The last TIME we met I was telling you about my trip to Metropolis, IL. That blog was Saturday’s events at the annual Superman Celebration. Still have more more day to tell you about.


So let’s join The Doctor in the TARDIS and jump ahead, or jump back in time- I’m not sure…it’s all  wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff. In any case, here’s what happened on Sunday in Metropolis- the official home of Superman!


Ronnie hadn’t checked out Daily Star Comics and it’s TARDIS so we slid by there first after grabbing some orange juice at the hotel. The comic shop (300 W 10th St.) is located about a block or so up from the Metropolis Community Center and a block from Market Street- the main part of the celebration. We pass by the shop on the way into town when entering on US-45 S. You can get to Metropolis from I-24 as well- which is how we used to come up when going through Paducah, KY.


We took turns having our photo taken with the shop’s owner, “The Doctor”, and even helps some friends take their pics there as well. The Doctor’s daughter (above) is quite an artist herself!


While we were there I went inside to do a bit more shopping. I had picked up a couple Dr. Who books and magazines for my wife the day before, but decided to pick up a couple more while I was there. They had some great photo reference in them, and hey- bringing the wife home anything Dr. Who is always a good thing.


Looked through the back issues at the shop, but didn’t find anything I needed. Took a few more pics, paid for my merch, and then headed back out to the Batmobile.


We found a parking spot near Planet Krypton and Artists Alley & Writers Way– so did this Ecto-1X! It belongs to my friends Jason and Dawn Rawley from Florida. (That’s the AA&WW building behind the car. Wish it had better signage…)


Over at Artists Alley & Writers Way (located at 8th and Market across from the Lois Lane statue) I was pleased to see a good bit of activity going on. A lot of the artists were finishing up some of their sketch commissions from the previous days. They all seemed to have been \S/uper busy this weekend.


Some folks were doing some last minute shopping, others were taking a chance to do some more conversing with friends on the last day of the celebration, and some were just “killing time” before the big events of the day.


After making the rounds at AA&WW I walked down the street to Planet Krypton to check on my buddy Tim Brown. Timmy runs the fan-films contest and hosted the Smallville Prom the night before (see my last blog). While I was there I ran into Hank Solo, Bubba Fett, Goth Vader, Luke Clodhopper and the whole Backwoods Star Wars Gang. They would latter compete in the costume contest. The keg-backpack on Bubba’s back was cracking me up! Also talked to John Read and‘s Rick Frogge for a bit about Star Wars, cartooning, the sketch cover comics at the auction the previous night, and past con stories. Tim was going to shoot a quick video for Rick to give to a friend as a birthday gag gift but was busy, so Rick asked me to do it. We shot a bit in Planet Krypton and headed over to AA&WW for a few shots.


We had a few of the artist guests say happy birthday on camera. It was getting close to noon so I had to run to catch the costume contest. I handed off the video camera to Rick and headed out, but before I left I made sure to say goodbye to Papa Cliff and Mama Wanda Helm. They are celebration co-chairs Karla and Lisa’s parents and take care of AA&WW during the celebration. They really are a huge help over the weekend and are always a pleasure to see and talk to while I’m in town. (Oh, those are the blue celebration staff shirts I designed- sweet!)


I missed the Parade of Characters but did finally catch up with Super-Elvis! I had seen pictures of him but hadn’t actually seen him in person. Being an Elvis fan and a Superman fan I got a big kick out of him. Unfortunately it looked like Elvis had brought a little “Kentucky Rain” with him to Metropolis…mercy!


I made my way to the main Metro Tent near the giant Superman statue and found a seat next to the judges’ table just in time for the contest to begin. The judges were guests Brett BreedingRon Frenz, and Jeffrey Bresslauer. I’ve judged the costume contest here before and didn’t envy them- although they do have the best seats in the house/tent!


Greatest American Heroes, emcee Steve Kirk and co-host Superman (Josh Boultinghouse), welcomed the crowd and got the contest underway. The place was packed again this year, and with the wet weather outside many folks tried to get in out of the rain. Most years everyone is just trying to find some shade!


Things didn’t start off well for Superman as Braniac was the first to walk out on-stage!


This Braniac was pretty impressive- even for fans who were back in the cheap seats!


Then Doomsday came to challenge Superman.


And if that wasn’t bad enough the Joker tried to put a smile on Supes’ face.


But, hey- they don’t call him “Superman” for nothing!


In fact, he was even willing to give Metallo a helping hand after Batman switched the villain’s kryptonite heart with a cup-cake!


As usual Superman had to act as security and strong arm Metallo off stage when he started “monologuing” again.


Superman finally got some back-up from some other heroes like Spiderman, Captain Planet, Supermen from various alternate universes…


…and the Wild West Justice League.


Everyone was invited back out on stage for the judges to have one final look.


Some like Captain Jack Sparrow had to be helped back on stage by security from Mayberry.


Then the contestants were narrowed down to the finalists. While we waited for the winners to be announced the annual “Superman of Metropolis” awards were handed out (I received one back in 2005!) and the 50/50 winner was drawn. The crowd all laughed when the Super-Boy who was picked to choose the winning ticket pulled his own mother’s ticket! There were a few sore losers in the crowd who accused Super-Boy of using his x-ray vision. 😉


The winners of the costume contest were Braniac, Solomon Grundy, Captain Jack Sparrow, and Joker– with Captain Jack (Jamie Kelley) being the big winner.


Not only did he win first place, but he won crowd favorite, too!


Grundy was a happy winner, too- and he got to meet one of his favorite Superman artists, Brett Breeding.


After a group photo of the finalists in front of the Superman statue, many started suiting up for the most people dressed as Superman world record attempt. I even saw a few pets dressed as the Man of Steel!


The Hulk had to be restrained when he tried to participate without his super-suit. Sorry, no super-suit, no getting to be part of the record attempt. Them’s the rules- which were as follows for the attempt-

Any costume must have the blue body suit, the red and yellow “S” shield on the chest, the yellow belt, the red cape, red boots, and the red trunks.


The group in Metropolis beat their old record set in 2008 of 122 (I was one of the original group) by having 268, but didn’t beat the current record of 566 set by Sears employees in Chicago just a few days before this year’s attempt in Metropolis. The old record was 437 held by a group in Canada after they broke the previous record of 180 in the UK, which is the one that broke Metropolis’ original record. I think it’s great that the record got started in Metropolis, but think that it’s even sweeter that it has been attempted by Superman fans- not employees of a company who were given costumes as a promo/tie-in with the “Man of Steel” movie.


Even though they didn’t break the record, everyone was all smiles.


And why wouldn’t they be- we all got free cake at Dippin’ Dots to celebrate Superman’s 75th birthday! Funny thing, it was the first time I’ve been in Dippin’ Dots since it opened in Metropolis a few years ago. I have always been too busy at the other end of the street each year. The space used to be the old Metropolis Community Center where Artists Alley & Writers Way was first held. Dippin’ Dots‘ production headquarters are across the Ohio River in neighboring Paducah, Kentucky.


After the cake, Dippin’ Dots, and closing ceremonies I tried to take as many pictures and say goodbye to as many friends as I could before hitting the road. The 2 days flew by, as they always do in Metropolis. I guess that’s why so many people there wear capes!


But before we left town, there was one thing Ronnie wanted to try at Fat Edd’s Roadhouse (formerly “Willy Jak’s”)- a drink called a “Kryptonite“, which was green and came with a glow-stick stirrer. I was driving home so I stuck with some sweet tea and a water, but did have an awesome cheeseburger. It was good to see the place open again. It was closed last year due to a fire. I got to see a few more friends before we left. Great way to end the weekend!


So if you ever find yourself driving near southern Illinois slide by Metropolis and have your picture taken in front of the giant Superman statue- and be sure to wear your red underwear on the outside of your jammies. That’s how we roll when we’re in the home town of Superman!