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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.


  1. Sorry to hear this. The medium wouldn’t be anything without the efforts of artists like Mr. Schwartz — the panels from that link to Eddie Campbell’s sight are amazing. His passing is truly our loss.

    Condolences to the family.

  2. There was really nothing like sitting and listening to Lew tell stories, it was quite a different perspective to listen to him and to have his wife Barbara give her view of life during these years with him, they would have celebrated their 64 wedding anniversary in November, quite a feat for any couple, and it was a love that was obvious to anyone who saw them together!

    I wish you all could have shared in his excitement both leading up to and following his final trip to ComicCon, Lew loved comics, politics, his family and his many many friends and fans. He is and will be truly missed.