Take a bow.
The comics community did in four weeks what the city of Cleveland did never did: preserve the house where Superman was created.
The Internet auction of original art to save the childhood home of Superman creator Jerry Siegel masterminded by novelist/comic writer Brad Meltzer ended early this morning with sales of $40,009 for a grand total of $110,772.
Add in another $2,750 profit from those really cool Chip Kidd “Siegel and Shuster Society” t-shirts and $3,700 from donations at the end of week three and boost the total to $117,222. That figure will go up in coming weeks as more t-shirts are sold. (C’mon, be the first kid on your block to have one.)
The big ticket item in the entire auction was a walk-on part on the television show "Heroes," which went for a whopping $14,100.
The Next highest auction item was $14,101 for a commissioned piece by artist Jim Lee, which will depict Superman and the auction winner.
Even more impressive is that both items were won by the same guy. We hope to talk with him later on today.
Other “biggies” include:
- Curt Swan‘s gorgeous original art depiction of the Legion of Superheroes, from Mark Waid’s private collection, sold for $7,600.
- Artist Frank Cho’s very robust "Supergirl" sold for $7,500.
- Travis Charest’s stunning Superman drawing sold for $7,877.
- Fellow Clevelander Brian Bendis’ offer to feature the winner on an upcoming cover of “Powers,” scored $5,850.
Here’s a complete list of the winning bids for week 4:
Heroes walk-on role - $14,100.
Walt Simonson, original Superman art - $8,200.
Mark Millar, naming rights to War Heroes - $5,600.
Mike Mignola original drawing of Hellboy wearing a Superman t-shirt - $4,550.
George Perez art of Captain America versus Batman - $1,125.
Jason Palmer, original Superman painting - $860.
Jerry Siegel signed Superman t-shirt - $610.
Michael Turner’s Superman print signed by comic industry greats - $560.
Steve Stanley’s original painting of Superman: The Movie -$543.
Bob Greenberger, naming rights to his upcoming 2009 novel, Iron Man 2 - $512.
Rags Morales drawing of Superman - $510.
Tom Mankiewicz and Richard Donner signed Superman movie scripts - $480.
Chris Bachalo, original Wolverine drawing - $412.
Christopher Reeve as Superman painting - $320.
Geoff Johns signed Superman movie script - $305.
Murphy Anderson, Silver Age Superman drawing - $302 (this week’s kick-myself-for-not-bidding for)
Ivan Reis, original Superman art - $283.
Renato Guedes, original art for splash page from Superman #677 - $222.
Eric Wright, original Superman drawing - $162.
Superman original art by Shane Davis used to create action figure - $124.
Chip Sansom, original Born Loser art - $105.
Kevin Anderson signed original manuscript of his novel Last Son of Krypton - $103.
Photo of Christopher Reeve with Noel Neill (on oversized canvas) - $21.
Adam Kubert, original Superman art - bidding not over at this writing.
For more, go to http://www.ordinarypeoplechangetheworld.com
and see for yourself. And be sure to check out Meltzer’s video about the Siegel house. (I‘m the first guy on the video to say “I am Superman” followed by several members of Cleveland’s Siegel and Shuster Society.)
That Meltzer is a smart guy.
Early on, the Siegel and Shuster Society was trying to figure out ways to raise money to save the house when Meltzer offered to flip open his Rolodex and get the biggest names in the comic industry to contribute something rare of their own.
When he was told that $50,000 would be needed to just fix the roof and siding to prevent further deterioration, he puffed, or was it tutted?
“We’ll raise that easy,” he said. “Comic people are amazingly generous.”
He was right about that. More than twice the amount needed was raised. The rest will be used for other repairs in the house, which is home to Jefferson and Hattie Gray. The Grays agreed to give the Siegel and Shuster Society first rights to buy the house when they decide to sell.
There was some discussion early on about the advisability of spending so much money to fix up a house that is owned by someone else. But as Brad’s video on the ordinary people website clearly shows, not fixing the house would likely mean that it might soon be damaged beyond repair.
Then another piece of history would be lost.
Besides, if the Siegel and Shuster Society, which actually includes relatives of Jerry and Joe, was able to buy the house it opened up a lot of problems. The society would have to employ 24-hour security guards to protect the house which would likely be burglarized like other houses in that section of Cleveland.
For the past 20 years, the Grays have done a nice job of protecting the house.
Anyway, fixing up the house for others is just such a wonderful, Superman-like thing to do.
Meltzer also wanted to include his writer buddies in the auction, not just artists.
First he thought of auctioning off “lunch with...” but then he came up with auctioning off naming rights to various characters, some he and other novelists do to raise money for charity.
Finally, this past weekend more than 100 volunteers showed up at 10622 Kimberly Avenue in the Glenville neighborhood of Cleveland. They cleaned up, fixed up and painted up the other houses on the block, which will soon be renamed “Jerry Siegel Lane.” Amor Avenue, where Shuster grew up, will be renamed “Joe Shuster Lane.”
Volunteers came from as far away as Bay City and Kalamazoo, Michigan.
The work will pay off in the spring when hundreds of red, blue and yellow flowers will bloom in front of the houses.
Not bad at all.