The Secret Life of Women Pulp Artists

May 20, 2019 by

The sensational pulp magazines were illustrated by many legendary artists with colorful personalities. They often competed for free-lance assignments. Among the ranks of this pecking order there were exceptional women, such as Constance Bailey, Margaret Brundage, Dorothy Flack, Madge Geyer, Thelma Gooch, Alice Kirkpatrick, Zoe Mozert, Margery Stocking, Gloria Stoll Karn, Xena Wright, and Irene Zimmerman. These women defied social norms and pursued their own art careers in the male-dominated world of publishing.

Please join PulpFest 2019 on Friday, August 16, as we learn all about “The Secret Life of Women Pulp Artists.” Pulp art historian, David Saunders, will share biographical profiles of these cultural pioneers who worked beyond glass ceilings.

David Saunders is the son of pulp artist Norman Saunders, and is also a foremost scholar of American illustration art. His free public website, Field Guide to Wild American Pulp Artists, has over five-hundred biographical profiles of artists.He has also written artist biographies for ILLUSTRATION MAGAZINE and several coffee-table books on pulp artists. To find out more, visit A New York artist, David’s own artworks have been exhibited worldwide and are collected by the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Additionally, David is the creator of the Munsey Award.

This year’s PulpFest 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.

(Irene Zimmerman — who used the pen-name Irene Endris — started her commercial art career during the 1920’s in newspapers and THE GOLDEN BOOK MAGAZINE. During the thirties, she began to draw pen and ink interior illustrations for Harry Donenfeld’s spicy pulp magazines. Zimmerman also painted covers for CRACK DETECTIVE, SPEED DETECTIVE, TEN DETECTIVE ACES — including the August 1946 number — and LIBERTY MAGAZINE.

Another woman pulp artist who David will discuss is Pittsburgh resident Gloria Stoll Karn.  The city’s public television station, WQED, recently released a documentary about five visual artists from Western Pennsylvania. Gloria Stoll Karn is one of the artists featured, sharing her work and stories about the rewards and challenges of being a woman in her field.

Entitled VISIBLE, the WQED documentary also features author and PulpFest member Heidi Ruby Miller. You’ll find a link to Gloria’s segment here and to the entire documentary here. PulpFest would like to thank the film’s producers, Anne Casper and Andrew Holman, for the opportunity to contribute to this wonderful project.)


125 Years of Chris Schaare

Jul 5, 2018 by

Born on July 5, 1893, Christian Schaare was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. After moving with his family to West Hoboken, New Jersey, Schaare trained as an engraver’s assistant and a graphic designer. According to pulp scholar and art historian David Saunders, Schaare began selling freelance cover art to a variety of pulp magazines in 1925. His work was used by ACE-HIGH, AIR STORIES, AIRPLANE STORIES, ALL-AMERICAN SPORTS, COMPLETE SKY NOVEL, GUN MOLLS, LARIAT STORY, MASKED RIDER, NAVY STORIES, SKY RIDERS, WAR BIRDS, WAR STORIES, and others. He continued to work for the pulps until 1940.

Beginning in 1932, Schaare began a long series of covers for THE RING, a boxing magazine. He continued to work for the title into the 1950s. During this period, the artist also started working as a penciler and inker for comic books. His work appeared in Fawcett’s WOW COMICS, Holyoke’s BLUE BEETLE, Continental’s CAT-MAN COMICS, and other titles. From 1945 until 1960, Schaare worked as packaging design artist for The American Can Company. He produced several iconic advertising images, including the logos for Maxwell House Coffee and Sunoco.

(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. As part of our WWI programming, David Saunders will discuss the artists of the war pulps, including Chris Schaare.

From early 1928 through late 1930, C. R. Schaare painted at least fifteen covers for Dell Publishing’s WAR STORIES and its companions, WAR BIRDS and NAVY STORIES. He also contributed at least seven covers for Dell’s aviation title, SKY RIDERS. Although his covers sometimes had a humorous bent — such as the “Sausages” cover for the July 5, 1928 WAR STORIES — they often depicted soldiers in hand-to-hand combat. Chris Schaare died in 1980, at the age of eighty-six.)

Life and Death on the Front Lines: The Art of the War Pulps

Jun 8, 2018 by

At this year’s convention, PulpFest 2018 will honor the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War. Our programming will focus on the so-called “war pulps” of the early twentieth century and the depiction of war in popular culture. The first of these pulps — WAR STORIES — debuted with its November 1926 number and demonstrated that tales of men in battle could sell magazines, including ones about the war in the air.

Of course, it wasn’t only the stories that sold such magazines. Although the writers and editors “made” the magazines, it was the cover and interior artists who often piqued the interest of potential readers. Artists such as Rudolph Belarski, Frederick Blakeslee, H. T. Fisk, Eugene Franzden, F. R. Glass, John Fleming Gould, George and Jerome Rozen, Frank Tinsley, and others coaxed many a coin out of a Depression era pocket. Join PulpFest on Saturday, July 28, at 8:25 PM for “Life and Death on the Front Lines: The Art of the War Pulps.”

Pulp art historian David Saunders will explore the sensational cover art of the war pulps, often painted by artist veterans of the Great War, who served as Army Doughboys, Naval Gunners, Ace Aviators, or Marine Corps Sergeants. The “blood and guts” cover art of the war genre makes it a perfect example of how Pulp Art is different from the mundane art of Slick Magazine illustration.

PulpFest 2018 will also be celebrating the 100th birthday of Philip José Farmer with FarmerCon 100. We’ll be welcoming  Joe Lansdale — the author of over forty novels, numerous short stories, and more — as our Guest of Honor and hosting a rare gallery showing of original art by acclaimed writer-illustrator Mark Wheatley. Additionally, there will be author readings, a great programming line-up, two auctions featuring unique collectibles, and a dealers’ room filled with pulps, digests, and men’s adventure magazines, collectible paintings and illustrations, rare first editions, vintage paperbacks and comic books, unique films and more. All this, plus you can get ten dollars off the daily admission to Confluence. It’s taking place the same weekend as summer’s AMAZING pulp con! All you have to do is show your PulpFest badge at the door to Pittsburgh’s long-running science fiction, fantasy and horror conference.

PulpFest 2018 begins on Thursday, July 26, and runs through Sunday, July 29 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. You can join both PulpFest and FarmerCon by clicking the Register for 2018 button on the PulpFest home page. And don’t forget to book a room at the DoubleTree while you’re visiting the PulpFest site. They’re going fast!

(The son of pulp artist Norman Saunders, David Saunders was awarded a special “retro” Lamont Award to recognize his substantial service to the pulp community over the years. 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 including Rudolph Belarski, who painted the cover for the April 1929 issue of Ramer Reviews’ AIRPLANE STORIES. Additionally, he has written biographical profiles of artists for ILLUSTRATION MAGAZINE and several coffee-table art books on pulp artists.)