Golden Age artist Lew Sayre Schwartz, best known as one of Bob Kane’s ghosts of the Batman comic, died over the weekend of complications from a fall, according to his son Andrew. A memorial service is planned for July.
Schwartz work on Batman from 1948-53, doing full pencils which Kane would tweak to stay on model, as was his long custom. Schwartz was one of the finest draughtsmen to work on Batman, which a fine, illustrative style which Eddie Campbell praised here.
In addition to his comics work, Schwartz was a teacher at SVA, and went on to produce live and animated commercials, which won him four Emmys and six Clio awards. He also worked on the agency which produced the titles to Dr. Strangelove.
In an interview, Schwartz talked about his various careers:
LSS: Well, I got the recognition that I never got in the comics, and so in ’02 when I was an invited guest to San Diego and got handed an Ink Pot Award by Will Eisner and I must tell you it was a shock. I never expected that. But I had a good 40 some odd years in the film business and it did well by me and I got all the recognition that I didn’t get in the comic business. So strange, you know, what goes around comes around.
Mark Evanier remembers Schwartz’s 2009 appearance at Comic-Con:
I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Schwartz along with the other two surviving Kane ghosts (Sheldon Moldoff and Jerry Robinson) at the 2009 Comic-Con. He was a delightful gentleman and there was an odd sensation of “bonding” among our panelists as they shared tales of their days with Mr. Kane. It was also fun to watch so many people tell Lew that he’d drawn their all-time favorite Batman stories. He certainly drew a lot of mine.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.