Monday, February 09, 2004

This is not what I wanted to see when I logged on this morning after being without Internet access all weekend:

    Comics writer Mark Evanier has reported the unfortunate news that comics legend Julius Schwartz died this morning at Winthrop Hospital in New York City at 2:30 AM. He was 89.

    Schwartz was a pioneer of the Silver Age of comics, joining DC and immediately having an effect on the publications of that company. The majority consensus agrees that the Golden Age of Comics gave way to the Silver Age of Comics with the publication of DC's "Showcase" #4 in 1956 when DC revived the Flash. The job of editing the title fell to Schwartz and the changes to the Flash were guided by him. The response was so positive that the character was brought back in future issues of the anthology and the character was ultimately awarded his own series in 1959. The impact of this book changed the landscape of super hero comics forever. To this day he is considered one of comics' greatest editors.

Mark Evanier has plenty of reminisces about Schwartz at his web site; just go here and keep scrolling down.

I was lucky enough to meet Julie at a small, local con in 1988; he and Curt Swan were special guests and each one signed my copy of The Greatest Superman Stories Ever Told, the first hardcover comic collection I ever bought. I think it cost the princely sum of $16. Both Swan and Schwartz are gone now. Dammit.

I'm hoping DC will do a tribute book entitled "Strange Schwartz Stories." The kickoff should be 1985's surprise birthday issue of Superman, which you can read here.

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