Julius "Julie" Schwartz (June 19, 1915 – February 8, 2004) was a comic book and pulp magazine editor, and a science fiction agent and prominent fan. He was born in the Bronx, New York. He is best known as a longtime editor at DC Comics, where at various times he was primary editor over the company's flagship superheroes, Superman and Batman. He was inducted into the comics industry's Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1996 and the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1997.
In 1932, Schwartz co-published (with Mort Weisinger and Forrest J. Ackerman) Time Traveller, one of the first science fiction fanzines. Schwartz and Weisinger also founded the Solar Sales Service literary agency (1934-1944) where Schwartz represented such writers as Alfred Bester, Stanley G. Weinbaum, Robert Bloch, Ray Bradbury, and H. P. Lovecraft, including some of Bradbury's first published work and Lovecraft's last. In addition, Schwartz helped organize the first World Science Fiction Convention in 1939.
In 1944 he became an editor at All-American Comics, one of the companies that evolved into DC Comics. He recruited Bester to contribute to the company's line of comic books. In the 1950s he oversaw the revival of superheroes such as the Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman and the Atom, which led to the Silver Age of comic books. This revival has been cited as an inspiration for the transformation of Marvel Comics in the 1960s. The Schwartz-edited line of titles was regarded by many as being more creative and dynamic than other DC titles of the time, notably the Superman line edited by Mort Weisinger.
In the 1960s, during the period fans and historians calls the the mid-1950s and 1960s Silver Age of Comic Books, Schwartz began editing the Batman titles, helping craft the "New Look" Batman that premiered in Detective Comics #327 (May 1964). He also helped writer Dennis O'Neil and artist Neal Adams come to prominence at DC Comics.
From 1971 to 1985 Schwartz was the editor of the Superman titles, helping to modernize the settings of the books and move them away from "gimmick" stories to stories with more of a character-driven nature. This included an attempt to scale back Superman's powers while removing kryptonite as an overused plot device. This proved short-lived, with Schwartz bowing to pressure to restore both elements in the titles.
As an editor, Schwartz was heavily involved in the writing of the stories published in his magazines. He worked out the plot with the writer in story conferences. The writer would then break down the plot into a panel-by-panel continuity, and write the dialogue and captions. Schwartz would in turn polish the script, sometimes rewriting extensively.
Schwartz retired from DC in 1986 after 42 years at the company, but continued to be active in comics and science fiction fandom until shortly before his death. As a coda to his career as a comic book editor, Schwartz edited seven DC science fiction graphic novels, adapted from classic science fiction works by Harlan Ellison, Robert Silverberg, Bradbury, and others. In 2000 he published his autobiography, Man of Two Worlds: My Life in Science Fiction and Comics, co-authored with Brian Thomsen.
His wife, Jean (who had been his secretary before they married), died in 1986 from emphysema, after 34 years of marriage. Schwartz's relationship with Jean had been particularly close, and he never remarried or dated following her death. Not many years later, Schwartz's stepdaughter Jeanne — Jean's daughter from a previous marriage — died from the same illness under similar circumstances.
Schwartz died at the age of 88, after being hospitalized for pneumonia. He was survived by his son-in-law, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, whom he encouraged to refer to him not as "Great-Grandpa" but as "Super-Grandpa".
He remained a "Goodwill Ambassador" for DC Comics and an Editor Emeritus up until his death. He was a popular guest at comic book conventions, often attending between ten and twelve conventions a year.
- Because of his impact on comics, Schwartz was occasionally referenced in the stories themselves. A listing of his catalogued comic book appearances can be found here.
- No trivia.
Links and References
|Past or Present DC Contributor Inductees|
|Will Eisner • Jack Kirby • Alex Toth • Joe Shuster • Jerry Siegel • Wally Wood • C.C. Beck • Steve Ditko • Frank Frazetta • Bob Kane • Gil Kane • Julius Schwartz • Curt Swan • Neal Adams • Moebius • Archie Goodwin • Joe Kubert • Jack Cole • Bill Finger • Gardner Fox • Murphy Anderson • Joe Simon • Dick Sprang • Sheldon Mayer • Carmine Infantino • Sergio Aragonés • John Severin • Otto Binder • Jerry Robinson • Nick Cardy • Gene Colan • Robert Kanigher • Ross Andru • Mike Esposito • Dick Ayers • Wayne Boring • Joe Orlando •John Buscema|
|This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Julius Schwartz. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with DC Database, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.|