Sam Maronies Entertainment Funhouse (Maronie Creative Services, LLC)
IT'S POP-CULTURE PARTY-TIME!

EVENTS

May 2, 2014

WINDY CITY PULP AND PAPER CONVENTION

Relatively few pieces of original pulp illustrations have survived the ages. Here ne dealer displays his selection of vintage pulp, paperback and magazine illustrations. As you can imagine, prices were frightful!
Pulps of every sort were available for sale or trade. Some of these issues can sell for hundreds of dollars each.

Pulps of every sort were available for sale or trade. Some of these issues can sell for hundreds of dollars each.

 

There were dueling conventions in Chicagoland a couple of weekends ago. They were both very different, and both lots of fun.

While comics fans were eating up C2E2 at McCormick Center, The Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention (WCP&PC) convened in a south-suburb of the Windy City.

For you young ‘uns, pulps were comic-book-sized magazines published in the early part of the 20th century. They were produced with rough-edged pages from cheap ‘pulpwood’ paper—hence their namesake, ‘pulps’. The magazines came in a variety of subject matters—Westerns, Fantasy, Science-Fiction and Mystery, among many others.

At WCP&PC there were no jammed aisles, no youngsters in spandex and no media celebrities selling their autographs. It’s definitely an older crowd, but their passion for their hobby remains red-hot.

 

Relatively few pieces of original pulp illustrations have survived the ages. Here ne dealer displays his selection of vintage pulp, paperback and magazine illustrations. As you can imagine, prices were frightful!

Relatively few pieces of original pulp illustrations have survived the ages. Here ne dealer displays his selection of vintage pulp, paperback and magazine illustrations. As you can imagine, prices were frightful!

 

Instead of several thousand attendees like C2E2, this event only attracts few hundred folks. They all seem to know each other, some having networked for over 40 years,

The air is thick with the sweet scent of moldering pulp-paper. I don’t know about you, but it smells like Chanel No.5 to me!

There’s never a guest at these events. Any writer or artist who originally toiled in the pulp-fiction field has been long-gone for years. But fans don’t come for guests. They come to wheel and deal and hopefully add a few new treasures to their collections.

 

Blogmeister Sam poses with the great guru of the pulp fan community. Robert Weinberg has fanned the flames tirelessly to keep interest alive in this literary art form. Here we pose with an early-1970s 'Shadow' reprint that Weinberg self-published.

Blogmeister Sam poses with the great guru of the pulp fan community. Robert Weinberg has fanned the flames tirelessly to keep interest alive in this literary art form. Here we pose with an early-1970s ‘Shadow’ reprint that Weinberg self-published.

 

One notable figure on hand was the head guru of pulp fandom, Robert Weinberg. I first met Bob back in 1973 at the very first Pulp Con, which was held in St. Louis, Missouri.

It was my first convention, ever, and I’ll never forget that experience. Believe it or not, there were two guests at this affair: legendary authors Edmond Hamilton and his wife, Leigh Brackett. They were considered pulp-royalty.

Weinberg is a devoted pulp collector, publisher, archivist, writer, editor and about a half-dozen other creative things. He put his finances on the line to privately-publish reprints of pulp fiction for the relatively small audience which clamored for them.

 

John L. Coker wears many hats in the sci-fi community. He's an author, collector, historian, archivist, and a tremendous photographer. His repository of artifacts relating to the early days of science-fiction is a national treasure. And so is John!

John L. Coker wears many hats in the sci-fi community. He’s an author, collector, historian, archivist, and a tremendous photographer. His repository of artifacts relating to the early days of science-fiction is a national treasure. And so is John!

 

Another old-time fan attending was historian John L.Coker. John has devoted a good portion of his life to collecting memorabilia from the early days of science-fiction fandom in the 1930s. He is also a talented photographer, whose collection of portraits of science-fiction authors is unparalleled.

The art of short-story adventure writing is not completely gone. There were a number of authors at WCP&PC who are laboring to keep this genre alive. Many of their books emulate the ‘blood-and-thunder’ style of the exciting pulp adventures of the past..

 

Blogmeister Sam poses with acclaimed illustrator Douglas Klauba (r). Klauba turns out an impressive array of fine commercial art from his Chicago studio. He has a great love for the pulp genre and has contributed illustrations for such iconic characters as The Shadow. Doug's work has been seen y admirers all over the world.

Blogmeister Sam poses with acclaimed illustrator Douglas Klauba (r). Klauba turns out an impressive array of fine commercial art from his Chicago studio. He has a great love for the pulp genre and has contributed illustrations for such iconic characters as The Shadow. Doug’s work has been seen y admirers all over the world.

 

The Dealer’s Room is always a treasure hunt. No two tables have anything like the same wares. You can find anything from a rare, antiquarian book from the turn of the century to a 1950s sexploitation paperback.

Several pulp-inspired artists were on hand to meet and greet fans. I ran into talented draftsman Douglas Klauba. Doug displayed a proposed calendar featuring famous pulp detectives illustrated with his beautiful work. ‘Shadow’ comic-book artist and ‘Prince Valiant’ illustrator Gary Gianni also stopped by to check things out.

There were also the usual convention events, such as an art show, panel discussions and other standard fare.

WCP&PC might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I sure enjoy it every year! It reminds me of what the old comic-book conventions used to be like-relaxing, fun, and a true gathering of like-minded individuals.

 

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