stay at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. Just click the link that reads “Book a Room” below the PulpFest banner. You’ll be redirected to a secure site where you can place your reservation.

(Designed by PulpFest’s artistic director, William Lampkin, our PulpFest 2018 post card featured the work of artist Gertrude C. Orde. Her painting was originally used as the cover for the January 1932 number of Fawcett Publications’ BATTLE STORIES. It was based on the poster art for the classic World War I film, ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT.)

 

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Happy Labor Day from PulpFest

Sep 3, 2018 by

On the day we honor America’s laborers, we’re taking a break. It’s hard to mount a convention. So the PulpFest organizing committee is happy to have a new volunteer.

Please welcome William Patrick Maynard for offering to write for the PulpFest website. An avid reader of vintage thriller fiction and a student of film and comic art, Bill has been writing since childhood. He’s the authorized author of Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu series. Bill also writes mystery and science fiction screenplays and short fiction. He has authored nearly 300 pop culture articles and classic film commentaries.

Bill will help us all to enjoy the great pulps of the past and the genre fiction of today and tomorrow.

To volunteer for PulpFest, please write to convention chairman Jack Cullers at jack@pulpfest.com or marketing and programming director Mike Chomko at mike@pulpfest.com.

(The cowboys of the American West worked hard — mending fences, herding cattle, busting broncos, and more.

In 2019, PulpFest will return with more great programming. Next year will be the 100th anniversary of Street & Smith’s WESTERN STORY MAGAZINE. We’ll look at the great cover artists who worked for the pulp. One was Charles Durant. During his career, he painted over fifty covers for ADVENTURE, BATTLE STORIES, EVERYBODY’S MAGAZINE, SKY RIDERS, THE THRILL BOOK, WESTERN STORY MAGAZINE — including the December 11, 1920 number — and other pulps.

We hope you’ll be at PulpFest 2019 for a celebration of mystery, adventure, science fiction, and more. Join us for “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories” at PulpFest 2019.)

Happy New Year from PulpFest!

Jan 1, 2018 by

Ring in the new year by planning to join PulpFest 2018! We’ll be celebrating the centennial of “The Armistice that Ended The Great War” and the 100th anniversary of the birth of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José Farmer. Plus, we’ll have a dealers’ room filled with detective and adventure pulps, science fiction books and magazines, westerns and digest magazines, original art and illustrations, vintage paperbacks and collectible comic books, unique films, and much more. All this plus our guest of honor, Joe Lansdale, author of over forty novels and many short stories. You’ll find it all at PulpFest 2018.

Running from July 26 – 29, the convention will be returning to the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. Conveniently located at the intersection of three major roadways, the DoubleTree boasts a world-class restaurant in an open air setting. There are many other restaurants nearby — some within walking distance — suitable for a variety of tastes. The more adventurous can discover plenty of dining, shopping, and nightlife just a short drive away in downtown Pittsburgh. The DoubleTree offers ample free parking, free wifi for its guests, and two complimentary breakfasts per room during your stay.

To thank those members who will be supporting PulpFest by staying at our host hotel, the convention will offer free early-bird shopping on Thursday evening in the PulpFest dealers’ room. That’s a savings of $35 if you stay at the DoubleTree! What a great deal for the holidays!!!

Your PulpFest organizing committee — Jack and Sally Cullers, Mike Chomko, Bill Lampkin, Barry Traylor, and Chuck Welch — wishes everyone a happy and healthy new year.

(The front cover art for the January 1930 issue of Harold Hersey’s LOVE AND WAR STORIES was painted by Alfred George Skrenda. The artist is best remembered for his dust jacket work for the publishing industry. The sole issue of the pulp — published by Good Story Magazine Company — featured stories by Ross C. Holland, Robert H. Leitfred, Leonard S. Norton, E. Quinton, and Carl Ziegler. Except for Quinton and Norton, all of the authors published regularly in the war and air magazines.)

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Season’s Greetings from PulpFest

Dec 25, 2017 by

From July 26 – 29, 2018, PulpFest will celebrate the centennial of “The Armistice that Ended The Great War.” The convention will also mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José Farmer.

We’ll be exploring the so-called “war pulps” of the early twentieth century and the depiction of war in popular culture. PulpFest 2018 will feature presentations on art in the war pulps and men’s adventure magazines, plus a look at war comics. We’ll also have expert presentations on air war pulps, Edgar Rice Burroughs and The Great War, and the life and fiction of Leonard Nason, an author who served in the First World War and wrote about his experiences. Robert Gould, the son of pulp illustrator John Fleming Gould — who contributed interior illustrations to G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES and many other pulps — will also be on hand to discuss his father’s life and artistic career.

Of course, we’ll also be celebrating the life and legacy of science fiction author and pulp fan Philip José Farmer. The members of FARMERCON 100 will be offering panels and presentations on “World Building and Writing in the Nine Continuity,” the author’s novels set in 1918, and much more (including a showing of the French documentary, MOI TARZAN).

And don’t forget about our convention’s Guest of Honor — Joe Lansdale — the author of over forty novels and numerous short stories. He’s also won the Edgar Award, ten Bram Stoker Awards, the Horror Writers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the British Fantasy Award, the Inkpot Award for Contributions to Science Fiction and Fantasy, and many other honors.

Why not treat yourself to a gift and register for PulpFest 2018? Better yet, bring your entire family. Pittsburgh is a great city to visit, particularly when the Pirates are in town!

Wishing everyone a healthy and happy holiday season from your PulpFest organizing committee — Jack and Sally Cullers, Mike Chomko, Bill Lampkin, Barry Traylor, and Chuck Welch

(Rudolph Belarski painted the cover for the December 20, 1928 issue of Dell Publishing’s WAR STORIES. It’s a particularly moving portrait of a soldier making his way carefully across no-man’s-land. The glare of a flare, rather than that legendary star, lights his way.)

Happy Thanksgiving from PulpFest

Nov 20, 2017 by

Today, the PulpFest organizing committee would like to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. We hope your holiday will turn out far better than the day of this particular soldier.

Over the coming months, we’ll be looking at some of the artists, writers, and publishers who worked in the war genre for the pulp magazine industry. It’s all part of our celebration of the 100th anniversary of the armistice that brought the First World War to an end.

Beginning on Thursday evening, July 26, and running through Sunday, July 29, PulpFest 2018 will focus on the so-called “war pulps” of the early twentieth century as well as the depiction of war in popular culture. Please join us at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. We’ll also be celebrating the century mark of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José Farmer. PulpFest 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 that award-winning author Joe Lansdale will be PulpFest‘s guest of honor. We look forward to seeing you in July 2018.

(C. R. Schaare began working at the age of twelve. Trained as an engraver’s assistant, he eventually found employment as a sketch artist for the advertising industry. In 1925 he began to sell freelance pulp magazine covers to ACE-HIGH, AIR STORIES, ALL-AMERICAN SPORTS, GUN MOLLS, LARIAT STORY, MASKED RIDER, NAVY STORIES, WAR STORIES — including the July 5, 1929 cover — and other pulps. He continued to work for the pulps as a cover artist until 1940. He also contributed many covers to the boxing periodical, THE RING.)

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Armistice Day

Nov 6, 2017 by

The day when we honor all U. S. military veterans — November 11 — originated as “Armistice Day” on November 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. The day became a national holiday in 1938 and was changed to Veterans Day in 1954.

One hundred years ago today, the struggle for the battered village of Passchendaele — officially called the Third Battle of Ypres — was drawing to a close. The town’s remnants would be reclaimed by British and Canadian forces on November 6, but the fighting would last four more days.

Edwin Vaughan– an officer of the 1st/8th Warwickshire Regiment of the British Expeditionary Force — wrote about the carnage in his journal:

“Up the road we staggered, shells bursting around us. A man stopped dead in front of me, and exasperated I cursed him and butted him with my knee. Very gently he said, “I’m blind, Sir” and turned to show me his eyes and nose torn away by a piece of shell. “Oh God! I’m sorry, sonny,” I said. “Keep going on the hard part,” and left him staggering back in his darkness . . . A tank had churned its way slowly behind Springfield and opened fire; a moment later I looked and nothing remained of it but a crumpled heap of iron; it had been hit by a large shell. . . .

From other shell holes from the darkness on all sides came the groans and wails of wounded men; faint, long, sobbing moans of agony, and despairing shrieks. It was too horribly obvious that dozens of men with serious wounds must have crawled for safety into new shell holes, and now the water was rising about them and, powerless to move, they were slowly drowning. Horrible visions came to me with those cries, (of men) lying maimed out there trusting that their pals would find them, and now dying terribly, alone amongst the dead in the inky darkness. And we could do nothing to help them; Dunham was crying quietly beside me, and all the men were affected by the piteous cries.”

On August 25, when he awoke to take muster, Vaughan’s worst fears were realized: “Out of our happy little band of 90 men, only 15 remained.”

Such were the horrors of Passchendaele and the “War to End All Wars.” In 1914 as war was declared, there were street celebrations across Europe. No one envisaged the stalemate of the trenchs nor the appalling casualties of four years of fighting. About 8.5 million soldiers on both sides of the conflict died of wounds and disease. According to the ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA“It has been estimated that the number of civilian deaths attributable to the war was higher than the military casualties, or around 13,000,000. These civilian deaths were largely caused by starvation, exposure, disease, military encounters, and massacres.”

Except for a single writer — Leonard Nason — stories about the First World War were very limited in the general fiction pulps. But as the rough paper magazines began to specialize in the teens and twenties, the first pulp devoted to tales of war would appear. Introduced by Dell Publishing in 1926, WAR STORIES would be followed by many others: BATTLE STORIES, WINGS, OVER THE TOP, DARE-DEVIL ACES, SKY FIGHTERS, and dozens more. Most disappeared by 1940 as another “Great War” was unfolding.

Beginning on Thursday evening, July 26, and running through Sunday, July 29, PulpFest 2018 will honor the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. The convention’s focus will be the so-called “war pulps” of the early twentieth century as well as the depiction of war in popular culture. Please join us at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just outside Pennsylvania’s Steel City. We’ll also be celebrating the century mark of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José Farmer. PulpFest 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. Award-winning author Joe Lansdale will be PulpFest‘s guest of honor.

A soldier running along a corduroy track through Chateau Wood (photograph from the collection of the Imperial War Museum).

(H. C. Murphy painted the front cover art for the February 20, 1924 issue of ADVENTURE. Leonard H. Nason was featured on the cover for his short story, “Three Lights from a Match,” appearing in the issue.)

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