Jun 182014

FlyerIt’s just fifty days to PulpFest 2014! On Thursday, August 7th, be one of hundreds of pop-culture fans who will be arriving at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Columbus, Ohio for the annual summertime get-together for fans of pulp art and fiction. Please visit our registration page to learn how to join the convention that has become summer’s pulp-culture center of the universe.

Over the next three weeks we’ll be posting a new update to our home page every other day. We’ll be talking about our early-bird special, this year’s Munsey Award nominees, our Pulpster program book, and much more. You can keep abreast of all these updates by subscribing to our “email list.” It’s easy to do. Just scroll down to the small gray box near the top of our the home page, fill in your name and email address, click the “join” button, and you will soon be on your way.

Starting on July 10th, we’ll begin a daily update, offering information about our programmingPulpFest is known for its superb programming and the line-up that we’re planning for our 2014 convention is shaping up to be one of our best. We’ll be celebrating science fiction’s golden year of 1939 and seventy-five years of fantastic fiction, as well as 80 years of the shudder pulps, zeroing in on the weird-menace magazines of 1934.

In addition to our home page, we’ll also be posting updates to our Facebook site. So be sure to like PulpFest on Facebook and ask for our posts to be delivered to your personal Facebook page. You can also follow us on Twitter where we’ll be tweeting about our home page updates. We’ll also be posting to a variety of Yahoo newsgroups such as Pulpmags and Flearun.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time for you to subscribe, like, or follow PulpFest! There’s no other way to be sure to have all the goods about “Summer’s Great Pulp Con.” We look forward to seeing you in Columbus. We’ll be there from August 7 – 10 for PulpFest 2014.

Click on the illustration to learn more about the image.

Jan 182014

2014 post card frontIn the coming weeks, the PulpFest home page will be updated to prepare for this year’s convention at the Hyatt Regency Columbus, running from Thursday, August 7th through Sunday, August 10th. During this update, portions of the website will be temporarily shut down for their annual revamp. Don’t be concerned as the pages will return in a short while, ready to help you learn more about PulpFest 2014, ”Summer’s Great Pulp Con!”

 Posted by at 10:03 pm
Dec 242013

galaxy-1951-12As we approach the new year, the PulpFest organizing committee wishes everyone the happiest of holidays. Here’s hoping that after Santa finishes his pipe and libation, he rockets over to your house, slides down the chimney, and leaves a copy of your favorite pulp magazine tucked under the tree. We’ve heard his elves can restore brown paper to nearly pristine condition!

Although PulpFest‘s websites have been relatively quiet of late, the committee has been busy discussing programming options, adding some social events, and making adjustments to improve everyone’s convention experience. We’re planning to roll out a big update to all of our web pages during the month of January, including a look at our 2014 programming schedule. We’ll be celebrating the 75th anniversary of science fiction’s Golden Age and the 80th anniversary of the weird-menace genre.

After you’re done celebrating the winter holidays, please stop back at www.pulpfest.com as we gear up for “Summer’s Great Pulp Con.” Better still, sign up for our email updates via the gray “E-Mail List” box right here on our home page. And while you’re at it, why not “like” our facebook page as nearly 800 others have done. You can also follow PulpFest on Twitter.

We look forward to seeing you all at PulpFest 2014.


Horace Gold’s Galaxy Science Fiction debuted with its October 1950 issue. Although the fifties witnessed the demise of the pulp magazine, the science-fiction market actually blossomed during the decade. About forty new magazines–most in the digest format used by Galaxy–found their way to America’s newsstand during that ten-year period.

Beginning with its December 1951 issue, artist Ed Emshwiller began a series of Galaxy covers featuring a four-armed Santa Claus who traveled across the universe, delivering presents to good little girls and boys regardless of whether or not they sported an antennae on top their heads.

 Posted by at 3:54 am
Oct 062013

Astounding39-07With the autumn pulp con season in full swing, it’s the perfect time to announce that PulpFest 2014 will be returning to the Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Summer’s must-attend event for fans, scholars, and collectors of pulp fiction will take place from Thursday, August 7th, through Sunday, August 10th with its acclaimed dealers’ room and packed programming schedule.

2014 marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of what many scholars have labeled the dawn of science fiction’s Golden Age.  As Alva Rogers wrote in his classic 1964 study of Astounding Stories, the leading science-fiction pulp of that long-gone era:

We now come to the beginning of what is generally known as the Golden Age of science fiction as a genre  . . . These next few years are the high-water mark of Astounding and of magazine science fiction. It is true that today we have men and women of considerable talent writing for the field . . . However, the magic, that hard to define Sense of Wonder, the excitement that surrounded Astounding in the years of the Golden Age (and, in fact, the entire field) seems to be sadly lacking these days . . . No longer is there that unbearable and interminable wait between issues; the thrill of a beautiful Rogers cover standing out like a diamond surrounded by paste as you approach the newsstand; the rush home and the hungry devouring of the entire contents at one sitting; the promise to yourself not to start the latest Heinlein or van Vogt or Smith serial until all the parts are at hand . . . the immediate breaking of that promise, and once again the interminable wait.

As Rogers states, 1939 was not only a golden year for Astounding–publishing the first science-fiction stories of Robert E. Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon, and A. E. Van Vogt, as well as Isaac Asimov’s first story for the magazine and Hubert Rogers’ first cover–it also witnessed a blossoming of  magazine science fiction and fantasy. Following the introduction of Startling Stories at the end of 1938, no less than eight pulps featuring fantastic fiction debuted in 1939–Dynamic Science Stories, Strange Stories, Science Fiction, Unknown, Fantastic Adventures, Future Fiction, Famous Fantastic Mysteries, and Planet Stories. Three other science-fiction pulps were also in preparation during the year–Astonishing Stories, Captain Future, and Super Science Stories. The first World Science Fiction Convention was also held in New York City that year, home to the World’s Fair and its “World of Tomorrow” theme.

1939 World's Fair

PulpFest 2014 will also be celebrating the eightieth anniversary of Popular Publications’ shudder pulp trio of Dime Mystery Magazine, Terror Tales, and Horror Stories. The ashcan edition of Spicy Mystery Stories was also released during the summer of 1934. Although the first weird-menace tales appeared in Dime Mystery in the fall of 1933, it was not until the debut of Terror Tales and later, Horror Stories and Spicy Mystery, that the genre began to flourish. In just a few years, additional magazines–Star Detective, Thrilling Mystery, Eerie Mysteries, and others–would find space on America’s newsstands, hoping to scare the dickens out of their readers.

So start planning now to join PulpFest‘s celebration of science fiction’s Golden Age and the weird-menace pulps of 1934! And to keep up with all the latest news, please subscribe to our email updates via the gray box labeled “E-mail List” at the top of our home page. While you’re at it, “like” us on Facebook and “follow” us on Twitter.


Graves Gladney, best remembered today for his covers for The Shadow Magazine, contributed the cover art to the July 1939 Astounding Science Fiction, considered by many longtime science-fiction fans to be the true beginning of the genre’s Golden Age. Isaac Asimov’s first story for the magazine, “Trends,” and A. E. Van Vogt’s first story, “Black Destroyer” (thought by some to be an inspiration for the Ridley Scott film Alien), appeared in the issue. One month later, Robert Heinlein’s first story, “Life-Line,” ran in the magazine.

The photograph depicting the New York World’s Fair of 1939 is from Jon Snyder’s article “1939′s ‘World of Tomorrow’ Shaped Our Today,” appearing in the April 29, 2010 online edition of Wired.

Alva Rogers’ A Requiem for Astounding was published in 1964 by Advent Publishers of Chicago, Illinois.

 Posted by at 10:33 pm
Aug 042013

PulpFest 2013 PreliminaryThe spirits within the PulpFest Committee are quite low right now. Perhaps some of the low spirits can be attributed to being tired, but we are also disappointed, frustrated, and questioning whether or not we are on the right track with the convention. I am speaking mainly for myself, but I believe at least a couple of the other committee members agree with my thoughts.

The turnout was somewhat less than we had anticipated. We, and especially Mike, had spent a lot of time preparing for this year’s PulpFest. Mike spent hour after hour updating and writing new material for the social media where we have a presence. I am not exaggerating—hour after hour. Ed spent a lot of time with interviews, press releases, presentations and other such activities. Barry contacted other events and coordinated getting us mentioned on other sites. After all this, we didn’t see much of a jump in attendance. There were some new faces, but I don’t think they offset the number of people who have attended in the past but chose not to this year.

The auction was somewhat of a disappointment. None of the material that was submitted was, shall we say, extraordinary. Barry, Mike, and others spent a lot of the weekend preparing for the auction and we did not have anything that caused anyone to sit up and take notice. Do we discontinue the auction?

I, since it is my area, was disappointed in the hotel. Their response to problems I encountered was dismal. Some of the front desk people appeared to have had no communication concerning the convention and the guests who were attending (parking, wi-fi, location, etc). There was no signage within the hotel announcing the convention and its location. Doors that were supposed to be locked were unlocked, which meant I had to stand guard outside the programming room until someone showed up to lock it (45 minutes). The freight elevator got jammed up on Sunday (horror of horrors), and I had to contact a kitchen worker to help resolve the issue—no one else could be found with a search warrant). I know, minor stuff to most people, but they were things that should not have happened.

And then, still with the hotel, they tell me our dates for next year are not available. The weekend they offered me is August 8-10. We have been trying to stay with the last weekend in July, but it was given to a couple of large local groups (money talks). As of right now, the committee is unsure of our next step. The August weekend is a little further away from Windy City, but we have heard in the past that attendees do not necessarily like August conventions. So, here is another potential impact to attendance.

Very few comments after the convention had to do with the tremendous amount of informative and interesting programing we presented. We had many comments about the lack of WiFi in the ballroom. We negotiated for free WiFi in the rooms, but we decided not to spend the money for the ballroom. This would have entailed raising the price for everyone to accommodate a few. Not on our watch.

We had a comment that the halls were too long and it hurt an attendee’s knees. He or she is not returning. I should mention, by the way, that the attendee did not stay at the Hyatt. He or she stayed at a hotel in the neighborhood which, if you think about it, might have contributed to the long walks.

I got blistered by a woman who arrived at 12:30 on Sunday afternoon, paid nothing at the door, and then wanted to scratch my eyes out because dealers were packing up. She said they had driven all the way from Cincinnati. As chairman I sympathized, but inside my head, not so much. Our postings on the Internet stated that although we were open on Sunday, many dealers would be packing up for their trip home.

So here you have a brief outline of the current status of your PulpFest committee and some of the questions for which we are trying to find answers.

Do we quit advertising? In the beginning, we promised to do more advertising and we have fulfilled that promise. But has it gained us enough in the way of new attendees to justify the considerable cost?

Do we lower our expectations? Is 400-425 the most we can ever expect for our summer pulp convention?

Do we look for new blood to take over part of the convention? Do we merge with another convention to have just one major convention a year? Some of the committee members are no longer spring chickens (I hate to use the barnyard analogy) and eventually, we will step aside anyway.

Stay tuned. We will get to a point where information will need to be filtered to you. Until then, send me your constructive comments and we will add them to the mix. You can contact me at jack@pulpfest.com.

Jack Cullers
Chairman, PulpFest Organizing Committee

 Posted by at 6:02 pm
Aug 012013

Collier's, 04-01-39Year after year, there are countless individuals and organizations that help to make PulpFest an enjoyable experience for those who choose to attend “Summer’s Great Pulp Con.” The PulpFest Organizing Committee would like to thank the following people and organizations for their invaluable assistance in helping to make PulpFest 2013 a wonderful weekend. We could not have done it without you:

Our all-volunteer front desk staff–Maura Childers, Sam Childers, Aaron Cullers, Jack Cullers, Sally Cullers, Samantha Cullers, and Tess Massey; our panelists, presenters, and auctioneers–Jim Beard, Christopher Paul Carey, Nick Carr, Gene Christie, Win Scott Eckert, Ron Fortier, John Gunnison, Ed Hulse, Don Hutchison, Chris Kalb, Rick Lai, Nathan Madison, William Patrick Maynard, Matt Moring, Will Murray, Van Allen Plexico, Roger Price, Garyn Roberts, Joseph Saine, David Saunders, Frank Schildiner, Art Sippo, and John Allen Small; our behind-the-scenes help–Mike Chomko, Mike Croteau of FarmerCon, Ohio State’s Eric Johnson, Chris Kalb, Lohr McKinstry, Rick and Renee Thomas, Barry Traylor, Chuck Welch, Dan Zimmer,  and the staff of the Hyatt Regency Columbus.

The Organizing Committee would also like to thank the people who helped to create The Pulpster #22–Editor and designer Bill Lampkin and proofreader Peter Chomko, plus contributors Michael Chomko, Tony Davis, Monte Herridge, Tom Johnson, John Locke, Nathan Vernon Madison, William Patrick Maynard, Vella Munn, Will Murray, Laurie Powers, William Preston, David Rajchel, George Vanderburgh, , and the magazine’s sponsors–Baen Books, The Comic Book Shop in Spokane, Washington, Doug Frizzle, Richard Halegua, Heartwood Auctions, Larry Latham and Lovecraft is Missing, Murania Press, Pro Se Productions, The Pulp Factory, Radio Archives (who also provided the door prizes for PulpFest 2013), Stark House Press, Alfred R. Taylor, Titan Books, and Weird Tales.

Many thanks as well to the nominators and Lamont Award, Munsey Award, and Rusty Hevelin Service Award winners who helped to select the winner of this year’s Munsey, Garyn G. Roberts. Congratulations to Garyn and to all of the nominees for our 2013 awards.

Again, we’d like to thank the following organizations for the books and similar items that were donated to PulpFest for distribution to our members: John Huckans and Book Source Magazine, Engle Publishing and The Paper & Advertising Collectors’ Marketplace, the Estate of Rusty Hevelin, Gordon Van Gelder and Fantasy & Science Fiction, Tom Brown and Radio Archives, Greg Shepard and Stark House Press, and Charles F. Millhouse and Stormgate Publishing.

Finally, thanks to all of the conventions, book and paper fairs, bookstores, comic and collectible shops, web sites, magazines, newspapers, and other media outlets that helped to promote our show as well as the dealers, attending members and supporting members of PulpFest 2013. It was due to your encouragement and support that our convention was successful. We hope to see you all back next summer along with a good many newcomers for PulpFest 2014. Details will be forthcoming in the months ahead. So please subscribe to our PulpFest email list through the small gray box found along the right side of our home page. You’ll also be able to find information at our Facebook site and through our Twitter account.

If you’d like to volunteer to help with PulpFest 2014, please email Mike Chomko, Jack Cullers, Ed Hulse, or Barry Traylor.

 Posted by at 11:58 pm
Jul 282013

PulpFest 2013 FlyerPulpFest 2013 is drawing to a close, but there is still time to get in on the action. The dealers’ room will be open from 9 AM until 2 PM today. With most of our dealers getting ready to head for home, our admission for the day is only $5 which even includes a copy of our highly ollectible program book, The Pulpster. There are no programming events scheduled for Sunday.

If you have not been able to attend PulpFest in 2013, start making your plans right now to join the 43rd convening of “The Summer’s Great Pulp Con” in 2014. The PulpFest committee is already starting to plan for next year’s convention.

To keep informed about PulpFest 2014, bookmark http://www.pulpfest.com/ and visit often. News about the convention can also be found on the PulpFest Facebook site at http://www.facebook.com/PulpFest. And for those who prefer their news short and sweet, follow our Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/pulpfest. Finally, there’s our email list. It’s the gray box to the right of this post. Subscribe to our list and be the first on your block to get news about PulpFest.

Many thanks to all those who attended this year’s convention. We hope everyone will be able to make it to PulpFest 2014!

Many thanks to our art designer Chris Kalb for his usual excellent work in formulating our flyer for the 2013 convention. The background painting is, of course, Walter M. Baumhofer’s The Man of Bronze that was used as the cover for the first issue of Doc Savage Magazine dated March 1933.

 Posted by at 6:02 pm
Jul 272013

Spider's WebThere’s still time to get in on the action. The dealers’ room will be open today from 9 AM to 5 PM and from 9 AM to 2 PM on Sunday.

Today at 1 PM, Ron Fortier will host a forum on “new pulp fiction.” Afterward, Radio ArchivesRoger Price will be reading from Will Murray’s Doc Savage/King Kong crossover, Skull Island, while Jim Beard, a columnist for the Toledo Free Press and a freelance writer, will read from several of his works.

Our evening programming begins at 7:30 PM. PulpFest 2013 will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Dr. Fu-Manchu, the creation of Sax Rohmer, with a panel on the devil doctor and his influence on the pulps and American popular culture. There will also be a presentation on hero pulp premiums and promotions as well as a showing of the concluding chapters of The Spider’s Web, Columbia Pictures’ classic movie serial based on one of the most popular hero pulp magazines of the thirties and forties.

The presentation of the annual Munsey Award  and an auction featuring the collection of pulp historian Albert Tonik and other collectible material will also take place during the evening hours. You can learn more about all of our great presentations by visiting the Programming page of our website.

Don’t let PulpFest 2013 slip by. Come to Columbus and join up! Admission to the show is $15 on Saturday and $5 on Sunday, allowing entry to all convention activities. Children under 15 accompanied by a parent are free. The general public is welcome to attend.

Above is a two-color advertising bill for the 1947 re-release of The Spider’s Web in Australia. To learn more about this great movie serial and its sequel, please visit The Spider Returns website.

 Posted by at 12:58 pm
Jul 262013

docpulp1PulpFest 2013 got underway on Thursday evening with a full slate of programming starting at 8 PM. Now, in just a few short minutes, the PulpFest 2013 dealers’ room will be open to all. Upon entry to the Hyatt’s spacious exhibition hall, collectors will be greeted by more than 100 tables filled with pulps, books, original artwork, vintage comics, and other collectibles. And the feeding frenzy will begin!

There’s still plenty of time to join in on the fun. The dealers’ room will be open until 5 PM today and from 9 AM to 5 PM on Saturday. Sunday will be a bit shorter, from 9 AM to 2 PM. Friday’s programming schedule includes three author readings in the afternoon. The evening presentations will begin at 7:30 PM with a panel discussion of Philip José Farmer’s contributions to the Doc Savage mythos. Another panel will examine Doc Savage and the pulp heroes of 1933, while pulp art historian David Saunders will look at the life and work of artist Walter M. Baumhofer. Ending tonight’s programming will be a showing of chapters 6 – 10 of The Spider’s Web, Columbia Pictures’ classic chapter play based on the adventures of Norvell W. Page’s vigilante hero.

We’ll have more exciting programming for you on Saturday, including an auction of more than 100 lots of collectibles. You can learn more about all of our great presentations by visiting the Programming page of our website.

Admission to the show is $15 per day or $35 for all three days, allowing entry to all convention activities. Children under 15 accompanied by a parent are free. The general public is welcome to attend.

The cover art above is by Walter M. Baumhofer for the March 1933 issue of Doc Savage Magazine.

 Posted by at 12:58 pm
Jul 252013

Yen Sin 36-09-10Tonight at 8 PM, PulpFest 2013 will begin its programming with a look at the pulp descendents of Dr. Fu Manchu and a presentation on Hollywood’s attempts to bring the pulps to the silver screen. Finishing off the night will be a showing of the first five chapters of the classic Columbia chapter play, The Spider’s Web. This 1938 production is considered one of the best movie serials of all time.

You can find additional details about these and all of our presentations by visiting the Programming page of our website.

The PulpFest dealers’ room will open for business beginning at 9 AM on Friday, July 26th. Tonight, you can register early for what is typically a feeding frenzy as book and pulp collectors scour the room searching for this or that long elusive volume. All you have to do is arrive by Thursday evening at the Hyatt Regency Columbus and register for the convention from 6 PM – 8 PM. Early registration will take place right outside of the Regency Ballroom on the hotel’s third floor.

Admission to the show is $15 per day or $35 for all three days, allowing entry to all convention activities. The general public is very much welcome to attend.

Jerome Rozen’s cover art above appeared on the September/October 1936 issue of Dr. Yen Sin.

 Posted by at 3:58 pm