Hamilton had a long history of writing science fiction for pulp magazines. His first published story was published in Weird Tales in 1926,* and he remained popular with readers for his entire 50-year career. He went into comics when the pulp markets were drying up in the 1940s. (See the short article below the story, with quotes from Hamilton about his history with DC Comics.)
Hamilton, who had written Captain Future stories in the early forties, was invited into comic books after pulp editors Mort Weisinger, Jack Schiff and Julius Schwartz moved from the pulps to the comic books. Comics seemed a natural for science fiction writers (Otto “Eando” Binder is another example), especially someone who had a reputation for writing stories about heroes who did extraordinary things. That was Hamilton’s history, and it made him a natural for comic books.
*“Monster-God of Mamurth,“ which can be found here.
“Fifty Years of Heroes” is an autobiographical piece written by Edmond Hamilton in 1976, and published in Byron Preiss’s anthology series, Weird Heroes Volume 6. It went to press just after Hamilton’s death in early 1977. In the article Hamilton gives an entertaining view of his long career writing science fiction (including when he was known to fans as World-Saver Hamilton), and a brief history of his 20 years writing comic books. To quote the article:
“In 1946 I heard again from Mort Weisinger. He had returned from his war service to take up his job again at National Comics Publications, as DC Comics were known at the time. He and Jack Schiff had left Standard Magazines in 1941 to work in the comics field, and later on Julie Schwartz had joined them at DC.
“Mort wanted me to write comic scripts for DC magazines, to start with Batman. I had some doubts at first, as the format was quite different from fiction stories. In those days after the war, the pulp magazine market was very poor . . . I had to write a few very poor scripts before I began to catch on to the ways of comic writing.
“For the first year or two, all my scripts for DC were Batman stories. Mort and Jack Schiff were the nicest guys in the world to work for, but they took their work seriously, and if I made a stupid error or scuffed over anything, they told me so at once, and loudly.
“After a year or two I started to do Superman stories, also. I think I did better on Superman than Batman, simply because it was more science-fictional.
“Julius Schwartz first edited the science fiction magazines at DC — Strange Adventures, Mystery in Space. . . I did a good many sf stories for those, and when I started doing them I thought, “This will be a breeze . . . writing for an old pal like Julie will be no trouble.” I was wrong! Friendship cut no ties when Julie read a story, and he was as strict with me as with anyone else. I guess that’s why he became one of the greatest editors in the business.
“I wrote for DC Comics from 1946 to 1966. During that time, I was still writing science fiction and produced a good many sf books and magazine stories. When I resigned from comic work in 1966, it was only because Leigh [Hamilton’s wife, author and screenwriter Leigh Brackett] and I were about to go on some long-deferred world travels — to Egypt, India, and so on — and I would not be able to fill any schedules. But I always enjoyed working for the hero comics, particularly for such a great bunch of guys.”