CAPTAIN RON FORTIER REPORTS IN FROM PULPFEST 2012
by Captain Ron Fortier
Greetings, Comic Related family. Last week, Rob Davis and yours truly were in Columbus, Ohio, attending the third annual PulpFest convention. For those of you unfamiliar with this show, it is the continuation of the classic Pulp Con which ran for thirty-seven years and closed its doors in 2008. Two years later, in 2010, a group of veteran pulpsters led by Jack Cullers, Ed Hulse and Mike Chomko decided to revamp the old con and evolve it into something brand new and so like the phoenix rising out of the ashes, PulpFest was born in 2010 and Airship 27 Productions was there.
PulpFest 2012 Underway
This year's show left the smaller Ramada Inn for the larger, more modern facilities of the downtown Hyatt Hotel which is part of the Columbus Convention Center. A huge complex which features several restaurants and a shopping mall on its main floor. PulpFest 2012 main hucksters' hall was held in the third floor ballroom and was spacious beyond description, although there were some issues with poor lighting that didn't sit all that well with the vendors. There is no escaping these snafus when switching venues. The panels and such were conducted in the Franklin room located on the second floor.
Ballroom at Hyatt Convention Center
Rob and the Air Chief checked in early Friday morning and immediately set up our tables. Yes, you heard me right, tables in the plural. After six years of running our publishing venture, we've way too many titles, both in pulps and comics, to crowd on one small table and so we spread out a bit. The center of our display this year was our new Captain Action novel, "Riddle of the Glowing Men," by Jim Beard. This is the first time this toy-to-comics hero has ever appeared in a prose novel of his own.
Of course doing shows year and year out, you soon make lots of fans and the pulp community is truly made of great, friendly souls. Both the Air Chief and Rob kept seeing old friends throughout the day. But the biggest surprise of all was when Howard Hopkin's widow, Dominique Hopkins, showed up. Howard, a gifted writer, editor and dear friend, passed away suddenly last December at the young age of 49. Dominique's presence was such a tremendous, joyful surprise to our entire community. And it was obvious it was a truly positive experience for her as well.
Captain Ron & Dominique Hopkins
The Air Chief's first con duty of the weekend was a 3 p.m. Friday reading. I chose to read from my award winning Avenger short story, "Vengeance Is Mine," and was delighted by my small, but attentive and truly supportive audience. Friday night Rob and the Air Chief headed out to dinner with several pulp amigos in tow. The real fun of these shows, other than meeting new readers and showcasing our books, is our chance to hang with our colleagues. We look forward to this as much as any other con activity.
Saturday got off to a rollicking start when one of the Captain's Comic Related pals, artist Chris Metzger, showed unexpectedly and spent the entire day with us. Chris is a great guy and super talented artist who is now hard at work on the cover to my comic title, "Ron Fotier's Tales of the Macabre" #4. This was his first pulp show and he had a blast. Of course we were quickly meeting lots of Loyal Airmen and selling lots of books. At eleven a.m., writer Jim Beard arrived, took his seat with us behind the table and began autographing copies of his Captain Action book. They were flying off the table like hot-cakes. This is the first such signing we've ever sponsored at a show and it was much fun.
At 1 p.m. the Air Chief once again left Rob in charge of the tables as we headed down to the Franklin room to moderate, for the second year in a row, a panel on New Pulp Fiction. On the panel were five of the best writers in the field of pulps today; Jim Beard, Rick Lai, William Patrick Maynard, Duane Spurlock and Dr.Art Sippo. Being asked to moderate this great group of writers was a true honor for the Air Chief and our audience really enjoyed the hour.
Captain Action Author Jim Beard
Later, at 3:30 p.m. the Air Chief joined writers Win Scott Eckert and publisher Ron Hanna of Wild Cat Books in hosting a short memorial service to both Howard Hopkins and artist David Burton, note both had passed within a month of each other. The Air Chief has done a whole lot of public speaking in the past, but this was clearly one of the hardest task he's ever undertaken. And having Howard's lovely wife in the audience was doubly special.
Captain Ron & Rob Davis - Airship 27 Productions
Once the con closed its doors at five, it was once again out to dinner with yet another group of amigos, this time including Jim Beard, Elli & Janet Harriet, Christ Metzer and Steve Bennett and his friend Anne. A good group of friends. We hit up a burger joint and had a great old time. Later that night, the Con Committee had their own award show and the winner of this year's Munsey Award (named for a famous 1930s pulp editor) went to Matt Moring, the editor/publisher of Altus Press; an outfit devoted to producing beautiful series reprints of the classic pulps. This award was well deserved.
When Sunday morning came around, it time to get in those last few sales, say good-bye to all our pulp friends and sadly start packing up once again. It is truly amazing just how fast three days fly by. All too soon we were back in Rob's rental heading for the airport to catch our flight back home, PulpFest 2012 now a fond, happy memory. Already, we're back in the office and busy creating more new books. We can't wait for next year to roll around.
Captain Ron Moderates New Pulp Fiction Panel
Ron Fortier (firstname.lastname@example.org) / Writer, Creator and Imagineer
Ron Fortier has been a professional writer for over 25 years working on comic book projects such as The Hulk, Popeye, Rambo and Peter Pan, his two most popular comic series being The Green Hornet and The Terminator (with Alex Ross). With Ardath Mayhar he's penned two TSR fantasy novels, and in 2001 he had his first play produced. Ron is a constant supporter of the site, writes for it from time to time and shepards our forums. Learn more about Ron at Airship27.
blog comments powered by Disqus