Hundreds of collectors to attend PulpFest



2015-06-26 11:35:56

Hundreds of collectors to attend PulpFest

Pulp fiction magazines from the 1920s and '30s could fetch up to $40k at this year's convention in the US

Hundreds of pulp fiction collectors are descending on Columbus, Ohio in the US this week for PulpFest.

But this 'pulp fiction' doesn't refer to Quentin Tarantino's cult movie. Instead, dealers will be selling and trading issues of pulp fiction magazines that gained prominence in the 1920s and 30s.

PulpFest is likely to lure investors. The magazines can today sell for anything between $5 and $40,000, depending on their condition and rarity.

"It's the rare stuff [that] you tend to find at a convention," said Ed Hulse, one of the PulpFest organisers to local paper the Columbus Dispatch.

Pulp fiction magazines first appeared in the late 19th century, named after the wood-pulp paper on which they were printed and boasting cheap printing methods.

The magazines are famed for their colourful and lurid artwork, and for the cheaply-purchase, exciting and often exploitative stories inside.

The genre boomed in the 1920s and '30s, when the most popular magazines were achieving a circulation of over 1million.

However, World War II paper shortages saw many titles vanish by the 1950s.

Many well-known characters made their debut in pulp. Zorro first appeared in 1919, and Conan the Barbarian made his debut in the magazine Weird Tales in 1932.

Famous radio characters like Flash Gordon, Tarzan and the Shadow also appeared.

Many of the anonymous writers also went on to greater fame, including Ray Bradbury, Raymond Chandler, O. Henry and Tennessee Williams.

Expert David Saunders, of Long Island, New York, believes that reading pulp fiction by writers famous for their later work can be like looking through a famous artist's sketchbook.

"It's a gold mine of obscure work," he said.

PulpFest will start on Friday July 31 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel & Conference Centre on the North Side of Columbus.

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