Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cleveland considers how to celebrate Superman

Civic boosters hope to celebrate the "Summer of Superman" this year as part of the never-ending battle for truth, justice and the Cleveland way.

Nearly 20 community leaders met Thursday to talk about honoring the Man of Steel 70 years after the famous comic strip's first publication. The comic's creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, grew up in Glenville and started the strip in Siegel's bedroom there.

Rather than stage one Superman event, participants Thursday's gathering said they favor honoring Superman at several local events, including the yearly Ingenuity festival.

They hope the celebration will become an annual event and grow, especially for the 75th anniversary. And they hope someday for a permanent Superman museum.

The group also hopes to highlight a traveling Superman show booked for the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage from September through January.

This year, Glenville Development Corp. plans to place a plaque and paint the exterior walls of Siegel's home, now occupied by another family. It also plans to use this year's proceeds from its annual fund-raiser to raise a Superman statue on East 105th Street.

Dennis Roche, head of Positively Cleveland, the region's convention and visitors bureau, said he thought his board might contribute $10,000 toward artworks if other Superman events shape up.

Positively Cleveland staged the meeting in response to a recent opinion piece in The Plain Dealer by Michael Sangiacomo, the newspaper's comics columnist, lamenting Superman's neglect here.

Activist Michael Levin said Thursday, "It's ridiculous for Cleveland not to celebrate what truly is a very significant piece of American history."

To help with the Summer of Superman, contact Positively Cleveland, 216-871-6631,


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