From June 10-13, I was in Metropolis, Illinois for the Superman Celebration. Last year when I attended, I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stuff going on. Festivals are like that if you're trying to study them. Consequently, I didn't get what I needed to write about the Celebration. But what I did get, more importantly, were contacts. I made some friends, such as Brian Morris, who really opened the door for this year to be more successful.
So, Brian, thank you. This year, I really got what I needed to get. Except for pictures. Didn't get enough of those.
I've just finished writing up my notes for the weekend. I learned more than I had intended, and see threads that I could possibly follow to new areas of this project, should the need arise. Mostly, this was a series of interviews. They're going to be invaluable for the completion of Superman in Myth and Folklore.
This year, I met a lot of people. That part was easier than last year. I found myself explaining the project more often and more thoroughly than I had expected. My teachers had always told me that you have to do this sort of thing, explain what folklore as a field of study is and whatnot, if you want people to have the kinds of conversations with you that the project requires. This is the first time I've had to do it. But it was worthwhile. People seemed interested and excited about the book. And once I got my points across, they showed me the right way to think about things and look at them.
I went to study a community, and that's exactly what I found. Once I told people this, they would show me things I hadn't noticed, things such as the way in which people help each other, even when they're competing against each other in, say, a costume competition. The point is that people are doing what they want to do in the best way possible, not so much in the winning.