Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Superman challenge

Seventy-five years ago, a sleepy Glenville High School student named Jerry Siegel woke in the middle of the night with an inspiration for a new comic strip character -- Superman.

Over the coming weeks, Siegel and his best friend, artist Joe Shuster from nearby Amore Avenue, created one of the best known, most iconic characters in history. They did it while looking out the window of Siegel's second floor bedroom on Kimberley Avenue.

What has Cleveland done to honor its most famous citizen?

Nothing. Besides a solitary plaque that honors Siegel and Shuster among dozens of other famous Glenville residents, including a local exterminating company, the city does nothing to stake its claim to Superman.

As the diamond anniversary approaches, there is no statue, no plaque, no museum, nothing that allows Cleveland to proclaim something that no other city in the universe can say: SUPERMAN WAS BORN HERE.

It's time to fix that shameful oversight and declare 2008 "The Summer of Superman."

June is also the 70th anniversary of the release of "Action Comics" No. 1
, the first appearance of Superman in a comic book. A collector has offered $1 million for a perfect copy of the comic, which sold for a dime in 1938.

Over the years, people have talked about doing something about honoring Superman and the men who created him, but talk is cheap.

As recently as last month, there was talk about the need for "someone" to do "something" about a Superman tribute. But who is the mysterious "someone" the city is waiting for?

While we're waiting for the benevolent stranger who may never arrive, perhaps Cleveland leaders can break with years of inactivity and actually do something.

Read the complete article at the Plain Dealer website.

source: Plain Dealer

Also, here's another related Superman article regarding the upcoming Superman 70th Anniversary posted back in October...

From Cleve

Let's get a party started for Superman's 70th anniversary

Saturday, October 06, 2007
Michael Sangiacomo
Plain Dealer Reporter

June 2008 marks the 70th anniversary of the debut of Superman, created by two guys in Glenville.

Isn't it time Cleveland embraced its most famous son?

In all the world, only one city can brag that it is the home of Superman, yet Cleveland is strangely silent.

Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created the character, but there are precious few reminders left today in Glenville.

What would it take to get some kind of celebration going in Cleveland? We have had celebrations with statues of pigs, dogs and guitars. How about a summer where area artists can create an homage to the Man of Steel in whatever media they like?

Imagine paintings, statues, pictures, films, flags, songs and things my feeble imagination can't come up with, on display around the city? There could be exhibits of Superman-related items, an Imax showing of Superman movies at the Great Lakes Science Center, maybe even a comic-book convention like they have in many cities.

We could have lectures on Superman's importance to literature and the arts. There could be a Superman tour that would include a drive past Siegel's old home on Kimberly Avenue.

Fans would come from all over to take a moment and look at the house where two boys created a story about a baby boy who came from far, far away. And consider how that idea has turned into a multibillion-dollar industry. (By the way, a collector has offered a cool $1 million for a perfect copy of "Action No. 1.")

The tour could include the place where Shuster's house once stood, the Siegel and Shuster studio and other sites.

Who knows? The idea of a Superman statue and museum could follow if we start with baby steps.

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