Thursday, July 17, 2008

Superman and superstars

The Cleveland neighborhood (Glenville) in which Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created Superman wants to acknowledge that. Part of the fundraising effort is an appeal to high-profile Superman fans via a letter that went out this week.

The celebrities:

* Howard Stern—mentions Superman on air quite often
* Jerry Seinfeld—featured Superman in almost every episode of his sitcom
* Jon Bon Jovi—Superman tattoo
* Nicolas Cage—named his son Kal-El, Superman's Kryptonian name
* Gene Simmons (KISS)—has a self-proclaimed "passionate" relationship with Superman
* Shaquille O'Neal—Superman tattoo
* John Ondrasik (Five for Fighting)—big hit song "Superman (It's Not Easy)"
* Joey Fatone ('N Sync)—Superman tattoo

The pitch:

Ask “Who is Clark Kent?” and most anyone can answer that it’s Superman’s secret identity. Ask “Who are Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster?" and you’ll probably get only shrugs and head scratches.

Before Metropolis, Smallville, and Krypton, Superman came from Cleveland. The world’s first comic book superhero was created by teenaged writer Jerry Siegel and his artist friend Joe Shuster, who lived 9.5 blocks from one another in the Glenville neighborhood. For too long, we in Cleveland have done little to pay tribute to our red, yellow, and blue legacy.

For this year’s 70th anniversary of Superman's debut, the city is beginning to change that. Among our plans:

* restore Jerry Siegel’s former home
* place matching markers at Jerry's house and the site of Joe’s former apartment building (demolished in 1975)
* install honorary street signs Siegel Lane and Shuster Lane
* host a Siegel-and-Shuster-themed race and block party to promote good health and community spirit
* erect a larger-than-life statue of Superman flying off a building in the center of our business district

Your fondness for Superman is no secret. And while none of us in real life have “powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men,” we all have the power to do great good in different ways.

We are working to raise $x by September 10, 2008 to pay for the two commemorative markers we would like to erect this fall. We would be super-thrilled and super grateful if you would help us reach our goal—any amount is deeply appreciated. Any money we raise in excess of the final cost of the markers will be redirected to the fund for the Superman statue. We will gladly provide documentation itemizing how all contributed money spent and list your name as a sponsor on all marketing and media materials. And of course, if we do reach goal, we’d be honored if you would join us for the race, block party, and marker unveiling. After all, where else will you get to run a sixth of a mile to the stirring John Williams theme from Superman: The Movie or snack on organic mini-pizzas in the shape of Superman’s emblem?

The response:

Cross your fingers that there will be one.

Meanwhile, please spread the word! To contribute, e-mail me and I'll send you the right way.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Any money we raise in excess of the final cost of the markers will be redirected to the fund for the Superman statue. We will gladly provide ...