Freeborn’s Fleet…

Nestled among the ‘New Additions’ on the Propstore Of London website is this little piece of cinematic history, a casting struck from one of make-up legend Stuart Freeborn’s miniature Superman head sculptures.  This rare offering comes with the great provenance of a still showing Freeborn himself holding aloft two finished flying puppets from Superman II topped with similar casts.  Almost comically primitive by today’s standards, these puppets originate from a clutch of models made in various scales to double for the actors in long shots and more complex flying scenes.  The most obvious use of similar props is the Eiffel tower and climatic Metropolis battle sequences where they were frequently ‘flown’ on transparent thread.  Go here to read more about Stuart’s contribution to the Super-Movies and see his 1:1 lifecast of Christopher Reeve which he released only recently after keeping it stored for decades…

Version 2.0…

Welcome to the all-new SUPERMANIA blog!

Superman IV Portrait

The mission, as ever, is to bring you the very best ephemera relating solely to the original quartet of Superman movies 1978-1987 starring Christopher Reeve.  Please take your time to browse the wealth of content from the archives and feel free to leave your comments. There’s also a new contact form where any contributions can be submitted.  The Adventure Continues – Thanks for visiting!

Studio portrait above of Christopher Reeve from Superman IV restored by Sebastian Columbo.

Warner Books Presents…

In continuation of this post detailing the Super-Marketing campaign mounted by Warner Brothers to cash-in on the release of Superman: The Movie in 1978 I’m proud to present some of its highlights adorning my collection decades later. From the top, artist Jim Dietz interpretations of key scenes collected in a glossy portfolio – even today this set of twelve paintings impresses making a mint set an expensive rarity. The Superman cut-out diorama set is a curiously complex paper model given its intended audience (even the instructions advise to take your time & dream) and although some of its whopping 80 pieces have dated poorly there is still the basis of an incredible kit should it be refined. The 1979 calendar is the only disappointment of the group as only the giant centrefold (Superman pointing to the sky) can compensate for 12 months worth of grainy images printed on poor quality paper. Tucked away in an a smart but unassuming PVC envelope, the Superman blueprint set is a great insight into the practical effects besides being a visual treat. Here the 15 plates fold out into superb renderings of everything from Luthor’s Lair to the XK101 rocket complete with accompanying notes.
Besides David Michael Petrou’s incredible paperback account of ‘The Making Of Superman’ the remainder of the literary line was dedicated to non-movie specific lowbrow fare such as the ‘Official Superman quiz book’ until DC Comics issued some unmissable contributions of their own. To be continued…

‘Crafted From 100% Polyamid…’

The Propstore Of London is currently offering a unique opportunity to own one of Christopher Reeve’s ‘flying’ tunics from Superman III. Though Superman wardrobe rarely comes onto the market without the accompanying thud of an auctioneers hammer, the leotard pictured above will nonetheless set you back 10K plus. Like all genuine pieces of Movie history, however, this garment tells a story and creates as many mysteries as it solves. Indeed, this is the first instance of the fabric being publicly identified as ‘Polyamid’ which, though significant, may as well originate on the Planet Krypton for hope of finding more of its particular weave. Also note the curious lack of the red shorts (in most tunics the top & shorts were one piece), presumably to add layers in an effort to hide the flying harness and the position of the ‘slits’ themselves. This, along with the costumier/studio labeling throughout and even makeup residue lends great providence to this investment. Propstore has a sterling reputation among collectors and in a market infiltrated by copies, its good to know there are still genuine examples out there creating a stir among the fanbase and keeping the legacy alive…

‘Arnie’s Works’ Updated…

Though still branded a ‘Personal Project’ rather than a commercial enterprise at this point, the images charting progress on Master Arnie Kim’s 1/4 scale Reeve Superman figure above do nothing if not whet the appetite. Having struck off the first test cast shown in the bottom three images, the incredible likeness is put to test in the top shot with an impressive photoshop merge of the sculpt and an original still of the man himself. You don’t have to understand Korean to appreciate the many ongoing projects featured on Arnie’s blog where full galleries of the sampling shown here can be viewed in all their splendor. One can only pray that as Hot Toys invests more licensing and dedication to producing quarter scale statues in the future they do us all a favor and negotiate another deal with Mr. Kim to release this work into a salivating collectors world…