Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Primer on This Year's Pulp Conventions

I'm on vacation this week and have been spending the week buried in research, and before that buried in day-job work, so I haven't had much time or energy to post on the blogs. But while I have the energy, I do want to give everyone a run-down of the big pulp fiction conventions that are coming up this year.

The first one on the schedule, the Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention, is a long-standing national pulp convention where most, if not all, of the major dealers show up. In addition, Windy City is known for its auction every year, full of outstanding collectible pulps. This year Windy City will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first appearance of Tarzan in any medium, when he appeared in the October 1912 issue of ALL STORY. Windy City runs from April 27 through the 29th, and is held at the Westin Lombard Center in Lombard, Illinios.

By the way, if anyone you know has doubts as to the collectibility of pulp fiction magazines, and whether they've appreciated at all over the years, tell them to try to find one of these issues and then ask what the going price is.

The second big convention is PulpFest, this year from August 9 through August 12 at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus, Ohio. The PulpFest 2012 website has all of the most current information. There you can find out all about the programming this year. Science fiction author Mike Resnick has been announced as being this year's guest of honor. If you want to learn more about this award-winning author, go to the PulpFest Guest of Honor page. You can also sign up for updates at the site, look at reviews, blog posts from previous years, and even a history of pulp fiction page.

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Barry Traylor said...

As one of the themes of PulpFest this year is the 100th anniversary of "Under the Moons of Mars" being published in All-Story it reminds me of an estate auction at Pulpcon around 10 or more years ago. I was working on the many boxes of pulps when I spied a coverless copy of the February 1912 issue of All-Story with the first installment. This was credited as being written by Norman Bean (I read once that Burroughs wanted Normal Bean-something of a pun) This coverless copy started a spirited bidding war and sold for $1,000.00. Perhaps more, hopefully Walker Martin (whose memory for such things alway seems better than mine) will know the exact figure.

Walker Martin said...

Barry may be talking about the Winston Dawson estate auction. But the Feb 1912 issue had a cover and I was hoping to get it for $20 because it just looked like an old issue that nobody wanted. Unfortunately the auctioneer was one of the few people who knew what he was holding and as a result the bidding took off and the auctioneer won the bidding with an over $400 bid.

Needless to say I was stunned to lose out because I had the other 5 parts of the serial and the Feb 1912 issue would have given me the complete novel in 6 parts.

Several months later the winning bidder offered it to me for $1400 and I gladly paid this amount. The story gets even stranger a few years later but no one would believe my account of just how crazy collectors can behave.

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm looking at that Tarzan of the Apes cover and imagining stumbling upon that for the first time, with no knowledge of Burroughs or Tarzan. Wow, that would be fun.

Barry Traylor said...

Thanks Walker. I really should take notes. I have long been puzzled when I read a biography and wonder how they remember this stuff. I know it had no cover so it must have been the one with Tarzan. I thought that was the one the Dick Witter bid on. Or perhaps I am just confusing two events.

Walker Martin said...

Dick Witter was the owner of F&SF Book Co; Barry is thinking of Dick Wald, who as auctioneer was involved in both UNDER THE MOONS OF MARS and the Tarzan issue.

I also managed to get the Tarzan issue but the funny thing about it was not only did it NOT have a front cover but it had the Tarzan novel excerpted, cut out! Even in this condition with the guts of the issue missing it still went for $400.

So when collectors ask do I have the Oct 1912 Tarzan issue which is the most valuable pulp of them all, I say yes. Unfortunately it has the front cover and the Tarzan novel missing.

I've often thought if time travel was possible, it would be fun to go back in time and confront the idiot who was cutting the Tarzan novel out of the issue. "Hey stupid, you just ruined a $50,000 magazine".

Barry Traylor said...

Walker, this is why we wear name tags at conventions. For dummies like that that can't remember names.
I'm pretty sure I never met Dick Witter so why his name popped up instead of Wald's I don't have a clue.
Is Wald still among the living? I know he stopped coming to Pulpcon ages ago.

Barry Traylor said...

Whoops! I meant to type for dummies like me that can't remember names. Not sure why I am like that. I have dozens of phone numbers and things like my library account number in my memory. And faces, I always remember a person's face but can't always put a name to the face.