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Windy City 2015: 100 Days to Go!

Posted in Conventions on January 6, 2015 @ 6:52 pm

The countdown begins!

As I write these words it’s exactly 100 days to the beginning of this year’s Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention.  “The Windy,” as it’s popularly known, has become a mecca for fans and collectors of vintage pulp fiction and related material.  Now in its 15th year, the confab gets underway on Friday, April 17, at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center in Lombard, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Exhibit space in the massive hucksters room has already sold out, which is always a good sign. Lower gas prices and a slowly but steadily improving economy should translate to attendees with more disposable income, so I’m expecting a big show.

The Windy benefits from being the calendar year’s first big pulp-themed event. As such, it sees the unveiling of collectibles that dealers have obtained during the long hiatus that technically begins in early November, following Rich Harvey’s annual Pulp Adventurecon in New Jersey. And not just pulp magazines, either. You can also find rare, vintage “slicks,” digests, fanzines, paperbacks, first-edition hardcovers, and even old comic books. Some dealers offer original art from pulps, paperbacks, and hardcovers. A few sell movie memorabilia and movies on DVD. Most currently active publishers of pulp-fiction reprints (including Murania Press) show up to exhibit their latest books, as do the writers and publishers of “New Pulp” products.

The Windy’s Friday- and Saturday-night auctions are always exciting. For the last several years they’ve been dominated by items from the estate of uber-collector Jerry Weist. This year continues that sale, with nearly 9000 items scheduled to go on the block: approximately 5300 pulps, 2000 dime novels, and 1700 true-detective and men’s-adventure magazines. (Much of this material will of necessity be sold in large lots of 100 or more pieces.)

A small lot from one of last year's auctions.

In 2015 the Windy celebrates the 125th birthday of legendary writer H. P. Lovecraft, whose classic works in such pulps as Weird Tales and Astounding Stories redefined horror fiction and influenced countless storytellers to follow. So the con’s film program — selected and presented by yours truly — will feature movies and TV episodes adapted from Lovecraft’s most memorable tales. And I’m willing to bet that the annual exhibit of original pulp art will sport HPL-related paintings and illustrations.

Over the last 15 years co-chairmen Doug Ellis and John Gunnison have turned the Windy from a modest one-day show into the hobby’s premier event, and I’m proud to be part of it. I can’t recommend this convention too highly; it’s always the year’s high point for me, pulpishly speaking, and if you haven’t attended one yet you really ought to give it a try. Don’t wait too long, though: There’s a limit to rooms available to Windy attendees at the Westin’s special convention rate, so those who plan on joining us this year should make their reservations ASAP. Clicking on the above link will take you to the show’s web site, which has a link to the hotel’s site. That’ll give you all the information you need.

Please consider making the trek to Chicagoland this April. If you’re a fan of pulp fiction I guarantee you’ll have a great time. Oh, and don’t forget to stop by the Murania Press table!

One corner of the massive dealer room, seen during set-up time.

13 thoughts on “Windy City 2015: 100 Days to Go!

  1. Sounds great! I can’t go this year, but getting to this show is definitely something that’s on my bucket list!

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