|The Cleveland Free Times had this to say about the current condition of "The Summer of Superman" festivities
ROLDO: Still breaking news.
Local comic geeks have even organized an entire "Summer of Superman" to pay homage to the legendary Man of Steel. Now, however, it seems the only thing that could make the battle to celebrate the history of Superman in Cleveland more contentious is if General Zod himself managed to escape from the Phantom Zone to wage war upon our city.
The effort to restore Siegel’s homestead and possibly create a Superman museum has â€” like the unexpected appearance of fifth-dimensional cretin Mr. Mxyzptlk â€” suddenly taken a turn for the worse. On Monday, Michael Levin, the former chairman of the Superman Committee overseeing the summer festivities, sent out an e-mail blasting Positively Cleveland President Dennis Roche for usurping his position. Levin claims to have spent $20,000 on the projects to date: travel to New York to speak with a team from DC Comics, legal fees for establishing a 501(c)3 for the group, and on preliminary museum designs by Dennis Barrie, a well-known local cultural historian.
But Levin says Roche replaced him with Richard Pace, who runs a local real estate firm. Also now in the mix is Rock Hall president (and former CEO of Marvel Comics) Terry Stewart, who is negotiating with his former nemesis, DC Comics, for its blessing to host Superman events in town.
"I have it all set up to go," says Levin. "I have all the money raised. But Dennis can’t make any money that way. Instead, they’re going to scam as much money as possible and screw it up. Watch, they’ll go to the Port Authority to get money to build the museum and Pace will design it. This doesn’t smell fishy, this smells like dead fish."
Levin has never been one to mince words. The nephew of Maxine Goodman Levine, for whom the Cleveland State University College of Urban Affairs is named, Levin is perhaps best known for his unsuccessful attempt to recall mayor Jane Campbell in 2003.
Roche says Levin’s recent e-mails "contain a level and intensity that does surprise me." He wouldn’t elaborate. Cleveland police called Levin Monday morning and advised him to knock it off.
"Positively Cleveland was asked to support this committee’s efforts," says Roche (who also claims he had no real influence on Pace’s appointment to the committee). "We want this thing to grow. I don’t think a museum is achievable. But over the course of four or five years we could put together a large annual festival that draws people in from out of town to spend money in Cleveland."
Counters Levin: "[Roche is] all positive about Cleveland – he doesn’t even live in Cleveland!"
Here’s one way to settle this: Rent a Superman costume for Roche, and a Batman outfit for Levin, and let them duke it out. â€” James Renner