2021 Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention - September 10-12, 2021
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With the Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention now just over two weeks away (September 10-12, 2021), we thought we’d post a bit about the show.  We’re very excited to be back; our last show was in April 2019, so it will be nearly two and a half years between shows, which is much too long!

As has been the case since our show in 2008, this year’s convention will be held at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center, Lombard, Illinois. 

Our pre-registration figures are in line with those in previous years, and all 180 tables in our dealer room are sold out.

Obviously, in the new reality we’re currently living with, we’re tracking what restrictions or changes might be required at our convention.  Currently, Illinois (and the CDC and our hotel) are recommending that folks at conventions like ours wear a mask (and if you’re unvaccinated, masks are required by Illinois).  We encourage all attendees, whether or not vaccinated, to wear a mask.  At this time, we expect that the current requirements will be the ones in place at the time of our show.

As usual, we will have auctions on both Friday (September 10) and Saturday (September 11) nights, and this year’s auctions will truly be fantastic.

The Friday night auction features 200 lots of material from the estate of famed collector Robert Weinberg, while the Saturday night auction begins with 96 lots from the estate of Glenn Lord, literary executor for the Robert E. Howard estate, followed by 5 lots from the estate of author and Arkham House co-founder August Derleth, finishing up with several lots from other consignors.  And additional lots will be added to the Saturday night auction at the convention, to include material consigned there by convention attendees.

Among the highlights in this year’s auctions are:

- A fine copy of the October 1933 issue of Weird Tales, featuring the Margaret Brundage’s famous Batgirl cover (See photos in this post)

- A beautiful copy of the August 1929 issue of Weird Tales, featuring Robert E. Howard’s “The Shadow Kingdom” – the first sword and sorcery story!

- A lovely copy of the February 1928 issue of Weird Tales, featuring “The Call of Cthulhu” by H.P. Lovecraft

- Numerous other issues of Weird Tales, including several Conan issues, many in gorgeous condition (likely publisher file copies)

- Robert E. Howard’s incredibly scarce first book, “A Gent from Bear Creek”; fewer than 20 copies are known to exist

- Several letters to Robert E. Howard

- August Derleth’s rarest book, “Love Letters to Caitlin”, of which fewer than 20 copies exist

- Clark Ashton Smith’s “Ebony and Crystal” – inscribed and signed by this legendary fantasist to his friend, Robert E. Howard

- A rare signed letter from Weird Tales editor Farnsworth Wright to one of Weird Tales’ few female authors, Greye La Spina, from 1925

- The manuscript for “Divide and Rule” by L. Sprague de Camp, which ran in Unknown

-  A signed copy of “The Horror on the Asteroid” by Edmond Hamilton, the author’s first book

- Other signed items by H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, August Derleth, Otis Adelbert Kline, Dean Koontz, Max Brand, Fritz Leiber, Zorro author Johnston McCulley, Spider author Norvell Page and many others

- The first year of the pulp Astounding Stories of Super-Science

- The only issue of the Amazing Stories Annual from 1927, featuring “The Master Mind of Mars” by Edgar Rice Burroughs

- Complete runs of the pulps Unknown, Strange Stories and Tales of Magic and Mystery

- Many rare U.K. and Australian science fiction pulps and books

- Numerous Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft items

- Rare items by Clark Ashton Smith, including “The Star Treader and Other Poems,” “Nero and Other Poems” and the manuscript for “The Dragon-Fly”

- Many early Arkham House books, including Robert E. Howard’s “Skull-Face and Others”, H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Outsider and Others” and “August Derleth: Twenty-Five Years of Writing, 1926-1951”

- Frank Belknap Long’s rare “A Man from Genoa and Other Poems”, published in 1926 in an edition of less than 300 copies

- A complete bound set of the legendary fanzine, “The Acolyte”

- And much more!

The complete auction catalog, along with images, is now available on our website:

www.windycitypulpandpaper.com

You can also find updates on our Facebook page -- search FB for Windy City Pulp and Paper or go to:

https://www.facebook.com/windycitypulp/

The website has details on absentee bidding, for those who can’t make it to the convention.  Note, however, that we can't do absentee bids as part of the live auction at the con, but we will start the bidding at the high absentee bid, and if it does not get overbid, then the absentee bid would win.  We don't have the tech or the staff to do it differently.

But the auctions aren’t our only highlight!  Friday through Sunday, our massive dealer room will be buzzing, bursting with 180 six foot long tables, with roughly 100 dealers displaying pulps, vintage paperbacks, science fiction, fantasy & mystery hardcovers, golden and silver age comics, original science fiction, comic and other illustration art, movie memorabilia and more!

Our art show will feature a great display of art from the pulps Astounding and Black Mask.  As usual, our film programming, curated by Ed Hulse, will run Friday and Saturday, showing movies and serials based on pulp stories.  Our evening programming will include presentations on Edgar Rice Burroughs and Black Mask.  And Sunday morning will see New Pulp Sunday, programming devoted to the vibrant and colorful world of New Pulp organized by Ron Fortier of Airship 27 Productions.  And all attendees will get a copy of our fabulous convention book, put out by Tom Roberts of Black Dog Books.

We hope you’ll join us for the fun and excitement at this year’s Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention!  For more info, contact Doug Ellis at pulpvault@msn.com.

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Another Friday night auction item.  Several of Bob Weinberg's copies of Weird Tales were file copies, and while we don't know which those are (as he didn't keep a record of them), this is a possibility, in which case the trimming would have been done preparatory to the publisher putting it in a bound volume.  It's the August 1929 copy of Weird Tales, featuring the first sword and sorcery story, "The Shadow Kingdom" by Robert E. Howard, featuring Kull of Atlantis.

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Also in the Saturday night auction:

Clark Ashton Smith, EBONY AND CRYSTALinscribed to Robert E. Howarda copy of a rare Clark Ashton Smith volume of poetry, "Ebony and Crystal," published in 1922 in an edition of 500 copies (of which this is #431), which features some hand corrections by Smith. This one has seen better days, in terms of condition -- it's ex-library, with a call number written on the cover, various library stamps and writing throughout, and pasted library sheets removed from the back. The hinges are cracked and roughly 2" of the spine have been chewed over time by a rodent with fine literary taste.  However, this copy should not be judged on its condition. The front fixed endpaper contains a pastedown from Howard Payne College Library, noting that at one time this was held in their Robert E. Howard Memorial Collection (various other stamps note that it was withdrawn from there). And on the front free endpaper, Smith has inscribed this copy to Robert E. Howard (with fraternal good wishes and referencing Astarte, Dagon, Demogorgon and Hecate), dating it July 4, 1933!  The story of this copy is told in “Weird Talers” by Bobby Derie, where he notes that REH ordered this copy from CAS.  REH wrote back to CAS on July 22, 1933 enthusing about the book, stating in part: “I can hardly find words to express the pleasure—I might even say ecstasy—with which I have read, and re-read your magnificent EBONY AND CRYSTAL.  Every line in it is a gem.”  Following REH’s death, his father donated this book, as well as many others from REH’s library, to the Howard Payne College Library.  It was given to Glenn by a former librarian at the library.  Truly a unique copy, inscribed by one of the Three Musketeers of Weird Tales to another and held by two of them during its life! 

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In the Friday night auction:

FARNSWORTH WRIGHT – LETTER TO AUTHOR GREYE LA SPINA DATED APRIL 8, 1925 – Bob Weinberg collected many letters from Weird Tales' editor Farnsworth Wright over the years, including several from the estate of author Greye la Spina. She was one of the pioneering female writers of horror and fantasy for the pulps. This may be the best of the la Spina letters that Bob acquired. Dated April 8, 1925, it discusses her story, "Invaders From the Dark," which was then in the midst of being serialized in the April, May and June 1925 issues of Weird Tales [see lots 77-79 for these issues]. As noted in the letter, fellow WT author C.M. Eddy, Jr. felt that it "should be published in book form", which it finally was in 1960 by Arkham House.  Other authors touched on in the letter include H.G. Wells and Sax Rohmer. At the end, mention is made of la Spina's story, "The Gargoyle," which would run in the September, October and November 1925 issues and which Wright noted, in his hand, "...is good for a cover-illustration." Artist Andrew Brosnatch did indeed illustrate it on the cover of the September 1925 issue [see lot 77].  Due to Parkinson's disease, Wright generally did not sign his name after 1926. Not only is this letter signed by him, but as mentioned, it also has other content in his handwriting. And in his P.S., Wright notes that the Baldwin, Indianapolis address on the letterhead is now obsolete, as the magazine has moved to a new address.

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In the Saturday night auction:

LETTER FROM OTIS ADELBERT KLINE TO ROBERT E. HOWARD, JANUARY 28, 1935 – Kline was not only a popular pulp author, sharing the pages of Weird Tales and other pulps with REH, he also was an agent for other pulp authors.  This letter gives REH the news that Leo Margulies (lead editor of the Thrilling pulp chain) is rejecting “The Silver Heel.”  This was a story of REH’s series character, Steve Harrison.  Kline inquires as to whether REH wants him to try it with Roy Horn, who at the time was editor of Two-Book Detective Magazine.  Whether it was sent to Horn is unknown, but the story was never published in the pulps, first seeing print in Two-Fisted Detective Stories (Cryptic Publications, May 1984).  Signed by Kline.

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Will post several more pulps from the auction over the next few days.  

As I mentioned, several of the Weird Tales are possible file copies -- the copies of editor Farnsworth Wright.  These are all from the estate of my friend, Bob Weinberg.  

Bob told me on several occasions that a number of his issues of Weird Tales were originally Farnsworth Wright’s copies.  Unfortunately, he’d bought so many copies of Weird Tales over the years, upgrading when he could, that he couldn’t remember any more which ones they were!  But he did note that they were generally in great shape.  I never asked him how he got them, but in contacting several of Bob’s longtime collector friends in the course of putting together this auction, I think we’ve figured out a likely source of them.

The Gallery Book Store, on Clarke Street just north of the river in Chicago, was a mecca for pulp collectors back in the 1960’s and 1970’s.  A few years before Bob moved to Chicago, the Gallery had several Margaret Brundage cover paintings for sale.  In 1972, Bob got his start collecting original pulp art by buying the cover art to the first issue of Oriental Stories (published by the same publisher as Weird Tales) from the Gallery.  (And if you want the story of the other Oriental Stories cover they had, but which Bob was never able to buy, read a copy of “Weinberg Tales!”)

Besides original art from Weird Tales and related magazines, one of Bob’s friends who frequented the Gallery before Bob moved to Chicago remembers that they also had multiple mint file copies of Weird Tales pulps.  While many of these had sold by the time Bob arrived in Chicago, they still apparently had many left at that time.  It seems reasonable that this would have been the source of those copies that Bob referred to as Farnsworth Wright’s copies.

As mentioned, Bob no longer remembered which of the ones he owned came from this source, but in going through all of his issues preparing for this auction, we've made educated guesses and have noted those as “Possible File Copy.”  But that’s just a guess on our part, and there’s no way to prove that provenance.  We could be right, or we could be wrong.  They are, however, beautiful copies!

Here's one, Weird Tales January 1929.

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