The Pulpster

The annual magazine about pulp magazines for over 25 years

About ‘The Pulpster’

The Pulpster grew out of a conversation at Pulpcon 19 in 1990.

Tony Davis, the magazine’s founding editor, recalls:

Don Hutchison and I drove from Toronto, and on arrival and registration I was handed a folded sheet of colored paper with the convention agenda and some guest of honor information. That’s it? That’s the convention guide?

I later asked (Pulpcon organizer) Rusty Hevelin about it, and he told me about time, effort, and expenses, and then I said to him (O foolish me) that I’d be prepared to edit a convention zine. We’ll see, he replied.

For a few weeks after Pulpcon I solicited material from individuals I’d met at the convention such as Bob Sampson, Al Tonik, Will Murray, Nick Carr, and John Wooley, and contacted Rusty with my plan. Some money was set aside for a program book, and the rest is history.

The Pulpster debuted as a 44-page octavo-size magazine, commonly called a chapbook, at Pulpcon 20. The first issue featured a wrap-around cover by Franklyn E. Hamilton, and articles by all of those mentioned by Davis.

The wrap-around cover of 'The Pulpster' #1

The wrap-around cover of The Pulpster #1

It returned the next year, again as the octavo size (5.5-inches by 8.5-inches), but grew to quarto size (or letter size, 8.5-inches by 11-inches) with issue number 3 in 1992. It’s remained that size since.

With number 18 in 2009, The Pulpster saw two major changes. With the demise of Pulpcon, the magazine moved to its successor, PulpFest. It also began accepting advertising to help defray the cost of printing.

In 2010, The Pulpster appeared with its first full-color cover, a reproduction of the cover of September 1929 number of Black Mask magazine by H.C. Murphy and promoting appearance of Dashiell Hammett’s “The Maltese Falcon.”

For number 20 in 2011, it began accepting color advertising.

Tony Davis remained editor through issue number 21 in 2012, marking 22 years. He continues contributing to The Pulpster with the Final Chapters department, providing tributes to pulpsters and fans who have passed away recently, and with articles.

Beginning with number 22, William Lampkin, proprietor of ThePulp.Net and who has been designing The Pulpster since number 17, became its editor.

The Pulpster now typically runs 52 pages, with color covers. It continues to boast articles by some of the biggest names in pulp history and research, including Murray, Hutchinson, Ron Goulart, Bill Pronzini, John Locke, Jeffrey Shanks, Don Herron, Garyn Roberts, Mike Chomko, Laurie Powers, Nathan Vernon Madison, Monte Herridge, Tom Johnson, and more, and has featured original illustrations by Hamilton, Francesco Francavilla, and Kez Wilson.

The Pulpster staff

Publisher: Mike Chomko
Editor: William Lampkin
Deputy editor: Peter Chomko
Final Chapters correspondent: Tony Davis