Saturday, August 18, 2012
Sunday afternoon was a beautiful, sunny day for the four-hour drive home from PulpFest. Quite different from the thunderstormy, flash-floody Thursday evening when I arrived. But the Fest itself was excellent – an upgraded venue with plenty of room and great customer service, several options for eating, and a secure parking area (I saw cops on bikes patrolling the parking garage and the skywalks that connect the garage with the hotel and convention center when I took a box of books from the auction to my car at midnight).
As the Fest theme was the centennial for the first appearances of Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Barsoom and Tarzan, panel discussions focusing on those characters and related pulp topics were handled nicely and were quite informative. Ed Hulse, one of the Fest committee members, hosted a nice discussion of the Burroughs-produced serial, The New Adventuresof Tarzan, and showed a couple of chapters from the film.
It's also the 80th anniversary for Robert E. Howard's Conan, so a panel with artists and designers Jim and Ruth Keegan and Mark Schultz offered some interesting insights into artists' representations of REH's barbarian since his first pulp appearance.
Guest of Honor Mike Resnick shared wonderful tales of his writing and publishing life, which began with a fan's appreciation of ERB, and told a few stories about his adventures in Hollywood that had the attendees shaking their heads and laughing: clearly the workings of Hollywood are more bizarre than the culture of any alien world described by Jack Vance or Clark Ashton Smith.
I had a grand time. The Fest committee (and their families) deserve a big round of applause from all attendees.
Leaving the Fest brings a feeling I used to get when I was a little boy, leaving my grandparents' after a week's stay to return home: it's like leaving family. Pulp fandom is a close-knit group. PulpFest is a great place to experience that feeling, if you're a pulp fan. If you've never attended, I recommend you start saving your sheckels and plan your calendar for next year's Fest. You'll find updates at the PulpFest website.
And lots of other attendees have posted much better descriptions of their Fest experiences than I've managed here. Check out the links to other PulpFest reports at theThePulp.Net site's blog, posted by William Lampkin.
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