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Match to Flame 120

posted on April 22, 2020

The Superman convention was where I also got to meet Julius “Julie” Schwartz, the man who had nurtured my nascent ambitions to be a cartoonist. Back when he was the editor of my favorite comic book, The Flash, he had published one of my letters and sent me some pages of art from the book. They were inspiring. They arrived at my house still reeking of cigar smoke, and they became my Rosetta stone. I was able to suss out how things were done; I learned that my favorite artists, these gods, made mistakes; and I saw how they fixed them. They were human. I saw artist Carmine Infantino’s practice sketches on the backs of the pages and Murphy Anderson’s graceful inks atop Carmine’s penciling. Somehow they made my aspiring to be like my heroes more manageable and made my future seem somehow destined. Later, at a post-con party at my house to which Julie came, I walked up to my studio at one point to find him holding court as he kicked back in a chair with his feet up on my drawing board. I took that scene in and just smiled. Julie was the only man in the universe who could put his feet up on my drawing board and make me smile. At the same party, I got to talk with Murphy, and he told me how he had a little gate by his basement studio to keep his young children from crawling in while he worked. His putting his work in that context seemed to make it even more special. 

From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume 7