|Artwork by Frank Cho||Artwork by Andy Kubert|
How'd you like to earn yourself a walk-on part on an upcoming episode of "Heroes" or have a character named after you in a comic by Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker or Greg Rucka?
Oh and by the way, you get to save the house where Superman was created while you're at it.
In commemoration of Superman's 70th birthday, New York Times bestselling novelist Brad Meltzer and The Siegel & Shuster Society have teamed up to launch a star-studded, comic industry-fueled online auction to fund the restoration of Superman creator Jerry Siegel's boyhood home in Cleveland, Ohio.
While conducting extensive research for his latest novel, "The Book of Lies," (in stores today), Meltzer visited Siegel's boyhood home, where Superman - one of the world's most recognized heroes - was created.
Much to his dismay, the house was in extreme disrepair.
Immediately, he knew he had to do something to honor the legend.
So he called up a few of his friends (and when you are Brad Meltzer, you have some pretty cool friends) and started collecting one-of-a-kind art and memorabilia, which is available now for bidding on his new philanthropic website, www.OrdinaryPeopleChangeTheWorld.com.
The auction runs through 11:59 p.m. on September 30, 2008.
"When I saw that the house where Superman was created was in disrepair, it just seemed wrong. The house where Google was created is saved. The farm where Hewlett Packard was founded is preserved. The Superman house deserves the same respect," explained Meltzer.
"We've always relied on Superman to be there when we needed him. This is our chance to be there for him."
A veritable who's who of comic royalty is participating including the aforementioned, as well as Neil Gaiman, Dave Gibbons, Jim Lee, Tim Sale, Jeph Loeb and Geoff Johns (who donated a rare, original pre-"Superman" movie script signed by Richard Donner).
"I think sometimes people take things like this for granted because it started in cartoon form, but this is a house were modern mythology was created," said 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."
Stephen Colbert donated a VIP visit to his show and the family of Jerry Siegel was so moved by the event, they revealed the existence of six Superman t-shirts that Jerry Siegel signed before his death, and donated one of the six "Superman IV: The Quest for Peace" autographed shirts to the auction.
"This is the house where a young man dreamed of a hero that could lift the spirits of a world in turmoil and give hope to the hopeless. He created a great American icon inside these walls. That young man was my father, writer Jerry Siegel, and I am thrilled that so many people are working together to honor him and preserve this very special place," said Laura Siegel Larson, daughter of Jerry Siegel and honorary co-chairperson.
|Artwork by Dan Brereton||Artwork by Michael Turner|
"We are thrilled to have Brad Meltzer champion this cause and are so thankful to the generosity of those who have contributed to saving the house. It's a great tribute to Siegel & Shuster and the creativity of Superman," added Dick Pace, President of The Siegel & Shuster Society.
Meltzer shared that the auction is only the first phase of what the Siegel & Shuster Foundation have planned for the Siegel house.
"The first phase 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, just 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," said Meltzer.
The house is located in one of the tougher neighborhoods of Cleveland and is currently occupied by a couple who have lived there for approximately 20 years.
"They've put up with all of us who have come by visiting, but they 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," said Meltzer. "In return, The Siegel & Shuster Society has the right to buy the house when it eventually goes up for sale."
Meltzer said the long-term goal is still being decided.
|Artwork by George Perez||Artwork by Jason Palmer|
"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," explained Meltzer. "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."
Visit www.OrdinaryPeopleChangetheWorld.com to bid and help make history.
To view a complete list of the auction items, visit this page.
Visitors can also donate money or purchase a Siegel & Shuster Society t-shirt designed by legendary graphic designer, Chip Kidd ("Final Crisis").
To see the house, watch this video: www.OrdinaryPeopleChangetheWorld.com/video
The following artists and authors have donated items to help save the Siegel house:
Brian Michael Bendis
John Romita Jr.