In celebration of Superman’s 75th birthday, SUPERMANIA looks back at a special moment in the character’s history where the comic-book and movie worlds would briefly collide, culminating in one of the most publicised campaigns in its history.
With the unprecedented response to the Great Superman Movie Contest and resulting boost in sales for DC Comics, a follow-up competition was somewhat of an inevitability. But what could possibly top the prize of the first contest (where lucky young winners Tim Hussey and Ed Finneran were picked from thousands of entries to actually appear in Superman: The Movie) and what challenge would have to be met to better the submission of coupons obtained over months of various DC titles?
Fans may have had to answer a series of complex DC trivia questions to enter this time (25 in fact, all buried within the pages of different issues) but the prize was arguably even more coveted – Christopher Reeve’s screen-worn walking cape from Superman: The Movie.
Once again from the multitude of submissions (and many more lower tier prizes won) only 21 entrants managed to answer the questions 100% correctly. DC President Sol Harrison thought such dedication should be rewarded by the final draw being made by somebody prestigious from the new Movie – and who better than Superman himself?
DC employee Bob Rozakis recounts – “So, the morning he came in, he was escorted down the hall to Sol’s office and with all pomp and circumstance, Chris reached into the box and pulled out the winner. He was quite surprised that the box was not overflowing with cards, but when we explained about the 25 questions, he smiled and said, “I never would have gotten them all and I am Superman!”
Editor Jack Harris elaborates further – “Sol Harrison had charged me with the task of finding ‘someone from the movie’ to draw our winners because of my contacts with the Warner Publicity Department during my editing of “Superman: the Movie Magazine.” I called my contact upstairs and told him what we were looking for. Proving the theory that no one in New York City is more that two phone calls away from anyone else, I called the agent. I asked him if any of his clients would be willing to help us. He said, “Oh, there’s someone here in my office right now who can probably help you.” In another second I was talking to Christopher Reeve himself! Chris told me he was appearing on a morning news show the following day in a studio right across the street from the DC offices at Rockefeller Center and that he would be happy to stop by…”