Julius Schwartz

From Academic Kids

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.

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, Robert Bloch, Ray Bradbury, and H. P. Lovecraft, including some of Bradbury's first published work and Lovecraft's last.

Schwartz helped organize the first World Science Fiction Convention in 1939.

In 1944 he became at editor at All-American Comics (which later merged 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, Schwartz began editing the Batman titles, helping craft the "new look" Batman which indirectly led to the Batman television series. 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.

Schwartz featured as a character in the Ambush Bug titles by Keith Giffen, which he also edited.

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. In 2000 be published an autobiography, Man of Two Worlds: My Life in Science Fiction and Comics, co-authored with Brian Thomsen.

In 1998, Dragon*Con chairman Ed Kramer established the Julie Award, bestowed for universal achievement spanning multiple genres, selected each year by an esteemed panel of industry professionals. The inaugural recipient was science fiction and fantasy Grandmaster Ray Bradbury. Additional recipient awards, presented by Schwartz each year, included: Forry Ackerman, Yoshitaka Amano, Alice Cooper, Will Eisner, Harlan Ellison, Neil Gaiman, Carmine Infantino, Anne McCaffrey, and Jim Steranko.

Schwartz passed away on February 8, 2004, at the age of 88, after being hospitalized for pneumonia.

Although Schwartz has gotten praise for his creative endeavors, some criticisms of his behavior towards women came out after his demise. The Comics Journal printed an article which contained female professionals (including Colleen Doran, Jo Duffy, and Jill Thompson) reporting some disturbing behavior of sexual harassment.


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