Saturday, July 30, 2011

Riverwest 24 Bonus


The Riverwest 24 is an annual bicycle race organized by members of the community of Riverwest. Riders in solo or team divisions test their endurance by seeing how many laps of the route they can complete in a 24 hour period.

Along the way there are several opportunities to complete bonus checkpoint challenges to gain extra points. Last year I was invited to come up with a bonus checkpoint that featured local Real Life Super Heroes The Watchman and Blackbird. We had people assemble a superhero costume and talk about what it means to be a hero in front of a video camera. He can see my blog post on that effort HERE.

We were invited to return with a bonus checkpoint this year, and decided to set up in Gordon Park midnight- 2AM.

As riders approached the entrance to the park, they were given two options- travel down path A or path B. Going down the right path would lead them out of the checkpoint, going down the wrong path (path B) would be a dead end where they would meet the mysterious Blackbird...

Going down the correct path (path A) led them into the woods where they encountered The Watchman and Crimson Crusader. They had the riders raise their right hand and recite this oath:

AS a deputized member of The Challengers, I vow to perform the following duties until the end of the Riverwest 24-

Keep myself hydrated

Obey traffic laws

Keep vigilant about my safety, the safety of other riders and the citizens of Riverwest.

A rider pledges her support as an honorary Challenger
The Watchman and Crimson Crusader, leading riders in reciting the oath

After their pledge was completed, the riders were recorded as having completed the checkpoint and reentered the race route. The person tallying the bonus tells me 151 people completed the checkpoint. In addition, a couple groups of people not signed on for the race heard about the checkpoint and ventured into the woods to check it out.
More riders sworn in as Challengers
A somewhat surly looking David Beyer, Jr. and his assistant Courtney being sworn in. David is a cartoonist and has contributed a few illustrations to Heroes in the Night

After the checkpoint I headed out but The Watchman and Crimson Crusader carried on to do a foot patrol.

As always, a good time. The race ends today at 8PM, so I'm heading out now to cheer the riders on! (and you can see live updates on their

Thursday, July 28, 2011



FRIDAY, JULY 22- San Diego

I spent much of the early hours of Friday traveling by taxi, bus, and plane and had at last arrived in San Diego. I sat outside the airport taking in the pleasant California air, admiring the long rows of palm trees everywhere. A young man approached me and said "Are you Tea Krulos?" It was Anonyman, the Real Life Super Hero of Saskatoon. Through secret superhero information networks (ah, ok, the internet) we found that our flights were touching down less than ten minutes apart. After asking at the info desk, we ran and caught a bus, then a trolley train, then another bus and eventually arrived in Mission Beach.

The streets of Mission Beach were filled with people walking about with surfboards or body boards tucked under their arms. The weather was incredibly beautiful.

We found our lodging for the weekend- a condo on the beach nicknamed the "Hero House" (not to be confused with the proposed RLSH reality show for the IFC channel)and after a call to Knight Owl were given the access code to the door. Me, Knight Owl and Anonyman's roommates- EON, down from Monterrey, Superhero and Lady Hero, from Clearwater, Florida, Thanatos, from Vancouver, and Sage and The Handler (along with her trained service dog, Gio) from Los Angeles.
Hero House roomies: EON, Knight Owl, Lady Hero, Thanatos

As I promised to do, the first thing I did was changed into swimming trunks and dived into the bay outside the Hero House. It was refreshing. Then I quickly changed and headed to the Comic Con. I sat next to a woman dressed as Poison Ivy and a woman dressed as some sort of elvish warrior on the ride there. I was pretty stoked- I have always wanted to go to SDCC and here at last it was happening.

Outside the Con, I met up with San Diego RLSH Urban Avenger, who let me use his Con pass to get it. I shortly met up with Knight Owl, who guided me through the huge exhibition hall. I can only describe it as completely overwhelming- thousands of people walking around in costumes of every comic book, sci fi, video game, horror movie and cartoon character you can think of and many you had no idea could exist. I even saw a sexy dalek and a sexy ewok costume.

After cruising around some of the major points, like the DC Comics pavilion and the Marvel Avengers stage, we headed out to the lobby where we met Superhero and Lady Hero. Superhero is an old school RLSH who adopted his name and gimmick from his days as a former semi pro wrestler. He now works in broadcasting.
Lady Hero, Superhero and Knight Owl inside Comic Con

And soon we were also joined by Good Samaritan, of Los Angeles, and Anonyman arrived too. I headed with them back to the Con floor, which was closing up soon.Soon the streets outside the Con were packed with superhero aficionados.

There was a meet up for a patrol with several visiting RLSH in attendance, but me and Knight Owl agreed it had been a long day on our feet, with another long day to follow, so we headed up 5th Street. We got dinner at a pub then took a taxi to the Ruby Room to catch a set by renowned nerdcore rapper MC Frontalot. It was a good show in a laid back atmosphere.

After the show we were picked up by EON, who had just rolled into town and we headed back to the Hero House. It was a full house with Anonyman sleeping on the couch and Thanatos on the floor. Thanatos woke up on our arrival to greet us. His tattoo count had climbed since I last saw the 61 year old RLSH on the streets of his hometown of Vancouver in February- he now has 109. He explained some chinese characters on his back that translates as- "death is only the beginning." Me and EON decided to camp out on the roof of the Hero House. At that point I didn't care if I was sleeping on a bed of nails. I was pretty dang tired.



Saturday was the big day for the RLSH. It also started out on a note of high tension- someone had posted a Facebook page saying that New York Initiative member Zimmer (currently staying in Austin, TX) was dead. The relieved RLSH were able to get confirmation that someone had gotten him on the phone and that the Facebook page was some sort of twisted hoax.

As the other Hero House room mates headed to Olive's Cafe- a nice little place where the Hero House met daily for breakfast- I got into Sage and The Handler's van, along with Anonyman. Gio rested on the floor. I was unfamiliar with this couple, so I was glad for a brief chance to get to know them. The Handler, originally from the Canary Islands, is a professional dog trainer and Sage is a consultant and author of the new book How to Become a Superhero. He very generously gave me a copy and I look forward to starting to read it soon.
The Handler and her trusty sidekick, Gio

We got Razorhawk, the chief organizer of the HOPE event on the phone and he directed us to a parking lot near Garfield High School, the staging area for HOPE. A refrigerated food truck from the charity Feeding America, arranged by Sage, was idling in the lot. Inside- hundreds of Subway sandwiches, granola bars, pears, Naked brand fruit juice, and bottled water.

RLSH and media quickly began to arrive in the lot and the scene soon became dozens of RLSH hugging, shaking hands, slapping each other on the back and cameramen adjusting their equipment. Violet Valkyrie and Hope, of Southern Mississippi arrived, followed by Mr. Xtreme, leader of the San Diego Xtreme Justice League. Director Michael Barnett and producer Theodore James, creator of the RLSH documentary Superheroes showed up with a crew to get footage for a possible DVD extra.

Following them in a steady stream- Vigilante Spider, Good Samaritan, Bearman, Radnor, Moon Knight (who styles himself after the Marvel Comics character), Miss Fit (along with her documentary crew), Geist, Crimson Crow, Prof. Midnight (of the Black Monday Society), Sam Chen, Alpha Blue, and then the previously mentioned room mates from Hero House. A crew filming for the National Geographic show Taboo were there, a local San Diego news affiliate, and Knut, a Norwegian photographer.

Real Life Superhero Project coordinator Peter Tangen and DC's Guardian arrived in a truck hauling a trailer. Inside the trailer- hundreds of sleeping bags and backpacks filled with supplies. Each backpack had socks, a t-shirt, water bottle, and toiletries.
DC's Guardian at the trailer full of backpacks, sleeping bags, and supplies
Vigilante Spider looks on as Mr. Xtreme, DC's Guardian, Razorhawk and Geist rally the troops

The RLSH were divided into three teams and I requested to be assigned to a team as well. My team leader was Mr. Xtreme and my team mates were Prof. Midnight, The Handler, Sam Chen, Moon Knight, Thanatos, and Anonyman. The teams headed down the street where each team was assigned to a street- 15th, 16th, and 17th streets. My team had 16th. The food truck and supply wagon followed us and everyone began loading up on backpacks, sleeping bags, and filling bags with food.

We soon encountered a block long section where people were sleeping right next to the sidewalk in makeshift tents constructed out of tarps, cardboard, shopping carts, and whatever else. It was a hot day. We began to hand out the supplies. The RLSH talked to several people living in the tents about who they were and passed out the supplies. I saw one guy beginning to eat the sandwich so quickly I thought he might choke.
Mr. Xtreme's team in action
Superhero, EON and Miss Fit on the street

As we continued down 16th we encountered an outdoor festival where a large group of homeless had congregated. The teams and trucks all met up and decided to operate out of this stationary location. Joining us at this location was Danger Man, Night Bug, and Rock N Roll. There was also a brief appearance by RLSH supporter/ artist Ohm.

I jumped into the food truck to help Sage, Sam Chen, and other volunteers distribute food. We put together a little of everything into bags as a lunch and handed them off to RLSHs who distributed the food. Across the street, RLSHs were passing out the backpacks and sleeping bags as well as shaving cream and razors.
Sam Chen, Sage, EON and another volunteer inside the food truck

Word got out.

Soon both the trucks were surrounded by a huge group of homeless and downtrodden people. I will never forget looking out the back of that food truck at the crowded group of dozens and dozens of hungry, desperate faces. We were working to put stuff together for them as fast as we could. We ran out of bags, so began filling empty boxes. We ran out of water, but kept going, giving people extra juice. We ran out of sandwiches but kept passing out granola bars and fruit. Across the street they had gone through everything. The vast amount of supplies had been distributed in what I would guess was about an hour.
A RLSH assembly line moves supplies from truck to trailer
Heroes united- you can see me in the back row behind Razorhawk, between Crimson Crow and Bearman


After things were wrapped up near 16th and Market, there were a couple group shots, and then everyone headed to a studio Peter Tangen had procured for doing some portraits and full body shots to be used for a HOPE group photo.

As we walked back to our cars, I got a chance to talk with Razorhawk.

"It's really weird how much these guys mean to me," he said. "It's the one thing I feel I got right in my life, besides my family." He also says he is indeed going to plan a HOPE 2012, and based on what we had seen today, hopes to double the effort.

When we got back to the parking lot, I got into the passenger side of Mr. Xtreme's van- not only his vehicle, but was also his home for awhile when he fell on rough times.

At the studio time was pressed so the RLSH lined the hallways waiting for their spot in front of the camera. The hallway was filled with RLSHs talking shop about gear, sometimes in muffled voices through spandex, as people were sometimes shouted for down the hall to get in the studio.


XJL member Orange Cricket met up with everyone at this point.
Ladies of HOPE at the Tangen shoot- Miss Fit, Violet Valkyrie, Rock N Roll, The Handler, Lady hero
Geist, myself, Urban Avenger at the Tangen shoot

After quickly rotating through, people began heading out for the screening of Superheroes at the Comic Con.


I was very thrilled to see the Superheroes documentary, and even more so to see it sitting next to the stars of the film. I have always felt that the success of Superheroes is probably good for me, as we cover a lot of the same ground. The scenes of the New York Initiative's apartment- I stayed there! The streets of Vancouver- I joined Thanatos there!

Superheroes was picked up by HBO and premieres there early August. All I can say is the film was fantastic and exceeded my expectations. They got a good mix of material and the editing, soundtrack, and film work was great.

After the film ended, there was much applause and a Q and A session with Mr. Xtreme, Thanatos, Superhero, and a psychologist and police officer featured in the doc.

And after that? After party! The film makers had booked a private room at the Hard Rock Cafe across the street for the RLSH and film crew. It was kind of funny to see the RLSHs in their gear mingling with well heeled movers and shakers. There were quite a few people from HBO there, I imagine, and even the actress who plays the naughty vampire Jessica from True Blood attended. There was complimentary food and drink and the RLSH moved around the room socializing. Good times! After the party, Sage and The Handler loaded their van with weary RLSH and returned us to the Hero House.
Mr. Xtreme and me at the Superheroes after party


Tea Krulos vs Miss Fit Arm Wrestling Competition Outcome: DRAW

Sunday was a more relaxed day where a lot of people did their own thing. After breakfast at Olive's, I went swimming again, then returned to the Con. I wanted to see a Doctor Who panel/ signing but the line was outlandish, so I just strolled around the Con taking in the sights.

In the afternoon Miss Fit and her husband Gregg picked me up and we went over to Balboa Park. The two wanted to get some footage of me and Miss Fit interviewing each other for the documentary they are creating titled The Adventures of Miss Fit. She asked me questions about my journey writing Heroes in the Night and I asked her about her goals as Miss Fit. I think this interview went extremely well.

Miss Fit is a body builder and I thought a great way to test her muscle power was to challenge her to arm wrestle. For added fun, I suggested loser donate 20 bucks to charity. As the cameras rolled we struggled to budge each other. Miss Fit has superior bicep power to me, but my long arms (I'm about a foot and 4 inches taller than her) give me leverage. After feeling the burn, we decided to call a draw and agreed I would pay 20 towards her charity, a Cancer benefit, and she would pay 20 towards mine- the Red Cross.
Krulos vs. Miss Fit 2011

Rematch 2012? It's possible!

Me, Gregg, and Miss Fit returned to the Hero House to discover that Superhero had been hard at work at the grill using his superpowers to grill us up some fantastic steaks. There was a lot of socializing and saying goodbye as people left. Monday morning, the Hero House crew made sure the house was in order, had breakfast, and then headed to the airport.

What a weekend! Also, I'm officially announcing that I will be attending HOPE 2012.

See you in San Diego!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

HOPE Report Soon!

Assembled heroes of HOPE. Heroes in the Night author Tea Krulos is in the back row.

Wow, what a weekend in San Diego! I'm still processing my experience of meeting up with 30 Real Life Superheroes, checking out the San Diego Comic Con, and seeing the upcoming HBO RLSH documentary Superheroes. It was a whirlwind and I've got some great pictures and stories to share.

Unfortunately, due to the chaotic lifestyle of a freelancer, I won't be able to sit down and reflect these thoughts until about Thursday. See you then!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011



Real Life Super Heroes are already beginning to congregate in the city of San Diego to enjoy Comic Con related events and prepare for HOPE 2011, a large scale homeless outreach program. The event was organized by Razorhawk who solicited donations and put a year worth of work into the event. The result is about 200 backpacks filled with supplies for the handout and a crew of 30 some RLSH attending to help him.

I will be there myself to give Razorhawk a hand and report on the weekend's events. I've met Razorhawk twice before, and other RLSH I've previously met attending include Thanatos, Knight Owl and Geist. Many others I'm familiar with and have written about here on the blog including Anonyman,DC's Guardian, Superhero, Miss Fit (see previous entry), and members of the Xtreme Justice League and the Black Monday Society. There will be many others and I am looking forward to meeting them all.

Besides the hand out, there will be patrols, a screening of the RLSH doc Superheroes at the Comic Con,some media, and some down time enjoying San Diego.
I won't be reporting daily like I did for my Vancouver trip- not enough time- but I will after my return home.


And while I'm in San Diego, Milwaukee's RLSH team- The Challengers- will be conducting their own HOPE event handing out supplies to the homeless in Milwaukee and Madison, WI.


One person who won't be attending the event is Phoenix Jones. Jones' history with the RLSH (Jones calls himself a RCSM- Rain City Superhero Movement) has often been contentious and filled with drama. This clash of egos led HOPE organizer Razorhawk to agonize over whether to let him attend- and have several people that don't get along with him drop out- or to ask that he not be present. It was not an easy decision for him.

Internet whispering then suggested Jones might show up and crash the event in San Diego. That seemed far fetched, so I asked Jones himself via Facebook message.


You can read this letter in its entirety below.

HOPE 2011

I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT PEOPLE UNDERSTAND WHAT I AM SAYING SO I AM GOING TO TURN THE CAPS OFF AND USE PUNCTUATION. Hope 2011 is an event run by Razor Hawk that will be taking place in California. At my request, a news publication that recently featured me provided a majority of the funding for Hope 2011. I assumed I would be able to attend the event and be able to help with the homeless outreach but I am the only superhero that has been banned from this event. I've never communicated with Razor Hawk directly, but I've heard via a third party that I am too controversial because I confront criminals directly and detain when necessary until the police arrive.

When I first became a superhero I was excited about joining the RLSH community and was quickly disappointed when I was banned before I ever even had a chance to make a post. I was notified by email the reason for my exile from the online community is because I lie about my deeds and there was no proof I was actually fighting crime. I would be fine with that if everyone else on the site had to prove their actions as well, but they are taken at their word. In the past few months through news media sources, guest patrols with other RLSHs, video, Phoenix Cam, and police it has been proven I patrol on a regular basis with a purpose to fight crime and stop acts of violence. I am offended that I am still ridiculed and put down by this community. I have more documentation and actual crime interventions than any other 'superhero' other than Master Legend of course.

I have not participated in the online bashing and gossip that consumes a lot of superhero's lives. But there has been media publications quoting me saying less than favorable things about certain members of the RLSH and of that I am guilty. Most of the comments I have made come from feelings of resentment that have arisen from being so discriminated against by the community. I have identified myself as a Rain City Superhero Movement member as opposed to an RLSH for three reason: 1, Certain members of the RLSH hacked my FB and deleted it and told me not to use the RLSH term because I was not one. 2, Most of the RLSH I know focus on humanitarian work and crime fighting second. 3, RLSH is a broad term and I wanted something more city specific to what we needed in Seattle.

I have always felt that the most effective outreaches are done in safe environments. I know a RLSH in Seattle who was robbed of his handout food during an outreach. If they would target him, I can only imagine what they do to the people receiving the food after I have left. If I am able to take away the violent offenders in these areas our homeless outreaches will be a lot more effective.

The point of this message is that we are all masked human beings trying to better the environment that we live in, each in our own specific areas of expertise. Hating each other, bickering and slandering, and banning people from events is ridiculous (I will enclose links that support my statements). It just minimizes our effectiveness, corrupts the message, and takes up valuable time that we could be using on the streets. I have tried my best to stay out of this drama but from this point on I am not participating in any way, shape, or form. I think its important to live your message, so here it is, I AM SORRY.

I am sorry if I have said bad things to you directly, I am sorry if I have sad bad things behind your back, I am sorry if you haven't understood or were offended by my crime fighting methods. But most of all, I am sorry that we had to make this public. I forgive anyone who has said anything bad about me. From here on out all slates are clean as far as I am concerned. We are fighting each other when we should be fighting the evil in this world.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

HERO PROFILE #75: Miss Fit

Operates out of: Los Angeles

: body building, humanitarian work

Quote: "I'm a professional bodybuilder and filmmaker. Fascinated with superheroes, I want to find out what it takes to become one. Born and raised on the mean streets of Brooklyn, I'm street smart and tough as nails. Currently residing in the city of Lost Angels."

Author notes: Next weekend I will be attending HOPE 2011 in San Diego, which coincides with the San Diego Comic Con. HOPE is a large meet up of 30 some RLSH who will hand out backpacks filled with supplies to the homeless.

I'll be meeting up with several RLSH I've met before and many more I have not. One of the people I'm excited to meet is the muscular Miss Fit. After we conduct an interview session in San Diego, I have challenged Miss Fit to an arm wrestling contest. It is all in good fun, and the loser of the match will pay $20.00 to a charity of their choice. This match will be recorded for the ages so Heroes in the Night readers will be able to see it in the future. See you in San Diego!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Members of The Challengers. L-R: Charade, author Tea Krulos, The Watchman, Blackbird, Crimson Crusader in a Riverwest alleyway.

"Walk toward the light," The Watchman told me over the phone. It was 10:30pm and I was standing near the basketball courts on Center. A car with headlights on idled across the street. I walked over to it. Blackbird was behind the wheel, listening to Tupac. The Watchman was in the passenger seat and I joined Crimson Crusader in the back. Blackbird took off.

* * *

We drove around the neighborhood for a few minutes, then cruised by the courts again to pick up Charade. Then we headed to a quiet corner near some forest trails. Charade grabbed a couple bags filled with food and supplies and we headed into the forest.

* * *

Back in February I had been informed that there were people living in the woods. Blackbird and me headed down there to check it out (See "Out in the Cold."). We found a base camp and later Blackbird returned and actually found what turned out to be not one, but a four people living down there. He talked with them a long time. He has returned a few times, sometimes bringing others.

* * *

We descended the trail and found the base camp. The firepit was cold, an empty pack of cigarettes sat on top the charred wood. Blackbird attached a night vision camera to his shirt and handed me a small monitor. The Watchman and me stayed at the base camp while the other three went further into the woods. The river was still in front of me and the air was thick with mosquitoes. On the monitor we could see the tent huts. Blackbird wasn't sure if they were inside sleeping or not, so they left the bags outside the hut.
"Shall we roll out?" Blackbird asked. We headed back up the trail.

* * *

From there we walked through the neighborhood to Reservoir Hill. This was the scene of a disturbing crime over 4th of July weekend. The night of July 3 a mob of teenagers began to amass on the east side, crossing the river to Riverwest. They looted a gas station, stealing armfuls of chips and candy, and then headed to Reservoir Hill. A group of about 20 people from the neighborhood were hanging out there, they had been watching fireworks. I know several of these people- a friend from high school, a former room mate, guys from a band I wrote about, etc.

As the mob ran into the park and encountered more youth, the two groups decided they would suddenly run and beat down everyone else in the park- men, women, everyone. In a split second people were being pushed over and kicked in the head and hit with bottles. A couple people had wallets stolen. Racial epithets were shouted at the victims, who were white. Race relations are poor in Milwaukee, to say the least.

It is a big story here, the chief of police and the mayor have held press conferences and a community meeting here in Riverwest.

The Challengers took a walk to the top of Reservoir Hill. Great view of the skyline. In fact I had written a blurb for Milwaukee magazine's "Best of" issue stating that this was the best view of the skyline in the city. There was no chaos up here tonight. Just the view. As we walked back down we encountered a young man giving his girlfriend a piggyback ride.
"Y'all going to kick some ass?" He asked.
"Only if we have to," The Watchman replied.

* * *

Quarters had a band howling away inside, but other than that Center Street was quiet. A man in a dirty orange t-shirt asked the group for spare change. He was not at all surprised or interested that they were dressed as superheroes- he didn't even raise an eyebrow. The RLSHs felt up their pockets, but none of them had brought cash on patrol. The man wandered away.

* * *

Smokers are more likely to spot a RLSH since the smoking ban has gone into effect.
Outside Riverhorse:
Girl (slurring): "Heeeey- where's your helmets?"
RLSHs: ?
Guy: They're...
Girl:..they're trying...
Guy: Superheroes!
Girl:...they're trying..
Guy: Ha!
Girl:...they're trying...
Guy: Ha!
Girl: they're trying to SAVE THE WORLD!

* * *

Outside Foundation

Guy: (after long stare inhaling a cigarette) uh, is it Halloween today, er....?

* * *
Sometime after 1AM I parted ways and Charade walked home. The Watchman, Blackbird, and Crimson Crusader got into Blackbird's car and did a rolling patrol around the neighborhood and the UWM campus. The only thing they saw was a huge police presence at the scene of a crime near Holton and Locust.

* * *
The Challengers plan to patrol again next week.

Monday, July 4, 2011


Many people consider The Fox to be one of the first Real Life Superhero prototypes. He used a code name and sometimes used disguises (as described in his autobiography- Raising Kane: The Fox Chronicles) usually what I call the "Russian spy" disguise- trenchcoat, dark sunglasses, fedora or fur hat. The Fox passionately fought against polluters of the environment and the Fox River from 1969 until his death in 2001. He lived in Aurora, IL.

I became very interested in the story of The Fox and wrote an article about him for the Riverwest Currents about a year ago (see his profile HERE)

Another person very interested in the story of The Fox is Chicago documentary maker Matthew Pniewski, who is working on a doc about Midwest RLSHs titled More Than Just a Mask.
Pniewski, familiar with the Aurora area, did some research and found that a Fox memorial had been constructed in Oswego, IL. He also discovered a nearby museum, the Little White School Museum sold The Fox's autobiography, a documentary about his life, and had an archive of articles related to him. If we do indeed consider The Fox to be one of the first RLSHs, this discovery is significant for these reasons-

1. It is one of the first memorials built to commemorate a RLSH (there is also reportedly a statue built of Super Barrio in Mexico City).

2. The documentary is probably the first documentary on a RLSH.

3. The museum holds the first special collection relating to a RLSH.

I asked Matthew to give an account of this discovery for Heroes in the Night readers, and you can read this below. Thanks, Matthew, and good work!

The Fox and Me

By Matthew Pniewski

I've been working some time on "More than Just a Mask", the story of real life superheroes, fighting to make a difference in their communities. I admit, of course, I'm not really the "Hop to it" type of person. As it is, I've spent admittedly the lesser part of my free time filming interviews, going on patrols, and cutting the footage together. My first day on the job, which turned into the first few months, was all research. My research led me to an obituary for a man named Jim Phillips.

People knew him better as The Fox.

Phillips was a high school teacher, and to fit the cliche ever so perfectly, he was by all accounts mild mannered. One day he, almost out of the clear blue (though the mechanisms had allegedly been at work for a while) he decided to start a fight with the Dial Soap Company, which had been polluting his beloved Fox River. He plugged the industrial drain, posted various signs, left roadkill on CEO doorsteps. After a while, it wasn't just Dial Soap, but any company he felt was polluting the environment.

I decided he was certainly worth a mention.

More research lead me to an article about the dedication of a monument, which would be three plaques at an Oswego-Area park. Violet Patch Park, to be precise. I took a quick ride up there, took a few photos of a rock that bore his insignia as well as the three plagues (only one of which was dedicated specifically to him). I handed the photos off to a friend of mine, and I must confess, I still haven't looked at those photos.

Another search, this time looking for the publishers of his highly-recommended autobiography, brought me to the "Little White School Museum", also located in Oswego, Illinois. On their website, they offered not on his autobiography but a fifty-four minute documentary that chronicled his adventures. I decided it was worth another look. I ran out to the museum, with a couple of friends, and purchased the book and tape (it's not available on DVD) and engaged in a long discussion about Jim Phillips with the museum curator. She then went downstairs into the archives.

Five minutes later she came back with a folder labelled "The Fox", full of letters, newspaper clippings, political cartoons, all relating to the Fox. I had always been a fan of his, and a supporter of his, but to read these articles, some dated as early as 1969, I really began to feel a genuine connection to the man. Here was a man who wasn't just a colorful character. He had been compared favorably to Robin Hood, or Zorro. This isn't just PR. He was the classic example of the rogue. He was a man who stayed on the edge of the law, occasionally crossing over, but always remaining true to a strong moral code. He made Dial Soap back down, he took on US Steel, and he never harmed a soul.

I went back to the memorial, and took over sixty pictures this time, not stopping for a good five minutes, when I sat down to have a word with the man himself. Yes, I'm a praying man. Not much of one, but I do it from time to time. Maybe it's the fact that I had learned so much about him from these articles, or maybe it was simply that I had been working on this project for so long, but I honestly felt a sincere connection to the man.

My friends dropped me off around nine O'Clock at night. I sat myself down in front of the TV and watched the documentary. It wasn't for another hour that I looked at my phone. I got a text message from my friend "We saw a fox run across your front lawn-THEY KNOW!"


Friday, July 1, 2011


XJL at a Boys and Girls Club in San Diego. Back row, L-R: Vigilante Spider, Urban Avenger, Orange Cricket, Rouroni, Radnor, Mr. Xtreme



--San Diego

Members of the Xtreme Justice League (pictured above) recently paid a visit to a Boys and Girls Club in San Diego. There Mr. Xtreme delivered the message "Stay in school. Stay off drugs. Listen to your parents." The team then fielded questions from the quizzical kids for about 12 minutes, assuring them that they couldn't fly, among other things.


Phoenix Jones of the Rain City Superhero Movement also recently stopped in at a Community Center where the kids were celebrating what looks like a superhero themed day. Jones was there to remind kids that in case of an emergency they should dial 911. A short video clip of the appearance was posted on his Facebook page.