Saturday, August 31, 2013

Heroes in the Night is "A Great Example of the Promise of Creative Non-Fiction"

Wow, Heroes in the Night got a spectacular review from the fine folks at!

Reviewer Matt Hlinak writes:

"Krulos combines solid journalism with colorful storytelling to shed light on this bizarre and utterly human subculture...

Heroes in the Night is a great example of the promise of creative non-fiction. Tea Krulos lays a solid foundation of fact and then builds an entertaining story on top of it. He is a necessary character in this story, but he never allows himself to overshadow the real-life superheroes, who are the real stars. He gives them a chance to explain themselves and deftly mixes humor and compassion in his treatment of his subjects.

This is an entertaining book that sheds light on the strange but timely, understandable and relevant subculture that is the RLSH movement."

You can read the review in its entirety here:

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Friday, August 30, 2013

Table of Contents Revealed!

We got just got word that  Heroes in the Night is currently en route from the printing press to my publisher in Chicago! To celebrate, here's a sneak peek at the book's Table of Contents...

Introduction: Meet Your Friendly Neighborhood Real Life Superheroes...1
Chapter 1: American Superheroes...9
Chapter 2: Boy Scouts and Batmen...23
Chapter 3: Early Prototypes...41
Chapter 4: Great Lakes Alliance...59
Chapter 5: The Secret City...79
Chapter 6: Coming Out of the Phone Booth...95
Chapter 7: A Tapestry of Evil...109
Chapter 8: The Man in the Green Skull Mask...123
Chapter 9: International Justice Injection...145
Chapter 10: Challengers, Assemble!...163
Chapter 11: Brooklyn’s Ex-superheroes...181
Chapter 12: Mr. Jones and Me...199
Chapter 13: People Fighting and Pepper Spray and Superheroes and…I Don’t Know...213
Chapter 14: An Age of Heroes?...227
Online Resources...253

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

HERO PROFILE #10: Väktaren

Operates out of: Malmö, Sweden

Name Translation: Väktaren is Swedish for "Guardian"

Activities: Väktaren patrols criminal hotspots, looking to report crime to police and intervene in crimes in process.

Author's notes: I still hear about new RLSH all the time from all over the world. Today's Hero Profile comes from a tip from a Heroes in the Night Facebook fan, Xerxes Sockerstinn, who forwarded an article from a Swedish newspaper on Väktaren. The article reports that Väktaren, a comic book fan, was motivated to become a RLSH last month after he was mugged. The Swedish RLSH has found that his costumed appearance has frightened several Swedes, so he hopes the media exposure will garner some understanding of what he is trying to do.

Heroes in the Night has an entire chapter dedicated to different translations of the RLSH concept around the world.

Book available OCTOBER 1, 2013!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Heroes in the Night is "A Well Written and Intelligent Look"

Here now is our second review, by Patrick Challis, The Curiosity of a Social Misfit.

He says:

"Krulos takes a well written and intelligent look at this people and tries to get under their skin in order to see what makes them tick, what makes them want to be superheroes.  In fact, Krulos manages to blend the factual and exciting side of things with the humour in some of the funnier characters that appear along the way brilliantly.  That really helps the easy going flow of the book and creates one that you can't stop reading."

You can read the full review HERE.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

HERO PROFILE #9: Phantom Patriot

Operates out of: Southern Nevada

Activities: Political protests, street patrols, charity hand outs

Team Affiliation: The Protectorate

Inspiration: various American folk heroes, the Human Fly, Captain America

Author's notes: The Phantom Patriot is one of the people discussed as in a chapter of Heroes in the Night titled "Early Prototypes." Here is a video in which he explains more about himself titled Phantom Patriot: An Inside Look.

Book available OCTOBER 1, 2013!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Heroes in the Night: First Review!

I'm very happy to report that Heroes in the Night got its first official review! It comes from Booklist, a review magazine published by the American Library Association and geared toward libraries and library patrons. This is from their Sept.1 issue and I think it is a nice, concise review that captures the tone of the book. Review follows.

Heroes in the Night: Inside the Real Life Superhero Movement.
Krulos, Tea (Author)
Oct 2013. 288 p. Chicago Review, paperback, $16.95. (9781613747759). 

If you’ve seen the movies Mystery Men and Kick-Ass, you’re familiar with real-life superheroes (otherwise known as RLSH). These are men and women who dress themselves up in costumes and patrol the streets of their cities, trying to combat evil. Clearly that sounds silly, and the author certainly explores the silly elements of RLSH, but there’s a serious side, too. These are ordinary people taking, in some cases, extraordinary risks, often motivated by a deep need to make their world a safer, better place. The notion of the real-life superhero dates back centuries, at least as far back as Robin Hood, and its modern-day incarnations have formed a community, with online forums, fans, even a “secret text” (a 1980 self published book called How to Be a Super-Hero). 

It probably would have been easy for Krulos to make fun of these people, but, for the most part, he treats RLSH with respect because, if you factor out the comicbookish elements, these are men and women who are risking their own safety to make others feel a bit safer. And it’s hard to make fun of that.— David Pitt

Book available OCTOBER 1, 2013!

Phoenix Jones Gets Cracked Reporting

This is the photo of Phoenix Jones by Lucien Knuteson that swiped from my blog and used on their site without asking permission or giving attribution. 

Internet reporting is so shoddy these days that I wouldn't be surprised to see a article titled "5 Writers Who Actually Spent More Than Ten Minutes Checking Over Their Work."

Apparently we have to give a free pass to people like "because it's satire!" as everyone exclaims. Still, I feel I have to speak out about the scenario Cracked suggests in their Triumph the Insult Comic Dog style report, "The 5 Most Spectacularly Failed Attempts at Superheroism."

RE: Point number 4: "A Superhero Maces a Bunch of Dancers." Other than a few nouns, this relaying of the "pepper spray incident," as it is commonly known, is a complete falsehood.

I should know-- I was there.

I was trailing Phoenix Jones in Seattle to get material for my upcoming book, Heroes in the Night, in October 2011 when we stumbled across a street fight. I don't feel iffy on this-- one guy was kicking another guy laying in the street in the head, one dude was punching another dude, there was angry screaming and shoving. After Phoenix Jones broke the group up, one person deliberately hit another person in the arm with their car.

If that was a dance, as this writer adamantly suggests, it was one hell of an electric boogaloo. So where does this report from Funkytown come from?

Well, when the police showed up and asked the group what had happened, they decided that saying they were "dancing" instead of saying they were "beating the shit out of each other in a street fight" sounded better. The police, who were none too thrilled with Phoenix Jones, decided to take their word for it, ignore what Jones had to say, and added the frolicking alibi to their report.

Toward the end of the short Phoenix Jones segment of the article, the incorrect reporting accelerates-- no, Phoenix Jones was not arrested and unmasked on live television. No, Department of Social Services did not ban him from ever working with children ever again. I think presenting that last sentence as fact is actually libel, but I don't know, I'm no lawyer.

Am I defending the actions of Jones that night? No. It is what it is and you can read my detailed account of that evening in a Heroes in the Night chapter titled "People Fighting and Pepper Spray and Superheroes and...I Don't Know."

But if there's anything I hate more than getting punched in the face by a pepper spray soaked Russian (it happened)-- it's lazy fact checking.
Book available OCTOBER 1, 2013!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Heroes in the Night at Wizard World Chicago Comic Con: the report!

Thursday was truly a fantastic day for me as I made an appearance at Wizard World Chicago Comic Con to support my upcoming book Heroes in the Night (out Oct. 1, Chicago Review Press) by hosting a panel discussion with some Real Life Superheroes.

The panel included the Watchman and Blackbird of Milwaukee, WI, Electron from La Crosse, WI, Geist from Rochester, MN and Moon and Crimson Catalyst, both of the Chicago area.

After arriving at the con, I got a big stack of postcards that featured info on my book and on the panel from one of Chicago Review Press's marketing people, Mary. She was dressed for the con in a fantastic Doctor Who themed ensemble. Me and the RLSH handed out about 300 of this postcards before the panel and a quite a few more afterward.
Blackbird (left) and the Watchman field a question.

The panel took place in Room 42 at 5PM, and it went absolutely great. I was not sure what to expect for attendance and we had a really good turn out. I had the RLSH sit in the last row of the room and led with just under ten minutes of slides, quickly breezing through an overview of a short history lesson, how I first got involved in the story, and relaying some of my travel for the book. After the slides, I called forward the RLSH, introduced each panel member and asked them a question that I thought would be a frequently asked question or something relevant to who they are.
Panel members (l-r) Moon, Crimson Catalyst, Electron.

After that, I opened the floor up to the audience, and we got a lot of thoughtful, curious questions. Not one single stupid question.

The Defuser questions the panel.
We got an audience question from a surprise guest-- Jarrett Crippen aka "The Defuser," the winner of the second season of Stan Lee's reality show Who Wants To Be a Superhero?  As a law enforcement officer, he expressed concern about RLSH getting in the way of law enforcement, and the panel expressed how they try to avoid such situations.

Toward the end of the panel I pointed out two RLSH who we weren't able to get on the panel, but who had shown up in their gear to lend support-- Wraith and Crusader Prime. They helped me by handing out more postcards as the audience left. I invited the audience to pose for pictures in the hallway after the panel, and we spent another 30-45 minutes posing for pictures and answering more audience questions.
L-R: Electron, Geist, Crimson Catalyst, Tea Krulos, Moon, Crusdaer Prime, Blackbird, the Watchman, Wraith.

After that, I wandered around the con, taking in the sights. Wow! I was reminded yet again how important the superhero mythology is to our culture. At 7:30 we all met up again to take a walk down the road to a pizzeria to have dinner together. But first a small crowd gathered in the lobby and we had another photo session. In the pizzeria parking lot (while waiting for a table), we again had fans from the con (and some bewildered looking Chicagoans) request pictures. We sat down and as I sat down with the colorfully clad RLSH for pizza, I thought about how uniquely great this experience of writing Heroes in the Night has been.

We split ways after pizza. Thanks much to Mary from Chicago Review Press, my lovely assistant Mary Beth, my family who showed up to support me, and most of all the panel of RLSH who all did an excellent job of representing themselves. And, of course, the audience-- thank you, you guys were awesome! I'm really hoping to organize similar panels at future cons.
Meet the fans: the RLSH were a hit everwhere they went, even the parking lot of a pizzeria. 
P.S. We will have a video of the panel available soon, so you can watch it for yourself!

You can find a list of my upcoming October appearances in Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, and the Twin Cities HERE.

Book available OCTOBER 1, 2013!

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Operates out of
: Chicago, soon San Francisco

Comic book inspiration: Moon Knight

Activities: Hands out supplies to homeless, volunteers at animal shelters and children's hospitals, patrols

On patrolling: "My reason for going out on the street to keep an eye out is mainly because I feel that there are a lot of people who get away with pretty nasty things and are never held accountable for it. I want to change that. I am more of a outreach and charity hero, but I did patrol often up until the Dark Knight movie shooting in Colorado. After that I felt that my community would just keep calling police and fear a guy walking around dressed up like me. After talking with a police commander friend of mine, I decided to stop 'patrolling' until I get to San Francisco, where I can learn some new tactics from local heroes there as well as patrol with them."

Author's notes: Moon will be one of the panelists (along with the Watchman, Blackbird, Geist, Electron, and Crimson Catalyst) I'll have at Wizard World Comic Con today for my panel "Meet the Real Life Superheroes!" It's at 5PM, Room 42. If you're at the Con, hope to see you there.
Facebook event page:

Book available OCTOBER 1, 2013!

Monday, August 5, 2013


Thursday, August 8: CHICAGO, Il--Wizard World Comic Con
5PM, Room 42: "Meet the Real Life Superheroes!" panel
Tea Krulos discusses Heroes in the Night and hosts a panel of Real Life Superheroes: The Watchman and Blackbird of Milwaukee, Electron from La Crosse, Geist from Rochester, MN, and Moon and Crimson Catalyst of Chicago.
Facebook Event Page:

Tuesday, October 1: The 
"Ask Tea Krulos" discussion group
On the premiere date of Heroes in the Night, Tea Krulos will be checking in with Goodreads throughout the day to answer questions about the book. You can join the discussion here:

Saturday, October 5: CHICAGO, Il-- Quimby's Bookstore, 1854 W. North Ave.
7PM, In-store appearance. Slideshow, excerpt, Q and A, special surprise guests!
Facebook Event Page:

Friday, October 11: MILWAUKEE, WI-- Boswell Book Co. & after party at Stonefly Brewery
This is the Heroes in the Night Universal Launch Party
7PM, In-store appearance at Boswell Book Company, 2559 N. Downer St. Slideshow, excerpt, Q and A, special surprise guests!

9PM, after party at Stonefly Brewery, 735 E. Center St. Musical performance by Nineteen Thirteen, silent auction to benefit charity, super villain drink specials, and a superhero costume contest. Must be an original superhero creation. Honorary judges include fashion designer Miranda Levy (Project Runway), photographer Lacy Landre, and comic book artist David Beyer, Jr.
Facebook event page:

Saturday, October 12: TBA

Saturday, October 19: MADISON, WI-- Westfield Comics, West side store, 7475 Mineral Point Road
6PM, In-store appearance, slideshow, excerpt, Q and A, surprise guest(s)!
Facebook event page:

Sunday, October 20: SAINT PAUL, MN-- Common Good Books, 38 S. Snelling Ave.
4PM, In-store appearance, slideshow, excerpt, Q and A, surprise guests!
Facebook event page:

Thursday, August 1, 2013

HERO PROFILE #7: Crimson Catalyst

Crimson Catalyst. Photo by Simon Brubaker.

Operates out of: Chicago, IL

Activities: Hands food and supplies out to the homeless

Team affiliation: None

Inspiration: "I've always loved superheroes and comic books and when I heard stories of people doing it in real life, I knew I wanted to do it. I started training and putting a uniform together."

Author's notes: Easily identified by her crimson outfit and long, ginger hair, Crimson Catalyst will be one of the RLSH on a panel I am hosting a week from today at the Wizard World Chicago Comic Con. She'll join her fellow RLSH The Watchman, Blackbird, Electron, and Moon in discussing the RLSH lifestyle on Aug. 8. For more details on the panel, see the post previous to this one.

Book available OCTOBER 1, 2013!