Cover of the Day

LOVE STORY, December 3, 1932. Artist: Modest Stein

LS 1932 12 03

Image courtesy of Galactic Central.

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Walker Martin’s Report on the Pulp AdventureCon

For those of you who can’t make it to the annual pulp conventions, reading about them is the next best thing. Especially when the reports are written by Walker Martin, collector extraordinaire. Walker has written his latest installment of “Collecting Pulps: A Memoir” which is a report on Pulp AdventureCon, which was held last weekend in New Jersey. Walker has some humorous things to say about non-collectors, and some exciting news about some collections he has been able to complete. Go to the Mystery File post here to read it.

Writing Schedules

PulpFest is this week, and for the first time in 6 years, I won’t be there. This has made me very sad, because PulpFest is the one time all year when I can see so many of my friends that I can talk pulps with. I feel like they are my family. But I have had horrendous home repair costs and unexpected gallbladder surgery, all of which have made traveling impossible for me.

For those of you who are going, I will look forward to seeing your posts on your blogs and on Facebook. If you’d like me to post any reports or photos here for you, I’ll be glad to do it.

But, on the bright side, progress on the Daisy Bacon book is being made. Some of you might be rolling your eyes. I don’t blame you. I’ve been saying that for awhile.

I’ve been wondering what others do who have limited time to write. What do the rest of you do that have full time jobs? How do you manage writing?

For me, I have almost zero time from Monday through Friday to write.  Then, from 7 to 4 every day, I have a full time job, and then when that’s done, I have a home and three animals to take care of. I need to eat every so often, but I have given up on cooking. I need to exercise once in a while, otherwise my back starts giving me problems. I need to walk my dogs. But then I need to wash dishes and, with three animals, I need to vacuum every day. I need to clean the cat box, and then pick up dog poop in the back. Twice a week I need to water the yards (we can only water twice a week now with water rationing.). By then it’s 8 at night. Or, on nights like tonight, it’s 10:30.

When I do get down to writing, which is usually very early in the mornings, about 5 a.m. or so, I write slowly. I always have. Maybe I’ll get a few paragraphs done before I start getting ready for the work day.

Do any of you get frustrated over how slowly it takes? Do you ever want to give up? Do you ever regret taking on your project?

I can say yes to all three. I have sacrificed almost my entire social life for the past four years to work on this project. I have cried many tears over how long this is taking.  Sometimes I do regret taking it on.

But then, I realize it’s only because I have so little time. It has nothing to do with the project itself. I don’t regret the actual project one bit. When I’m  reading something really interesting, it gets me motivated to start writing again. After I’ve finished a particularly hard chapter, I feel incredibly satisfied. It’s almost an adrenaline rush.

So I keep plugging along.

I’d like to hear what others do, especially when you have jobs and/or other obligations.

For those of you going to PulpFest, have a great time. Maybe I won’t be in Columbus, but instead I’ll be here: writing, reading. and hoping to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Someday.

Steve Kennedy, 1945-2015

I was shocked and saddened to hear the news that Steve Kennedy has passed away.IMG00022

Some pulp fans who didn’t know Steve will recognize him by the estates that he represented: Walter Baumhoffer, Oscar Bluemner, Hannes Bok (estate), Eliot Clark, James Daugherty, Ratael De Soto, John Gambin (estate), R.G. Harris, Richard Lillis (estate), Charles Prendergast, Maurice Prendergast, Andre Racz (estate), Margery Ryerson, and J. Allen St. John (estate).

I always enjoyed talking to Steve at PulpFest. He was always very kind to me and seemed to be very interested in my projects. One year we got on the discussion of my grandfather and the WILD WEST WEEKLY cover art for some of his stories. I told Steve the story of how, several years ago, I had stumbled upon a home decorating magazine that had a feature story on the rock star Meat Loaf’s home, who collected pulp art. There, in one of the photos, was this Norman Saunders cover that featured Sonny Tabor.

11.12.38 ST 8 x 10

When I mentioned this to Steve, he grinned: he had been the broker for the sale of this work to Meat Loaf.

I’m sure that is just one small story in the hundreds of stories people have about Steve. I don’t know most of them; if any of you would like to share them, please do so in the comments.

Rest in peace, Steve.

No PulpFest for Me This Year

I’ve been silent here is because I’ve had to make a tough decision.

For the first time in seven years, I won’t be going to PulpFest this year.  This has been a very hard decision to make, and I have waited until now to really commit one way or another. I enjoy so much going to the convention and seeing everyone that I now consider my friends and also being able to find pulps and great books all in one place. I really do look forward to going every year.

But it’s been a hard year financially, with the coup de grace being gallbladder surgery last month that was unexpected. I also need to make another trip back east for research for the Daisy Bacon book, and finishing the book takes priority. But with everything that’s happened this year, even that trip is in question now.

Aye, it’s been a tough year in some ways, but I’m hanging in and holding my own. I appreciate everyone understanding, and I hope you’ll all keep me posted during PulpFest.

Photos of the Street & Smith building, including a new one found today

I was doing some research today and found some interesting photos of the Street & Smith offices that were taken around 1906. Some of these photos are going to be familiar to some of you – they have been reprinted many times, such as in the FICTION FACTORY book  published in 1955, that was the 100th anniversary commemorative book for the company. But today, I found at least one that I had never seen before.

These photos were taken after the company built their “new” office building at 79 7th Avenue in 1905. Most of these were publicity photos, in which everything is neat and clean and organized, with every piece of paper in its place.

Exterior of building

Street and Smith exterior

reception room

S and S reception room

book department

book department 1

typesetters

typesetters

printing room

flatbed press

paper room

paper room

general offices

general office 1

freight bay

freight elevator

bindery

bindery

Here are the one that I found today on the Museum of the City of New York website. The website just identified this as “office workers.” As you can see, it’s a little different than the stages ones above.

MNY11790

This photo, however, is more in line with what I’ve read about the Street & Smith offices: that they were packed to the brim with books, manuscripts, files, rolls of paper, and anything else that the co-owner, Ormond Smith, refused to throw away since before the turn of the century.

Here’s another photo of the exterior I found today. It seems more realistic than the one taken above.

.MNY23896

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.