Wednesday, September 28, 2011

RLSH storyline on "Castle"

Heroes in the Night fans pointed out that the most recent episode of the ABC comedy-drama "Castle" featured a "Real Life Super Hero." In the episode, titled "Heroes and Villains," lead character Richard Castle (played by Nathan Fillion) is hip to the "real life super hero subculture." He shows his detective partner a YouTube video of a bumbling RLSH named "Red Maroon." The two then line up suspects for a RLSH named "Lone Vengeance" who may or may not have murdered a criminal with a samurai sword.

We won't spoil the ending- the episode is available to watch at ABC's website.

Although this is latest fictitious RLSH to appear on a TV show, it isn't the first. A year ago, Heroes in the Night reported on the ABC police drama "Rookie Blue," which also featured a story with a RLSH named "The Guardian."

ALSO: Yesterday was the birthday of The Watchman and I joined him and his Challengers team mates Blackbird, Crimson Crusader and a new recruit, tentatively named Night Vision at his house for a grill out- bratwurst of course, this is Wisconsin. Happy birthday!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Electron, Heroes in the Night in Badger Herald

Electron- photo by Matt Hintz/ Badger Herald

Madison, Wisconsin is the capitol of Wisconsin and located about 90 minutes West of Milwaukee. Madison has a sole reserve member of the Milwaukee based team, The Challengers, named Electron. The Badger Herald, a newspaper associated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison recently ran an article on Electron with a quote from Heroes in the Night author Tea Krulos thrown in for good measure.

The article, written by Lin Weeks can be found here:

Monday, September 19, 2011

Rain City Superhero Arrest Captured on "Phoenix Cam"

Phoenix Jones has posted video which shows what he claims is his 32nd capture of a criminal that has led to an arrest. Jones was joined by members of his Rain City Superhero Movement and the Citizen Heroes documentary crew. The pursuit and capture of a man outside of a Seattle club was captured by the "Phoenix Cam," an ongoing video documentation of Jones and company's adventures.

Phoenix writes this description of the video (transcribed from his famous ALL CAPS style):

On patrol with Ghost, No Name, Mist, El Caballero and the Citizen Heroes documentary crew. We are on patrol in Belltown when we hear a man yelling 'DONT TALK TO MY WIFE LIKE THAT!' We see him throw the punch and that's when Ryan turns the camera on. We catch the perp running up the street and yell to him to stop. At this point the man who was assaulted is up and chasing with us (his wife is pregnant and was being harassed by the susspect previous to the video)-He runs into a parking lot and swings a punch at us, so I pepper spray him.
The chase continues and I finally tackle him in a parking lot. The police pull up so I back up. The best thing about arrest 32 is the police giving us thanks at the end.

The video follows:

Heroes in the Night author Tea Krulos will be in Portland and Seattle the first week of October.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Blackbird and Life- A Firsthand Account of a 9/11 Patrol

I've met local Milwaukee Real Life Super Hero Blackbird several times. Last year Blackbird took a trip to New York and met up with NYC RLSH and Superheroes Anonymous founder Life. On a return trip to NYC this year, the duo decided to meet up for a hand out of supplies to the homeless on September 11.

What follows is Blackbird's account of the evening, recorded in a phone call and transcribed by me.

I made plans to meet Life just before sunset on the 11th and went to a store and spent a ton of money on homeless supplies. Honestly I just wanted to stock him up on supplies, I thought for sure we would have a bunch of stuff left over. So I went crazy getting stuff and then his girlfriend was on the way with more.

So first we stopped and talked to a bunch of people, like this whole family and what was really cool was even though the whole family was homeless- the one dude, I kinda liked it- he was like 'you know what dude, I just got a job, I don't even need this stuff.' I thought that was really noble.

I told Life I think 95 percent of the homeless population in Milwaukee is a symptom of addiction but in New York I think a lot of times its just people that didn't make it, you know what I mean? Just couldn't work it out. Because you'll ask if they need anything, and they'll say- 'yeah, I could use some food.' Whereas when we visit the site (referring to a homeless camp in Milwaukee) they are like '(expletive) that, bring me some vodka and blah blah blah.'

Anyways, we were going to meet (Life's girlfriend) at Penn Station, and right when we were talking to this one nice lady and giving her stuff, all sorts of people started responding to something there. And I mean, it was just a little bit weird because like I said, I was a little freaked out about being here on the 11th.Once I got in Penn Station and saw how heavily populated it was in there I was like- this could be a target. Its shoulder to shoulder in there and there was probably 15 or 20 squad cars, and that was just on one side, and we saw 5 firetrucks responding too.

So we ran into Penn Station and started following all the fire chiefs and detectives that were running and it was a maze- it was like we would run, stop and go- 'where did that dude go?'

We ended up on the stop adjacent to where everything was happening and saw them pulling the first bag up, which was small. The subway engineer we talked to said it was a decapitation. There was probably about 30 cops on the track that was blocked off and they were all looking down at the rest of what was left, which ended up coming up in a bag like 5 minutes later.

We went back out with the supplies and soon were surrounded by about 15-20 people at that point and it was great. This one guy showed us a bunch of his street art he was doing on fabric, I have tons of pictures of that.

So we stopped there a long time and that's when the engineer came up to us and said 'it's awesome you guys are helping people out- this dude over there doesn't have a belt, he doesn't have any underwear on, his pants are falling down.' The guy was bleeding from the top of his head, streaming down his body. And he was just walking around. Life's girlfriend went up to him, but he wouldn't accept anything from her. He was kind of a dick. And she even got the vibe where you know if she was a guy he might have been more responsive. So I told them I'd be right back.

I saw him walking off, so I went and gave him one bag and then I went back and was talking to the engineer about him. He said he had seen the guy there for months and that he had lost tons of weight, stopped accepting food and was only accepting water here and there and picking up cigarette butts.

As he's telling me this, the guy starts walking into traffic so I kinda ran after him into traffic myself, grabbed him by the shoulders and hurried him along. Then I gave him another bag of food and he accepted it. The engineer said he never saw the guy accept food before. And I literally have one belt and its with me right now and its in (expletive) shape and I took it off to offer it to him. He got a little weird about that and kinda hurried along to get away from me.

The rest of the night wasn't too crazy, we went back to talk to the group we were with before. And the guy that does the street art and stuff he looked pretty well put together. They were all about getting the razors and soap, toothpaste, deodorant and stuff. I had the personal health stuff and Life had food stuff. We walked around and handed almost all of it out.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

HERO PROFILE #78: Captain Sticky

Operated out of: San Diego, CA. Died 2003.

: Consumer and quality of life activism, protests, public appearances, possibly patrolled.

: Peanut butter shooting guns, peanut butter grenades, a modified Lincoln Continental called the Stickymobile.

Quote: "When I stage a surprise raid in my costume, you can be sure I'm not ignored."

Author's notes: To read more on Captain Sticky, see previous entry.

RLSH Historical Artifacts


One of the most exciting things about writing Heroes in the Night has been researching what I call the early prototypes of the Real Life Super Heroes (RLSH). These are people who invented their own costumed persona and headed out into the world to do good. I've written about these early prototypes before and have recently found more artifacts pertaining to them. First, a brief intro to what I consider to be the first documented prototypes.

The Fox: Environmental activist from Aurora, Illinois, active 1969 until his death in 2001. The Fox launched a campaign of monkeywrenching and protesting against companies polluting the environment. He incorporated a disguise of a trench coat, fedora or fur hat, and sunglasses.

Captain Sticky
: Consumer rights/ quality of living activist from San Diego, active in the 70s and 80s. Died in 2003. Captain Sticky used his flashy appearance to draw attention to issues like abusive nursing homes, slum lords, unhealthy or unsafe products. His name comes from his love of peanut butter.

Human Fly: Daredevil with a charitable streak from Montreal. The Fly did stunts like walking on the wing of an airplane and broke a record by Evel Knievel by jumping over 27 school buses. Accounts say he donated a large percent of his earnings to a children's hospital charity. Active mid to late 70s, when he mysteriously disappeared.


New Musical Express
was a British music newspaper, somewhat similar to the early days of Rolling Stone. In this 1975 issue, featuring a cover story on Bob Marley, writer Stan Findelle pens a two page story on Captain Sticky.
This is probably one of the earliest examples of poor RLSH media relations. The writer is not at all impressed with Captain Sticky and spends most of the article wryly making fun of the Cap's weight, humor, demeanor, etc. It is your typical condescending-Brit-meets-fat-Yankee type of piece.
Still, I found some interesting facts to be gleamed-

- Sticky aka Richard Pesta worked in the glass fiber and foam industry, where he became wealthy and retired (for awhile anyway) at age 28.

-Sticky apparently did invent a working peanut butter gun as well as "peanut butter grenades" made of peanut butter, vinegar and alka seltzer.

-Sticky relates that he was patrolling San Diego when he got a police escort- they thought his wildly decorated Stickymobile, which featured several American flags, must be transporting someone in the Navy or a guest from a foreign Navy.

-Here's a great excerpt from the article, one of the few spots the writer takes the story somewhat seriously:

What Sticky is armed with, however, is a shrewd acumen for the peculiar appetites of the news media and how to manipulate its power for the purpose of his freelance do-gooding. This, plus the fact that underneath all the gimcrack and chickenfat, Sticky is deadly serious.

"There is a philosophical difference between do-gooders and actually doing good," he cloudily pontificates. "A do gooder is pure at heart but naive to power politics. I'm sophisticated in tactics which intimidate bureaucracies which I feel are the festering sources of evil in our society."

With a true sense of schmaltz he declares, "If I were to wear a pinstripe suit while trying to aid the oppressed, I would have no efficiency. Thus my characterization. When I stage a surprise raid in my costume, you can be sure I'm not ignored." It would take a strong person indeed to remain oblivious to a bearded, crash-helmeted Rasputin running wild in nightmare pajamas, gold lame boots and a peanut butter bazooka. You can be sure wherever he treads, the news cameras aren't far behind.

-The article goes on to describe his confrontation with a nursing home abusing it's patients, an appearance at a carnival for mentally handicapped youth and the writer joins him at a guest lecture appearance at the University of Southern California. At the lecture he hands out a Captain Sticky comic book to the students.
(Rare item alert! There also was a comic about The Fox made in the 70s. I will give a cash reward for either of these items. Human Fly had a 19 issue Marvel series in the 70s- these are easy to find on Ebay.)


Our next item appears with permission from writer and comic artist Jay Allen Sanford. Jay is the co-creator of Rock N Roll Comics, and has done work with Revolutionary Comics, Pacific Comics, and Carnal Comics, among many other companies and publications. He also writes and draws comic strips for the San Diego Reader and at one point featured Captain Sticky in his comic strip "Famous Former Neighbors," which you can read by opening the thumbnail posted below.

"My memories of the Captain are mainly of seeing him driving around San Diego in the late 70s and early 80s." Jay tells Heroes in the Night. "He was always leaping in and out of the Stickymobile, even when just pulling up to a taco stand. Very energetic guy!" Jay also says he saw footage of Captain Sticky visiting Mexico, with an inside look at the Stickymobile. This footage was apparently pulled because of copyright violation, but Jay is trying to track it down.


Captain Sticky also probably had the first RLSH theme song, a polka march titled "Stick With Captain Sticky." It was featured on the Rhino Records comp album The Rhino Brother's Circus Royale, the 7th record released by the label. The New Musical Express writer mentions the song in his article, calling it "a marshmallow of a ditty." When the Captain recalls the writer is a music critic he asks him what he thinks.
"It'll never make the top 100," I predict tactfully. Nor the top 20,000 for that matter.

You can tap your toe along with the tune below.


In a June entry ( Matthew Pniewski, who is working on a doc about Midwest RLSHs titled More Than Just a Mask shared with us how he had tracked down a memorial dedicated to The Fox. He also found an archive of material on him at a small, local museum. He discovered that the museum sold The Fox's autobiography (Raising Kane: The Fox Chronicles)and a documentary on The Fox titled The Legend of The Fox. This was particularly funny to me because I had written an article on The Fox for the Riverwest Currents with the exact same title before knowing the doc existed. I bought a copy of the doc from the museum by mail order- they only except check or money order, and it is only available on a plainly labelled VHS tape.

The doc is what I expected- a simply made PBS style look at the Fox River with talk from local scientists, residents, politicians, etc. The cool thing is you get to hear The Fox himself talk, his face hidden in shadows. This must have been made shortly before he died in 2001.


Another interesting find is this test footage of the Human Fly. It was posted on the blog Micro Kahn ( after the author tried to track down what happened to the mysterious daredevil. Canadian film maker Steve Goldman shared documentary footage of the Fly in action and interviews with the guys who were the Fly's managers- Joseph and Dominic Ramacieri, pepperoni-making brothers from Montreal who were bored with the meat biz and wanted to get into a more exciting line of work. Apparently there is talk of Goldman trying to make a Human Fly feature film. Video follows- really interesting to see the Fly in action and its got a rockin soundtrack, too.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

HOPE Tries Pepsi

RLSH gather for HOPE 2011

In his effort to make HOPE 2012 twice as big as the 2011 event, HOPE director Razorhawk has entered the Pepsi Refresh Everything Project at the 25k level. If HOPE gets enough votes on the website, they will win the 25 grand, which would be used to fund food and supplies for the annual hand out to the homeless of San Diego.

Team Justice
, a non-profit status RLSH team based in Florida made an unsuccessful attempt at Pepsi Refresh in May 2010.

The HOPE page can be voted on here:

Unrelated: Hero Profiles return next Thursday!