All ‘New’ Picture Card Series Progress…

5 2 3 4SUPERMANIA is pleased to report the Superman IV trading card project is still not only very much alive, but finally nearing completion.  A complex and time-consuming endeavor due to the volume of cards to be produced (99 In total, comprised of a mixture of original and screen captured images) with an all-new adaptation of the complete story (written by myself) of the longest cut of the film serialised on the card backs.  This, along with design and execution painstakingly researched to appear authentic for the era, is intended to fill the void left by the only Superman Movie never to have produced a card set of its own.  Talented Alexei Lambley-Steel (editor of A Tribute To Christopher Reeve) is currently hard at work composing the final base set with a view to adding a sticker set/wrapper on its completion.  Updates to follow..!

“Quite A Spin…”

Hurricane1Hurricane4 Hurricane2 Hurricane3Another glimpse into the SUPERMANIA unpublished archive and the making of Superman IV: The Quest For Peace.  On location in the Hertfordshire countryside, the crew amass outside to shoot scenes of the tornado rescue.  Under Sidney J. Furie’s direction, Christopher Reeve patiently hovers in his flying harness (note the green crane in top pic) while the stricken family (with children played by Reeve’s own)  look on.  The entire sequence of Nuclearman generating a cyclone and the subsequent devastation was cut for US audiences but reinstated for its European release…

Figurinista De Cine Super…

Yvonne_CoverSSC_1901SSC_1903SSC_1905With a glittering career spanning over five decades and the globe, its intriguing to discover British stalwart costume designer Yvonne Blake’s first tribute volume is written in Spanish.  Indeed, Victor Matellano’s lavishly-illustrated paperback went unbeknownst to me until late last year despite being published in 2006.

And what a volume it is.  Over the course of almost 300 pages the reader is treated to dozens of Ms. Blake’s sketches (rendered in her distinctive style) with corresponding photographs of the staggering multitude of productions showing how her creations were brought to memorable life.  Having dressed everybody from Streep to Pacino it becomes more and more remarkable as the chapters come & go just how many screen credits have been amassed in some of the most popular movies of the 20th century.

With an introduction by notoriously recluse Director Richard Lester, the book charts Blake’s early career beginning in late ’50’s London and steadily gaining momentum thanks to the British Hammer Horror productions throughout the 60’s and expanding onto bigger budget blockbusters such as ‘The Eagle Has Landed’.  By 1973 Blake had a considerable Hollywood portfolio and had caught the attention of extravagant producer Alexander Salkind, who along with his son Ilya hired Blake for their ambitious take on ‘The Three Muskateers.’ for what would infamously become two pictures shot simultaneously.  So well-received were Blake’s creations that the young designer was first and only choice for the Salkind’s next huge project, Superman: The Movie.

Chapter 11 is entitled Marlon Brando y el hombre de acero (Marlon Brando and the Man of Steel) and is devoted to exploring how these now classic creations were forged (see pics above).  From Brando’s own day-glo robes (achieved by firing light onto 3M front projection material) to the final design of the first cinematic Superhero costume not intended to draw yucks from a modern audience…

While precious little information has surfaced over the years about the nature of Blake’s Superman costume, dedicated fans including myself have pooled resources and have attempted to provide the most exhaustive guide to date (the book corroborates most of our findings short of stating the costumes were made in Austria rather than Germany) and the updated version can be found here along with sumptuous galleries portraying Blake’s most lingering legacy…

An Ongoing Empire…

EMPIRE STMEMPIRE SIIEMPIRE SIIIEMPIRE SIVAs anticipation and excitement starts to gather momentum for the return of The Man Of Steel to the silver screen, SUPERMANIA responds in typically retro-fashion.  Please enjoy this latest collaboration with the talented Alexei Lambley-Steel (editor of A Tribute To Christopher Reeve) to authentically mirror the latest cover of bestselling UK film magazine EMPIRE not only with its 1978 counterpart but also special editions dedicated to the sequels.  In a similar wish-fulfillment endeavor to our Superman IV trading card project, the idea was to produce passable facsimiles of genuine covers had Empire existed during the original series run (the magazine was first published in 1989!).  Besides the horrifying onset on inflation its interesting to note the evolution of graphic styles over a decade (I used real publications of the era such as Films Illustrated for reference) and how the images selected are still as striking today.  In an age of artifice where we love our heroes dark, the experiment above proves there is much still to be said for reality and the light…

SUPERMANIA extends its thanks to Capedwonder Jim Bowers for use of his imagery and Alexei for tireless dedication to the Real Man of Steel..!