Monday, August 1, 2011

PulpFest - Another Great Year

Sorry for the delay in posts from PulpFest! I guess you could say that I was having such a good time that I couldn't drag myself to the laptop at the end of each day to do any posts. And now that I'm home, I still having Internet connectivity problems and will probably have them for another day until the Time Warner Tekkie comes out to see what the problem is. So I can't guarantee that I'll have a post up until Wednesday. Maybe tomorrow if we're all lucky.

By the way, what do you all do when you can't get Internet connection at home? Grind your teeth? Smash your laptop against the wall? Get up and calmly walk away? Or jump in the car and go to the nearest Starbucks? I've been going to the library, mainly because the WiFi is free. The past few times I've tried Starbucks, there's been no place to sit. Besides, you feel obligated to buy something and as much as I love Vanilla Lattes, they are really fattening.

Anyway, back to PulpFest. The short report is that it was a very successful weekend, both for me and for most of the dealers. I sold almost all of the RIDING THE PULP TRAIL copies I had brought, and a number of PULP WRITER copies too, even though it's been out for 4 years now. The dealer room was continually crowded and loud, which is a good thing. I heard that registrations were up from last year, and the hotel room bookings were way up from last year. Dealers were saying they have had a lot of good sales, and there were practically feeding frenzies going on at a few of the pulp tables some times. I never thought I'd see the day when I'd see grown men walking by with love pulps in their hands, but I did.

Rick Hall (on the right in the photo above) and I were talking at one point about how the hobby of collecting these magazines isn't just about collecting pieces of paper in a musty basement somewhere. It's a dynamic community in which people who have been collecting pulps for 50+ years and who then pass it down to others. I casually mentioned to Rick that I was looking for an obscure genre that a friend wanted to start collecting, and Rick not only told me of the best magazines to look for, but also literally tore out 4-5 pages of inventory out of his binder - lists of writers who specialized in this genre and whose works are scattered throughout several different magazines - and gave them to me to pass along to my friend. That saves my friend hundreds of hours of research.

More people are starting to come forward and express an interest in collecting their descendants' work in the pulps. There's at least three of us now who are collecting the works of our grandfathers. Others are collecting with the goal or reprinting stories written by authors that haven't been seen outside of the pulps for 70-80 years, stories that would never have been read again if it wasn't for the pulp community. And everywhere, the "old timers" are passing down information and leads to newbies like me so the history of the magazines, the writers, the artists, and the editors isn't lost forever. And everyone has a pretty good time while they're at it.

I'll be back later. I hear that Walker Martin will be posting a report soon, and he has graciously offered to let me post it here. So stay tuned.

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Barry Traylor said...

I am really happy so many people had a good time at PulpFest. Even if I feel like I have been run over by a bus! There never seems to be enough time in the weekend to see and chat with old friends. The hobby is about more than the magazines for me but mainly the friends I have made over the years. Love for the Pulps is the glue that holds us together.

Deka Black said...

What i do? Ballpen, paper and write. or read something. Or go out and take photos (i have a Deviant Art account where i put pics of the town where i live). A lot of things.

And about the hobby... to me is a way to learn a lot of things. About the hobby itself and the people in it keeping italive, like yourself ;)

And, of course, enjoy wonderful stories!

Barry Traylor said...

I have to acknowledge all the help that our voluteers did at PulpFest. Sally Cullers and Sam Childers mother did a wonderful job running the registration desk. And I could never have competed preparing the auction material without the assistance of Aaron and Samantha Cullers and Samantha Cullers boy friend Sam Childers. They did all the heavy lifting for me and spared this poor old geezer mucho backache.

Walker Martin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard R. said...

Firstly I hope you're up and connected by the time you read this, but them, um, I guess you'd have to be. I generally just grumble a bit and then go get a book to read.

Great PulpFest report, the first of several I hope, and that's a great story about Rick Hall giving you those pages for your friend to help find those authors and where their stories were published. Very kind indeed. One thing that has struck me, at least in my readings about pulp collectors, that that there doesn't seem to be much distain toward newbies, and a certain level of ignorance is tolerated. at least if it's humble. In many hobbies, the experienced old timers have no patience for newcomers, with their questions and (sometimes) misdirected energy.

I'd really like to get to a Pulp con on of these years. Lessercon, in SoCal, is really more about paperbacks. The problem I have is my dislike of airline travel, and Ohio is a long drive from Oregon.

Walker Martin said...

I see I'm so exhausted that I made a stupid blunder with the photo of the 4 collectors. The 4 guys are left to right: Eric Johnson, Scott Hartshorn, Walker Martin, Nick Certo. I've known Scott and Nick for over 35 years!

martha said...

Nice post, Laurie! Great to meet you at the 'Fest.

Michelle Nolan said...

Hi Laurie,
One of the highlights of any convention I have ever attended was you three daughters/grand-daughters of the pulps on that fabulous panel! I was captivated, and it was great to see so many women on what turned out to be one of the best panels I have ever attended in more than 200 shows covering more than 40 years!
I just posted a comment to Walker's fine review. I have been collecting comics and pulps for more than 50 years, and I have to say that nobody but nobody beats pulp people! Pulp people are, without a doubt, as shining as the heroes in their favorite stories! I've always felt that reading about great characters in our youth made most of us sensitive to issues of justice and humanity. I copied the "Doc Savage Code for Living" out of a 1940 issue when I was 14 -- almost 50 years ago -- and have tried to live up to it ever since. It's now in tatters in a corner of my purse, but I never go anywhere without that code! When something bad happens, I re-read it and I'm inspired.
I'm hoping we'll be able to have Pulpfest somewhere again next year, even at the same spot despite a few problems. To the fellow in Oregon -- I drove 10,000 miles over 32 days on the road to four shows this summer, and had a ball. Driving from Oregon to Columbus isn't bad -- I drove from Bellingham, Wash., in the Far Northwest to Columbus, and have driven to many, many pulp and comic shows as far or farther. It takes only four days if you work it right (you can really fly on some highways). Anyway, don't let distance stop you! You'll have a ball at Pulpfest, and you'll meet some of the greatest folks you could ever want to talk with -- including Laurie!
Michelle Nolan