2016 Lamont Award

PulpFest has presented David Saunders with a retro Lamont Award for his contributions to pulp research.

David Saunders, a New York artist, is the son of legendary illustrator Norman Saunders. In 1972, David became his father’s business secretary, which started a long project to catalog his father’s 7,000 published illustrations. After four decades, Saunders is widely regarded as the foremost scholar of American pulp illustrators. His website Field Guide to Wild American Pulp Artists has over 300 profiles.

This is deemed a “retro” award because it’s a throwback to a retired award series. The Lamont Awards used to be given at Pulpcons and were discontinued in after the final Pulpcon in 2008. PulpFest is now the main event serving the collector community, and presents its own Munsey Award. The Lamont and Munsey are both awards to a deserving person who has given of himself or herself for the betterment of the pulp community.

Richard Clear (1943-2015)

Richard Clear shows off an original Brundage Weird Tales cover painting at PULPcon (year unknown). Photo by Robert Weinberg.

Richard Clear shows off an original Brundage Weird Tales cover painting at PULPcon (year unknown). Photo by Robert Weinberg.

Book dealer and former Pulpcon committee member Richard Clear passed away March 21. He was 71 and had been ill for a number of years.

He began collecting magazines and in 1973 opened the Dragon’s Lair comic book store in Dayton, Ohio.

He became a valuation expert, compiling the Old Magazines Collector’s Price Guide (1974) and serving as an advisor to the magazine portion of Time-Life Encyclopedia of Collectibles (1979).

In 1983 he moved to Tampa and opened Merlin’s Books.

The 1988 Pulpcon gave him the Lamont Award, for outstanding effort in keeping alive the memory and spirit of the pulp magazine era.

He later moved back to Ohio and continued his book business online. Having been involved with Pulpcon in its early years, around 2008 he resumed participating on the con committee, however, the event soon became moribund. His historic role was acknowledged in a death notice posted by Pulpfest.

The family’s memorial is here. Clear is survived by his longtime companion Nancy McAnespie, grown children Richard Clear, Barbara Curry, Lisa Lawson, and Michael Clear, and many grandchildren.

Rusty Hevelin (1922-2011)

Rusty Hevelin at a Boskone in the 1970s. Photo by Andrew Porter.

James “Rusty” Hevelin, a winner of First Fandom’s Sam Moskowitz Archive Award (2003) and a past Worldcon Guest of Honor, died December 27 at the age of 89. He was hospitalized a few days ago with poor circulation in his legs. When a planned surgical intervention was cancelled because Rusty’s condition worsened to the point where his surgeon and doctors concluded that he’d be unlikely to survive the surgery, he spent his last days in hospice care.  
 
As a teenager living in Riverside, California, Rusty somehow discovered the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society. He attended a meeting in 1941 (– and from that experience deemed Laney’s “Ah, Sweet Idiocy” not grossly exaggerated!) Later in the year he hitchhiked to Denver to attend the Worldcon. (See his conreport here.)

After the con, Rusty  moved to Philadelphia where he soon was elected President of the PSFS. He also began publishing a newzine, Nebula. Once World War II began he joined the Marine Corps and served in the Pacific as a meteorologist.

When Rusty came back from World War II he resumed his role as an active fan organizer. Still the last President of PSFS, he suggested a merger of Philadelphia’s two small sf clubs. He also served as a director of the National Fantasy Fan Federation during its tempestuous postwar era, the N3F having been founded in 1940 at the suggestion of Damon Knight.

At the same time, Rusty took over publication of StefNews from Jack Speer. Other zines he published over the years include Aliquot, H-1661, and Badly.

A curious measure of the ebb and flow of Rusty’s role in fanhistory is the way Harry Warner’s All Our Yesterdays repeatedly cites him as a mover and shaker in 1940s fandom, yet judging by A Wealth of Fable in the following decade the only historic thing he did was keep Bob Tucker from stalking out of the 1956 Worldcon after missing Al Capp’s speech. (Tucker was one of the victims of events which produced the catchphrase “Dave Kyle says you can’t sit here.”)

Tucker and Hevelin were great friends. Tucker enjoyed introducing Rusty as his “Dad”, winking at the fact he’d been born in 1914 and Hevelin in 1922. Tucker would also say, “Some people wonder out loud why dad’s surname is not the same as mine. It’s a simple answer. He didn’t marry my mother.”

Rusty did eventually marry and has four sons, John, Scott, Bruce and Will.  

After a long hiatus that ended in the mid-Sixties, Rusty became active in fandom again and began huckstering at conventions.

He was always popular. Rusty was elected the 1975 Down Under Fan Fund delegate and attended the first Australian Worldcon. For his trip report he created a slide show and presented it at conventions around the U.S.

Though Rusty kept his hand in as a huckster and conrunner as the years went by (assuring that Pulpcon kept going after its first year, 1972, with the aid of Lynn Hickman and Gordon Huber), his memory really rests on his reputation for friendliness and the good times people had in his company.

Rusty’s contributions to fandom were celebrated by Denvention 2 (1981) where he was Fan Guest of Honor.

[Thanks to Bill Higgins, Steven Silver, Keith Stokes and Andrew Porter for the story.]

Update 12/29/2011: Two corrections. (1) I’ve learned Rusty never joined First Fandom although, of course, his fanac began early enough to make him eligible. And it was pointed out he therefore might not have wanted to be identified as a member. (2) Also corrected the description of his role in the beginnings of Pulpcon — thanks to Walker Martin. In fact that explains the phrasing of the info in Lynn Hickman’s obituary which I used as a source, intended to convey that they kept Pulpcon from being a one-shot. 

Pulpcon 38 Cancelled

Evidently Pulpcon did not survive to hold number 38, which had been scheduled for August 14-16. Stephen Haffner’s site lists the event as having been cancelled.

File 770 has followed the story of two rival pulp conventions since hearing about the schism in the Pulpcon committee last year. A breakaway group launched a new con, Pulpfest, which took place in Columbus, OH the last weekend in July.

Pulpfest Begins on July 31

Pulpfest starts today in Columbus, Ohio. The Columbus Dispatch‘s advance article delivers a solid historic perspective about pulp collecting that helps compensate for a pedestrian lead:

For many Americans, pulp refers to the small pieces of fruit found in orange juice.

For the several hundred fans and collectors converging this week in Columbus, though, the word takes on thrilling — and occasionally lurid — dimensions:

It indicates the genre of fiction that introduced characters such as Tarzan and Zorro.

Despite studious attention to the collecting angle, the Dispatch reporter missed the real story:

This is the first edition of the new pulp convention organized by fans who broke away from Pulpcon.

The Parkersburg, WV News and Sentinel scooped the big city paper by capturing that detail in its interview with Pulpfest’s Ed Hulse:

Event spokesman Ed Hulse said PulpFest is a spinoff of PulpCon in Dayton, Ohio, but the Columbus-based convention is as much about drawing in new fans as catering to longtime lovers of pulp.

“It is a hobby that has flown under the radar for many years,” Hulse said. “There were over a thousand pulp magazines published in this country between 1896 and the 1950s. Several fiction genres were born in the pages of pulp magazines.”

Incidentally, Pulpcon 38 still has a web page, but there is no information about a date or location on it. Its publicity site is static and its Registration and Information links are dormant.. Other sources list it happening August 14-16 in Dayton, OH.  

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the links.]

Pulpster at War

Bob Sankner, a long-time fan who’s been to many PulpCons, serves in the US Army in Afghanistan. He’ll be there until the end of this year.

Bob keeps in contact through the local Afghan wireless internet service. He says snail mail delivery is sporadic, as it’s subject to flying weather in the Hindu Kush mountains. Even so, care packages get through eventually and are all the more welcome. Sankner’s mailing address is: Robert Sankner, WWLR, Camp Stone ARSIC-West, APO AE 09354

[Thanks to Andrew Porter for the story.]