Our Superman Celebration 2008 Experience: The Mostly Remastered Edition

Anne & Superman!

It’s virtually Metropolis town ordinance: every Superman Celebration photo gallery must include a shot of the world-famous Superman statue.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

At the southern tip of Illinois and across the Ohio River from Paducah, KY, the small town of Metropolis devotes the second weekend of every June to their world-famous Superman Celebration. More than just a carnival acknowledging their local heritage and history, the Celebration invites tourists from all walks to come join in their festivities. Their Main Street’s center of attention is the also-world-famous Superman Museum, dedicated to their most important fictional resident, the great and powerful Superman. Also major draws: the special guests from various Superman movies, TV shows, and other related Super-works who drop by for autographs and Q&As.

At least, that’s how it normally works. That means this year’s Celebration would be this coming weekend. Regrettably here in 2020 Anno Diaboli, the Metropolis Chamber of Commerce announced the show’s cancellation back in mid-March, when pre-planning should have commenced if not for the writing on the wall. We hadn’t yet committed to the 2020 edition, but it sucked to hear they pulled the plug. We understood and lamented…

We’ve attended the Superman Celebration six times. Previous MCC entries covered our other five experiences and meet-ups with the following special guests from the multimedia world of the Man of Steel:

  • 2001 (three chapters): Valerie Perrine and Jeff East from Superman: The Movie, and Sarah Douglas and Jack O’Halloran, two of the Phantom Zone Villains from Superman II
  • 2006 (a single, 4500-word long-read): Michael Rosenbaum and the teen Clark Kent from Superman Returns
  • 2012 (one chapter of modest size): John Glover and Cassidy Freeman from Smallville, and Gerard Christopher from The New Adventures of Superboy
  • 2016 (five chapters): a special Crisis on Infinite Jimmy Olsens starring Mehcad Brooks and Peter Facinelli from The CW’s Supergirl; Marc McClure from all four Christopher Reeve Superman films as well as Helen Slater’s Supergirl; and Michael Landes from Lois and Clark
  • 2017 (four chapters): the Margot Kidder from the Reeve Superman films, who then passed away in May 2018; an encore with Sarah Douglas; Dean Cain from Lois and Clark; and James Marsters, relevantly a.k.a. Brainiac from Smallville

And now we complete the set at long last for MCC readers, despite a couple of hiccups.

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Our Superman Celebration 2006 Experience: The Partially Remastered Edition

Rosenbaum + Superman!

Posing in front of the world-famous Superman statue are an unrecognizable Michael Rosenbaum and some lucky kid who’s 14 years older today.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

At the southern tip of Illinois and across the Ohio River from Paducah, KY, the small town of Metropolis devotes the second weekend of every June to their world-famous Superman Celebration. More than just a carnival acknowledging their local heritage and history, the Celebration invites tourists from all walks to come join in their festivities. Their Main Street’s center of attention is the also-world-famous Superman Museum, dedicated to their most important fictional resident, the great and powerful Superman. Also major draws: the special guests from various Superman movies, TV shows, and other related Super-works who drop by for autographs and Q&As.

At least, that’s how it normally works. That means this year’s Celebration would be this coming weekend. Regrettably here in 2020 Anno Diaboli, the Metropolis Chamber of Commerce announced the show’s cancellation back in mid-March, when pre-planning should have commenced if not for the writing on the wall. We hadn’t yet committed to the 2020 edition, but it sucked to hear they pulled the plug. We understood and lamented.

We’ve attended the Celebration six times, but only posted about it four times. MCC launched in April 2012, which allowed me to post timely reports about our experiences in 2012, in 2016, and in 2017. As it happens, our first time in Metropolis was our 2001 vacation and was shared as part of our annual road trip collection.

That leaves two Superman Celebrations as yet undocumented here on MCC. This week, I aim to complete the set despite some problems.

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Jon Schnepp 1967-2018

Schnepps + Payne!

Once again, photo courtesy of the Department of Not Sure Why We Didn’t Just Take Their Photo When We Met Them.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: Anne and I attended the 2016 Superman Celebration in Metropolis, IL, whereupon…

…We also had the pleasure of meeting director Jon Schnepps and producer Holly Payne, the minds behind the recent documentary “The Death of ‘Superman Lives’: What Happened?”, the astonishing true story of that time Nicolas Cage, director Tim Burton, and writer Kevin Smith tried and failed to make a, uh, truly unique Superman film together. I’ve been wanting to see this for months even though I’m afraid to see it for myself.

We chatted for a minute at their table. I can’t remember a single thing about the conversation except that they were good people not that different from us. The last time I saw him in person was later that same weekend as we were wandering around the town’s “Super-Con” — the Superman Celebration’s equivalent of an exhibit hall for toy shops and comics dealers. During our lap around the building, we passed by Schnepp — no guards, no entourage, no disguise — standing at one table, rifling through their back-issue box like any ordinary average Joe who hadn’t made an actual film, accumulated Cartoon Network credits to their name, or once filmed themselves being wrestled to the ground by an unchecked, filthy rich studio exec.

After I watched writer/director/producer Schnepp’s candid, illuminating documentary about a massive failure of a Hollywood production, I eventually remarked

We rarely get complete stories as to why a given high-profile film turns out awful, let alone a tell-all about one that collapsed under its own bloated before it could harm the innocent public. Copious interviews with would-be director Tim Burton, several attempted screenwriters including but not limited to a candid and incredulous Kevin Smith, producer Jon Peters checking in from some bizarre mental plane far removed from our own, fans, pundits, and other crew members who put in hundreds of hours of labor before someone realized they were collaborating on a fiasco and had to be stopped. It’s a shame Nicolas Cage himself couldn’t chime in with his thoughts because I suspect they would’ve made Peters seem rational by comparison.

Cage’s absence notwithstanding, I had to respect the force of will it must have taken to coax such revealing cautionary tales out of the participants themselves. I never took the time to watch Schnepp’s signature work on the Adult Swim series Metalocalypse (my loss, I’m guessing), but from the strong showing in that documentary alone I’d assumed we would see more great things from him in the future.

Then came the events of the past week.

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Margot Kidder 1948-2018

Margot Kidder!

MCC file photo, June 9, 2017.

Anne and I were saddened today to hear of the passing of Margot Kidder, the definitive Lois Lane of our generation. Much has been said and will be said around the internet and in the media for days to come. We had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Kidder less than a year ago at the Superman Celebration in Metropolis, IL. We always talk about the actors and other personalities we’d love to meet before it was too late. In this particular case, for this amazing woman, we had no idea we were cutting it so close.

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Superman Celebration 2017 Photos, Part 4 of 4: Super Times!

Superman + Military!

Superman posing with local military at the conclusion of a special ceremony inducting “honorary citizens” of Metropolis.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: on June 9th and 10th my wife Anne and I attended the 39th annual Superman Celebration in Metropolis, IL, a grand bash in honor of the Man of Steel in particular and all the super-heroes who owe their existence and livelihoods to him in general.

Our sixth visit to the town that adopted Superman once again felt like a sort of homecoming. Illinois even extended us the courtesy of raising their interstate speed limits and clearing out nearly all their road construction projects for the occasion so we somehow managed a record-setting four-hour drive time from Indianapolis. Numerous entrepreneurs brought fine wares and skills for the occasion, including a bevy of new businesses that took over previously abandoned storefronts and boosted occupancy rates along the main straightaway. Best of all, we enjoyed several mini-reunions with fellow fans we recognized (and vice versa) from past years’ autograph lines. The Celebration is like no other convention, and Metropolis is no mere sterile convention center.

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Superman Celebration 2017 Photos, Part 3 of 4: Festival Food!

Jumbo Corn Dog!

Behold a jumbo corn dog so weighty, you could fend off a Sith Lord with it.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: on June 9th and 10th my wife Anne and I attended the 39th annual Superman Celebration in Metropolis, IL, a grand bash in honor of the Man of Steel in particular and all the super-heroes who owe their existence and livelihoods to him in general.

We’ve been to Metropolis six times and developed a deep appreciation for one of the most integral aspects of the Celebration: concession stands! Lots of local vendors convene on the scene to bring their culinary A-game, much of it sinfully delectable and almost none of it good for you. Most fans burn off the extra calories walking up and down Market Street all weekend or standing in lines for hours. At the very least they need fuel sources to replenish what they’re sweating off by the gallon in those high summertime temps.

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Superman Celebration 2017 Photos, Part 2 of 4: Cosplay!

Spider-Woman!

Spider-Gal, Spider-Gal / Does whatever a spider shall / Spins a web, catches creeps / Strikes a pose, plays for keeps!

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: on June 9th and 10th my wife Anne and I attended the 39th annual Superman Celebration in Metropolis, IL, a grand bash in honor of the Man of Steel in particular and all the super-heroes who owe their existence and livelihoods to him in general.

And of course there were costumes! Lots of cosplayers spiffing up the town with their favorite characters from the worlds of comics, film, TV, animation, and toy stores. I’ll shut up now and let the photo gallery roll!

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Superman Celebration 2017 Photos, Part 1 of 4: All-Stars!

Dean Cain!

After this photo, Dean Cain complimented me for my “flair”. This upstanding gentleman’s generosity is just one of many reasons why he’s Superman.

At the southern tip of Illinois and across the Ohio River from Paducah, the small town of Metropolis devotes the second weekend of every June to their world-famous Superman Celebration. More than just a carnival acknowledging their local heritage and history, the Celebration invites tourists from all walks to come join in their festivities. Their Main Street’s center of attention is the also-world-famous Superman Museum, dedicated to their most important fictional resident, the great and powerful Superman. Also major draws: the special guests from various Superman movies, TV shows, and other related Super-works who drop by for autographs and Q&As.

We’ve previously attended in 2001, 2006, 2008, 2012, and 2016. When the 39th annual Celebration added one of the highest ranking legends on Anne’s bucket list, this weekend became a fixed point in time on our calendar.

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Superman Celebration 2016 Photos #5 of 5: Scenes from Our Super Weekend

Anne IS Supergirl!

In the land of the super, it’s the super-duper who rule.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: June 10th and 11th, my wife Anne and I attended the 38th annual Superman Celebration in the city of Metropolis, Illinois. Other chapters in this special miniseries:

* Part One: Supergirl‘s Mehcad Brooks and Peter Facinelli!
* Part Two: Dueling Jimmy Olsens, Marc McClure and Michael Landes! And more guests!
* Part Three: Cosplay! Cosplay! Cosplay!
* Part Four: Views from the Super Museum!

Here in the big finale: a walkthrough of other sights and scenes from our Friday and Saturday at our favorite out-of-state small-town festival — the little moments in between the stars and the costumes. The art! The food! The machines! The more!

Right this way for one last Metropolis photo gallery!

Superman Celebration 2016 Photos #4 of 5: Return to the Super Museum

Doomsday!

Superman. Batman. Life-size DOOMSDAY.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: June 10th and 11th, my wife Anne and I attended the 38th annual Superman Celebration in the city of Metropolis, Illinois. In Part One you met Supergirl‘s Mehcad Brooks and Peter Facinelli; in Part Two you met the dueling Jimmy Olsens, Marc McClure and Michael Landes; in Part Three, so very much cosplay.

On our first visit to Metropolis in 2001, we made a point of visiting Jim Hambrick’s Super Museum, their premier tourist attraction and the heart of every Superman Celebration. One of America’s foremost collectors of all things Superman has amassed enough Hollywood souvenirs, props, artifacts, and other prized obscurities to merit a public display space for fellow fans to enjoy. (We’ve even visited other museums that have items of his on loan.) We opted out on our last few visits, but this time we thought it might be nice to check back, see any new pieces he’s acquired in the past fifteen years, and retake some of the photos we took last time that seem to be hiding from us now. For five bucks a fan it’s worth a look-see and guaranteed to show you something you’ve never seen up close before.

Right this way for another peek inside this fortress of gratitude!

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