Superman’s hometown is pulling for its adopted son, Christopher Reeve, and what better way than to send a superhero a supersized get-well card?
Organizers of the 17th annual Superman Celebration have had an 8-foot card available for people to sign since Monday. They stopped counting after 3,000 signatures.
“I signed it because I thought it was a very nice thing for Christopher Reeve,” James Tidwell, a 9-year-old Superman fan from Paducah, Ky., said Friday.
The 42-year-old “Superman” actor was paralyzed from the neck down in a riding accident over the Memorial Day weekend.
The red- and blue-framed plywood card near the base of the 15-foot Superman statue on Superman Square is stealing the show. The Chamber of Commerce and The Metropolis Planet weekly newspaper have been flooded with calls from all over the country with questions about the card, which will be sent to the actor after the festival.
“Anytime anything has happened to Superman, like when he died in the comics or when the movies first came out, that certainly brings a new awareness that there is a real-life Metropolis and that we do have this celebration,” said Clyde Wills, the Planet’s editor and publisher.
This town of 6,700, founded in 1839 along the Ohio River, realized in the early 1970s, when it was going through tough economic times, that it was the only U.S. city with the name of Superman’s home, so it claimed the Man of Steel for its own.
Superman arrived on Earth from the planet Krypton in Action Comics in 1938. His alter ego was Clark Kent, who worked at the fictional Daily Planet in the imaginary city of Metropolis.
Last year’s Superman Celebration was the most successful ever, with about 50,000 to 60,000 visitors. Until Reeve’s accident, some of the biggest draws this year were expected to be a “Supermania” wrestling match and appearances by former Superboy actor Gerard Christopher.
The festival began Thursday and continues through Sunday. Rinaldo expects another attendance record this year, and he said the card will be a big reason.