The Gift…

II_CoverPictures2Pictures3CollagesPictures5Italy9Roughly translated from the cover as ‘gift of the first comic of Superman’ this magnificent vintage feature from the pages of ultra-rare Italian TV guide is 34 years old this month and SUPERMANIA’s Christmas treat for 2014.

With (flipped, notice the redone ‘S’ shield) cover art utilizing the fantastic painting used for the International release of Richard Lester’s Superman II the nine-page pictorial combines stills from the new movie with reproductions of the pages of Action Comics #1, highlighting ‘Il giorno In cui Superman arrivo sulla terraSuperman’s arrival on Earth.

SUPERMANIA wishes all its loyal followers the most Super-Christmas and all the best for the new year.  The Adventure Continues in 2015..!!!

“Beautiful Brute…”

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What better time than the holiday season to revisit one of the most fun Superman-related broadcasts of yesteryear.  Appearing in episode 18 of Season 4 of The Muppet Show, special guest Christopher Reeve shows off his considerable comic talent in a series of amusing sketches with Kermit & Co. in 1980.

Though an unmissable childhood favourite, SUPERMANIA was surprised to learn that Jim Henson’s long-running beloved creation was actually made in the UK for Lew Grade’s ITV.  This accounts for the use of Mego’s European version of the 12″ Superman figure among the hordes of British promotional material (including an early still of Reeve, bottom pic) for Superman: The Movie in Miss Piggy’s dressing room.

Also on show in the first clip (top) is a copy of Action Comics #506 (second pic) flicked through by Reeve before changing (in a phone booth) to perform a hilarious rendition of ‘East of the Sun and West of the Moon’ with Miss Piggy…

Watch and enjoy the full episode here

Many Lives, Many Worlds Pt.2…

SMITH SMAN#2 BMcK-002SMITH SMAN#14-001SMITHSONIAN POSTCARD-001Pictures3Courtesy of Superman In Advertising And Media come these exclusive vintage photographs of the artefacts featured in The Smithsonian Institution’s ‘Superman, Many Lives, Many Worlds’ exhibition circa 1988.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of a true American icon, SUPERMANIA continues its retrospective from the star-attended opening (click here) to the significant collection on display and even some memorabilia from the event itself.

While the George Reeves TV show The Adventures Of Superman features prominently behind the plexiglass, the recent release of Superman IV: The Quest For Peace had clearly yielded some treasures under the banner of ‘A New Superman In Hollywood’ where both Christopher Reeve’s Superman Costume featured at one end (top pic) and Mark Pillow’s Nuclearman costume at the other.  Quite why the expensive outfits were mounted on such cheap wooden cutouts is a mystery but faring better is Margot Kidder’s silk dress (second pic) accompanied by no less than Reeve’s Clark Kent glasses and Marc McClure’s bowtie worn as Jimmy Olsen.

Other great items from the movies on show are an original Daily Planet newspaper cover and below it, one of the script drafts for Superman IV by Konner and Rosenthal.  As if the opportunity of seeing these relics firsthand was not enough, there was also an opportunity to purchase exclusive collectibles on the day, such as the advertising postcard (third pic) with superb art from Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and two buttons below from the SUPERMANIA collection pictured with a promotional ad…

Learn To Fly…

christopher-reeve-cakePicturesPictures1STM_Junket1Celebrating in true British fashion with a slice of cake, a velvet-jacket clad Christopher Reeve cuts into a dessert of Super-proportions to officially open the afterparty for the European Premiere of Superman: The Movie

On this very day (December 13th) in 1978, fresh from a charity screening and an audience with the Royal Family, (headed by Her Majesty The Queen, more to come in future posts!) the cast and producers (bottom pic) finally take a moment to relax and reflect on the culmination of a project they had begun five years previously at an exclusive Supper held at Claridges in London..

Italian TV guide (second & third pic) covered the event by sharing some closely-guarded secrets of how some of the pioneering flying effects were achieved.  As this wizardry was key to the selling of the movie (feature title translates ‘How Superman learned To Fly‘) the producers forbade any footage or stills of the flying scenes creation in advance, prompting painted ‘making of’ illustrations in the article.

SUPERMANIA extends its thanks to Capedwonder.com for the top pic and to Sarah Douglas for the rare pic taken from her Facebook page, (bottom) showing (from left to right) Sarah herself, Ilya Salkind, Christopher Reeve, Susannah York and Pierre Spengler…