Wednesday, November 02, 2011
A heretofore untold story, now told
Here's a story I have never told publicly. In 1962, at age 15, I wrote DC editor Julius Schwartz a suck-up letter. I told him he was my favorite comic book editor, I loved all his comic books, and hoped someday to write for him. Could I please get a look at a script to see how it's done? After I sent the letter I told Big Pappy, thinking he'd congratulate me for my cleverness. He snorted, "He'll see right through that, boy. Your letter will just get thrown away." I burned crimson with the realization that Big Pappy was right. I had humiliated myself and my name would be forever branded onto Julius Schwartz's brain as a brown-noser looking for a freebie.
A couple of weeks later I got a Gardner Fox Hawkman script in the mail, inscribed by Julie himself. I took it to Big Pappy and, gloating, showed him. He didn't react as I expected. He just shrugged. Oh well. I got what I wanted. While still embarrassed by my ploy to get it, it's time to show you what Mr. Schwartz sent me nearly 50 years ago. (When I scanned it I removed my name.)
Julie rewrote a lot of Fox's captions and dialogue. He was the editor, so he edited. The only copy of the finished story I now have, beautifully drawn by Joe Kubert, is in the DC Hawkman Archive, so I scanned it from that volume. I'm not showing you the script and finished product page-by-page for comparison, but take it from me: it was published word-for-word from the Fox/Schwartz script.
P.S. I never submitted a script to Julius Schwartz or any other comic book editor. Big Pappy saw what Mr. Schwartz apparently didn't: I was just a brown-noser looking for a freebie!
From The Brave and the Bold #44, 1962: