Other Miscellaneous Superman Stuff
2010 Superman Celebration in Metropolis, Illinois
"Smallville" Actors to Appear at 2010 Superman CelebrationSmallville actors, Vandervoort and Witwer, and Noel Neill to appear at 32nd annual Metropolis Superman Celebration
The second weekend in June is devoted to the legendary character that stands for "Truth, Justice and the American Way" each year in Metropolis, Illinois. But Superman is always kind enough to share the spotlight with a few other celebrities.
Special guests have just been confirmed as headliners of the 32nd annual Superman Celebration June 10-13. Smallville fans will be excited to see this year's celebrity line-up.
Laura Vandervoort, who portrays Supergirl/Kara and Sam Witwer, also known as Doomsday, will be the Smallville actors headlining this year's Celebration. And, the "First Lady of Metropolis" Noel Neill, is scheduled to make a return trip to the festival. Fans will have the opportunity to meet the celebrities in person at autograph and question and answer sessions.
Following her stint as a regular on Smallville, Vandervoort acted in the pilot for ABC's new series V. The pilot was picked up and she began shooting in August 2009 for the TV series which debuted in November.
Vandervoort was born in 1984 in Toronto, Canada and begin acting at the age of 13. A tomboy for years, she was involved in several sports and earned a second degree Black Belt by the age of 16. After taking several classes and doing background work on Canadian shows such as Road to Avonlea and Harriet the Spy she got her first speaking role in Canadian children's series Goosebumps and Are You Afraid of the Dark?
After commercials and guest stars in Mutant-X, Prom Queen, Twice in a Lifetime, Doc, Sue Thomas FBI, Troubled Waters, Dresdan Files and a few Disney movies of the week, she landed the lead role of Sadie Harrison on the CTV TV series Instant Star.
In 2006 Laura shot her first feature titled The Lookout with Jeff Daniels. Several of her TV appearances, including CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, led Laura into the hands of the CW network and Smallville. Following Smallville, Laura shot the sequel to the feature film Into The Blue titled Into the Blue 2: The Reef. Following The Reef, Laura went directly into filming an independent production titled The Jazzman and then a TV movie titled Out of Control. Since shooting a gritty independent film, Damage, Laura shot a science fiction miniseries, the SyFy channel's relaunching of Philip JosŽ Farmer's Riverworld.
Sam Witwer grew up in Glenview, Illinois, outside of Chicago. He attended Glenbrook South High School, where he was involved in drama and theater classes, as well as being the lead singer of a high school band. He attended the Julliard School of Drama before heading to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career. His first major film role was as Wayne Jessup in The Mist.
In 2008, Witwer was cast to play Doomsday, the new rival of Superman on Smallville's eighth season after Michael Rosenbaum, who played the superhero's arch-enemy, Lex Luthor, left the show. He is also known to audiences for his recurring roles as Lieutenant Alex "Crashdown" Quartararo on the popular series Battlestar Galactica and Neil Perry on the Showtime series Dexter. A sci-fi fan growing up, he was happy to have landed a minor guest roll on Star Trek: Enterprise. His other television credits include guest appearances on Bones, Star Trek: New Voyages, Navy NCIS, Dragnet, Cold Case, TAG, and ER.
A lifetime Star Wars fan, Sam appeared as Darth Vader's secret apprentice, Starkiller/Galen Marek and as Darth Sidious, in the massively successful multimedia project Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Witwer provided both his voice and likeness to the lead characters across all of the mediums. He reprised his role as Galen Marek in the video game: Soulcalibur IV. There is also speculation that he will reprise his role of Starkiller for the Star Wars live-action TV series.
Witwer says that his first love is music and he is consequently the lead singer of his own band, The Crashtones. The bank released its first CD entitled "Colourful of the Stereo" in 2006. Witwer has since assembled a live line-up consisting of professional musicians and others in the industry, including Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Glenn Howerton, with whom he performs whenever time allows.
Though she first played Lois Lane in the 1948 movie serial, Superman, with Kirk Alyn, Noel Neill is best known for playing the iconic character on television in The Adventures of Superman with beloved legendary actor George Reeves from 1953 to 1957. So identified is she with this role that her portrayal of the "girl reporter" set the standard for all Lois Lanes to follow.
Metropolis has become such a fan of Neill that the Chamber of Commerce will unveil a statue of her likeness on the second day of the Superman Celebration. Engraved bricks are currently being sold for the base that will hold the life-size sculpture of the actress.
With the unveiling planned for June 11, final engraving orders are needed at the monument company very soon. A deadline of April 16 has been set for ordering engraved bricks guaranteed to be in place for the unveiling. More information about the statue and a brick order form can be found at www.noelneillstatue.com. Orders may also be placed by calling the Chamber of Commerce at 618-524-2714 or emailing email@example.com.
The Superman Celebration is a long standing festival and a must see event for most anyone, especially comic lovers. Superman fans travel from all over the globe to visit the small southern Illinois town that is the Official Home of Superman.
Metropolis features a 15-foot bronze statue of the Man of Steel and a Super Museum located on the town's Superman Square. A life-size statue of Noel Neill will grace the landscape soon. There are other interesting super-hero related attractions located throughout the city, such as a giant rock of kryptonite. Complete with an Artist's Alley, Man of Steel exhibitions and contests, amusement park, live music and $1000 Superhero Costume Contest, the Superman Celebration provides fun for the entire family. For more information about the Superman Celebration visit www.supermancelebration.net or call 800-949-5740. For information about Superman and other Metropolis attractions, visit www.metropolistourism.com or call 877-424-5025.
Superman Celebration - WGBS Video News ReportsSuperman Homepage reporters Ronda and Jamie Kelley... I mean, WGBS reporters Lois Lane and Clark Kent were on location during the 2010 Superman Celebration in Metropolis, Illinois.
Here's the first of their many reports, this one from Wednesday, June 9th, the day before the first day of the four day celebration.
Here are more WGBS video reports from the 2010 Superman Celebration from Thursday, June 10th, the first day of the four day celebration. Here we have the opening ceremony and skit.
Here's an additional Special Report from the first day of the 2010 Superman Celebration at the local Ten Pin Bowling alley.
Superman Celebration - Day 1 Brief ReportA First Day Glimpse by Adam Dechanel
Nothing quite prepares you for Metropolis. You think you know what to expect, but the reality is very different. This is the first time I'd ever visited and after a non-stop 6 hour plus drive we were very apprehensive as to what we might find.
My friends back home in London had called it a convention - but as soon as you pull in you realize it is so much more. It's more than fandom - it's more than a theme park or convention - it's a community - a wonderfully diverse community that embraced us wholeheartedly as we walked in.
There are several sections to Metropolis and the Superman Celebration that we'll go into more as time goes on like Superman Square, the Smallville Tent, the Metro Tent, the Super Museum, the Chamber of Commerce... there is so much here you are literally overwhelmed with awe and emotion.
The celebrations opened officially on Thursday afternoon with Josh Boultinghouse and friends welcoming one and all during an opening ceremony skit. Following that were some awards, a raucous presentation of gospel music and the chance to take some geeked out photos while mingling with crowds of fans, families and hopefully, soon to be friends.
But I can tell you this... this small town is a home away from home and regardless if you're a fan of the comics, the cartoons, the movies, the TV shows, the toys, games - whatever - you really must visit...
Superman Celebration - WGBS News Report from June 10Here are more WGBS video reports from the 2010 Superman Celebration from Thursday, June 10th, the first day of the four day celebration. Here we have the opening ceremony and skit.
Here's an additional Special Report from the first day of the 2010 Superman Celebration at the local 10 Pin Bowling alley.
In Metropolis, Illinois for the 2010 Superman CelebrationWPSD Local 6 broadcast a live segment from the streets of Metropolis, Illinois on the opening day of the Superman Celebration.
- Local 6's Kyle Mounce described a number of commemorative plaques purchased by locals to raise money for the soon-to-be-unveiled statue of Noel Neill, best known for her film and television role as reporter Lois Lane.
As the camera panned to the last plaque, the story became personal for Local 6 anchor Johnette Worak.Ê Her husband Rod had surprised her with a plaque inscribed with the following, "Rod and Johnette Worak, High School Sweethearts, Married March 4, 1978, 'In Love Forever'".
Overjoyed and a little embarrased, she nevertheless carried on with the rest of the newscast.
The 2010 Superman Celebration kicked off yesterday (Thursday June 10) with the 5pm opening ceremony and ribbon cutting, and will run through to Sunday June 13.
Look for our own reports from the Superman Homepage crew on location over the next week and more.
Noel Neill "Lois Lane" Statue UnveiledThe Noel Neill "Lois Lane" statue was unveiled yesterday in Metropolis, Illinois during the 2010 Superman Celebration.
- Neill, best known for her role in movies and on television as reporter Lois Lane, met artist Gary Ernest Smith, who created her likeness.
The revenue from all bricks and commemorative plaques helped pay for the sculpting and the placement of the statue.
The statue commemorates Neill's contributions as the "First Lady of Metropolis." It stands on the corner at 8th and Market Streets.
Superman Celebration - WGBS News Report from June 11Here are more WGBS video reports from the 2010 Superman Celebration from Friday, June 11th, the second day of the four day celebration.
In the videos below we have the unveiling ceremony of the Noel Neill "Lois Lane" statue, an exclusive interview with Ilya Salkind, the Superman Homepage "Meet & Greet" and more.
In Part 2 of the Friday reports we have the continuation of the unveiling of the Noel Neill statue, with speeches from Metropolis Mayor, Billy McDaniel and co-chairmen of the Metropolis Committee Karla Ogle.
Part 3 sees Lisa Gower acknowledges the "Lois Lane Award" winners, Mel Bower of the Banterra Bank who donated part of their parking lot for the Noel Neill statue, and Sculptor Gary Earnest Smith speaks about creating the Lois Lane statue.
The 4th part of the Friday video reports sees Kevin from the Bronzing Foundry talk about the statue's creation, and Noel Neill's friend and biographer Larry Ward talk about Noel as a person.
In the final video of the unveiling of the Noel Neill "Lois Lane" statue Clyde Wills introduces Noel Neill herself to take the stand and speak about being honored in this fashion.
Part 6 of the Friday video reports is an exclusive interview with Ilya Salkind.
The 7th and final video report from Friday, June 11th is the Superman Homepage "Meet & Greet", and we also get time with Lex Luthor and Conner Kent.
Superman Celebration - Day 2 PhotosSuperman Homepage reporters Adam Dechanel and Barry Freiman took the following photos during the second day of the 2010 Superman Celebration.
Superman Celebration - Day 2 Early ReportDay Two: The Early Hours by Adam Dechanel
Me being the morning person I dashed around Metropolis to take some snaps while it was deserted but I'd forgotten about the signing ticket line and wow was it long! The tickets were released at 7am and I had arrived at 5am so that gives you scope on how big a deal this really is.
I stood in line with folk that had been coming for many years. They talked a lot about guests past and favorite episodes of Lois & Clark and Smallville. The fact that David 'Darth Vader' Prowse had trained up Christopher Reeve and their love/hate relationship with Hollywoodland. I chuckled when there was a ripple through the crowd that Ben Affleck couldn't even be Daredevil.
Our very own Homepage even got name checked a couple of times so it was nice to get feedback in my secret 'identity.' It was nice to share the buzz and anticipation in the queue and this is a couple of hours before many folk will even be waking up and it's a good few hours before events start at 10am but I wanted to keep you all informed!
See you at 4.30 this afternoon maybe? (After I've tanked up on coffee and candy).
For everyone that arrives for the Meet and Greet, if they sign our guestbook and submit an email - as soon as Adam gets back to the UK he'll be emailing out a special 32nd Superman Celebration illustration. So make sure you get over there pronto and don't miss out on this exclusive!
Superman Celebration - WGBS News Report from June 12Here are more WGBS video reports from the 2010 Superman Celebration from Saturday, June 12th, the third day of the four day celebration.
In the videos below we have Part 1 of the Q&A panel with Laura Vandervoort and Sam Witwer.
In Part 6 we see the Superman Charity Auction from Saturday night, including interviews with Danny Kelley and Steve Fischer.
Part 7 sees the opening speeches for the Charity Auction, Part 8 includes the presentation of various awards, including the Noel Award and George Award and bidding on auction items, while Part 9 sees an exclusive interview with Jim Hambrick, owner of the Super Museum.
Superman Celebration - Day 3 PhotosSuperman Homepage reporters Adam Dechanel and Barry Freiman took the following photos during the third day of the 2010 Superman Celebration. Thanks too to Rickel35 for some additional photos of Laura Vandervoort and Sam Witwer at the Superman Statue.
Superman Celebration - WGBS News Report from June 13To conclude our WGBS video reports from the 2010 Superman Celebration, here are the events from Sunday, June 13th, the final day of the four day celebration.
In the videos below we have Part 1 which includes the Art Contest and interviews leading up to the Costume Contest.
The winners of the Costume Contest can be seen in Part 7 below...
In the 8th and final video from the last day of the 2010 Superman Celebration we have an interview with Mon-El, Superman closes off the festivities (with some "help" from the Phantom Zone criminals).
Many thanks to Ronda (Lois Lane) and Jamie Kelley (Clark Kent) for their amazing work covering the events of the 2010 Superman Celebration for the Superman Homepage.
Mr. Freiman Goes to MetropolisBy Barry Freiman
Not since 2008 when Steve Younis and Neal Bailey led a contingent of Superman Homepage staff has the Superman Homepage had such a strong presence at the annual Superman Celebration in Metropolis, Illinois. The town adopted Superman as their official son in the early 1970s though the annual Superman Celebration events began following "Superman: The Movie". Barry Freiman, Adam Dechanel (who flew in from the U.K.), Ralph Silver, and Jamie and Ronda Kelley (Clark Kent and Lois Lane) all represented the Superman Homepage staff at this year's festivities. They were joined by Sam Rizzo, the Editor-in-Chief of the Superboy Homepage (that site's coverage of the weekend is worth a look-see and listen). What follows are Associate Editor Barry Freiman's thoughts on the weekend:
Adam flew into Chicago from London and we drove a rental car from the Second City to Metropolis. Having lived in Chicago for eight years, I'd wanted to visit Metropolis long before now but was turned off as each year went by daunted by the thought of a six or seven hour drive. I was scared by Metropolis promotional material that described the small town as far as one could go from Chicago and still be in Illinois, which is true given Metropolis borders Paducah, Kentucky.
There is no easy way to get to Metropolis. The nearest international airport is two hours away. There's an Amtrak train station about an hour or so away. Adam and I elected to drive. Well I drove - Adam was the navigator... on roads that were, to his English way of thinking, backwards. Because I don't drive in the city, it had been some time since I'd driven and didn't realize how much my eyesight had deteriorated in my right eye since the last time I'd driven. To compensate for my droopingly tired and overworked right eye, we took frequent rest-stop breaks, which was an education of itself to Adam who'd only been to large American cities before. The great American truck stop was a new experience for him.
We drove toward the highway exit to Metropolis and saw a huge billboard of Superman announcing Metropolis at the next exit. Then there was Superman on a huge water tower. I pulled over to the highway shoulder so Adam could get out of the car and take photographs of the statue sign and water tower.
Our plan was to find the hotel and check in but, before finding the hotel, we followed the signs to the "Giant Superman Statue" and ended up in Metropolis town square. We parked by the self-proclaimed world's largest "Dip 'n Dots" (freeze-dried ice cream dots). Given I've only ever seen the freeze-dried ice cream products in vending cases at movie theaters, I'm not sure how huge a feat that is but good for them nonetheless. Later in the weekend, Adam bought the Superman flavor Dip 'n Dots for himself and me - in fruity flavored Superman colors. I'd have preferred a less intense flavor like vanilla or chocolate, I think.
Turning the corner around the courthouse, the seemingly staid-from-the-front court building gives way to 15 feet of Superman. The Superman statue is the second to grace that spot. It's certainly the highlight of anyone's trip to Metropolis. The number of photographs taken featuring visitors with hands on hips and chests puffed out probably coincides exactly with the number of visitors to Metropolis. It was Thursday and the sun was beginning to set so we took some pictures, went shopping at the Superman Museum's store, and headed over to our hotel.
When researching Metropolis hotels I had one prerequisite: wifi access so that I could check in with Steve and get contemporaneous reports up on the Superman Homepage. Unfortunately, our room was on the end of the hotel that had virtually no wifi because we were furthest from the lobby-located router. Adam figured out that there were others in the same boat as us and heroically found an access-friendly area of the hotel fire-escape from which he emailed brief reports and photo files. The area had very little ventilation and was hot and humid with poor lighting and a weak signal - and every so often the type of people who sound like they'd be the subject of a Jeff Foxworthy joke came out of their room and asked Adam if he could get them porn on his computer; so Adam really did go above and beyond to keep our readers informed.
By the time I woke up, Adam had already been awake for hours and toured downtown Metropolis without the crowds - this was pretty much how things went every day. When I woke up it was to the sounds of intense thunder and lightning. With the first event of the day the Noel Neill statue unveiling outside, and me stupidly leaving my Superman Returns umbrella at home, I wondered how we were going to cover the unveiling and whether it would indeed take place as scheduled. Minutes before the 10 AM start time, the rain subsided. There was a long, full of local politicos series of speeches all lauding Miss Neill, the First Lady of Metropolis. I half-expected a military-clad Gus Gorman to drive up with tar-infused Kryptonite.
Town Superman, Josh Boultinghouse, a good friend to the Superman Homepage, accompanied Miss Neill to the covered statue and helped her unveil it as balloons rose behind them. At virtually the same time, the clouds parted and the sun came out. What followed were scads of poses with the statue. Noel, sick with a cold and seemingly more frail than the last time I'd seen her about two years ago, toughed it out though, cracking jokes and smiles, reminiscing about George Reeves, and engaging every fan she could. She truly does have the grace of a Nancy Reagan or Jackie Kennedy and the plucky spirit of an Eleanor Roosevelt or Lady Bird Johnson - the First Lady moniker certainly fits.
After the unveiling, we headed over to the main tent for the first panel with Ilya Salkind. We sat in the front row with Ralph, Jamie, Ronda, and Sam. Sam recorded the panel for broadcast on the Superboy Homepage. Ilya had only a half-hour in which he talked about assembling the team of cast and crew for "Superman: The Movie".
Adam and I went to the Super Museum after the panel with Ilya. We spent a few hours there. We were a little surprised that items were seemingly left unprotected to the elements and discoloring under fluorescent lighting but, overall, the museum's contents are impressive. We took scores of photographs which should give you an idea of the museum's incredible inventory of collectibles. The boots I'm pretending to try on belonged to the Bizarro Superboy on TV's syndicated series "The Adventures of Superboy".
Next up was the Superman Homepage Meet and Greet at the Superman Statue. People showed up in waves over the next hour. We handed out Superman Homepage T-shirts to as many as we could. I spoke personally with several Superman Homepage regular readers and we truly have some really nice fans frequenting the website. By the end of the Meet and Greet, "Superman" movie producer Ilya Salkind stopped by. I'd interviewed him in 2005 and, as we took a picture together, he whispered to me that he has always really liked that interview, that it was an important interview that finally helped fans to embrace his contributions to the Superman franchise. I was and remain truly flattered by the compliment and recommend you read the interview - it had always been one of my personal favorites now even moreso knowing it means something special to Ilya too.
We talked to Ilya about a number of things. I brought up the "Superboy" TV series, only the first season of which is out on DVD. Ilya would love to release the remainder of the series but that decision is Warner's and they have no plans to release subsequent seasons at present due to the low sales on season one. Ilya hopes that, when "Smallville" ends its run next year, and the Chris Nolan "Superman" movie is hopefully released in 2012, Warner will be looking for previously unreleased material and that road increasingly leads to the last three seasons of "Superboy". I told Ilya about the upcoming "Young Justice" cartoon series featuring a Superboy character and suggested the time may be coming to make an earlier push with Warners. Time will tell.
Following the Meet and Greet, I went back to my room and passed out. I'd hoped to attend the 7:30 PM showing of "Superman II" but my body rejected the idea in favor of sleep.
Saturday was autograph day. It was all about getting the famed signatures of the famed Superman dignitaries in town for the Superman Celebration. Thanks to Steve, Adam and I had VIP Access to the signings with "Smallville" stars Laura Vandervoort (Kara Kent/Supergirl) and Sam Witwer (Davis Bloome/Doomsday). VIP Access meant we had about 30 seconds with each star but it was quality time.
Curiously, the VIP list included two guys dressed as "Star Wars" stormtroopers. All I could think of was the "Triumph the Insult Dog" line from the "Attack of the Clones" premiere when a Spock look-alike showed up: "Look a nerd from another dimension."
I had Sam sign the back of my "Smallville" Season Eight DVD. I asked him where he thought Doomsday ended up following the eighth season finale's events. He believes Doomsday ended up buried underground so that he can ultimately climb his way out and assume his role as Superman's killer.
I asked Laura to sign my "Smallville" replica prop Kryptonian bracelet which Kara wore throughout her time on the show. She was gracious and even prettier in person than on the show if that's possible. She said she would like to return to "Smallville" to finish out Kara's arc this season though no one's asked yet. When Adam followed, she remarked how much she liked his English accent.
After we left the "Smallville" signing, we did some shopping and walked down to Ilya's latest signing where I had him sign the metal case containing my 14-Disc "Superman" Movie Collection. Ilya's convention manager, Kenny Richardson, is a good friend to the website and to me personally. Kenny actually has hooked me up with several "Superman" comic book writers of the past with whom I've conducted interviews for the website. He recently hooked up with Ilya who has this year begun making the rounds of comic book shows to meet and talk to Superman fans. If you have the chance to attend a panel featuring Ilya Salkind, I highly recommend you attend - he's an engaging speaker with truly funny, interesting, and heart-felt comments about the making of the "Superman" movies from the moment the idea came to light through the light of the last reel of "Superboy" in 1992.
As a late boomer/early Gen X'er Superman fan, Carmine Infantino was a creator, an artist, and a leader of the DC Comics of the past. I walked over to Infantino and he'd been doing signings all day and was finished. I smiled, said I understood, and asked if I could just shake his hand. We shook and he said to give him what I wanted for him to sign, that he'd sign it. I was delighted. He signed an image of the Flash from a chapter devoted to Infantino's contribution to the Flash, from "The Flash Companion" from TwoMorrows Publishing. He commented he'd never seen the book before and wasn't crazy about the artwork on the cover. I basked in the honest, untainted by corporate parent musings of a DC legend from an era forever gone. I'd never met Julie Schwartz but Infantino was exactly as I'd imagine Schwartz would have been.
By this time, I was ready for a break. Adam went shopping and I believe personally ensured the Super Museum store would profit substantially from the weekend. He repeated that again one more time before we left - returning to the hotel with about five pounds of candy Kryptonite to bring back to London. I have visions of him never getting through customs and reporting in the days to come that "Superman Homepage staff reporter Adam Dechanel was detained by customs officials at Chicago's O'Hare airport when it was revealed he was attempting to smuggle five pounds of Kryptonite to the United Kingdom."
Sunday morning we decided to hit the road early. We missed out on the costume contest but got a sneak preview. As we were loading our luggage into the car, we ran headlong into Charlee Chartrand, known as "Superboy" and another good friend to the Superman Homepage, dressed as Mon-El. When he couldn't get through a locked door into the hotel, I suggested that perhaps the lock was made of lead.
Metropolis was an incredible experience. The city of Metropolis is a gracious host. Everyone we met from the City was lovely and genuine. It speaks highly of small-town America that the town devoted to the Man of Steel is full of some super men and women.
This weekend wouldn't have been the same without Adam Dechanel, Ralph Silver, Jamie and Ronda Kelley (Clark and Lois), Sam Rizzo, Kenny Richardson, the members of the Superman Homepage who attended the Meet and Greet, Josh Boultinghouse, and Ilya Salkind. Look for lots more photographs and video reports in the weeks to come from the Superman Homepage (and over on Sam's Superboy Homepage too).
July 3, 2010: My First Trip to MetropolisBy Ralph Silver
Every year, I consider going to the Superman Celebration. But every year, I procrastinate or find some excuse not to go. Until 2010! This was the year of the unveiling of the Noel Neill statue; and I felt I just HAD to be there!
I DID go, and had a blast! It was truly memorable! I want to share a couple of highlights and excerpts with you.
I live in Virginia, so it is approximately 800 miles to Metropolis, Illinois. My original plan was to do this as a road trip; breaking the ride up over a couple of days, and sharing the driving with my traveling companion. (Hi Edith!) I like Bed and Breakfast inns; so I searched the Internet, and picked a couple of B&Bs that looked promising for our stopovers.
Everything was set. Then Fate shook the dice. My friend had to bail out due to a last minute business trip. I decided that 800 miles was too much driving on my own; so I started planning this as a solo adventure, traveling by air.
Now Superman flies to Metropolis. But Ralph could not. I looked for a direct flight to Paducah, Kentucky, right next door to Metropolis. No luck. I researched to find the closest large city anywhere near Metropolis. I settled on a plan to fly nonstop to Nashville, Tennessee, and then rent a car and drive the 150 miles to Metropolis. This turned out to be an excellent plan. The drive from Nashville was easy and rather scenic. I love that part of the country! (Tennessee; Kentucky)
I pulled into Metropolis mid-afternoon on Thursday, a few hours before the opening ceremony. I needed to get my bearings and find my way to the Bed and Breakfast Inn where I would be staying. So I followed the signs to the Superman statue, and looked for the information booth that I knew would be there. Several volunteers and members of the Metropolis Chamber of Commerce were on duty. An extremely friendly and helpful volunteer named Shirley offered to accompany me to my B&B a few blocks away. Along the way she gave me a personal guided tour of Metropolis. Her kindness and helpfulness was the basis for my first impression of Metropolis; and set the tone for my whole weekend. Metropolis is a very welcoming place.
Click "Read More" to view Ralph's complete Metropolis report.
Before the day was out, I toured the Superman Museum. Jim Hambrick, the owner, has an extensive collection of Superman memorabilia. It features items that showcase each version of the Superman mythos, from TV to movies to the comic books, and lots more. It is great fun for any dedicated Superman fan. A trip to Metropolis is not complete without touring the Superman museum!
Friday was a big day, because this was the day of the unveiling of the Noel Neill "Lois Lane" statue. The festivities were scheduled for 10:00 AM; but about 9:00 AM, a severe thunderstorm rolled into town, threatening to make things a bit messy. Miraculously, the storm came and went quickly; and the ceremony stayed dry and proceeded on schedule at 10:00 AM.
Noel Neill was the keynote speaker, and spoke eloquently of her fondness for the Adventures of Superman TV show. She seemed thrilled when the statue was revealed. The bronze statue is indeed very impressive to look at. It features Noel Neill as Lois Lane, taking notes in pursuit of a story. I felt honored and excited to be there for this event!
Friday was also exciting for a second reason; I got to meet Ilya Salkind. This was a thrill for me, because Mr. Salkind is of course a major player in the Superman world. With his dad, he produced three terrific Superman movies with Christopher Reeve. Fans know he also produced the Supergirl movie with Helen Slater, and the syndicated Superboy TV series in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Ilya Salkind is a really, really nice guy who made me feel like a close friend when we talked. He has a genuine love for the Superman mythos, and was eager to share stories of his movie and TV contributions to the Superman legacy.
There were multiple opportunities to view or interact with Mr. Salkind on Friday. I attended his Q&A session, where he talked at length about the process of casting the actors for Superman I and II. He shared those stories with a sense of humor and a tremendous amount of enthusiasm for his subject.
I had two more encounters with Ilya Salkind that day. First, I went to "Artist Alley" to wait on line for an autograph from Ilya and a chance to chat with him briefly. Second, when we held the Superman Homepage Meet & Greet later in the afternoon, Ilya accepted our invitation and joined us! This was a particular thrill for me; and a real indication of what a gracious guy he is! Usually, the special guest stars at these events do not make themselves so accessible; but Ilya really went out of his way for us! We had more time to discuss the Superman movies and the Superboy TV show. Ilya also did a video interview with Jamie Kelley, a Superman Homepage staff member who does TV reports in character as "Clark Kent".
The Meet and Greet was great fun. I enjoyed meeting other members of the Superman Homepage, and chatting with them about Superman. It was a distinct pleasure to meet Barry Freiman and Adam Dechanel, two great guys and colleagues on the writing staff here. It was fun talking with them about comic books past and present.
On Friday, I also met Sam J. Rizzo, the Editor in Chief of the SuperBOY Homepage. Sam is truly a great guy; and we were fast friends. I feel a genuine kinship between his web page and ours. Sam attended the Superman Homepage Meet and Greet.
Saturday was the day that the Smallville actors arrived. I attended their Q&A session, and waited in line to meet them and get their autographs. I asked Laura Vandervoort and Sam Witwer if they had been to the Superman Homepage. Sam said that he had seen it; and Laura said she planned to check it out.
On Saturday, I also tried my hand at Superman Jeopardy. That was a lot of fun. I am a trivia buff; and if you make it about Superman... well, I could not resist.
They asked some pretty obscure questions, which I enjoyed. There were questions about the TV shows, the movies, and the comic books. I discovered what my strong and weak categories are. Smallville is actually not my best category. There are almost 200 of those shows; and I have seen most of them only once. So obscure questions about Smallville are very challenging for me. On the other hand, I have been watching The Adventures of Superman since the 1950s. I watched each episode dozens of times growing up; and went through the entire series again when the shows were made available on DVD a couple of years ago. Those shows are really burned into my brain. This was my strongest category. I easily handled all the questions about AoS. I did pretty well with comic book questions also.
Although they had designated players onstage, they also threw questions to the audience, which is where I sat. They were giving out prizes; and I came away with two T-shirts, a hat, and a small tote bag for my efforts. I am ready to try again next year.
On Sunday, they held the costume contest. I never saw so many people dressed as Superman, Supergirl, and Clark Kent; plus lots of people in the DC Universe, from Mon-El to Hawkgirl to Flash. There was a guy in a Doomsday costume. Great costume! He was about 8 feet tall inside the outfit, and walked on stilts, which were concealed inside the legs. When he was onstage for the judging, he lost his balance and sort of crumpled over. He was not injured, but Superman (Josh Boultinghouse; the official Superman of the celebration) had to help lift him back onto his feet. I thought this image of Superman helping Doomsday get back up was pretty ironic.
Although I had never been to Metropolis, I really had a terrific time, and plan to return. I may make it an annual tradition. If you are an avid Superman fan, and have never gone to the celebration, I urge you to treat yourself and go next year. You will have fun!
Photo Memories from 2010 Superman CelebrationHere are a collection of great photos by their own Jimmy Olsen, photographer Will Weiss.
Check out these and more photos from Will Weiss on Facebook.