Thursday June 8, 2023: This year marks my third visit to Metropolis, Illinois for the annual Superman Celebration, the first having been in 2018 and the second in 2022. The difference between those and the 2023 trip is that the first was as a fan, the second was for the purpose of research for the still being written oral history of Superman book, Voices from Krypton, and this one as an invited guest, promoting said book, which was published just a couple of days before the event began.
And it’s been a pretty heady experience, even before arriving. A few days ago I was at a local supermarket on Long Island when I walked by a woman wearing a Superman T-shirt. As I did so, I commented, “Good choice in shirt,” and held up my left hand, which has a silver “S” ring on the middle finger. “He’s my favorite superhero,” she said, and I, without missing a beat, noted, “Mine, too. In fact, I just wrote a book about him.” She smiled and asked, “Voices from Krypton?” I nodded to which she added, “My friends and I can’t wait for it!”
The truth is, I’ve been doing this journalism thing for over 40 years, yet I’m always blown away when somebody knows my name, is familiar with my past work or, in this case, looking forward to something new. It still blows my mind. In fact, today, I had taken a plane from New York to Charlotte, North Carolina, before taking a much smaller one to Paducah, Kentucky, followed by a cab ride to Metropolis. Well, on the plane to Paducah, I ended up speaking to someone who knew who I was from some podcast interviews I’d recently done, and was told that she and others were talking about Voices from Krypton and looking forward to it. That’s a pretty cool kind of high, and something I carried with me for much of the rest of the day.
Once I’d arrived in Metropolis, I made my way to the Super Museum, that wonderment of the Man of Steel’s history put together by Jim Hambrick and which is being continued by his daughter, Morgan Siebert. Once inside, I chatted with Morgan, who remembered me from last year and who had so kindly held copies of Voices from Krypton in storage so that I would have them there for a presentation I would be doing on Saturday, June 10th; as well as for the time I’d be spending in the Celebration’s Artist Alley & Writer’s Way. As we transferred the books over to the SICIL building, we spoke about the museum, the event’s impact on business (turns out it represents a “bump,” but is not the a driving force in its existence yearly) and the new mural that has been designed (pictured above) to celebrate the city.
From there, I set my table up at SICIL, placing copies of Voices from Krypton on the tabletop and felt this incredible surge of pride, recognizing yet again what a labor of love this book was for me, and once more filling me with curiosity on how the “world” was going to respond to it. Guess I’ll know soon enough.
The day culminated with a hell of a bacon-chedder burger at Fat Edd’s Roadhouse, and anticipation of what would be happening on Friday — not only interacting with potential fans at Writers Way, but an outdoor screening of 1978’s Superman: The Movie as well. Should be interesting.