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Archive for September, 2008

…heh…

I told nealbailey to give it a week.

Two days left.

Edited to add:

Just keeps getting better and better.

It Has Come to My Attention…

…that those subscribed to this blog via RSS feeds are able to read my, ahem, not-for-public-consumption posts.

This raises two questions:

1) Is this, in fact, the case?
2) And how can I secure these posts so that RSS feeds do not have access to such private posts?

In Defense of the Man of Steel

This is something I’ve been pondering for a while. I’d actually resolved to sit down and type something out, post it here, several months back, after I returned from the library event I did in Vegas. Didn’t think I was quite ready yet, still didn’t have all my thoughts in order.

But life conspires, an explanation of which is coming in a bit.

So here’s the thing, and it starts with a truism, but I’m hoping you’ll forgive me for that: it’s easy to tear things down, even those things of worth; it’s far harder to build up and maintain those self-same things.

“Well, y’know, my problem with Superman is that he’s totally unrealistic. Nobody with that kind of power would be that good, that altruistic. Nobody who could do whatever he wanted, however he wanted, whenever he wanted, would choose to do the right thing all the time. Hell, nobody would choose to do the right thing half the time.”

I used to get angry when I heard people spout that line of cynicism. Used to really piss me off; not anymore. Now? Now it just makes me sad.

Think about it. Think about where you have to be, what your view of the world, of life, of humanity, of all we have accomplished, of all we’ve learned, of all we do everyday, of all we’re yet to do, of all we can become… and then think about what it means to say you can’t buy Superman because he’s “too good.”

It’s fashionable to be cynical, or, as many a cynic is wont to say in his or her defense, “realistic.” But realism has nothing to do with it. Superman isn’t supposed to be real; Superman is an ideal. Superman is about potential. And ultimately, Superman is about our potential.

There’s a reason why five year-olds make capes out of blankets and pretend to leap tall buildings in a single bound. There’s a reason why the S-shield is arguably the most recognizable single icon on the planet, why you can find it from Zimbabwe to Algeria.

But it’s easier to not vote than to vote, after all. It’s easier to let ignorance slide because confrontation is always hard. It’s easier to stay quiet than it is to speak out. And easier to tear down an ideal than it is to try to emulate it in any number of small ways. It’s always easier to say no to any number of small things that might, in some way, change the world for the better, rather than to say yes.

In Cleveland, Ohio, stands the house where a seventeen year-old kid dreamed up Superman. And the house is barely standing.

As of today, Tuesday, the 2nd of September, the Siegel & Shuster Society is launching a campaign to restore and preserve the home of Jerry Siegel.




At Brad Meltzer’s charitable website, Ordinary People Change The World, an auction is being held to raise funds for the restoration and preservation of the Siegel home. There’s a hell of a lot of extraordinarily cool stuff to bid on, donated by people both within and without of the comics industry…

…you want names? Fine.

That’s just some of the people contributing. Including myself.

(Here’s the deal. You get to be in Stumptown. Not a walk-on. You get to be the client. You hire Dex. You get to be the center of the mystery. You might even be a double-crossing no-good fink who tries to stiff her on the bill. Seriously. You…me…you win this in the auction, we’ll be talking. And I promise, I won’t make you gay (unless you want to be or, you know, already are.))

Coolest thing in this auction? Has to be the Superman T-Shirt SIGNED BY JERRY SIEGEL. Seriously. Before Jerry Siegel died, he signed six Superman t-shirts, saying they should be sold if the family was ever in need of funds. One has been donated to the auction.

Second coolest thing? The Siegel & Shuster Society t-shirt, designed by the unconscionably talented Chip Kidd.

Or you could just donate, and nuts to the auction, because it’s a good damn cause. To quote Bendis, “Mythology that will never die away or disappear. There is no difference, to me, between this house and Mark Twain’s house. We have to honor and exalt such creation.”

All – repeat all – donations go %100 to the Siegel & Shuster Society.

And now, some FAQ:

How much is the Siegel And Shuster Foundation trying to raise?

Depends on how successful we are. Phase 1 involves working on the exterior of the house: securing the roof, making sure the paint isn’t rotting, doing the concrete work. That will hopefully protect the place from the outside. Joe Shuster’s house (a few blocks away) was in such disrepair, it was torn down. The first goal is to collect $50,000 to deal with the outside. If we do that, then we’ll go and tackle the much-needed-repairs on the inside.

Who lives there now?

The house is located in one of the tougher neighborhoods of Cleveland and is currently occupied by an African-American couple who have lived there for approximately 20 years, who have put up with all of us who have come visiting, but who don’t have the money to do these repairs. Rather than kick anyone out on the street, the goal is to repair this place for them. Why? It’s the right thing to do. In return, The Siegel & Shuster Society has the right to buy the house when it eventually goes up for sale.

Is there a long-term goal to make a museum?

The long-term goal is still being decided, and that’s why you’re invited to join The Siegel & Shuster Society and help us with those plans. Meetings are held monthly in Cleveland – when you buy a shirt, they’ll have your name. But one of the dreams is that one day, buses full of students will drive from all over Ohio, from Michigan, from any nearby state, and come to the fully-restored house – covered and decorated with children’s artwork inside – and see where one of the world’s greatest dreams was born.

Take a moment. Check out the auctions. Pass on the video. Give what you can, if you can.

This is the home of the man who gave us Superman.

It deserves to stand.