I started blogging back in March 2017 – almost a year! It has always focused around my Superman collection and I have expanded other features around that particular focus. But I’ve just realised that I never really explained how and why I got into collecting Superman. I have given a brief explanation of on my Superman Collection page which can be found here, but nothing really in depth.
This is the moment where I wish I had a photo of me as a kid dressed-up with a cape or something… Unfortunately, I have none of that, but let me talk you through it.
It all started when I was around 7 or so – my grandad would watch The Adventures of Lois and Clark with Dean Cain as Superman and Clark Kent. It was on either Channel 4 or E4 if I remember correctly (in the UK). As I watched, I started getting into a little bit more each time. I was always a bit more boisterous than a girly-girl, and this was the age where it showed… I was all about toy cars rather than Barbie dolls. I was always close to my granddad, so for me it has a lot of sentimental memories, and I think that’s what drew me to Superman to begin with.
Once I got into the TV series, my granddad showed me Superman: The Movie when it was showing on TV a year or so later. I wasn’t impressed with the effects (with what we have now), but I still loved it. Although a lot of Superman fans’ first thought of Superman is Christopher Reeve… For me it’s Dean Cain.
This was all before I started collecting, and really, I just had fond memories of the character and series/films that I had seen, I’d never picked up a comic or bought anything Superman, other than the films. And like I said, I was always a little boisterous and interested in all things sci-fi, especially superheroes in general. I remember watching films like Sky High, the early X-Men and Batman films, wishing I was a superhero myself, as most kids did and still do.
Then I got a bit older, and Superman Returns came out. I remember me and my cousin going to see the film and after I was instantly in love with Superman. Everyone slates Superman Returns and Brandon Routh’s performance, but the point of his character style was to be like Christopher Reeves’ Superman and I think he nailed it. I felt like it brought the character back out from the woodworks, and that’s when I started picking up the odd Superman tee or a poster of some sort. Then because I showed an interest in it (and I was a spoilt child), my Nan and Mum started buying me Superman merchandise, anything they could find, and then it just got out of hand, I got obsessed. and started picking up my own Superman things and that’s when I started collecting, getting anything and everything that I possibly could afford that was Superman.
So many people are surprised when I say I collect and love Superman, it’s become a huge part of my life, and I never want that to change (and I don’t think it will). He’s a popular character but he also gets a lot of unnecessary criticism. Lots of people say he’s boring or has no character because he’s a do-gooder…. Duh he’s a superhero and he’s THE original one, the first one. He was and is the platform where all superheroes have spawned from in some way or another. His powers are unparalleled, although I feel that in the films and TV Series, they highlight his vulnerability and never shows his full power potential due to his morality. He represents all things good, his morals, his character, he is that beacon of hope for many. I’ve recently been reading the old comics, and he also represents minorities and in the stories inspires them into doing good. He is the ultimate role model for anyone, the same as characters like Wonder Woman and Supergirl. You don’t want a role model like the Kardashians, who made fame from a sex tape and a court case, you want role models that thrive for greatness and inspires people to do the good that they do to make the world and life a better place. I love what he stands for, which includes everyone, including the bad guys, he offers them the chance to change their minds and do good, rather than just punish them like other characters.
For me, every representation for Superman has been a success. With the different people that have voiced, played, drawn and written Superman each one still shows his true character. Perhaps apart from the Injustice story… but even with that, its almost refreshing to see such a different take on my favourite character. For me the stand out is Henry Cavill’s Superman. Although I love Christopher Reeve, Brandon Routh and Dean Cain’s interpretations of Superman, I love the realism and grittiness that is shown in Man of Steel. Personally, Man of Steel is my favourite Superman film to date and its going to be very, very hard to top it – praise the lord for Zack Snyder. Critics and others said that he was too dark and brooding in the film, but when they tried to make him funnier and lighter in Justice League, the same people still complained! With regards to comics, I’m still playing catch up on my reading, which is why I wanted to start with the earliest ones I could find, so that I could build myself towards to the current ones at the moment based on covers, my favourite artists are Jerry Ordway, Jim Lee, Neal Adams, Dan Jurgens and of course, Alex Ross. But I have read many graphic novels, my favourite being Kingdom Come and Red Son.
I have hundreds of comic books and graphic novels from a variety of series. Before I tended to just get them, and shove them in the attic or in storage to preserve their condition. But I dug them all out, and I now have them all boarded, bagged and boxed in alphabetical and numerical order – yep, I’m that much of a geek. I’ve also now started to read them all, I have a lot of catching up to do, so I’m going to be bringing you along the journey with me – by reviewing them all of course! It could take a while… With comics I tend to fill the gaps by using eBay, but now I’ve also met some great people through random connections. For example, my current comic dealer – I met at a car boot sale, and he was selling a few Superman comics off, he saw that I was only interested in that character and mentioned that he had thousands of them for sale. So now he will email me a few comics a week, and I’ll go meet him to make the same. It looks so, so sinister, meeting someone in a car park to sell comics, HA!
I’ve also been lucky enough to meet a few people involved within the franchise itself. My first, was at Showmasters Comic Con in Milton Keynes, when I met Brandon Routh back in 2008. Then I was lucky enough to meet him for a second time at the same Con a few years after that. In 2017, I was lucky enough to meet Dean Cain and Terrance Stamp (the original General Zod), again at a Showmasters event! Now, just Henry Cavill to go!
Now, I am a full-time collector, everything and anything I see, I have to have. If people are kind enough to buy me Superman items, there’s a very high chance that I’ve already got it, so they tend to ask me first. I’m currently just a few items away from the current world record for the largest Superman collection, and that is my ultimate goal. My partner has also promised that when we get a house together, he will build me my very own Superman museum, so I can finally get everything out of storage and put it on show for the world to see!