Rusty Hevelin’s House Burglarized

The late Rusty Hevelin’s house was broken into and trashed reports Jack Cullers on a fannish e-mail listserv.

Cullers checks on the place from time to time for Rusty’s son, Bruce. Based on a tip from a neighbor he found a door had been jimmied open, the interior had been torn apart and water left running in the basement. When told the news by Cullers, Bruce inquired about damage to the pulps in the basement, and Cullers told him they were gone.

It is not clear what pulps were in the basement. However, Kathryn Hodson, Special Collections Department Manager, University of Iowa Libraries, confirm that the Hevelin collection has already been delivered to the University of Iowa as announced in its its April press release.

Update 06/25/2012: Added information received from UI. // Gregory J. Prickman of the University of Iowa Libraries adds:

Rusty’s collection is indeed safe at the University of Iowa–we worked diligently to bring it here because we knew it wouldn’t be safe for long in his house. There were some pulps left in the basement, they were duplicates that Rusty had set aside. We took a certain percentage to have some teaching copies of a few things and the rest were intended for one of Rusty’s dealer friends. I’m sorry to hear that he may not have picked them up, but Rusty’s collection, at least, is safe.

Pulpcon Torn Apart

Once I read Mike Chomko’s September e-mail defending his conduct on the Pulpcon committee, I wasn’t surprised that a lawyer got involved in the controversy about who has the right to call their con “Pulpcon.”

Chomko, Jack Cullers, and Barry Traylor, three of the seven members on the Pulpcon committee, had been pushing for changes in the way that Pulpcon is run, such as holding it elsewhere than Dayton, OH. In fact, Chomko went off on his own and contacted three other Ohio cities about hosting the convention. But the four other committee members – including chair Robert Gorton — responded by voting to renew the contract with Dayton.

In the democratic spirit that characterizes America of the present day, Chomko soon demanded that Gorton and another committee member resign:

Jack Cullers, Barry Traylor, and I have decided that if we want to move the convention forward, it is impossible to continue to work with Bob Gorton and Don Ramlow. They seem to feel that shortening the convention to three days will be enough to turn things around. They seem to think that by creating a few generic flyers that seem to be addressed to people who already know about Pulpcon, the convention’s troubles will be over. They seem to think that they need to devote very little time and energy to turn Pulpcon around. They seem to think that communication is unnecessary.

The trio decided to move on, and take the Pulpcon name with them. Jack Cullers had researched the service mark originally registered by Rusty Hevelin and discovered it had lapsed in 1989. Cullers applied to have it re-registered in his name.

As a result of the schism, two Pulpcons were announced for next year, Pulpcon 38 in Dayton on Aug 14-16 and Pulpcon 2009 in Columbus on July 31-Aug 2.

However, on November 3 Jack Cullers received letter from Robert W. Jones, an attorney retained by Robert Gorton. The letter asked Jack to voluntarily withdraw his application to register the service mark “Pulpcon” and to discontinue using the mark on the Pulpcon 2009 website. As Chomko explained in an e-mail he sent to a list this week, Gorton’s attorney says that although Rusty Hevelin’s initial registration of the “Pulpcon” service mark lapsed in 1989, Gorton has been named Hevelin’s successor in interest to Pulpcon and has been handling the con’s business matters since 2002, and “any use that Jack or others on the Pulpcon committee made of the service mark was only with the express or implied authority of Mr. Gorton.”

So Chomko and company say they will be changing the name of their pulp convention in Columbus to PulpFest 2009. Their website is also accessible by visiting

Update 11/07/2008: Thanks to Dave Langford for sending word that the new Pulpfest domain has been activated.