Saturday, June 27, 2015

Superman Celebration 2015 - That's a Wrap!

We love Metropolis, IL, when all the super heroes fly into town and make an historic landing to save the world from dull, boring times.  This is the second weekend in June, every year, and a time when all the greatest people of the planet converge on this town of about 5000 people to celebrate the greatest super hero of the comic book world: Superman!

We've been going to Superman Celebration nearly every year for many years now, and we love it.  The people of Metropolis are the best! Sweet, friendly, and the kind of folks you just love to love.  Good hugs, too!

And it's always an adventure.


This year, so much was happening with costumes, dealer rooms, fan films, comics artists and writers, and more.  The food vendors are always great, and there's nothing better than a lemon shake-up!

Lin Workman helps notify people where they want to be.

Trevor Hawkins and some original art!

"One Fine Sunday" exhibit, curated by artist John Read.

We had our schedule, and we provided our own brand of entertainment...albeit bad in some cases*!

First, our panel on television puppetry was low on attendance.  It numbered zero.  But, it was also very early in the morning.  Still, this panel may be retired.

*Our first puppet show, though, was well attended.  Nearly 50 or 60 people in the audience!  Now, time comes and the laptop is plugged into the speaker system.  "Play" is hit and we run behind the stage.  Music starts, and Muley dances up to the edge of the stage.  What happens?  No words are being sung.  So, Muley dances down and I run back to the computer.  I do some work on it, and then get the music playing again.

Music starts, and Muley dances up to the edge of the stage.  What happens?  Still no words are being sung.  Muley dances down, and I apologize to the audience, "Sorry, but we're having some technical difficulties."  I go back to the laptop.  I'm getting music, and no vocals.  So, with an audience of 50 - 60 people I do what any self-respecting performer does:


I call a friend, Stephanie Perrin, up and she is willing to push play when the critters let her know to start (she did an AMAZING job picking up on the signals, too).  So, Muley walks up to talk to his audience:

"Hello, everyone!  Are we having fun in Metropolis this year?  Are we enjoying all the heat?  Yes, we are!  Are we all here ready to see my friends and I perform?  Are you here to see us perform BADLY?  Well, as you might imagine: Per Murphy's law if something can go wrong it will, and it has.  So we can focus on our performances, the shows are pre-recorded but today we're only getting music and no vocals.  So, as we always do, when things get tough: WE GET TOUGHER!  Today, we're going to perform our songs LIVE for you, starting with 'Polk Salad Annie!'  Maestro, if you would..."

The music starts, Muley performs the song, the audience applauds.  Then, Frankie Steinatra sings "Witchcraft," followed by Missy Mule performing "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend," and more.  The lyrics were on my cellphone on my knee to be sure I didn't forget anything, so I was sitting, as you may imagine, in the worst position.

Joan, Muley's Co-host for the kids' costume contest, arrives as Baymax from Big Hero 6 and starts introducing the show when Muley pops up, "Woah, woah, waitaminnit! Quick, someone call the Ghostbusters! The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man is on the loose! Or the Michelin Man!  Some kind of man! Somebody call the Ghostbusters!"  Then, she introduced the character to Muley who now understands, and they introduce about 40+ kids in costume to the audience.

Time for food--walking taco and lemonade!

The next day, the Puppet-making Workshop was a blast!  Showing people what they can do with a sock is so much fun.  Glue on some pipe cleaners, some pom-poms for noses and eyes, cheerleader pom-poms for wigs, and more.  Kids were taking our "Secrets of Puppetry" hand out and trying to learn puppetry with their new puppets!  This was a big deal, and a fantastic thing to see happening!


That afternoon's Muley and Friends Show was a much better performance as we figured out what was going on with the sound system!  Although, Roy Duck was left behind so Missy Mule filled in to perform Rawhide with Muley, which was a lot of fun.


Muley is ready to go onstage, and performing "Puttin' on the Ritz" with Frankie Steinatra (photo by Micah Riley).

We're looking forward to making another trip there in 2016 to see our Metropolis Family and renew our love for that great city, it's great people, and more.  Hope to see you there!

Here are the costumes!  Enjoy:






First Congo Kids' Messages - 6/21/2015

This was shared in this week's First Congo "Congo Beat" newsletter.  Want to know more about helping the community?  Want to know what it REALLY means to spread the love of Jesus?  Want to know a bunch of really good people?  Come check out First Congo!!!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Superman Celebration 2015! SuperMule returns to Metropolis!!

Everyone knows our favorite large-scale celebration in our favorite small town is Superman Celebration!!  Muley has a lot going on this year (and Kevin doing something), and now you can see what he's doing in his schedule below, or check the full schedule for everything going on because there are TONS happening.  Hopefully, you will be there!

Superman Celebration Official Page
Superman Celebration Schedule

Muley's Schedule
Friday June 12th
11am     Puppetry for Television Panel (13+) - Kevin
3:30pm  Muley and Friends' Show - Muley and Friends
4pm       Kids' Costume Contest - Muley co-hosts with Joan

Saturday June 13th
10am     Puppet Making Workshop - Kevin
1pm       Muley and Friends' Show - Muley and Friends

(June 21 is the 49th Kids' Message at First Congo, by the way!)

And here are some awesome SuperMule comic strips to get you in the mood...