Thursday, September 30, 2010

Heroes in the Night Proceeds to Benefit Meta House

Author's note: It has long been my goal to have some percentage of proceeds made on sales of Heroes in the Night (and related merchandise) go to a charity. At first I thought I might give funds to the Red Cross, but in keeping with the idea of making your own community a better place, I chose to work with a local family treatment program called Meta House. Meta House is located just blocks from my house and I am amazed at the incredible work they do. I got to meet with their staff in person and they gave me a tour of the facilities. And so I am proud to present the last page of my book:

A proceed of this book (and related merchandise) will be donated to Meta House, Inc an internationally- recognized drug and alcohol abuse family treatment program for women and their children, based in the Riverwest neighborhood of Milwaukee.
Their mission: “Meta House helps women struggling with drug and alcohol addiction reclaim their lives and rebuild their families. Its model program meets the unique needs of women and their children, ending the generational cycle of substance abuse.”

Knowing that the women served at Meta House want to be good mothers, in 1988 the Meta House facility became one of the first in the nation to include children in the residential treatment setting. By including children, Meta House is able to provide comprehensive services to counteract the affects of maternal substance use and to break the cycle of addiction.

Meta House services help women not only stop using alcohol and drugs, but it also assists them in tackling a host of other barriers such as poverty, unemployment, homelessness and/ or unsafe housing, parenting, poor physical health, mental health disorders, and past physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.

You can find out more at Meta House’s website:

Monday, September 27, 2010


Note: Heroes in the Night partners Currents, Inc. published a nice short article on the project on page 2 of their monthly neighborhood newspaper, the Riverwest Currents for their October issue, which hit the stands today.

Support Your Local Hero: Heroes In The Night
By Currents staff

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a superhero?
Over the last year and a half, Riverwest author Tea Krulos has had a chance to find out as he explored a unique movement of people that call themselves “real life superheroes.” Krulos traveled coast to coast to meet the heroes in person , and joined them as they tried to make the world a better place. He is finishing up a book on his experience, Heroes in the Night: Inside the Real Life Superhero Movement.

The two heroes he has spent the most time with have been Milwaukee’s own Blackbird and The Watchman. He has joined them on several patrols of Riverwest, keeping an eye open for trouble- car break- ins, muggings, any situation that would call for someone to help.

Besides crime prevention, a lot of these superheroes also do charity events, participate in walks or causes, and hand out food and supplies to the homeless. In keeping with the generous nature of the subject matter, Krulos will be donating a percentage of book sales to a local charity.

Krulos is working with Currents, Inc. to publish the book and he is raising funds via the site Kickstarter, which allows you – the literature-supporting public- to pledge money toward the project. The money is only collected if the project is funded in full.

The Kickstarter is open until October 12 and you can check out the page here:
There are a number of different pledge levels. One of the most basic is $35, which gets you an autographed copy of the book. At other levels you can get your own custom designed superhero mask, among other things.

A Superhero Party to help raise funds is being planned for Oct. 10 at the Y-Not III, 1854 E. Kenilworth Pl. Check for details at or check the heroes in the Night Facebook page.
Shadowed faces and guys in masks- this has been Tea Krulos's world for the past year and a half. You can help him publish his book, Heroes in the Night: Inside the Real Life Superhero Movement, by pledging at -Photo by Paul Kjelland

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I sat down today to write my weekly HERO PROFILE and some other stuff only to discover my stoopid laptop cord was completely non-functional. My friend is letting me use his computer to check e-mail, however writing takes certain rituals for me, mainly the ability to sit in pajamas at my kitchen table.

I should be getting a new cord in the next couple days and will have lots of content built up, so expect a mega-updates and entries next week.

Have a great weekend and for the millionth billionth time here is the famous link that has been ringing off the hook.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Heroes in the Night's Bibliography's Greatest Hits

“Perhaps the first thing one realizes upon rereading Watchmen is that it requires rereading. Watchmen was written to be reread; indeed, it can only be read by being reread. That may sound paradoxical, but upon rereading Watchmen it becomes painfully obvious that meanings of almost every word, image, panel, and page multiply- obviously multiple. In Watchmen meanings are primarily multiplied by the fact- and this is painfully obvious when one finishes the series and then rereads it- that from the first panel, the parts all fit into a whole one grasps only in the end.”
“Because that end is so unsuspected and surprising, the parts are given a new and different meaning by their place in it. This new meaning, moreover, immediately strikes home as the true meaning of the work, thereby subverting and displacing the first reading.”
- Iain Thomson, “Watchmen- Deconstructing the Hero”

“I think Watchmen, if it offered anything, offered new possibilities of how we perceive the environment surrounding us and the interactions and relations of the people within it.”
-Alan Moore

Alan Moore is an eccentric genius visualized; he has intense eyes and a wild bushy beard and hair. He speaks in a calm, thoughtful, but forceful English accent, reflecting his roots in his hometown of Northampton. He punctuates thoughts with a cigarette in his hand, his fingers decorated with rings and a metal plate covering a finger. The mystical Moore was kicked out of school for selling LSD. He is also a vegetarian, a polygamist, an anarchist, and a practicing magician, even claiming to worship a snake-deity named Glycon.

He is also one of the greatest comic book writers of all time. Just a selection of his acclaimed writing includes V for Vendetta, From Hell, and The League of Extraordinary Gentleman.

Along with other artists and writers, he is credited with bringing a mature, literary presence to mainstream comics in the 1980’s, starting with his work on titles like 2000AD and Swamp Thing.

The peak of this wave of comics geared toward thinking adults was Watchmen, created as a series in 1986 with illustrator Dave Gibbons. The book deals with some intense, real life issues facing its group of humanized superheroes, while a nuclear clock ticks in the background.

The book has been a large influence on the RLSH, and as noted in the quote above, how they might perceive their environment. This was something conveyed to me very early on by The Watchman, when I asked if his name was in reference to the book.

“As for my name....It is not directly inspired by Alan Moore's Watchmen, nor am I a Jehovah’s Witness. Those are two things that people seem to wonder about. I am a fan of the book though, as are most real life super heroes. Many have called it ‘the RLSH bible.” The Watchman said.

Along the path of my writing, you’ll encounter more than one reference to Watchmen and its personal influence on various RLSH philosophy and style.
Gost Face (1), a RLSH from the Netherlands describes the impact the graphic novel had on his decision to become an RLSH.

“What really grabbed me at the throat was the fact that these heroes weren't perfectly polished people who could do anything they wanted: these heroes were actually normal everyday people with normal everyday problems, who happened to wear a costume and nickname for their own various reasons.
You didn't just relate to these characters, you were one of them” Gost Face told me.

The “RLSH Bible,” was written by Moore in 1986 and 1987 as a 12 issue miniseries for DC Comics. DC had acquired rights to superhero characters from Charlton comics, and Moore fit this acquisition into an idea he had been thinking over.

“I think I had some vague idea that it would be quite interesting to take a group of innocent, happy-go-lucky super-heroes like say, the Archie Comics super-heroes, and suddenly drop them into a realistic and credible world.” Moore explained in an interview.

DC wasn’t keen on the idea of their recently acquired characters ending up dead and dysfunctional and suggested Moore create new characters for the series. Moore set about creating characters with some similarities as the Charlton superhero line up.

Watchmen was an instant success. It won a Hugo award in 1988, and has been reprinted in graphic novel form several times. It was the only graphic novels on Time’s 2005 “All-TIME 100 Greatest Novels List.” A film adaption was finally made and released in March 2009.

A complex world is brought to life in Watchmen, in a way never so boldly portrayed in comics before. There is rape, abuse, greed, and genocide. The line between good and evil, hero and villain isn’t clearly defined, and that’s what makes the storyline so intriguing.

The book begins with the character of The Comedian being thrown out of his apartment window by an unknown assailant and crashing to the street below. Fellow hero Rorschach investigates the scene and pockets the Comedian’s blood splattered smiley face pin.

The Watchmen world takes place in an alternate timeline, one where Richard Nixon is still president in 1985. The main characters are a “silver age” of heroes, following in the footsteps of an earlier generation of heroes active in the 40’s. In the story, a 1977 Keene Act outlaws costumed vigilantes. The act seems to mirror poor public opinion. The spray painted words “Who Watches the Watchman?” in protest over the heroes, appear throughout the story.

Dr. Manhattan, the only character in the story with super powers, and Golden Age left over The Comedian, continue on as government sanctioned heroes. Silk Spectre II, who has adopted her persona from her mother, and Night Owl II, following in the footsteps of a Golden Age hero who he has befriended, have both retired. The only one still out there operating is the vigilante Rorschach.

“We do not do this thing because it is permitted. We do it because we have to. We do it because we are compelled.”Rorschach says and RLSHs do compare themselves to Rorschach-isms like this.

Rorschach slinks around the story at night in a fedora, trenchcoat, and a face mask decorated with shifting Rorschach blots, armed with little more than his will, his fists, and some impromptu weapons. Alan Moore describes him as “the least morally compromised of all the characters. He is also psychotic, which raises an ambiguity to the thing.”

The ruthless and psychotic career of Rorschach is told throughout Watchmen in the present story line and in Rorschach card induced flashbacks. Rorschach will do whatever it takes to survive and find the answers to his case. Rorschach punches people and breaks their fingers for information. In one flashback, he captures a child molester and murderer and gives him a choice; he can burn to death in the abandoned house he has been using, or saw through his handcuffed arm to escape.

In another scene, Rorschach was been captured and jailed. In the prison lunch room, he throws hot deep fryer oil on an inmate threatening him. His court appointed psychologist, reviewing the incident, quotes Rorschach as telling the cafeteria, “None of you understand. I’m not locked up in here with you. You’re locked up in here with ME.”

Quite a few RLSH relate to this insane character, although they point out they are more inspired by his will and wit rather than his violent confrontations. None of the RLSH I spoke to told me they planned on breaking fingers or confronting cops with an improvised flamethrower made out of a hairspray can. Several RLSHs have adopted Rorschach’s motif; a trench coat, fedora and some kind of facial mask covering all or most of the face.

One example of a Rorschach inspired RLSH is the aforementioned Gost Face, who has designed a mask in tribute to the character.
“My favorite character is Rorschach. Not because I like to break people's fingers or pour hot cooking fat over them, but because I can relate to his way of thinking.
In this political correct world we are living in today, even criminals get cuddled and protected by society, probably even more than their victims. A rapist? ‘He is actually a good guy, but he had a bad childhood.’
A Thief? ‘This man was only stealing because he himself is a victim of poverty.’ A Murderer? ‘Let him do community service so he can see the error of his ways.” Gost Face said that this attempt to put criminals in a gray area is what has fueled his desire to follow Rorschach’s footsteps.

“This angers me: these people have committed crimes. They are nothing but criminals, and that's just it.
I don't see the world as Rorschach sees it (black and white), but I definitely see the difference between a common thug and a good, law-abiding citizen.” Gost Face says.

Much of Alan Moore’s work from this period has a very distinct anarchistic quality to it. His message is often that the status quo, the people in power, need to be destroyed before we can begin again. This is the theme in V for Vendetta, which takes place in a future where “Britain has been taken over by a coalition of fascist groups with a romantic anarchist adventurer (named V) set against them.” as Moore says in an interview. V begins by working alone, but then encourages the population in joining him in taking back their government. He leads a masked revolution.

has a similar message. The characters struggle with the reality that the only way to save the world might be to decimate the population of New York. They operate outside of the corrupt bureaucracy of the government, and it’s likely that such romantic, revolutionary ideas appeal to the RLSH.


1. "Gost" isn't a typo.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Note: This is the last of several articles about Superheroes Anonymous 4, a gathering of Real Life Superheroes being held in Portland, Oregon. This series, written by Treesong, is a collaborative project of Heroes in the Night and Song of the Trees.

I've already given a description of each day's events in my previous entries. Now, I'd like to write a quick entry to sum it all up and thank the people who made it all possible.

On the whole, I would say that Superheroes Anonymous 4 was a great success. There were some logistical issues, some interpersonal issues, and some lessons to be learned for future events. But this is par for the course when you get together a group of people from different cities and try to bring them all together for a common set of activities. The important thing is that we met up, got to know each other better, and did some good work together. I've been to numerous conferences, and I felt that this one went quite smoothly.

This event has been a great inspiration for me. I get the impression it has been for other people, too. Becoming a part of the Real Life Superhero movement in general has motivated me to get active again, and this conference has definitely amped up my inspiration and motivation even further. I also have new contacts now in other cities, and we can support each other in the local work that we're doing. We've pledged to stay in touch so that we can share ideas, offer support, and meet up again as soon as we're able to do so, whether it's in the context of Superheroes Anonymous 5 or some smaller regional meet-up.

I'd like to thank Zetaman, Apocalypse Meow, and anyone else involved in organizing the weekend's events. Like many event organizers, I could tell that Zetaman was starting to stress out as we encountered a few delays and changes in logistical details along the way. But between the good work on advance planning and the attention to detail as the weekend went on, we were able to pull off all of the weekend's main events: the food bank, the Red Cross training, the coat drive, the patrol, and the Race for the Cure. Thanks for being good hosts and bringing it all together.

Thanks to my fellow Real Life Superheroes for showing up, putting in the time and effort, and keeping it real. There are still plenty of RLSHs who I've met online and would like to meet in person. But it was a pleasure to meet some of you in person, and it was great to work and play and learn side by side with all of you.

Thanks also to Tea Krulos for inviting me to contribute to his blog. I'm sure Tea would've liked to make it out to SA4, but since he couldn't, I'm glad we were able to work together in getting the word out about how the weekend went.

On a personal note, I'd like to send out a special thanks to everyone who made my own participation in Superheroes Anonymous 4 possible. I am a low-income worker with no savings, so I was only able to make it out here with the support of my community. Thanks to the several anonymous donors who supported my trip out here, and thanks also to Castle Perilous for matching these donations to ensure that Southern Illinois' own Real Life Superhero would make it to Superheroes Anonymous 4.

Now, it's time to return home to my own home town and resume my own efforts here. Good luck to everyone else as they do the same.

Note from Tea: Thanks much to Treesong for collaborating with me in posting this series of reports. I'll have one more great piece of news to report about SA4 within the next couple days--stay tuned!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

SUPERHEROES ANONYMOUS 4: Saturday and Sunday

Note: This is the first of several articles about Superheroes Anonymous 4, a gathering of Real Life Superheroes being held in Portland, Oregon. This series, written by Treesong, is a collaborative project of Heroes in the Night and Song of the Trees.

Today was the first full day of Superheroes Anonymous 4. In spite of the rain and various other logistical snafus, we had a fun and productive day and night, and we're looking forward to meeting again tomorrow.

I started my day this morning at 5:35 am. After two days and eight hours on the Greyhound bus, sleeping on an actual bed was amazing. I slept like a baby for the precious few hours that I had available to me. After a shower and some basic morning yoga, I met up with Zetaman, and we all got together for an early breakfast.

Breakfast was good. We have a variety of backgrounds, personalities, tastes, and so on, but we always seem to have good conversations. Sometimes it's serious talk about the work that we do; other times it's completely ridiculous and hilarious banter that isn't quite ready for prime time. Either way, it's been good to eat and work and play alongside a group of interesting and genuinely good-willed people.

Our work for the day started at 9 a.m. with a two hour shift of volunteering at the Oregon Food Bank. I had vaguely assumed that this food bank would be bigger than anything I'd seen before, but I was deeply surprised and impressed at the scale and sophistication of it. It was literally an entire massive warehouse filled with donated food that was being received, processed, stored, and delivered to people in need. Some of the volunteers remained in a small area up front to bag food while the superheroes and another batch of volunteers walked to the other end of the warehouse to box some food.

As we headed to the back of the warehouse, we walked among isles of three or four storey tall shelves stacked with palettes full of food. There were several forklifts available to move and lift the palettes, and several different work areas and types of food on the shelves. Our tour didn't include a detailed explanation of the entire process, but it was a very clean and efficient-looking facility, and they were clearly able to handle large amounts of food.

When we reached the back room, our volunteer coordinator explained to us that we would be boxing food that had been donated. Believe it or not, the food was actually loaded onto a conveyor belt, and it was our job to grab food as it went by and pack it into boxes. At first, it seemed like something from an I Love Lucy episode, with random cans and boxes of food cruising by in front of us as we tried to box them all. But soon, we got in the groove of the work, and it all went very smoothly. Our superhero team was spread out pretty evenly among the different volunteer positions. Skyman was taping together boxes and bringing them to the conveyor belt; Dreamer was one of the people checking for damaged or recalled items; the Irishman was doing some heavy lifting at the far end of the conveyor belt; Civitron was taping shut the filled boxes of food; Zetaman, Apocalypse Meow, White Baron, Victim, and I were on the conveyor belt itself. When Blue Blaze made it out there, he joined us at the conveyor belt too.

It was a simple process, but really quite impressive in its own way. If I remember correctly, we boxed about 12,000 pounds of food, which means that each of us individually helped in providing over 400 meals.

This was a great outcome. Everyone I talked to during and after the event seemed to be having a good time and glad to be able to help the community in such a direct and concrete way. The volunteer coordinator was very personable, helpful, and grateful for the help of all of today's volunteers, whether they came as superheroes or simply came to help. We took the time to thank him and the Oregon Food Bank itself for the work that they do.

After lunch, it was time for the CPR and first aid certification course offered by Red Cross.

The course was very educational and empowering. Not everyone took it because a few people were already certified or about to be certified through some other means. But most of us took it, and it was quite an effective and informative class. The instructor was very down-to-earth and also seemed quite happy to see a group of superheroes taking the course simply because we want to be able to help others. It was a very good course, and I feel like I learned quite a bit in just a six hour course. I feel like Real Life Superheroes in particular should take this course, but so should just about anyone. Even if you don't have a high risk job, or a job that puts you in contact with the public, training in first aid and CPR can mean the difference between life and death for someone in your life who is suffering from a medical emergency.

After the Red Cross training, we went over to an event in the park that was gathering winter coats for people in need. Their goal was 500 coats, and the donations we brought them were just enough to put them over their goal.

For a while during the coat drive and our dinner, the fate of our night patrol was uncertain. The rain had picked up again, and between the rain and the hectic conference schedule, we felt less than fully prepared for a night out on the streets. At first, we planned on going ahead with the patrol. Then, we decided that we should cancel it. Finally, at the last minute, we ended up going ahead with it.

On the whole, I feel like the patrol was a success. At first, we just came across various people of Portland who were out for a night on the town and not really in need of what we had to offer. We had a few conversations of varying quality with passers-by, ranging from occasional explanations of who we were to brief encounters with people who just found the spectacle of costumed people amusing. When we got to a certain area of town, though, we really started coming across people living on the street who could make good use of our food and toiletries and other supplies. Socks were a really popular item, and we only had a few pairs to go around. Water and chips were also popular, followed by the delicious brownies and cookies that were left over from our meet-and-greet dinner last night.

Since there was a big group of us, and a big group of people to serve in one area, we spontaneously decided to split up. This lead to some of us scurrying back and forth as we figured out who had the supplies that each person wanted. Some people were casual and nonchalant in their acceptance of our supplies, but others showed a mix of excitement and genuine gratitude. I had a few short but interesting conversations with people, and I saw other people in our group of superheroes doing the same.

People living on the streets are just statistics to some people, but I feel like it was important for us to talk with them, and interact with them as fellow human beings, and offer what help we did have to offer. It seemed like we were all touched by the seriousness of these people's situation and the importance of outreach to people in need. Skyman in particular seemed taken aback by the whole experience - especially when Zetaman gave away his own jacket to someone in need!

This jacket was a very nice (and very new-looking) blue hoodie with a custome Zetaman logo. I already knew that he was a genuinely kind and generous guy, but I'll admit that I too was moved when I saw him giving this jacket away. He explained that we were out of socks, and that the person he was giving the jacket to had no socks and no means to stay warm. He also said that when the night is over, he and the rest of us would be going back to a warm, dry place to sleep, whereas this person would not. But hopefully, they should be a little better off now that they have a brand new hoodie.

All of us have contributed in our own ways to making this conference a success. However, I feel like Zetaman deserves special recognition - both for this act of kindness and for working so hard with Apocalypse Meow and others to organize the event.

What impresses me the most, though, is that as I see it, all of this is only the beginning. All of us face a variety of problems back in our home communities and in society in general. All of us respond to these problems in different ways. But if more people of conscience would just decide to overcome their apathy and inertia and get more involved in their local community, then we could solve these problems together.

With that written, I need to go to bed! But I'll have more news soon. In the meantime, thank you to everyone who made this conference (and my attendance here) possible. I'll be writing a more detailed thank you in my final installment of this SA4 series, but in the meantime I just wanted to express my gratitude. This has been a good weekend - and hopefully we have many more good weekends, and weeks, and months, and years to come.


Today was the final day of Superheroes Anonymous 4. It was hard saying goodbye to people, especially since I had to leave before the final dinner. But since we spent so much of our time together, it feels like we managed to pack more than three days worth of experience into less than three days worth of time.

I stayed out late last night for patrol, then stayed up even later to write about the day's events. This was almost evened out by the fact that I was able to sleep in until about 7 am this time. I only slept about a total of 7 or 8 hours between Friday and Saturday nights combined, and I believe others slept a similar or lesser amount. As you might imagine, we were all tired — but we were also excited about walking in the Race for the Cure!

We weren't able to do a big group breakfast this morning, so we ended up eating in a few small groups. I ate breakfast with Zetaman, Apocalypse Meow, and Civitron because we were riding together in the Zetavan. (Yes, Zetaman had a Zetavan!) We ate at this great little diner called Burgerville. At a glance, it looked like it might just be a typical corporate chain restaurant. Once inside, however, I discovered that it was actually part of a chain of local restaurants that focus on local food and ecological sustainability. I'm pretty sure this was the first chain-style restaurant I've seen so far where there were separate bins for recyclables, compostables, and disposables, with three illustrated signs to help the novice determine which was which. Portland is filled with many such pleasant surprises, and I hope that I can go back there again sometime just to explore the city more thoroughly.

Once breakfast was taken care of, we made our way over to the Race for the Cure.

First of all, I was amazed with the turnout. I knew that it was going to be big, and it's not the biggest mass gathering I've ever been to. But it's definitely one of the biggest, which is pretty amazing since it was for a charitable cause rather than a political protest.

Since we were staying in different parts of town and eating at different places, we ended up arriving at different places and times. It took a bit of walking to bring us all together. What started as a few isolated pockets of soon gathered into a prominent cluster of nine Real Life Superheroes plus several other people who were walking with us. Most people were wearing either the Race for the Cure shirts or their own everyday clothes, but there were also a few other costumed activists, including an entire group of Star Wars characters fighting against breast cancer. We have some photos of superheroes and Star Wars characters posing together, although I didn't get to pose with them because I was busy taking pictures.

The atmosphere was very friendly and festive. My own costume is simple and low-key enough that it wouldn't have drawn much attention in a crowd of this size and diversity. We were often walking together, though, or spread out into two or three smaller clusters, which added to our visibility. Civitron, Zetaman, and Blue Blaze in particular seemed to catch people's eye due to the colorful spandex and frequent friendly greetings. In Blue Blaze's case, it also didn't hurt that he was often scaling nearby objects in order to gain a new perspective on the scene! Some people simply noticed that we were superheroes and cheered us on or asked to take their picture with us. Others actually asked us for more information about who we were and what we were doing. I can't remember who was the first person to say this, but after a while, several of us started telling people who talked to us that EVERYONE who was marching today was in fact a superhero. The money raised will be going to prevent and cure breast cancer, so all of us who are supporting the cause are superheroes.

We didn't end up staying in a group during the walk, due in part to the fact that we all walk at different speeds. I was sometimes floating between the two or three loose clusters of superheroes, as were a few of the others. Zetaman and Apocalypse Meow were generally at the lead, while Skyman was usually bringing up the rear. I'm a pretty fast walker, so I didn't get to spend much time with Skyman. However, I was impressed with his commitment to keep going throughout the walk. I've been the person at the back of the group before on hikes, so I know it can be tough, but he stuck with it.

All in all, it was a great experience. I don't have the final dollar amount from Zetaman yet, but our team raised several hundred dollars for the cause, and we got to show our solidarity and meet plenty of cool people along the way.

After the walk, I had time for one last meal with Zetaman, Apocalypse Meow, Civitron, Dreamer, and a couple of their friends. Then, it was time to make my way to the train station for the journey home.

Now that Superheroes Anonymous 4 is over, I plan on writing one last entry on the subject. This epilogue will offer my overall summary of how I feel the weekend went, along with some very important thanks to the people who helped make my own participation possible. First, however, it's time for some much-needed sleep.


Note: This is the first of several articles about Superheroes Anonymous 4, a gathering of Real Life Superheroes being held in Portland, Oregon. This series, written by Treesong, is a collaborative project of Heroes in the Night and Song of the Trees.

I've arrived safe and sound in Portland, Oregon for Superheroes Anonymous 4. The conference really doesn't get started until tomorrow, so I don't have much to report yet. I did, however, want to write a brief entry about my arrival and first impressions.

When my bus arrived in town, I took Portland's lovely Max Light Rail out to a spot that would be more convenient for meeting up with the others. Zetaman met me in the parking lot of the Max station, and we went together to our first event: an informal barbeque and meet-up.

I feel the night went well. We spent a little time discussing logistics for the next two days, but mostly we just socialized and got to know each other better. I'd never met any of the others in person before, so I feel that eating together, and relaxing together, and being wacky and wild and real with each other, was a good way for me to start getting to know them.

I can already tell that I'm going to enjoy this weekend and enjoy working side by side with these people. Not everyone was able to make it into town in time for the barbeque, so there are still more people for me to meet. Even so, I like the fact that we all have serious reasons for being Real Life Superheroes, yet we can all have fun together too. It's good team bonding, and good preparation for the coming two days of very active working and learning.

With that said, I'm off to bed. Look forward to more news once the conference has officially started!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Our friends at Forces of Geek have stepped in with the Kickstarter campaign, posting a banner ad at the top of their site, and hosting me in a Q and A session. I write a monthly column for Forces of Geek titled "Cape Optional."

I think the article turned out well and you read it by clicking on the article's title below...

"Our Own TEA KRULOS On Real Life Super-Heroes And How You Can Support His Book, HEROES IN THE NIGHT!"

HERO PROFILE #46: Treesong

Operates out of: Carbondale, IL

Activities: Community activism, charity work, environmental activism

Fun fact: Treesong legally changed his name to "Treesong" before becoming a RLSH

Notes: Treesong is reporting on his experiences at the Superheroes Anonymous 4 conference in Portland in a collaboration between my blog and his website. His first entry was posted here yesterday and his on the road update posted just half an hour ago reads: "About to leave Denver. Halfway to Portland!" Stay tuned for his reports to follow.

Treesong's website:

Heroes in the Night Kickstarter page:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


The Treesong logo

Note from Tea Krulos: Not being able to attend the Superheroes Anonymous 4 conference myself, I asked Treesong, a RLSH from Carbondale, IL (full profile tomorrow) if he would like to share his experience. Treesong is an experienced writer himself. We decided to collaborate between my site and his, and what follows is his first entry on the SA4 experience.


By Treesong

Note: This is the first of several articles about Superheroes Anonymous 4, a gathering of Real Life Superheroes being held in Portland, Oregon. This series, written by Treesong, is a collaborative project of Heroes in the Night and Song of the Trees.

In a few hours, I'll be boarding a Greyhound bus here in Carbondale, Southern Illinois. After two days on the road, I'll arrive in Portland, Oregon for a conference called Superheroes Anonymous 4, where I'll be spending about two days in the company of fellow Real Life Superheroes. Considering the amount of time, energy, and support that has gone into making my trip to this conference a reality, I thought I'd take a few moments to reflect on what it is and why I'm going.

A Real Life Superhero is just what it sounds like: someone who wears a special costume or uniform, adopts a special name, and goes around providing various forms of community service.

Some of us are self-appointed urban guardians, conducting neighborhood patrols to prevent crime and ensure the safety of people in our communities. Some of us are charitable volunteers, offering our time and energy and money to people in need and the community organizations that serve them. Some of us are activists or advocates, choosing one or more social or environmental causes to organize around in our community. Many of us are some combination of the above, or choose our own way that is hard for others to define. At the end of the day, we are people of conscience who love our communities and have chosen a bold new way to serve and protect them.

When I first heard about Real Life Superheroes online, I knew immediately that it was right for me. It was what I had been trying to do with my life for years without fully understanding how to put a name to it. However, I definitely understand the initial skeptical response of some people. Why superheroes? What's the point of adopting a superhero name and dressing up in a costume or uniform?

Really, I can only speak for myself. Some people's approaches are very different than mine, and some don't even like to be called Real Life Superheroes. For me, though, what it comes down to is the difference between despair and hope.

For about ten years, I was what most people would call an activist. It started when I was a college student and continued well after graduation as I decided to stay in the Carbondale for the long haul. I would join community groups, organize community events, and speak out about political causes that were near and dear to my heart.

This was an intense way of life. At first, it felt very empowering and rewarding. I learned more about the world, I met wonderful people, and I felt like I was starting to make a difference. But as time went on, it started to seem more and more like an endless struggle. There were so many problems in our community, and even more in the world beyond it. I had a growing sense of urgency about what needed to be done, but a diminishing sense of what I or anyone else could do about it.

For a few years, I sank into a rut of despair, without the time or energy or hope necessary to do much in my community. But then, I came across this Real Life Superhero movement, and something clicked.

Superheroes are archetypal figures of inspiration, empowerment, and hope. Most efforts to increase community involvement focus on some combination of guilt ("If you don't help this cause, you're not a good person!"), anger ("Look at what they did to that forest!"), or fear ("The world will end if you don't help this cause!"). This may work in the short term, but it leaves people feeling guilty, frustrated, afraid, and ultimately powerless. It emphasizes the idea that we're surrounded by troubles, and that we're constantly in danger of being overwhelmed by these troubles.

The Real Life Superhero approach to community involvement, on the other hand, is rooted in the idea that each of us can become a beacon of hope and an agent of change in an otherwise bleak and apathetic society. Real Life Superheroes are everyday citizens just like you who have simply chosen to go the extra mile and do some good in our community. We have no superpowers, and some of us don't even have any fancy gear or special martial arts training. We also don't have all of the answers to the problems facing our community. What each of us does have, though, is our own unique set of skills, experience, and passion that we bring to our work. We see some problem or need in our community, and we take simple and direct action to resolve it. It's that simple for us — and it can be that simple for you, too.

Learning about and talking to Real Life Superheroes from around the world has been an amazing experience. Embracing the superhero archetype and becoming a Real Life Superhero myself has given me the renewed energy and vision that I needed to start being active again in my community. Taking action, in turn, has been the antidote to my despair, leaving me with a sense of hope for the future. Now, instead of seeing community service as a "chore," I look at it as an adventure.

And THAT is why I'm going to Superheroes Anonymous 4. I feel inspired again, and I want to follow that inspiration wherever it leads me. I also want to meet up with other people who feel the same way and see what we can do in the span of two days to learn together, to grow together, and to serve the people of Portland and beyond.

I realize that most people don't "get it" the first time they hear about it, and some people will never "get it" at all. This approach to community service certainly isn't for everyone, and I don't recommend it for everyone. But I find it profoundly inspiring. Other Real Life Superheroes find it inspiring, and many people in our communities find it inspiring too. As long as we're doing good work and inspiring others to do the same, that's the important thing.

However this weekend's conference goes, I hope that this spirit of inspiration will continue, and that more and more people will discover their inner superhero. Even if you don't feel a need to adopt a new name and costume, know that you have the power within you to make a difference for the better. And stay tuned for more updates on Superheroes Anonymous 4!

*UPDATE FROM TREESONG IN ST. LOUIS: The trip is going well so far. I have a six hour layover in St. Louis, so I explored town a bit, and came back to the station to discover free wifi. I also saw Captain America graffiti on the way here, which I think is a good sign.
Treesong's website:
Please check out Heroes in the Night on

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Super Amigos documentary

Heroes in the Night's Bibliography's Greatest Hits

Are you looking for an interesting movie to watch on a Sunday evening? Let me highly recommend Super Amigos, which you can watch online here:

The film is about "social luchadors" of Mexico City- some early real life superhero entries. I wrote about the film briefly in the book, in Chapter 3: Early Prototypes. I wrote a section of that chapter about Super Barrio, who uses his persona to organize housing and labor rallies. This sidebar compliments that section-


Director Arturo Perez Torres reveals in his documentary Super Amigos (2007) that Super Barrio wasn’t Mexico City’s only “social wrestler.” Three others- inspired by Super Barrio- tackled a multitude of problems through the 80’s to the mid 2000’s.

Super Animal (along with a sidekick- Super Animalito) fought for animal rights, particularly against bull fighting. In the film Super Animal gets arrested trying to enter a bullfighting ring to challenge the matadors to fight him to the death instead of the bulls. In another scene, he dumps bull intestines and bones on the front stairs of City Hall during a city council session. He even has a Super Animal-mobile- a black VW bug with the outline of a bull painted on the hood.

Super Gay, sports a rainbow striped luchador mask. His origin is that he had a boyfriend that was beaten to death and after that his mission was to stand up to gay bashers. He makes appearances at gay pride events and works as a counselor to those who have suffered from homophobia. Ecologista Universal makes a great 200 mile pilgrimage by foot in the film and battles environmental destruction, protesting deforestation of pines for Christmas trees and wasteful packaging.

The documentary also features Fray Tormenta, who lived on the street as a child, but joined the seminary and became a priest. He also became a luchador wrestler in 1983. He wrestled in over 4,000 lucha matches and used the money he earned to fund two orphanages that he operates. He gives sermons in his gold luchador mask- a man of the cloth and the spandex.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

HERO PROFILE #45: Skyman

Photo by Pierre-Elie de Pibrac

Operates out of
: Seattle, WA

Activities: Patrols, hand outs

Quote: "I recently discovered that Superheros do exist in Real-Life, to say the least I was impressed and above all vindicated for what had already been created within me. For many years I have been battling mental illness and believe that complete sanity is within reach because my persona as SkyMan can now come out from the shadows and start living a real life... see, its not all in my head folks... if people have done this before me I am just following in a successful tradition! Keep track of me for I will become somebody important!"

Author's notes: Skyman recently inquired how I choose the weekly Hero Profile- and the answer is, it is pretty random. I started the profiles to keep myself on my toes and to give readers a reason to come back to the blog for repeat visits. Sometimes I choose people who have been doing this a long time or are already "retired" sometimes it is someone new, so it's not based on seniority. Sometimes it has to do with people I've talked to- after Vancouver I did a bunch of profiles on people I met there, same with New York. But I try to keep it as random as I can, it's more fun for me that way.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Heroes in the Night's Bibliography's Greatest Hits

This will be a series posted randomly over the next month.

Writing Heroes in the Night has been based on three major points- extensive interviewing, field work, and research. Interviewing is pretty self explanatory. I’ve spoken to as many RLSHs (and assorted personnel ) as much as I’ve could. I’ve done interviews by e-mail, instant message, phone, and of course the most preferred method- in person. That ties in with field work which would be joining RLSHs out on the street, not only to observe, but to participate when I can.

Research started with reading RLSH MySpace pages and websites and reading all the articles and watching any video I could find online. I also began reading anything I thought might establish “mood”- mostly comic books and graphic novels, as well as some studies of comic books and philosophy (there are a couple of books that explore the psychology of Batman, for instance) and studies of groups that might be in the same family tree, even if it was just to conclude they had nothing in common with RLSH.

Of course one of the most sensational historic finds was by a group of RLSH working together who uncovered How to be a Superhero, a 1980 book by Night Rider. I wrote about that book in an entry HERE.

The book refers to self proclaimed “real life superheroes” Night Rider, Ms. Mystery, and Phantom Avenger. However unless something else is recovered or one of these individuals comes forward publicly to reveal more info, their story starts and stops within the book covers of How to be a Superhero. A fourth person mentioned in the book- Curtis Sliwa- on the other hand, is well documented to this day. He formed the Guardian Angels, now more or less a “mainstream” organization that has been recognized by New York mayors, presidents, and world leaders.

But there was one more mentioned in that book- The Fox. It turned out that there were quite a few online articles on the wily Fox, and one of them mentioned that he had published an autobiography. A search on Amazon turned up a few copies, so I excitedly added one to the shopping cart, and I’m glad I did.

The book is titled Raising Kane: The Fox Chronicles, By “Ray Fox”and was published by Kindred Spirits Press in 1999, and not a moment too soon- The Fox died at age 70 two years later in 2001.

The Fox operated in Aurora, Illinois (not too far from Chicago) and his name is dually clever- he main mission was protecting the Fox River from pollution. “Zorro” is Spanish for fox, and there is a comparison to be made there. To understand the Fox’s mission more clearly, here is an excerpt from the book:

So what have I done? Essentially I’ve diddled with, or messed with the Law. Not once, but many, many times; deliberately and premeditatedly. More sorrowfully than rancorously.

Just what did I do to the Law? Depends on who you talk to. Some will say I broke hell out of it. That I am a dangerous, evil, lawbreaker. A formidable enemy of the Law. Others have said that I bent it just a tad. Very minor. Justifiable civil disobedience, a necessary gadfly. Who’s law? Mankind’s?...Maybe. Natural Law?...Never. Lots of people have lots of opinions.

Over the last twenty-nine years, I’ve capped smokestacks, plugged sewers, and hung signs. (I’ve) distributed broadsides, defaced products, and dumped sewage and rotten fish in corporate offices. I have also deposited, hung, sailed, and poured (yes poured), more dead skunks in more unusual places than anyone I know of. I’m probably the only person in North America who considers a road killed skunk to be a natural resource.

Some of my little wars were one raid affairs, and some lasted off and on for several years. I won some, lost some, and some were rained out.

Was The Fox a real life superhero? That would depend very much on an individual’s opinion. The Fox admits as much in this passage:

One thing for sure, along the way, I’ve collected an impressive list of names. Among them, but not limited to: Zorro, Asshole, Hero, Kook, Robin Hood, Screwball, Folk Hero, and Eco-terrorist. Sometimes the names were used in the same sentence that was questioning my ancestry ; which goes to prove you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

Much to my surprise, (in many languages and in many countries), considerable ink has been used to editorialize, report, teach, defend, discuss, and fictionalize the things that were done. I have been praised, vilified, emulated, harassed, admired, hated, and loved. About the only thing I haven’t been, is ignored.

The Fox began his actions in March 1969. His first target was against a soap company that was dumping industrial waste into the Fox River. Readers should understand that in 1969 what few anti-pollution laws existed were very primitive. The Fox explains:

Illinois did not yet have an Environmental Protection Agency and Washington was just organizing theirs. Essentially what we had was a group of ineffectual local, state, and federal entities who really couldn’t enforce the environmental laws; even if those people who were responsible for enforcing what laws we had wanted to. Locally, we had a severe pollution problem and local authority was looking out the window.

The Fox explains the effects of the waste on the river:

The gilled animals were wiped out first. Dragonfly larvae, crustaceans, fingernail clams, tadpoles, and bass fingerlings’ bodies floated, decayed, and stank on the water. The adult amphibians and lung breathing animals were the last to go. Atleast they could crawl out of the liquid garbage for a breath of air, but eventually, they, too, returned to the only home they knew; to be killed by the lethal soup that would envelope them and add their bodies to the bloated rottenness that covered the water surface.

Clouds of oily soot belched from its boiler house stacks and a variety of aromas generated by steam-heated fats and oils, some of which were rancid, wafted through the air. The neighbors had a double barreled problem; air as well as water pollution.

While going for a walk, The Fox finds a family of ducks dying is the soapy sludge, and vows that the soap factory is his enemy, and curses them. The Fox:

“You greedy bastards. You ignorant, greedy bastards!” I rasped through clenched teeth.

After talking with a friend, he gets the idea to jam the sewer pipe so that the waste backs up back into the factory. Although he is determined, he also has doubts and finds himself puking before the mission, something that will happen frequently before future mission. The Fox writes:

But what if my actions caused somebody to get hurt, or even killed? I sank to my hands and knees at this last thought and threw up. I could never live with myself if that happened.

The company unplugged the sewer and continued business. The Fox felt his passion deepening:

For the first time in my life, I was beginning to feel myself slipping away from the legions of law abiding citizens and into the realm of those who felt a gut driven need to follow another set of laws. Maybe those of a higher set than statutory law. In other words, if one of us (the company) was going to break laws against polluting the environment, there were now two of us making the rules by which we would abide.

He continued his attacks on the sewer pipe. He always left a note signed FOX, with a cartoon fox face drawn in the “O.” One note read:

What God has wrought, we must preserve and protect, not desecrate for the sake of profit. –FOX

The Fox soon diversified to other companies polluting the area. He went after a aluminum refinery owner he nicknamed “Bob Rotten” with dead skunks, hung huge signs and banners, distributed flyers, and began to make some superhero comic like connections. He became friends with a politician working for the State Sanitary Water Board, who joined him on several missions. A couple of disgruntled police officers, sick of their overbearing boss, also became friends. They left messages tipping The Fox off when the trail on him was hot or when there was a stake out in an empty cola bottle near a tree.

Despite these warnings, The Fox had to run from police at least three times, once running through the freezing Fox River in February, once through the dark woods, and once after hanging a poster of a political cartoon in Chicago. He was almost hit by a bus during his escape.

He also developed a ongoing friendship with Chicago Daily News columnist Mike Ryoko after he took a direct action by dumping industrial waste and the animals it had killed on the carpet of the company’s reception room*. He called Ryoko for the first of many times. The Fox recalled the phone call:

“I just dumped fifty pounds of rotten fish, birds and sewage on the floor of the executive offices of American Reduction, inc., of Gary, Indiana.” I replied.
There was silence for a few seconds.
“You did WHAT?”

Among the many other actions The Fox carried out were chaining and locking shut an asphalt plant and holding a mock funeral for the Fox River in 1971. He also orchestrated an effort that mailed out 10,000 day glo stickers that read “(soap company) pollutes our air, kills our water –The Fox.” The stickers were mailed out with instructions for people to go to their local stores on the same day and stick the stickers to the company’s products, but one of the products and mail the label with the sticker to the company, demanding an explanation.

After his death, The Fox was cremated and his ashes spread over the Fox River, the river he had spent 30 plus years fighting for.

*To show what a classy guy he was, The Fox was concerned that he had scared the receptionist at the company with his sewage spilling so he had a bouquet of flowers delivered. It had a card that apologized if he had scared or upset her,and that he had nothing against her, but was angry at her boss's company.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Announcement 1- "Self Publishing"

I have made the executive decision to self publish Heroes in the Night. Actually, self publish isn't entirely accurate. I will be working with a small, local publication house called Currents, inc. This company publishes the Riverwest Currents, a small community newspaper. They have been publishing the paper almost ten years now and gave yours truly many of his first gigs. They have a lot of social capital and experience, but things have always been rough for them financially. Most print media is crumpling up so just the fact that they are hanging in there is amazing. They are going to help me produce the book and I am raising funds to publish it through the site Kickstarter. More on that in a moment.

The reason I have gone this route is my interactions with agents and publishers haven't been fulfilling. Some of them just don't "get it." One agent told me he liked the book, but wanted me to completely rewrite the narrative and feature no more than five RLSHs in the book. The other day I walked through a Borders bookstore and kind of had a panic attack looking at all the crap on the shelves- teenie bopper vampire books and cat joke books- who wants to negotiate with people who produce that?!

I'd rather do it my way, creative control means a lot to me. That will insure that the exact book that I want to happen will happen. So that is the advantage of self publishing. The disadvantage is that it is A LOT of work. Fortunately, I've been assembling a X-Men style team to help me for awhile now.

This team includes editor Jan Christensen who is also the editor of the Riverwest Currents. She is going crazy with the red ink, correcting spelling, grammar, and continuity errors. Graphic designer J. Jason Groschopf is doing the entire lay out for the book. Besides the writing, I want Heroes in the Night to be very visually dynamic. It will almost be like a fun to read textbook. Comic book artist David Beyer, Jr. will be contributing some comic book style illustrations to the book, and there will be a lot of great photos from a variety of photographers including Peter Tangen, Paul Kjelland, and Pierre-Elie de Pibrac. Videographer Matthew Miller has been helping make promotional videos. I also have a team of two lawyers reading the entire book, a book keeper, someone working on a more official looking website, and for the last team member I'm looking for someone to handle my least favorite job- PR/ publicity.

These people are all doing work for free or at a discounted rate, but there still are expenses. It is impossible to think a quality job in producing a 250-300 page book is going to happen for nothing. I have to pay the lay out guys something, I have to pay the lawyers, I need a small budget for PR, etc., etc. I added this up and it came to approx. 8,000 dollars. I also want to do a large enough print run that I will have some copies to send out to people, including reviewers, as well as a stock to sell online and at bookstores, which will fund a second print run.

Matthew Miller pointed me in the direction of Kickstarter, a website that helps people raise funding for their projects (they take a 5% fee)- Kickstarter approved my project and today is day 1 of 35 days of fund raising. Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing affair, you either get all of the funding or you get zip.
There are several levels people can donate at, with different incentives. I think the most sensible one is Level 2, which is basically just preordering the book.

Well, that is all I have to say on it now. I will have more announcements that I will be making this week, namely about the charity I am partnered with and some details on the book itself. I will also be writing about some of the books I've used to research my own.

I will be updating this blog with content as much as possible over the next month.


Bonus feature: Video of me speaking awkwardly about the project!

Please pass it on if you feel inclined.

Your pal,
Tea Krulos

Sunday, September 5, 2010

09/04/10 Center Street patrol (and other RLSH world news)

Night patrol- photo by Paul Kjelland

-Tea Krulos reporting

Last night, I again hit the streets of my neighborhood with my local RLSHs, The Watchman and Blackbird. We were also joined by Mike, who shot pictures and video for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and infamous Team Cthulhu leader Groschopf, a concerned citizen who likes to keep an eye open for danger.

The Watchman and Mike met up in my kitchen and then headed out to Locust Street, where Mike did an on camera interview with the red cowled crusader. I stayed behind and waited for the Blackbird to fly up from the South side.

When we got the call they were done, we headed out and met up with them, and started doing a loop around the Center Street area. I called Groschopf and we all met up at our second most frequent rendezvous point (after my kitchen)- the basketball courts on Center and Pierce. Mike followed us around and also got some react quotes from people we encountered. I'm pretty confident that this went well- a couple dudes hanging outside the Riverhorse tavern recognized The Watchman and cheered him on. Later, Mike got a positive reaction from a group of people partying Riverwest style. They were having beers in the garage with the door open, enjoying the first of the cool autumn weather and thought the RLSHs were admirable for patrolling the neighborhood.

As I've said before, I believe the RLSHs have had a very positive reception here in Riverwest.

Around 11:30PM, Groschopf and I decided we were going to split and talk about some exciting, as yet unannounced details (see previous post) about my forthcoming book, Heroes in the Night, at the Foundation Tiki Lounge, just off Center Street. Blackbird also decided to head to his own neighborhood where he wanted to do some late night surveillance of an area that had several non functioning street lamps. We parted with Mike and Watchman, but when we reached the corner of Booth and Center, we noticed a man sprawled out on the sidewalk, not too far from Club Timbuktu. We decided to see if the guy was alright. As we approached, we saw that the man was semi-conscious, reeked of liquor, and had managed to get his penis out of the fly of his pants and was urinating while laying down on the sidewalk, mumbling and flopping around on the sidewalk.

Groschopf and I looked at each other with a what the hell?! expression.

"Hey dude,dude,are you ok?" I asked. He looked up at us and said something incoherent and angry. I saw the doorman at Club Timbuktu staring at the situation and dialing his phone. A couple walked around us, frowning.

"(expletive), man, what do we do?" I asked Groschopf. We didn't know. We reasoned that trying to get him to stand or even sit would be useless- he was astoundingly drunk. I then realized that there was a superhero patrolling the streets just blocks away, so I called Watchman and told him the situation. He said he was on it, so we carried on.

When he got there, he reports, the police, an ambulance, and a firetruck were already at the scene so he stayed out of their way. He did have an opportunity to meet our neighborhood's bicycle cops who were monitoring the scene. That is a good connection for him to make as they are the ones he'll run into most frequently in this neighborhood if he's on foot. The bike cops are well loved by many in Riverwest. When I attended a neighborhood safety meeting a couple of months ago, most of the panel (aldermen, the chief of police, department of neighborhood services) received polite applause, but the bike cops got loud cheering and a standing ovation.

Mike split and Watchman was on his own on Center Street. He ran into some of the guys who recognized him earlier at Riverhorse and he says he had a good talk with them. Later he was talking with some college kids visiting from Madison(,WI)when a squad car slowed down and shined a spotlight on him. Then they announced through the squad's speakers "NICE COSTUME." The Watchman went over and had a short talk with them. They told him they were having a busy night in the area with drunk and disorderlies. He explained he was just walking around keeping an eye on things, and they seemed to take it at face value, told him to "be safe" and continued on.

So, it sounds like Watchman is continuing to make some good connections and potential allies here on the street. We're all eager to see what Mike comes up with for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and of course I'll post it here as soon as it's available.


is planning a blood drive with RLSH for October 2 at Florida's Blood Center in Ocala, Florida and is encouraging other RLSH worldwide to donate locally on the same day. Amazonia posted this on forum:

"I am thinking that we should all get together and host blood drives in our own communities on the same day all across the U.S and other countries. We can all make a difference and I suggest that if your interested in doing this contact your local blood center and make arrangements to give blood that day and let them know that you want to help with organizing a blood drive that same day to help bring in more donors...Let's make this something we all can be proud of and stand behind."


A RLSH character was part of the storyline of a recent episode of the ABC police drama Rookie Blue, described as "the Grey's Anatomy of police drama" by hopeful critics. The parkour trained RLSH calls himself The Guardian, and was played by actor Mpho Koaho in an episode titled "Serve or Protect" which you can watch in it's entirety HERE. The Guardian's gimmick* is pretty spot on- paintball/motorcross type body armor.
Actor Mpho Koaho

"There's a whole underground of real life superheroes." One of the officer's notes, looking at The Guardian's MySpace page.

It seems obvious that inspiration for this character might have come from New York City's own Dark Guardian. Besides the similarity in name, Guardian is interested in investigating and disrupting drug dealers, and a focus for Dark Guardian has been challenging drug dealers in New York. Dark Guardian was picked up and taken to a police precinct (although he went along voluntarily just to talk)and TV's Guardian also visits the precinct, but is escorted in metal bracelets.

Despite being arrested, the show has a very positive spin on the RLSH character. He is well trained in parkour and although his introduction to the police is rough, he actually helps them solve their case with pictures he's taken of a drug dealer. The rookie cops even decide to take him out to play darts with them and their cop friends.

It will be interesting to see if the character returns to become the first reoccurring RLSH prime time character.

*gimmick: what many RLSHs prefer to call their attire.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Official Heroes in the Night Update...

...It's on!

Next week is a pretty important week for Heroes in the Night. I have a few announcements about the project I'll be making throughout the week. In addition I will present some of Heroes in the Night's Bibliography's Greatest Hits and talk about other RLSH books. Please check back.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

HERO PROFILE #44: Hellpool

Photo by Pierre-Elie de Pibrac

Operates out of
: the Bay Area of California

Formerly known as: Hellhound

Team Affiliation: Pacific Protectorate

Activities: Patrols, hand outs

Aesthetic influence
: Probably Deadpool

Quote: "Though new to the calling I vow to fight evil wherever it rears its head. I am a family man and want my future children to live in a safe world. So I am here to help the citizens of San Francisco by patrolling the streets to make a safer world for us all."

Author's notes: I haven't had contact with Hellpool, although I've been meaning to drop him a line, we're both Deadpool fans, after all. I thought it would be good to feature him today since it fits in with my last post (directly below) which is about his team, the Pacific Potectorate.

Bay Area RLSH Workshops

Pictured: Kingsnake(L) and Motor-Mouth conducting a self defense workshop

The North Cali Pacific Protectorate has been busy lately! The crew includes Motor-Mouth, Hellpool, Kingsnake, Mutinous Angel, Citizen Change, and Mega-Rad (and someone named Inferno Wolf, I think.)

Motor-Mouth, Hellpool, and Citizen Change stepped out to do some RLSH style crowd control during a recent riot in Oakland. When I heard about it, I called Motor-Mouth and got the story recorded first hand. It is a good story and one of the last things I'm doing for the book is transcribing it for a chapter titled "On the Street."

It is paraphrased in Motor-Mouth's profile that was posted yesterday on Peter Tangen's site HERE.

The RLSHs also appeared as guests on the Creepy Kofy Movie Time show, a regional late night B-horror show.

Their most recent event was a two day set of RLSH workshops, patrols, and handouts.
Besides midwest guest Overwatch, they were also joined by a group of college students, who were introduced to RLSH via Heroes in the Night.
Watching the workshop, L-R: Two fellows from the school documentary project, an unknown RLSH (possibly Overwatch?), Mega-Rad, and Hellpool.

I talked with two of the people involved with the project by e-mail. Joseph Lambert explained the project.

"We are doing a project for our school. Basically, we [my team and I] go to a Graphic Art college near Pixar Studio's in Emeryville. We are assigned to do a Documentary to see how well we work as a Team on a film project. There are the four of us; Emma, Derryl, Ray, and Myself. The project is due in about a week, we're running way behind, but we should be fine! One or two of the RLSH's requested that we blur out their faces, when seen unmasked. An easy task. We definitely want to respect their wishes, not only for the sake of respecting them as people, but also because they've helped us out a lot on this project."

I also asked Joseph about the experience over all.

"It was cool to see. Real people, doing this. They don't have to do it, but they do it because 1. They want to. 2. They believe in it. and 3. Because if they don't... who will?" Joseph says he has a RLSH name picked out- "Super-Guy" and that another one of the guys working on the project has thought about joining the RLSH ranks.
RLSHs on a handout mission after the workshops.

Emma DuPell
also is a member of the team working on the project and I asked what she thought of the experience.

"What I thought of the super heroes at first was 'Ok, they're regular human beings who get bored and patrol their areas, cool.' But as I got to know them more I learned they're not just regular human beings who dress up and patrol, they also help the homeless and keep an eye out for drunk partiers (not a word, I know) so that they go back to wherever safely. It really surprised me how dedicated and serious these guys were and I wish they were given more credit. Otherwise they were really nice guys, I loved talking their ears off and I would love to go out with them during another one of their patrols."