Pittsburgh’s Convention Scene Shuts Down

Jun 5, 2020 by

Like dominoes, Pittsburgh’s pop culture conventions have shut down for the summer.

First, it was the Three Rivers Comicon, scheduled to take place May 30 – 31 at the spectacular David L. Lawrence Convention Center overlooking the Allegheny River in downtown Pittsburgh.

Founded by a couple of Pittsburgh nerds who were hoping to make comic con all about comics again, Three Rivers was postponed until May 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Next came Confluence, the region’s longest-running literary conference. Slated for the Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport Hotel in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, the conference was postponed until July 23 – 25, 2021.

Organized by Parsec — a non-profit organization that has been promoting science fiction, fantasy, and horror in literature, media, and music for over 25 years — Confluence features award-winning authors, editors, artists and songwriters. With panel discussions, concerts, and talks that broaden and deepen appreciation of the genres, Confluence gives attendees a unique opportunity to meet and chat with the writers and artists who create the science fiction, fantasy, and horror of today, helping to shape those genres for the future.

The PulpFest organizing committee canceled this summer’s conference on Memorial Day. Postponed until July or August 2021, you can read about the cancelation of PulpFest 2020 in our post, “There Is Nothing Wrong with Your Television Set . . .

The last domino to fall was Monster BashLike PulpFest, the “International Classic Monster Movie Conference and Film Festival” was to be held at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry in Mars, Pennsylvania. Realizing that their attendees wouldn’t be able to enjoy the usual Bash experience, Ron and Ursula Adams decided to cancel their June show shortly after PulpFest 2020 had met a similar fate.

Monster Bash celebrates the classic horror and science fiction films of the silent era through the 1970s. It’s a film festival; a place to meet the people in the movies, behind the movies, and fellow fans of the movies; and a monster memorabilia shopping spree.

Produced by Ron Adams of Creepy Classics Collectibles and SCARY MONSTERS MAGAZINE, Monster Bash is a state of mind — a place, like Skull Island, where our imaginations ignite and burn through our everyday lives. The Bash is an appreciation of the fun movies we all love. Whether it’s THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN or THE KILLER SHREWS, if you have fun watching it . . . that’s what Monster Bash is all about.

The “Monster Boomers” and their Monster Kids flock to Monster Bash from all over the world. Now, instead of one or two friends in the neighborhood who love monster movies, there are thousands! At Monster Bash you’ll meet others who, like you, loved Forry Ackerman’s FAMOUS MONSTER OF FILMLAND, the local TV horror host, the Aurora monster models, and much more.

Sadly, you’ll now have to wait until October 16 – 18 when the fall Monster Bash is scheduled for the Pittsburgh Marriot North in Mars. A Bela Lugosi Film Fest is also planned for August 14 – 15 at the Palace Theater in Canton, Ohio. We’ll have more details about these and other pop culture conventions, right here at pulpfest.com.

Which is one of the many reasons why PulpFest is a Pittsburgh Smash!

Confluence convention logo

(The 2020 Monster Bash was to be a MUNSTER Bash! Green was Herman Munster’s skin tone (although his co-workers at Gateman, Goodbury and Graves never seemed to notice). Both Pat Priest — who played the “abnormal” Marilyn Munster — and Butch Patrick — Eddie — on THE MUNSTERS — were scheduled to be the convention’s special guests. Joining them were many other notables. Special events such as Mexican Monster Night — featuring free tacos and burritos — and a drive-in style showing on Saturday night were also planned.)

 

3 Rivers Comicon: Putting Comics Back in Comicon

Apr 22, 2020 by

 

During the final weekend of May, a couple of Pittsburgh nerds were hoping to make comic con all about comics again. 3 Rivers Comicon was to take place May 30 – 31 at the spectacular David L. Lawrence Convention Center overlooking the Allegheny River in downtown Pittsburgh. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the convention has been postponed until May 22 – 23, 2021.

New Dimension Comics owner Todd McDevitt and general manager Jon Engel launched 3 Rivers Comicon in 2016 after hearing complaints from customers about the increasing cost of conventions and how the shift to an array of pop culture had left comics in the shadows.

“In my 34 years in the comic business,” McDevitt said, “I’ve been fortunate enough to work with almost all of the regional talent at one time or another. I can’t wait to bring them all together for one spectacular occasion.” Check out the convention’s guests page for a look at the many creators who would have been attending this year’s 3 Rivers Comicon. Weekend events also include cosplay contests, gaming, role play experiences, and panels.

McDevitt and Engel both have years of experience under their utility belts, attending and also working at comic conventions. From that involvement, as well as feedback from customers, they have the knowledge for what will work at their own event. The show is dedicated to cultivating the comic culture and community by bringing in some of the bigger names in the industry. With over 100 artists, writers, and other creators and almost as many vendors, this show is one that you should not miss.

The 3 Rivers Comicon is very reasonably priced. Admission is $10 per day or $15 for a weekend pass. Tickets are available through the convention’s website, at any of the six New Dimension Comics locations in the Pittsburgh area, and at the door.

The convention also hosts a very popular beer release party. Every year, 3 Rivers Comicon commissions a custom beer that is created by a local Pittsburgh brewery. Tickets to the beer party are $40 and include admission to both days of the convention, entry to the beer release party, two cans of this year’s custom beer, catered food, and more!

Let’s hope that 3 Rivers will have a few bottles of their craft brew to help us celebrate PulpFest 2020 from August 6 through 9 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City.”

Although PulpFest will not have its own beer, the convention will have some great programming. Add onto that a dealers’ room featuring thousands of pulp magazines, vintage paperbacks, digests, men’s adventure and true crime magazines, original art, first edition hardcovers, genre fiction, 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. We’ll also have a hospitality suite featuring wine, beer, snacks, and more.

So what are you waiting for? Start making your plans to celebrate “Mystery, Adventure, Science Fiction, and More” at PulpFest 2020.

(3 Rivers Comicon will not be the only convention in Pittsburgh that will be celebrating the graphic story in 2020. On Friday evening, August 7, PulpFest 2020 will feature a presentation by cartoonist and freelance illustrator Don Simpson. He’ll be discussing “Bradbury in the Comics” as part of our “Visions of Mars” series during PulpFest’s salute to author Ray Bradbury.

In addition to his illustration work, Don regularly reviews books for the PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE and teaches college writing and other courses in western Pennsylvania. He earned his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013.)

Visiting Pittsburgh

Mar 16, 2020 by

If you’re thinking about attending PulpFest 2020, why not bring your entire family? The convention will take place from Thursday evening, August 6, through Sunday afternoon, August 9, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just nineteen miles north of the exciting city of Pittsburgh. Once the center of America’s steel industry, Pittsburgh ranks among the top places to live, work, and visit in the United States. The city is consistently recognized by major tourism organizations as a great destination.

Located where the Allegheny and Monongahela converge to form the Ohio River, Pittsburgh was once known as the “Gateway to the West.” Fort Pitt, a key British fortification during the French and Indian War, also served as the western headquarters of the Continental Army during the American Revolution. By the dawn of the 19th century, roads, canals, and eventually railroads connected Pittsburgh with the major cities of the East Coast. Pittsburgh became a hub of entrepreneurs and skilled craftsmen who created a region seething with the fire and smoke of industry, earning a new nickname, the “Smoky City.” The years following the Civil War saw an unparalleled explosion of creative genius and productivity that attracted enormous capital investment and made Pittsburgh one of the world’s great industrial centers. Steel was king and immigrants in search of a better life eagerly responded to the insatiable demand for labor. Under a mighty cloud of industrial smoke, the “Steel City” prospered and matured, giving birth to philanthropy and cultural institutions that became models for the rest of the United States.

By the 1970s and 1980s, the crippling decline of the steel industry changed the region’s image as well as its economic base. Industries and businesses retooled and diversified. Innovative leaders adapted to this changing world, engineering another remarkable renaissance. By the mid-1980s and again throughout the 2000s, Pittsburgh gained the reputation as one the nation’s most livable cities. Today’s Pittsburgh is a model of adaption, maintaining its work ethic, independence, and inventive spirit while exhibiting an old world charm that is cherished by people who care about heritage and preservation. It is a rapidly advancing leader in medicine, education, health care, robotics, software engineering, hi-tech industries, and cultural tourism. With 90 neighborhoods and districts, Pittsburgh is a city to be explored one delightful section at a time. What’s most amazing about the city is the people that make up each of these neighborhoods. They are proud of the heritage reflected on their streets and willing to share their stories of strength, perseverance and triumph.

Pittsburgh’s topography has played a large part in how each neighborhood developed.  Start with the city’s dynamic Downtown and Point State Park. Next, cross one of the three rivers — the Allegheny, the “Mon,” or Ohio — to find unique areas shaped by more than the region’s distinctive and beautiful topography. Natural geographic boundaries such as sloping, wooded hillsides and rivers do their part to define, but Pittsburgh neighborhoods are also known for the clusters of attractions they offer.

Visitors can plan their itineraries by the points of the compass, first focusing on attractions Downtown and in the Strip District (one of the city’s most popular spots for great food and nightlife). Across the Mon is the South SideMount Washington — home to the Duquesne and Monongahela Inclines — Station Square and East Carson Street. On the banks of the Allegheny is North Shore — home to the Pirates and the Steelers, the Rivers CasinoCarnegie Science Center, and the Andy Warhol Museum. Pittsburgh’s East End and Oakland are home to a number of outstanding attractions that owe their existence to the philanthropists who made their fortunes in the city’s early industry. Here you’ll find the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural HistoryPhipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, the 42-story Cathedral of Learning on the University of Pittsburgh campus, and more. While in this corner of the city, don’t miss Shadyside and Squirrel Hill, two walkable neighborhoods with an upscale flavor, and plenty of shopping and dining options. More family fun is waiting on Pittsburgh’s East End in Highland Park, home of the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, featuring an indoor penguin exhibit and a rainforest exhibit. In nearby West Mifflin, visit Kennywood Park, the century-old “roller coaster capital of the world.” And, just outside of Pittsburgh are stunning examples of Frank Lloyd Wright’s amazing architecture, including Fallingwater, called one of the “fifty places of a lifetime.”

Pittsburgh is very walkable with hip galleries, shops, dining, nightlife, sports, museums, and more throughout the city and the surrounding region. So while you’re enjoying yourself at PulpFest — the summertime destination for fans and collectors of all types of popular fiction, art, and related materials — your family can be taking in the many sites and sounds of this very vibrant city. You can book your room at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry directly through the PulpFest website. Just click the Book a Room button found on our homepage or call 1-800-222-8733. When calling, please be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive the convention rate.

Start making your plans now to join us at the “pop culture center of the universe” called PulpFest 2020. We’ll be celebrating  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.

While you’re visiting the Pittsburgh area for PulpFest, please consider staying a bit longer in this vibrant Pennsylvania city. Below are some resources for conventioneers and their family members to learn more about the many things that PulpFest’s host city has to offer (including a couple of sites about the city’s independent booksellers):

The Atlas Obscura Guide to Hidden Pittsburgh — 43 unusual things to do in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Best Indie Bookstores in Pittsburgh — three stores for lovers of the “old-book smell,” hardcover collectors, and bookaholics on a tight budget.

6 Indie Bookstores You’ll Love — a guide to some of Pittsburgh’s coolest literary hangouts.

Guide to Independent Bookstores in Pittsburgh — Pittsburgh is home to over a dozen independent booksellers

11 Independent Bookstores in Pittsburgh Worth Browsing — Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods are alive with thriving, local booksellers.

Pittsburgh Current — free weekly alternative newspaper in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that covers local news and the arts.

Pittsburgh Eventful — provides the most popular Pittsburgh events, concerts, movies, comedy, nightlife, and family events.

Pittsburgh Improv Jam — a night of spontaneous, comedic scenes inspired by audience suggestions and performed by experienced improvisers.

Pittsburgh Pirates — the Bucs will be hosting the Arizona Diamondbacks during PulpFest proper.

PlanetWare’s Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Pittsburgh — ideas on where to go, what to see, and tips for making the most of your trip.

Popular Pittsburgh — information about one of the most livable cities in the USA and links to help you enjoy the experience.

TripAdvisor Things to Do in Pittsburgh, PA — helping you make the most of every trip.

U. S. News’ Best Things to Do in Pittsburgh — Pittsburgh is full of fun things to do, especially for families.

What’s Next for Pittsburgh — the must-read Pittsburgh publication about the innovative and cool things happening in the region.

VisitPittsburgh.com — the official site of the Greater Pittsburgh Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The visitors bureau also offers these more specified pages to help you plan your visit:

Arts in the Spotlight — arts and culture in the city of Pittsburgh

Discovering a City of Neighborhoods — with 90 neighborhoods and districts, Pittsburgh is a city to be explored one delightful section at a time.

Parks and Green Spaces — the top green spaces and public parks in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh: City of Champions — a look at the city’s professional sports teams as well as opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.

Pittsburgh: A Cultural Phenomenon — called one of the best arts and culture destinations in the country, Pittsburgh has built a stellar reputation for the quality and richness of its art and its cultural offerings.

Pittsburgh is Kidsburgh — Pittsburgh is fun, affordable and packed with family entertainment.

Restaurants and Culinary — choose from casual family spots, upscale and romantic eateries, late-night bites or convenient take-out.

Shopping in Pittsburgh — travel in any direction in Pittsburgh and find great shopping to suit every budget and taste.

Things to Do — find out why Pittsburgh has been named one of the best places in the world to visit.

Visitors Guide — get your one-stop guide for everything to see and do in Pittsburgh.

VisitPA — for those who’d like to check out other Pennsylvania destinations, including the birthplace of liberty, the City of Philadelphia.

(Pictured above: a nighttime view of Point State Park and Downtown Pittsburgh from Mount Washington; pouring steel; the Duquesne Incline; Dinosaur Hall, Carnegie Museum of Natural History; and Downtown Pittsburgh from PNC Park — home to the Pittsburgh Pirates — on the city’s North Shore. Remember that the Bucs will be in town during PulpFest 2020. They’ll be hosting the Arizona Diamondbacks from August 6 through 9.

If you’re a science fiction fan, please note that Confluence — the annual science fiction convention sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh science fiction club and Parsec, the region’s speculative fiction society — will be held July 24 – 26 at the Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport Hotel. Novelist Martha Wells is this year’s guest of honor.

If you have any questions about Pittsburgh or Pennsylvania, PulpFest Marketing and Programming Director Mike Chomko is the man to contact. You can reach him at mike@pulpfest.com. For questions about the Pennsylvania Dutch, please write to PulpFest Goodwill Ambassador Barry Traylor at barry@pulpfest.com.)

Confluence: Pittsburgh’s SF Convention

Jun 24, 2019 by

Confluence convention logo

 

Confluence is Pittsburgh’s longest-running literary conference. It is organized by Parsec, a non-profit organization that has been promoting science fiction, fantasy and horror in literature, media and music for over 25 years. Joe Coluccio, who has attended PulpFest for several years, serves as the president of Parsec.

Every summer, award-winning authors, editors, artists and song-writers gather in Pittsburgh for three full days, holding panel discussions, concerts and talks that broaden and deepen appreciation of the genres. Welcoming and personal, Confluence gives attendees a unique opportunity to meet and chat with the writers and artists who create the science fiction, fantasy, and horror of today, helping to shape those genres for the future.

This year’s Confluence will offer many activities including an exciting dealers’ room, science programming, art show, poetry readings, workshops, art demos, a cosplay/costume contest, musical filk concerts, and Saturday night entertainment.

NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Tobias S. Buckell will be the Confluence 2019 Guest of Honor. Buckell grew up in Grenada and spent time in the British and U. S. Virgin Islands, which influence much of his work. His novels and over seventy stories have been translated into nineteen different languages. His work has been nominated for awards like the Hugo, Nebula, Prometheus, and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Science Fiction Author.

Nebula, World Fantasy, and Endeavour award nominee Cat Rambo will conduct two Writers’ Workshops at Confluence. A select number of authors will have the chance to have their work critiqued. There is no additional fee for the writing workshops, however, paid membership to the Confluence conference is required for all workshop participants. Participation is limited to one workshop per person.

Award-winning filk writer and performer Michael “Moonwulf” Longcor will also be appearing at the 2019 Confluence.

This year’s Confluence will begin on Friday, July 26, at 3 PM. The convention continues on Saturday, July 27, from 9 AM until 10 PM, and Sunday, July 28, from 9 AM until 3 PM. Confluence will take place at the Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport Hotel, 1160 Thorn Run Road in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. Parking is free if you are staying at the hotel, or attending the convention.

An advance, full-weekend adult membership is $50 through June 30, 2019. Children from 6 – 12 years old are $25 through June 30. After that date, at-the-door prices apply. For additonal information about registration, please visit the Confluence website.

In her 2018 convention report, Brenda Clough writes, “You can meet everybody in attendance here and talk to nearly everybody, and converse with all the pros . . . . Confluence is a con worthy of attention!“

(While you’re awaiting PulpFest 2019 — beginning on Thursday, August 15, and running through Sunday, August 18 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry — Confluence may just be your ticket to happiness. Tell them PulpFest sent you!)

Visiting Pittsburgh

Jun 19, 2019 by

If you’re thinking about attending PulpFest 2019, why not bring your spouse or even your whole family? 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. Once the center of America’s steel industry, Pittsburgh ranks among the top places to live, work, and visit in the United States. The city is consistently recognized by major tourism organizations as a great destination.

Located where the Allegheny and Monongahela converge to form the Ohio River, Pittsburgh was once known as as the “Gateway to the West.” Fort Pitt, a key British fortification during the French and Indian War, also served as the western headquarters of the Continental Army during the American Revolution. By the dawn of the 19th century, roads, canals, and eventually railroads connected Pittsburgh with the major cities of the East Coast. Pittsburgh became a hub of entrepreneurs and skilled craftsmen who created a region seething with the fire and smoke of industry, earning a new nickname, the “Smoky City.” The years following the Civil War saw an unparalleled explosion of creative genius and productivity that attracted enormous capital investment and made Pittsburgh one of the world’s great industrial centers. Steel was king and immigrants in search of a better life eagerly responded to the insatiable demand for labor. Under a mighty cloud of industrial smoke, the “Steel City” prospered and matured, giving birth to philanthropy and cultural institutions that became models for the rest of the United States.

By the 1970s and 1980s, the crippling decline of the steel industry changed the region’s image as well as its economic base. Industries and businesses retooled and diversified. Innovative leaders adapted to this changing world, engineering another remarkable renaissance. By the mid-1980s and again throughout the 2000s, Pittsburgh gained the reputation as one the nation’s most livable cities. Today’s Pittsburgh is a model of adaption, maintaining its work ethic, independence, and inventive spirit while exhibiting an “old world charm” that is cherished by people who care about heritage and preservation. It is a rapidly advancing leader in medicine, education, health care, robotics, software engineering, hi-tech industries, and cultural tourism. With 90 neighborhoods and districts, Pittsburgh is a city to be explored one delightful section at a time. What’s most amazing about the city is the people that make up each of these neighborhoods. They are proud of the heritage reflected on their streets and willing to share their stories of strength, perseverance and triumph.

Pittsburgh’s topography has played a large part in how each neighborhood developed.  Start with the city’s dynamic Downtown and Point State Park. Next, cross one of the three rivers — the Allegheny, the “Mon,” or Ohio — to find unique areas shaped by more than the region’s distinctive and beautiful topography. Natural geographic boundaries such as sloping, wooded hillsides and rivers do their part to define, but Pittsburgh neighborhoods are also known for the clusters of attractions they offer.

Visitors can plan their itineraries by the points of the compass, first focusing on attractions Downtown and in the Strip District (one of the city’s most popular spots for great food and nightlife). Across the Mon is the South SideMount Washington — home to the Duquesne and Monongahela Inclines — Station Square and East Carson Street. On the banks of the Allegheny is North Shore — home to the Pirates and the Steelers, the Rivers CasinoCarnegie Science Center, and the Andy Warhol Museum. Pittsburgh’s East End and Oakland are home to a number of outstanding attractions that owe their existence to the philanthropists who made their fortunes in the city’s early industry. Here you’ll find the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural HistoryPhipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, the 42-story Cathedral of Learning on the University of Pittsburgh campus, and more. While in this corner of the city, don’t miss Shadyside and Squirrel Hill, two walkable neighborhoods with an upscale flavor, and plenty of shopping and dining options. More family fun is waiting on Pittsburgh’s East End in Highland Park, home of the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, featuring an indoor penguin exhibit and a rainforest exhibit. In nearby West Mifflin, visit Kennywood Park, the century-old “roller coaster capital of the world.” And, just outside of Pittsburgh are stunning examples of Frank Lloyd Wright’s amazing architecture, including Fallingwater, called one of the “fifty places of a lifetime.”

Pittsburgh is very walkable with hip galleries, shops, dining, nightlife, sports, museums, and more throughout the city and the surrounding region. So while you’re enjoying yourself at PulpFest — the summertime destination for fans and collectors of vintage popular fiction, art, and related materials — your family can be taking in the many sites and sounds of this very vibrant city. You can book your room at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry directly through the PulpFest website. Just click the Book a Room button found on our homepage or call 1-800-222-8733. When calling, please be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive the convention rate.

Start making your plans now to join us at the “pop culture center of the universe” called PulpFest 2019. We’ll be exploring 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. And please consider staying a bit longer in the “Gateway to the West,” the “Smoky City,” and the “Steel City” known as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Below are some resources for conventioneers and their family members to learn more about the many things that PulpFest’s host city has to offer (including a couple of sites about the city’s independent booksellers):

The Atlas Obscura Guide to Hidden Pittsburgh — 43 unusual things to do in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Best Indie Bookstores in Pittsburgh — three stores for lovers of the “old-book smell,” hardcover collectors, and bookaholics on a tight budget.

6 Indie Bookstores You’ll Love — a guide to some of Pittsburgh’s coolest literary hangouts.

11 Independent Bookstores in Pittsburgh Worth Browsing — Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods are alive with thriving, local booksellers.

Pittsburgh Eventful — provides the most popular Pittsburgh events, concerts, movies, comedy, nightlife, and family events.

Pittsburgh Improv Jam — a night of spontaneous, comedic scenes inspired by audience suggestions and performed by experienced improvisers.

Pittsburgh Pirates — the Bucs will be hosting the Chicago Cubs during PulpFest proper and the Washington Nationals for a four-game set from August 19 – 22.

PlanetWare’s Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Pittsburgh — ideas on where to go, what to see, and tips for making the most of your trip.

Popular Pittsburgh — information about one of the most livable cities in the USA and links to help you enjoy the experience.

TripAdvisor Things to Do in Pittsburgh, PA — helping you make the most of every trip.

U. S. News’ Best Things to Do in Pittsburgh — Pittsburgh is full of fun things to do, especially for families.

What’s Next for Pittsburgh — the must-read Pittsburgh publication about the innovative and cool things happening in the region.

VisitPittsburgh.com — the official site of the Greater Pittsburgh Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The visitors bureau also offers these more specified pages to help you plan your visit:

Arts in the Spotlight — arts and culture in the city of Pittsburgh

Discovering a City of Neighborhoods — with 90 neighborhoods and districts, Pittsburgh is a city to be explored one delightful section at a time.

Parks and Green Spaces — the top green spaces and public parks in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh: City of Champions — a look at the city’s professional sports teams as well as opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.

Pittsburgh: A Cultural Phenomenon — called one of the best arts and culture destinations in the country, Pittsburgh has built a stellar reputation for the quality and richness of its art and its cultural offerings.

Pittsburgh is Kidsburgh — Pittsburgh is fun, affordable and packed with family entertainment.

Restaurants and Culinary — choose from casual family spots, upscale and romantic eateries, late-night bites or convenient take-out.

Shopping in Pittsburgh — travel in any direction in Pittsburgh and find great shopping to suit every budget and taste.

Things to Do — find out why Pittsburgh has been named one of the best places in the world to visit.

Visitors Guide — get your one-stop guide for everything to see and do in Pittsburgh.

VisitPA — for those who’d like to check out other Pennsylvania destinations, including the birthplace of liberty, the City of Philadelphia.

(Pictured above: a nighttime view of Point State Park and Downtown Pittsburgh from Mount Washington; pouring steel; the Duquesne Incline; Dinosaur Hall, Carnegie Museum of Natural History; and Downtown Pittsburgh from PNC Park — home to the Pittsburgh Pirates — on the city’s North Shore. Remember that the Bucs will be in town during PulpFest 2019. They’ll be hosting the Cubs from August 16 through August 18.

If you’re a science fiction fan, please note that Confluence — the annual science fiction convention sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh science fiction club and Parsec, the region’s speculative fiction society — will be held July 26 – 28 at the Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport Hotel.

If you have any questions about Pittsburgh or Pennsylvania, PulpFest Marketing and Programming Director Mike Chomko is the man to contact. You can reach him at mike@pulpfest.com. For questions about the Pennsylvania Dutch, please write to PulpFest Goodwill Ambassador Barry Traylor at barry@pulpfest.com.)

 

 

3 Rivers Comicon: Putting Comics Back in Comicon

Apr 17, 2019 by

During the second weekend of May, a couple of Pittsburgh nerds are hoping to make comic con all about comics again. 3 Rivers Comicon will take place May 11 – 12 in the old Macy’s under the bridge in Homestead, Pennsylvania.

New Dimension Comics owner Todd McDevitt and general manager Jon Engel launched 3 Rivers Comicon in 2016 after hearing complaints from customers about the increasing cost of conventions and how the shift to an array of pop culture had left comics in the shadows. “I felt like we were almost being challenged. No one said it, but we made it our mission to do it,” McDevitt said. “This is going to be a comic convention. If you want something else, go somewhere else.”

McDevitt and Engel both have years of experience under their utility belts, attending and also working at comic conventions. From that involvement, as well as feedback from customers, they have the knowledge for what will work at their own event. The show is dedicated to cultivating the comic culture and community by bringing in some of the bigger names in the industry. With over 100 artists, writers, and other creators and almost as many vendors, this show is one not to miss.

Admission is $10 per day or $15 for a weekend pass. Tickets are available through the convention’s website or at any of the six New Dimension Comics locations. They will also be available at the door. Weekend events include panels, gaming, photo opportunities and costume contests for kids and adults. There is also the very popular beer party on Saturday evening. Check out the convention’s Guests page for a look at the many creators attending this year’s show.

3 Rivers Comicon has also commissioned a custom beer by ShuBrew of Harmony, Pennsylvania featuring original bottle label art by Josh Blaylock, creator of Mercy Sparx. Mercy Sparx Sinful Stout will be brewed exclusively for 3 Rivers Comicon and New Dimension Comics. Tickets to the convention’s beer party are $40 and include admission to both days of the convention, entry to the beer release party, two cans of this year’s custom beer, catered food, and a free graphic novel. A VIP pass costing $75 gets you even more!

Let’s hope that 3 Rivers will save a few bottles of their craft brew to help us celebrate PulpFest 2019 from August 15 through 18 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City.” Although PulpFest will not have its own beer, the convention will have some great programming. Add onto that 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, genre fiction, 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. We’ll also have a hospitality suite featuring great beer and snacks. So what are you waiting for? Start making your plans to celebrate “Mystery, Adventure, Science Fiction, and More” at PulpFest 2019.

(Josh Blaylock created the label for Mercy Sparx Sinful Stout, the beer being brewed exclusively for 3 Rivers Comicon and New Dimension Comics.)

3 Rivers Comicon: Putting Comics Back in Conventions

Apr 18, 2018 by

During the third weekend of May, a couple of Pittsburgh nerds are hoping to make comic con all about comics again. 3 Rivers Comicon — which runs May 19 – 20 in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania — is the latest addition to the many conventions in the Pittsburgh area.

New Dimension Comics owner Todd McDevitt and general manager Jon Engel launched 3 Rivers Comicon in 2016 after hearing complaints from customers about the increasing cost of conventions and how the shift to an array of pop culture had left comics in the shadows. “I felt like we were almost being challenged. No one said it, but we made it our mission to do it,” McDevitt said. “This is going to be a comic convention. If you want something else, go somewhere else.”

McDevitt and Engel both have years of experience under their utility belts, attending and also working at comic conventions. From that involvement, as well as feedback from customers, they have the knowledge for what will work at their own event.

One major goal is to make 3 Rivers Comicon affordable. Admission is $10 per day or $16 for a weekend pass. Tickets are available through the convention’s website or at any of the six New Dimension Comics locations. They will also be available at the door. Guests include SPIDER-MAN and THOR artist Ron Frenz; fantasy, pin-up, and comic artist Joe Jusko; NIGHTWING and DAREDEVIL artist Scott McDaniel; SPIDER-GIRL and SENSATIONAL SHE-HULK artist Patrick Ollife; writer and artist Tim Truman, known for his work on GRIMJACK, CONAN, HAWKWORLD, JONAH HEX, and other titles; and many others. Weekend events include panels, gaming, photo opportunities and costume contests for kids and adults. Sunday is Family Day at 3 Rivers Comicon, with kid-focused programming all day. There is also the very popular beer party on Saturday evening.

Tickets to the convention’s beer party are $70 and include early admission to both days of the convention, a free graphic novel, entry to the beer release party, catered food and three free bottles of beer, one from each year! “The beer party was the aspect we sold the most of last year,” McDevitt said. “We had people who didn’t care for comics and came for the beer, and people who didn’t care about beer, but came for the comics.”

3 Rivers Comicon has commissioned a custom beer by Helltown Brewing featuring original bottle label art by Joe Jusko. Witchblade Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout will be brewed with coffee added this year. This beer will only be made exclusively for 3 Rivers Comicon and New Dimension Comics.

Let’s hope that Todd and Jon save a few bottles of this year’s special brewed craft beer to help us celebrate PulpFest 2018 from July 26 through July 29 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City.” Although PulpFest will not have its own beer, the convention will still have a lot of great programming. Add to that 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, genre fiction, 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. We’ll also have a con suite featuring some great beer and snacks. So what are you waiting for? Start making your plans to join us at the “pop culture center of the universe” for PulpFest 2018.

(Our illustration is the banner for the 3 Rivers Comicon home page. The convention is organized by Todd McDevitt and Jon Engel of New Dimension Comics, with six stores in the Pittsburgh region.)

Visiting Pittsburgh

Feb 26, 2018 by

If you’re thinking about attending PulpFest 2018, why not bring your spouse or even your whole family? 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. Once the center of America’s steel industry, Pittsburgh ranks among the top places to live, work, and visit in the United States. The city is consistently recognized by major tourism organizations.

Located where the Allegheny and Monongahela converge to form the Ohio River, Pittsburgh was once known as as the “Gateway to the West.” Fort Pitt, a key British fortification during the French and Indian War, also served as the western headquarters of the Continental Army during the American Revolution. By the dawn of the 19th century, roads, canals, and eventually railroads connected Pittsburgh with the major cities of the East Coast. Pittsburgh became a hub of entrepreneurs and skilled craftsmen who created a region seething with the fire and smoke of industry, earning a new nickname, the “Smoky City.” The years following the Civil War saw an unparalleled explosion of creative genius and productivity that attracted enormous capital investment and made Pittsburgh one of the world’s great industrial centers. Steel was king and immigrants in search of a better life eagerly responded to the insatiable demand for labor. Under a mighty cloud of industrial smoke, the “Steel City” prospered and matured, giving birth to philanthropy and cultural institutions that became models for the rest of the United States.

By the 1970s and 1980s, the crippling decline of the steel industry changed the region’s image as well as its economic base. Industries and businesses retooled and diversified. Innovative leaders adapted to this changing world, engineering another remarkable renaissance. By the mid-1980s and again throughout the 2000s, Pittsburgh gained the reputation as one the nation’s most livable cities. Today’s Pittsburgh is a model of adaption, maintaining its work ethic, independence, and inventive spirit while exhibiting an “old world charm” that is cherished by people who care about heritage and preservation. It is a rapidly advancing leader in medicine, education, health care, robotics, software engineering, hi-tech industries, and cultural tourism. With 90 neighborhoods and districts, Pittsburgh is a city to be explored one delightful section at a time. What’s most amazing about the city is the people that make up each of these neighborhoods. They are proud of the heritage reflected on their streets and willing to share their stories of strength, perseverance and triumph.

Pittsburgh’s topography has played a large part in how each neighborhood developed.  Start with the city’s dynamic Downtown and Point State Park. Next, cross one of the three rivers — the Allegheny, the “Mon,” or Ohio — to find unique areas shaped by more than the region’s distinctive and beautiful topography. Natural geographic boundaries such as sloping, wooded hillsides and rivers do their part to define, but Pittsburgh neighborhoods are also known for the clusters of attractions they offer.

Visitors can plan their itineraries by the points of the compass, first focusing on attractions Downtown and in the Strip District (one of the city’s most popular spots for great food and nightlife). Across the Mon is the South Side, Mount Washington — home to the Duquesne and Monongahela Inclines — Station Square and East Carson Street. On the banks of the Allegheny is North Shore — home to the Pirates and the Steelers, the Rivers Casino, Carnegie Science Center, and the Andy Warhol Museum. Pittsburgh’s East End and Oakland are home to a number of outstanding attractions that owe their existence to the philanthropists who made their fortunes in the city’s early industry. Here you’ll find the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural HistoryPhipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, the 42-story Cathedral of Learning on the University of Pittsburgh campus, and more. While in this corner of the city, don’t miss Shadyside and Squirrel Hill, two walkable neighborhoods with an upscale flavor, and plenty of shopping and dining options. More family fun is waiting on Pittsburgh’s East End in Highland Park, home of the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, featuring an indoor penguin exhibit and a rainforest exhibit. In nearby West Mifflin, visit Kennywood Park, the century-old “roller coaster capital of the world.” And, just outside of Pittsburgh are stunning examples of Frank Lloyd Wright’s amazing architecture, including Fallingwater, called one of the “fifty places of a lifetime.”

Pittsburgh is very walkable with hip galleries, shops, dining, nightlife, sports, museums, and more throughout the city and the surrounding region. So while you’re enjoying yourself at PulpFest — the summertime destination for fans and collectors of vintage popular fiction, art, and related materials — your family can be taking in the many sites and sounds of this very vibrant city. You can book your room at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry directly through the PulpFest website. Just click one of the “Book a Room” links on our home page or call 1-800-222-8733. When calling, please be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive the convention rate.

Start making your plans now to join us at the “pop culture center of the universe” called PulpFest 2018. We’ll be exploring the so-called “war pulps” of the early twentieth century, the depiction of war in popular culture, and celebrating the century mark of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José Farmer. And please consider staying a bit longer in the “Gateway to the West,” the “Smoky City,” and the “Steel City” known as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Below are some resources for conventioneers and their family members to learn more about the many things that PulpFest’s host city has to offer (including a couple of sites about the city’s independent booksellers):

The Atlas Obscura Guide to Hidden Pittsburgh — 27 unusual things to do in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Best Indie Bookstores in Pittsburgh — three stores for lovers of the “old-book smell,” hardcover collectors, and bookaholics on a tight budget.

11 Independent Bookstores in Pittsburgh Worth Browsing — Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods are alive with thriving, local booksellers.

Pittsburgh Eventful — provides the most popular Pittsburgh events, concerts, movies, comedy, nightlife, and family events.

Pittsburgh Pirates — the Bucs will be hosting the New Yorks Mets during PulpFest proper and the Chicago Cubs for a two-game set on July 31 and August 1.

PlanetWare’s Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Pittsburgh — ideas on where to go, what to see, and tips for making the most of your trip.

Popular Pittsburgh — information about one of the most livable cities in the USA and links to help you enjoy the experience.

TripAdvisor Things to Do in Pittsburgh, PA — helping you make the most of every trip.

U. S. News’ Best Things to Do in Pittsburgh — Pittsburgh is full of fun things to do, especially for families.

What’s Next for Pittsburgh — the must-read Pittsburgh publication about the innovative and cool things happening in the region.

VisitPittsburgh.com — the official site of the Greater Pittsburgh Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The visitors bureau also offers these more specified pages to help you plan your visit:

Discovering a City of Neighborhoods — with 90 neighborhoods and districts, Pittsburgh is a city to be explored one delightful section at a time.

Pittsburgh: City of Champions — a look at the city’s professional sports teams as well as opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.

Pittsburgh: A Cultural Phenomenon — called one of the best arts and culture destinations in the country, Pittsburgh has built a stellar reputation for the quality and richness of its art and its cultural offerings.

Pittsburgh is Kidsburgh — Pittsburgh is fun, affordable and packed with family entertainment.

Restaurants and Culinary — choose from casual family spots, upscale and romantic eateries, late-night bites or convenient take-out.

Shopping in Pittsburgh — travel in any direction in Pittsburgh and find great shopping to suit every budget and taste.

Things to Do — find out why Pittsburgh has been named one of the best places in the world to visit.

Visitors Guide — get your one-stop guide for everything to see and do in Pittsburgh.

VisitPA — for those who’d like to check out other Pennsylvania destinations, including the birthplace of liberty, the City of Philadelphia.

(Pictured above: a nighttime view of Point State Park and Downtown Pittsburgh from Mount Washington; pouring steel; the Duquesne Incline; Dinosaur Hall, Carnegie Museum of Natural History; and Downtown Pittsburgh from PNC Park — home to the Pittsburgh Pirates — on the city’s North Shore. Remember that the Bucs will be in town during PulpFest 2018. They’ll be hosting the Mets from July 26 through July 29.

If you’re a science fiction fan, please note that Confluence — the annual science fiction convention sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh science fiction club and Parsec, the region’s speculative fiction society — will be held July 27 – 29 at the Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport Hotel. PulpFest members who desire to visit Confluence will receive $10 off that convention’s daily membership rate.

If you have any questions about Pittsburgh or Pennsylvania, PulpFest Marketing and Programming Director Mike Chomko is the man to contact. You can reach him at mike@pulpfest.com. For questions about the Pennsylvania Dutch, please write to PulpFest Goodwill Ambassador Barry Traylor at barry@pulpfest.com.)

Pittsburgh Pulpwood Signings

Jul 17, 2017 by

With PulpFest moving to Pennsylvania’s Steel City, the “New Pulp” community has decided to help promote the convention by holding two separate book signings in the Pittsburgh area over the con weekend. PulpFest 2017 will take place from Thursday evening, July 27, through Sunday afternoon, July 30.

Starting at 7 PM on Friday, July 28, the Barnes & Noble located in the Monroeville Mall, 200 Mall Circle Drive, in Monroeville, PA will host new pulp writers Fred Adams, Jr., Jim Beard, Wayne Carey, and Tommy Hancock.

Beginning at 10 AM on Saturday, July 29, Rickert & Beagle Books, 3233 W. Liberty Ave, Pittsburgh, PA, will host authors Fred Adams Jr., Barbara Doran, John Simcoe, and David White.

These seven writers are among the finest in new pulp fiction and are only a few of the dozens of talented authors and artists who will be attending PulpFest 2017.

Created to continue and preserve the legacy of this unique literary form, the convention is open to the public. You can join PulpFest for a day or the entire weekend by clicking the Register for 2017 button found on our home page. And if you’re not from the Pittsburgh area, don’t forget to book a room at the DoubleTree. They’re going fast! Please call 1-800-222-8733 and be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive any convention special deals that may still be available.

(Jim Beard was introduced to comic books by his father. His dad passed on to Jim a love for the medium and the pulp characters that preceded it. After decades of reading, collecting, and dissecting comics, Jim became a published writer when he sold a story to DC Comics in 2002. Since then, he’s written official Spider-Man, X-Files, and Planet of the Apes prose fiction, Star Wars and Ghostbusters comic stories, and contributed articles and essays to several volumes of comic book history.

A native of Toledo where he provides regular content for Marvel.com, the official Marvel Comics website, Jim broke into the world of “New Pulp” in 2012 when Airship 27 published SGT. JANUS, SPIRIT-BREAKER, a collection of ghost stories featuring an occult detective, and CAPTAIN ACTION: RIDDLE OF THE GLOWING MEN, the first prose novel based on the 1960s action figure. Along with John Bruening, Jim is the founder and publisher of Flinch Books, a small press offering some of the best material to be inspired by the pulp fiction of the past. RESTLESS: AN ANTHOLOGY OF MUMMY HORROR, with cover art by Shannon Hall, is just one of the many fine books published in the “new pulp” field.)

Book a Room at the DoubleTree

Jun 6, 2017 by

Are you planning to attend PulpFest 2017? If you are, you can book your room directly through the PulpFest website. Below our banner and along the right hand side of our home page at pulpfest.com, you’ll find links that read “Book a Room.” Click on one of these links and you’ll be redirected to a secure site where you can book a room at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just nineteen miles north of the exciting city of Pittsburgh.

You can also reserve a room by calling 1-800-222-8733. Please be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive the special convention rate of $125 plus tax per night. Included in the room rate are free Wi-Fi privileges in each sleeping room and the hotel’s lobby, plus two complimentary breakfasts per room for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. There is ample free parking surrounding the hotel. You must book your room by July 5, 2017 in order to get the special convention rate.

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 also offers a 24-hour fitness center, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and a sauna. You’ll find a map to the hotel and the surrounding area on the PulpFest home page.

By staying at our host hotel, you help to defray the convention’s substantial costs. You also help demonstrate to our hotel that PulpFest is a top-notch convention that will help their bottom line. To thank you for making PulpFest look good, you’ll get free early-bird shopping on Thursday evening in the PulpFest dealers’ room. That’s a savings of $35 if you stay at the DoubleTree!

We’re very happy the DoubleTree Cranberry will be hosting the summertime destination for fans and collectors of vintage popular fiction and related materials. PulpFest seeks to honor pulp fiction and pulp art by drawing attention to the many ways they have inspired writers, artists, film directors, software developers, game designers, and other creators over the decades. The DoubleTree will be a great venue for our convention.

In 2017, PulpFest will be paying tribute to the history of the pulps by saluting the hardboiled dicks that transformed the traditional mystery story into the tough guy (and gal) crime fiction that remains popular to this very day. We’ll also be focusing our attention on the dangerous dames of the pulps, the hardboiled ladies who helped to 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 we’ll set our sites on the psychos of the pulps as we celebrate the hundredth anniversary of Robert Bloch — the pulp writer who penned the novel PSYCHO — and the countless diabolical madmen who battled the heroes of pulp fiction. We’ll also be celebrating the life and work of former pulp artist Gloria Stoll Karn, who will be attending PulpFest 2017 as our Guest of Honor.

Start planning to attend PulpFest 2017 and its celebration of pulp fiction and pulp art. Join us July 27 – 30 outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as we explore the “hardboiled dicks, dangerous dames, and a few psychos” of the pulps. So please book your room right now and plan to join us at the “pop culture center of the universe” at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry for PulpFest 2017.

(Frank R. Paul, the “grandfather of science-fiction art,” painted the cover for the program book of the 13th World Science Fiction Convention — Clevention — held on September 2 – 5, 1955 at the Manger Hotel in Cleveland, Ohio.  Although the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry is not quite as futuristic as Paul’s illustration, the hotel was completely renovated in 2016.)