EDitorial Comments

PulpFest Is Coming Up Fast!

Posted in Conventions,PulpFest on May 31, 2013 @ 3:30 pm

The fifth annual PulpFest begins exactly eight weeks from today, on July 26. It continues the four-decades-old tradition of  staging a major summer convention for fans and collectors of American popular fiction, specifically that which appeared in woodpulp magazines published during the first half of the 20th century. While other such events — especially the Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention — have come to prominence in recent years, PulpFest continues to be Ground Zero for devotees of the escapist fiction that has mightily influenced our pop culture.

This year’s convention will once again be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Columbus, Ohio. After considerable searching for a new location, PulpFest moved to the Regency last year. With minor reservations, the committee (which includes your humble correspondent) found it far more comfortable and convenient than the previous venue, whose level of service deteriorated steadily during our years there. The Regency isn’t perfect, but the vast majority of last year’s attendees seemed quite satisfied. I can report that the committee has worked hard to address the few complaints it did receive, and I firmly believe 2013’s confab will improve on the 2012 experience.

It’ll certainly be a big show for Murania Press, as I intend to debut the new Blood ‘n’ Thunder Guide to Pulp Fiction there, along with the Summer 2013 issue of BnT and at least one new volume in our Classic Pulp Reprints series.

For the last few years Ohio State University has sponsored PulpFest-week lectures on pulp history. I’m proud to report that I will be this year’s guest speaker at OSU. My presentation will expand on PulpFest 2013’s principal theme: the 80th anniversary of the 1933 hero-pulp explosion that gave us Doc Savage, The Spider, G-8 and His Battle Aces, The Phantom Detective, Pete Rice, The Lone Eagle, and the revived Nick Carter. I’ll explain how the single-character magazines not only energized the Depression-weary pulp industry but continued to influence pop culture long after they ceased publication. Watch this space for more details.

If you haven’t already registered or made your reservations for PulpFest, I’d advise you to do so ASAP. And please, help support the convention by staying at the Regency rather than some cheesy motel that might save you a few bucks per night. We offset the substantial rental costs of our meeting space (the dealers’ ballroom and the room where our programming unfolds) by agreeing to deliver a certain number of guest rooms.  Every attendee who stays outside the Regency costs us money. I know all too well that times are still tough and that some folks can only afford to attend the convention by cutting corners. But the continued viability of our event depends upon our being able to meet the contractual quota of what hoteliers call “room nights.” And believe me, you get your money’s worth out of a sleeping room at the Hyatt Regency.

Don’t forget to visit the PulpFest site for information and printable registration forms. Then use the Hyatt Regency link embedded above to make your reservation. We look forward to seeing you at what promises to be an outstanding convention!

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