The banner from the Hutchinson, Kansas Should Be Renamed Smallville page on Facebook
The boyhood home of Earth’s greatest hero may make the leap from the pages of the Superman comic books into the real world, if comic book artist Christopher Wietrick has his way. His Facebook campaign hopes to create a real Smallville by renaming Hutchinson, Kansas to Smallville, Kansas. The fictional city in Kansas was first identified by name in Superboy #2 in 1949, and it’s been a staple in his tales ever since. Despite the fact that Metropolis, Illinois has built a robust tourism business by laying claim to being the hometown of the adult Superman, no Kansas town has ever done the same by laying claim to the Smallville name.
Wietrick’s Facebook campaign aims to get his hometown of Hutchinson, Kansas officially renamed to Smallville, Kansas. Wietrick is working on a comic book to support the name change, which will be used to help raise money for the Boys and Girls Club of Hutchinson.
The Hutchinson, Kansas Should Be Named Smallville Facebook page catalogs reasons why this might be a good idea. At 42,000 residents, Hutchinson’s population is about right. Smallville was said to be 55 miles from Salina, Kansas, and Hutchinson is actually 57 miles from Salina, Kansas. Smallville was known for having meteor showers, and so is Hutchinson, Kansas – in fact, their Cosmosphere space museum has the biggest collection of “stuff from space” in the country. It also has an Underground Salt Museum, which bears some visual echos of Superman’s Fortress of Solitude in the form of the white crystals, and it already contains a Superman costume.
Hutchinson is already roughly shaped like Superman’s shield, as this diagram illustrates.
“I’m a huge Superman fan,” said Christopher Wietrick. The Kansas man spoke with a local CBS station in Kansas to discuss the lofty Facebook campaign he started with a few friends. In the video, one can briefly see a tatoo on his right forearm – the Kryptonian word for “hope”.
“I think it’s a really neat time to dive into the world of comics and turn my city into one,” said Wietrick. “What we’re trying to do is bring a little attention to the town with tourism through art. We’d like to see the town name changed to Smallville, Kansas.”
To that effect, Wietrick has created his own Hutchinson/Smallville comic strip to share his comparisons with the world. “ALL profits will go to the Boys and Girls Club of Hutchinson,” he wrote. “When finished, the comic will be a 12 x 12 or 12 x 16, two-sided piece.”
Can Wietrick make this happen? “The fact that we already have the Superman costume in the museum I think will really help our case,” he said. “Our ultimate goal is for Warner Bros. and DC Comics to recognize Hutchinson as Smallville, Kansas.”
Want to help support the cause? Read more on their Facebook page.
The town of Hutchinson is apparently even roughly shaped like Superman’s shield symbol – we wish Mr. Wietrick luck. Superman needs a home town just like everybody else. Why not Hutchinson?
- 30 -