100 Years of “The Curse of Capistrano”

Aug 9, 2019 by

In the early 1800s, California was still under Spanish rule. The peaceful indigenous people were victimized by the corrupt military commanders. One man rose to stand against injustice and the abuse of power. One man stirred the hearts of Californians and gave them the spirit to resist tyranny. That man was the masked avenger known as Zorro!

Zorro was introduced in Johnston McCulley’s novel, “The Curse of Capistrano,” when it was serialized in the pages of ALL-STORY WEEKLY in 1919. The first segment of the five-part serial part serial was dated August 9, one-hundred years ago to this very day.

The success of the serial’s 1920 film adaptation as THE MARK OF ZORRO — starring Douglas Fairbanks — convinced the character’s creator to author further adventures. 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 ARGOSYWEST, and other magazines. In book form, “The Curse of Capistrano” was retitled THE MARK OF ZORRO and sold more than 50 million copies. McCulley’s numerous follow-ups never achieved the same level of success. Most were never collected in book form until the definitive editions published by Bold Venture Press.

In addition to the Johnston McCulley’s stories, Zorro has appeared in over forty film and television adaptations, including Walt Disney’s 1950s TV series starring Guy Williams. The character has also appeared in numerous literary pastiches as well as radio, comic books, newspaper strips, and stage plays.

Being one of the earliest examples of a fictional masked avenger with a double identity, Zorro inspired the creation of several similar characters in pulp magazines and other media. McCulley’s hero is a precursor of the superheroes of American comic books, with Batman drawing particularly close parallels to the character. As such, today’s superheroes are very much “Children of the Pulps.” Join publisher/author and 2019 Munsey Award nominee Rich Harvey of Bold Venture Press on the opening night of PulpFest for a celebration of “A Century of Zorro.”

PulpFest 2019 will begin on Thursday, August 15, and run through Sunday, August 18.  Join PulpFest at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” of Pittsburgh in Mars, PA. We’ll be celebrating “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories” — focusing on the pulp influences in popular culture — at this year’s gathering.

Click our Programming button below our homepage banner to get a preview of all the great presentations at this year’s event.

To join PulpFest 2019, click the Register button below our homepage banner. And don’t forget to book a room at the DoubleTree. You can reserve a room by calling 1-800-222-8733. Please be sure to mention PulpFest when placing your reservation in order to receive any convention special deals that may still be available. There is ample free parking surrounding the hotel.

(Created by the prolific pulp writer Johnston McCulley, Zorro debuted in “The Curse of Capistrano,” a five-part serial that ran in the pages of the Munsey magazine, ALL-STORY WEEKLY during the month of August 1919. It will be the centennial of the first Zorro story during this year’s PulpFest.

The cover art featured on the August 9, 1919 issue was painted by P. J. Monahan. A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Monahan moved to Brooklyn in 1907. He became one of New York’s most prolific artists for the first three decades of the twentieth century, creating advertisements, movie posters, commissioned art, and, most of all, pulp magazine illustrations and covers.)

What’s This PulpFest All About?

Jul 5, 2019 by

So what’s this PulpFest that has so many people talking? With over 3,200 likes on Facebook, hundreds of followers on Instagram, and nearly 1,100 followers on Twitter, it certainly has been generating a lot of excitement. But what’s it all about?

PulpFest is named for pulp magazines — fiction periodicals named after the cheap pulp paper on which they were printed. Frank A. Munsey pioneered the format in 1896 with THE ARGOSY. Stories like Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Tarzan and the Apes” and Max Brand’s “Destry Rides Again” really got things moving.

The pulps started to flourish following the introduction of specialized magazines such as DETECTIVE STORY and LOVE STORY. Publishing legends BLACK MASKWEIRD TALES and AMAZING STORIES debuted during the 1920s. The early thirties introduced the hero pulps, while science fiction exploded as the world went to war in 1939.

By the early fifties, the pulps had largely disappeared. Although displaced by paperback books, comics, radio, television, movies, and more, the rough-paper periodicals had a profound effect on popular culture across the globe. They inspired everything from STAR WARS and JURASSIC PARK to Batman and Spider-Man. The fiction and art of the pulps reverberated through comic books, movies, paperbacks, television, and even anime and role-playing games.

PulpFest 2019 will focus on the many ways pulp fiction and pulp art have inspired and continue to inspire creators. We’re calling this year’s theme, “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories,” an examination of the pervasive influence of pulp magazines on contemporary pop culture. To see what PulpFest is all about, click the Programming button below our home page banner to get a taste for the topics that we’ll explore in 2019.

Beyond our programming, the PulpFest dealers’ room will feature tens of thousands of pulp magazines, vintage paperbacks, digests, genre books, original art, first edition hardcovers, series books, reference books, men’s adventure and true crime magazines, dime novels and story papers, Big Little Books, B-Movies, serials and related paper collectibles, old-time radio shows, and collectible comic books and newspaper adventure strips.

The convention will take place from Thursday evening, August 15, through Sunday afternoon, August 18, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just nineteen miles north of the exciting city of Pittsburgh. You can book your room directly through the PulpFest website. Just click the button below the PulpFest banner to “Book a Room. Alternately, you can call 1-800-222-8733 to book a room by telephone. When calling, be sure to mention PulpFest to get the special convention rate.

Start planning now to join PulpFest 2019 at the “pop culture center of the universe.” You can join the convention by clicking the Register button below our home page banner. If you’d like to pay for your membership via Paypal, you’ll find our Paypal link on our registration page.

(Published by the Frank A. Munsey Company, the October 1912 issue of THE ALL-STORY featured Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel “Tarzan of the Apes,” published in its entirety. Clinton Pettee painted the front cover art for the magazine.

Burroughs’ Tarzan is the most famous character to emerge from the pulps. Others include Zorro, Conan the Barbarian, Dr. Kildare, The Shadow, Buck Rogers, Sam Spade, Doc Savage, and Cthulhu.

Come to PulpFest 2019 and learn how the pulps continue to inspire the world’s pop culture creators.)

A Century of Zorro

Jun 5, 2019 by

In the early 1800s, California was still under Spanish rule. The peaceful indigenous people were victimized by the corrupt military commanders. One man rose to stand against injustice and the abuse of power. One man stirred the hearts of Californians and gave them the spirit to resist tyranny. That man was the masked avenger known as Zorro!

Thursday night, August 15, at PulpFest, publisher/author and 2019 Munsey Award nominee Rich Harvey of Bold Venture Press presents “A Century of Zorro,” marking not only the centennial of the legendary pulp character, but also the publication of the first matched set of every original Zorro novel and short story in six attractive volumes from Bold Venture Press.

Zorro was created by pulp writer Johnston McCulley. In the original stories, Zorro has a price on his head, but is too skilled and cunning for the authorities to capture him. Zorro is the secret identity of Don Diego de la Vega, the only son of Don Alejandro de la Vega, a wealthy landowner. He adopted his secret identity after learning California had fallen under the thrall of a ruthless dictator. Diego conceals his identity by posing as a cowardly fop.

Zorro was introduced in McCulley’s novel, “The Curse of Capistrano,” when it was serialized in the pages of ALL-STORY WEEKLY in 1919. The success of its 1920 film adaptation as THE MARK OF ZORRO, starring Douglas Fairbanks, convinced his creator to author further adventures. 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 magazines. In book form, “The Curse of Capistrano” was retitled THE MARK OF ZORRO and sold more than 50 million copies. McCulley’s numerous follow-ups never achieved the same level of success. Most were never collected in book form until Bold Venture Press’ definitive editions.

Zorro appeared in over 40 film and television adaptations, including Walt Disney’s 1950s TV series starring Guy Williams. The character has appeared in numerous literary pastiches as well as radio, comic books, newspaper strips, and stage plays.

Being one of the earliest examples of a fictional masked avenger with a double identity, Zorro inspired the creation of several similar characters in pulp magazines and other media. McCulley’s hero is a precursor of the superheroes of American comic books, with Batman drawing particularly close parallels to the character. As such, today’s superheroes are very much “Children of the Pulps.” Join Bold Venture Press founder Rich Harvey on the opening night of PulpFest for a celebration of “A Century of Zorro.”

PulpFest 2019 will begin on Thursday, August 15, and run through Sunday, August 18.  Join PulpFest at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” of Pittsburgh in Mars, PA. We’ll be celebrating “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories” — focusing on the pulp influences in popular culture — at this year’s gathering.

Click our Programming button below our homepage banner to get a preview of all the great presentations at this year’s event.

To join PulpFest 2019, click the Register button below our homepage banner. To book a room at the DoubleTree by Hilton — our host hotel — click the Book a Room button, also found on our homepage.

(Created by the prolific pulp writer Johnston McCulley, Zorro debuted in “The Curse of Capistrano,” a five-part serial that ran in the pages of the Munsey magazine, ALL-STORY WEEKLY during the month of August 1919. It will be the centennial of the first Zorro story during this year’s PulpFest.

The cover art featured on the August 9, 1919 issue was painted by P. J. Monahan. A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Monahan moved to Brooklyn in 1907. He became one of New York’s most prolific artists for the first three decades of the twentieth century, creating advertisements, movie posters, commissioned art, and, most of all, pulp magazine illustrations and covers.

Along with Bob Fujitani, Bob Correa and Alberto Giolitti, the late pulp artist Everett Raymond Kinstler created the interior pencils and inks for the Zorro stories featured in Dell’s FOUR COLOR COMICS series. Kinstler drew issue numbers 497 — featuring “The Sword of Zorro,” with the cover painted by an unknown artist — 538, and 574. Born in 1942, Kinstler was a freelance artist for the pulp, slick, comic book, and paperback industry before turning to portraiture during the 1950s.)

Robert H. Davis — The Grandfather of Science Fiction

May 29, 2019 by

Born in Nebraska on March 23, 1869, Robert Hobart Davis has been called the greatest editor of the pulp era. Trained in the newspaper industry, Davis became the managing editor of Frank A. Munsey’s NEW YORK SUNDAY NEWS in the early 1900s. He soon shifted to fiction editor for MUNSEY’S MAGAZINE. As Munsey added more magazines to his stable, he turned them over to Davis. THE ALL-STORY MAGAZINE, THE CAVALIER, RAILROAD MAN’S MAGAZINE, THE SCRAP BOOK, and others were edited by Bob Davis.

Sam Hellman — a Davis protégé — knew of no other editor who had “graduated more writers from pulp to prominent pay.” Pulp historian John Locke also noted that, “More than sixty authors — many of them well-known — dedicated their books to Bob Davis.”

Bob Davis was the literary godfather to “Edgar Rice Burroughs, Zane Grey, Edison Marshall, Mary Roberts Rinehart, Octavus Roy Cohen, Max Brand, Fannie Hurst, Israel Zangwill, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Sophie Kerr, Frank L. Packard, Montague Glass, Arthur Somers Roche, Faith Baldwin, James Oliver Curwood, Rex Beach, Louis Joseph Vance, Charles Van Loan, and Ben Ames Williams,” according to Richard Cary. He also signed O. Henry to a long-term contract — giving Munsey first look at the author’s works — and acquired the rights to Joseph Conrad’s last major work, “Victory.”

Science fiction and fantasy also owe a great deal to Robert H. Davis. He was a major force in their development during the early years of the twentieth century. Using the scientific romances of Edgar Rice Burroughs as a template, Davis inspired a style of fiction for the Munsey stable of magazines. He called this style the “different” story. The Munsey editor discovered or cultivated the talents of Ray Cummings, George Allan England, Philip M. Fisher, Homer Eon Flint, J. U. Giesy, Austin Hall, Murray Leinster, A. Merritt, Todd Robbins, Victor Rousseau, Garrett P. Serviss, Perley Poore Sheehan, Francis Stevens, and Charles B. Stilson. Robert H. Davis can very well be thought of as “The Grandfather of Science Fiction.”

Join PulpFest 2019 on Thursday evening, August 15, as we welcome Gene Christie for a look at the life of Bob Davis and his importance to the development of science fiction and fantasy.

PulpFest 2019 will begin on Thursday, August 15, and run through Sunday, August 18.  Join PulpFest at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” of Pittsburgh. To join PulpFest 2019, click the Register button below our homepage banner. To book a room at the DoubleTree by Hilton — our host hotel — click the Book a Room button, also found on our homepage.

(Although he cultivated a school of writers to create “pseudoscientific” or “different” stories for the Munsey chain of magazines, Robert H. Davis also turned to Edgar Rice Burroughs for many such works. One was “Thuvia, Maid of Mars.” It was serialized in three parts, beginning with the April 8, 1916 issue of ALL-STORY WEEKLY, featuring cover art by P. J. Monahan.

Gene Christie will explore the life and influence of “The Grandfather of Science Fiction” at PulpFest 2019. A longtime pulp collector and scholar, Gene has edited over a dozen anthologies for various publishers. THE CRIME MAGNET: THE ADVENTURES OF MAJOR BERNARD DE TREVILLE, THE MAN WHO FOUND ZERO: EARLY SCIENCE FICTION AND WEIRD FANTASY FROM THE BLACK CAT, THE PEOPLE OF THE PIT AND OTHER EARLY HORRORS FROM THE MUNSEY PULPS, THE SPACE ANNIHILATOR: EARLY SCIENCE FICTION FROM THE ARGOSY, and THE THING FROM — OUTSIDE are just a few of Gene’s books.)

What’s This PulpFest All About?

Apr 27, 2018 by

So what’s this PulpFest that has so many people talking? With almost 3,000 likes on Facebook and nearly 900 followers on Twitter, it certainly has been generating a lot of excitement. But what’s it all about?

PulpFest is named for pulp magazines — fiction periodicals named after the cheap pulp paper on which they were printed. Frank A. Munsey pioneered the format in 1896 with THE ARGOSY. A decade later, pulps began to pick up steam with titles like BLUE BOOK and ADVENTURE. They exploded in 1912 when THE ALL-STORY printed a little yarn by Edgar Rice Burroughs called “Tarzan of the Apes.” Soon thereafter, genre titles began to flourish, among them DETECTIVE STORY, WESTERN STORY, and LOVE STORY. In the twenties, publishing legends such as BLACK MASK, WEIRD TALES and AMAZING STORIES debuted. The following decade saw the advent of the so-called “hero pulps,” with magazines such as THE SHADOW, DOC SAVAGE, and THE SPIDER attracting new readers to the rough paper format. Weird-menace magazines premiered around the same time, scaring the wits out of readers in titles like DIME MYSTERY MAGAZINE, SPICY MYSTERY STORIES, and TERROR TALES. The late thirties saw an explosion of science fiction pulps — led by John W. Campbell’s ASTOUNDING STORIES — with other magazines, such as FANTASTIC ADVENTURES and PLANET STORIES, thrilling readers of all ages.

By the early fifties, the pulps had essentially disappeared. While some continued in the smaller digest format, most were killed by competition from paperback books, comics, radio, television, and movies. But the fiction and artwork that appeared in the rough-paper consumables of the early twentieth century kept them living in the hearts and minds of scattered individuals.

Haunting back-issue magazine shops, flea markets, science fiction conventions, and other venues, these hearty enthusiasts gradually assembled astounding collections of genre fiction, all published in the rough and ragged magazines known as pulps. Eventually, these collectors organized a convention dedicated to the premise that the pulps had a profound effect on American popular culture. The pulps reverberated through a wide variety of mediums — comic books, movies, paperbacks and genre fiction, television, men’s adventure magazines, radio drama, and even video and role-playing games. Today, we call this convention, PulpFest.

The summertime destination for fans and collectors of vintage popular fiction and related materials, PulpFest seeks to honor the pulps by drawing attention to the many ways these throwaway magazines have inspired writers, artists, film directors, software developers, and other creators over the decades.

Why not come see what it’s all about? PulpFest 2018 will honor the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War. The convention will focus on the so-called “war pulps” of the early twentieth century and the depiction of war in popular culture. We’ll also salute the centennial of the birth of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José FarmerJoin PulpFest 2018 and FarmerCon 100 for panels and presentations on the celebrated author of TARZAN ALIVE: A DEFINITIVE BIOGRAPHY OF LORD GREYSTOKEDOC SAVAGE: HIS APOCALYPTIC LIFE, the Riverworld and World of Tiers series, and many other works.

The convention’s guest of honor will be award-winning author Joe LansdaleThe author of over forty novels and many short stories, Lansdale has also written for comics, television, film, Internet sites, and more. His novella “Bubba Ho-Tep” was adapted to film by Don Coscarelli, starring Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis. The film adaptation of his novel COLD IN JULY was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, while the Sundance Channel has adapted his Hap & Leonard novels to television. Joe will be talking with Tony Davis on Saturday evening, July 28 and be available at select times during the convention.

We’ll have all this plus a dealers’ room featuring tens of thousands of pulp magazines, vintage paperbacks, digests, genre fiction, men’s adventure and true crime magazines, original art, first edition hardcovers, 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.

The convention will take place from Thursday evening, July 26, through Sunday afternoon, July 29, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just nineteen miles north of the exciting city of Pittsburgh. You can book your room directly through the PulpFest website. Just click one of the links on the PulpFest home page that reads “Book a Room.” Alternately, you can call 1-800-222-8733 to book a room by telephone. When calling, be sure to mention PulpFest to get the special convention rate.

Start planning now to join PulpFest 2018 at the “pop culture center of the universe.” You can do so by clicking one of the Register buttons on our home page. For a look at our planned schedule, please visit our home page and click the Programming button just below our banner.

(Published by the Frank A. Munsey Company, the October 1912 issue of THE ALL-STORY featured Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel “Tarzan of the Apes,” published in its entirety. Clinton Pettee painted the front cover art for the magazine. Burroughs’ Tarzan is perhaps the most famous character to emerge from the pulps. Others include Zorro, Kull and Conan, Dr. Kildare, The Shadow, Buck Rogers, Sam Spade, and Cthulhu.

In addition to BUBBA HO-TEP, COLD IN JULY, and HAP AND LEONARD, our guest of honor’s story, “Incident On and Off a Mountain Road,” was adapted to film for Showtime’s MASTERS OF HORROR. Lansdale himself also adapted his short story “Christmas with the Dead” to film.)

What’s This PulpFest All About?

Mar 27, 2017 by

So what’s this PulpFest that has so many people talking? With almost 3,000 likes on Facebook and more than 700 followers on Twitter, it certainly has been generating a lot of excitement. But what’s it all about?

All-Story 12-10PulpFest is named for pulp magazines — fiction periodicals named after the cheap paper on which they were printed. Frank A. Munsey pioneered the format in 1896 with THE ARGOSY. A decade later, pulps began to pick up steam with titles like BLUE BOOK and ADVENTURE, then exploded in 1912 when THE ALL-STORY printed a little yarn by Edgar Rice Burroughs called “Tarzan of the Apes.” Soon thereafter, genre titles began to flourish, among them DETECTIVE STORY, WESTERN STORY, and LOVE STORY. In the twenties, publishing legends such as BLACK MASK, WEIRD TALES and AMAZING STORIES debuted. The following decade saw the advent of the so-called “hero pulps” with magazines such as THE SHADOW, DOC SAVAGE, and THE SPIDER attracting new readers to the rough-paper format. Weird-menace magazines premiered around the same time with DIME MYSTERY MAGAZINE, SPICY MYSTERY STORIES, and TERROR TALES scaring the wits out of readers. The late thirties saw an explosion of science fiction pulps — led by John W. Campbell’s ASTOUNDING STORIES — with other titles such as FANTASTIC ADVENTURES and PLANET STORIES thrilling readers of all ages.

By the early fifties, the pulps were gone, killed by competition from paperback books, comic books, radio, television, and movies. But the fiction and artwork that appeared in the rough-paper consumables of the early twentieth century kept them alive in the hearts and minds of countless individuals. Haunting back-issue magazine shops, flea markets, science fiction conventions, and other venues, these hearty souls gradually assembled astounding collections of genre fiction, all published in the rough and ragged magazines known as pulps. Eventually, these collectors organized a convention dedicated to the premise that the pulps had a profound effect on American popular culture that reverberated through a wide variety of mediums — comic books, movies, paperbacks and genre fiction, television, men’s adventure magazines, radio drama, and even video and role-playing games. Today, we call this convention, PulpFest.

The summertime destination for fans and collectors of vintage popular fiction and related materials, PulpFest seeks to honor the pulps by drawing attention to the many ways these throwaway articles have inspired writers, artists, film directors, software developers, and other creators over the decades.

Why not come see what it’s all about? PulpFest 2017 will be paying tribute to the hardboiled dicks, dangerous dames, and a few psychos of the pulps. We’ll be exploring DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE — where the hard-boiled detective story developed into an important fiction genre — and Robert Leslie Bellem’s tough-guy detective, Dan Turner; Pat Savage, The Domino Lady, and other dangerous dames of the pulps, the hardboiled ladies who helped pave the way for such modern day gumshoes as Sue Grafton‘s Kinsey Millhone, Marcia Muller‘s Sharon McCone, and Sara Paretsky‘s V. I. Warshawski; and some of the mad scientists, crazed hunchbacks, and foul cultists who decimated American cities on a monthly basis in rough-paper magazines like THE SHADOW. We’ll also be saluting the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Robert Bloch, the author of PSYCHO — later adapted to film by Alfred Hitchcock. Bloch got his start as a writing professional in the pulps.

The convention’s guest of honor will be Pittsburgh artist Gloria Stoll Karn. In a field dominated by men, it was highly unusual for a woman to be painting covers for pulp magazines. But at age seventeen, Gloria Stoll began contributing black and white interior illustrations to pulp magazines. In a few years, the young artist was painting covers. How’s that for a dangerous dame? One of the few surviving contributors to the pulp magazine industry, Ms. Stoll Karn will be joined by pulp art historian David Saunders — winner of our 2016 Lamont Award — to discuss her freelance career in the pulps and much more on Saturday evening, July 29.

We’ll have all this plus 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, 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. For a look at our planned schedule, please visit our home page and click the Programming for 2017 button just below our banner.

The convention will take place from Thursday evening, July 27, through Sunday afternoon, July 30, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just nineteen miles north of the exciting city of Pittsburgh. You can book your room directly through the PulpFest website. Just click the “Book a Room for 2017” link on our home page or call 1-800-222-8733. Be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive the convention rate.

Start making your plans now to join in our exploration of “Hardboiled Dicks, Dangerous Dames, and a Few Psychos” at the “pop culture center of the universe” called PulpFest 2017.

(Published by the Frank A. Munsey Company, the October 1912 issue of THE ALL-STORY featured Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel “Tarzan of the Apes,” published in its entirety. Clinton Pettee — who illustrated many of the Munsey magazines as well as the pulp, SHORT STORIES — painted the front cover art for the magazine. Burroughs’ Tarzan is perhaps the most famous character to emerge from the pulps.

Over thirty years after the publication of “Tarzan of the Apes,” a young Gloria Stoll Karn contributed the cover art for the November 1943 issue of Popular Publications’ DIME MYSTERY MAGAZINE. The artist would paint more than 100 covers for the pulps of the 1940s.)

Past Award Winners

Sep 14, 2016 by

Final Munsey AwardBeginning with Xenophile editor Nils Hardin, the annual summer pulp con has recognized the efforts of those who work to keep the pulps alive for this and future generations. At Pulpcon, this was done through its Lamont Award. When PulpFest came into being, it sought to broaden the scope of the convention’s recognition award by calling it the Munsey Award (pictured at left). Named after Frank A. Munsey, the man who published the first pulp magazine, this annual award recognizes an individual or institution that has bettered the pulp community, be it through disseminating knowledge about the pulps or through publishing or other efforts to preserve and to foster interest in the pulp magazines we all love and enjoy.

In 2012, PulpFest added the Rusty Hevelin Service Award, named for the man who had guided Pulpcon for most of its existence. This award is designed to recognize those persons who have worked long and hard for the pulp community with little thought for individual recognition. It is meant to reward especially good works, and is reserved for those individuals who are most deserving.

Below you will find a list of the recipients of these three awards. Members of this group form the panel of judges who, each year, vote for the recipient of PulpFest‘s Munsey and/or Rusty Award, selected from the nominees forwarded to them by the general pulp community.

Munsey Award Winners

PulpFest 2019, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — George Vanderburgh has published over 600 books through his Battered Silicon Dispatch Box, many of them directly related to the pulps: Frederick Davis’ Moon Man, Peter the Brazen, five volumes featuring the work of Seabury Quinn, the Park Avenue Hunt Club, the Green Ghost, John Solomn, the Suicide Squad, and many more. He has also given us numerous collections of detective fiction, including volumes featuring the Thinking Machine, Dr. Thorndyke, and Martin Hewitt. His future plans include several books reprinting pulp authors who have been unjustly forgotten. Along with the late Robert Weinberg, George served as the co-editor of Arkham House Publishers until the death of April Derleth. A regular attendee of pulp conventions, George has helped both longtime and new fans to collect the tales of some of the most fantastic heroes from the pulps.

PulpFest 2018, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — like many from his generation, William Lampkin discovered the pulps through paperback reprints of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, The Shadow, Doc Savage, and The Spider. He bought his first actual pulp magazine in the 1970s. Bill runs ThePulp.Net and also writes the Yellowed Perils blog. He founded the Facebook group Southern Pulpsters in 2015. A resident of Florida, he has designed THE PULPSTER since 2008. He became editor of the award-winning program book beginning with its 22nd issue. Tony Davis — PULPSTER founder and original editor — calls Bill, “One of the unsung heroes of contemporary pulp fandom.” In late 2013, Bill also began to design PulpFest‘s print advertisements, badges, and other materials. He is a member of the PulpFest organizing committee, serving as the convention’s advertising director and webmaster, and has helped with Arizona’s Doc Con. Bill has provided all his service to the pulp community “. . . with a goal of perpetuating the stories from — and the story of — the pulps.”

PulpFest 2017, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — Phil Stephensen-Payne is a prolific bibliographer and pulp researcher from the United Kingdom. For many years, he has been compiling extremely useful “working bibliographies,” (often in collaboration with the late Gordon Benson, Jr.) of speculative fiction writers, many of whom got their start writing for the pulps. These bibliographies, numbering about sixty, are some of the best reference resources available today in the area of science fiction and fantasy. Additionally, his Galactic Central website contains an online checklist of all known fiction magazines that is attempting to include the cover to every such magazine ever published. It also indexes bibliographies, pulps, science fiction magazines, and other genre magazines. Stephensen-Payne is also a significant contributor and host to the FictionMags Index — principally edited by William G. Contento — and co-author (with Stephen T. Miller and William G. Contento) of the CRIME, MYSTERY, AND GANGSTER FICTION MAGAZINE INDEX, originally released on CD-ROM by Locus Press in 2011.

laurie-powers-munseyPulpFest 2016, Columbus, Ohio — the granddaughter of pulp author Paul S. Powers, Laurie Powers was introduced to the pulp community in 2007 through the publication of PULP WRITER: TWENTY YEARS IN THE AMERICAN GRUB STREET, an autobiography and appreciation of her grandfather. She has also edited several collections of her grandfather’s work in various genres, releasing a number of previously unpublished stories. In 2013, she helped to arrange the donation of her grandfather’s personal papers as well more than 400 pulp magazines featuring his work to the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library at Ohio State University in Columbus. Laurie also publishes Laurie’s Wild West, an Internet blog site that has become a favorite destination for those interested in the pulps. She is currently working on a biography of pulp editor Daisy Bacon, editor of LOVE STORY MAGAZINE. At PulpFest 2016, Laurie presented “100 Years of the Specialty Pulp — LOVE STORY MAGAZINE and the Romance Pulp Phenomenon.” Laurie resides in California.

Miller with 2015 Munsey AwardPulpFest 2015, Columbus, Ohio–a resident of New Jersey, Stephen T. Miller has been helping to index the magazines for years. Along with Michael Cook, he compiled Garland Publishing’s MYSTERY, DETECTIVE, AND ESPIONAGE FICTION: A CHECKLIST OF FICTION IN U.S. PULP MAGAZINES, 1915-1974, an exceptional resource for collectors of not only detective pulps, but also hero and adventure magazines. With Phil Stephensen-Payne and William G. Contento, Steve revised this classic index, issued on CD-ROM byLocus Press as CRIME, MYSTERY AND GANGSTER FICTION MAGAZINE INDEX, 1915-2010. Also with Bill Contento, Steve compiled SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, AND WEIRD FICTION MAGAZINE INDEX, 1890-2008, a guide to more than 900 different magazines, again published on CD-ROM by Locus Press. Additionally, Steve has helped with a great deal of pulp-related research, sharing his knowledge as well as his collection with researchers.

Cox with MunseyPulpFest 2014, Columbus, Ohio–for over 45 years, J. Randolph Cox has conducted research into pulp magazines and dime novels. He served as the editor-publisher of Dime Novel Round-Up for over twenty years. His bibliography, Man of Magic & Mystery: A Guide to the Work of Walter B. Gibson, is an excellent resource for those seeking greater understanding of the work of the man who created The Shadow. With David S. Siegel, Randy authored Flashgun Casey: Crime Photographer, a book-length study of the character originally created for Black Mask by George Harmon Coxe. Other books he has authored include Masters of Mystery and Detective Fiction: An Annotated Bibliography and The Dime Novel Companion: A Source Book. Randy recently donated his collection of comic books and newspaper strips fanzines, pulps, series books, story papers, and other materials to the University of Minnesota Libraries and his extensive collection of Walter Gibson books and Shadow pulps and comics to Gibson’s alma mater, Colgate University.

Roberts, Garyn 2013 Award WinnerPulpFest 2013, Columbus, Ohio–Professor Garyn G. Roberts has written extensively about the pulps, both professionally and as a fan. He has edited or co-edited some of the best collections from the pulps including A Cent a Story: The Best from Ten Detective Aces, More Tales of the Defective Detective in the Pulps, The Compleat Adventures of the Moon Man, The Magical Mysteries of Don Diavolo, and The Compleat Great Merlini Saga. His anthology, The Prentice Hall Anthology of Science Fiction and Fantasy, a college level textbook, is notable for the attention paid to the pulp magazines. Additionally, Garyn has helped other researchers with various pulp-related projects and often serves as a presenter and panelist at conventions.

Matt Moring 2PulpFest 2012, Columbus, Ohio–Matt Moring is the publisher at Altus Press. Reprinting pulp fiction from a wide variety of pulp genres, including hero, detective, jungle, the French Foreign Legion, and more, Matt has quickly become one of the leading publishers in the pulp world. He has also published numerous historical works on the pulps including biographies, indices, and examinations of single-character magazines. Together with Will Murray, Matt revived the Doc Savage series, publishing brand new stories after a long absence. The Altus Press website is also an excellent reference source, featuring links to The Pulp Superhero Index and The Echoes Index.

 

Tollin's MunseyPulpFest 2011, Columbus, Ohio–Anthony Tollin, publisher, writer, and researcher, is best known for his reprints of Doc Savage, The Shadow, The Spider, and other pulp heroes that he issues under the Sanctum Books imprint. These books serve as a source of entertainment and knowledge for veteran pulp fans as well as a major gateway for new people to enter the pulp-collecting hobby. Additionally, Tony was the co-author with Walter Gibson of The Shadow Scrapbook and helped to put together and introduce numerous recorded collections of pulp-related radio programs during his association with Radio Spirits. He was also involved with several comic book interpretations of the great pulp heroes.

Chomko MunseyPulpFest 2010, Columbus, Ohio–Michael Chomko, researcher, writer, publisher, and convention volunteer who, along with the rest of the organizing committee, works to organize the annual PulpFest, summer’s pulp con. In the late eighties, Mike published his first article in Echoes and later published the highly regarded Purple Prose, a fanzine devoted to pulp history. He is also known as one of the leading distributors of pulp-related publications.

 

Thom PhotoPulpFest 2009, Columbus, Ohio–William Thom, the creator of the Coming Attractions website where most every pulp fan with computer access goes to learn about the latest news and book releases in the world of pulps and pulp reprints. Bill also maintains the Pulp Series Character Reprint Index that can be accessed through the Altus Press website as well as the Robert E. Howard bibliography available through the Howard Works website. He has also helped many researchers through the years with his knowledge and collection.

Rusty Hevelin Service Award Winners

Traylor with RustyPulpFest 2014, Columbus, Ohio–Richard Wentworth, AKA The Spider, had his Ram Singh; G-8 turned to Nippy Weston and Bull Martin for help; and Doc Savage had Monk, Ham, and three other geniuses to lend a hand. But who does a pulp con organizer turn to for assistance? None other than J. Barry Traylor! For over twenty-five years, Barry has been organizing convention auctions, almost single-handedly pulling together a couple hundred lots for a Saturday auction. In 2008, Barry quickly mastered the art of digital photography and stunned the convention crowd with his wonderful images of pulps ranging from rarities like Far East Adventure Stories to more common titles such as Amazing Stories. He’s also the person most often performing the “grunt work” that goes into organizing a convention–contacting comic shops and book stores to help with promotion activities; hunting down extension cords for use in the dealers’ room and programming area; and much more. A longtime contributor to letter columns–you can find his comments in Age of the Unicorn, Echoes, Xenophile, and other classic fanzines–this unsung hero is a devoted fan of Weird Tales. Barry learned about giving back to the pulp community from his pulp mentor, the late Richard Minter, co-winner of the 1993 Lamont Award.

Jack & Sally Cullers 2 (David Lee Smith)PulpFest 2012, Columbus, Ohio–Jack Cullers has worked quietly and tirelessly for the pulp community for decades. A longtime volunteer for many pulp conventions, Jack has ferried guests to and from airports and made sure they had a friendly face with whom to dine. He has stuffed envelopes, arranged for advertising, organized auctions, and done many other behind-the-scenes tasks, selflessly and without seeking accolades. Time and again, he has welcomed newcomers to the hobby, even inviting them to his home for dinner during their earliest pulp conventions. He has offered space at his dealer tables for down-on-their-luck pulpsters unable to attend conventions. As the chairman of the PulpFest committee, he has worked to assure that convention guests, dealers, presenters, and attendees are treated fairly and respectfully, helping everyone to feel welcome and comfortable at the convention. Of course, Jack could not have done all that he has done without the support of his wife, Sally, herself a longtime pulp con volunteer, often helping with registrations and auctions. His children and friends have also lent a hand. Few are more deserving of recognition than Jack and Sally Cullers, who have labored long and hard for the pulp community.

Lamont Award Winners

Like the Munsey Award, the Lamont was awarded to a deserving person who had given of himself or herself for the betterment of the pulp community. The first Lamont was awarded in 1977 at Pulpcon 6. It was awarded annually from 1983 through 2008, the last year that Pulpcon was held. A special “retro” Lamont Award was presented at PulpFest 2016.

david-saunders-lamontPulpFest 2016, Columbus, Ohio — David Saunders was presented with a special “retro” Lamont Award to recognize his substantial service to the pulp community over the years. Since a limited edition of thirty-six numbered and signed prints — designed by David — serves as the Munsey and Rusty awards, it was decided to honor David’s significant contributions to the pulp world with one of the few remaining copies of Pulpcon‘s Lamont Award. David is, quite probably, the foremost scholar of American pulp illustrators. His free public website, Field Guide to Wild American Pulp Artists, has over three-hundred biographical profiles of these creators of popular culture. Additionally, he has written biographical profiles of artists for ILLUSTRATION MAGAZINE and several coffee-table art books on pulp artists. To find out more, please visit davidsaunders.biz, normansaunders.com, and theillustratedpress.com.

Previous winners of the Lamont Award include:

Pulpcon 37, 2008, Dayton, Ohio—Tom Roberts
Pulpcon 36, 2007, Dayton, Ohio—Ed Hulse
Pulpcon 35, 2006, Dayton, Ohio—John Wooley
Pulpcon 34, 2005, Dayton, Ohio—Neil and Leigh Mechem
Pulpcon 33, 2004, Dayton, Ohio—John Locke
Pulpcon 32, 2003, Dayton, Ohio—Jim Steranko
Pulpcon 31, 2002, Dayton, Ohio—Bob Gorton
Pulpcon 30, 2001, Dayton, Ohio—Sheldon Jaffrey
Pulpcon 29, 2000, Dayton, Ohio—Frank Robinson
Pulpcon 28, 1999, Dayton, Ohio—Tony Davis
Pulpcon 27, 1998, Bowling Green, Ohio—Earl Kussman
Pulpcon 26, 1997, Bowling Green, Ohio—Walker Martin
Pulpcon 25, 1996, San Jose, California—Doug Ellis
Pulpcon 24, 1995, Bowling Green, Ohio—John Gunnison
Pulpcon 23, 1994, Bowling Green, Ohio—Don and Mary Ramlow
Pulpcon A, 1994, Tucson, Arizona—Albert Tonik
Pulpcon 22, 1993, Dayton, Ohio—Ryerson Johnson and Richard Minter
Pulpcon 21, 1992, Dayton, Ohio—Lynn Hickman and Leonard Robbins
Pulpcon 20, 1991, Dayton, Ohio—Tom and Ginger Johnson
Pulpcon 19, 1990, Wayne, New Jersey—Don Hutchison
Pulpcon 18, 1989, Dayton, Ohio—Jack Deveny
Pulpcon 17, 1988, Dayton, Ohio—Richard Clear
Pulpcon 16, 1987, Dayton , Ohio—Gordon Huber
Pulpcon 15, 1986, Dayton, Ohio—Fred Cook and Rusty Hevelin
Pulpcon 14, 1985, Dayton, Ohio—John Roy and Darrell Richardson
Pulpcon 13, 1984, Cherry Hill, New Jersey—Frank Hamilton
Pulpcon 12, 1983, Dayton, Ohio—Robert Weinberg
Pulpcon 8, 1979, Dayton, Ohio—Will Murray
Pulpcon 7, 1978, St. Louis, Missouri—Robert Sampson and Wooda “Nick” Carr
Pulpcon 6, 1977, Akron, Ohio—Nils Hardin

Lamont Award

Leigh Mechem, co-winner of the 2005 Lamont Award, presents the 2006 award to author John Wooley.

Please Pass the Orange Juice

Apr 4, 2016 by

So what’s this PulpFest that has so many people talking? With almost 3,000 likes on Facebook and more than 500 followers on Twitter, it certainly has been generating a lot of excitement. But what’s it all about?

All-Story 12-10PulpFest is named for pulp magazines, fiction periodicals named after the cheap paper on which they were printed. Frank A. Munsey pioneered the format in 1896 with THE ARGOSY. A decade later, pulps began to pick up steam with titles like BLUE BOOK and ADVENTURE, then exploded in 1912 when THE ALL-STORY printed a little yarn by Edgar Rice Burroughs called “Tarzan of the Apes.” Soon thereafter, genre titles began to flourish, among them DETECTIVE STORY, WESTERN STORY, and LOVE STORY. In the twenties, publishing legends such as BLACK MASK, WEIRD TALES and AMAZING STORIES debuted. The following decade saw the advent of the so-called “hero pulps” with magazines such as THE SHADOW, DOC SAVAGE, and THE SPIDER attracting new readers to the rough-paper format. Weird-menace magazines premiered around the same time with DIME MYSTERY MAGAZINE, SPICY MYSTERY STORIES, and TERROR TALES scaring the wits out of readers. The late thirties saw an explosion of science fiction pulps — led by John W. Campbell’s ASTOUNDING STORIES — with other titles such as FANTASTIC ADVENTURES and PLANET STORIES thrilling readers of all ages.

By the early fifties, the pulps were gone, killed by competition from paperback books, comic books, radio, television, and movies. But the fiction and artwork that appeared in the rough-paper consumables of the early twentieth century kept them alive in the hearts and minds of countless individuals. Haunting back-issue magazine shops, flea markets, science fiction conventions, and other venues, these hearty souls gradually assembled astounding collections of genre fiction, all published in the rough and ragged magazines known as pulps. Eventually, these collectors organized a convention dedicated to the premise that the pulps had a profound effect on American popular culture that reverberated through a wide variety of mediums — comic books, movies, paperbacks and genre fiction, television, men’s adventure magazines, radio drama, and even video and role-playing games. Today, we call this convention, PulpFest.

The summertime destination for fans and collectors of vintage popular fiction and related materials, PulpFest seeks to honor the pulps by drawing attention to the many ways these throwaway articles have inspired writers, artists, film directors, software developers, and other creators over the decades.

The Skipper 1936-12Why not come see what it’s all about? PulpFest 2016 will be paying tribute to the history of the pulps by saluting the 150th anniversary of the birth of H. G. Wells; the 120th anniversary of the debut of the first pulp magazine, THE ARGOSY; the 100th anniversary of the genre pulps such as DETECTIVE STORY and LOVE STORY; the ninetieth anniversary of the creation of the first science fiction magazine, AMAZING STORIES; the 80th anniversaries of the premieres of two exciting hero pulpsTHE SKIPPER and THE WHISPERER; and the tenth anniversary of Sanctum Books, well known for their reprints of THE SHADOW, DOC SAVAGETHE SPIDER, and other hero pulps. Our Guest of Honor will be author, editor, and pulp fan Ted White, the man who ushered in the Golden Age of AMAZING STORIES and FANTASTIC during the 1970s and wrote the Captain America novel THE GREAT GOLD STEAL and many other books. We’ll have all this plus 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, 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. For a look at our planned schedule, please visit http://www.pulpfest.com/2016/01/coming-soon-to-columbus-pulpfest-2016/.

The convention will take place from Thursday evening, July 21st, through Sunday afternoon, July 24th, in the Columbus, Ohio Arena district at the Hyatt Regency hotel and the city’s spacious convention center. Start making your plans to join us at the “pop culture center of the universe” for PulpFest 2016.

(Published by the Frank A. Munsey Company, the October 1912 issue of THE ALL-STORY featured Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel “Tarzan of the Apes,” published in its entirety. Clinton Pettee — who illustrated many of the Munsey magazines as well as the pulp, SHORT STORIES — painted the front cover art for the magazine. THE SKIPPER, including the first issue dated December 1936, featured cover art by Lawrence Donner Toney, a graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago.)

PulpFest? What’s PulpFest?

Jan 21, 2015 by

So what’s this PulpFest thing that has so many people talking? With over two-thousand likes on Facebook and hundreds of followers on Twitter, it certainly has been generating a lot of excitement. But what’s it all about?

AllStory-12-10PulpFest is named for pulp magazines, periodic fiction collections named after the cheap paper on which they were printed. Frank A. Munsey pioneered the format in 1896 with THE ARGOSY. A decade later, pulps began to pick up steam with titles like BLUE BOOK and ADVENTURE, then exploded in 1912 when ALL-STORY printed a little yarn by Edgar Rice Burroughs called “Tarzan of the Apes.” Soon thereafter, genre titles began to flourish, among them DETECTIVE STORY, WESTERN STORY, and LOVE STORY. In the twenties, publishing legends such as BLACK MASK, WEIRD TALES and AMAZING STORIES took hold. The following decade saw the advent of the so-called “hero pulps” with magazines such as THE SHADOW, DOC SAVAGE, and THE SPIDER attracting new readers to the rough-paper format.

By the early fifties, the pulps were gone, killed by competition from paperback books, comic books, radio, and television. But the fiction and artwork that appeared in these everyday consumables of the early twentieth century kept them alive in the hearts and minds of countless individuals. Haunting back-issue magazine shops, flea markets, science-fiction conventions, and other venues, these hearty souls gradually assembled astounding collections of genre fiction, all published in the rough and ragged magazines known as pulps. Eventually, these collectors organized a convention dedicated to the premise that the pulps had a profound effect on American popular culture that reverberated through a wide variety of mediums—comic books, movies, paperbacks and genre fiction, television, men’s adventure magazines, radio drama, and even video and role-playing games. Today, we call this convention, PulpFest.

The summertime destination for fans and collectors of vintage popular fiction and related materials, PulpFest seeks to honor the pulps by drawing attention to the many ways these throwaway articles have inspired writers, artists, film directors, software developers, and other creators over the decades.

Why not come see what it’s all about? PulpFest 2015 will take place at the beautiful Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Columbus, Ohio beginning on Thursday, August 13th. It will continue through Sunday afternoon, August 16th. Start planning now to attend PulpFest 2015 and join hundreds of pulp fiction fans at the pop-culture center of the universe! You can book a room by clicking here.

Published by the Frank A. Munsey Company, the October 1912 issue of THE ALL-STORY featured Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel “Tarzan of the Apes,” published in its entirety. Clinton Pettee painted the front cover art for the magazine.

The Aristocrat of the Pulps

Jul 21, 2014 by

Famous Fantastic Mysteries 40-03In a letter published in “The Readers’ Viewpoint” column in its June 1948 issue, Robert Boyer labeled Famous Fantastic Mysteries as “. . . the Aristocrat of the Pulps, the acme of stf perfection,” a title that can likewise be conferred upon the magazine’s later companions, Fantastic Novels and A. Merritt’s Fantasy Magazine.

Started by the Frank A. Munsey Company in the fall of 1939 and edited by Mary Gnaedinger, Famous Fantastic Mysteries was created to reprint the scientific romances originally published in The All-Story, Argosy, and The Cavalier. Welcomed by readers anxious to experience the classics found in the Munsey files, Famous Fantastic Mysteries was joined by a companion title, Fantastic Novels, in the early summer of 1940. For most of the next year, the two magazines were published in alternating months.

In late 1942, Munsey sold many of its pulps—including their two classic reprint magazines—to Popular Publications. Reluctant to take on a pair of fantasy titles, the new publisher opted to continue Famous Fantastic Mysteries, but not Fantastic Novels. Popular would wait until 1948 to return Fantastic Novels to the stands, once again relying on the Munsey archives for its content. A third title, A. Merritt’s Fantasy Magazine, was added in late 1949.

On Thursday, August 7th, beginning at 8:30 PM, Ed Hulse, author and editor of Blood ‘n’ Thunder and Nathan Madison, popular culture historian and author of the Eisnernominated Anti-Foreign Imagery in American Pulps and Comic Books, 1920-1960, discuss Famous Fantastic Mysteries, one of the major science-fiction titles started in 1939, as well as its two brethren, Fantastic Novels and A. Merritt’s Fantasy Magazine. Highly regarded during the pulp era, all three remain highly collectible pulp magazines, given their exceptional fiction and beautiful illustrations.

Fantastic Novels 48-03

Click on the illustrations to learn more about the images.