Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention - A Stunning Success

Walker Martin was kind enough to write up a report on the Windy City Pulp and Paper convention in Chicago last weekend. Here's his report:

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, I saw and talked to many members of the PulpMags group. All told, 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. PulpMags members that 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, and Bill Ward. There were many other non-members that I consider friends such as John Gunnison, Frank Robinson, Bob Weinberg, etc. Too many to mention all and forgive me if I have left out somebody.

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 interesting 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 bought 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.

One interesting thing 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 Pulpfest.com and register, or you will miss the summer's pulp collecting event of the year. Fellow readers and collectors, lets support PulpFest and match the Windy City covention's attendance of over 400!


Barry Traylor said...

Great report Walker. I am saddened that I could not make it.
I think I may of heard something about the identity of the Mystery Love Pulp Collector.
But my lips are sealed (for now).

Charles Gramlich said...

Sorry indeed that I missed it. I've got to get to one of these one of these days.

Laurie Powers said...

Yes, it's a great report and as usual Walker does it with style. I wish I could have been there, but I'll be at Pulp Fest. Thanks for letting me share your report, Walker.

Tom said...

Nice write up Walker!

The show was pleasant all the way around for me; from a sales point, from a social interaction viewpoint, and from an information viewpoint. (I did not buy that many pulps, but that is just my own fault for not getting out from behind the table.)

After the panel discussion several attendees approached me and offered praise for our talk, and thanked me/us for the information we shared about Adventure.

I posted a brief write up on my website too: www.blackdogbooks.net.

Hope to see everyone in Ohio!

Tom Roberts

(I later observed the unnamed party that won all the love pulps sequestered in a corner devouring his winnings before the weekend was over; looking like Aqualung, hunched over the box of his new treasures giving a mirthful laugh with a twinkle in the eye. Did you see them too? It made me very unnerved!)

Walker Martin said...

Tom, I also saw the love pulp collector. It was a chilling scene and I heard his wife was extremely unpleased when she saw what he was now collecting. That's why I referred to him as "crazed" and a "demented soul".

Have you considered contributing to Laurie's MY FAVORITE PULPS series? I've urged over a dozen collectors to join in, but so far no results despite promises to post an entry. I know you would pick 5 exceptionally interesting issues.

Laurie Powers said...

Thanks for contributing, Tom. Yes, we would love to have you contribute to My Favorite Pulps, although there's no pressure.

I am getting increasingly concerned over all this disparagement of the love pulps and the obviously enlightened collector who bought them at the convention. Either you all don't have a romantic bone in your body, or you're doing this to see how I'll react. I think in revenge I'm going to do a My Favorite Pulp installment MYSELF and all 5 pulps will be issues of LOVE STORY.

Walker Martin said...

Laurie, I agree that it was shocking how the auctioneer and other collectors ridiculed the love pulp bidder at the auction. I'll have to apologize to myself, I mean to the other collector. I hope you do cover LOVE STORY in a My Favorite Pulp entry.

Richard R. said...

Great report! I'd really love to go to one of these sometime, though I don't collect pulps and if I did the cost has gotten prohibitive since I last bought some in the early 1960s. Those issues of Astounding Science Fiction are long gone, sadly, but to replace them (complete run, Jan 1950-Dec 1979) would cost an astronomical amount. Still a show like this HAS to be great fun. Are there any of these shows on the west coast?

That collector of romance pulps will be laughing if they become the next hot category, won't he?

Walker Martin said...

Richard, actually the digest SF issues do not command high prices. For instance at Windy City a complete run of GALAXY SF, 1950-1970 went for around $600 or less, or about $2.00 per issue. Often digest magazines are priced in the $1.00 range at Gary Lovisi's NYC paperback show or Tom Lesser's LA paperback event.

By the way, Laurie, Tom Lesser was at the Windy City convention and drove us crazy with his puns and jokes.

Laurie Powers said...

I wish there was another pulp show on the West Coast. Other than the paperback show about a month ago in Mission Hills, are there any of any substance? I'm beginning to see why people would want one on the West Coast; having to fly to Chicago and Columbus for the two big shows (and to see you guys) is cost-prohibitive when you're flying from the West Coast. I can afford one, but not two.