Superman Festival 1999 Report

Reporter: Josh Gehling (rgehling@concentric.net)



Jim Bowers (left) with Josh Gehling Friday: 11:30 A.M.
Friday, the day where the festivities really begin. I start the 9 1/2 hour trip to Metropolis, IL from Lexington, SC. I hope to arrive at 8:00 P.M. My Dad is also coming along. There is very little chance of us getting there on time... unless we speed (hehehehe).

Friday: 6:30 P.M.
I slowly start to realize that Metropolis is in a different time zone then Lexington, in my experience there's such thing as luck. No sooner do we realize this, then do we realize that we're going through Nashville in rush hour traffic, in my experience there's no such thing as luck. We start to push 90 in a 65 mile an hour speed zone (amazingly, we weren't caught).

Friday: 9:00 P.M. (it's 8:00 P.M. in Metropolis)
We arrive JUST in time for the special screening of Superman 2 in Metropolis. As we enter the theatre, Superman 2 has just started. They are showing the ABC extended version of Superman 2 (the regular scenes are in widescreen and the extended scenes are full screen). Unfortunately, the first couple times the movie cut to an expanded scene the sound cut off (I guess it was on a different sound channel, or something like that). This was followed by "oooooh shit! Is Jim working on it?" The third time this happened, someone in the audience suggested that we fill in the lines :-). Don't think that this made the movie any less fun. The theatre was very nice and it was great sitting with Superman fans (we must've clapped every five minutes). After Superman 2, the theatrical trailers for all four movies were shown. I then met Jim Bowers (in person, I'd talked to him a lot on the internet)(this guy knows everything about Superman and he's a super-nice guy) and he showed us some production photos (some of them showing the scene with Brando and Reeve in 2... very interesting stuff) from Superman 1 and 2.

Josh in front of the Superman statue Saturday: 9:00 A.M.
We wake up and turn on the TV to HBO... the movie "Steel" is playing. I'd never seen the movie before (thank goodness), this movie plain out sucks. Geez, it's bad.

Saturday: 10:00 A.M.
We arrive back in Metropolis (we were staying at a hotel about 10 minutes away) and I head straight for the Superman store (in Metropolis, they have a Superman Museum (which has the largest collection of Superman items in the world) and beside it is the Superman store which has some pretty cool stuff). As I walk into the store I see an exact replica of Christopher Reeve's cape (only 9 were made) for $175, boy do I want one of them! I didn't bring that much money with me, but maybe if I keep staring at it, my Dad will get it for me (hehe). I leave the store empty-handed, but don't expect me to give up that easily. We then head over to the Superman statue because my Mom "just has to have some pictures" (note: I believe there's a parade going on now but it's a parade for Metropolis, not Superman). On our way, we pick up a copy of the Daily Planet (the town's newspaper). Soon after, we leave the statue and have lunch.

Saturday: 1:00 P.M.
As we're walking down the street, someone tells us that Alex Ross is in a Computer store, the line is out the door, so we decide to come back later. Soon afterwards, we enter the Superman museum (it cannot be described, it has tons of Superman collectibles, you name it, they have it... it's like the Smithsonian for Superman fans), unfortunately, because of the awful lighting, the pictures all turned out too dark. The place has everything from the movies, shows, comics... it's truly a sight to see. When we exit the museum, I get to meet a truly fantastic man... Captain Cornellia. Basically, he's a walking corn cob. The guy inside the outfit could not see a thing and there were two girls guiding him, but they'd see one of their friends, start chatting and Captain would run into a pole (this looked so funny). When I went over to give him a high five, he hit me in the head. so I shook his hand and got a prize-winning picture (right).

Josh in Metropolis Saturday: 4:00 P.M.
At this time, we decide to check and see if the line to Alex Ross is any shorter. On our way their, we meet up with Superman! He asks where we're from and he then tells us that he visited Lexington, SC on a business trip one time (I thought this guy was supposed to act like he's Superman! oh well, he had a great suit). He pointed us to the man who'd made the outfit and we made small talk and then learned how to make a Superman costume, which I'm going to wear next year if we get it done.

Saturday: 4:30 P.M.
After learning how to make the costume, we find that the line to Alex Ross has died down. We enter the computer store and, to our surprise, find that, not only is Alex Ross in the room, but Gerard Christopher (who played Superboy in seasons 2-4 of Superboy) and Kerry Gammil (a post-crisis Superman artist) are there as well. When we get to Gerard Christopher, I find out that he is selling two videos of the Superboy series. Since I think Superboy is the best Superman related show (ever) I buy them. He autographs both the videos and I move onto Kerry Gammil. I get a signed sketch from him and tell him how much I enjoyed his work on Superman. Finally, I move onto Alex Ross and get him to sign my hardcover copy of "Kingdom Come." I walk away with a smile on my face.

Saturday: 5:00-5:30 P.M.
After this, there was nothing else until 5:30, so we just walked around...

Josh with Scott Cranford Saturday: 5:30 P.M.
We arrive at the theatre (the same place that was showing Superman 2 the previous night) for the dinner and an auction. After the delicious dinner, we look over the items which include: (these are the things I thought were really neat) A Christopher Reeve costume, a Superboy costume, the original Superman origin artwork by Alex Ross (the one on the first two pages of "Peace On Earth"), original Kerry Gammil Artwork, a signed photograph of Christopher Reeve, a cape Christopher Reeve wore in "Superman: The Movie," and an un-opened Krypto Ray Gun from the early 40's. I think the Christopher Reeve costume went for $11,500 and the Krypto-Ray Gun went for about $1000 (Those are the only two things that I can remember). There were loads more items but those were the only things that were really cool. I got a "Death of Clark Kent" T-shirt for 15 dollars. Also, after the auction, my dad managed to (don't ask me how) get that cape in the store for $130 (remember, it was originally $175?). I told you if I kept looking at it, I'd get it ( :-) ). I also caught up with Alex Ross and Kerry Gammil after the auction and got my picture taken with them.

Sunday
Well, that pretty much wraps up the Metropolis Celebration... there was a car show, or something like that on Sunday and I had to work on Monday. So, after we went to Church early Sunday morning, we left for home. Once again, I had a fabulous time in Metropolis. If you love Superman, this is the place to go...