Annual Father Daughter RoadTrip #2
best father's day card ever
So I first came to the celebration when in 2009 I get a Father's Day card just a little early. I open it up and the Superman Theme BLARES out of the envelope and there is a picture of my daughter in a supergirl costume streetside holding up one thumb and with her other hand holding a sign that says "Metropolis or Bust". This was definitely the coolest card I had ever got. It was my invitation to "treat" my family to the Superman Celebration in Metropolis, Illinois which as it turned out was only as far as Nashville from Memphis so all in all... just a nice day trip. I even went Full Griswald on my girls and made these t-shirts so we could be readily identifyable as family if we got separated per chance from our daughter.
We left on a Friday morning and headed up hwy 51 to the northern corner of Tennessee where we hopped right over the heel of Kentucky and into the madness that was the 31st Annual Superman Celebration. Superhero's and tourists lined the streets along with food vendors and souviner stands offering everyting from T-shirts to Blow Up characters to the general managerie of flea market goods.
Before we even got into the town square of Metropolis we saw the Metropolis Drug Store with a copyright friendly backlit superman flying across the front. We had to drop in and see what they had to offer. I think I dropped $30 easily on little nicknacks to bring home to folks, goofy adjustable rings, a key chain, some stickers, I can't remember what else.
Once we got into town we stopped first at the Americana Hollywood Museum which awas quite a sight. I wanted to build up slow to give myself some suspense I guess. The back yard was a photo-op playground with Superman Stand-ups, a Phone Booth, Blues Brothers getting down in a gazebo, Trains, Planes, an automobile...? On the inside a whole building with rooms dedicated to different themes and actors like Marylin Monroe, Elvis, Pamela Anderson... (why not?), Gone with the Wind, Riverboat Era/Casino artifacts and advertisement pieces, you name it and FINALLY in the back an entire room with damn near every collectable Superman figure ever made just lining the walls with different custom displays throughout. It was definitely a sight to see for any figure collector.
Next was the SuperMuseum on the town square. THIS was the sight I was waiting to see. Talk about wall to wall... I cant even tell you what color the walls are. Every square inch of this place was dedicated to Superman through the years with screen used props and costumes from the movies and TV, Storyboards, production models from the films, every peice of merchandise imaginable and so much more. It was a SuperMecca, a SuperDecaMecca even... Unbelievable.
In 2010 we skipped due to summer crunch financial reasons and we (my daughter and I) were bummed out but then throughout 2011 my daughter was begging to come back. I put up no fight because I had such an awesome time seeing the SuperMuseum as well as the Americana Hollywood Museum and just being in the atmosphere of all this fanfare for my only favorite SuperHero since before I can remember.
So in 2011 we did leave Wifey behind as she felt she put a cloud over our endless fascination with the goings on in this little town square teeming with Superheroes... and Heroines (yikes) and general displays of Geekhood. So it quickly turned into a father daughter weekend that we look forward to an an annual basis, and that was fine with me since with little girls you never know when they'll become too cool to hang out with Daddy.
I carried on the tradition of making our own shirts since I liked the simple '09 deisgn so much but I wanted to crank it up a little bit. So I made this design and decided to promote it as a free download since I wasnt really looking to make any money it was just part of the tradition, but I did want to share.
I also added to this trip something that I would have loved to do so much in '09 but there simply wasn't any time to conjur up any efforts worth seeing. Of course making custom figures is one of my hobbies and as a graphic designer I had ventured into doing custom packaging as well. But time just simply didn't allow for it, so with skipping 2010 and 2011 coming I knew I would have time to really polish something up. We got into town and did the Americana and made our way to the town square where I just stepped up to the counter with my brown bag and asked the girl behind the counter what the process would be on making a donation of a piece. I didn't know if they would take it or not really but I wanted to try. So I pulled this out of the bag and layed it on the counter in front of the girl running the register.
"Did you make this?" she asks.
"Yeah, I was wondering if I could donate this to the museum?"
"Sure" she says.
I was like "Well cool... do I need to leave any information? some of it's printed on the packaging but... eh?"
"That's cool, I'll put it right here."
She just kinda placed it on the shelf behind the counter and I assume it sat there for approval by Jim Hambrick, the owner of the SuperMuseum and Americana.
It was a little anticlimactic, but I wasn't really expecting any kind of fanfare over it. Its a small town museum and it was in the middle of their busiest weekend.
The packaging was made specifically for this "event" of me donating it to them. I just thought it'd be a nice touch, but really if nothing else it was just a little more deisgn work I got to do for myself.
(please note this package was not the one delivered, this was my first try at building this particular version and it sucked, the museum got the display worthy build).
The figure itself was #2 in my new variety of Christopher Reeve figures. #1 was kinda hack'n'slash and was a learning experience in overhauling a figure. This one was MUCH nicer.
So the weekend was over, we packed up, cleaned our hotel room, and headed into Metropolis one last time to soak up some of the Costume contest and bum around for a minute. and by 1:00 we figured we'd start packing it in and get back to Memphis. Another SuperWeekend gone by.
THIS year in 2012, I got the bug a little earlier. With the new Superman movie coming out in 2013, I really wanted to get something special going. I started making up Man of Steel T-shirts in different levels of distress and finally an idea hit me that I thought folks would enjoy.
Once again I offered these up as free downloads along with ANY other designs I could think of and Eh... it was fun, it was free, it was mine... That's all that mattered, but I think I had more fun just keeping the tradition alive for me and my daugher (who did NOT get one of these) to have our own road trip t-shirts. Its a Griswald thing, we don't mind dorking out as long as we do it in pairs.
I also got the idea to kinda crash the party this year using the advanced technology of the iPhone barcode scanning technology. It was to be...
FIRST ANNUAL VERY unOfficial
Easter Egg Hunt
It was a good try but I'm seeing I may have overestimated the widespread use of the iphone or the knowlwedge fo these nifty barcodes... As of yet... I still have not had any winners contact me...
BUT, it was a good time... I learned a lot.
The statue is 3 Me's tall and 3 Me's wide.
Most everybody is from Illinois.
My daughter is adorable...
And getting taller...
Superman is Fuzzy.
This guy's got a great gig...
The first Superman figure was made of wood... Like George Washington...
And I've got a piece in a museum... I'm like Indiana F'n Jones...