Happy Birthday: Julius Schwartz
Born in the Bronx, New York, in 1915, Julius “Julie” Schwartz is considered one of the most influential editors in comic book history.
Schwartz got his start in science fiction and fantasy, publishing a fanzine called The Time Traveler in 1932 with his friends Mort Weisinger and Forrest J. Ackerman. He and Weisinger also formed Solar Sales Services, which represented H.P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury, Alfred Bester, and other popular SF authors.
In 1944, Bester introduced Schwartz to the people at DC Comics, who hired him as an editor. A few years later, Schwartz was put in charge of DC’s new SF comics, and in 1956 he added Showcase to his list of responsibilities. The first few issues of Showcase didn’t do particularly well, so Schwartz decided to bring back and revamp an old, Golden Age character—and thus the new Flash was born and the Silver Age of comics began.
In the 1960s, Schwartz began editing the Batman titles, and in 1971 he took over on Superman, helping to modernize both characters. Schwartz retired from DC in 1986 but continued to be active in fandom until shortly before his death in 2004.
Schwartz received many awards over the years, including an Alley, a Shazam, and an Inkpot. He was inducted into the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1996 and the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1997. In 1998, Dragon-Con created the Julie Award for universal achievement in multiple genres. Schwartz presented the awards personally.