Meet Superman biographer Larry Tye in Chicago and Glencoe
In the neverending quest to represent truth, justice and the American way, few icons loom larger than Superman, a character that gave rise to an entire genre of storytelling. Now the man from Krypton—known variously as Kal-El, Clark Kent and the Big Blue Boy Scout—gets his own biography/history from author Larry Tye, titled Superman: The High-Flying History of America’s Most Enduring Hero. This weekend, you and the kids can meet the former journalist, whose passion for Superman is infectious.
We caught an appearance by Tye this afternoon at Wizard World Chicago Comic Con, the weekend-long affair at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center (5555 N River Rd, Rosemont) that celebrates geek-centric pop culture (plus, um, WWE wrestling "stars"). Tye told a funny story about unveiling his book in June at the annual Superman celebration in the deceptively named Metropolis, Illinois. Not a city but actually a very small town at the southern top of the state, Tye noted that the real-life Metropolis "has a lot more in common with Kentucky [just over the river] than with northern Illinois." He then revealed that the town's original Superman statue was made of fiberglass—and soon enough became riddled with bullets from gun-toting numbskulls who wanted to find out if bullets really would bounce off the Man of Steel's chest. The statue today is made of bulletproof bronze.
As comic-cons go, we admit we're not huge fans of Wizard World (which completely jumped the shark two years ago when organizers invited disgraced and convicted former governor Rod Blagojevich to sign autographs, for which he charged $50 a pop). Still, there's some fun family-friendly programming there Sunday. And of course we love kids having a great time, which they certainly do as they tear through the halls, light sabers and magic lassos in hand, searching for fun toys, comics and books. So we'll be happily bringing you a photo gallery early next week of cute costumed kids from the Rosemont shenanigans.
Meanwhile, if Superman piques your interest, you've got two more chances this weekend to meet Tye without paying a whopping $35–45 per ticket ($10 more at the door). He's appearing on the North Shore at Congregation Am Shalom (840 Vernon Avenue, Glencoe; 847-835-4800) Saturday morning at 9am. (Superman's young creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, were both Jewish, and Tye examines how their cultural and religious roots strongly influenced the hero—starting with his Moses-in-outer-space origin.) On Sunday, Tye heads into the city, talking and signing books at 6pm at Logan Square's G-Mart Comics (2641 N Kedzie Ave, 773-384-0400).