Ed Hulse’s Post on Windy City Convention

And another report – this one as thorough and as entertaining as the others. I always learn something from Ed Hulse’s posts on his blog at Murania Press.

To read Ed’s blog post on the Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention, go here.  You can also check out the many collectible pulps he has for sale here and books and reprints here.  Ed only deals with pulps in the absolute best condition, so if condition is your “thing” you cannot go wrong by visiting his site.


Walker Martin’s Report on Windy City, 2015

Walker Martin’s report on the 2015 Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention in Chicago is up at the Mystery File blog.  If you’ve ever been curious about what it’s like to go to one of these conventions, Walker’s reports are always thorough and entertaining. You also get a peek into the mind of one of the world’s eminent collectors of these magazines.

Reports on Windy City Convention are Coming In. Here’s a Link to a Good One.

The Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention was this last week. I’ve never been able to attend – April always ends up being the worst month in the year for me – and I always wish I could go.  Sai over at Pulp Flakes has posted an amazing number of photos from the convention, go here to check them out. There was a lot of artwork, and I think I saw some paintings that ended up being WILD WEST WEEKLY covers. I’m looking forward to reading more reports about the convention and will post links to them when I learn of them.

If it’s any consolation, I was home writing and reading like mad all weekend, so at least I was productive.

Listen to the LOVE STORY MAGAZINE RADIO PROGRAM – “Two Diamond Bracelets”

Want to hear some old time love on the radio?  Here is an episode of LOVE STORY MAGAZINES radio show. This is a story called “Two Diamond Bracelets.”

The LOVE STORY MAGAZINE Radio Program was produced by the Columbia Broadcasting System and ran in 20 major east and Midwest cities;  it was a half-hour program on Thursday evenings, from 9:30 to 10 ET, 52 consecutive weeks, starting on 10/1/1931.  It ran originally in 1931, and then repeated in 1937.

This recording is from the 1937 season.  I’m looking for where the original story ran in LOVE STORY and will post it when I find it.

Special thanks to Barry Traylor, who found these on YouTube.

Rest in Peace, Ron Scheer

Ron Scheer lost his battle with cancer today. Many of us who knew him, either personally or in the blogging world, are devastated.  I met Ron at the Republic Pictures 50th anniversary celebration in Studio City a few years back, and we had a very pleasant lunch together at some tables in the back. We share some common interests: in the western story, in publishing,  in writing, and in blogging. I treasure that memory now.

Ron Scheer

Ron was a brilliant writer who chronicled his battle with cancer on his blog Buddies in the Saddle, in ways that no one else I know has done. Beautifully, poetically, without one shred of sentimentality.

David Cranmer, who worked with Ron in publishing his two-volume set HOW THE WEST WAS WRITTEN, will be a guest blogger on Buddies in the Saddle eventually to pay tribute to Ron.

Ron did this video in 2009 on his native land, Nebraska.

Rest in Peace, Ron.

New Orleans Trip Report, Part 2.

After my early morning tour of the French Quarter on Friday morning, I headed over to the conference to listen to fellow pulp historians present their papers.  If I haven’t mentioned it before, each area of study (Pulp Studies) was divided into categories. For example, The Pulp Southern Gothic” contained talks on how the Southern Gothic was present in pulp studies or how it influenced writers. Each category contained 4 presentations of 15 minutes each.

I did not attend all of the pulp studies segments due to my late arrival on Thursday, and for other reasons, so I am only mentioning the ones I attended here.

In the Pulp Southern Gothic segment, these were the talks presented:

Zombies from the Pulps!: Race, Imperialism, and the Dawn of the Living Dead Genre (Jeffrey Shanks); 􀂘The Brooding, Fear-Haunted Side: Voodoo and Conjure Stories of Robert E. Howard (Karen Kohoutek); 􀂘Pigeons From Nawlins: A Horror Story’s Roots in the Crescent City; (Rusty Burke); and 􀂘The Crescent City Weird Tale: New Orleans and the Liminal Uncanny (Jonas Prida).

I was very pleased that in two of the presenters in this segment, Jeff Shank’s and Jonas Prida’s, showed the Weird Tales cover from June 1925 that featured my grandfather’s story “Monsters of the Pit.” Here’s Jeff with his:

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Karen Kohoutek’s presentation on the presence of voodoo in Robert E Howard’s stories was fascinating too, especially considering that Karen and I had visited the voodoo museum the day before.

In the next pulp section, “WEIRD TALES: The Unique Magazine,” the following presentations were given:

Weird Tales, Modernism, and the Gothic: The Search for Literary and Cultural Territory in Working-Class Culture (Justin Everett); 􀂘 Strange Collaborations: Shared Authorship and Weird Tales (Nicole Emmelhainz); Disintegrating Verse: The Poetry of the Weird Tales Writers (Jason Carney); and [Who] Can Write No More?: The Contested Authorship of CM Eddy’s “The Loved Dead” (Daniel M Look).

I was REALLY intrigued by Daniel’s presentation because he discussed stylometric analysis, which uses mathematical algorithms to analyze stories to try to determine the “real author” of a story, whether it be the credited author or perhaps an editor who partook in some heavy rewriting. Certain word choices and placement and patterns are entered into the algorithms to come up with an answer. I know I’m over simplifying this, so if I can find anything online about this subject and how it affects pulp history I will post it.

The last presentation for Friday were in the category, “H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard,” contained the following presentations:

The Thing cannot be described:” The Paradoxical Appeal of the Horrible in H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Call of Cthulhu” (Joshua Peralta); 􀂘 Dark Sun: Lovecraft’s Challenge to the Philosophical Life (Clancy Smith);  Robert E. Howard’s DNA [Distinctive Narrative Attributes]: A Study in Subjective Stylometrics,Rhetorical Analysis, with Some Preliminary Thoughts on “Themetric Analysis” (Frank Coffman);  Local Color and Its Underlying Meaning in RobertE. Howard’s (Weird) Westerns, Southern Gothic Horror Stories and Detective Stories, (Dierk Günther).

I especially enjoyed Dierk Gunther’s presentation; Dierk is German, but has been living and teaching at university in Japan for the past 20 (I think, correct me if I’m wrong) years. It’s especially gratifying to see the interest of pulps reaching far and wide, past our own shores.

By the time these presentations were done, it was past 6 PM, and we were all fried. Nonetheless, we all met for dinner later that evening. By the time we all met up in the hotel lobby, it was 8:30 and I could not wait any longer for food. You know how it is with group dinners: by the time everyone shows up in the lobby and then walk over to the restaurant, get seated, get the waiter to present the menu, order, and then get your food, it could be 10 PM. Knowing this ahead of time, I caved and ordered a salmon dinner in the hotel’s restaurant/bar in the lobby, not caring that “bar food” could be sketchy at best. But we were in New Orleans, and the chef didn’t disappoint. It was an amazing dish. I ended up ordering dessert at the group dinner, strawberry shortcake (did I mention that I have stomach problems, so I have to eat bland) and actually that was just okay.

There were about 20 of us at the dinner, with a few spouses attending. I loved the fact that many of those in the group that presented papers were of the “younger generation” (I can’t believe I’m saying that), tattoos and all, and they have a passionate and unflagging passion for all things pulp.

But I was stunned to hear some of them say that they had never heard of the pulp conventions.  I piped up and told them ALL that the pulp conventions were full of historians who had an enormous amount of knowledge and many of them were celebrated and respected authors on their subjects. Jeff Shanks backed me up on that. But it put into relief how much the two worlds are separated. I wish there was an easy way to get the academic historians and the pulp collectors to comingle more.  It’s something that needs to be done if you ask me.

That’s all for now…back later this week with a report on the last day of my trip.

New Orleans Trip Report, Part 1

I’m back from the PCA/ACA Conference in New Orleans.  Academic papers from all four corners of popular culture studies are presented at this conference. I presented a paper on Daisy Bacon on the fourth day, and the audience was very receptive. It was also a treat to meet such great people like Jeff Shanks and Mark Finn and others. Friday night we had a huge dinner gathering with everyone from the Pulp Studies section.  This section has grown by leaps and bounds; apparently it was only a few years ago that at the first year of the Pulp Studies appearance at the conference, there were only three papers submitted. Now there were at least a couple of dozen, and the section had sessions both Friday and Saturday. It’s great that there is still a robust interest in pulp fiction history in academia.  Colleges and  universities are well equipped to pass on the history of pulp fiction through conventions like this, journals, classes, and donated collections across the country.

On a recreational level, it was a great trip, and I found myself enjoying the French Quarter more than I expected. I was a little taken aback by the prices of things and the crowds – both out of control.  But the food was amazing, of course. On Thursday, my first day, the gang went next door to the Marriott to the Palace Cafe and had lunch. Unfortunately I have to be careful with what I eat – due to recent stomach problems that I’ve found out are from gallstones – but I had a shrimp pasta dish that wasn’t out of this world and not too spicy. Except for the sausage.

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A new friend of mine who presented a paper on Robert E. Howard and I spent a lot of time exploring and visited the Voodoo Museum.

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I learned very quickly that crowds are a big issue in the French Quarter, and if you want to go to the Cafe DuMonde, you’re going to deal with very long lines most of the day. So not being one to be very tolerant of standing in lines, I got up very early Friday morning before sunrise and trekked down to the Cafe DuMonde.  It was a spectacular moment to stand outside in the fog and look at the lights of the cafe in the dark. Definitely a romantic French moment. And the coffee and the biegnets – oh man. I’ve never tasted anything so delicious.

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I then walked through the French Quarter – it was still very early and the streets were quiet, and Bourbon Street still reeking from the smell of booze from the night before.

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That’s all for tonight. More later….

Off Tomorrow For the Conference

Sorry for the absence, but I’ve been crazy busy getting ready for the PCA/ACA National Conference and my presentation on Daisy Bacon on Saturday.  It doesn’t matter how far ahead in advance I start getting ready, I’m always going insane at the last minute.

This will be my first time to New Orleans and, even though I’ve been frazzled with getting the presentation ready and griping over the cost of this trip, I’m getting very excited about being in the Big Easy for the first time. With all the traveling I’ve done over the years, I can’t believe I’ve never been there.

I’ll be posting photos from the conference and around the French Quarter, which is nearby, when I can get out of the hotel.

And when I get back, I should have more time on my hands to get this blog up and running. I know, I know…