by Walker Martin

   I’m back from an eventful four days at the Windy City Pulp convention in Chicago. I got up Thursday at 4:00 am and met a fellow collector for the drive to Ed Hulse’s house where we packed boxes and pulp cover paintings into a 12 passenger van. Then four of us began the 14 hour drive to Chicago, which was completed in one insane burst of speed, with very few stops along the way. We arrived at 8:00 pm and headed for the hospitality room where the festivities were already in full swing. Thank god they had beer and potato chips.

   Despite some pre-con worries about attendance, there were over 400 registered attendees and around 125 tables, packed with pulps, pulp reprints, vintage paperbacks, old movies on dvd, and pulp artwork. Once again I was in pulp heaven and almost overdosed due to pulp fever. Among the people I saw and talked to were the following serious collectors:

   Nick Certo, Mike Chomko, Scott Cranford, Doug Ellis, Steve Haffner, Mark Halegua, Rick Hall, Scott Hartshorn, Paul Herman, Ed Hulse, Chris Kalb, Dave Kurzman, Steve Lewis, John Locke, Bill Mann, Rob Preston, Tom Roberts, David Saunders, Dave Scroggs, Tony Tollin, Al Tonik, Bill Ward, John Gunnison, Frank Robinson and Bob Weinberg. Too many to mention all and forgive me for those I have left out.

   In addition to thousands of pulps, there was the film program hosted by Ed Hulse, a panel discussing Adventure magazine, an art exhibit, and the auction. Not to mention the many meals and drinks shared with fellow collectors over the four intense and stressful days.

   The theme of the convention was Adventure‘s 100th birthday and it was a rousing success. The panel consisted of myself, Doug Ellis, Tom Roberts, and Ed Hulse. In a hour we attempted to cover just about every facet of the magazine’s incredible history: the editors, writers, artists, letter column, and as many other topics that we could think of.

   One thing that almost drove me crazy was the subject of picking one forgotten but excellent author. I couldn’t narrow it down to one and cheated by mentioning three: Leonard Nason, Hugh Pendexter, and Robert Simpson. Others mentioned were Georges Surdez and T.S. Stribling.

   The art exhibit concentrated on Adventure cover and interior art. Doug Ellis had many cover paintings on display and I brought five Adventure paintings to the exhibit. Tom Roberts and others also contributed. Frankly, I was so nervous about driving my paintings over 800 miles to Chicago that I was lucky to avoid a stroke. Only the honor of taking part in Adventure‘s birthday convinced me that I should display the paintings.

   The auction had an excellent number of rare and desirable pulps. I was stunned by the many rare and high quality condition Real Detective Tales. Many other detective titles were auctioned, including some fine condition copies of Nick Carter. One obviously crazed collector was high bidder on several lots of love pulps and the auctioneer gleefully poked fun at him. Several people questioned this demented soul as to why he was buying large amounts of love titles. He mumbled something about having collected everything else except love pulps.

   Something that I noticed was that there was no Guest Of Honor and no one seemed to notice this at all. I did not hear one single complaint and it certainly looks like such a lack is not a problem and has absolutely no impact on attendance. From what I observed, just about everyone was there to sell and buy pulp related items. The lack of a guest was not an important factor.

   The 14 hour drive back was done in another incredible burst of speed. How we managed to cram the big van with boxes, luggage, paintings, and four over-the-top collectors, is beyond me. Next stop PulpFest in Columbus, Ohio. Visit and register, or you will miss the summer’s pulp collecting event of the year. Fellow readers and collectors, let’s support PulpFest and match the Windy City convention’s attendance of over 400!