Conventions


WINDY CITY PULP CONVENTION 2021 REPORT
by Walker Martin


   A group of about five collectors have been making this trip out to Chicago for over 10 years but this year only three of us made the two day drive out to the convention. One of our group could not make it due to pandemic restrictions and one hurt his back moving bookcases just prior to the show. This injury was especially sad since he always looks forward to the pulp shows and has been attending them since the second Pulpcon in 1973.

   We had nice weather driving to and from the show and enjoyed several meals together, especially the ones at the Outback and Longhorn Steak House. The three of us discussed several topics during the drive, including memories of past Pulpcons and my adventures at the first one in 1972, a mere 50 years ago. Somehow it feels like only the other day that I drove out to St Louis and discovered so many great friends and great pulps.

   In fact we often hear about people entering their second childhood if they live long enough, and the same rule applies to pulp and book collectors. For instance back in the 1980’s I got rid of my almost complete set of G-8 and His Battle Aces and here I am 40 years later buying a complete set of the 110 issues again. I imagine I will dislike Nippy and Bull just as much as I did decades ago, but I also love the great insane covers just like I did so long ago. Thanks Doug. Just what I needed, another set of G-8 to complain about.

   What else did I buy? I have an almost complete set of Sea Stories, over 112 issues and I’ve always wanted an original cover painting. Thanks to Doug (again!) I bought the painting for the cover of the June 20, 1923 issue. True, this is not a great one like the ones Anton Otto Fischer painted, but then again I probably cannot afford such great art anyway.

   I’ve been buying paperback cover art by Larry Schwinger for over 30 years, starting in 1989 with two Cornell Woolrich covers. This convention I bought another one, a real bargain at only $100. But my old pal Scott Hartshorn beat me to another bargain by Schwinger, the cover to Hombre by Elmore Leonard. I tried to immediately buy it from Scott, but he’s so greedy that he refused my offer.

   I also bought some books including 3 volumes of the R.A. Lafferty collections presently being published by Centipede Press. They plan to publish 12 volumes but the print runs are only 300 each, so they go out of print fast and are expensive to find. Speaking of books, Ed Hulse had an advance copy of his new history of vintage paperbacks. Go to the Murania Press website to order. The book has over 450 paperback covers in color and will be shipping starting September 28. The title is The Art of Pulp Fiction: An Illustrated History of Vintage Paperbacks.

   There were some paintings I wanted to buy but I talked myself out of buying them because I have no space and I don’t want to add to the stacks of art leaning against the walls and bookcases, a common problem that collectors face as they accumulate art. Fred Taraba had a great Frontier Stories cover painting from 1925 and Craig Poole had a McCauley from Amazing Stories but I manage to escape the show without adding to the stacks of art.

   During the old days of Pulpcon in the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s, there were often what we called “feeding frenzies”, where the entire dealer’s room seems to swarm around certain tables with rare and desirable pulps. This no longer happens that often but it did at this Windy City show. Andrew Zimmerli had several tables crammed with hundreds of rare old pulps.

   To give you an example of what happened, Matt Moring missed the first day of the feeding frenzy but still managed to find around 50 old Adventure’s that he needs, mainly from the hard to get teens. He now only needs 40 or 50 issues to complete the set of 753 pulp issues, 1910-1953. Non-collectors may not understand this but believe me it is a major achievement.

   Doug Ellis mentioned to me that attendance was 500 and there were 168 tables. Despite the pandemic, these are excellent numbers. Masks were required, maid service limited and restaurant hours limited. The auction was the main event for Friday and Saturday evening. In the old days’, Rusty Hevelin believed the comic book dealers should by banned from Pulpcon, but we live in The Brave New World today and so the comic book influence was evident. For instance the so called “bat girl” cover of Weird Tales sold for $11,000 and there were conversations about “slabbing” pulps.

   This is the future where we will see rare and expensive pulps slabbed like many comics in plastic. Readers Beware!! I guess we will have to change the old saying, “So many books, so little time” to “So many books, but since they are enclosed in plastic, we have plenty of time”. The “slabbers” say only the expensive books will be slabbed and there will be reprints to read but to me slabbing books is still sacrilege. I get it about slabbing baseball cards but pulps and books?

   The auction also included over 300 lots of other Weird Tales, rare pulps, Robert Howard items, and correspondence, including some great letters from Farnsworth Wright, the editor of Weird Tales. Most of the items were from the estates of Robert Weinberg and Glenn Lord.

   There were two panels. The Friday night panel discussed upcoming books by Edgar Rice Burroughs and the Saturday night panel discussed the magazine, Black Mask. I talked about how I managed to complete a set of the 340 issues back in the 1970’s and fellow panelists also discussed the Joseph Shaw era and the Ken White years of 1940-1948. The other three collectors on the panel were long time collectors John Wooley, Will Murray, and Matt Moring. We had to be tough and hard boiled to talk about such a subject in only 45 minutes!

   There was the usual art show and films. This year Ed Hulse ran the films only during the day and not at night or after the auction. As usual Sunday was New Pulp Sunday with panels discussing the subject. The 20th edition of Windy City Pulp Stories was excellent and all 158 pages dealt with Black Mask and Dashiell Hammett. This is a must buy if you have any interest in pulps or Hammett.

   The next Windy City Pulp show will be May 6, 2022 through May 8, 2022. Same hotel and hosted as usual by Doug Ellis and John Gunnison. Thank you for your efforts. I know a lot of work went into this convention. Thanks too to Paul Herman and Matt Moring for allowing me the use of the photos they took for this report. I hope everyone survives the plague and that we all meet again next year!

CONVENTION REPORT: PulpFest 2021
by Walker Martin

   Finally, after two years a Pulpfest! Last year there was no convention because of the virus and I had not missed a show in a very long time. I almost went to Pittsburgh anyway in 2020 just to morosely hang out at the hotel but I couldn’t talk anyone else into driving out. But this year there was a convention and I swore I’d make it, pandemic or no pandemic.

   Since one of our group decided not to drive with us, there was only four of us and we therefore did not need the larger van. Driving out was nice weather, unlike the horror story driving back at the end of the show. We arrived at 3 pm on Thursday and found the dealer’s room to be busy with most tables set up for business. I estimate well over 300 in attendance and a hundred or so tables. I heard that attendance was supposed to be a lot larger but there was a 25% cancellation during the past two weeks as collectors either bit the dust or decided to not attend due to the pandemic.

   The dealer’s room closed at 5 pm and was immediately followed by a great pizza party hosted by many of the dealers. I then hung out in the hotel bar with friends where I drank five pints of beer. I firmly believe that drinking a lot of beer helps scare away the virus. Also it was free, due to my fellow collectors who also believe that beer is the staff of life. Thank you Matt Moring, Richard Meli and the veteran whose name I did not catch. Later on the bartender claimed he did not pay the bar tab, and he came to me for payment. But I told him I only drink the beer. I don’t pay for it. Plus he’s a vet. He should get free beer.

   The next morning I got up and followed my usual practice of getting rid of hangovers by eating a large breakfast and drinking plenty of coffee. I have to admit the hotel serves the best and largest buffet breakfast that I have ever encountered. It was delicious.

   Then into action when the dealer’s room opened at 9 am. Masks were recommended and most started off wearing them but as the day progressed, the masks came off. I told Matt it was like a scene out of Fritz Leiber’s “Coming Attraction” in the November 1950 issue of Galaxy SF. Social distancing was followed, but then we stopped worrying and concentrated on buying pulps and books.

   What did I buy? Well Doug Ellis had some great art for sale, especially cover paintings and interiors by Hubert Rogers. I almost bought some but I talked myself out of buying any since I have stacks of art leaning against my walls and bookcases. However history was made as my old friend Digges La Touche bought a cover painting from a paperback. In 50 years he has never bought art, except for one Barbara Cartland paperback cover. He always concentrates on buying masses of pulps, but no more I guess. I stop buying art and he starts.

   I also found some of the extremely rare and hard to find large issues of Everybody’s from the WW I era. Sai Shanker had an excellent article in the new Pulpster about the history of Everybody’s. The magazine lasted 355 issues and went from slick to pulp. He will soon publish a collection of the best stories from the magazine. Speaking of upcoming books, Steeger Books, otherwise known as Matt Moring, will be coming out with a collection of “The Campfire” letters from Adventure in the twenties. These books are must buys if you collect fiction magazines.

   As usual I had a table and sold some rare items. This time I had some duplicates of of the Manhunt Detective imitators. These digest magazines were published in the fifties and sixties and have sexy covers showing girls fighting or killing some poor guy. Cool! I’ve been collecting these digest since 1956, so I’ve been at it for 65 years. Time flies when you are having fun, and I considering collecting magazines to be a hell of a lot of fun. My wife thinks different.

   The Pulpster 30 was given to all the attendees and it was the best issue yet of all the 30 issues. William Lampkin is the editor and Mike Chomko the publisher. Copies are available from Mike Chomko Books and I give this magazine my highest recommendation. It’s large format, 8 1/2 by 11, 60 pages, and in color. Several articles were on The Shadow, including interviews with artists Jerome Rozen and Graves Gladney. Other articles dealt with the love pulps (escape literature for three million maidens), the debut of online newgroups dealing with pulps, the history of Everybody’s by Sai Shanker, Tony Davis on editor Dorothy McIIwraith, and a Darrell Schweitzer interview with Hugh Cave.

   PulpFest is known for the great programming and all the panels and discussions were outstanding. If I had to pick one above all the others I would have to highly recommend Laurie Powers’ “The Queen and Her Court: Great Women Pulp Editors.” It is obvious that Laurie spent a lot of time on this presentation which deserves to be reprinted in a print magazine or book. It is a great example of original pulp research and not just the rehashing of well known facts.

   Other programming was also noteworthy like the discussion on Shadow artists. This was supposed to be presented by David Saunders but he could not attend and Chet Williamson stepped in. I also liked Doug Ellis on Margaret Brundage and the discussion on Eva Lynd: Countess, Actress, and Cover girl. Eva Lynd was supposed to be the Guest of Honor but could not attend but she sent a very nice thank you film.

   This was also the first year of ERBFest. I hope these Edgar Rice Burroughs scholars and fans will return next year. As usual the presentation of The Munsey Award was a highlight of the programming. This year’s award was given to Rich Harvey who has not only published many pulp books and magazines, but more importantly, has been the organizer behind the annual one day convention, Pulp Adventurecon. There have been more that 20 of these shows usually held in Bordentown during November of each year. Congratulations Rich!

   The auction was held Saturday night and though there was no estate auction, many collectors contributed items of interest. Halfway through the auction an overpowering thirst descended upon me, and I adjourned to the bar where unlike Thursday and Friday, I had to pay for my own drinks. I forget which night it happened but the fire alarm went off, and we had to leave the hotel. Fortunately I had a full beer in hand and simply strolled out the door hoping that not too many pulps would be destroyed. Many other collectors had to get dressed and leave their beds. That’s what happens when you go to bed too early.

   I was glad to see that Blood n Thunder had not bit the dust. The Blood n Thunder 2021 Annual made its debut as well as Sam Sherman’s When Dracula Met Frankenstein. Both published by Ed Hulse’s Murania Press.

   Next year will be the 50th Anniversary of Pulpcon/Pulpfest. The first one was held in 1972 and I was there! I sure as hell wish all the other attendees were still around and we could have a panel discussing the good old days. But it’s getting down to The Last Man Standing and hopefully I’ll be present to talk about the way things were and what happened. In 1972 I was one of the youngest collectors present and now in 2021, I’m one of the oldest. My advice for a long life? Drink Beer and collect books, pulps, and art. It worked for me!

   Driving home on Sunday was a mess. Heavy rain and the nagging fear of water in the basement. But I dodged the bullet again and my basement was dry. My pulps and wife welcomed me home.

   I would like to thank the Pulpfest committee: Jack Cullers, Sally Cullers, Mike Chomko, Peter Chomko, William Lampkin, William Maynard, Tony Davis, Barry Traylor. I know I’m leaving out someone else and maybe Mike or Jack could list the correct committee in the comments.

   Windy City Pulp Convention is only a couple weeks away. I hope to see you there!

Book and Pulp Collecting During the Pandemic
or a Report on Pulp Adventurecon 2020
by Walker Martin.

   

   This has been a terrible year for conventions. SF conventions, Windy City, and Pulpfest, all cancelled and postponed to next year. For 50 years I’ve had my choice of shows to attend, usually going to Pulpcon/Pulpfest and Windy City. But for the first time I had no convention to attend until Pulp Adventurecon on November 7, 2020. A couple months ago I would have said that there was no way the show could be held because of the NJ lockdown mandated by Gov. Murphy.

Left to right: Walker Martin, Matt Moring, Scott Hartshorn,
and William Maynard seated.

   But somehow, against all odds, Rich Harvey and Audrey Parente managed to organize a show despite the virus increasing in NJ. Social distancing was the rule with masks and hand sanitizer available. The venue was new with the location moved to Mt Laurel, NJ at the Clarion Hotel. I don’t believe we will be returning to the Bordentown location.

   The dealer’s room was very large with 16 dealers and around 30 tables. The pandemic kept attendance down but there were 60 to 80 attendees. However, as you can see from the photo of the room, often the room appeared almost empty. Here are my snapshot impressions:

   Author and dealer Darrell Schweitzer had his usual table but did not appear to sell much.

   Matt Moring and I shared a table but between us we sold only four pulps. However we came to buy, not to sell.

   Gary Lovisi and his wife were present with the new Paperback Parade issue. Gary also filmed a report on You Tube.

   John Gunnison had six tables and appeared to be selling well.

   Ed Hulse said this show was better that the last two Pulp Adventurecons combined. At least for him.

Ed Hulse.

   Paul Herman had a table full of paperbacks and did well.

   William Maynard sold many books that he heavily discounted.

   Martin Grams shocked me with his “Going out of business” sale. For many years he has been selling DVDs and writing books about the old TV series. But he soon will be opening a Coffee shop and his last book will be the one on the Lone Ranger.

   Digges La Touche usually stays all day buying pulps but this year he was in and out before I even arrived. The virus has changed our buying habits.

   What did I buy? William Maynard sold me a set of the Sanders of the Rivers stories by Edgar Wallace. Ed Hulse sold me a couple nice looking books on L. Ron Hubbard, and John Gunnison sold me three pulps that I had once owned. It seems that I had traded off these issues but as I often do years later, I start collecting them again.

Dealers room.

   The big buy for me was the silver anniversary issue of Top Notch, March 1935. I had mistakenly sold it 20 years ago and it took me all this time to find another copy. I also bought a copy of the May 1939 issue of Dime Detective which I used to own. It has a great titled story by Cornell Woolrich, “The Case of the Killer-Diller.” I also use to own the Dime Mystery issue for October 1947. If you collect Black Mask and Dime Detective, you should also collect the other Popular Publication detective titles such as Dime Mystery, Detective Tales, New Detective. I’ve been in the pulp collecting game so long that I’ve started to collect titles for the second time around.

John Gunnison, on the right.

   For several years I’ve been hosting a brunch get together for my long time friends on the Friday before the show. This year, after much thought, I decided to go ahead and have a scaled down version of the lunch. There were six of my closest pals in attendance:

   Matt Moring–In addition to being in charge of Steeger Books and Altus Press, he also collects pulps and original art

   Paul Herman–Dealer, art collector, and Black Mask collector.

   Nick Certo–Book dealer and art collector.

   Scott Hartshorn–collector of all sorts of bizarre things and art collector also.

   Ed Hulse–Now for a couple friends who are not art collectors. Ed is editor and publisher of Blood n Thunder magazine and Murania Press books..

   Digges La Touche–Book, pulp, and dime novel collector. Not too many dime novel guys around anymore. He also is the last of the pulp excerpters. I remember when there were a lot of old time collectors excerpting pulps and making home made books of the excerpted stories.

C. M. Eddy material (Weird Tales author and friend of Lovecraft).

   I just added up the years I’ve known these guys. Over 200 years between them! Some good deals were made at the pre-convention brunch also. Matt sold a three volume Steeger Books edition of H. Bedford Jones complete John Solomon series. A set of preliminary Larry Schwinger drawings for his Cornell Woolrich paperback covers were sold. Several issues of Western Story were bought. After the brunch we found a new place to eat dinner near my house. PJ’s Pancake House and Tavern. Once again I noticed that I’m often the only drinker. This must mean something but I haven’t figured out what. Maybe a Nero Wolfe connection? Or tough private eyes?

   We stayed at the convention until almost 4 pm and then went to Mastoris Diner, another post-convention tradition. Good friends, good food, good drink, as my old friend Harry Noble used to say.

   So thank you Rich and Audrey for taking the big risk and putting on the convention. Hope to see you next year without the pandemic! Also thanks to Paul Herman for taking these photos.

   I hope to see many of you at Windy City in April and Pulpfest in August next year. I don’t know if I can survive another such year as 2020.

   Alas, I’ve been jammed up with too many things to do to be able to post Walker’s annual PulpFest report here on this blog in any timely fashion. We’ve asked Sai Shankar whether he’d be willing to post it on his Pulp Flakes blog, and he’s most graciously agreed. More than that, he’s done a masterful job.

   Here’s the link. Enjoy!

WINDY CITY PULP CONVENTION 2019 REPORT
by Walker Martin

   

   Next year will be the 20th anniversary of this great convention, and it seems to just be getting better and better. Everyone looks middle-aged or older, so there has to be a point where attendance declines, but it has not occurred yet. This year there were over 120 dealers, 180 tables, and over 500 in attendance. The dealer’s room was expanded and it was an amazing sight to see almost 200 tables crammed with piles of pulps, vintage paperbacks, slicks, first edition books, DVDs, original artwork, and just about every type of pulp related collectible that you could imagine. A heavenly sight for bibliophiles and art lovers!

   It’s beyond me how Doug, Deb, and John Gunnison manage to organize this show each year. Plus Doug and Deb manage to host a Thursday pre-convention brunch at their home for art lovers. I would like to thank everyone on the convention committee and staff for a job well done as usual.

   The auction this year was even better than usual with hundreds of lots from the Robert Weinberg and Glenn Lord estates. Held on Friday and Saturday the auction started at 8:15 each night and lasted to around midnight. It’s a puzzle to me how John Gunnison manages to handle 400 lots over 8 or so hours. His voice doesn’t fade and he keeps his sense of humor. Somehow his wife, Maureen, and Deb Fulton keep track of each lot and the accounting details. Here are some of highlights:

RAILROAD MAN’S MAGAZINE–two issues from 1918. Despite the title this pulp was a general fiction magazine and is extremely rare. Both issues went for $50 each.

WT letter to author Greye La Spina signed by Farnsworth Wright with his full signature. Due to Parkinson’s disease he soon stopped signing.—$525

Greye La Spina file of excerpts from THRILL BOOK, including a cover to THRILL BOOK from 1919. Too Bad the author didn’t keep the entire magazines because then the lot would have went for thousands of dollars instead of only $100.

WEIRD TALES, Canadian editions—There were several of these interesting issues which had different covers from the American edition. They all went for around $100 each except for one HPL issue which got $700.

ORIENTAL STORIES–nicely bound.—$475

WEIRD TALES–Many issues went for hundreds of dollars but several went for over a thousand, such as 2/24, 3/24, 12/32(first Conan story-$2500), 3/23(first issue–$3750), 9/23, 7/25( Howard’s first story–$1200).

The Case Against The Comics by Gabriel Lynn–Early 1944 pamphlet advocating censorship of comics. Very scarce–$3750

NOT AT NIGHT edited by Herbert Asbury, 1928. Signed by Asbury, Lovecraft, and Derleth—$4500

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM. The only volume in Wright’s Shakespeare Library. 25 illustrations by Finlay.–$425. I wanted this to go along with my WT set but I chickened out too early.

Errata sheet for “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” by HPL–$1500

Daisy Bacon signed letter from 1945. This did not go for much over a hundred but I must have fallen asleep during the bidding. I wanted it as an example that Daisy edited DETECTIVE STORY magazine in the forties and not just LOVE STORY. A tell all book will soon be out titled QUEEN OF THE PULPS by Laurie Powers(who some of us also consider The Queen of the Pulps).

ACTION STORIES, FIGHT STORIES, COWBOY STORIES–all crammed full of stories by Robert Howard. Prices were all over the place but usually over 100.

World Fantasy Award Statue, 1978. This is Glenn Lord’s which was awarded for his work in editing and publishing Robert Howard. A great image of HPL—$2000. I wanted this to go along with my Walter Baumhofer and Elmer Kelton Guest Of Honor Plaques from Pulpcon. But I dropped out at $2000 weeping bitter tears of disappointment.

AMRA bound set of first 20 issues—$1000. I wanted this since I’m lacking these early issues but I couldn’t convince myself that a 20 page fanzine is worth $50 each.

THE SHUNNED HOUSE by HPL and printed by Paul Cook.$5,500

DUNE by Frank Herbert. First Edition at $1800.

PEOPLE’S FAVORITE MAGAZINE 6/25/19–$950. True HBJ is in this but no way should it bring this price. Ridiculous.

DIME DETECTIVE–30 lots from 1933 through 1935. Most in beautiful condition–Some as low as $80 but many as high as $200 or $300.

   There were many other interesting and high bids but the above will give you an idea of the fun and suspense occurring at the auctions.

   Also of note and almost as interesting as the auction was a talk given on Friday night by Alec Nevala-Lee about his recent excellent book on ASTOUNDING and John W. Campbell. I agree absolutely that Campbell was responsible for The Golden Age of Science Fiction in the forties. Unfortunately he went off the tracks in the fifties with Dianetics, the Dean drive, and the Hieronymus machine. Just my opinion of course but Alfred Bester had a story meeting with Campbell in the early fifties and came away thinking that Campbell was unhinged. I won’t even go into his racial ideas but he was of great influence in magazine SF.

   On Saturday night there was a panel on “Remembering PLANET STORIES“. The funny thing is that the audience thought that we had forgotten Planet Stories since we were late in returning from dinner due to slow service at a restaurant. The panel was made up of Ed Hulse, Garyn Roberts and myself. I concentrated on my collection of PLANET and how I ended up with the world’s best condition set (the Frank Robinson issues) and the world’s worst condition set. It’s a story too strange and horrible to repeat but the audience seemed to enjoy it.

   Despite my respect for John Campbell I also mentioned on this panel that he seemed to have a major blind spot with certain quality writers. Once he made up his mind that you were not on the same wave length, he often would stop publishing your work. Three of the best PLANET STORIES authors suffered from Campbell’s dislike for example. Ray Bradbury had one early story in ASTOUNDING but had 20 appearances in PLANET STORIES. Leigh Brackett had a couple early stories in ASTOUNDING but also had 20 in PLANET. Philip K. Dick, who has claim to being one of the best and most influential SF writers, had one that I know of with Campbell but five with PLANET, including his first sale. As the fifties and sixties continued this trend became more and more obvious with authors who were once popular in ASTOUNDING in the forties. The found new markets in GALAXY and F&SF.

But if you don’t care for auctions, dealer’s room, or panels, then there are other diversions such as the art show, Ed Hulse’s film program, and the hospitality room. I love the hospitality room where I guzzled many a beer. Not to mention the snacks. There are plenty of great restaurants nearby, and I gained 5 pounds.

   The convention also published a book titled WINDY CITY PULP STORIES. This book comes out annually and the 19th edition is 188 pages and edited by Tom Roberts. Tom always does a good job on the book and also is the publisher of Black Dog Books. I hear he had to miss the show this year, and I hope to see him at next year’s event. The best and most interesting article in the book was by Frank Robinson written in 1951 and discussing the likely end of the pulps. Frank shows some interesting circulation figures leading to the decline and end by 1955. (There were a couple of exceptions lasting beyond 1955 like SF QUARTERLY and RANCH ROMANCES.)

   Three excellent books from Altus Press made their debut. Though Matt Moring couldn’t make it due to work, the books made it thanks to Mike Chomko. The books are:

1–OPERATOR 5, The Complete Purple Wars. Two volumes with the illustrations which are excellent. It would cost thousands to get the 14 issues in fine condition, so this limited edition is a bargain at $150. Often called The War and Peace of the pulps. WAR AND PEACE is my favorite all time novel, so I’ll be comparing Tepperman with Tolstoy. I wonder who wrote the better novel?

2—SHIPS AND MEN by H. Bedford Jones. Reprinted from BLUE BOOK for the first time.

3–The 2019 issue of the revived BLACK MASK. Matt Moring is doing a great job reviving this great pulp with new and reprinted stories. I urge you all to support this magazine. Copies are available from Altus Press, Mike Chomko, and Amazon.com.

   Another excellent book coming out by the end of the year will be QUEEN OF THE PULPS by Laurie Powers. Not only a life of editor Daisy Bacon but a great love story as Daisy carries on a torrid affair while editing LOVE STORY. By the way Daisy also edited DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE during the forties, so the book is just not about the romance pulps. McFarland Books has it listed on their website.

   What did I get at the show? Well, I don’t need too many pulps any longer and I managed to control my lust for original art but I did find a nice piece of preliminary cover art by Rosen for TEXAS RANGERS, April 1944. The interesting thing is this art was also used as the cover for a Popular Library paperback titled DRYGULCH TRAIL by William Macleod Raine. So in other words the art appeared on two different formats: pulp magazine and paperback.

   I also bought a stack of interior illustration proofs. We have all seen cover proofs but illustration proofs are a lot rarer. These came from the estate of Ryerson Johnson, who was a long time writer but also an editor for Popular Publications for a couple years in the forties. He told me as he was leaving on his last day of work, he was encouraged to take whatever art he wanted for free. He ended up taking three cover paintings, many interior drawings, advertising posters, and these illustration proofs.

   One of the few auction lots that I was high bidder on turned out to be a nice find. PM #42, dated Feb-March 1938 had a nice article on artist Lee Brown Coye. The cover and many interior illustration are by Coye and give a nice example of his early work,

   As usual, I have nothing but good things to say about the convention and the Westin hotel. But surely something must have gone bad, right? I can only think of three things:

1–On the drive to Chicago, we stayed at an inexpensive motel which was like only $60. I guess you get what you pay for because when I got up to take a hot shower to wake me up and loosen my back spasms, the water almost immediately turned cold. I almost jumped through the wall. How can a motel not have hot water?

2–On the ride back we stayed at another motel this time for $80. Unfortunately they had breakfast sausage that looked and smelled horrible. It probably is not a good idea to eat breakfast at inexpensive motels.

3–As we packed the rental van on Sunday, there seemed to be quite a bit of snow. So much in fact that we held a meeting and almost voted to stay over another night and leave the next day. But we decided to leave anyway despite the snow storm and eventually the snow turned to rain.

   Next up? Pulpfest! August 15 through August 18, 2019. The hotel is first class like the Westin and details are at pulpfest.com. See you there!

THE WINDY CITY PULP & PAPER CONVENTION, 2019
by Doug Ellis


   The 19th annual Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention is now just over a month away! The convention will take place on April 12-14, 2019 at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center in Lombard, Illinois. As usual, we will have auctions on both Friday (April 12) and Saturday (April 13) nights, and this year’s auctions promise to be our best ever.

   The Friday night auction consists of 230 lots of material from the estate of famed collector Robert Weinberg, while the Saturday night auction begins with 100 lots from the estate of Glenn Lord, literary executor for the Robert E. Howard estate, followed by 56 lots from a few other consignors. And more lots will be added to the Saturday night auction at the convention, to include material consigned there by convention attendees.

   Among the highlights in this year’s auctions are:

● The first issue of the legendary pulp, Weird Tales
● A fine copy of the December 1932 issue of Weird Tales, featuring the first appearance of Robert E. Howard’s immortal barbarian, Conan
● Numerous other issues of Weird Tales, including several of the rare bedsheet issues, many in gorgeous condition

● “Not At Night” edited by Herbert Asbury; the 1928 American edition of this British horror anthology series, signed by contributors H.P. Lovecraft and August Derleth as well as by editor Asbury
● Several very scarce issues of the pulp, The All-Story, with serial installments of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ first two John Carter of Mars novels, “Under the Moons of Mars” (in book form as “A Princess of Mars”) and “The Gods of Mars”
● A complete run of the rare pulp, Excitement
● The first edition of Frank Herbert’s landmark SF novel, “Dune”
● Nearly a complete bound run of the pulp Double Detective, including all of the Green Lama issues
● “The Case Against the Comics” by Gabriel Lynn, an extremely scarce 32 page pamphlet published in 1944 by The Catechetical Guild, advocating the censorship of comics, predating Wertham’s “Seduction of the Innocent” (note that an 8 page version was also published, but this is the full version)
● H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Shunned House”, printed in 1928 by The Recluse Press but never bound by them, which Glenn Lord later had professionally bound
● Two of famed SF editor Ray Palmer’s bound copies of the legendary fanzines, Science Fiction Digest and Fantasy Magazine, later signed and inscribed by Julius Schwartz to Bob Weinberg
● 30 copies of the pulp Dime Detective Magazine, many in beautiful condition

● An original Kane manuscript by noted fantasy and horror author Karl Edward Wagner
● 20 of the 21 issues of the scarce Canadian fantasy pulp, Uncanny Tales
● Other rare Canadian pulps and books, including many issues of the Canadian edition of Weird Tales and the only issue of Eerie Tales
● Numerous Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft items
● Correspondence from SF author Philip K. Dick, signed by him, with great content regarding his “The Man in the High Castle”
● The 1935 Dragon-Fly Press edition of “The Goblin Tower” by Frank Belknap Long, printed in an edition of 100
● Rare U.K. and Australian books and magazines, including the only issue of The Weird Story Magazine, and many publications from Gerald G. Swan and Utopian Publications
● Rare items by Clark Ashton Smith, including “Odes and Sonnets,” “Sandalwood and Other Poems” and “The Hill of Dionysus: A Selection”
● The complete run of the bedsheet pulp Scientific Detective Monthly/Amazing Detective Tales, including the extremely scarce ashcan issue
● “The Dream Weaver: An Edgar Rice Burroughs Chapbook”
● Other rare pulps, including issues of Mind Magic, Flash Gordon Strange Adventure Magazine and People’s Favorite Magazine

● Many early Arkham House books, including Robert E. Howard’s “Always Comes Evening”, Clark Ashton Smith’s “Out of Space and Time” and “Spells and Philtres”, Donald Wandrei’s “The Web of Easter Island” and “August Derleth: Twenty Years of Writing, 1926-1946”
● Signed items by H.P. Lovecraft, A. Merritt, August Derleth, Clark Ashton Smith, Edmond Hamilton, Mary Elizabeth Counselman, Greye La Spina, Daisy Bacon and others
● A complete bound set of the legendary fanzine, The Fantasy Fan, edited by Charles D. Hornig
● Numerous issues of the pulps Action Stories, Fight Stories, Fantastic Novels, The Magic Carpet Magazine, The All-Story and Private Detective Stories
● The complete run of the pulp, Oriental Stories, attractively bound, in slipcase
● The 1938 edition of “The Sign of the Burning Hart: A Tale of Arcadia” by David H. Keller, published in France in an edition of 100 copies; it’s been noted that few of these survived WWII

   The complete auction catalog is now available on our website, and can be downloaded at this link:

       http://tinyurl.com/yxezoqgf

   Images will shortly be posted on our website (www.windycitypulpandpaper.com) and are now also available in the Photos section on our Facebook page — search FB for Windy City Pulp and Paper or go to:

       https://www.facebook.com/windycitypulp/

   The website will also soon have details on absentee bidding, for those who can’t make it to the convention.

   But the auctions aren’t our only highlight! Friday through Sunday, our expanded dealer room will be buzzing, bursting with 180 six foot long tables, with roughly 100 dealers from the U.S., Canada and the U.K. displaying pulps, vintage paperbacks, science fiction, fantasy & mystery hardcovers, golden and silver age comics, original illustration art, movie memorabilia and more!

   Our art show will feature a great display of the Burroughs’ art of Mark Wheatley, as well as art from the pulp Planet Stories, pulp and paperback art with a Chicago connection, and a unique display of original photographs featuring pulp authors, artists and publishers. As usual, our film programming, curated by Ed Hulse, will run Friday and Saturday, showing movies and serials based on pulp stories. Our evening programming will include a presentation on John Campbell and Astounding Stories by Alec Nevala-Lee (author of the recent “Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction”), as well as a panel of pulp experts discussing Fiction House’s beloved SF pulp, Planet Stories.

   And Sunday morning will see the new Director of Publishing for Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., Christopher Paul Carey, leading a panel on the exciting things planned from ERB, Inc., followed by New Pulp Sunday, programming devoted to the vibrant and colorful world of New Pulp organized by Ron Fortier of Airship 27 Productions. And all attendees will get a copy of our fabulous convention book, put out by Tom Roberts of Black Dog Books.

   We hope you’ll join us for the fun and excitement at this year’s Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention! For more info, contact me, Doug Ellis, at pulpvault@msn.com.

CONVENTION REPORT: PulpFest 2018
by Walker Martin


Dedicated to the memory of Rusty Hevelin.

   A TALE OF TWO CITIES by Charles Dickens is one of my favorite novels and starts off with the famous passage, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness”. It continues later, “…it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…” This just about sums up my feeling after Pulpfest 2018.

   So what happened? On the drive back home, what made me attack a vending machine which tried to keep my dollar bill? The thing was seven feet tall but somehow I was so energized and angry that I shook the small bag of pretzels loose. What made me walk away from arguing with a bunch of fellow collectors, muttering curses, and angry?

   People that have known me for a long time know that the love of my life is Pulpcon/Pulpfest. I’ve been attending them since the first one in 1972. My vacation plans are always scheduled around the convention, I’ve attended them with severe back problems, once against the advice of both my chiropractor and physician. I’ve even gone to the show when my employer said I could not go. Like my good pal Harry Noble, I’d probably attend even knowing I had a terminal illness.

   I see Pulpfest as a big event, a big party or picnic. I go to have a good time, not to argue with other collectors and finally walk away grumbling. I had heard rumors of a big announcement which was to be made at the business meeting. It still surprised me to hear the news that Pulpfest might go back to Columbus, Ohio next year and what’s more might be connected in some way with a comic book convention.

   The committee mentioned that assistance would be provided by an unnamed comic book dealer and convention organizer. As far as I know only very few collectors questioned this plan. I was one plus one committee member said he agreed with me and a couple other collectors were also doubtful.

   But most seemed to accept this news. You may notice I dedicated this report to Rusty Hevelin who was responsible for continuing Pulpcon for over 25 years. With Rusty I knew I could walk into the dealer’s room and not see piles of comic books, it would not be another science fiction convention, it would not be full of new pulp books written mainly by non-collectors and amateur writers. It would not be a nostalgia convention. By god, it would be a convention for pulp and book collectors even if only 100 to 200 showed up. They at least would be serious collectors often bringing boxes of pulps, books, vintage paperbacks, slicks, digest, and original art.

   Everybody seemed to be moaning about how the attendance was not growing but was stuck at about 375. Still, this was far more than the old Pulpcon ever achieved in 37 years. There may be a thousand or so pulp collectors in the US. But most of them won’t ever come to Pulpfest because of health problems, financial problems, or they can’t get away from their job or family responsibilities. 400 and something is about the maximum that we can expect, though the Windy City Convention has claimed to break the 500 mark. I really don’t see any big increase in attendance being possible unless we want to import a ton of comic collectors, new pulp people and walk ins that seldom buy anything.

   But I’m a pulp collector and I want to talk and deal with other pulp collectors. Many comic book collectors seem to like slabbing the books. I’m completely against this because I want to read the things. I don’t want them in a sealed plastic case. But comics are big money and pulps are not. I don’t see us co-existing at all. True, the committee has some personnel problems. Ed Hulse left a few years ago which I saw as a big blow. Bill Lampkin could not make it this year due to family responsibilities, Chuck Welch will soon be moving to Canada, Jack Cullers and Barry Traylor are my age which means they are getting older, to put it kindly.

   It’s time for me to talk about the convention and stop with my complaints, especially since I seem to have few supporters. Nothing has been decided yet by the committee and we will have to see what happens. I really like the Double Tree Hotel however and hope we return next year.

   First, the programming was outstanding as usual. I skipped the new pulp presentations because I don’t care about new pulp. They mainly strike me as non-collectors and as I have said many times, collectors are my favorite type of people. But Thursday the best thing on the program was Sai Shankar talking about the great WW I author, Leonard Nason. I’ve often wondered why people travel to Pulpfest and then miss the programming due to the fact they are stuffing their face.

   Well, I’ll be damned if I didn’t miss Sai Shankar, who is one of my friends, talking about one of my favorite ADVENTURE writers, Leonard Nason! His talk was scheduled for 8:40 and we sat down to eat in the hotel restaurant at 7:00 or perhaps even before 7:00. But the service was so slow that we were there forever and as a result we all missed Sai’s talk. Laurie Powers complained to the manager that due to the slow service we missed the program.

   Friday, there were three panels I enjoyed mainly because I have problems with the subjects. I love the art of the men’s adventure magazines and have collected it in the past. I mean what is there not to love about Nazis turning girls into gold ingots? No wonder they lost the war! Bob Deis and Wyatt Doyle talked about the art and the fiction. I often have problems with the fiction but I love the magazines anyway. I know the WW II vets loved them also! They had a table full of their latest books including POLLEN’S WOMEN: The Art of Samson Pollen. I hope they can publish a reference book listing and discussing the many men’s adventure titles. We need such a guide book.

   Then I liked the panel on the air war pulps hosted by Don Hutchison. Bill Mann, Chris Kalb and company are doing a great job reprinting many authors of the aviation magazines. I have problem reading these stories but I’m working on it and hope to someday be able to appreciate the fiction. Finally the son of John Fleming Gould talked about his father’s art.

   Saturday, started off with the dreaded business meeting which just about ruined my evening but the announcement that Bill Lampkin had been awarded the Munsey Award cheered me up. Bill edits the excellent PULPSTER magazine and is also on the committee. Then the guest of honor, Joe Lansdale, was interviewed. David Saunders gave an excellent talk on the Art of the War Pulps. David discusses art at each Pulpfest and I hope this tradition continues.

   For just about the first time the auction was scheduled for two evenings at Pulpfest. Usually the auction is only one night but there was so many lots, over 400 total! Both nights the auction lasted from 10 pm to past 1 am. Some collectors griped that there was nothing at the auction. I disagree. Friday night saw a run of ARGOSY from the thirties, almost 600 issues of WILD WEST WEEKLY from 1927 through 1943, a set of PLANET STORIES, and many miscellaneous lots. The highest priced item by far was the five boxes of Al Tonik’s research papers. It went for $2000.00.

   Saturday night saw many lots of WESTERN STORY, many sport titles, and the best conditioned set of SF digests that I have ever seen, and I’ve been collecting for over 60 years. The entire run of these magazines were in astonishing beautiful condition. Nice paper, new looking covers, that great scent of new magazines. I had them all but I was tempted to buy them all just for the beautiful condition. Seeing these lovely magazines reminded me once again about why I am a collector. They are beautiful. Sets of AMAZING, FANTASTIC, GALAXY, ASIMOV’S, ANALOG, F&SF, IF, NEW WORLDS, SCIENCE FANTASY, NEBULA, and IMAGINATION. The IMAGINATION set may be the prettiest thing I’ve seen in a long time. Though I had them all already, I bought the 5 lots making up the over 200 digest issues of AMAZING because the condition was just so much better than my own set.

   THE PULPSTER, number 27, was the usual excellent issue. 48 large size pages discussing Arthur Sullivant Hoffman’s ADVENTURE, the American Legion in ADVENTURE, artist George Evans and the aviation pulps, Philip Jose Farmer, and a great letter from a college student talking about her the summers she worked for Popular Publications.

   I was told that attendance was around the 375 mark which I think was great. The dealer’s room was always buzzing with a lot of activity. The hospitality room was well stocked with craft beer and one night about a dozen pizzas were delivered.

   Hopefully soon we will see two new magnificent books about pulp titles we seldom talk about. Laurie Powers book on the romance pulps and the life of Daisy Bacon, the excellent editor of LOVE STORY and DETECTIVE STORY. Michelle Nolan’s book on the sport pulp titles should also be a groundbreaking book on a seldom discussed topic. We desperately need books like these two because I’m tired of the same old hero pulp discussion. I know, I know, everyone loves the hero pulps but after all they were aimed at the teenage boy market and are not really adult fiction. Let’s talk about something new like love and sports!

   So, you may be wondering what did I buy? Actually this was one of the better Pulpfests for me finding unusual items. As I mention already above, I bought at the auction a lovely set of AMAZING, 1953-1980’s. Simply stunning condition. Here is a listing of what else I found of great interest:

1–Lot of 54 of the 71 isssues of AMRA. AMRA was a SF fanzine published between 1959 and 1982. Edited by George Scithers, it was famous mainly for the articles on Swords and Sorcery. The famous artists and authors that appeared in the magazine are too numerous to name but include Roy Krenkel, Poul Anderson, L. Sprague de Camp, Avram Davidson, Fritz Leiber, Michael Moorcock, and many more. AMRA won the Hugo for best fanzine in 1964 and 1968.

   I bought these from Chet Williamson who also sold an interesting Hammett item to someone else and some rare ALL STORY issues. I was a subscriber to AMRA but I sold my issues a long time ago and now I’m rebuilding the set, something I done so many times, with so many magazines.

2–THE AGE OF THE STORYTELLERS: British Popular Fiction Magazines, 1880-1950 by Mike Ashley. This book was published at a hundred dollars but at only $25 I had to get this second copy to add to my first copy. That’s right, the book is so great that you must buy two copies!

3–A framed, signed drawing by the great Edd Cartier. This was only $225 so I had to add it to my Cartier collection which now numbers over 15 drawings. You can never have too many Cartier drawings.

4–A framed painting by pulp collector Lester Belcher showing Sonny Tabor riding on a horse. I knew Lester and he was not an artist but he loved WILD WEST WEEKLY, so he attempted to paint one of the characters from the magazine. I consider it a great piece of “outsider” art done by one of my former friends that I miss. Price at the auction was only $10. Everyone thought it poorly done but to me, knowing Lester, it is priceless.

5–A Richard Powers painting for the Ballantine 1964 paperback, TARZAN AND THE CITY OF GOLD. Done in a different style than usual with Powers. After I bought it the art dealer told me two other collectors stopped by and were disappointed to learn that it had been sold.

6–Two Guest of Honor plaques from Pulpcon. I already have the one given to Walter Baumhofer but I couldn’t pass up these two. One was from 1994 and given to artist R. G. Harris in Tucson. It shows four cover paintings that he did for the pulps. The second is a real treasure since Elmer Kelton was one of the great western writers. It was given to him when he was the guest at the Pulpcon in 1998. It shows four covers from RANCH ROMANCES containing four of his early stories. I hunted for these plaques for decades, now I have three of them!

7–Now the most unusual story of them all. I now have three cover paintings of the paperback western BADLANDS BOSS by Bradford Scott. All by the same artist, Rudy Nappi. It’s possible that there is no other cover painting that was painted three times by the same artist. Back in the early 1980’s I bought the original cover painting at Pulpcon for $100.

   Then several years later I was at Al Tonik’s house for a Tonikcon and there was the same cover by Rudy Nappi also. Al explained that he was not aware the the original cover had survived and so he commissioned Rudy Nappi to paint an exact recreation of the cover. Price he paid was also $100. But the painting was damaged in the mail when the board was bent in order to stick in Al’s mailbox. So he contacted Nappi and told him the sad story and Nappi agreed to paint the painting again for no charge. So now Al had two paintings.

   He gave me the damaged one and kept the good one. Actually you can’t see the damage until you look closely and see the board has been bent. Then after Al Tonik’s death what comes up for auction? The third Rudy Nappi cover painting of the same paperback. Since I had two I had to buy the third one also and got it for only $30 at the auction. You can’t make up such an insane story.

   So ends my report. Despite my complaints, I truly appreciate the hard work of the committee. Thanks Mike Chomko, Jack Cullers, Sally Cullers, Bill Lampkin, Chuck Welch, and Barry Traylor. Plus the many helpers, and of course thanks to for Sai Shankar for the use of some of the photos he took during the convention. Stay tuned to pulpfest.com for news of next yea’s show.

WINDY CITY PULP CONVENTION 2018 REPORT
by Walker Martin

   The older I get, the longer this drive gets! Five of us drove from New Jersey to Chicago in the usual 15 seat white rental van. We take out the last two rows of seats to make the cargo area bigger. We need the space for all the books, pulps, and artwork that we will buy during the convention. During the long drive I pondered the age old question of which is worse: to forget your want list or to forget your medication. I know of two collectors who had to deal with these mistakes. I think forgetting your want list is worse. How can you collect without your lists?

   First stop was the Thursday pulp brunch at the house of Doug Ellis and Deb Fulton, otherwise known as the Windy City Pulp Art Museum. Doug had recently added an addition to the large house because he needed more wall space for the hundreds of cover paintings and illustrations. After three hours of eating, drinking, and gawking at the art, we drove to the Westin Hotel, home of the convention for the last several years.

   This year dealers were allowed to set up Thursday evening and I believe everyone was happy with this arrangement. Friday morning the convention officially began and there were approximately 150 dealer tables and somewhere around 400 to 500 attendees. This made for a busy three days of hunting for pulps, paperbacks, books, digests, slicks, DVDs, and artwork.

   But if you were not into collecting or short of money, then there were other things to do, such as the enormous art show showing scores of pulp and paperback paintings and the film festival which ran mainly during the day on Friday and Saturday. The evenings consisted mainly of John Locke discussing “The Secret Origins of Weird Tales” and GOH F. Paul Wilson being interviewed.

   Then of course there was the auction, which is one of the main attractions of the convention. It was held on Friday and Saturday evening and lasted about 4 hours each night. Friday night consisted of over 250 lots from the estate of Glenn Lord, who was the literary executor for the Robert Howard estate for many decades. Robert Howard collectors had the opportunity to bid on many magazines that contained Howard stories, such as WEIRD TALES, FIGHT STORIES, SPICY ADVENTURE, SPORT STORY, ACTION STORIES, GOLDEN FLEECE, ORIENTAL STORIES, MAGIC CARPET, STRANGE TALES, and ARGOSY.

   Many of these pulps went for hundreds of dollars and two of the highest amounts were for the rare fanzine, THE PHANTAGRAPH. $1400 and $1000 for two issues that I noted, but a friend bought down some beer from his room and I had several bottles which resulted it me not noting the prices for the rest of the issues.

   Saturday night I avoided the beer for awhile and noted some good prices for pulps from the Ron Killian estate. This auction also had material consigned by the attendees at the show. It’s good to see pulps come up for auction but sad to realize that they are from the estates of collectors that you will never see again. At the break I went up to hospitality room for a beer and somehow never did make it back down to the last of the auction. Is it possible that I’ve reached the stage in my collecting life that I would rather have a cold beer? Could be! I’ve been at this game for a long time now.

   I bought my usual amount of books but I don’t need many pulps according to my want lists. However I did manage to find some excellent and bizarre art. I bought as Emsh interior from IF in the fifties, a very large drawing by one of the decadent artists, Beresford Egan, and a stunning Lee Brown Coye interior from FANTASTIC, February 1963. It illustrates the Mythos story “The Titan in the Crypt”. Some of my friends don’t like Lee Brown Coye but I find his art to be perfect for bizarre horror stories. There are presently three books published about his art recently and this indicates that people are realizing his greatness.

   Another paperback cover I bought was one of the strange paintings that show two novels. In the early fifties there were a few fat paperbacks that had two novels and the cover shows two paintings, one upper and one lower. I remember buying PRIME SUCKER and THE HUSSY. Looks like the work of Walter Popp. I always wanted one of these strange paintings. Finally after decades of hunting!

   But the biggest sale of the show was a copy of ALL STORY for October 1912. That’s right the Tarzan issue! The Holy Grail of pulps! It went for $30,000 and sold right away soon after the doors opened. I’ve never seen a complete copy at a pulp convention. I once was high bidder on a copy at an early Pulpcon but it lacked the covers and the Tarzan novel was excerpted. That’s right, some crazy Breaker had cut out the Tarzan novel reducing a $30,000 to $50,000 magazine to a $400 curiosity piece.

   Another high priced item was a sexy cover painting from PRIVATE DETECTIVE by Parkhurst. It was priced at $18,000 but I believe sold for $16,000. One piece of art that did not sell was a Kelly Freas cover painting from ASTOUNDING, February 1955, showing a tough guy dressed as a woman. Price was $30,000 and I guess the owner did not want to sell it but just to exhibit it.

   Each year, I swear that I’m not going to buy any more art because I’ve run out of wall space. I have paintings stacked up against bookcases, etc. But being a collector is a hard job and someone has to do it…

   The program book, titled WINDY CITY PULP STORIES #18 is the usual excellent book edited by Tom Roberts. 136 pages mainly dealing with the air war pulps and Harold Hersey. I noticed three books making debuts at the show:

1–ART OF THE PULPS. This is a must buy and the title says it all. Several essays by well known collectors discuss all the genres including those often forgotten such as the love and sport pulps.

2–HALO FOR HIRE by Howard Browne. This is the complete Paul Pine mysteries and published by Haffner Press.

3–BLACK MASK, Spring 2018 is the fourth issue of the revived BLACK MASK. Published by Altus Press.

   Over the years, after writing one of these convention reports, I’ll hear from fellow collectors who regret not attending the show. Windy City may be over for another year but coming up is the next big pulp convention on July 26 through July 29. It’s in Pittsburgh and the details are at pulpfest.com. I highly recommend this show, and I ought to know what I’m talking about since I’ve been to almost all of them since 1972 when the first Pulpcon was held in St Louis. Almost all my pals who attended are gone now except for a handful such as Caz, Randy Cox, maybe Jack Irwin attended also, I forget. But of the hundred or so who eagerly went in 1972, we are getting down to the last man standing. Or the last Collector standing!

   Don’t miss out on Pulpfest. It’s a must for collectors. We have to support Windy City, Pulpfest, Pulpadventurecon and the other one day shows or one day we won’t have any conventions and then we will be like the dime novel collectors.

   I know one collector who says the two conventions are the same. No, they are not. Windy City is different and the emphasis is on art, films, and the auction. Pulpfest is also different with the emphasis on the dealer’s room and an evening full of panels and discussions.

   The hotel is great and I recommend that you stay there. Sure you can get a cheaper rate down the road somewhere but the convention hotel is where all the action is.

   I hope to see you there!

PS. Thanks to Sai Shankar once again for the use of his photos. All of the larger ones are ones he took. To see many more of the photos he took at Windy City, check out his Pulpflakes blog here.

CONVENTION REPORT: PulpFest 2017
by Walker Martin

   Once again, five over the top book, art, and pulp collectors, squeezed themselves into a big van in order to attend PulpFest 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Luckily we rented the biggest van that they had because we needed all the space when we drove back to New Jersey. It was a 15 passenger van which we converted into larger cargo space by taking out some seats.

   In my opinion, after attending almost all the pulp conventions since 1972, this is the best hotel that we have ever had for our shows. Sure the hotel rooms cost $125 each night but they were worth it. Not only were we close to all the action taking place in the dealers room and program room, but we had a free buffet breakfast, the best I’ve ever seen at a pulp convention. It had to be worth $15 to $20. I devoured so much food at breakfast that I skipped lunch each day.

   Yes, there were cheaper hotels down the road, but staying at the host hotel helps the convention because if they reach a certain number of rooms then big discounts kick in. These discounts are necessary in order for us to have future PulpFests. I have always stayed at the host hotels because they are so convenient and help the conventions meet expenses.

   The past several years in Columbus, Ohio, we lacked a hospitality room because the hotel wanted us to buy their alcohol and use their bartenders. However at the Double Tree hotel we had our own room, and thanks to abebooks.com, the PulpFest committee was able to buy pizzas and craft beer. I would have to say that this was the best beer I’ve ever had at a pulp show. And instead of the usual snack items, the pizza was a real treat.

   Right outside the hospitality room was a nice restaurant that also served pizza and beer. They had live entertainment also. All the hotel employees were friendly and helpful. This is a big plus because I’ve stayed at hotels where the employees have attitude problems and don’t want to be bothered.

   Attendance was 350 and the dealer’s room seemed fairly busy each day. There were over 100 tables, most crammed with pulps, vintage paperbacks, digest magazines, DVDs, and original artwork. I always have a table at PulpFest and I sold pulps, DVDs, books, and cancelled checks from the Popular Publication and Munsey files.

   I bought quite a bit including artwork like an interior illustration by John Fleming Gould and a large wraparound cover painting for an early Lion Book. The painting covers the front and back of the book and was used on the Lion book titled The Naked Year (The Inheritors) by Philip Atlee.

   The blurb says “They groped for excitement in an age of boredom” and the image shows a big party with some two-fisted drinking and a bit of kissing with some good looking women. I’ve always had a weakness for these risque, sort of sleazy paperback novels.

   One funny thing however, I had just told several of my friends that I would not be buying any original art because I have run out of wall space and I have many pieces of art just leaning against bookcases or the wall. What a liar I am. Once a collector, always a collector! I then promptly go over and buy a large cover painting. One big blunder that I never would have made in my younger days, I failed to recognize an Edd Cartier drawing, illustrating a scene from The Wheels of If by L. Sprague de Camp, and from Unknown, one of my favorite magazines. One of my younger friends snapped it up (by younger, I mean 30 years younger). I spent the rest of the convention cursing my stupidity and bemoaning the onset of senility.

   A large batch of London Mystery Magazine was delivered to me and now I only need 16 issues out of 132. When I went to the bookstores in London and Hay On Wye, I couldn’t find a single issue. I also found three boxes of bound men’s adventure magazines. Completely unreadable of course, unless you love to read about Nazis partying with girls in their underwear, but the artwork is exceptional. I bought all of them of course, mainly bound volumes of Saga and Man’s World from the fifties and sixties. My descent into the depths of depravity continues but so what? The WW II vets loved these magazines and what’s good enough for those guys is good enough for me!

   Pulp T-shirts have become very popular especially since Altus Press started cranking out all sorts of pulp titles. For those readers who are into fashion I wore my lucky Fred Davis T-shirt, the one given to me by Davis’ granddaughter many years ago, and shirts showing the logos of Black Mask, Short Stories, and Adventure. All well dressed pulp collectors wear such T-shirts.

   Artist Gloria Stoll returned as Guest of Honor and she was fabulous. Though in her nineties, she was witty and very interesting concerning her seven years as a pulp artist in the forties. She then went on to have a career painting in a more abstract style. David Saunders did a nice job interviewing her and showing a slide show of her covers and career.

   The Munsey Award was won by Phil Stephensen-Payne, who is one of the main men behind The FictionMags Index and Galactic Central. These sites are excellent online sources for information about the writers and the cover art. I visit them just about every day. Phil lives in the UK and couldn’t attend the convention, but I had the pleasure of reading his acceptance speech for him. A remarkable pulp scholar indeed! Sometimes we complain about the validity of some awards but this is an example of an award that they got right. Congratulations, Phil!

   PulpFest is known for its great programming, and there was so much going on that I could fill pages talking about each night. I’ll just mention a few that I found to be excellent or of great interest. Author Chet Williamson read from Psycho Sanitarium; Garyn Roberts talked about 100 years of Robert Bloch; Jeffrey Marks covered the characters of Erle Stanley Gardner; Matt Moring discussed Dime Detective; Philip Jose Farmer was covered; and finally Tom Krabacher and I discussed “Hard-Boiled at 100: The Don Everhard Stories of Gordon Young.” My conclusion was that these stories were more about a gentleman adventurer who acted as a sort of Robin Hood, doing good and fighting criminals. I like Young’s Hurricane Williams south sea stories a lot more and the Don Everhard series is inferior to such novels as Days of ’49 and Huroc the Avenger.

   The auction was of interest and had many items worth bidding on. I managed to get some rare Western Story magazines. I have over 1250 issues, 1919-1949 and only need a few. I obtained two exceptionally rare 1919 issues in dime novel format and an issue from 1925. Other items of interest were a complete run of Amra, volume two, #1-71. I wanted this but lost out since I didn’t want to pay a very high price.

   Fred Cook’s rare copy of the Argosy Index went for $400. I’ve never seen a copy for sale. Some Shadow and Doc Savage premiums went for high prices. Tom Krabacher, who has written the definitive article on Gordon Young, wanted a large travel trunk once owned by Gordon Young but it went to someone else for $425. All in all there were almost 300 lots.

   Each year the convention publishes The Pulpster, which is a magazine full of interesting articles about the pulps. This issue was number 26 and edited by William Lampkin. There were articles on women in the pulps by Ron Goulart and Bill Pronzini; several pieces on Robert Bloch; an article about Mary Elizabeth Counselman by Tony Davis; Curt Phillips on preserving pulps; several other articles including one by me on collecting Detective Fiction Weekly. This is an excellent magazine and we should thank Bill Lampkin for editing and Mike Chomko for publishing it.

   One book I noticed made its debut at the show. Pride of the Pulps is a collection of magazine studies by Ed Hulse. The articles originally appeared in his Blood ‘n’ Thunder magazine, but they have been extensively revised and expanded. The magazines covered are Adventure, All-American Fiction, Famous Fantastic Mysteries, The Popular Magazine, Short Stories, and the 1920’s issues of West.

   A great convention for collectors of old fiction magazines is now part of history but I’m looking forward to the next year at this fine hotel. Thanks to Paul Herman for the use of his photos in this report. I’d also like to thank the Pulpfest committee for another job well done. Thank you: Jack and Sally Cullers, Mike Chomko, Barry Traylor, William Lampkin, and Chuck Welch. Your hard work is very much appreciated!

WINDY CITY PULP CONVENTION 2017 REPORT
by Walker Martin

   

   I believe there have been 17 versions of this excellent pulp and paperback convention and this may have been the best yet. 150 dealer tables and almost 600 attendees. This is the biggest crowd yet and the room seemed to be constantly busy with collectors prowling the aisles.

   It all started with the usual group of serious and perhaps deranged pulp collectors driving out from New Jersey in a rental van. Between the five of us, we have more than 200 years of experience collecting books and pulps. In prior years we managed to make the trip in one death defying drive of 14 hours but this year we decided to split it up and take two days. The first day we drove about 11 hours before stopping at a motel which appeared to be connected to the Bates Motel in Psycho. The night clerk certainly thought we were a suspicious looking group because she refused our business and sent us on our way. Fortunately there was a Ramada Inn down the road and they were used to a van full of book collectors stumbling into the lobby.

   The next day we drove three hours to the Chicago Pulp Art Museum, otherwise known as the house of Doug Ellis and Deb Fulton. Each year Doug and Deb have a pulp art luncheon for those collectors who love pulp and paperback original cover paintings. It’s a nice beginning to a great convention. Despite a recent addition the house is bulging with original art. Perhaps Doug can build another house in his back yard to house more paintings.

   We then drove to the Westin Hotel and arrived in time to hang out in the Con Suite. This year my room was just down the hall on the 16th floor and made it easier for me to drink free beer and snacks. I renewed friendships with several collectors, most of whom I had not seen in a year or two. Unfortunately, I have now reached the age where I don’t recognize fellow collectors if I only see them once a year, so please accept my apologies if I ignored you or seemed to not recognize you. My eyesight is fading and old age is bothering the hell out of me, so several times I passed someone and then a minute later moaned “Oh hell, that was so and so, and I looked right through them.” Fortunately some collectors had canes or were limping or like Tony Tollin had a pet dog. That made it easier to recognize them….

   Even all these years later, I still get excited when I enter a room full of books and pulps. At first I sort of stumbled down an aisle in a daze obviously suffering from sensory overload. But unlike a J.G. Ballard character, the books did not start to disappear from my sight. Instead they multiplied and I began to wonder which table to go to first. Should it be the table surrounded by cover paintings and art? Maybe the one loaded with vintage paperbacks? How about the boxes of digest crime and SF magazines? Damn it, there are rows and rows of pulps! Wait a minute, some old friends are waving to me…

   But then I saw a table that really stood out because all three dealers were British. So over I went to Malcolm Edwards, Alastair Durie, and Andy Richards (Cold Tonnage Books). I figured for them to make the trip across the Atlantic, they must be bearing some rare items. And they were! I even saw issues of the amazingly rare Hutchinson’s Adventure or Mystery magazine. WW II was really rough on some British magazines. (The paper drives.) But what I really scooped up were issues of Scoops, the 1934 British SF magazine. A complete set of all 20 issues.

   Then I found twelve issues of Triple X. The title stands for the three genres of westerns, adventure, and detective fiction. Not the risque meaning that triple x has nowadays. Why this magazine is so rare is beyond me. It lasted for over 100 issues in the twenties and thirties and seemed to be quite popular with readers. Yet copies are hard to find and expensive.

   So OK, I’ve blown $1500 in a few minutes, and I still have three days of the convention to survive somehow. Will this be the pulp show that finally breaks me? Will I return home a penniless beggar? Will I have to borrow money, maybe skip meals? God Forbid, Go On the Wagon? The answer is no. Maybe next year. But I did find some more of my esoteric wants, such as Ace High, Cowboy Stories, Dime Detective.

   Since we live in The Golden Age of Pulp Reprints, I filled up a box of recent books from Altus Press, Haffner Press, Black Dog Books, Murania Press, and also the book Weinberg Tales, which is almost 300 pages of Bob Weinberg on Collecting Fantasy Art, plus memories from fellow collectors like me and plenty of photos.

   The reprint publishers have really done a great job and these recent books show an excellent sampling of the type of reprints. For instance Haffner Press (Haffnerpress.com) has just published two Fredric Brown collections which gather together all his mystery short stories. The titles are Murder Draws a Crowd and Death in the Dark, ,with introductions by Jack Seabrook who wrote a book on Fredric Brown. The stories also reprint the original illustrations. Highly Recommended!

   Altus Press had a boat load of books available and I especially recommend Leo Margulies: Giant of the Pulps by Philip Sherman and Gales & McGill, Volume One, by Frederick Nebel. A nice long introduction by John Locke, this book reprints the air adventures of these two flying soldiers of fortune. Also Altus Press has the latest two issues of Black Mask and Famous Fantastic Mysteries. The pulps are not dead!

   Murania Press had the last issue of Blood n Thunder out. This is issue number 49 & 50 and it was a great run lasting 16 years. We now will see one shot issues on various topics. Also out from Murania is The Blood n Thunder Sampler which reprints some of the best articles from past issues.

   Black Dog Books had several new collections out, and I liked The Trail of Blood and Other Tales of Adventure by Murray Leinster. Also Paths of Fire and Other Daring Tales of Adventure by Albert Richard Wetjen.

   Every year the convention has a book titled Windy City Pulp Stories. Issue # 17 has several articles dealing with the Gangster pulps and the Red Circle Publications. Also pieces on Steranko, artist Tom Lovell, and David Kyle. Tom Roberts of Black Dog Books is the editor and does a fine job each year.

   It’s worth going to this convention to meet and talk with other collectors about their passions. I’ve known artist Peter Poplaski for a long time and though he lives in France, I’ve seen him at several conventions. He is one of the top experts on Johnston McCulley and Zorro. This year he kept me amused with over a dozen masks that he had made of McCulley’s characters. He has now identified over 20 of them.

   Windy City is known for its great auctions which run far into the night on Friday and Saturday, This year we had about 300 lots each night, mainly from the collection of Ron Killian. The catalog had a great photo of Ron Killian surrounded by towering stacks of pulps. Though I prefer book shelves, I can understand tall stacks also! All type of genres were represented in the auctions and the prices ranged from high to low, with many bargains.

   The Guest of Honor was artist Jim Steranko, and he gave a speech and was available at his table to sign items. The art show was stunning with mainly pieces of art from the collection of Bob and Phyllis Weinberg. There was a Weinberg Tribute panel Friday night and I was honored to be part of it since I had known Bob since the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. In other words I was friends with Bob Weinberg when he still lived in New Jersey and was in his twenties. It really does not seem that it has been 45 years ago when we both started off building our collections.

   Ed Hulse organized the film program as usual and the theme was “From Pulp to Silver Screen.” These were mainly obscure pulp related movies. Each movie was described in the Windy City Pulp Stories book.

   We need this convention to keep the pulps alive so Doug Ellis, Deb Fulton, John Gunnison and others, all deserve our thanks. Next on the horizon is Pulpfest (Pulpfest.com) in July. If you liked Windy City, then you have to attend Pulpfest also. I ought to know, since I’ve been attending these shows most of my life!

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