An organization wants to build a Hall of Fame in Ohio.
Source: Plain Dealer
Many believe Cleveland to be a dying city, which is precisely why Roger Rautio wants to bring his Comic Book Hall of Fame to Cleveland. Rautio told Cleveland's Plain Dealer that his idea would bring millions of tourist dollars to the city and would be readily embraced by the comic industry, despite having no backing or standing in the comic book industry.
In a mildy depressing article, Rautio claims that his idea is under review by the city of Cleveland (it's not) and mentions the enormous sum of $7,000 that he's invested into the project. Rautio mentions that he believes Cleveland would be a perfect place for a Comic Book Hall of Fame due to its connection to Superman. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster first conceived the character in a Cleveland home before selling him to DC in 1932. Rautio claims that while a groundbreaking event isn't ready quite yet, an induction ceremony is planned to happen "almost immediately". All in all, Rautio sounds like he has no clue what he's doing, hurting his organization and the industry's credibility as a whole.
Unfortunately, a Comic Book Hall of Fame isn't close to happening. Despite having sent out dozens of emails to retailers, creators and executives, I couldn't find a single person who has ever heard of Rautio or his plans for a Hall of Fame before. The organization claims to have the support of both Randy Bowen and Peter David, but this claim has not been substantiated. It appears that the organization has met up with various creators and gotten them to sign a sketch of the Hall of Fame's logo, but that's far from a ringing endorsement of the organization.
In addition, the group hasn't exactly gotten a groundswell of support. It's Facebook page only lists 45 likes, less than 10% of the Outhouse, which is admittedly inept when it comes to social networking. Finally, the Eisner Awards already have a Hall of Fame of sorts, inducting several creators in each year during its annual awards ceremony. If one were to recognize a Hall of Fame, wouldn't one use the list of creators designated by the industry's most legitimate awards group?
A Hall of Fame for Comic Books is a novel idea, but one that would require more than a handful of fans working out of a Long Island office. If a group really wanted to make inroads on the project, it should reach out and recruit actual members of the industry, which of course excludes us. Even partnering with the Eisner Awards would be a solid start. Until then, a Comic Book Hall of Fame seems to be far from reality.
Do you think the industry deserves an actual hall of fame? Let us know in the comments.
[Editor's Note: This article previously contained about a dozen variations of "Cleveland sucks" jokes but were removed at the insistence of the editor, an Ohio native and deranged supporter of the Cleveland region. Feel free to mentally insert any comment you'd like about the town between sentences.]
Written or Contributed by: ThanosCopter