Siegel House Update - Over $40K Raised

Save the Jerry Siegel House

Take a bow comic people, we are more powerful than a locomotive. The internet auction to save the house where Jerry Siegel created Superman is a kick-ass super-success.

The first week of the month-long auction of original art from Jim Lee, Travis Charest, George Perez and dozens of others (go to http://www.ordinarypeoplechangetheworld.com and see for yourself) raised $34,459, just about three-fourths of the $50,000 needed to replace the roof and siding of the Siegel house at 10622 Kimberly Ave. in Glenville, a Cleveland neighborhood.

Toss in another $2,500 profit from those really cool Chip Kidd “Siegel and Shuster Society” t-shirts and $2,100 from donations and we‘re above $39,000. Meltzer said the donations came in the form of mostly $10 and $20 from comic fans, which made him feel good.

When the man of the hour, Brad Meltzer walked into the meeting of the Siegel and Shuster Society the other day, the board applauded. He blushed.

He said that most of the money for bids and in donations is coming from comic book people. He said this is turning out to be just as he hoped: the people in the comics community stepping up and doing the right thing.

The auction will go on for three more weeks, some choice new items were added (see below). Brad said he could probably get enough to go with a fifth week, but would rather wrap it up in four, adding the new ones to the other items.

As with most auctions, the first week started off slow and then the bidding went crazy as the final minutes ticked by. Typical in auctions, everyone waited for the last few minutes to start running the prices up.

The most expensive item went for $14,101, an original drawing by Jim Lee that would show Superman posing with the auction winner.

Travis Charest’s beauty went for $7,877 and Brian Bendis scored $5,850 for his offering to draw the auction winner on the cover Powers, a Marvel book. Times like this, the whole comics community pulls together. Besides, Bendis has said he drew a lot of inspiration of that old house when he was drawing caricatures in Cleveburg.

Here’s a complete list of the winning bids for the pieces:

Brian Michael Bendis $5,850.00

Neil Gaiman $1,125.00

Dave Gibbons $810.00

Jim Lee $14,101.00

Allen Bellman $150.00

Dan Brereton $587.88

Travis Charest $7,877.77

Greg Rucka $545.00

Ian Churchill $560.00

Ernie Chan $227.50

George Perez $2,625.00

Check the website for the current and future auctions. Current thinking from Meltzer and others is that the fourth week items that will kill will be the walk-on role on the television series, “Heroes” and the Superman t-shirt signed by Jerry Siegel. Brad’s story about his conversation with Joanne Siegel himself, how she offered one of six precious signed t-shirts to save Jerry‘s former home, was a tear jerker.

NEW STUFF

The following items just came in and will be added to week 3:

J.H. Williams will donate the original cover art for Final Crisis: Superman Beyond 3-D #2

Tom Batiuk, the Cleveland area artist, will offer a unique and very personal gift: one of the last pieces of Supergirl art drawn by Silver Age artist Jim Mooney that appeared in Batiuk‘s comic strip, Funky Winkerbean.

The official description says it best: “When Funky Winkerbean artist Tom Batiuk decided to do a Sunday strip to pay homage to the cover of Action Comics #252 (the introduction of Supergirl), he was able to secure a funky fill-in artist; Supergirl artist Jim Mooney! Now, is your chance to own this inked jam artwork. A fun piece for comic-strip and Supergirl fans alike.”

Rags Morales kicks in a Superman and Nightwing splash page from Nightwing #140. Again, the description on the website says it all: “Perfect for framing, this original artwork of the Man of Steel and the

former Boy Wonder is something fans of “The Dynamic Duo of Kandor” will not want to miss out on.”

Matt Wagner’s color art shows Superman as he “majestically descends from the clouds,” an illustration done exclusively for this auction.

Writer Paul Dini will donate the autographed script for the unaired script episode of Batman: The Animated Series called "Batman/Superman: When Twerps Collide." Dini notes, "This Batman/Superman team-up segment was cut from a Batman direct to video that was ultimately never produced. It is a lost bit of DC animated history. Enjoy!"

David Letterman Tickets, four tickets for a live recording of the Late Show With David Letterman” with special thanks to Joe Quesada for helping get the tickets. The tix do not include transportation of hotel, but I’m sure Joe would gladly put the winners up at his place. What? Joe, put the chair down, I was kidding!

RE-CONSTRUCTION TO BEGIN

At the Siegel and Shuster Society meeting, it was announced that the construction company could begin work on the house within a few weeks. Clearly, there will be money left over after replacing the roof and the wooden signing and repainting the house and that money is going to a very good cause.

Richard Pace, chairman, said the extra auction money will be used to fix up the interior of the house. That would include plastering the damaged walls, fixing the windows and repairing problems caused by the leaky roof. Also, there will be enough to do future repairs to the house.

Society member Tracey Kirksey, who’s done most of the “heavy lifting” coordinating the house restoration project, said Saturday, Sept. 27, will be Community Action Day on Kimberly Avenue in Glenville, and is asking for volunteers to clean up, fix up and paint up the houses on the street where Jerry Siegel lived.

“We will make the neighborhood sparkle,” she said. “We’ll plant bulbs, rake up gardens, fix some fences, do a little painting, anything we can do to fix up the street.”

She said there may be a little ceremony in front of the Siegel house.

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Kirksey at the Glenville Development Corporation at 216-851-8724

Not to be forgotten, the lot where the former home of Superman artist Joseph Shuster lived, less than a mile away, will also be getting some attention.

Pace said a series of two-by-three foot metal plates depicting the first 14 pages of “Action Comics“ No. 1 will be installed on a fence at Amor Avenue where Shuster once lived. The original apartment building has been torn down and recently a new house has been built on the site.

A similar fence is planned for the Siegel house.

Lastly, there are also plans being made for a comic book convention and Superman celebration for the summer of 2009, possibly in and around the Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Look for Meltzer in your city as part of a national tour to support his latest book, The Book of Lies, which uses the death of Jerry Siegel‘s father as an entre’ into an espionage novel. Some of the action in the book takes place at the Kimberly Avenue house, which Meltzer visited several years ago.

The house is owned by Jefferson and Hattie Gray, who have graciously tolerated legions of comic fans stopping by the house unannounced for the past 20 years. The couple has agreed to give the Siegel and Shuster Society first rights to buy the house, if they decide to sell. The improvements are being done on the house at no expense to the Grays.

That night at Meltzer’s book signing in nearby Beachwood, the relatives of Jerry and Joe and the Grays themselves mobbed the place. Meltzer called it a “love fest.“

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