The second annual Smallville SuperFest took place on August 16, 17, and 18th, 2013. It featured music, vendors, and activities for Superman fans of all ages.
This year’s Smallville SuperFest was very unique, because it not only coincided with the 75th anniversary of the character of Superman, but it was also the year that the ‘Man of Steel’ was released in theaters, on June 14.
“They filmed the movie ‘Man of Steel’ in Plano, Illinois in 2011. So, we worked with the Mayor to develop a festival called ‘Smallville SuperFest’. This is our second year…we did our first one last year, and off of that success, we just expanded it again this year,” said Jim Martens, the Chairman of Smallville SuperFest. “It was an exciting time for us, just to be chosen as Smallville in the movie, and then to work with Warner Brothers, and have such a good response from our community, and to make it all happen,” said Mayor Bob Hausler, who was the mayor in 2011, when Warner Brothers asked if Plano could be their set for Smallville for “Man of Steel” movie, “We’ve been very excited from the day that they started the set construction, to when they were doing the filming in 2011.”
“[After filming, Warner Brothers] left a lot of things up, like window displays, so when you walk around town, you’ll see things that say ‘Smallville’…Smallville Realty, there’s the Smallville Surveyor, the logo for the Smallville Spartans, the hydrant internet café…those are a lot of things that are left from the movie, and that’s part of the fun of the Mobile Hunt…is to experience the things that are still there from when Warner Brothers transformed it,” said Martens.
Steve Escorcia portrayed Batman: The Dark Knight; Adrienne LeBlanc portrayed Powergirl, Dennis Cox portrayed Dr. Fate, Charlee Chartrand portrayed Superboy, Colleen Egan portrayed Lana Lang, and Sean Romero portrayed the ‘Blur.’
This year, as you know, in June, the movie was released…we had a big celebration here in the city for that. We had a Premiere event at the WOW7 Theater…before the movie actually was released. As you know, WalMart was selling their Premiere tickets…we had a huge event at our local WalMart store. Dylan Sprayberry, the actor that plays Superman as a teenager was there…it was a huge event that we had,” said Mayor Hausler. “The date that the tickets went on sale for the WalMart premiere night, everybody slept out for tickets at the WalMart, and Dylan Sprayberry was on hand with WalMart officials from their headquarters in Georgia, to promote this through all of their stores. So, they used our Plano location…had film crews out to broadcast in their entertainment departments on the TVs, for that date, to help promote the release of the ticket sales,” said Martens.
“For the opening of the movie, we were actually asked to come out for the review of it, so we dressed up as Lana and Clark, and we were at the premiere in Plano, for the theater, in Smallville, watching the movie, in Smallville. So, I thought it was pretty cool. They also had us for the next day, come out to debut this Museum. This Museum debuted the very following day. So, seeing the movie…where it was…seeing the movie…how it happened…and the red carpet event…even hearing some of the council go back-and forth about…’they forget to show this…but at least they showed that.’ It was fun to see the city that got to be behind it watch how they were filmed as that movie,” said Chartrand, who saw it on June 14. “And then the excitement while we were in the theater…everybody that was there wanted to see ‘Thank you Plano’ on the screen…and then, when I went to go see it with my mom out in Virginia…everyone left the theater, and I‘m like, ‘Why are they leaving? We’ve got to watch the ‘Thank you Plano’ part!’ So, me and my mom sat there…we were kind of clapping and screaming like we did in the theater, because it was just a big deal to see your town out there on the screen,” said Egan, who portrayed Lana Lang at this year’s Smallville SuperFest, “I am here as Superboy’s gal from Smallville. I am a Lana Lang cheerleader right now, and I’m here volunteering with Plano and for their festival. Last year, before SuperFest started for the first year, Charlee told me that there was a Smallville SuperFest, and asked me if I’d come as his Lana Lang…and that’s the first time I actually put on a costume for a convention, and here I am again the second year.” Egan also saw it on June 14.
“I made a whole week of dedicated Superman. I started out in Metropolis…did the celebration out there…my best friend came up from Florida. When it came out, June 14, we went and saw the first show, together…our ‘Man of Steel’ shirts…we got to see the movie. I’m lucky enough to live near Plano, so I brought him here after we saw the movie. It was a great week…that whole week,” said Seann Romero, who portrayed the Blur at this year‘s Smallville SuperFest. This is his first year. “I saw the website, and I went down to Metropolis, and I live close to here, so I just thought I’d come. I grew up watching the Christopher Reeve movies, so I just sat there. Superman has always [represented] to me…truth, justice, and the American Way…never lies…he’s a great hero. And that’s how I got into Superman. Growing up watching the Christopher Reeve movies…small town…Smallville. I kind of grew up in a small town myself…I kind of related a lot to growing up in small towns…near farms…the small town feeling is what I like.”
“We were also able to work with Warner Brothers, when the movie came out, to get our own Premiere. We were able to give away six hundred tickets, donated by Warner Brothers, and we were able to work with WOW Theaters, in Sandwich, Illinois, to do our own ‘Man of Steel’ Red Carpet Premiere. We did our own Red Carpet, where we built a wall with the repeating logo, and everybody was able to come, and act like they’re a star, in Plano and Smallville, and get their picture taken on the Red Carpet,” said Martens.
“[The most fun aspect was] building the wall, and putting together the Red Carpet. We were able to give ourselves a Hollywood-style Red Carpet treatment in our own town,” said Martens, “Everybody will be talking about that for a very long time…that we got our own Premiere in Plano.” “The whole couple days leading up to it…was when we did the Premiere event and all of the festivities with that. We had an actual Hollywood Premiere…where we wore tuxedos,” said Mayor Hausler. Plano filled 2 screenings with donated tickets, including city officials from Oswego, Yorkville, Aurora, and Sandwich, as well as twenty-five extras from movie, the Smallville SuperFest committee, and twenty media people.
Mayor Hausler enjoyed the movie, “A lot of excitement…very exciting. I enjoyed the movie…I thought the whole concept of Superman in the movie was well done. The whole idea of him being born…the whole evolution of his super powers…and all that…that was just great. I really did enjoy the movie.” “Oh, yes, I’ve seen it twice. It was amazing. It was just so cool to see it up there,” said Martens. “The movie is amazing…I was so impressed with what they did…I think that, as much as I like the Smallville parts, I was more impressed with what they did with Krypton….and all the CG work that it takes to get something like that put together. It was just mind-blowing. The plot was great…and it just makes everybody want another one…so we, of course, encourage them to use us as much as they want for future filming,” said Martens, “I can’t wait to see it on DVD, of course, so I can…freeze…rewind…freeze…rewind.” “I liked the movie…it had a good storyline. There was obviously a lot of controversy about a certain spot…but you have to respect the director’s idea…because they were trusted with his vision…and Zack Snyder worked his butt off to make sure people saw what he thought should be Superman…so I respect what he viewed and how much work he put into it,” said Chartrand. “Yes, I enjoyed [it too]…I like anything sci-fi…and I guess when I was watching it…I had to kind of turn off that part of my mind that started going, ‘Well, that’s not what Krypton looks like…that’s not what the Fortress looks like…’ Because…I’m an ‘80s kid…Smallville was very much portrayed after the ‘80s movie…as far as the Fortress and various things of that nature. Then, the history…when they were showing all those Krypton scenes…that was all new to me…I loved all the sci-fi…the way they showed the planet…the way they portrayed even some of the creatures that lived there…I kind of felt like I was watching Star Wars to some degree…the whole time I was watching it…I felt like I was watching a great sci-fi movie…sometimes I forgot I was watching a Superman movie…but I still loved it. It’s just a matter of…once I watched the movie…and it was over…and I just soaked it all in…and realized…this is a different viewpoint…it’s all probably based on a Kryptonian knowledge that I just don’t know about…stuff that I haven’t seen on the screen…once it all kind of set in like that…people [who haven’t seen it yet] ask me what I think…‘Definitely. It’s a great movie.’ It’s just different, and you’ve got to accept it as somebody else’s idea of it, versus trying to portray it the way it was in the ‘80s,” said Egan. “It was a movie that you had to just come in with a fresh mind…it’s a reboot. It was a really good movie…it’s a really good Superman movie…a good film. It’s something where you do have to go in with a fresh mind…just not think about the Christopher Reeves…Tom Welling…Dean Cain…’cause all those were really different…you really got to go in there with a fresh mind, and realize that this is the Superman for the new generation…this is the Superman that is going to continue on for hopefully several films…and continue on the legacy of Superman. So, it was a good movie…I liked it a lot,” said Romero. “I think it was good…it was different. It just took me by surprise a little bit…more darker. I saw it again…and you keep an open mind…it was good…I liked it…I liked it after the second time…the way [things] happen…should have happened that way…I liked it,” said Escorcia, who portrayed Batman at Smallville SuperFest.
There were a lot of initial reactions to the ‘Man of Steel’. “My initial reaction was…different than I expected, but that’s what you want out of a movie…So, I think with all the trailers that they built up with it…people had an idea of what they were going to see…but, yet, when they saw, it was still better than they could even think it was going to be. I’ve seen it once…but I would really like to see it again…and again…and again,” said Martens. “My initial reaction was…‘Wow, this is really a good movie.’ Of course, I was looking for a lot of the scenes that were done here in the city, and trying to focus on that, but, there was so much excitement, and so much action…it was hard to keep focus, and look for certain landmarks and that,” said Mayor Hausler. “For me, leading up to seeing the movie, I had to convince myself not to think like myself…for Zack, this is something he wanted the world to see. I had to realize that, and I accepted it as something new, and I enjoyed it,” said Chartrand, who has seen it twice. “I remember when…Superman Returns came out…obviously that one was more similar to the Christopher Reeve in the way the city was, and Krypton, and stuff like that. When that came out, I watched it the first time, and I was like, ‘Nobody can be Superman except for Christopher Reeve…it just doesn’t work for me.’ [That] was my first reaction of the 2006 one…then, I watched it a second time and a third time…the more I watched that one…I loved it…then I actually enjoyed the Brandon Routh as Superman…obviously not as much as Christopher Reeve…I don’t think anybody is ever going to be him to me…‘cause he’s always going to be Superman…I actually went out and bought the movie…met [Brandon Routh], enjoyed meeting Brandon Routh…think he did a really humbling job as Superman….so, then, when I started watching this movie, I started noticing that I was doing the same thing…I kind of let it soak in, and then I was able to have a more open-minded view of things,” said Egan. “I’ve been waiting for a very action-packed Superman for a long time, and I really, really think that they did it in this spectacular way…a great action movie that I liked. I enjoyed it quite a bit,” said Romero, who has also seen it twice. “It was a lot of effects…like [Lana] said, Krypton was different…totally different for me…like Star Wars…keep an open mind…I liked it,” said Escorcia, after his second time seeing it.
“I thought Henry was great as Superman…I thought Zack Snyder did a fabulous job directing,” said Mayor Hausler.
Compared to the other Superman movies that have come out, “They were able to set it into reality…meaning you could feel that that’s what would happen if Superman was here right now…and that is exactly how people would react…if that was part of their goal, then they’ve certainly set themselves up for future success,” said Martens. “I know the last film before this was not very well-received…I really liked the Christopher Reeves movies…I thought those were very cool…but, I liked ‘Man of Steel’…I kind of liked [the departure from the John Williams score]…It was different…as a lot of the movie was…Zack Snyder definitely put his fingerprint on Superman…he did it the way that he wanted to do it…he changed a few things…the more people see it…the more things evolve…they’ll appreciate what Zack has done,” said Mayor Hausler. “’Man of Steel’ compared to the original Superman… I would say they’re two completely different things…I would love to see someone who has never seen both watch ‘Man of Steel’ first and then watch ‘Superman’…and then see what their reaction would be…that would be very interesting to me,” said Chartrand. “The big difference that I noticed…aside from all the visual things like Krypton looking different, and the Fortress being portrayed differently…in this, he’s Clark Kent, and he’s known as Clark Kent by Lois…she knows him as the Superman before they called him that….and she’s calling him Clark…so she knows who he is…and, so, at the end…when she sees him at the Daily Planet…she knew him as Superman before the Clark Kent that he has to now become…to be the bumbling…[in the second one] that’s when you’re going to start seeing the development of those Clark Kent bumbling characteristics…but Lois already knows him in this other way as Superman…I never, in a million years, would have thought they would have done it that way….I’m interested to see where they‘re going to go with it,” said Egan. “You have to go in there with a fresh mind…it’s not the Christopher Reeve Superman…you have to go in there with a fresh mind. I just wouldn’t compare ‘em, because it’s two separate universes,” said Romero. “You can’t compare them…it’s a totally new generation…new entities…a bunch of new sci-fi special effects…it’s hard to compare ‘em…all they are is Superman…other than that, it’s a lot different from the old ones…it’s hard to compare ‘em…you just got to take it as a new version,” said Escorcia.
“The story went great…Zod was amazing…the character development with Zod and Faora was something that will go down as legendary in film history,” said Martens. “The progress of the movie…I think…is OK; I would have liked to see someone else aside from just Zod…I was happy to see a couple of cameos…by two companies…they said there was going to be more than one villain…but, technically, Zod and his clan…I count that as one villain. I would have liked to see someone else also get in there on the action. It would have been good to see a second villain,” said Chartrand. “Not knowing a lot of Kryptonian history, because I didn’t read the comic book stuff, I was watching it and I realized that, ‘Am I learning something new here, that I didn’t know before, and this is all stuff from comics that everyone else knows who’s a comic book reader?’ For me, I enjoyed seeing things portrayed on screen that were never portrayed. I will never like it more than the old classics that I grew up with, but I enjoyed seeing something that made me learn something about the myth that…I didn’t know. I’m looking forward to seeing where they’re going to go with this. I can tell, by the way it ended, that it’s definitely going somewhere, and it’s definitely going to be a completely different story as it progresses,” said Egan. “The tempo just kept changing…the progression…fit for the storyline…it was something really different…I thought it was good for the story,” said Romero. “The storyline was good…it was a bit darker than all the other ones…it‘s Superman for a new generation…the storyline was all right…for me, it was a little dark…other than that, it was good,” said Escorcia.
“When Clark goes into the church…[for] advice from the priest…he tells the priest, ‘I’m the one that they’re looking for.’ The priest just kinda like stumbles…that’s kind of my favorite [quote/scene] there,” said Romero.
Mayor Hausler explains what it was like to see Plano as the town of Smallville in the movie, “It was great. I was asked by someone…‘How does it feel to see your town blown apart?’…in the movies, it’s great…it was a great source of pride and excitement for our residents and our citizens. Plano’s always been a great community, and we have a lot of history…this is just one additional great thing that has happened in the city of Plano.” “All I kept saying is, ‘Hey, my house is right behind that!’” said Martens. “It was great, because seeing a town in the United States. I believe, last time, they picked a Smallville, it might have been in Canada or something like that…so it’s good to see a local Midwestern town portray a local Midwestern character, and it fit really well…the people here make a lot of sense…they’re Smallville town folk…this is as average as a town can get,” said Chartrand. “It was awesome to see it in the movie, while I was here in Plano, watching the movie,” said Egan. “I liked it…I liked how they added buildings and stuff. I thought it was really cool,” said Romero. “It was great…I loved it…how they made the effects and everything…and the fight scenes and everything…I loved watching it…the way they filmed it and everything,” said Escorcia.
Several flashbacks in the movie alluded to the ‘Man of Steel’s’ past, “It certainly is a way to use flashbacks to develop a storyline, and I think that that was done very well,” said Martens. “I thought that was one of the best parts of the movie…the flashbacks…the evolution of his super powers, and how all that went on,” said Mayor Hausler.
There were several themes in the movie, “The whole idea of truth, justice, and the American Way…the family values that Superman stands for…all of those basic things when we think of Superman…I remember watching it when I grew up on TV…just the whole idea of the values that Superman had,” said Mayor Hausler. “The thing that I noticed…they did a big take on the whole alien side of things…when I saw it in the movie that they were really concentrating on his alien aspect and the government was kind of getting involved and taking him [away] in handcuffs…Superman never felt like an alien before…It wasn’t until this movie that I really saw them putting such an emphasis on the alien aspect of things,” said Egan. “[I liked the] alien aspect of the movie,” said Escorcia. “How he had to adapt into learning the powers…they had to physically show his body going through suffering to learn how to evolve itself into getting used to it. Because his body evolved into adapting to the Earth’s atmosphere…the reward for going through all that was the powers. Also, the idea of Zod receiving all that pain from immediately taking off his helmet in the atmosphere. They did a very good job of the cross between both worlds…they wanted to put both worlds together, in a different way…so that was good,” said Chartrand. “The major thing that really stood out to me…the whole alien aspect of the whole situation…it does seem like he was more alienated…he learned younger than most generations about his powers…he didn’t know how to cope with them. It seems like the Kents didn’t really know how to cope with his powers, but they tried as hard as they could…you see a man stuck between two worlds, and he ended up choosing the humans over the Kryptonians,” said Romero.
Mayor Hausler explains what he liked most and least about the movie, “The least…my part in the movie was on the cutting room floor…I was actually the bank manager in the movie. You’ve seen the movie…the bank scene is…in…out…just a few seconds…when the [bank scene] filming was going on…we were there like for 3 days…there’s actually a really neat scene that took place in the bank that wasn’t in there. Maybe it’d be in the sequel. That was a real neat scene. The best thing about it was…it was so well-received. For folks at Warner Brothers to announce that they’re going to do a sequel votes well for the quality of the movie.” “I like that Lois is a redhead now…it gives me something to work with now for a new character. I can have people stop telling me that, ‘Well, Lois doesn’t have red hair,’ because now I can tell them, ‘Yes, she does.’ She actually had it back in the ‘50s, but a lot of people don’t want to hear about that…I’m not going to change anything…I’m just going to wait to see what happens…to determine whether I’m going to change what I think I need to change…because it might happen later,” said Egan. “For me, first off, what [Lana] said, with the red hair, that makes me feel happy, because she can go walk around as…Lois, and no one would make hair jokes. Aside from that, I enjoyed watching Henry actually try to figure out how to use his powers….seeing him try to fly…and then fall through a cliff…and then have to get up again, and then bump his head on the top of something…seeing him actually realize…’Ok, I finally figured out how to fly…[and] how to use vision, and how to use this, and how to do that.’ That was so amazing to me, because they actually scientifically [put in] a way for him to adapt his body to create the powers, and that was one of the weaknesses he was able to use against Zod, because he had to adapt,” said Chartrand. “I liked the action scenes, and the flying scenes. The only thing I would change…I would put the symbol back on his cape. ‘Superman Returns’…I got really upset about it, and then…the ‘Man of Steel’…I just wish they’d put that symbol right back on the cape,” said Romero. “The flying scenes were good…the action scenes were good…the fight scenes were good,” said Escorcia.
Regarding the departure from John Williams’ Superman score, “The music was OK…The music of Superman…from what I’ve noticed…each time they have a definite theme for Superman…regardless if it’s from Dean Cain…regardless if it’s from John Williams…that music…has specific characteristics…you can tell the notes…the notes are very heavy and defined…you can tell that was a note…the melody was very strong and bold…the melody was very strong for ‘Man of Steel,’ but it felt like it was too over-blended. They should have spaced it out, made the notes more subtle and selfish, and extremely loud,” said Chartrand. “It was good music…and it was music made for a different movie…it fit…like a darker feel maybe even…but I still miss not having the other music. I know that they have to have different music, because it is a different director and everything…I would have enjoyed some of the music,” said Egan. “I love John Williams music…I actually have the original soundtrack on vinyl. At first, I was not happy that they said that they weren’t going to use his music, but then again, you had to go with that whole, ‘they’re two separate universes‘…you can’t have anything tie one universe to the other universe. I can see where they had to come up with their own music. [The ‘Man of Steel‘ music] was good…I liked it…that was good music,” said Romero. “I’m partial to John Williams…I’m always going to think of the old music…” said Escorcia.
The ‘Man of Steel’ has brought in more than $644 Million worldwide. “I think it’s great…it shows that people are still into Superman,” said Escorcia. “It’s as huge as everybody expected…one of the hard things to do is to live up to such high expectations, but, when you’re about to actually meet them and exceed them…that’s even better. I think that it just plants them very firmly into sequels to come…and to come,” said Martens. “[It] just means that more people are seeing it than may have been expected…this generation…it’s been since the ‘80s…there hasn’t been a Superman movie…and there’s a whole generation of kids…it’s great that now there’s a Superman franchise…it’s [good] to see a Superman movie comeback,” said Egan. “I think it’s great, because that means there’s going to be more, and more means…hopefully…they’re going to come back to Plano…and film some more…I can‘t wait…[to see the] progress of the storyline,” said Romero.
For a sequel, “I would like to see more of Smallville…and it would be neat to see Batman come to Smallville,” said Mayor Hausler, who says that he is open to more filming, “It was a fun time.”
“I was involving in the changing of the way our building was laid out…get rid of those partitions…have the building open for a Museum…Jim Martens helped set things up…along with the other members of the Smallville SuperFest Committee. So, it was a collaborative effort by the city and the Festival Committee,” said Mayor Hausler, “The easiest was having the idea, and having everyone on board with the idea. The toughest part was laying it out…how we would do it…and getting the props into place. For example, the gas pump that, in the movie, actually explodes, it’s a real gas pump. It took several people…four of our city workers, to get it into [the] position that it’s in now, and getting things laid out inside the Museum was a challenge.” “The hardest part was getting the Museum completely remodeled. It takes time to do a renovation on a 100-year-old building.” said Martens.
According to Martens, all city officials, Mayor Hausler, the former mayor, the Smallville SuperFest Committee, and Plano’s Historical Society were present for the Smallville Museum Grand Opening, which lasted about a half-hour. Then, visitors walked through the Museum for about 3 hours. The ‘Man of Steel‘ premiered on June 14, and the Smallville Museum Grand Opening was on June 15. “So we did the Museum the following day…on Saturday…. I believe we had about 130 people come through the Museum on that day,” said Mayor Hausler, “The Museum was… [advertised] not only [through] our local media…the local radio station…but also the Chicago area newspapers and television [news].” “The Museum opening was the same time as the Premiere, so everything was based around the movie opening, and then us just being ready for the date. Most stuff had already been set up a long time ago, because we knew the things that we had for Museum. We had already a good idea of what we had to put in the Museum, so it was real easy to fill it once the renovations were finished,” said Martens. CMOS Collectibles set up a booth and helped promote the Museum Opening as well. “We appreciate them and welcome them back next year,” said Martens. The Museum is open the first and third Saturday of every month, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., as well as during the weekdays, from 8-9:30 a.m. and 6-9 p.m.
According to Martens, there are approximately twenty props in the museum, and a whole new museum of props will be available every 6 months. “We have great communications with Warner Brothers, and we have asked for additional [props], and also to try to get some stars here for our next SuperFest…[Warner Brothers has] been very accommodating, and they’ve been doing what they can to make our festival a success. It’s been a great working relationship,” said Mayor Hausler. “Two months ago, Warner Brothers had a storage shed that they emptied out, with all of the signs that were left for the businesses, so they donated back to us, and we’re working with the businesses, to get them the signs that were on their stores, but then they’ll also donate them back to the Museum for future exhibits,” said Martens. According to Mayor Hausler, the Smallville Museum has a variety of props from the ‘Man of Steel’ movie. The real gas pump, the train that plows into the Sears building, and the scale model that the Warner Brothers art department made are among these items. “The first thing that happened in the movie, when they filmed here, was the blowing up of the 7-11. So, they donated four gas pumps, the one of them is the one that’s all exploded and obviously blown up…so we have some stuff from the 7-11. The train that crashed into the Sears…we have a big piece of that mounted on a wall…the special effects department created fake building parts that are foam, and turned into brick walls, so that it looked like buildings blew up everywhere…they also built fake asphalt, so it looked like the street had been blown up. We also have one of the wings from the fire plane that crashed, as well as the Smallville Town Hall sign at the front of the Museum. We have the donated key from the movie…it’s donated from Warner Brothers…we have the key…the key lights up…the case lights up. When they filmed the [Kent Farm] scene, when you see teenage Clark Kent with Pa Kent, and he‘s handing him the key and explaining about his past, and that he came from a spaceship…in the background there is info on UFO crashes…so somebody had done a collage to represent…Pa Kent researching…Superman’s [spaceship] crash. That‘s part of the collection from the Kent farm,” said Martens.
“It was very exciting…the real neat thing about the model that we received from Warner Brothers…it shows all those buildings that are down now, and all the buildings they used for their sets. We had a lot of people come to town to walk up and down Main Street to see all those buildings…and to see the set. It was just a very neat experience,” said Mayor Hausler. Martens explains the model that Warner Brothers sent to the Smallville Museum, “Warner Brothers shipped [the display that they built for the pre-production of the movie] to us last week. [The display is what] they built so that they could talk about all the pre-production that they did for the movie…where they came up with all the ideas, how they did all their blocking for their scenes, how they set up all the explosives, and all the special effects work that was done. So, they were able to…if it was the art department, go through, and say, ‘OK, this building is getting painted like this…we need to hang this sign like this…’ So, they made [this] display, and thought it was so important that they saved it and then sent it to us. So, you can actually look closer and you’ll see notes that are actually notes written in places of the artist…So, it’s fun…[This scene right here is]…train crashed and went into the Sears. The Sears didn’t even exist…[that’s] a road that they built the building into. So, they took [this] display, and said…[this] is a street, so you’ll build [this] building in the store front…and it’ll look like it’s the main downtown. So, they were able to do things like that. Like, [here’s] the 7-11…that was the first building that they blew up when they started all the filming. So, we just encourage everyone to come to Plano and check out the new Smallville Museum…this is all props and memorabilia from the movie, and Warner Brothers has worked with us to donate as much stuff as was left over. They went way out of their way to send us [the poster with 10 autographs on it] this poster….it has ten autographs on it, so…everybody in the movie has signed this…so we’ve made sure that’s it’s framed and hanging up, and it’ll be here forever. So, you will always be able to come to Plano, and there will be a store that has all our stuff for sale in it. We also have [our new DVD]…that’s got all the images…that was done by one of the business owners…that is a videographer…that’s his professional trade is to do duplication and things like that. He’s the one that did that. We want to certainly encourage everybody that they can get the DVD of the making of ‘Smallville.’ It‘s pretty cool…[Warner Brothers] spent who knows how much…they shipped this to us from L.A., to make sure that they got it here by this Fest. They also donated 2,000 comic books.”
“The most difficult planning was because the movie just came out…and we spent a lot of work planning for the movie to come out…and then realized…’Oh, we’re putting a fest on in 2 months. The easiest part started Friday morning…set-up and then through the festival,” said Martens. “We actually were meeting right after the last year’s event, which we will this year, too, to see what we can improve while it’s all fresh in everyone’s mind. And then, we’ll meet throughout the fall, we’ll take a break during the holiday season, and then we’ll start meeting in January to continue to meet, to plan for next year’s SuperFest,” said Mayor Hausler.
“The easiest part of it was working with the groups that volunteered last year, to get things going. We did a 5K run [Sunday] morning. The American Legion…they took ownership of that…and they took care of all that…so that was very easy on the Festival Committee’s part. We have several church groups that have done a great job doing the same thing…we haven’t had to provide volunteers…they get the volunteers,” said Mayor Hausler, “The hard part is trying to go out for sponsorships…actually getting the money to provide this Festival free-of-charge and do the things that we do.” According to Mayor Hausler, “The city approves and supplies the basic services for the Festival…we OK shutting down the streets…and all the basic services…the Festival Committee really does the work as far as laying things out. I can’t say enough good things about the work that our Festival Committee does.”
“When we first started SuperFest…first we named it, and then we had to decide what our symbolism would be…it’s more about us developing our own identity…part of that is all branding…so it was very important to us….and by developing the skyline outline…we were able to use that in our banners and in our advertisement to develop our own images…to represent Smallville SuperFest,” said Martens. Brad Gardner is on the Smallville SuperFest Committee, and has contributed through his computer graphics work and through working with the webmaster.
Chuck Struck, who runs Biker’s Beef, was at Smallville SuperFest from the beginning, and lives near the area. “I used to watch Superman when I was growing up as a kid…the original Superman,” said Struck. “We have sponsorship packages to fit every budget for businesses, so we just encourage everybody to find a way that they can get involved at a level they’re happy with,” said Martens, “Almost [every vendor] is returning this year. We’ve added a few new food vendors, like Mickey’s Massive Burrito, TK’s, Hot Diggity Dog, and The Wurst Kitchen…we try to provide a wide variety of food.”
“We estimate that about 9,500 people showed up at the first Smallville SuperFest, and we’re pretty confident that it’s about the same number we got this year. I would, of course, like to see as many fans show up as are willing to come out. Future SuperFests will certainly keep growing,” said Martens. “We actually expanded the festival area another block in our city,” said Mayor Hausler. Last year’s festival went as expected, said Mayor Hausler, “They really went very smooth…our Festival Committee did a great job of organizing things…the core group [of volunteers] is the same group that we had last year.”
“We were so impressed with last year’s [Smallville SuperFest], it was real easy to do this year’s,” said Martens.
According to Mayor Hausler, at the premiere of the ‘Man of Steel,‘ they publicized Smallville SuperFest, via several Chicago TV and radio stations who did interviews, as well as at an event at Union Station in Chicago, where brochures were available. There was also local radio coverage on WSPY, as well as several other radio stations. “We worked with local radio stations…we sent out press releases to all local newspapers…we did articles in newspapers…” said Martens.
“It takes a whole year to start planning everything to do for next year…and then get started again on next year’s SuperFest. We hope to sign up all the returning vendors, and sponsors, as soon as possible,” said Martens, “[Dedication] and cooperation with our sponsors…it’s dedicated work with our committee members…the city cooperates…whether it’s passing everything through the city properly, making sure that we’re following health codes and working with advertising to get the public involved.” According to Martens, this year’s Smallville SuperFest cost around $14,000.
The musical guests this year included The Rural McCoys, Talon, Versus DJ, Brothers of Absolution, Platinum, CCC, Dead River, Ryan Mumby, Triple Threat Chicago, DJ Mark on Saturday.
“Adding a few things and a few more events and getting things going are really where the biggest changes [are],” said Mayor Hausler.
“[The Zipline] was a given…that we will keep doing that…because it’s just so much fun…you don’t just go anywhere and ride down [the] main street of a city. So, it’s fun to do the Zipline…we’ve added the Bungee Jump this year…that was non-stop with the kids…the biggest thing that we’ve changed and added is more things for the kids…working with the blow-ups, to create this Kid’s Carnival. We were able to do old-fashioned games…we built booths…you can do your Smallville skee golf, which is like skeeball, but with a golf club…a little putter. You had Jor-El’s bottle knock-down…you had…Zod’s Krypto-Toss…we had a lot of theme-orientated games for the Kid’s Carnival…it was a great success, and we’ll be bringing it back every summer,” said Martens.
“The old-fashioned Kid’s Carnival is brand-new this year…that’s eight games that we started…we plan on doing that again next year, and we are also talking about doing that at other local fairs,” said Martens. One of the organizations Martens would like to thank is the Kendall County Police Department for bringing the Homeland Security Truck. “This year, we’ve really expanded the Kid’s Area…the extra block that we added was to accommodate the additional games we have for kids, and for families. We also added a car show this year…that we didn’t have last year…so we had more room for that, also,” said Mayor Hausler. The Euro-Bungee, also provided by The Fun Ones, was new this year, which would allow one to jump up to 15 feet in the air, was “non-stop…3 to 8 o’clock,” said Martens.
Also new this year, according to Martens, is the Smallville Mobile Hunt, “It’s a way for you to come on your own time, do a guided tour of the scenes from the ‘Man of Steel’ movie. So, when you come to town, you’ll see these QR codes. There’s 30 of ‘em throughout town, and if you go to the Museum, which is the Depot, you’ll find the main one, which is called Smallville Town Hall. So, you’ll scan that QR code with your Smartphone technology using an app, so when you scan it, it opens it up, and you’ll see the title of our website, and then you’ll see the title of the page you just scanned, and then a picture of where you’re at. And then, in the movie, it was Smallville Town Hall…what’s really at Plano location…the Train Depot. So, then, you just keep going, and it’ll explain about the filming…and this’ll go through everything about them filming the movie ’Man of Steel,’ and the scenes that you saw…basically Smallville. So, at the bottom, you can scroll all the way down…it’ll explain the details about how you go around town and find these codes. Some of the buildings that were in the movie are not here anymore, because they’re empty parking lots…they were never real buildings. So, that’s where this is fun, because it’s a way for you to see the buildings that aren’t here today, and then you can also get a better idea of what Hollywood changed, and what they didn’t. So, it’s something new that we have, and we hope that people can come…and anytime you come to Plano you can do this.”
There was a new Kid’s Area this year, said Mayor Hausler. It was moved to accommodate the additional games, to allow Bounce Town to be in a more accessible area, as well as to be adjacent to the water fights. Mayor Hausler said that the Kid’s Area had a very good attendance, of people ranging in age from 3-12 years of age.
Other events included Fishing With the Mayor, on Saturday, where about 30 children and their families participated, “We have children that go down with their parents or their grandparents, and they catch their first fish ever…it’s very exciting…it’s a lot of fun. We have some great sponsors…Plano Molding…they sponsor us very well. We have a lot of other sponsors that make it free for the community,” said Mayor Hausler. “We stock the pond with bluegill, and they already have the poles…Country Market donates the worms, and Wurst Kitchen donates hot dogs,” said Martens. There was also the Zipline, “That’s one of my favorite parts of the Festival. Last year, I was the first one down after they tested it…this year, I was able to be the first one down again. You’re like Superman…flying down Main Street…so it was very fun and exciting,” said Mayor Hausler, The Zipline, provided by The Fun Ones, is 20-30 feet tall, and takes up a whole city block. “So you can fly down the whole city block of Main Street. Two people at a time can fly down,” said Mayor Hausler. The Andrew Kuebrich Hero 5K Fun Run & Walk, “That was a good time…I think we had 250 plus runners. Sunday morning, we started at 8:30,” said Martens. There was also a Pancake Eating contest, with twenty pancakes at Sherry’s Café; ten contestants participated, and the winner finished all twenty pancakes in 24:37, according to Martens. The Parade was comprised of at least 50 vehicles, with hundreds in the parade, and thousands watching. Touch-A-Truck is also returning this year, “What we do with that is we take all of the big city vehicles, tractors, big heavy equipment, and they stop on Main Street after the parade…and then everybody’s encouraged to get a closer look and actually get up inside some of ‘em. It‘s a lot of fun; it‘s a way to get the community involved with the city and other local businesses,” said Martens. Touch-A-Truck is comprised of approximately 15 vehicles. Last year’s Cut-outs returned to Smallville SuperFest this year, said Martens. There was also a Costume Contest, which featured an adult male and female winner and a child boy and girl winner. Cars of Steel was on Saturday morning, “We had Cars of Steel on Saturday morning. We want to thank Midwest Motor Sports for putting our first Cars of Steel car show together…huge success…we had the Chicago Black Hawks Nascar truck…we had the Hard Daze late model Smallville car…we had the General Lee in town,” said Martens. This event featured approximately sixty cars, from the 1940s to the present. There was also a Bike Rodeo, “Our police department sponsors that, along with D.A.R.E., and it’s part of our ‘Safe Routes To School’ program…that we teach kids how to bike safely. We provide bicycles…or they can bring their own bicycles…and register them at the same time…but we also give away a bike…just for being there…and signing up…and going through the course,” said Mayor Hausler.
Adam Wolfe, who worked with the Super Mini-Con, explains his role in Smallville SuperFest, “I do independent comics and films, and I also do all of the video work for the Siegel and Shuster Society out of Cleveland, and Jamie, who has the big huge Superman store and collection…I do a lot of video for him, as well…I started making films and stuff when I was back in high school, with a buddy of mine… and…my last name is Wolfe, his last name is Packard, and we came up with WolfePack Entertainment…just been a huge Superman fan, actually, and that’s what inspired me to make my own films and stuff. [I] started making films and comic books, and [have] done a little bit of everything since.” “We would like to put together a couple of feature-length films, hopefully a zombie film, based mainly on our comic book that‘s coming out, called “The Mutation,” which is a zombie apocalypse thriller that we’re doing. So, we’d like to actually do a film off of that, and also keep adding to our comic book line,” said Wolfe, “[It involves] Basically, a lot of volunteer work…a lot of hard work at home…writing the films…getting the people together…filming them locally. We go to a lot of places locally, and then the comic books…[he’s my cousin]…his brother did all the artwork…he’s a graphic designer…did the artwork on all of our stuff here. Wolfe has been doing independent comics and films for some time, “I officially started putting stuff out for sale and online in 2007…late 2006, early 2007…but I’ve been doing kind of my own stuff since about 1998…the most difficult aspect is having enough people to do some of the bigger projects…getting people together. One of the easiest things to do is getting together to do shows like this…honestly, this is one of the easiest things…actually doing the show.”
Adrienne LeBlanc, who portrayed ‘Powergirl’ at this year’s Smallville SuperFest, “basically heard about it through Charlee, helped with…the scenery this year…just basically have always been fans of comic books…the first time you really saw Smallville, aside from the comic books, was when they did it in the Christopher Reeve movies…when he was growing up, and then of course they did the series on TV. So, just basically superheroes in general…anything superheroes…we go for it.” She thinks that the biggest attraction at Smallville SuperFest this year will be, “Seeing Superboy and Lana Lang going down the Zipline.” Mayor Hausler provides his thoughts on what he thinks will be the biggest attraction at Smallville SuperFest this year. “I kind of am in favor of the Museum. We weren’t able to do that last year, because the movie wasn’t released. This year, with the movie being released, we’re able to have all these neat props that we have. And, also, a lot of different things here in the Depot at the Museum that we didn’t have last year.” Marten thinks that the biggest attraction will be, “The Grand Opening of the Museum, the ribbon cutting of the Museum was certainly on everybody’s mind, and everybody is encouraged to come to town to Plano, see the new Museum all year-round, and sign our guest sign-in book.” Visitors to the Museum are encouraged to provide their feedback on it at Info@smallvillesuperfest.com.
“It’s our goal to do small school tours, so we’re hoping that school kids can come in in small groups…we would like to do instructions on behind-the-scenes work on what it takes to film a movie…so some of the stuff that the crew used for special effects design, so we would like to do guided school tours with that,” said Martens.
This year’s Smallville SuperFest featured at least 6 people who dressed up in costume. “With the reaction of the kids, it’s so funny, because half the time they’ll know exactly who it is, and one of us will unfortunately get tackled by a whole mob… family…or the kid will know who it is, and because he knows who it is…he won’t budge and he’s holding onto dad’s legs for dear life. They can be shy…they can be happy. And it’s funny…because sometimes a grown-up will act like a kid, and that‘s even funnier,” said Charlee Chartrand, who portrayed Superboy at this year‘s Smallville SuperFest, and said that “I come here to volunteer as Superboy, and help them out and make sure everyone has fun. I heard about the SuperFest, and I found out that there wasn’t anyone in costume. They needed someone super here to help out and give the kids someone to take a picture with, and I wanted to make sure they had somebody.” “Even if they don’t recognize what exactly you are, but just that ‘Ooh-a superhero.’ I’ve noticed, last year, I changed the outfit, because now it says Smallville across the front. So, a lot of people, last year, were confused, and saw the ‘S,’ and they thought it was like Superwoman [or something]. ’Cause it had just the ’S’ on the front…I‘ve noticed that people‘s reactions this year…now they know what it is…’Oh, it’s a Smallville cheerleader!’ They don’t know it’s Lana Lang…they at least know it’s a Smallville cheerleader, versus…[them] thinking of Superwoman….which was fine to me… I went along with it if they thought I was Superwoman…’Hey, look, it’s Supergirl or it’s Superlois!’…I went along with it…it sounds fine to me. But, now, I’ve noticed the difference in the reaction of just knowing…it‘s a little more obvious now,” said Egan.
“I’ve seen a lot of little girls drawn to her costume…I wouldn‘t have known her costume…because not knowing a whole lot of comics, but…it‘s a superhero…it‘s cool, and she stands out. I‘ve noticed, like even though they don‘t know who it is…whether you‘re Supergirl or Powergirl, they‘re still interested,” said Egan. “I’ve been called shiny one…” said Dennis Cox, for whom it is his first year, and who portrayed Dr. Fate at Smallville SuperFest on Saturday, and a vigilante on Friday. “We came to help Charlee, and support the town.” He got involved with Superman in the 1960s, “I’ve been doing comic books since the ‘60s. I’ve done everything…I’ve been a professional performer for many years, and now I’m retired, and I do this for fun…plus renaissance fairs.” “They love ‘em. I’ve been taking pictures like crazy out there with kids. It’s something that they love, and I love it when they react to it…it’s great when they react to it. It’s a great feeling. The kids run up to you and say you’re ‘Batman’,” said Escorcia, who portrayed Batman: The Dark Knight, at this year’s Smallville SuperFest. “I came here to support my buddy Charlee, Superboy,” said Escorcia. He has been involved with Smallville SuperFest for a couple of years now, “Me and Charlee go down to Metropolis, celebrate down there, now we’re celebrating it up here, Smallville.” He explains how he got into Superman, “I got into Superman when I was young…when I was a kid. I used to watch Super Friends on TV…I always thought he was one of the best superheroes out there, so I was collecting the comics, and just kept it up.” “The kids recognize the character, and their face just lights up,” said LeBlanc.
Adrienne LeBlanc portrayed Powergirl at this year’s Smallville SuperFest. She explains how she chose her costume, “The challenge. The challenge of creating the costume, itself, because we actually make our own costumes.” This is her first year, and she was Supergirl on Friday. “Being [in] costume’s a bit like having a dream. It‘s something you can do, and you find others to share your interests…to dream with you,” said Cox, for whom this is also the first Smallville SuperFest.
There are many things involved in making the costumes. “Working with spandex is one of the most challenging parts. We do renaissance costuming, and that’s not near as the same way to sew. Spandex will stretch on you, and distort the seam, so it’s hard to get the fit quite right when you’re working with Spandex. So, that, in itself, is a very big challenge,” said LeBlanc. “And in other types of costuming, like Batman, he probably fabricated that whole armor…which you have to have a talent for. You‘ve got to size [the costume], …you’re got to lay it up against your body…take measurements…create it to make it suit your purpose,” said Cox. “I actually bought my jacket…I didn’t make it. The reason why I chose to wear the Smallville Blur costume is because Smallville came out when we all needed Superman back in our lives. ‘Lois and Clark’ had been off the air for a couple years, we had the whole tragedy of 9/11…we needed a Superman in our lives…and when Smallville came out as an origin story…as a fresh new start…it actually introduced a whole new generation to Superman. Now, I think, as a series, it’s very important for mythology for Superman. I really enjoyed the series, so I decided to just continue to wear the Superman outfit,” said Romero. “I’ve been doing Batman for a couple of years, but I usually do Lobo the Bounty Hunter, in DC, and I’m usually Lobo every year at the Metropolis festival. I have another Batman costume that was a Michael Keaton Batman from the original Batman movie…I had that, so then I just made this one. Basically, I love making costumes. I make costumes for my son…it‘s fun. “The only thing I bought was the mask…everything else I got from thrift stores. The suit itself is a diving suit, and it’s painted in black…and then everything else, like [front of the costume], are just foam, put on a chest piece, and the belt is just a regular belt from a Batman suit. Other than that…I got my boots…they’re actually my Lobo boots I’m wearing from my Lobo costume. This is really like shin guards for a hockey [player]…painted black…put them on [legs of the costume]. You’ve just got to use your imagination…see what fits.” said Escorcia.
LeBlanc enjoyed meeting Brandon Routh, “Brandon Routh is actually from Iowa, which is where [Dennis and I are from] as well. We actually met him at DragonCon…really nice guy. Wouldn’t mind meeting Dean Cain…haven’t met him yet. Have met a couple of the other actors and actresses.” “Actually, [Colleen and I] are still looking forward to meeting Stacy Haiduk and Annette O’Toole, because Colleen does a lot of reference to her costume to resemble their characteristics as Lana. And, also, I‘m a Superman III fan, so…meeting Annette would be wonderful,” said Chartrand. “This year, I can actually say I’ve met Dean Cain already…I’ve met Brandon Routh…I’ve met Gerard Christopher…obviously I never met Christopher Reeve when he was here…so I would say him…so now I have to meet Tom Welling,” said Egan. “It would be Christopher Reeve. If I had had a chance to meet Christopher Reeve…I grew up watching his movies, and that was one of my big inspirations growing up…was watching Christopher Reeve as Superman,” said Romero. “Christopher Reeve too…I grew up watching him too…I met Brandon Routh…I met Dean Cain…Christopher Reeve…he was Superman when I was a kid…when I was in my teens…he was the one. I remember when ‘Superman: the Movie’ came out, I went to see it like 9 times that year…My girlfriend got tired of it…she went like 3 times with me…my friends went like 3 times with me…then I went by myself 3 more times. The effects were great for that time. The flying scenes were great. To me, it was amazing…it was amazing…” said Escorcia.
In regard to actors/actresses were inspirational, “For costuming actor/actress…probably Linda Carter. She was the first Wonder Woman. She was the first female superhero that you really saw on TV…that was a superhero. She was always strong, and fighting the bad guys…and very graceful. She would probably have to be the first inspiration…” said LeBlanc. “For me, the inspiration is still Christopher Reeve and Gerard Christopher. In meeting Gerard Christopher, and recently meeting John Shea and Dean Cain, I’ve also had more appreciation for every actor, because, in their own right, they’ve inspired in their own way. They have their own story, from their timeline, of their version, of their universe, and you can learn something from each version of it,” said Chartrand. “From the Superman III movies…I liked [Annette O’Toole] then, but when I started watching her in ‘Smallville’…over a 10-year period…I don’t even know that I can say whether she’s a better Lana or a better Martha Kent…she’s still the same person to me,” said Egan. “I actually did meet the gentleman that was in the Superboy series…back in the ‘80s. I met him, and he was a very nice fellow.” “Mine was 1966 Batman…I’m talking about way back…Adam West was…big, big hero of mine. It was campy, but it gave you something to come home to, to think about…live a little in the fantasy world,” said Cox. “I loved the way Christopher Reeve was able to split Superman and Clark Kent into two different characters. To me, he’s actually the only actor…that I’ve seen…that was able to put such a difference between Clark Kent and Superman. Brandon Routh did a real good job, but he was really acting off of Christopher Reeves’ characters. Christopher Reeve has been my biggest inspiration throughout life, and Tom Welling did a great job, too…but…Christopher Reeve is the one…” said Romero. “Christopher Reeve would be the one again…he was a great actor, ‘cause he not only did ‘Superman,’ he did other movies. I loved his other movies that he did.. ‘Somewhere In Time’…He did a couple of comedies…he was a great actor…to me, he was a good actor,” said Escorcia.
If they could tell the actor/actresses that they admired anything, it would be, “Thank you for portraying the character…the way they portrayed the characters was what inspired all of us,” said LeBlanc. “If I had to talk to the people that have inspired me…the only one would be Chris…that I haven’t met…that I haven’t said anything to…thank you for playing the role, and setting the example…don’t forget how many people look up to you, and thank you for staying so humbling, because this is a role that will honor you for the rest of your life, if you can appreciate it,” said Chartrand. “I would say ‘Thank you’. Saying ‘Thank you‘ to [Margot Kidder] was very life-fulfilling,” said Romero. [Christopher Reeve] “Thanks for being the character…it made [the flying thing] a little more believable…thanks for inspiring…” said Escorcia.
If they could change anything about any Superman incarnation, “Regarding the ‘Man of Steel,’ it was a great movie…I loved it to death, but I’m a traditionalist. I was born in the ‘80s, and I tend to retract back to that decade, because that’s where I’m from. I would bring up Henry’s suit to a sky beautiful teal blue, keep the texture…that’s fine…but I’d give him a pair of decents, and have him wear a pair of trunks,” said Chartrand. LeBlanc agrees with the addition of the trunks to the suit. “I would change the armor in the new 52,” said Romero.
LeBlanc thinks that she will most be remembered at this year’s Smallville SuperFest, “Probably for the interactions with the children and the other people, and basically taking the pictures.” “Making sure the community can benefit from a great opportunity, and keeping them happy and interested in doing it over and over and over, cause we want to come over and over and over,” said Chartrand. “This place has a small-town feel to it, and ever since I came here last year…the way they welcomed us…it makes me want to come back and continue doing the same character over and again, because we started off doing these two last year, and even with the growth and the extra characters and everything, I think I’m always going to want to do this character, so I think I will…probably be known [for this character],” said Egan. “Sharing the fun with everybody,” said Cox. “It’s keeping the new generation involved in Superman, and even getting the older generations [to] come back to Superman…or even educate them on what’s going on with Superman nowadays, because not a lot of the older generation knows…I’ve had older people come up to me…’Who are you?’…you explain to the older generation what’s going on with Superman nowadays, and then the newer generation…you just keep ‘em involved,” said Romero. “It’s just great to keep the icon going…everybody knows him. It‘s great to see everyone come out to enjoy it,” said Escorcia.
LeBlanc’s favorite series is, “Probably the animated Super Friends would have to be my favorite. It wasn’t strictly Superman-related, but it was the Super Friends…Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, and they all worked together as a team to defeat the bad guys…the villains.” “For me, I’m still a big fan of the Superboy series, but Colleen has been bringing me into the world of Dean Cain, because she’s a very big Lois and Clark fan, and that’s become a second favorite,” said Chartrand. “Smallville the TV series is what got me back into this from the get-go. So, that is probably always going to be one of my favorite series. Even within that whole 10-year storyline, over the past year, I’ve gotten more interested in where they bring in the Justice Society of America…in season 10, and the JLA characters, and they start bringing them together, and I never knew about JSA before, and…watching Smallville I learned about Green Arrow…when they brought the two teams together…the guys from the [past] and the guys from the present…I’m starting to learn a little bit more about that world now, and that’s very interesting to me,” said Egan. “’Justice League, the Animated Series,’ and ‘Justice League: Ultimate Animated Series,’ and ‘Batman: Animated Series,’ and ‘Superman: Animated Series,’” said Cox. “My favorite story arc is the ‘Doomsday, The Death of Superman.’ At the time…I was a kid when it came out…at the time, it was just so mind-blowing that Superman could actually die. It was my favorite…it’s just such a great story arc within Superman’s timeline,” said Romero. “The Superboy series in the ‘80s was good…I liked it…it came out right after the Superman movies…it had something for the kids at that time. My son…was like 10, 11 at the time, and he loved it,” said Escorcia.
Of all the episodes of Smallville, LeBlanc’s favorite is, “The JSA episodes, that they brought Hawkman and Dr. Fate, and all of the JSA back…those were favorites…we actually recorded those specific episodes by themselves.” “I would have to say my favorite Smallville episode was when he first encountered the Fortress…because the way they wrote it…they just had this essence of ‘This is what Krypton would of looked like,’ and he was awestruck. Tom Welling did a really good job in that episode, of just really embracing it. It’s a tie between that one, and the one where Dr. Swann also appeared. Both of those really just caught him off guard, because he’s thinking, ‘Ok, this is what I’ve been waiting for…this is the truth that I wanted,’ and he’s sitting there just going, ‘…It’s beautiful!’” said Chartrand. “I have a few different favorites as last year…[since ‘Power’]…it’s the one [‘Fortune‘] where Zatana puts a spell on the wine when they all go out to celebrate…Lois’ bridal party, and they all end up all over…it’s so funny. It just takes the middle of everything going down that’s so serious, and they just had to throw something comical in there…just for some relief,” said Egan. “Of course, I liked the one when he met Dr. Swann…that’s the turning point in the storyline…I liked the finale…I liked the way they ended the series…you didn’t get to see Tom Welling dressed up as Superman, but that’s the whole series…he wasn’t dressed up as Superman. You knew he was, though, at the end. There’s a lot of flaws to it…I’ll admit it…but I did like the finale…for Smallville,” said Romero. “I liked the first episodes…’cause it was just coming into it…brand new…with a different take on Smallville…switched things around…I like the way that they made the first episode…it was good…they put the chain on him…made him into a scarecrow, and put the ‘S’ on him…everything fit…the ‘S’ on his chest…so I like the first one, and I like the one when the Flash appeared,” said Escorcia.
If they could be any other characters, “…[Dennis and I] are planning to do…Hawkman and Hawkgirl. That’s the plan…that’s the challenge,” said LeBlanc. “One day, I would love to create a girl version of Green Arrow. I still want to have it look exactly like the Justin Hartley look, but something like that in a feminine style, and be a female…and do a female exact of that,” said Egan. “Coming up, I’m re-doing a Superboy suit…Superboy Connor Kent …my favorite costume of that Superboy is the Billie Idol one…that’s always been one of my favorite suits…whenever I get a chance to update it, because I’ve worn the costume so much…I always enjoy it. I’m starting from scratch again. So, it’s always a fun project,” said Chartrand. Romero said that he would probably be the Flash. Escorcia will always be Lobo.
The attraction that Chartrand is most looking forward to at Smallville SuperFest this year is, “This whole weekend. The idea of…this is the weekend that brought me and Colleen together. This is our weekend to celebrate…we make this all about us. This is what got us to fall in love…we’re here to thank everyone for helping us do that.” “This is their second year in, so I think that…each year, even since last year…they’ve grown…an extra couple blocks of new things that they have…I think it would be neat…to see…the expansion of the Mini-ComicCon [Super Mini-Con]…they have some art there…there’s a story there. So…see more of those things, and I think that that would also bring in some more business for the town,” said Egan. “The whole celebration of Superman…that’s why I came here…being able to dress up and be with people that are like-minded is just so great…it’s just a good way to celebrate the man, the myth, the legend,” said Romero. “I love the celebration…in Metropolis…I love going there…it’s exciting…it’s free…walking around…meeting people…showing up in costume…make kids happy…just the whole atmosphere…” said Escorcia.
“It’ll be good to have [Man of Steel] on DVD…and to hopefully get an extended version. Instead of 2-and-a-half hours, it’ll be 5 hours, maybe,” said Mayor Hausler.
For Smallville SuperFest 2014, Romero would like to see an art competition. “I like the idea of having some sort of a well-known guest that people would want to come and see and meet and be able to talk to, and basically interact with,” said LeBlanc. “I would like to see them starting to work on the guests for each festival. Unlike Metropolis, they go crazy and fill a whole hotel with guests. They should just focus on one guest, that way, there isn’t a level of competition, make the guest always have a relation to Smallville. It’ll bring a local interest, because, ‘Hey, this is a guest that filmed something with Smallville.’ It doesn’t have to be ‘Man of Steel,’ it doesn’t have to be the show, it doesn’t have to be Superboy, it can be Smallville from the comics…just have a guest that’s well-known, that the fans recognize from…Smallville. Anything from the idea [of Smallville]. That’d be fun to see,” said Chartrand.
“I really enjoyed [’Man of Steel‘]. It’s bringing a whole new generation into the Superman culture and the Superman beliefs,” said Romero. “Whenever someone has an opportunity to show what they’re made of, or say what they think, or if they want to try something new…they should always do it. Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan…they obviously wanted to show that Plano, obviously, was Smallville. They took advantage of something that they could show the world. The fact that people are so brave enough, and they’re bold, and they want to expedite their beliefs, and let everyone know…people need to be brave, and just say, this is my opinion, take it or leave it. The fact that everyone’s embracing it, and people are actually listening to everyone’s opinions, I can say that mankind is evolving a little bit. Our opinions of getting intelligent, and how to grow…we’re thinking a lot better than we used to,” said Chartrand. “We were kind of overwhelmed by the amount of time, effort, and the detail and the artistic ability of just the folks that were working on the set to create the buildings that they built…when they built the 7-11 gas station, for example, I was being told the story by our local Catholic priest that he was being visited by a priest from a different city…and he actually pulled into the 7-11 to get gas, and he was late for one of the services they were having at the church…he pulled into the gas station, they told him it wasn’t real. Just the amount of people that worked on the set, and their artistic ability, and the way that Warner Brothers wanted everything right down to the exact detail that they envisioned…that was really an interesting part of the whole process.”
“We appreciate anyone that would come to town…we invite anyone from, not only the United States…we’ve had people here from different countries…we want to show off our city…we’re very proud of our city…I feel we are like ’Smallville U.S.A.’ We just invite people to come to town and see everything,” said Mayor Hausler.
Congratulations to Charlee Chartrand (Superboy) and Colleen Egan (Lana Lang) on their engagement at Smallville SuperFest 2013!