Intro: Those of you who have been following this blog for almost as long as I have must be wondering what happened to Walker Martin’s annual PulpCon / PulpFest report. He’s missed only one since the tradition began, and that was my fault. I was too busy with personal matters to get it up and running that year, and it appeared on Sai Shankar’s PulpFlakes blog instead.

   This year, though, Walker did attend but managed to catch Covid while there, and while he’s doing much better now, it took him a while to recover, and he never did manage to write up a report. As you may have surmised, “Martin Walker,” whose report follows, is a pseudonym, but I can guarantee the facts he relates are 100% accurate. Bill Lampkin, whose photos I used is real, however, and I thank both him and our anonymous reporter for this year’s annual PulpFest report, at last!


2023 PulpFest Convention Report,
by Martin Walker.

   Except for the year 2020, there has been a summertime pulp convention since 1972. First, it was Pulpcon, running through 2008. Next came PulpFest, beginning in 2009 and running straight through this year (except for that year lost to COVID).

   PulpFest 2023 got underway early on Wednesday evening, August 2, when the convention’s chairperson, Jack Cullers, opened the dealers’ room at the DoubleTree by Hilton Pittsburgh — Cranberry for vendors to set up for the convention. Many PulpFest dealers took advantage of this early setup to load in their wares and socialize with friends whom they see but once, twice, or thrice each year.


   According to PulpFest’s marketing and programming director, Mike Chomko, the DoubleTree staff went above and beyond to have the hotel’s exhibition hall ready and waiting for the convention’s dealers. He recommends that all PulpFest vendors take advantage of the convention’s early set-up hours to prepare their exhibits for the convention’s official opening the next day.
PulpFest 2023 officially got underway on Thursday morning, August 3, with the arrival of more dealers for unloading and setup. Early-bird shopping began around 9 a.m. and continued until 4:45 p.m. Most dealers reported brisk sales following the official opening of the convention.

   One of the highlights of the dealers’ room was the initial offering from the extensive holdings of longtime collector Everard P. Digges LaTouche. Ed Hulse, editor and publisher of Blood ’n’ Thunder, had several long-boxes of Digges’ pulps for sale, with many rarities among his stacks. Other dealers with substantial pulp offerings included Adventure House, Ray Walsh’s Archives Book Shop, Books from the Crypt, Jack Cullers, Doug Ellis & Deb Fulton, Heartwood Books & Art, Paul Herman, Mark Hickman, John McMahan, Peter Macuga, Phil Nelson, Steranko, Sheila Vanderbeek, and Todd & Ross Warren. You could also find original artwork offered by Doug Ellis & Deb Fulton, George Hagenauer, Jackie Pollen, Craig Poole, and others.


   With nearly 80 dealers registered for PulpFest 2023, the dealers’ room was a sell-out. And the exhibitors on hand didn’t disappoint. In addition to pulps and original artwork, you could find digests, vintage paperbacks, men’s adventure and true crime magazines, first-edition hardcovers, genre fiction, series books, Big Little Books, B-movies, vintage television shows, movie serials, Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age, and pulp-related comic books, and more.

   Additionally, one could find contemporary creations including artwork, new fiction, and fanzines produced by The Burroughs Bibliophiles, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., Flinch! Books, Doug Klauba, Craig McDonald, Will Murray, Stark House, Steeger Books, Joab Stieglitz, Michael Tierney, Anthony Tollin, Mark Wheatley, and others.


   The third annual PulpFest Pizza Party followed the closure of the dealers’ room at 5 p.m. Over fifty pizzas were baked for the convention’s members, thanks to the generosity of PulpFest’s dealers. Since it was started in 2021, the annual pizza gathering has become a very popular fixture at PulpFest. The convention’s advertising director, Bill Lampkin, promises more pizzas in the years to come.

   Following opening remarks by chairman Cullers, the convention’s admirable programming line-up began with a salute to the centennial of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. Edgar Rice Burroughs founded the corporation in 1923.


   Joining ERB’s Director of Publishing, Christopher Paul Carey, and Vice President of Operations, Cathy Mann Wilbanks, were authors Chris Adams, Win Scott Eckert, and Will Murray to discuss their upcoming Burroughs-inspired books.
Morgan Holmes — who has been called the world’s greatest expert on sword and sorcery — was up next with a look at sword and sorcery in Weird Tales. Also on hand was Chris Kalb, creator of “The Spider Returns” website. Joining him were award-winning authors Will Murray and Gary Phillips to talk about “The Master of Men” on the occasion of the character’s 90th anniversary.

   Jim Beard followed the Spider presentation with a look at Conan, “The Multimedia Barbarian,” while old-time-radio expert Karl Schadow, closed out the programming with a discussion of Weird Tales on radio.

   Despite a long day of buying and selling and an evening packed with programming, many conventioneers gathered in the hotel lounge to talk and reminisce about their favorite authors, cover artists, and pulp characters long into the night.

   There was more buying and selling on Friday, August 4. Competing for attendees’ attention were a couple of afternoon presentations. Chris Carey and Win Scott Eckert discussed “Doc Savage — The Man and Myth of Bronze.” Part of PulpFest’s celebration of the 90th anniversary of “The Man of Bronze,” it was also this year’s FarmerCon presentation. Since 2011, PulpFest has hosted FarmerCon, a convention that began in Peoria, Illinois, the hometown of Philip José Farmer.


   Following the FarmerCon XVIII presentation was a discussion of jungle fiction in the pulps, featuring Henry G. Franke III — editor of The Burroughs Bulletin — and Ed Hulse — editor of Blood ’n’ Thunder. The presentation was part of the 2023 ERBFest, another “convention within a convention” that’s held at PulpFest. An art show — hosted by Franke — was also part of this year’s ERBFest. It featured original comic strip art, paperback and limited edition hardcover artwork, and much more. Taking place in the early afternoon hours, the show was very well attended and garnered a good many compliments.

   After the dinner break came more evening programming, beginning with a look at PulpFest 2024, presented by committee members Cullers and Chomko. Afterward, Bob Deis and Wyatt Doyle — co-editors of “The Men’s Adventure Library” — offered a look at “Those Weird Men’s Adventure Magazines,” an exploration of supernatural stories and creature features that found their way into the men’s magazines of the late twentieth century.

   Up next, a trio of contemporary artists — Mark Schultz and Mark Wheatley, with Don Simpson moderating — discussed illustrating Conan for the commercial market, part of the convention’s salute to the character’s 90th anniversary. Pulp art expert David Saunders followed with a look at fantasy and adventure artist J. Allen St. John, best known for illustrating the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

   Finishing up PulpFest’s salute to the centennial of Weird Tales was a panel featuring Darrell Schweitzer and John Betancourt. Writers and editors, both men helped to revive the magazine in 1988. Since then, Weird Tales has, more or less, been published continuously. Moderating the panel was Tony Davis.


   Closing out Friday night’s programming was Nicholas Parisi — author of Rod Serling: His Life, Work, and Imagination — with a discussion of “The Sports Stories of Rod Serling.” Afterward, for those not ready to turn in, a “Barsoomian Bull Session” followed in the hotel’s lounge area.

   On Saturday, August 5, the dealers’ room opened yet again at 9 a.m. and brisk business continued. All told, nearly 400 people passed through the entrance to the PulpFest 2023 dealers’ room where they were tempted by 150 tables filled with thousands of pulp magazines, digests, vintage paperbacks, original art, and more.

   Once again, the “Inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs” art show was open for viewing during the early afternoon hours. Afterward, Christopher Paul Carey, Henry G. Franke III, and Garyn Roberts paid tribute to “100 Years of The Moon Maid.” The first segment of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ trilogy was originally serialized in Argosy All-Story Weekly in 1923.

   Closing out the afternoon programming was “Doc Savage and His Offspring,” a panel presentation featuring writers Win Scott Eckert, Craig McDonald, Will Murray, and Gary Phillips. Moderated by Jennifer DiGiacomo — the former publisher of The Savage Society of Bronze — the panel explored the work of the writers, all inspired by Lester Dent’s “Man of Bronze.”

   Saturday’s evening programming began with journalist and pulp historian Michelle Nolan discussing the first sports pulp — Sport Story Magazine — with pulp collector Alex Daoundakis. Published by Street & Smith, Sport Story Magazine debuted 100 years ago in 1923.


   Following the convention’s final programming presentation, Walker Martin — who has attended every Pulpcon/PulpFest since the very first one in 1972 — announced the winner of the 2023 Munsey Award. Recognizing an individual or organization that has bettered the pulp community — be it through disseminating knowledge about the pulps or through publishing or other efforts to preserve and foster interest in the pulp magazines we all love and enjoy — this year’s Munsey was awarded to Richard Bleiler, a bibliographer and researcher in the areas of science fiction, fantasy, horror, crime, and adventure fiction. You can read the full text of Richard’s acceptance speech on the PulpFest website.

   Closing out the evening was the convention’s Saturday night auction. It featured about 90 lots from the estate of Vermont collector Carl Joecks, over 80 lots consigned by Dearly Departed Books of Alliance, Ohio, and more than 100 lots submitted by PulpFest 2023 members.

   The highlights of the auction included the first eight volumes of the Tom Corbett juvenile series, a trio of early edition hardcovers by Robert A. Heinlein, the first authorized American edition of Jules Verne’s The Mysterious Island, nine early edition hardcovers by E. E. “Doc” Smith, thirties issues of The Shadow Magazine and Weird Tales, the December 1939 Marvel Tales, a large lot of fanzines and related materials, and a set of Shadow paperbacks in very fine condition. Overshadowing all of the lots was a very scarce ink stamp pulp premium from “The Shadow Club.” Originally offered through The Shadow Magazinefrom April 1, 1934, to the end of August 1934, the stamp sold for $750.

   Nearly $12,000 exchanged hands during the auction. Afterward, those with change still in their pockets retired to the hotel lounge for a late-night session of “Fraternizing at FarmerCon.”

   Although the convention opened once again on Sunday, August 6, buying and selling opportunities were limited as dealers packed up and prepared for the drive home. Unfortunately, a number of attendees contracted COVID during the convention. Thankfully, most cases were relatively mild.

   PulpFest 2024 will take place August 1 – 4 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Pittsburgh — Cranberry in Mars, Pennsylvania. The convention will be celebrating “Spice, Spies, Shaw, and More” in 2024. You can learn more by visiting I hope to see you there.

by Walker Martin


   Several long time collectors have been renting a van and driving out from New Jersey to Chicago for at least a dozen years. Ed Hulse has always been the driver, but this year he retired as our chauffeur and decided to fly to the convention. It may be true that we behaved in such an exasperating manner that we drove him to give up his position. It didn’t help that behind his back I often referred to him as “Jim”, which was based on the character in the Major series of pulp stories by Greene. In the series The Major had an assistant named Jim who drove and performed various duties and we also had a Major in the van (E.P. Digges La Touche).

   Anyway, thanks for your years of service, Ed. The new drivers are now Scott Hartshorn and Nick Certo, both of whom have been my friends for close to 50 years. We will see how long they last before giving up this well-paying position.

   Doug Ellis sent me an email saying that this year’s convention set a new all time record of over 600 attendees. The dealers’  room seemed to be always crowded and quite busy/ and the 180 tables were crammed with pulps, books, vintage paperbacks, DVDs, and original artwork. Prices on the vintage paperbacks were not only quite reasonable but insanely low, as I saw thousands cheaply priced at fire sale levels. I saw one table that had a sign stating “Free digests.” Other tables had boxes of vintage paperbacks priced at a buck or two or even less than a dollar each if you bought 15 for 10 dollars, etc.

   On the other hand the auction, which was held Friday and Saturday nights, starting at 8:15 PM, realized some insane prices. The big sellers were issues of Weird Tales. I estimate that close to 150 issues were listed in the estate auction from my old pal Bob Weinberg’s collection. Most of these issues were from the 1920’s and 1930’s and many realized prices of not only a few hundred dollars but some a few thousand and I’m not talking about the large size, hard-to-get bedsheet copies either.

   The infamous “batgirl” Weird Tales went for $13,000. In the last 50 years I’ve had a half dozen copies, and I never considered it that rare. In fact my present copy is bound, and I’m thinking of ripping it out of the binding and shrieking “Hey, here is a batgirl Weird Tales and I’ll take only a few thousand for it, not no $13,000!”

   Another issue in the early 1930’s went for $14,000 and what surprised me was that the winning bidder was a well known dealer whose first name is David and last name Smith. We are in trouble as collectors when pulp dealers start paying these prices. Not just comic dealers buying for investment, but pulp collectors! Dealers quite often pay half or less of a book’s value and a $14,000 figure means the dealer may be thinking of selling for at least double and probably more if he thinks prices are heading into comic book territory.

   Speaking of “comic book territory,” Rusty Hevelin, organizer of the old Pulpcon, used to preach that we had to try and keep the comic book dealers out of pulps, because once they got in, then we could forget about reading the issues and selling to each other for reasonable prices. Because the comic dealers are into it as an investment, and the prices would sky rocket. Guess Rusty was right and he used to ban comic books from Pulpcon. But those days are over.

   I walked through the dealer’s room for four days but didn’t find much to buy. This is not because there was not anything for sale, but simply because I’ve been collecting like forever and I either have it or once did have it and got rid of it. In fact I’ve rebuilt sets of some of my favorites that I disposed of many years ago. I never did have much interest in sport, romance, or aviation pulps but everything else I’ve been interested in.

   Windy City had the usual film program put on by Ed Hulse and two discussions about the hero pulps. There also was the excellent art exhibit, which I always find of interest since I’ve been collecting original art now for over 50 years.

   The Windy City Pulp Stories #22 was full of interesting articles. Tom Roberts of Black Dog Books edited it. An excellent 150 page collection. Blood n Thunder 2023 Special Edition made its debut. Edited by Ed Hulse and over 300 pages. The highlight of the issue is Ed’s 40 page article about the British magazine, The Thriller. It’s an excellent essay covering the authors and history of the magazine, and we still can look forward to a second part in the future.

   Steeger Books also had some new books at the convention. One is a large collection of the complete  “Scientific Sprague” stories, and a second one breaks new ground by reprinting the extremely interesting letter column from Adventure, 1918-1920. It’s titled The Campfire, 1918-1920. It’s full of great accounts from old timers who lived during the great years of the west, 1850-1900. I’ve often thought that the letters would make a great collection, but I never thought I’d see the day. Here’s hoping we see more volumes from the 1920’s. Thank you Matt Moring!

   But this show will go down in my memory for three other reasons. While stopping over in Newton Falls, Ohio, I had the misfortune to eat one of the worst dinners I’ve ever had. It was Sunday night driving back to New Jersey and we were late stopping for dinner. Nothing appeared to be open, and I had to exist on a small bag of salted peanuts and a warm bottle of beer. The next day when the hotel had breakfast starting at 6:30 am, I was first in line.

   But this hotel must have been cursed, because I also slept in what had to be the worst bed I’ve ever encountered. I’m always complaining about my back problems and my leg cramps ,and I met a worthy foe in Newton Falls, room 223, Holiday Inn Express. The desk clerk said he would give me a king size bed at no extra cost. I always ask for two Queen size beds because they are smaller and don’t hurt my back as much. But this time I just wanted to eat my peanuts and guzzle my warm beer. Big mistake. I sat down on the bed and swung my legs up and immediately slid down the slope of the king size mattress until I hit the middle of the hole in the mattress. Some how I managed to claw my way back up the slope in the morning and get out of bed.

   The third event that I’ll never forget happened after turning in the rental van in Trenton, NJ. We hopped into Digges’ car and proceeded to immediately make a left into oncoming traffic, heading the wrong way down a one way street. Fortunately everyone got out of our way and we turned the car around and headed in the right direction, instead of against the traffic.

   Thanks to Paul Herman for the use of several of the photos included in this report. Next up, Pulpfest in August! It’s been 51 years that I’ve been driving to Pulpcon and Pulpfest. Matt Moring will be driving us on this adventure. Will I make it? Stay tuned!

Pulp AdventureCon, November 5, 2022
by Walker Martin

   What a beautiful period to have a book and pulp convention! Temperature in the 70’s which is very unusual for November. Though the show is officially only one day. My friends and I celebrate the occasion from Wednesday through Saturday and some years even Sunday.

Ed Hulse.

   As usual Matt Moring arrives first on Wednesday and uses the extra time to research and scan pulp covers and contents. This work eventually ends up as the books published by Steeger Books ( 600 books, mostly pulp reprints and counting! An amazing achievement.

Walker Martin.

   Thursday and Friday, the other pulp collectors arrive and we proceed to have several meals at such restaurants near me as Metro Grill, Bell’s Tavern, Town and Country. Sadly Mastoris Diner, after almost a hundred years, was a victim of the Covid virus restrictions but we noticed that Town and Country looked very similar as to seating and menu.

Cowboy Tony.

   I try to keep the Friday brunch down to 10 collectors because that’s all I can handle and control. Yes, control, because these guys are all insane bibliomaniacs (is there such a word?) and to give you an idea here is a listing of the attendees with the years I’ve known them. They all have enormous book and pulp collections:

         Digges La Touche–50 years

         Scott Hartshorn–46 years

         Nick Certo–46 years

         Paul Herman–40 years

         Andy Jaysnovich–40 years

         Ed Hulse–25 years

         Richard Meli–25 years

         Matt Moring–10 or 12 years

   In addition we had a new guest, Peter Wolson, the son of Morton Wolson, who wrote under the name of Peter Paige for Dime Detective, Black Mask, and Detective Tales. Under his own name he also wrote for Manhunt and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. Peter collects only the pulps that his father appeared in so he is the only one of our group who has his collecting activities under control.

   Though there were many Peter Paige stories in the pulps, he had written only one novel, so when The Complete Cases of Cash Wale appeared from Steeger Books in 2021, his son Peter was surprised and happy to see that his father was still remembered by readers and collectors.

   This collection is the first volume reprinting the over 20 Cash Wale and Sailor Duffy stories. Cash was a hard boiled private eye and Sailor was his assistant and strongman. The first couple stories appeared in Detective Tales and Black Mask but the rest of them found a home in Dime Detective during the 40’s and early 50’s. The stories were long novelets and close to 20,000 words each. The author received high word rates since they were so popular. I’ve seen cancelled checks made out to Morton Wolson for $400 to $500 dollars. All the stories were hard boiled, wise cracking private eye yarns told with a sense of style and humor. I highly recommend them and they are available at or amazon.

John Gunnison.

   Attendance at the convention was between 80 and 100 with many dealers and 42 tables. There were two fairly large rooms and one small one. One big benefit was the free breakfast available at the hotel. I needed the egg sandwich, hash browns and coffee to get me through the day because I’m too excited to waste time taking a lunch break. Yes, “waste time,” because it’s all about the books and pulps!

   Unfortunately, I’ve been at the collecting game so long that I no longer need much and I didn’t find many of my wants. But Matt Moring and I shared a table and I sold some Shadow digests, Adventure, Black Mask, and Dime Detective pulps. I saw Matt running back and forth with many pulps that he needed and it made me wish I could relive the old days when I needed a lot and had a big want list.

   Speaking of Matt, keep an eye out for the Steeger Books Thanksgiving sale. He showed me over 20 new volumes that will be soon up for sale, including books in the Argosy and Dime Detective series.

Bruce Tinkle with Lucille & Gary Lovisi.

   The rooms were busy all day long, especially the tables manned by John Gunnison (five!), Cowboy Tony, Paul Herman, and Michael Brenner.

   I’d like to thank the organizers of this excellent show: Rich Harvey and Audrey Parente. Also thanks to Rich’s father who has been in charge of taking attendance since the first show over 20 years ago. The photos were taken by Paul Herman. Thanks Paul! And thanks to all my collector friends for making this another memorable occasion.

   Hope to see you at Windy City and Pulpfest!

2022 50th Anniversary PulpFest Convention Report,
by Walker Martin.

(Dedicated to the memory of Ed Kessel, Rusty Hevelin,
and Nils Hardin.)

   50 Years! I attended the first Pulpcon in 1972 with my wife and we are among the very few survivors of this great, life changing convention. I say “life changing” because it seems that my entire life has revolved around pulp, book, and art collecting. Almost all my yearly vacations were scheduled to coincide with the convention dates and the show often overshadowed other major events in my life.

   Though I started collecting in 1956 when I bought my first SF digest off the newsstand(I still have that issue of Galaxy), my collecting interests really increased a lot due to my attendance at Pulpcon and Pulpfest. My fondest memories are involved with this show and I’m still enthusiastic about collecting pulps and books even though I’ve been at it for 67 years. I may not need many wants anymore but I love collecting and attending the shows and talking to the many friends I’ve made over the years. It’s true that many of them are no longer with us but the memories live on.

   When Eleanor and I took the two day trip to St Louis in 1972 we were newly married and I drove a Volkswagon Beetle with no trouble at all. 50 years later, I no longer can drive long distances, but I have some good friends that do the driving. I think the great white rental van days are over, and this time Matt Moring of Steeger Books drove us in his big pickup truck. The storage area was just large enough for all the pulps and books that we bought.

   I was on the Pulpfest 50th anniversary panel and talked about the first convention. How Ed Kessel, the organizer, kept nervously taking off his hair piece. During the convention half the time he had hair and half he was bald. When he realized that he lost $500 putting on the show, he said that he would not do another one. But Rusty Hevelin saved Pulpcon by seeing that the convention continued each year.

   This year there were almost 400 rabid collectors in attendance and around 100 tables. But 50 years ago there were less than 100 in attendance and around a dozen tables. What saved the convention in 1972 was Nils Hardin bringing in over a couple thousand pulps from the Fred Fitzgerald collection. Fitzgerald, who lived near St Louis in Festus, Missouri, died in the 1960’s and his widow advertised that his enormous collection was up for sale at her house. Price was cover price! Ed Kessel, Earl Kussman, and Nils Hardin drove out and while Ed and Earl cherry picked SF and Hero pulps, Nils bought extensive runs of Argosy, Bluebook, Short Stories, Adventure, Complete Stories, Top Notch. Not to mention all sorts of detective pulps.

   Many of these pulps I obtained often had Fred Fitzgerald’s name on the cover and words circled inside in blue and red ink. In fact when I was drafted into the army, I spent time at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and I used to date a girl in Festus. She was divorced with two children and I met her at a dive called Whiskey-A-Go-Go. Little did I know that a mother load of pulps were in the small town. If I had known then I would gladly have dumped her and carried on a bookish romance with the pulps.

   (Ed Hulse and Walker Martin in photo to right.)

   We had some stellar guests at the first Pulpcon. How’s this for some names: Graves Gladney, the Shadow cover artist; Leigh Brackett, the SF writer, and Edmond Hamilton, her husband and also a SF writer. 50 years later in 2022 we had no guests, mainly because all the pulp writers and artists are long gone.

   On the 50 Years of Pulfest panel we had several other collectors, each one representing a different decade.

         1970’s–Walker Martin and Jack Cullers
         1980’s–Don Hutchison(I believe Don is our oldest attendee at 91)
         1990’s–Tony Davis
         2000’s–Bill Lampkin and maybe also William Patrick Maynard. I forget since I was so excited to be talking about Pulpcon #1.
         2010’s–Sara Light-Waller

   Prior to the panel we had Pizza at Pulpfest, sponsored by many of the dealers. I tried to control my beer drinking since I was on the panel right after the pizza party and I seem to remember talking about some risque events that occurred at the early Pulpcons. Sorry if I offended anyone.

   (Paul Herman with wife of artist Samson Pollen in photo to left.)

   Following the 50 Year panel, Dave Saunders gave another one of his excellent discussions on a pulp artist. This year it was about Nick Eggenhoffer, who was the main illustrator for the western pulps and in my opinion, the best. Then we had Ed Hulse and Garyn Roberts talking about Dime Mystery, followed by Morgan Holmes on Robert Howard and Fiction House. Then a FarmerCon panel followed by King of the Royal Mounted, a serial.

   Pulpfest is known for its great programming and in addition to the evening programs, there were also afternoon panels, all of which I missed since I can’t tear myself away from the dealer’s room. Once a collector, always a collector. Then Friday night we had Robert Deis and Wyatt Doyle talking about George Gross and his career as an artist for the men’s adventure magazines, followed by Ed Hulse and Will Murray talking about the hardboiled west. Also discussions of Fiction House comics, Planet Stories, and Meteor House.

   Saturday Rick Lai was awarded the Munsey Award for his books and essays on the pulp magazines. He’s been at it for decades. We then had the auction which mainly consisted of magazines from the Carl Joecks Estate. Over two hundred small lots. Not much I wanted to bid on until the end when Samson Pollen’s art came up for bid. Unfortunately I developed leg and knee pains and had to leave the auction early. As I limped out I cursed getting old but I guess that’s better than the alternative.

   Issue #31 of The Pulpster was the usual impressive job done by William Lampkin the editor and Mike Chomko, the Publisher. There were several articles on Fiction House at 100 and also articles on slabbing pulps, Dime Mystery, Church of Satan, William Lindsay Gresham, The Avenger, Zane Grey, and Rusty Hevelin. By the way, the slabbing of pulps in plastic is coming but I was glad to see no examples yet in the dealer’s room. I believe books and pulps should be read and cared for, not treated like the comic books as investments.

   I had my usual table and sold many cancelled checks made out to pulp authors. Also sold DVD’s and miscellaneous pulps. Several years ago, Matt Moring traded me a cover painting from People’s Story Magazine for February 10, 1922, which is a hundred years ago. I celebrated the event by finding the magazine at Doug Ellis’ table. Thanks for finding it Matt!

   I also bought 25 issues of Mammoth Detective, one of the crazier titles. I seem to remember having and reading these issues decades ago. Time to reread them! I also found six issues of Black Mask from the Joe Shaw era without covers. Time to reread them also. I almost bought several pieces of original art but I talked myself out of buying art since I don’t have any wall space left.

   Making their debut at Pulpfest were several books such as George Gross Covered by Bob Deis and Wyatt Doyle, Pulp Power, a big coffee table book full of Street & Smith pulp covers, and the usual big selection of Steeger Books new releases. Matt Moring of Steeger Books has passed the 600 book mark I believe and should be in Ripley’s Believe It or Not. The books are all in the Black Mask Library series:

         Jerry Frost by Horace McCoy
         Cellini Smith by Robert Reeves
         The Human Encyclopedia by Frank Gruber
         Jerry Tracy by Theodore Tinsley
         It Happened at the Lake by Joseph Shaw

   This was a great Pulpfest, one of the best and you are missing an excellent time out if you miss it in the future. The Pulpfest Committee does an outstanding job and I have to thank Jack and Sally Cullers, Mike Chomko, Barry Traylor, Bill Lampkin, William Patrick Maynard, and Sara Light-Waller. There were other volunteers also that deserve thanks, and to Paul Herman for providing the photos you see above. I hope to see some of you next year!

by Walker Martin

   A few years ago, one of my best friends attended Pulpcon, despite knowing he had a terminal illness. Hardcore collectors will survive just about anything except death. My health problems lately have not involved a terminal illness, but I suffer from claustrophobia, and I had to undergo two cataract operations in April. Despite being disappointed in these procedures, I somehow managed to, go with four other collectors in our usual van.

   Fortunately, this convention managed to cheer me up and here are my comments on the Windy City Pulp Convention. There have been over 20 of these shows and this was the 15th year at the Westin Hotel in Lombard, Illinois, which is about a half hour outside Chicago. Doug Ellis stated that there were about 500 attendees and 180 dealer tables.

   No masks were required, but many collectors wore them just to be safe. As usual the dealer’s room was very busy and set up was allowed on Thursday evening from 8 pm to about 11 pm. There were thousands of books, pulps, vintage paperbacks, original art, new pulp novels, movies on DVDs and comics.

   Some excellent books made their debut at the show. Ed Hulse of Murania Press had what looked like his biggest magazine on the pulps, Blood n Thunder 2022 Special Edition:336 pages, over 100,000 words, and over 100 illustrations. There are 10 essays in the book with the most important being the 120 pages devoted to the Doubleday Crime Club Golden Age, 1928-1940. Ed also had a preview copy of his new book, an updated edition of Wild West in Fiction and Film.

   Matt Moring of Steeger Press had several new books for sale on Mike Chomko’s table: Unremembered Murder by Carroll John Daly, volume 7 of the Race Williams series, all from 1944-1955, The Major by L. Patrick Greene, volume 4, The Life of Pinky Jenkins by H. Bedford Jones, volume 3, and the best one of all, The Complete Exploits of the Notorious Sea Fox by James K. Waterman. This last collects several stories from Frontier in the 1920’s and deals with the infamous slave trade before the Civil War. Steeger Books has passed the 600 book mark I believe. Amazing and quite an accomplishment.

   Also available was the new edition of the Windy City Pulp Stories, #21. 130 pages, all devoted to Fiction House. The best article was Will Murray’s “The Rise and Fall of Fiction House”. Also of note are articles dealing with Arthur J. Burks, the pulp magazine, Black Aces, and other Fiction House items of interest.

   The art show had several original cover paintings and illustrations from Fiction House magazines and I was really impressed by the excellent display. Ed Hulse ran the usual film show which showed serials and B-movies during the day and after the evening auction.

   Speaking of the auction, John Gunnison did his usual fine job as auctioneer. Friday night had 200 lots from the Robert Weinberg Estate and Saturday night had almost 200 lots from the Glenn Lord Estate. An entire set of Planet Stories was auctioned in several lots, many Weird Tales, including the Anniversary large issue from 1924 ($8000), and all sorts of correspondence. The Gent From Bear Creek by Robert Howard sold for several thousand.

   There were the usual panels and I attended the Fiction House discussion given by Roger Hill. On Saturday night David Saunders did his usual excellent job discussing such Fiction House artists as George Gross, Allan Anderson, and Norman Saunders. I’m looking forward to his Pulpfest presentation on Nick Eggenhofer this August.

   I’ve been collecting now for over 65 years and I don’t need much anymore, but I always find something. This year I’m rebuilding some of my sets such as All Western and Dime Detective. I found several copies of each that I need plus an Ace High from 1926 that I’ve been looking for.

   One of the problems of collecting for a long time is that you start to run out of things to collect. Most of my wants are very odd and hard to find, such as the five Sea Stories I lack. There were 118 and I have 113, so it’s not too likely that I’ll find issues I need. Same thing with Western Story and Detective Story. I only need a few issues of each for complete sets, but I’ll probably never find them. But you never know. I never thought I’d find all 444 All Story either but I did.

   Pulpfest is up next in August 4-7, 2022, in Pittsburgh. The 50th Anniversary of Pulpcon/Pulpfest! I never thought I’d see such a long run of conventions when I attended the first one in 1972. But here we are. See you there!


Pulp AdventureCon, November 6, 2021
by Walker Martin

   I’ve attended all these annual Pulp Adventurecons, over 20 of them, most of them in Bordentown, NJ (there also is a Florida show which I’ve never been able to attend). The first one was in the woods somewhere at a firehouse. Several of us got lost trying to find it. I remember there being maybe ten tables and about 50 attendees, maybe less.

Left to right: Nick Certo, Paul Herman, Richard Meli, Digges La Touche.

   But it certainly has grown! This year the show was held in a new hotel in Bordentown, and I liked the new venue though I wish the dealers were all in one big room instead of two smaller rooms. There were over 40 tables and what looked like well over 100 attendees. I was happy to see the hotel had free coffee and egg sandwiches available in the morning.

   A year ago I reported on the show held in November 2020 (Book Hunting during the Pandemic) and I received some negative criticism on one of the online discussion groups. But my entire life has been consumed by my desire to collect books and pulps, not to mention original cover and interior art.

Left to right: Ed Hulse, Steve Lewis.

   I’ve been a bibliomaniac now for over 65 years ever since I discovered Edgar Rice Burroughs, Erskine Caldwell’s Signet paperbacks with the sexy James Avati covers, and the SF digest magazines. I’m not going to go into hiding because of the virus. In fact what better death for a book collector than to die hunting for collectible books, vintage paperbacks, pulps, and artwork? With that attitude, I guess that’s why I have a large collection.

   Last year the hotels were requiring masks and social distancing, but this year masks were optional and we all happily squeezed into the two rooms and bought and sold books, magazines, and DVDs.

   Though this convention is a one day show, it feels a lot longer. Each year it seems to last several days. To give you an idea I will briefly list each day’s events at my house:

      Wednesday, November 3

   Matt Moring of Steeger Books has for several years arrived on Wednesday before the Saturday convention. He does some research for upcoming books, and we meet for dinner. There are plans for a special Thanksgiving sale, and he soon will announce the upcoming publication of around 40 new volumes in the Steeger Books reprint series.

Left to right: Scott Hartshorn, Nick Certo.

   That’s right, 40 new books! This has to mean that Matt has published over 500 books in the last few years. If not 500, then very close to it. There will be new books in the Dime Detective Library, the Argosy Library, and important releases reprinting Talbot Mundy, The Spider and others including perhaps H. Bedford Jones. There will be a great release coming soon dealing with The Campfire letter column in Adventure.

      Thursday, November 4

   Richard Meli and Scott Hartshorn arrive from Florida. I’ve been friends with Scott since 1976 when he was a teenager and thought I was an old man even then at age 34. He must think I’m really old now. Scott is a long time art and book collector with a love for film noir movies, a passion I share.

   Richard Meli is the man behind Heartwood Books and Art and also happens to be a physician. I mention this because every book convention should have a doctor on call in case an elderly collector collapses or faints from the terrific stress of trying to buy every damn book and pulp magazine in sight.

   Actually I thought Rich Meli might keel over since he bought so much and was so excited. Maybe we need two doctor/collectors, in case one collapses, the other could care for him. There were now five of us and we had lunch and dinner together.

      Friday, November 5

   This is the day of my annual brunch that I host every year just prior to the Bordentown convention. I can’t handle a big crowd of insane book collectors, so I try to keep attendance at around ten. I used to have hoagies, potato salad, chips and beer and soda but I couldn’t depend on the delis to have the food ready for Friday at 1:00 pm, so the last couple years I’ve ordered pizzas for everyone except for one collector who hates pizza. So I ordered a steak sandwich and fries for him.

Left to right: Walker Martin, Digges La Touche, Nick Certo, Ed Hulse, Scott Hartshorn, Paul Herman, Steve Lewis

   During this brunch, a lot of selling and buying goes on. To give you an idea, this year a nice condition set of Thrilling Wonder changed hands. Also nice sets of the Ziff Davis Amazing and Fantastic Adventures, two sets of Planet Stories, a nice stack of All Western and many individual issues of detective and western pulps.

   In fact the weather was so nice and sunny that we were buying books and pulps outside at the curb in front of my house and out of the back of cars and pickup trucks. Two of my neighbors were walking by and commented on the mass of books and magazines on the grass and sidewalk. I’ve known them 25 years and little did they know I also had a house full of books! Non-collectors just don’t know the true insanity of collectors.

   Then after 5 pm we all met at Firkin’s Tavern for dinner. Matt Moring has sent some photos showing us in the Irish pub. In addition to myself, also in attendance were Matt Moring, Nick Certo of Certo Books, Scott Hartshorn, Ed Hulse of Murania Press, Digges La Touche, Paul Herman, book seller, Steve Lewis of Mystery*File, Richard Meli of Heartwood Books and Art. My wife, being a non-collector was absent because so many collectors in the house at one time freaks her out.

      Saturday, November 6

   The day of the convention! Matt Moring picks me up at 8 am and we arrive at 8:30. Matt quickly sets up five long boxes of pulps, all priced at only $5.00 each, easily the bargain of the convention. John Gunnison and his wife were already set up with what looked like five tables of pulps or an entire wall of the room. Cowboy Tony was there with three tables of all sorts of paper products: pulps, fiction digest magazines, slicks, comic strips, men’s adventure magazines and risque magazines.

   Ed Hulse was selling his brand new book on vintage paperbacks: The Art of Pulp Fiction. Martin Grams had his usual tables of DVDs, Paul Herman had hundreds of vintage paperbacks. Gary Lovisi and his wife were selling his excellent magazine Paperback Parade. Nick Certo had books and paperbacks. This is just a sample of the books available. There were many more dealers. After the convention closed at 5 pm, many of us ate dinner at Mastoris Diner, another long time tradition.

   The people behind this long running show are Rich Harvey, Audrey Parente, and Rich’s father was taking care of admissions. Thank you for your efforts and usual fine job!

      Sunday, November 7

   Matt and I went out for breakfast and we talked about a possible art trade but we couldn’t reach agreement. Maybe next year.

      Monday, November 8

   Scott Hartshorn and Digges La Touche met me for breakfast and afterward we took Scott to the airport.

   So ends another Pulp Adventurecon. See you at Windy City and Pulpfest!




From left to right: Matt Moring, Walker Martin.


Digges La Touche.


Paul Herman



Andy Jaysnovich


Gary Lovisi


Gary’s wife Lucille

Reviewed by Walker Martin:


ED HULSE – The Art of Pulp Fiction. IDW Publishing, hardcover, September 2021.

   As I was reading this excellent illustrated history of vintage paperbacks, it slowly dawned on me that I have actually been collecting paperbacks longer than digest or pulp magazines! This is amazing to me because I’ve been at the fiction magazine game for 65 years, which is a long time to be collecting pulps and digests (I started in February 1956 with Galaxy).

   But I started buying paperbacks off the stands even earlier, in 1954. I still remember being absolutely stunned and falling in love with the risque and sexy covers by James Avati. The Signet paperback covers for the Erskine Caldwell novels grabbed hold of me and made me a book collector for life. How many times did the owner of Hoscheck’s Deli ask me “Hey are you going to buy that book?” as I gazed stricken at the James Avati girls. I was only 12 and back then the covers and novels were not considered suitable reading for a young boy.

   Now of course such covers are routine, but James Avati got me off and running on a lifetime of paperback collecting and I’m still at it. Over the years, many collectors wondered which is the best book on the paperbacks? Prior to 2001 there were several books that were interesting but it was hard to pick one out as the most comprehensive. Then in 2001 The Great American Paperback by Richard A. Lupoff was published and for 20 years it has been the best illustrated history of vintage paperbacks.

   Now in 2021 we have Ed Hulse’s book The Art of Pulp Fiction, and in my opinion it is now the best illustrated history of vintage paperbacks. True the Lupoff book is a bigger book at 320 pages and 600 cover photos. Plus it also rates the 600 paperbacks as to collectibility based on a rating scale ranging from one to five book icons. The higher the number of book icons, the more collectible the item.

   But 20 years is a long time and in my opinion we needed a new updated illustrated history, and I think The Art of Pulp Fiction is that book. One big disadvantage of the Lupoff book is that the essays and the paperback captions are on yellow, blue, or red paper. It was annoying and difficult to read 20 years ago and it is even more annoying now that my eyesight is 20 years older and aging. Ed Hulse’s book is mainly on white or black paper but even the white print on black background is a lot better than yellow, blue, or red paper.

   Ed and I have talked about the title of the book. Four years ago in 2017 The Art of the Pulps was published and I think some readers will assume that The Art of Pulp Fiction is a reprint of the earlier book and that they have it already. But they are in fact two different books. The 2017 book is an illustrated history of pulp magazines and this 2021 book is an illustrated history of vintage paperbacks. I’m sure Ed did not want this title, but I think the publisher insisted on it and only agreed to put a small sub title on the cover saying “An illustrated history of vintage paperbacks.”

   What exactly is in The Art of Pulp Fiction? The book is 10 by 11 inches, 240 pages, 450 cover photos, and essays on the different genres. It also has short essays by Gary Lovisi (paperback collector and publisher of The Paperback Parade), Will Murray (author and expert on hero pulps), and David Saunders (artist and expert on original pulp art). Each cover photo has an approximately 50 word discussion of the cover. Every cover is large enough to see the details with no thumbsize, small covers. There also are several photos of original paperback cover art from the collections of art collectors.

   One mistake I think the publisher made was to have the front and back cover edges look worn and ragged. The first impression is that the copy of the book is sort of beat up and perhaps defective. But it’s not, and in fact is quite a good looking book overall. Ed not only discusses many of the influential paperbacks but he also discusses the artists and the publishers.

   Many collectors contributed to this book by lending paperbacks to Ed. Also he visited several art collectors. His visit to my house can serve as an example of his methods in borrowing so many books. One afternoon several months ago, he visited me and we went through the rooms discussing and looking at my paperback collection. We started on the second floor in the room that my wife and kids call “The Paperback Room”. The entire room is devoted to detective and mystery paperbacks including what may be a complete set of the hundreds of Dell mapbacks. Also in the room is some original cover art and several paperback racks which took me decades to find. These wooden racks were made to hold paperbacks for sale and were usually destroyed or lost over the years.

   We then went to my basement where we looked and talked about my science fiction, western, and mainstream paperbacks. Ed ended up borrowing two boxes full of paperbacks, perhaps 75 to 100, of which close to 50 may have been used in the book. By the way, I noticed one paperback lacked the 50 words of comment. If there is a reprint or revised edition in the future. page 116 needs comments for Poul Anderson’s Brain Wave.

   This book gets my highest recommendation and can be obtained from Ed’s Murania Press website or from Price is $50.00 and worth every penny. If you read, collect, or just like paperbacks, this is a must buy.




RICHARD A. LUPOFF – The Cover Girl Killer. Hobart Lindsey #5. St. Martin’s, hardcover, 1995. Apparently no contemporaneous paperback edition (!).

   I quit this series after the first, The Comic Book Killer, because I thought the lead was a wimp, but someone told me that I ought to read this one for reasons [you’ll see below], so I did.

   Ace insurance investigator Hobart Lindsey is searching for the model who was the subject of a cover painting for a rare and obscure paperback published in the late 1940s. A tycoon had died in a suspicious helicopter crash, leaving millions either to the unknown model (if she can be found) or to a foundation for indigent artists.

   Hobart finds himself plunged into the world of paperback collectors, while his lover, police Sergeant Marva Plum, struggles with the suspected murder. A personal nemesis from his first case reappears, adding danger and angst.

   Well, I think you may recognize a paperback collector even before his real-life inspiration is named in the afterword. He has something of a regal air about him. This still isn’t going to be one of my favorite series, but it has definitely improved, and I enjoyed it because of the background. Lindsey isn’t quite as much of a wimp as he was, at least. There’s a nice intro by Bill Pronzini, too.

   Required reading [for everyone reading this].

— Reprinted from Ah Sweet Mysteries #22, November 1995


      The Lindsey and Plum series —

1. The Comic Book Killer (1988)
2. The Classic Car Killer (1992)
3. The Sepia Siren Killer (1994)
4. The Bessie Blue Killer (1994)
5. The Cover Girl Killer (1995)
6. The Silver Chariot Killer (1996)
7. The Radio Red Killer (1997)
8. The Tinpan Tiger Killer (1998)
9. One Murder At A Time (2001)
10. The Emerald Cat Killer (2010)

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!

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!

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