Roundup: Curt Swan’s Superman, Starbucks’ Scalding Coffee …

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman at the Westport Library!

Sort of.

For many years, the legendary superhero comic strip was drawn by Westport illustrator Curt Swan.

This Wednesday (August 3, 7 p.m., Westport Library), local comic book art historian Arlen Schumer dives into the artist’s work.

Swan worked full time on Superman from 1957 to 1986. From the scenes of a doomed Krypton to soaring above Metropolis, his Superman is the standard against which all succeeding artists are judged.

Schumer is an award-winning comic book-style illustrator and pop culture historian. He writes, lectures and teaches on his passions.

Click here for more information.

From the 2002 book “Curt Swan: a Life in Comics”


An environmentally minded, coffee-drinking reader writes: “Starbucks now uses sustainable cups, straws and lids. That’s great.

“But the lids suck. Twice this week at the drive-through one they fell off, burning my husband and me.

“When I asked for a new lid, they told me to call corporate because everyone is complaining about these flimsy sustainable lids, and ‘someone is gonna sue soon.’

“I’m all for sustainable Westport — but not at the expense of being burned.

“The good news is: They gave me a $10 gift card the second time. They saw it happen, and felt terrible.”


Lou Weinberg is a teacher, director of our town’s Community Gradens, and a superb photographer.

Here’s what he says about today’s “Westport .. Naturally” submission:

“I was listening to this black-capped chickadee sing its song. It really went the extra mile. My exuberant applause was met with a full bow by the bird. It was a command performance!”

(Photo/Lou Weinberg)


And finally … in honor of Arlen Schumer’s homage to Curt Swan at the Library this week (see story above):

(Be a superhero!  Please click here to support “06880.”)

23 responses to “Roundup: Curt Swan’s Superman, Starbucks’ Scalding Coffee …

  1. Cumberland farms has the dangerous problem with their cups and lids ever since they went to recycled. Complaints fall on deaf ears and it’s only a matter of time before someone gets burned and sued

  2. Jack Backiel

    Sometime around 1959, I met Curt Swan at Westport Lanes. He drew a quick Superman drawing for me. He signed it too and told me not to tell anyone because he was unauthorized to do a drawing anymore and sign it. I since lost the pencil drawing, but that memory has stayed with me. (He didn’t use the exact word “authorized,” but that how I understood it at age 12.)

  3. Jack Backiel

    Oops.. I meant he wasn’t authorized….

    • Peter Barlow

      Comic historian Arlen Schumer says “Curt Swan was, is, and forever will be the definitive Superman artist.” Whoa! Only if people believe such claims. Superman was originated and drawn by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Google those two names for the real story of Superman.

  4. Julia Santos

    There’s a simple solution to the coffee concerns:

    Bring your own travel mug and go inside. It’s the most environmentally sound solution: not only is there less waste, but you’re also not idling your car waiting in line at the drive-thru.

    I love my Yeti travel mug – keeps my coffee hot, and I’ve never had spillage.

    There, problem solved. Complaining on this blog won’t solve anything.

    • Tracy Porosoff

      Just to amplify the comment Ms. Santos has made, Starbucks themselves provides an incentive for its customers to bring their own cups. 10 cents off and 35 extra stars added to your balance for their rewards program for each beverage purchased when you BYOC.

    • Or go to Shearwater (the old Bertucci’s location). Yes, it does mean getting out of a car. The drinks are well made and you aren’t on the Post Road waiting to turn in. The best solution is a reusable cup. I have used a Contigo cup for years. The coffee ones do not leak. I have one I use for water that seals well, it avoids a single use plastic bottle and when I put some ice cubes in it, it stays cold for a long time.

  5. Mark Jeffries

    Switch to iced coffee. I’ve never gotten scalded from iced coffee.

  6. Barbara Sherburne '67

    A long time ago my family lived on the corner of North Avenue and Long Lots Road. I know one summer my parents rented the barn out to a comic book illustrator. I’m just wondering if it could have been Curt. I know it’s kind of a long shot, but the date would have been around 1960 somewhere.

    • Jack Backiel

      Barbara, We’re you Dick Jackson’s neighbor? How about Marry Bouchar?

      • Jack Backiel

        Were and Marty.. is what I wrote before my phone changed the words

      • Barbara Sherburne '67

        I don’t remember those names. I was pretty young. I remember Jack and Dez Hand. This is helpful: There was a neighbor down the street on Long Lots whose last name started with a C. I can’t dredge it up at the moment.

        • Jack Backiel

          Thanks for responding, Barbara. The last time I saw them was probably 1960.

        • Barbara Sherburne '67

          The last name might have been Compton, but that’s a guess.

        • Jack Backiel

          Cowden? Sally Cowden

          • Barbara Sherburne '67

            You know, that might be correct. Thanks, Jack.

          • The Cowdens were a prominent family on Long Lots, near St. Luke Church.

            • Barbara Sherburne '67

              You may very well be correct. I was only maybe 9 or 10 at the time. I am lucky to come up with a first initial of the last name, but it is a very unusual talent I have.

              • Jack Backiel

                Barbara, If you were in the class of 1967, I’m two years older than you. I’m wondering if your parents bought the house from the Jacksons. I remember that red barn back 60 years ago. I think the house had a strange looking stone wall… maybe? (Dan’s going to get upset at me writing so much.) I get carried away.

                • Jack Backiel

                  Last comment- Dick Jackson was an incredibly talented artist as a kid! One wonders if the family knew Curt Swan?

  7. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    The amount of keystrokes this blog wastes on Starbucks and it’s associated atrocities is beyond belief. Using your own mug is the sanest route. Better yet, walk or ride a bike and then the double parking problem goes away by itself.

  8. For those those considering litigation against Starbucks for burns sustained as a result of a faulty lid, attorney Jackie Chiles is your man. He garnered a nice cash settlement for Cosmo Kramer on Seinfeld, for a similar claim. Unfortunately, when the settlement was being presented they opened with an offer of “free coffee for life” which Kramer jumped at before the cash portion was added. So there is precedence!

  9. Susan Iseman

    Dear beloved coffee drinkers: Do yourselves a favor: Purchase a coffee maker (I recommend Cuisinart) , a coffee bean grinder (useful to grind all kindsa stuff) and make STBX coffee at home. A 12 oz bag of whole bean Cafe Verona can be had on sale at Stop & Shop today for $7.99. You’ll have a least a week’s worth of Joe without scalding yourself and stinking up your car with spilled coffee. BTW if you use filtered water, it comes out as good as the stuff from the shop. Enjoy.