Sunday, July 6, 2014

Researching RLSH Finds More "Early Prototypes"


Knight-Hood Writes About El Murcielago

Hello, my friends! It's been awhile since I've posted here, but I've been VERY busy wrapping up travel, research, and writing for my next book. It's about the lives of paranormal investigators and will be out in 2015 from Chicago Review Press.

Knight-Hood is an RLSH from Saint Petersburg, Florida (you can read an interview I did for him for Pop Mythology HERE) who has done a lot of research into early comic book history, as well as the history of the RLSH movement. Recently, he has written on Clayton Moore, the actor who portrayed the Lone Ranger and who wore the costume and did good deeds off camera. He also wrote on luchador El Santo and wrote the following on El Murcielago, the bat themed luchador that was stepping into the ring a year before Batman was created.

Here is Knight-Hood's write up on this interesting character:



THE REAL LIFE BATMAN

El Murcielago, which translates as "The Bat" was a Mexican wrestler whose debut match was April 3rd, 1938, a full year before Bob Kane and Bill Finger created Batman in Detective Comics #27 and also before Norman Daniels aka G. Wyman Jones introduced his pulp fiction hero the Black Bat in July of 1939. 

Bob Kane maintained until his death that the only Bat character he knew of prior to creating Batman was the villain in the 1930 film "The Bat Whispers", but what of Bill Finger? Could Finger perhaps have seen a photo of El Murcielago prior to drawing Batman? As you can see in the photo the full length cape, black boots and trunks are all there but as an artist myself, I was particularly struck by El Murcialago's thigh muscles which bear a strong resemblance to those drawn by Finger of Batman's in Detective #27. A coincidence? It's possible. After all Batman and the Black Bat only came one month apart in 1939 and were created independently. 

Even though his influence on American comic books is debatable, El Murcialago aka Jesus Valazquez was one of the original wrestlers who helped create the world of lucha libre or "free wrestling" as it translates. He was one of the first, if not the first to wear a mask in the ring and would be followed by thousands to come. These masked characters were far more to their Mexican fans than mere wrestlers, but are considered true folk heroes. Many like the famous "El Santo" appeared in comics, and multiple films in character as well as personal appearances.
This culminated in 1996 with Super Barrio, one of the first of the RLSH community, who uses his image to organize labor rallies, protests and file petitions for better living conditions for the poor. Super Barrio is joined by other luchadors who battle corruption, animal rights, pollution and poverty. So there is little doubt that El Murcielago, "The Bat" is definitely one of the precursors to the real life superhero movement.

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Heroes in the Night: April Events

Crusader Prime, one of the C2E2 panelists. Photo from Chicago Tribune.

Hello, my friends, it has been awhile since I posted on my blog here. I’ve been extremely busy working on my next book, doing final interviews, transcribing, research, a million and one little details. It’s going well and I can kind of see the forest from the trees on this project now. 
I have two events going on later this month that I’m real happy, real excited about. 
First, I’ll be talking about Heroes in the Night at the next MKE Comic Book Meet-up, April 22. This is a cool group in Milwaukee that meets up on a regular basis to discuss comic books. The them for the next one is "Social Issues in Comics” and they kindly asked me to be part of it. The first part of the evening will be a discussion from 6:30-7:45pm about comics that have tackled social issues. People are encouraged to bring comics they’d like to talk about. 
I will be talking about Heroes in the Night afterward from 7:45-9pm, particularly focusing on how the subject of the book (Real Life Superheroes) reflect their comic book counterparts. I’ll be showing some slides and I will have copies of the book available for a flat $16. This is going to be a fun time at Anodyne Coffee in Walker's Point, a nice, casual environment. 
Info: Tuesday, April 22, Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co., 224 W. Bruce St., Milwaukee 53204. Comic discussion 6:30-7:45pm, Presentation by Tea Krulos 7:45-9pm. Free, copies of Heroes in the Night available for $16.
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/292877017537427/
Next, how cool is this– I’ll be hosting a panel at this year’s Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2)!
The panel is titled “You Can be a ‘Real Life Superhero!’” I’ll be moderating special guests Razorhawkthe WatchmanCrusader PrimeCrimson Catalyst, and Night Vision. We will also have a couple surprise guests appearing via video message. I will be showing some slides and we will be talking about what this Real Life Superhero business is all about. We also will have a Q & A session with the audience. Hulk Hogan will be at C2E2, but I can’t speculate if he’ll show up for the panel. 
This will take place Sunday, April 27 2:30-3:30pm Room S401ab. Afterwards, I will be signing copies of Heroes in the Night at the Chicago Review Press booth from 4-4:45pm.
Besides the panel members, several other RLSH will be attending the con and my inside sources tell me the assembled RLSH will be joining forces and patrolling Chicago, handing out supplies to homeless people as they go. Good work, my super friends, good work!
Info: The panel takes place at C2E2 (South Building at McCormick Place) Sunday, April 27 2:30-3:30pm, book signing follows 4-4:45pm at the Chicago Review Press booth. 

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Kitty Genovese Day 2014


Today is the anniversary of the death of Kitty Genovese. Some Real Life Superheroes (as discussed in further detail in Heroes in the Night) treat this day as a sort of memorial holiday, making sure they are out on patrol. Some hand out flyers about the incident (in which Genovese was murdered while bystanders ignored it) and for others, the date marks the first time they patrolled.

RLSH say their hope is to prevent another Kitty Genovese story from happening. Be safe out there!


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Sunday, March 2, 2014

HEROES IN THE NIGHT TO BE FEATURED AT C2E2!


We've got a flashy red carpet announcement to make here...
Ladies and gentlemen, Tea Krulos will be moderating a panel of Real Life Superheroes at this year's Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo. The panel is titled "You Can Be a Real Life Superhero!" and will take place Sunday, April 27, 2:30-3:30PM in Room S401AB.

The panelists include Razorhawk, the Watchman, Crusader Prime, Crimson Catalyst, and Night Vision. They will discuss the "trade secrets" of being an RLSH and the session will include a Q & A with the audience. There will also be some short video messages from a few surprise guests.

Afterwards, Tea Krulos and members of the panel will be hanging around the Chicago Review Press booth where you'll be able to buy a copy of Heroes in the Night and get it signed by the author and the RLSH.

Please help spread the word and hope to see you at C2E2!

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Michigan Protectors Split

Before the break up: Michigan Protectors. Bee Sting is in black and yellow in the middle, Petoskey Batman is at far right. Photo: Brian Mitchell/ Detroit News

The simply named Super Hero, a veteran RLSH of Clearwater, Florida refers to the Michigan Protectors as the "Washington Generals of the RLSH community," comparing them to the long suffering and inept opponents of the Harlem Globetrotters. 

The group is visited briefly in my book Heroes in the Night, where I relay what I still think is one of the biggest RLSH fails: the April 2012 arrest of Michigan Protectors leader Bee Sting. Bee Sting was doing surveillance on a trailer park, carrying a shotgun with him, when he got into a scuffle over a loud motorcycle. He began to fight the noise violator and the shotgun discharged in the skirmish. Bee Sting was arrested and spent some time in jail. 

Another Michigan Protectors member, the Petoskey Batman, has also ran afoul of the law and was cited for trespassing on rooftops, where we can assume he was brooding like his Dark Knight namesake. 

Bee Sting and Petoskey Batman decided to join forces and became the most infamous members of their team. But now, according to a report by Francis X. Donnelly for the Detroit News, the team has split in half because of a feud between the two RLSH. 

Among the flying accusations between the bee and the bat are claims of infidelity, fraud, probation violation, and general bad taste.

You can read the full article HERE.

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Phoenix Jones Lit on Fire at Superbowl Street Riot

Phoenix Jones on the streets of Seattle on the night of Superbowl Sunday.

--Seattle

Phoenix Jones was on patrol with his team, the Rain City Superhero Movement, on the streets of Seattle after last night's Super Bowl.

According to an update on his Facebook page, Phoenix Jones and his team mates Midnight Jack and the Shade encountered fans celebrating the Seattle Seahawk's victory by starting bonfires in the street. The team tried to extinguish the fire, leading to a reveler trying to punch Midnight Jack and a piece of burning couch thrown at Phoenix Jones, who posted a picture showing fire damage to his "supersuit."

Jones reports (unedited):

"ONCE I SAW THE FIRE I DREW TASER ON THE SUSPECT HE TOOK OFF RUNNING. I PROCEEDED TO USE COOLING GEL FROM MY UTILITY BELT. ONCE THE FIRE WAS OUT A POLICE OFFER ASKED US TO LEAVE THE SCENE BECAUSE THERE COMING IN TO SHUT IT DOWN." 
Phoenix Jones displays fire damage to his suit.


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Thursday, January 23, 2014

HERO PROFILE #19: Crusader Prime

Photo: Brian Cassella, Chicago Tribune

Operates out of: Chicago area

Team affiliation: P.A.T.C.H.

Activities: Patrols, hand outs

Author's notes: The Chicago Tribune featured a front page article on Chicagoland RLSH on Saturday. The article had several quotes about Heroes in the Night and features a sidebar article about early prototype The Fox. The online version has a short video of the Chicago guys in action. Some great press to chase the winters blahs away!

You can find it all here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-real-life-superheroes-met-20140118,0,366960,full.story

Side note: David Beyer, Jr., who did several pages of art in Heroes in the Night, will be tabling with signed copies of the book this weekend at Wizard World Portland, table D40 in the artist's alley.---------
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