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As we get closer and closer to Comic Con and another season of Smallville's Clark Kent getting closer and closer to his heroic destiny I thought it would be fun to go back to the beginning and see where the inspiration came from to create the most famous comic book hero...ever.   So I've found some interesting articles I'd like to share on my LJ so this is the first installment.  Thank you [ profile] shardsofblu for patiently waiting...enjoy:)

On April 26 1992, the last interview with one of the co-creators of Superman, Joe Shuster was done for the TORONTO STAR,  Joe Shuster was born in Toronto, Canada but later moved to Cleveland Ohio when he was 10 but in this interview he reveals why Toronto and its newspaper were very important to him and some other interesting tidbits.

``Cleveland was not nearly as metropolitan as Toronto was, and it was not as big or as beautiful. Whatever buildings I saw in Toronto remained in my mind and came out in the form of Metropolis."

Interesting facts.
  • Superman is patterned off of the "heroic physique and glowing optimism" Douglas Fairbanks Sr
  • Clark Kent's name is from old movie stars Clark Gable and Kent Taylor and he's patterned off of Harold Lloyd and Shuster himself.
  • Lois Lane?  Joe Shuster's model was Joanne Carter, who later became the other co-creator of Superman, Jerry Siegel's wife. Note...Jerry Siegal invisioned the character and personality of Lois Lane before he met the model.
  • Joe was a newsboy for one of Canada's biggest newspapers
  • The Daily Planet was called a different name originally but was changed by DC....The Daily Star...aka The Toronto Daily Star now known today as the Toronto Star.
  • The Toronto newspaper introduced him to the colorful and imaginative world of comics at an early age and by age 4 he was drawing all over the walls of his parents house!

``There it is,'' Shuster says, pointing to a picture of Superman descending toward a Metropolis skyline. The caption on the comic panel says the Man of Steel has landed near the Daily Star building.

``Sure! The Star!'' Shuster exclaims, wheezing slightly. ``Not the Planet. That came later.``I still remember drawing one of the earliest panels that showed the newspaper building. We needed a name, and I spontaneously remembered the Toronto Star. So that's the way I lettered it. I decided to do it that way on the spur of the moment, because The Star was such a great influence on my life.''

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The last time I checked hell hasn't frozen over yet lol but yesterday in Toronto, former Presidents' Bush and Clinton were on stage for the first time for a joint moderated speaking event called "A Conversation" . 

Memorable stuff:

Bush joked "Welcome to the Bill and George Show."

Clinton joked in his opening speech that the event felt like a "21st-century coliseum," and the audience might want to see him and his Republican counterpart "devour each other." He said he and Bush would do their best to "thwart" such a spectacle.

Bush joked that his mother, Barbara Bush, told him Clinton has been spending so much time with his own father, former U.S. president George H.W. Bush, that he is "like a son to her." "So brother, it's good to see you," Bush said,

On the genocide in Rwanda, Clinton:

"We couldn't have saved all of them," he said. "[But] we could have saved as many as 300,000 lives … I have no defence."Bush, in turn, defended Clinton's stand on Rwanda, saying that it's "not realistic" to think a president could just pick up the phone and order 20,000 troops into a conflict zone. He also said he felt Clinton was being "a little too hard" on himself for his handling of the genocide.

Aids in Africa and Bush:

The moderator : "The world owes you a debt of gratitude" for his administration's massive anti-retroviral AIDS drug program for Africa. "To whom much is given, much is required," Bush replied. "Don't thank me, thank the taxpayers of the United States of America." He added that the best way to counter "terrorist killers" recruiting from the world's hopeless and poor is through the efforts of "armies of compassion."


Clinton in turn praised Bush for bringing a Christian appeal to the members of the Republican-dominated Congress, as well as church groups and non-governmental organizations. He also hailed the racial and ethnic diversity of cabinet choices under Bush.

"What he did on the AIDS drugs and the diversity in the cabinet … he deserves a lot of credit," Clinton said.

The mainstream media were not allowed to attend because this was a paid speaking engagement with ticket prices going for $250 - $2500 so any coverage is thanks to bloggers. To read more....


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*bounces up and down*

Just heard on the morning news that Toronto is going to host the North American stage premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber's sequel to to his mega hit the PHANTOM OF THE OPERA called PHANTOM : LOVE NEVER DIES.  

*bounces up and down*

I love theatre and even though Phantom is not my #1 (Les Miserables wins for me ), after seeing Webber's reincarnation of the Sound of Music and overall loving the romance and grandness of Phantom I can't help but be excited about his new production.  If you've never seen it live well you've missed having this gigantic chandelier falling from the ceiling for one! Originally he planned to open his sequal simulitanously in London, New York and Shanghai but with the way the economy is I'm not surprised he would test it in Toronto rather then Broadway first.  Also Toronto hosted Phantom for 10 successful years and the current star of Phantom on the London stage right now is from Toronto and after seeing a picture of him I'd never put him behind a mask *grin*

To read more about what the plot will be for the sequal and the links just peak behind the cut.

Phantom Returns to T.O. )

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While we are waiting for a brand new episode of Smallville, INFAMOUS, and the further adventures of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, I thought I share this with my F-list because many of you are fans of Smallville / Superman and Toronto plays a part in the blue tights legacy.  T.O. was the birthplace of the co-creator and original Superman artist Joe Shuster.  He moved to Cleveland as teenager but when he needed inspiration to draw "METROPOLIS" , he drew you guessed it....Toronto.  The Daily Planet with its busy newsroom is iconic in the mythos but if you know your Superman history you'll know that originally the creators called it the DAILY STAR and only changed if for legal reasons years later.   During his youth, Shuster worked for the Toronto Daily Star and drew upon the architecture of the Star's original building and its busy newsroom to bring Clark Kent's and Lois Lane's professional world to life.

Behind the cut I've placed pictures of the original Toronto Daily Star building that Joe Shuster used to create the DAILY PLANET, another picture Joe Shuster with Jerry Siegel,  and a modern picture of Toronto's waterfront.

I think Smallville was really lucky that there was an art deco building in downtown Vancouver that looked alot like the old Toronto Star building that inspired the drawings of the Daily Planet in the comics. 


Sadly this building no longer exists and fell to the wrecking ball in the early 1070's.

Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel

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It's always nice to see Superman illustrations popping up unexpectantly as a reminder of how iconic the image still is. I opened up my Sunday morning paper and this image was gracing the cover story of the entertainment section of the Toronto Star for a story about a theatre that needs a hero to stage a turnaround.  It's always nice to see the Toronto Star print something to do with Superman as well since Joe Shuster who originally illustrated Superman worked for the Star...aka Toronto Daily Star which became known in the comics as the Daily Star then later changed by DC to the Daily Planet. :)

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TIFF begins today in T.O. and it seems that half of Hollywood whether they are industry insiders, media or actors/directors/producers are descending on my city right now.  Why?  Well The Toronto Film Festival is now the premiere film festival for North America and many Oscar contenders have been been given their first red carpet treatment here.  It is also a unique festival where most of the films are open to the public to purchase tickets and participate in Q/A with the director or actors after the movie and the studios are able to gage audience reactions.  Brad Pitt, Keira Knightley, Charlize Theron, Matt Damon (hosting a ONExONE charity gala), Jennifer Aniston and many more are expected to promote their latest upcoming movies.  I'll let you guys know if I end up seeing any movies that are worth checking out later.  To learn more about the festival and what I've seen or trying to see...follow the link.



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