Superman may be "Grounded," but fans get to tell him which way to walk.
This morning, DC Comics announced that a contest will determine the places Clark Kent visits in his year-long trek within the pages of Superman. As part of the promotional effort behind "Grounded," the new storyline from writer J. Michael Straczynski and artist Eddy Barrows, fans are being encouraged to write essays about why their town should get a visit by the hero.
"The contest gets people talking about Superman in a way that's really beyond the story and the comics — it's about how Superman affects their lives and how they perceive him," DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio told Newsarama.
It's all part of a promotional push DC is making for "Grounded," which kicks off today with a short story in the pages of Superman #700, then officially gets started in July with Superman #701. In the story, the hero decides he wants to "re-connect" with America by walking among its people.
Straczynski told Newsarama that he conceived the contest when he was first suggesting the idea of Superman's self-imposed grounding. "I said, 'you've got to get the country involved in this. Get the nation talking and thinking about Superman again. Let folks get involved and write in and explain why Superman should come to their town. Then we can have him actually visit that town, that street, in the pages of the book,'" he explained.
Because the writer has worked with DC to determine the hero's general route across the country, the contest is only open to cities within 50 miles of Chicago, Des Moines, Omaha, Denver, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle.
To enter, fans should submit a 75-to-1,000-word essay describing why Superman should visit their hometown during the "Grounded" storyline. DC is encouraging the inclusion of photos and other evidence that makes the place stand out.
In an environment where national contests are pretty rare in comic books, DiDio said this storyline works well with a contest because it has a theme that is distinct from what's been happening with Superman.
"The whole purpose of the story is Superman reconnecting with his adopted roots," DiDio said. "We spent the last year or so with Superman in space. Now we have him back on Earth."
The official rules are listed below:
SUPERMAN 'GROUNDED' CONTEST RULES
1. HOW TO ENTER: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER. To enter, send a 75-1,000 word essay describing why the SUPERMAN character should visit your home town during the "Grounded" storyline by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by regular mail to:
c/o THE SOURCE blog
1700 Broadway, 5th floor
New York, NY 10019
2. ELIGIBILITY: Contest open to legal residents of the United States who are at least 18 years old as of July 1, 2010, and live within 50 miles of one of the cities listed below. Further, Contestants must reside in the home town described in their entries. Employees of DC Comics, its affiliates, parent companies and subsidiary companies, and their immediate families (parents and children) are not eligible. Void where prohibited. CHICAGO, DES MOINES, OMAHA, DENVER, SALT LAKE CITY, LAS VEGAS, LOS ANGELES, PORTLAND, SEATTLE
3. PRIZES: Winners will have their home towns included as destinations for the SUPERMAN character in the pages of the ongoing SUPERMAN series during the 12-issue "Grounded" storyline and will receive a copy of the issue including their home town autographed by the writer and artist of the issue (approximate retail value $2.99 per prize; approximate retail value of all prizes $26.91). Applicable taxes are the responsibility of the Contestant.
4. WINNERS: Nine winners will be selected from all eligible entries based on originality, creativity and such other criteria as the judges determine appropriate in their sole discretion. Decisions of judges are final. Each winner will be announced online on THE SOURCE after the close of the submission period and in advance of the publication of the issue of SUPERMAN in which that winner’s home town will be included. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. For a complete list of winners write to DC Comics, SUPERMAN 'GROUNDED' CONTEST, 1700 Broadway, New York, New York 10019.
5. OWNERSHIP: All submissions will become the property of DC Comics and will not be returned. By submitting an entry, Contestant: (a) represents and warrants that Contestant's entry will be original with Contestant and will not violate or infringe upon the rights of any person or entity; (b) grants to DC Comics the right to reproduce the entry online and in print materials, including, but not limited to, on DC’s THE SOURCE blog and the DC NATION page of its comic books for any and all commercial purposes in perpetuity, and (c) agrees and hereby releases DC Comics and its parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, employees, agents, officers and directors from any and all liability or responsibility arising in connection with Contestant's participation in the contest and acceptance of any prizes which may be awarded.More on Superman:
- Infographic: SUPERMAN History: 1938 to 2010
- JMS Takes SUPERMAN On a Walk Across America in "GROUNDED"
- 10 Things You Might Not Know About Superman
- J. Michael Straczynski Rewrites Superman's Origin in "Earth One"