Cleveland’s “Summer of Superman” celebration is moving quickly with a series of Superman events.
The committee, selected from dozens of volunteers, wants Cleveland to honor the 70th anniversary of the release of Action Comics #1 in 1938 and the actual creation of the character by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in the Glenville neighborhood in 1933, 75 years ago.
A local promoter is organizing a Superman-themed, comic convention for Sunday, May 11.
Another promoter, Jim Hambrick, owner of the Superman museum in Metropolis, Ill., and organizer of that city’s annual Superman event, is anxious to bring his expertise to Cleveland. He’s also offered to bring a massive Superman display to Cleveland. Local Superman memorabilia collector, Jamie Reigle, is on the committee and will add some of his ultra-rare collectibles to the display. Now we just have to find a temporary site with a good location and security to exhibit the joint display.
There are several events already in place that will dovetail nicely into the Summer of Superman. Terry Stewart, president of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (and former president of Marvel Comics) has agreed to get on board and help out.
Representatives of Cleveland area schools and libraries want to hold Superman-related events. One committee member is organizing area artists to create statues, paintings, songs and anything else they can think of, to honor Superman and compete for cash prizes. Part of the competition asks the artists to find an exhibition space where the work can be displayed all summer. There are plenty of vacant storefronts in the city that could be used, so that should not be a problem.
The winners which will be announced at the Ingenuity Festival in July. The promoter is on the Superman board and is anxious to incorporate as many Superman themes into the annual art festival as possible.
Part of that includes showing old Superman television shows, films, movie serials and cartoons in various locations around the city. One member suggested an exhibit of antique television sets all turned to the same Superman show and another said we could do the same with antique radios airing the old radio serials.
In August, the neighborhood of Glenville will have a series of Superman events. In one of the coolest bits of news I heard, a committee member representing the Glenville Development Corp. said they plan to place a plaque outside Siegel’s original house. They also plan to paint the exterior walls of Siegel’s old house, currently painted in fading Superman red, blue and yellow.
Another committee member representing the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage of suburban Beachwood said the museum will host a large, traveling exhibit on superheroes from September through January. It will compliment the museum’s existing tribute to Siegel and Shuster.
Dennis Roche, head of Positively Cleveland, (the region’s convention and visitors bureau) is coordinating the committee’s efforts.
To help with the Summer of Superman, contact Positively Cleveland at