Legendary comic book editor Julie Schwartz has died at age 88, reported comic creator Mark Evanier.
Schwartz was one of the first science fiction literary agents, wrote one of the first science fiction fanzines, and is credited with introducing the Silver Age of Comics, with the re-introduction of The Flash in 1956.
He then shepherded revivals of all of DC's heroes, including Superman, Batman, and the Justice League of America. He was instrumental for the careers of many greats in science fiction and comics.
My uncle was a worker at a World Science Fiction Convention several years ago. One of his jobs was as a runner, to escort Julie from his room to a panel. During the trip, my uncle told him how much he enjoyed his work. Schwartz corrected his grammar. My uncle reported that he felt both mortified and and tickled that he got to talk to him.
RevSF contributing editor Rick Whitten-Klaw:
"My first published comic book was 'Wings.' This story about a boy and his wings in a small Texas town was supposed to be a four issue mini-series, but it never got beyond the first issue. Soon after its publication, I was at a convention where I met Julie. How could I not give a copy of my comic to this kindly old legend? I thought nothing more of it until
the next morning when he sought me out and gave me a verbal critique of the comic. WOW! I was literally glowing for the rest of the convention. It's not every day that you have a conversation with a living legend (complete with compliments) about your work."
Rick adds, "Julius Schwartz was also one of the first people to figure out the gorilla."
In Schwartz' autobiography, "Man of Two Worlds, he wrote that his inclusion of a gorilla on a comics cover started " . . . a trend in cover art featuring gorillas -- all of which, incidentally, sold better than those without gorillas on them."