The pulp community lost a number of its leading members in 2011 and 2012. Right around the Christmas holidays, Rusty Hevelin and Glenn Lord passed on. Both had lived long and fulfilling lives. They will be remembered during two short memorials at this year’s PulpFest.
Unfortunately, the winter months also claimed two other highly regarded pulp fans–David Burton and Howard Hopkins. The former passed in early December and the latter about a month after. Both were in their early fifties.
David was an accomplished artist, writer, and poet. Primarily self-taught, he eventually taught others the craft of illustration, most notably through lessons at his local library. In a way, that sums up what made him so special: he was an especially giving person, always there for anyone who needed help or advice, and his work for various charities is well-documented.
David’s artwork was absolutely stunning. His depictions of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ creations were met with much critical acclaim. Danton Burroughs suggested that David’s illustrations for A Princess of Mars were probably the best that were ever done. The legendary science-fiction and fantasy author Ray Bradbury commissioned David to do a painting of King Kong for his office. He was a friend of Al Williamson, Gary Gianni, Michael Kaluta, and other well-known artists. Although David remained fairly unknown outside of pop and pulp culture circles, he strived to follow his dreams despite a lack of commercial success.
David Burton was a gentle soul, a humble man, a talented artist, and a good friend. He will be sorely missed.
Howard Hopkins became involved with the pulp community through editing Golden Perils, one of the leading pulp fanzines of the 1980′s. Dubbed the “prettiest fanzine in pulpdom,” it featured articles and artwork on the pulps and other aspects of culture. In print form, it ran for twenty issues. In 2001, Howard began to publish it in the e-magazine format and it lasted another twenty issues.
Editing was just one of Howard’s many talents. He was also a writer. From his home in Maine, he authored over seventy horror stories, Westerns (using the pseudonym Lance Howard), and the children’s series The Chloe Files. He was working on the fifth installment in this series at the time of his death. Additionally, he penned the first book-length study of the Street & Smith character known as The Avenger. Entitled The Gray Nemesis, it was published in 1992.
“New Pulp” author and editor Tommy Hancock has written elsewhere: “Whether or not he was tackling a known character from the vast library of pulp and literature, editing the work of others (who were) putting their own brand on what has come before, or crafting all new tales to terrify, tantalize, and tease from his own expansive imagination, Howard always brought something extra to what he did….There was a vitality, a strength, an ever present energy to Howard’s work…this palpable wave of excitement, of happiness to be digging his way into this work that wasn’t just a job, but more of a life’s work.”
On Saturday, August 11th at 3:30 PM, please join author Win Scott Eckert and Wild Cat Books publisher Ron Hanna as they celebrate the lives of these two fine men.
Pictured above is one of David Burton’s illustrations for Edgar Rice Burroughs’ A Princess of Mars, published by Leanta Books, and an illustration advertising Howard Hopkins’ The Gray Nemesis, published by Golden Perils Press.