Wednesday, March 30, 2011

San Fran Media Blitz...


By now, I think the readers of Heroes in the Night know how this shakes down- one media outlet goes "Hey! We got superheroes here!" and then the rest of the local press dog piles on.

We had a fair media blitz here in Milwaukee in October/ November last year. New York City/ New Jersey is a perennial favorite. London has pretty "keen" on the story the last couple of months. An of course Phoenix Jones has Energize Bunny'd the Seattle media since November.

Even smaller towns have had mini blitzes--consider for example the Bar Harbor Batman or the Viper.

Next up looks like San Francisco.

It starts with an article in a publication called The Bold Italic by Justin Juul titled "San Francisco Bay Guardians" in which the author follows around Motor-Mouth, Night Bug, Justified, and Kingsnake. Juul has a humorous and frank take on the story, dressing up as a RLSH himself ("Nightman") for a patrol and sharing the ups and downs of being on street level. The lay out of the article is pretty spectacular- it includes several illustrations of an artist's interpretation of RLSHs and a video at the end.
You can find the article here:

The story was then picked up by the local NBC affiliate and a website called SFist.

My only complaint is that two out of three of these sources have one very major fact wrong- they claim RLSHs were born because of Kick-Ass in 2008. That is completely false. As my well informed readers know, the term Real Life Superhero can be dated back to the 1980 secret superhero manual "How to be a Superhero," penned by the mysterious Night Rider. Other prototypes existed before him. The more modern incarnation of the RLSH began to develop in 2005-2006.


Also related, this breaking news out of San Francisco: Motor-Mouth claims that his former team mate, Hellpool (formerly Hellhound), not only swiped half his name and his aesthetics from comic book character Deadpool, but engaged in actual thievery as well. Heroes in the Night did a Hero Profile on Hellpool back in early September HERE.

In a bulletin titled "RLSH WARNING ABOUT THE RLSH KNOWN AS HELLPOOL" Motor Mouth warns:

"So it was brought to my attention on Saturday by a fellow Californian RLSH that Hellpool, my former teammate, is city hopping (currently in San Diego). To give all of you fair warning, he is NOT to be trusted. He is wanted for a burglary case in San Francisco besides having a lengthy rap-sheet from Oregon to California (a journalist I know & trust investigated that via the SFPD). Again, he is nothing more then a con-man & is NOT to be trusted."

Motor Mouth also added to me in an e-mail: "(Someone)did some digging into Hellpool and discovered that he is indeed wanted by the SFPD. Any RLSH's doing work with him are for sure putting themselves at risk, both legally & reputation wise."

Monday, March 28, 2011


I was a guest on The Stuph File program today, discussing Real Life Superheroes with show host Peter Anthony Holder. The Stuph File's site is at, where you can subscribe via iTunes. The show is also picked up on radio stations in New Zealand, Singapore, and China Airlines, among other places. You can hear the segment which features the interview with me by clicking the media player below.
Peter was a great host and I'd like to thank him for having me on the show.

The full episode is here:

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Capes provided by Heart Heroes

Spring is in the air and several Real Life Superheroes have launched campaigns to raise attention and donation for a variety of charities.


Crossfire the Crusader
, for example, has been encouraging people to donate to Heart Heroes, a charity campaign associated with a company called Power Capes.

Crossfire is a costumed activist from Arkansas who hosts the weekly RLSH themed internet radio show Superhero Academy. He describes the efforts of Heart Heroes in a blog entry:

"These folks are doing something simple, yet powerful. They provide custom superhero capes for children with congenital heart disease. These capes help the kids to find their inner hero and gain the courage they need to face the surgeries and other issues that plague them in their day-to-day lives.

At the beginning of 2011, they had given out over 200 capes. However, they still had a waiting list of over 200 more kids who needed capes but could not afford to send them yet." Crossfire is making an effort to buy a few capes himself and trying to spread the word on his radio show and online.

You can read his full blog entry HERE and hear his interview with Heart Heroes HERE.

Heart Heroes


Peter Tangen has launched a "Water for Africa" campaign on his Real Life Superhero Project site. Fundraising will go to Generosity Water which will construct a water well in Liberia.

From the Real Life Superhero Project site:

"In terms of world health, more than 3.6 million people die each and every year, simply because they don’t have access to clean water. To drink. To cook with. To wash themselves. In fact, 80% of all illness and disease around the globe is caused by lack of sanitation and unsafe water."

Teaming up with the project is Lion Heart, of Liberia, and the first known RLSH on the continent of Africa. The Project site explains Lion Heart's mission:

"In Liberia, where Lion Heart works tirelessly to educate his fellow villagers, thousands of school days are lost every year because kids are spending at least four hours a day hauling clean water back home from distant sources. If that well was in their own village, they could be spending that time building a brighter future for themselves and their countrymen."

"You can help deliver life-saving, clean water to villagers in Liberia. Join Lion Heart and the men and women of The Real Life Superhero Project in creating a clean water well in this West African nation that will serve 300 people for 20 years. And all it takes is $10 and one click."

The money raising goal is $3,000- the cost to build one of the wells.

More info on the project can be found HERE.

The donation page for the project can be found


Zetaman and his team, The Alternates, are continuing their annual tradition of raising funds and walking in the March of Dimes event March for Babies in Portland, Oregon. The fundraising continues through April 30.

Zetaman posted this announcement at

"Every day, thousands of babies are born too soon, too small and often very sick. The Heroic 100 PDX team is walking in March for Babies because we want to do something about this. I know you care, too. That’s why I’m asking you to join us. It’s easy: just click the join this team button.

If you can’t walk with us, please help by donating to our team. You can do so right on this page. Thank you for helping us give all babies a healthy start!"

Zetaman's personal fundraising page is HERE
And The Alternates team fundraising page is HERE

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Operates out of: Madison, WI aka "Mad City"

Also known as
: Mad Man, The Madison Man in Black

Activities: Hand outs and assistance to the large groups of recent protesters in Madison,hand outs to homeless, calling in drunk and disorderliness, bicycle safety advocacy

Quote: "I am vocal in my politics, which I think any citizen with a brain should be at least a little. I may be described as Left, but I like to think I see both sides. Though most things I stand for are mainly supported by the Left. Those things are welfare, health care, the homeless and basic human rights."

Author's notes: My home, the great state of Wisconsin, has been the site of a political battle for over a month now. Newly elected Governor Scott Walker has been trying to pass a controversial budget bill that would take away collective bargaining rights for union workers. Lots of high political drama followed- the Senate Democrats fled the state rather than being forced to vote on the bill, and a court order has temporarily suspended the bill. Massive demonstrations with tens of thousands of protesters at the capitol building in Madison have been happening since mid February.

All of this has also influenced a "Madison Man in Black," Acme, to hit the streets and offer food and supplies to the masses.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011



Rainn Wilson made an appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel Show, there to promote his new film, Super, which looks to be the most unflattering take on superheroes this decade. However Wilson spent much of the conversation talking about the famous Phoenix Jones:

Wilson says Jones has "taken 197 crackpipes away from people."
What's up with all this crack smoking in Seattle?
If I was walking through a parking lot and saw Rainn Wilson tazing Phoenix Jones, I might nominate it for one of the strangest things I've seen.

Monday, March 21, 2011


The super moon- as photographed by The Watchman in the woods of Riverwest

Note from Tea Krulos: On Saturday, the night of the "super moon," local Milwaukee RLSHs The Watchman and Blackbird hit the streets in two neighborhoods- Riverwest and Bay View. Since I couldn't join them because of a prior engagement, I asked The Watchman to share an account of the night, which is pasted below.

Here is my summary of the patrol Blackbird and I did Saturday night:

Blackbird and I met up in Bay View around 9:30pm and went over our plans for the night. We wanted to patrol Riverwest on foot to make sure people there still knew we were around since the last couple times out there we had stuck mainly to rolling patrols and wore plain clothes while on foot. We also wanted to spend some time in Bay View because there have been recent reports of shootings and unprovoked beat downs in the area. We decided to do a short rolling patrol through Bay View before visiting the homeless camp in Riverwest.
The Watchman

The first problem of the night was an obstruction in the road. Somebody had used a large branch to prop up a wood pallet right in the middle of the road for no other apparent reason than for the sake of blocking traffic. Blackbird pulled to the side of the road and I jumped out and removed the obstruction, placing the pallet and branch up on the curb and out of the way.

From there, we went to pick up a couple bundles of firewood and headed off to the homeless camp. As we walked down the trail leading to the camp, we could hear loud voices coming from across the river, which we determined was from some young people partying in the woods. We agreed that we would go around to the other side of the river to make sure the people were being safe after stopping at the camp. Using night vision at the camp, we were able to see a few of the partiers moving around across the river, but were not able to see well enough to get a count or descriptions. By the time we checked on the homeless folks and dropped off the firewood and some water, the party broke up and left.

Since there was no longer anything to check out in the woods, we covered some more ground by vehicle before beginning a foot patrol up and down Center Street and surrounding areas in Riverwest. Though not real late, traffic through there had slowed down quite a bit, but the overall attitude of those who remained seemed positive. We talked to some people, allowed some of them to take pictures with us, and even saw some familiar faces. Among them were the gentleman who once repeatedly referred to Blackbird as "Blackberry" (something we still joke about) and another who once could not recall my name while being interviewed by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Both apologized for their previous errors. Afterward, we spent some time watching a couple suspicious looking characters who seemed to be scoping for lone people walking to their cars, but that went nowhere.

After that, we headed back to Bay View where we spent the remainder of the night walking around looking for signs of the types of problems reported there lately. Thankfully, it was a quiet night despite the full moon, or perhaps thanks to the "super" moon.

-The Watchman

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Phoenix Jones in Action!

Film maker Matt Harrison has been following Seattle superheroes on the streets for a documentary titled Citizen Heroes: The Rise of the Rain City Superhero Movement. Harrison says it will be a feature length documentary scheduled for an October release. He recently posted this clip of Phoenix Jones and Black Knight in action.

Phoenix_patrol_3-12-11 from Matt Harrison on Vimeo.

Heroes in the Night asked Harrison to explain exactly what we were seeing in this clip, to which he replied:

"This clip was us talking to Phoenix on a patrol, we hear a loud crash and see a man throwing detour signs at a parked Subaru's windows. Phoenix takes off to question the man, he asks him "is this your car?" The obviously intoxicated young man states it is not, so Phoenix asks us to call 911. The man takes off, I attempt to trip him, but Phoenix tackles him, and I fall in the process. (You can barely see me in the take down, looks like I'm helping tackle, but Phoenix was all over it.)

While waiting for police, Phoenix checks in with the man, showing concern for his welfare, in fact, Phoenix asks us for a coat for the guys head as a pillow. Police come and take the guy into their custody, but no arrest is made as the victim (car owner) was unreachable that night and there is no drunk and disorderly charge in the city of Seattle. The police reputedly told Phoenix that the citizen arrest was justified and no unnecessary force was used by PJ."


-For more Seattle adventures, read the previous two posts which are a firsthand account by Knight Owl of the Emerald City Comic Con and patrols that tied in with the con.

-Heroes in the Night has recently been mentioned in a lot of international media, including People magazine, British and Colombian press, and most recently in the Russian newspaper Akzia. The article, by Daniel Nash, is about Phoenix Jones including an interview with the superhero. An interview posted here on Heroes in the Night is cited in the article which can be found HERE (but you're going to have to brush up on your Russian if you're going to read it without Google translate!)

Monday, March 14, 2011


People magazine ran this photo of (L-R)Mutinous Angel, Motor-Mouth, and Hellpool in San Francisco across a two page spread in the magazine. Photo by Pierre-Elie de Pibrac*


"Peoples is peoples."--Pete, The Muppets Take Manhattan

This week's edition (cover dated March 21) of People features a three page spread on Real Life Superheroes titled "Superheroes Among Us." (page 92-94) The article gives a brief run down on what a RLSH is and features mini profiles (in a sidebar titled "The Superheroes Next Door") on Dark Guardian, Nyx, DC's Guardian, Motor-Mouth, Life, and Phantom Zero.

They also thrown in speculation from myself on the variety of people who make up the RLSH banner and a snappy quote for good measure- "They don't want to admit it, [but] it's fun to dress up." I guess I said.

The article isn't on People's site, but the article has been reassembled at HERE.

The article is very visually dynamic, no doubt about it- but I was kind of surprised at the brevity of the article. It was very short and kind of made me scratch my head- it took three writers months and months...for this?

Not that I'm complaining- it is what it is. Peoples is peoples.

TOMORROW AND WEDNESDAY: A firsthand account from Knight Owl on Seattle meet ups revolving around the recent Emerald City Comic Con.

*Fun fact: Pierre-Elie chose to take the photo at this particular spot in Chinatown because of the VW Bug in the background to the left. He said that he equates San Francisco with hippies driving VW Bugs in his mind.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Kitty Genovese

Wow, it's been a year already? A year ago today, I reported on what has become a memorial day for many Real Life Superheroes- the anniversary of the death of Kitty Genovese, brutally murdered 47 years ago on March 13, 1964, a chilly night in Queens.

Kitty Genovese arrived at the apartment building she lived in after closing the bar she worked at. There she was stalked, stabbed several times, raped, and robbed. What made the story become legendary was, at the time, reports that the attack was witnessed by 38 apathetic people who decided the incident was none of their business.

Many RLSH say it is this sort of apathy they are trying to combat. And so, on March 13 RLSH from coast to coast hit the street to patrol. Some even hand out flyers outlining the incident. Thanatos of Vancouver, for example, drafted this flyer, including the same picture posted here on it:

Catherine Susan Genovese (July 7, 1935 – March 13, 1964), commonly known as Kitty Genovese, was a New York City woman who was stabbed to death near her home in the Kew Gardens section of Queens, New York on March 13, 1964. Genovese was buried in a family grave at Lakeview Cemetery in New Canaan, Connecticut.

The circumstances of her murder and the lack of reaction of numerous neighbors were reported by a newspaper article published two weeks later; the common portrayal of neighbors being fully aware but completely non-responsive has later been criticized as inaccurate. Nonetheless, it prompted investigation into the social psychological phenomenon that has become known as the bystander effect (or "Genovese syndrome") and especially diffusion of responsibility.

Take a good look at her and never forget her and what happened to her.

Not everyone has accepted the idea. Zetaman, of Portland,posted a blog entry titled "Kitty Genovese Day is Incorrect." He points out that later research into the case revealed that the "38" witnesses was a grossly exaggerated figure. In recreating the crime scene it became clear that it was impossible for most of Genovese's neighbors to witness or hear the attack. Many who could faintly hear a yell (windows were closed- it was still cold out) assumed it was bar noise. And since one of the initial stab wounds punctured Genovese's lung, she could not have prolonged cries for help.

Zetaman also points out that the Kitty Genovese and the 38 witnesses story also was featured in Watchmen, an event that helps shape the mindset of Rorschach, one of the main characters and a RLSH favorite.

Zetaman blogs:
"The Kitty Genovese murder was a ghastly murder and there is such a thing as the Bystander Effect. But don’t use the murder as an over glorified reason to patrol. There are many other cases that better proves the Bystander Effect. The Watchmen graphic novel is not correct in the exact circumstances of the Kitty Genovese murder. Don’t base reasons to patrol on a work of fiction."

Despite the mythology of the story, or perhaps because of it, many RLSH are on the streets as I type this. They say they are out there in memory of the story of Kitty Genovese. They say they are fighting apathy.


The New York Daily News posted an article looking back at the case HERE.

"Visiting professor" Amazonia was guest on Crossfire the Crusader's RLSH themed blog talk radio show Superhero Academy discussing the case HERE.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


[Introducing: X-ALTS]

Operates out of: Unknown

Activities: Patrolling, crime fighting

Quote: "Then, one day, I’m talking to him on the phone and he says he’s not going to be Z anymore. He says the persona doesn’t fit him anymore. He has a new one. He’s not sure what’s going to happen to Z, maybe he’ll pass it on to someone else, but he’s moving on."

Author's notes: In yesterday's write up, "Introducing X-Alts," I explained how Z had adopted a new persona, Zero, and passed his old persona onto a new Z. This then is the profile for "Z-2."

RETCON: The original Z was profile as Hero Profile #30, which has been "retconned"- changed to reflect his new persona with his new name and an updated picture.

HERO PROFILE #65: Night Bug

[Introducing: X-ALTS]

Operates out of
: Oakland, CA

Team affiliation

Activities: Patrolling, crime fighting

Quote: "Another näive hopeful X-ALT, trying to bring some sanity and peace to an insane, violent world."

Author's notes: In yesterday's write up, "Introducing X-ALTS," we explored a new, alternate term for "Real Life Superheroes," a term that was suggested by Night Bug.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


By Tea Krulos

This blog, and the book tied into it, studies the subject of “Real Life Superheroes”(RLSH) – people who invent their own persona and step out into the real world in a quest of crime prevention, crime intervention, or charity and humanitarian efforts.

Not everyone associated with the RLSH community has been comfortable with the “RLSH” branding, though.

“I used to straight up hate the term.” Says Zero, a founding member of the New York Initiative. He used to be known as the single letter “Z,” but recently switched personas to “Zero.”

“I'm still a bit uncomfortable with it, as it refers to the self as both "super" and a "hero,” Zero says, adding, “Whatever your beliefs or philosophies about that, no one in the community can deny that the term has caused some massive problems and misunderstandings. Over time, I started to see it as either one of two things: a misnomer for some, and a lifestyle choice for others.”

Zero and others have long looked for a term that describes what they do, minus the superhero imagery.

“I think that by offering a new term to those that want to operate parallel to the RLSH community and within it without being pigeonholed by it, we can open a new door for people interested in the work but not all the bells and whistles.”

Zero believes he has found that term, and explained it in an announcement:

“ As you know, I changed personas in light of a shift in personal views, and overall disposition. I figure it's time to step forward and, in the interests of transparency and truth, step up to the plate to represent this community.

“That being said, if I'm going to take part in this community, I think it best that we move to make it more accessible to everyone that wants to help, not just the mask and cape crowd. This is why when I recently saw a post on Facebook by an RLSH called Night Bug concerning a personality type known as "Extreme Altruism" (Or X-ALT, the term coined by Night Bug), I saw the possibility to finally put this argument to rest for some of us who have never been comfortable with the term.

“So, to make this nice and short... New and old RLSH alike, allow me offer an alternative to the RLSH brand, presented to you as a parallel designation, not a further schism to the community. I believe that by making this more accessible to the public, we can get some real change done.

“And to the naysayers who want to tell me that this has been done and done again, I say yeah, it has. But it's worth a shot.

This is Zero, and I am an X-ALT.”

The posting Zero refers to is an article by science writer Andrea Kuszewski who penned an article that has been heavily circulated between RLSHs online titled “Addicted to Being Good? The Psychopathology of Heroism.” The article examines people with traits of extreme altruistic tendencies (or as Kuszewski labels them, X-Altruists) and compares them with sociopaths. She finds that the two share many traits, with the key difference being that the sociopath acts in their own interest, while the X-Altruists act in others’ interests. You can read the article HERE.

Zero explains the term has a tie in to the X-Men comics, but the title isn’t as grandiose as the “superhero” label.

“It's also somewhat of a nod to the X-gene, so people that still enjoy the connection to comic fiction can have a term that doesn't automatically, and by proxy, claim anything fantastical or insinuate that they're calling themselves heroes.” Zero says. “Just a little different by nature or nurture. I personally believe it's high time we have a choice so that some of us can move on beyond terms and into real understanding of the work cut out for us.”
Zero (left) with Thre3 in New York


The team Zero is part of- the New York Initiative- was featured in a cover story I wrote for the New York Press in July 2010. At that point the team was a group of four, crammed into a small Brooklyn apartment- Zero, Zimmer, Lucid, and Tsaf.

The group has now not only moved to into a bigger space, but membership has tripled. Dark Guardian is a martial art instructor, and one of the original RLSHs of New York City. After he and the NYI resolved some differences, he joined the team. New members also include Samaritan, Blindside, BattleStar, Skinner, Short Cut, Shade, and Thre3. Members are spread out through four of the five boroughs, with one member in New Jersey.

The group works together to train, do patrols, security, and humanitarian and outreach programs. Their mission statement reads:
“We are individuals organized towards achieving peacekeeping objectives and humanitarian missions. This will translate into a variety of non-monetary services as unfolding events demand. Our primary goal will always be to help those in the most need to the highest ethical standard and to the maximum effect.”

The New York Press article generated a lot of interest and the NYI received requests from documentary makers, hopeful reality show producers, local news and radio, and a host of others. However,the NYI made only one commitment- to be filmed for Michael Barnett and Theodore Jame’s documentary Superheroes, which catches the team in action on the streets of Brooklyn. The film is hoped to be released in some capacity this Summer.

Zero reflects on the period captured in the film as somewhat dark days when the team was just trying to get by. The new NYI is more public and community friendly. They’re even looking into getting non-profit status.

In another entry in the “don’t believe the civil war” hype, Zero says the NYI has a “work in progress” trying to bridge gaps and communicate with the Rain City Superhero Movement, whose most famous member is Phoenix Jones. The two groups have been exchanging ideas, particularly with Rain City’s Red Dragon and Blue Sparrow.
Members of the NYI, (L-R): Blindside, Samaritan, Zero, Thre3, Dark Guardian


In a mysterious twist, Zero also revealed that his “Z” persona had been passed on as a legacy to a second person, an unknown person operating in an unknown city.
Zero vouched for the second Z-

“He’s definitely someone I know, and he's definitely no new kid on the block when it comes to this work.” Zero assures. “He's not a member of the NYI. I do trust him with the name, as he has proven time and time again to have more sense than I had at his age, and both the drive and the skills to carry on the DIY nature of my idea of Z.”

Although the days of Z were over for Zero, the persona was developed enough that he wanted to see it live on.

“It's partially an experiment and partially a belief of mine that like a shaman, we all take on our ideal faces and become philosophy incarnate.” Zero says. “For me the idea of Z was dead, but through a figuratively alchemical mix of both timing and progression of character, the new Z was there and perfectly aligned to Become. Of course, this is all very dramatic, but if you're any kind of philosopher, you'll realize the weight of an identity. Sometimes they can bring you so far you don't have the heart to let them die.”

I also had a chance to exchange e-mails with the newly christened Z, who explained that he first encountered Zero on one of the RLSH forums.

“My first impression was that he was kind of a dick, and I guess I was right. But it wasn’t a bad thing. Being a dick sometimes can have definite advantages.” Z says of his initial reactions. “Anyway, I sort of took to him because he seemed like the most legitimate of anyone I saw. Looking at him, listening to him, talking with him - I could tell this guy was the real deal.”

Z talked more on the advantages of being blunt.

“Saying ‘Maybe you should get a bulletproof vest, just in case’ doesn’t hit as hard as ‘Are you stupid? Spend it on a vest or you’re going to die.’ It’s just a matter of not skirting around what needs to be said. I respected the hell out of that - his willingness to take some criticism or dislike as long as he got the (expletive) point across.”

In one conversation, Zero told the future Z that he was adopting the new Zero persona, but hinted he wanted to pass the Z mantle on.

“I said I knew I could be Z better than anybody, and I said Z is somebody who needs to exist. He was hesitant at first.” Z says. “But after a long while, he said ‘Do you still want Z?’ Naturally, I was down, so that’s when it happened. I had the name and the identity to reflect who I was.”

Z also explained the legacy of who Z is in the RLSH world.

“See, to me, Z is like the dark side of the movement.” Z says. “Not in a vengeance and murder way at all. But being Z isn’t about being a ‘super hero.’ It’s not about wearing tights and being recognized for your deeds. It’s about actually making a difference, whether people notice or not. And that’s how it should be. I’m not hating on the brightly colored guys. The charity types and whatnot. But that’s not what I’m trying to do.”

“I’m not a Real-Life Super Hero. I’m an X-ALT. I’m not going for the comic book style anymore; I’m living in reality, with a twist. I’m here to help, no matter what. No matter the opposition, support, notoriety, or lack of it. I’m just doing what I can. But I will admit: it’s hella fun.”
The New Z
Tomorrow: Profiles on Z, Night Bug, and our first "retconning" of a profile.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Heroes in the Night featured in the London Times...

...or simply The Times if you're in London. Yes, this is the grandaddy newspaper, rockin' the news since 1785. On Saturday, March 5, the paper ran a spread titled "Is it a bird? Is it a plane?'s a vigilante in fancy dress outfit"--a pretty standard run down that briefly talks about Mr. Xtreme, Motor-Mouth, Crimson Fist, Razorhawk,Samaritan, and Phoenix Jones. The article also quotes and has portraits of RLSH by Peter Tangen. The article even manages to get a quote from Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa, something Heroes in the Night hasn't managed to achieve despite a couple tries. He says:
“A lot of people disparage them, and say they don’t have all the furniture upstairs,” said Mr Sliwa. “But they want to be crime fighters. I encourage that.”

A sidebar titled "Best of British" also talks about The Statesman, who recently generated a flurry of British media attention. The sidebar also mentions myself and Heroes in the Night and my speculation that there are a few hundred RLSH worlwide including perhaps a dozen in the UK.

Unfortunately the article is available online only to Times subscribers. The only way I got to read it is because the reporter sent me a PDF of the page the article appeared on.

LONDON CALLING: As mentioned, the UK media is currently crazy for RLSH...I've been receiving e-mails and phone calls for a week straight from people looking to get the UK RLSH on news programs, in documentaries, etc. The Sun, which featured Heroes in the Night last week (HERE) also has been running short tabloid pieces on RLSHs almost daily.

Also, be sure to check back at the blog later in the week when we get the answer to the question...Who are the X-ALTS?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Heroes in the Night Featured in The Sun!

From The Sun: The Statesman with his mum and girlfriend.

It's been an action packed week for myself and Heroes in the Night. Last Friday we were mentioned in the Wall Street Journal...not for advice on stocks, but for an article that focused on Phoenix Jones and Real Life Superheroes.

On Sunday I was "visiting professor" on Crossfire the Crusader's internet radio show, Superhero Academy.

Yesterday, I posted a translation on an article that appeared in a Colombian magazine called SEMANA.

And today...the British tabloids?! Pretty weird, and hilarious.

As reported in a Hero Profile last week, The Statesman was featured in a flurry of stories in the British tabloids, particularly The Sun. The Sun is the top selling English language newspaper. In fact 3 of the top 5 best selling English language newspapers are British tabloids(the other 2 are USA Today and the Times of India).

The Sun followed up with an article centered around a phone interview with me titled:
"16 Superheroes on Streets of Britain" (a good headline, but not as good as say, "Katie Price has it Largie with Himbo Argie," a neighboring Sun story).

The only thing I'll say about this article is that true to form, The Sun's interpretation of what I said is very...creative.

As with any media wave, I've gotten further inquires from British media- The Sun wants to keep the story rolling, a documentary company and a "children's news programme" have contacted me saying they are "keen" to talk to Brit superheroes(so if you are one, send me a message).

Since the article is short, I'll just repost the whole thing here:


A WHOLE army of masked crusaders is fighting crime on Britain's streets at night, The Sun can reveal.

At least 16 amateur super-heroes have been identified.

They have names such as Vague, Swift, Black Arrow, Lionheart and Terrorvision. But researcher Tea Krulos said many more operated in the shadows. He said: "Britain has more amateur superheroes than you'd guess."

We told last month how chubby bank worker (DELETED), 26 - known as The Statesman but dubbed The Phan-tum by The Sun - secretly dons a Union Jack outfit to fight crime in Birmingham.

US author Krulos has investigated such comic-style heroes for years in the States. And he said: "In America we have many, but they tend to seek publicity.

"In Britain it is a very secretive underground society. They do all they can to avoid publicity and communicate online. Whole forums are set up and often they operate in groups. I have spoken extensively to The Statesman, and he takes what he does very seriously."

Krulos - writing a book on superheroes - said he had spoken to six UK crusaders, and was trailing ten more. He said: "These are normal people wanting adventure and to improve communities. They achieve more than you'd think."

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Héroes en la Noche

Below is a translation of an article that appeared recently in the Colombian magazine SEMANA. Heroes in the Night author Tea Krulos did a phone interview with a reporter from SEMANA and the reporter also spoke with some real life superheroes, including Milwaukee's The Watchman.

Special thanks to Samaritan of New York City, who provided the translation. Samaritan was recently profiled on Peter Tangen's Real Life Superhero Project HERE.


A phenomenon in the streets of the various cities, walking the line between reality and fiction. These are the Superheroes, 100's of average citizens who fight against evil, dressed in trousers, capes, and mask.

It's one o'clock in the morning, two drunken gang members are exchanging insults, punches and kicks in a park in Milwaukee, USA. Then suddenly someone who was hidden behind the trees steps out of the shadows and shouts "Stop what you are doing!" The two youths remain frozen, suspended staring at the man dressed in black wearing a red mask with "W" on his chest, who with hands on his waist, threatening to intervene if they don’t stop the fight. The scene isn't from a comic nor from a movie, it's any day in the life of "The Watchman," an average, big guy who is currently 35yrs old, who by day works in an office and by night walks the streets of his neighborhood to "fight against crime”.

Watchman (vigilante) is a part of a movement known as the Real Life Super Heroes, a well organized 400 mortal men and women, who, like the business card for says, an internet page that is used to connect them, choose everyday to mark a difference. They are not crackpots in costumes as it might seem at first glance. These modern heroes are our neighbors, our friends, our family members. They are artist, musicians, athletes and yes, politicians. The majority patrol the streets of their cities looking for thieves, rapist, and drug traffickers. Others hand out food to homeless, donate toys to sick children in hospitals or hand out copies of the constitution to transients so that they learn about their country. There are also others who care for prostitutes; protect drunken women in bars to prevent men from taking advantage of them.

All of them create their identities and costumes, which generally include a cape and mask. They also have their accessories to help them complete their missions, like a 1st responder’s first aid kit, pepper spray to drive off bad guys, and a cellular phone to call police in case of problems. Some go out alone and others in groups similar to the Justice League of Superman, Flash, the Green Lantern and company.

"It's an incredible movement" a week ago commented Dark Guardian, superhero and administrator of "We help people, and fight crime, and do it with our own money". Chirs Pollak is the real name of this New York teacher of martial arts who at night patrols the city to look for drug dealers who work in the parks. Chris feels he was a kid with lots of problems until he started to read comics and discovered what he wanted to be like the protagonist in these adventures. And so he bought a bullet proof vest, cut proof gloves, boots, shades, flashlight, and a megaphone, and went out to pursue delinquents.

The phenomenon of the superheroes that don’t fly and don’t have x-ray vision has grown during the last few years so much so that it has expanded into some European countries. In England, for example, the famous Statesman, a banker who cleans up the streets of London, and says the he has helped the police catch more than a few bad guys. It’s has been four years since publications like The New York Time or the magazine Rolling Stone started to publish articles on this theme. At that time it was calculated that there were approximately a 100. Two years later there was talk of 250, and today they say 400. Though they admit it is almost impossible to get an accurate number, for many youths join the movement week after week.

These superheroes of flesh and bone have become so famous that they already have a documentary movie, which premiered at the most recent Sundance film festival. They have also received photographical exposure thanks to Peter Tangen, who fell in love with the stories like that of Knight Owl, an anonymous EMT who served in Iraq and who after becoming a superhero decided to write a manual so that his colleagues could learn from firsthand knowledge. Peter has also covered the life of Mr. Xtreme, who after he was abused as a child decided that he needed to protect the defenseless and had been patrolling for some ten years now. Also that of Life, a film producer who every night wears his tie, mask and hat to food, soap, shavers and tooth brushes to the homeless in New York.

“I believe that the phenomenon has grown due to interest in comics, movies and TV series base on the theme. Also because many of us want to change the world and since we have always seen superheroes as powerful beings who can get the job done, who we try to emulate” commented Life to this publication. He organizes meetings for superheroes through the net site, and who real name is Chaim Lazaros. “The Heroes have always been there, but only started to network with each other after the “hero boom” on the internet. In 2007 I united them to make a documentary and complete my transformation into one of them."

Tea Krulos is an independent journalist who writes a blog called “justice seekers without superpowers," and is finishing a book on the same theme he’s planning to call “Heroes in the Night”. Krulos says that the first real superheroes he found during his investigation was active during the 70’s. He was a fat man with a beard who was called Captain Sticky, and he was devoted to uncovering scandals. Years later, other appeared. Like the Mexican born Superbarrio, an ex-masked luchador who defended the housing rights of those injured in the earth quake of 1985 who participated in the presidential elections. Then the phenomenon kept growing until it became what it is today.

“One of the most amazing things about these superheroes is the range of people who participate in this is varied. There are rich, poor, Christians, Atheist” said Krulos about a week ago. But when they put on their outfit they are all the same. They see the wrong that is happening and say this nigh I will go out to help instead of staying home and watching TV.

But not all of them have had good luck in this. Like Dark Guardian who accounts to being threaten and having a gun pointed at him, even though nothing has happen to him yet. The British Newspaper, The Times, published a few years back a story about Mr. Invisible, a Californian who took years getting ready to hit the streets. When he finally did, he found himself confronted with a man yelling at his wife. He wanted to intervene, but the woman punch him in the face and broke his nose. Then he sat on the sidewalk and a beggar urinated on him. The publication commented, what has been done to confirm his invisibility.

For other the hardest part isn’t confronting delinquent but confessing to their love ones that they are superheroes. They explain that not everyone likes the idea of them going out dressed up at night. “Hey today isn’t Halloween!” someone yells at Watchman, he takes it with a sense of humor, it’s precisely his look that has saved him. “In general, Gang members get distracted with my outfit”, he says. “They laugh and they ask me what the hell I am. In a short while they forget they were fighting or causing problems”. And so he is satisfied that he completes his mission to “Make the world a safer place".