Summer Of Superman - A Go
by Michael San Giacomo
The Summer of Superman's most important task has been approved - the rebuilding of the house where Jerry Siegel created Superman.
Jefferson and Hattie Gray have owned the building on Kimberly Street in the Glenville neighborhood of Cleveland for decades, but the building, like the neighborhood, has fallen on some hard times.
Tracey Kirksey, Executive Director of the Glenville Neighborhood Development Corporation, is spearheading the effort, and expects that the home will be restored this summer, in compliance with historic preservation standards. Upgrades will include a new roof, siding repair, new exterior paint and fresh landscaping. In addition, an historic plaque will be placed in front of the home.
Novelist, comic writer and all-around great guy Brad Meltzer and I (and others to be named later) will serve on the board of trustees of a 501(c)3 charitable organization for the project, though Tracey will do most of the heavy lifting.
Meltzer said the day he and I toured the house several years ago, he knew he wanted to do something to preserve it. He finally has the chance. He’s going to spearhead the fundraising effort.
And, as much as I hate to do this, (I feel like DC or Marvel teasing readers about projects), we have some really exciting plans that we will announce next month as soon as everything is completed. The timetable calls for work on the house to begin in June and be finished by late August or early September. The house will be repaired and be painted in the Superman blue, red and yellow it’s been since the Grays moved in.
Cleveland City Council has agreed to issue a proclamation honoring Siegel, Shuster and Superman and the street signs on Kimberly and Amor (where Joe Shuster lived) will be given ceremonial names on the street signs to honor the two famous signs. And trust me, those suckers will be welded onto the pole to discourage souvenir seekers.
There will be block parties on the street where Superman was created in August, dates to be determined.
Tax deductible donations to the effort to restore the home should be made to: Glenville Development Corporation and mailed to 10640 Saint Clair Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44108. For additional information, call 216.851.8724.
Members of the Summer of Superman group met with DC on Monday. Well, I'll let them tell it.
Here's the press release.
FROM KRYPTON TO CLEVELAND: NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION FORMING TO CELEBRATE CITY’S SUPERHERO HERITAGE
Partnering with DC Comics Key to Success
CLEVELAND, OH – A group of Cleveland leaders met in New York City with executives at DC Comics, the owners of all Superman property rights, on Monday, April 28, 2008. The purpose was to launch collaboration on a series of events and legacy projects to celebrate Cleveland as the birthplace of Superman. The Man of Steel was created in 1933 by writer Jerome “Jerry” Siegel (1914-1996) and artist Joe Shuster (1914-1992), who both lived in Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood. Superman’s first appearance in a comic book was in 1938 in Action Comics #1.
The organizing committee determined that the best course to follow would be to form a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization to work with DC Comics in planning events for the summer of 2009 and, if successful, for many years to follow. Mr. Richard Pace, the principal of Cumberland Development LLC, was selected to lead the organizing efforts, and he will be supported by staff at Positively Cleveland. His primary charge in these early stages is to consult with DC Comics about every aspect of the planned festivals and to assure compliance with all legal and creative requirements for the use of images of the legendary super hero.
“The only way this effort can succeed to the greatest benefit for our committee is to apply the demanding standards prescribed by DC Comics – the very standards that made Superman the best known comic superhero of them all”, Pace said. “We will do this right, or we will not do this at all!”
Detailed planning and long-term collaboration promise to reap benefits both for Cleveland as the home of Superman’s creators, and for DC Comics as a way to give continued and consistent visibility to Superman.
The press release ends with info about the Siegel house, which I've already discussed.
Yeah, yeah, yeah and they buried the lead, putting the restoration of the Siegel house at the end. Kids today.
But while DC is very interested in working with Cleveland on Superman projects, it was too late to push everything through in time for this summer, the 70th anniversary of the first appearance of Superman. I was afraid of that from the beginning, we should have started planning this a year ago.
In any event, we can go through with a bunch of events this year, but the big Superman celebration at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame had to be killed because there was not enough time to get all the necessary approvals from DC and Warner Brothers.
We’re starting to work on things for next summer and subsequent summers.
So what else is happening in Cleveland this summer?
May 11 is the North Coast Comic Con, located just a wee bit south of Cleveland at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Middleburg Heights with, among others, Sean McKeever, (Teen Titans); Marc Sumerak, (Marvel Adventures); Eddy Newell, (Black Lightning); Sean McArdle and me (Phantom Jack and Tales of the Starlight Drive-In.) Relatives of Jerry and Joe will be there, ready to share stories about those wonderful, creative days.
Jamie Reigel, (http://www.supermansouvenirs.com/) huge collector of all things Superman, will have an exhibit of his rare and wonderful toys. Comic dealers and collector John Haines will show off his Superman comics collection. http://www.northcoastcomiccon.com/ for more details.
Anyone in the Cleveland area is invited to a casual, free, party Saturday evening, May 10, at the hotel.
In July, the artists celebration called Ingenuity Festival of Art and Technology July 25 - 27 will have several cool Superman components. Visit http://www.ingenuitycleveland.com/ for details.
Beginning in September and running though through January, the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood, near Cleveland, will host a superheroes exhibit. That’s in addition to the fine Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster exhibit the museum already has.
Visit http://www.maltzjewishmuseum.org/ for more details closer to the event. No comic fan’s visit to Cleveland is complete without a visit to the Maltz.
And even though it’s a little further away from Cleveland, the Screaming Tiki Pop Kulture Convention in Niles, Ohio, falls under the very broad Summer of Superman umbrella.
On Oct. 17 to 19, the convention welcomes Margot Kidder (Lois Lane, of course) and Sarah Douglas (Ursa in “Superman II.”) The convention will have a 70th birthday cake for Superman and host an auction to benefit the Christopher Reeve. Other featured guests include the original Batman TV show cast: Adam West, Burt Ward and Julie Newmar and the original Batmobile.
For more info, visit http://www.screamingtikicon.com
Well, we didn’t get as much done for the Summer of Superman as I would have liked when I brought up the idea in December, but it’s a pretty good start. Getting the Siegel house fixed up is probably the best thing we could have done, Superman would approve.
Watch Newsarama for a very cool announcement about the Siegel house restoration in four or five weeks.
Re: Summer Of Superman - A Go
Originally Posted by Roger
Re: Summer Of Superman - A Go