PulpFest 2021, featuring a virtual appearance by Eva Lynd…

I had a great time attending the PulpFest 2021 convention that was held in Pittsburgh in August. I went there with Wyatt Doyle, my co-editor in the Men’s Adventure Library book series.

We were hoping to be there with our friend Eva Lynd, the legendary artist’s model, pinup photo model actress. But the Covid pandemic kiboshed that plan – for the second time.

Mike Chomko, a key PulpFest organizer and longtime bookseller via his website Mike Chomko Books, had invited Eva to be the Special Guest of Honor at PulpFest 2020 in Pittsburgh.

A painting by Norm Eastman that Eva modeled for, featured on the cover of the men’s adventure magazine NEW MAN, December 1968, was used as the PulpFest poster image.

Mike also invited Wyatt and I to do a presentation with Eva, since we had recently worked with her on the book about her life and career, EVA: MEN’S ADVENTURE SUPERMODEL. (We used that same NEW MAN painting on the cover of the hardcover edition of her book. The softcover has a different cover.)

We were all looking forward to going. Unfortunately, Covid forced the cancellation of PulpFest 2020.

Eva’s appearance and our presentation were rescheduled for PulpFest 2021 and Eva really wanted to go.

However, an injury from a fall and the surge in the Delta variant made it too risky for her to travel from her home in California to Pennsylvania.

So, Wyatt worked with Eva to record some audio and video of her and combine it with a set of slides using pages from her book.

Wyatt and I gave the presentation to a good-size, appreciative audience on Saturday, August 12st. At the end we had them wave and say “Hi” to Eva in unison and I shot a short video of it that I sent to her. She loved it.

After the convention, Wyatt created a YouTube video version of the presentation, which you can now view online at this link, or by clicking the image below.

Eva’s comments in the audio are fascinating if you’re a fan of hers in particular or the realm of vintage men’s magazines, paperbacks, TV shows and movies from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. Be sure to watch through to the end to see the special video she recorded for the presentation.

There’s also an audio recording of the commentary Wyatt and I provided as we showed the presentation and afterward, during a brief Q&A session. It was posted on the Pulp.net website by Bill Lampkin, another PulpFest organizer and Editor of the convention’s annual PULPSTER magazine. You can listen to it via this link.

The Dealer’s Room for the PulpFest convention, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, was bright and spacious. Wyatt and I thought the attendance was pretty good considering the Covid situation and enjoyed talking with folks who stopped by our table.

A photo that shows about half of the dealers room at PulpFest 2021
Me at our table at PulpFest 2021

In addition to having copies of the Men’s Adventure Library books I co-edit with Wyatt, I brought along copies of the first and second issues of the MEN’S ADVENTURE QUARTERLY I launched with Bill Cunningham of Pulp 2.0 Press earlier this year. (Stay tuned for the forthcoming release of MAQ #3, which features authorized reprints of the only two “Book Bonus” versions of Don Pendleton’s first two Executioner novels, an article about the Bolanverse by Linda Pendleton, and an introduction by the legendary comics writer and novelist Chuck Dixon.)

Wyatt and I were especially happy that our vendor’s table at PulpFest was right next to the table of our friend Jacqueline Pollen, wife of the late artist Samson Pollen. Jackie was there selling some of the original paintings by Sam that she still owns.

A number of the paintings Jackie brought are showcased in the two Samson Pollen art books Wyatt and I co-edited to date. Jackie also recently put a bunch of Sam’s original MAM and paperback cover paintings up for sale on Heritage Auctions.

LEFT: Jacqueline Pollen, wife of the late artist Samson Pollen, at PulpFest 2021 with some of Sam’s original men’s adventure magazine and paperback cover art. ABOVE: Wyatt Doyle & Jackie.

POLLEN’S WOMEN: THE ART OF SAMSON POLLEN, the first we did with Sam before he passed, showcases artwork by Sam that features alluring images of women in classic MAM scenes. The second, POLLEN’S ACTION, focuses on some of our favorite war, crime, and action/adventure scenes by Sam. We’re currently planning a third Samson Pollen book, with Jackie’s blessing. Stay tuned for an announcement about that later this year. I really enjoyed hanging with Jackie and seeing Sam’s art up close.

It was also fun to visit with other vendors and visitors we know from previous PulpFests and pulp-related Facebook groups. Folks like: Castalia House blogger and book reviewer Morgan Holmes; Richard Meli, owner of Heartwood Books & Art, which is (among other things) one of the best sources of old men’s adventure mags; Professor David Earle, one of the few academic pulp experts in the world and author of the great book ALL MAN!: HEMINGWAY, 1950s MEN’S MAGAZINES AND THE MASCULINE PERSONA; and, our friend and longtime supporter Eric Blackburn, who lives in the Pittsburgh area and took home (among other things) one of the autographed copies of the Eva Lynd photos we brought with us.

Blogger & book reviewer Morgan Holmes
Professor and author David Earle
Eric Blackburn with a photo of Eva Lynd

Other folks we knew from past PulpFests included Doug Ellis, a top pulp art collector, author and co-founder of the Windy City Pulp & Paperback Convention; prolific publishers Rich Harvey and Audrey Parente of Bold Venture Press; and, vintage paperback maven Lewis Ferro, who posted his own report on PulpFest 2021 with lots of great photos.

Rich Harvey and Audrey Parente of Bold Venture Press
Pulp art dealer and author Doug Ellis (photo by Lewis Forro)

By the way, the autographed photos of Eva Lynd we brought to PulpFest are also available to people who buy a hardcover edition of Eva’s book directly from me via the online bookstore linked to this blog. There are three different ones, shown below. They include a color photo of Eva taken by top pinup photographer Peter Basch, a black-and-white photo of her taken by pinup and celebrity Earl Leaf, and a scan of the cover of MAN’S CONQUEST, Oct 1968, which features Norm Eastman artwork Eva modeled for with the great male model Steve Holland.

If you buy a copy of the hardcover edition I’ll include one when I ship it to you. When you check out on my online store, choose the hardcover option in the dropdown list, then use the option to include a note and tell me which photo you want.

You can also get copies of the Authorized 2022 Eva Lynd Calendar via my online store.

In closing, I’d like to send a big thank you to the small, hard-working team of people who plan and manage PulpFest each year. Special thanks to Mike Chomko, Jack Cullers, and Bill Lampkin for the encouragement and support they have given to Wyatt and me.

I hope to see you all again next year, at PulpFest 2022!

Wyatt Doyle and Bob Deis giving their presentation about model and actress Eva Lynd at PulpFest 2021