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