Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Superman Celebration: the rundown

From June 12 to June 15, I was among the nicest people I have met in recent memory. Combine the homespun charm of a small Midwestern town with the attentive enthusiasm of serious Superman fans and everyone is treated like a VIP. Thank you to those who personally made me feel welcome and made sure I was fed and hydrated and air-conditioned and well-positioned. 

Here's a quick look at the experience, first by the numbers, then by the pictures. 

  • Hours it took to drive from St. Louis to Metropolis: 3
  • Highway signs for Cracker Barrel restaurant I passed: at least 5
  • Wrong turns my GPS gave me: 1 (if I'd listened to it, I would have ended up in the Ohio River)
  • Degrees when I arrived: 94
  • Degrees when I left: 96
  • Babies dressed as Superman: dozens
  • Dogs dressed as Superman: at least 2
  • People dressed as dogs: I think I saw 1
  • Percentage of people dressed as Superman who lack Superman's physique: 98%
  • Times I dressed as Superman: 0
  • Times I dressed as someone from the 1940s: 1 (sort of; see below)
  • Pieces of Superman merchandise I bought: 1 (see here)
  • Presentations I gave: 3
  • Minutes each presentation lasted: 30
  • People who e-mailed me during my presentation to tell me they were sitting in my presentation: 1
  • Copies of Boys of Steel I raffled off: 2
  • Homemade bookplates I signed: more than 100 
  • Boys of Steel postcards I started with: 4,800 
  • Postcards I left with: 0 * 
  • Times people asked if they could buy Boys of Steel right then: too many (only because I didn't have books)
  • Items signed by Siegel and Shuster up for bid at the Superman charity auction: at least 3
  • Of those, items I won: 0
  • Of those, items I bid on: 0
  • Highest amount one sold for: $600
  • Amount an unbound advanced reader's copy of Boys of Steel sold for: $110
  • Nights I had beer for dinner because food was no longer being served: 1

Now for photos. (Spoiler alert: I'm not posting those typical street festival scenes with half the crowd dressed as superheroes; you can see those on many other sites.) The second of two highway signs for Metropolis that I saw:

Appropriately, the first sign I saw when I got off the highway:

Welcome sign (sorry for the distorted head; I took this myself at too-close range):

One of approximately ten signs like this I passed (see note above about distorted head):

The writers' panel:

photo credits: Sue Schnitzer

I didn't see this while I was there; a kind new friend e-mailed it to me. Note the rare correct spelling of all names:

photo credit: Michelle Lyzenga; correct spelling credit: Kevin Williams

One of my talks:

photo credit: Lin Workman

My humble station:

The first non-press person to own a copy of Boys of Steel (he won the first of two raffles):

The 1940s ball:

photo credit: Michelle Lyzenga

Allison Mack, who stars as Chloe Sullivan on the TV show Smallville, graciously allowing herself to be exploited:

The event ended on Father's Day:

One last note: I'm happy to report that every audience I spoke to heartily applauded at the first mention of Siegel and Shuster. I'm glad they knew that without those two, Metropolis, IL, might be just another town sandwiched between Cracker Barrels.

* 6/19/08 addendum: Jamie Reigle of Super Collectibles generously took a big stack of postcards off my hands to distribute to his customers. Please visit his site. He's got it all!

1 comment:

Jason Kinnison said...

Well, I just have to say it was a pleasure to be there and to meet you. I can't wait to get my copy of your book, where I'll promptly place my signiture plate. I loved your presentation, wish I had won a book, but I digress. I appreciate you going above and beyond and linking me to the Robin blog. I hope you get to do the Batman book you spoke of when we talked. I look forward to that.
Anyway, again, many thanks. Great book, can't wait to buy it. (I've already ordered it.)