2009 Julius Schwartz Lecture at MIT

J. Michael Straczynski with Henry Jenkins at the Julius Schwartz Lecture
Friday, May 22 7:00p
at MIT Building 10, Room 250, Cambridge, MA

The second annual Julius Schwartz Lecture brings J. Michael Straczynski, the creator of the cult science fiction hit Babylon 5.

The Julius Schwartz Lecture is an annual event held to honor an individual who has made significant contributions to the culture, creativity and community of comics and popular entertainment..

The lecture is hosted by the Comparative Media Studies program at MIT and was founded to honor the memory of longtime DC Comics editor Julius “Julie” Schwartz, whose contributions to our culture include co-founding the first science fiction fanzine in 1932, the first science fiction literary agency in 1934, and the first World Science Fiction Convention in 1939. Schwartz went on to launch a career in comics that would last for well over 42 years, during which time he helped launch the Silver Age of Comics, introduced the idea of parallel universes, and had a hand in the reinvention of such characters as Batman, Superman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman and the Atom.

The event is typically structured as a short lecture presented by the honored speaker, followed by a question-and-answer discussion between the speaker and the head of the Comparative Media Studies program, media scholar Henry Jenkins III. This will be followed by an open question-and-answer session between the lecturer and the audience. The inaugural speaker for the series was New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman.

Link: The Julius Schwartz Lecture
Link: Julius Schwartz Lecture Guest Speakers


  1. Gary The Great says

    I heard it was a very good and funny lecture. Here are a few blogs about the event:




    Edmund would especially have loved the Psi Corps decorations !

  2. Neil Ottenstein says

    Over at the forums at http://www.jmsnews.com there are links to quite a few writeups about the talk.


  3. Gary The Great says

    This is a great blog account of the event.


    Also in an account from Jan over at jmsnews, THe hopes of anything but a movie should pretty much be dashed.

    JMS responded that on one level it was a fun thing to do but in retrospect he should have refused to do any of them, even Crusade, that it was his own fear of failure that caused him to want to prove that it wasn’t just a one-time success, and want to hold onto the familiar. It was after the Lost Tales DVD that he looked at it all and asked if they’d added to the work or subtracted and concluded that they subtracted and he refuses to do any more until and unless it’s possible for him to do the series justice in a big-budget feature film.

  4. Don Stark says

    For those interested, ebay has a number of script books up for sale at around the $50 price point.

  5. Steve Wynne says

    Its a shame JMS sees Crusade the way he does. I understand that its perceived failure has made it harder for him to get the B5 Feature he has always wanted, but he has to see, that from a creative point of view Crusade was a success.

    It was well acted, well directed, the effects where top notch, and barring a couple of the “more wordy” bits the scripting was tight and very good.

    It may have had some problems, the music didnt fit all of the time, sometimes was very good, others detracted from what was on screen.

    BUT on the whole the show was better than others that lasted longer, but thats TV unfortunately. Couple that with his own plans of what it would become, Crusade went before its time, and in my opinion he should be proud of getting it to TV even if it didnt stay on as long as he (and we) would have liked.

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