There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
In 1933, emboldened by the comic-strip exploits of Buck Rogers and Tarzan of the Apes, two high-schoolers from Cleveland wrote and drew their very own comic book. Its hero was a crimefighter, billed on the cover as “the most astounding fiction character of all time,” but he had no superpowersand no cape. Perhaps prematurely, the two teenage dreamers, Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, sent their creation off into the world, where it was largely ignored by publishers. Despairing, Shuster threw the comic into a fire, and only its cover survives. It is a historic document, announcing in bold block letters the arrival of “The Superman.” Eventually, of course, the friends refined their hero, adding a doomed planet, a sexy girl reporter, X-ray vision, and a bright-red cape (among other things) to the mix, creating not only the world’s most enduring comic-book character, but also the archetype on which a multi-billion-dollar industry currently thrives. Still, Superman’s beginnings are more humble than alter ego Clark Kent’s hometown of Smallville, Kan.: a black-and-white, hand-assembled comic book. Recognizing this irony, the Greenbelt Association for the Visual Artsin conjunction with Bordersis sponsoring a workshop for emerging comic creators. Led by cartooning guru George Kochell (picturedsort of), participants will write, draw, ink, letter, and even color their own homemade comic books. Trek out to Bowie, and by the end of the day, who knows? Maybe you, too, will believe a man can fly. At 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, at Borders, 4420 Mitchellville Road, Bowie. Free. (301) 352-5560. (Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa)