Real-life Superheroes, paranormal investigators, conspiracy theory: classic Krulos topics. Three short things related to these subjects have crossed my brain this week and got collected here.
The Legendary Jack
Let me tell you about this guy I know, Jack. Jack is frustrated. It’s hard to catch a break in this world. You put heart and soul into a project, you pour in this passion and you are ignored. Meanwhile some putz will launch into the stratosphere of fame for just the stupidest thing you can think of. It’s a drag, man.
One day recently, Jack told us on Facebook, he was at the check out of the grocery store. While scribbling out a check for the groceries, counting the pennies in his head, he noticed an ad on the check out lane for a guy he used to work with at an oil changing place. This guy now had his own mortgage company. You can bet this guy doesn’t worry if he’s buying generic or name brand peanut butter!
But Mortgage Man Dan will never know the thrill of leaping off the corner post of a wrestling ring, sweat and adrenaline flying off of him as he tackles Baron Von Retchblubber (or whatever his name is) while a crowd in rapture cheers, letting rip a primal scream. Because this Jack is former wrestler JACK T. RIPPER, famous hero (or heel is probably the right term) of a hundred fights!
But wait, there’s more! Zzzzzzap! This same Jack is the mighty Razorhawk, one of these Real-Life Superheroes, founder of the Great Lakes Alliance, founder of the HOPE events. I joined him in the search for a missing college student in Saint Paul, on a patrol on the streets of Minneapolis, and for a HOPE event in San Diego. I wrote about it in my book Heroes in the Night. Years later, I saw him at a HOPE event in Chicago. BAM!
This Razorhawk, in fact, was the winner of a YouTube reality show titled Academy of Heroes. His co-stars were his Real-life Superhero colleagues: the noble Knight Owl, the nimble Nyx, the dashing Danger Man, the philosophical Phantom Zero, the generous Good Samaritan, and the..uh…mouthy Motor-Mouth! By the end of the show, Razorhawk was declared winner by none other than comic legend Stan Lee himself. Excelsior!
And now, Jack has a more mellow project, but a very cool one. He’s now here, as his motto says, “to chew bubblegum and build models,” but he happens to be “all out of bubblegum.” Now known as the JACK OF MODELS, he has created his own YouTube show in which he carefully builds a variety of car and figure models, shows you how it’s done, and offers a few tricks and tips so you can enjoy this hobby, too.
I’m a fan. You can find the show here:
YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv2ZgO3bbhW7rq-CdcYhskw
My most read column this month was a reprinting of a rarely seen article I wrote years ago titled “The Ghost Hunter’s Daughter” on Alexandra Holzer, star of the new reality show The Holzer Files. Just recently I had the chance to profile two interesting paranormal investigators for the October issue of Scandinavian Traveler magazine: Dale Kaczmarek of Ghost Research Society, who has been on the supernatural trail since the 1970s, and Ursula Bielski of Chicago Hauntings, who organizes the annual Chicago Ghost Con. Both have written books and offer tours and are all around experts on Chicago ghostlore.
You can read the article, “Meet the real-life ghostbusters,” here: https://scandinaviantraveler.com/en/places/meet-the-real-life-ghostbusters
I also compiled Dale and Ursula’s picks for “Chicago’s top 5 haunted locations”: https://scandinaviantraveler.com/en/places/chicagos-top-5-haunted-locations
Denver Airport Conspiracy
Ever since it was built, Denver International has been the subject of several conspiracy theories, including secret tunnels, weird art, a cursed horse statue, Illuminati meetings, and more. It’s pretty wild and every time I fly west, I hope for a layover at the airport.
While blocking off part of the airport for construction this month, the airport decided that instead of traditional “pardon our dust” signs, they would go full troll with a series of signs alluding to their reputation, including ones that mention the Illuminati, aliens, Reptilians (aka Lizard People), and more. Check out more of the signs here: https://www.curbed.com/2018/9/7/17832102/denver-airport-conspiracy-theories-signs-construction
And if you like conspiracy, well, hang on to your butts because November is Conspiracy Month here at Tea’s Weird Week. I’m doing some conspiracy related travel mid-November so I’ll be doing some reporting from the road. It’s going to be…interesting.
Follow me here:
I really had fun this weekend. A lot of the time writing (for me, anyway) involves me being anti-social, staying at home at the desk. So when I have a weekend of getting to see friends, old and new, it is a hella cool time for me. My girlfriend Wendy (a talented photographer, who took the photos below– her website is HERE) and I hit the road and visited West Bend and Chicago for a couple of events I was invited to participate in.
Friday, I participated in the Museum Of Wisconsin Art‘s member show, which was superhero themed. I judged a costume contest along with Real Life Superhero The Watchman (one of the subjects of my book Heroes in the Night, available HERE) and fashion designer Miranda Kay Levy, who you might have seen on Project Runway. She asked me to help judge and you know when an acclaimed designer like Miranda asks me for my fashion opinions, we’re in for a rare situation. There were about 10 or 12 entries in the contest and they were all great, very creative.
I had some waves of nostalgia rolling in to town, as I was briefly a resident of West Bend in 1996. I finished my Senior year of high school there. More importantly, it’s where I met an incredibly unique group of individuals who became my friends. I think my life adventures really began in West Bend.
In addition to the costume contest, I tabled with Heroes in the Night, sold a few copies, and talked with a few people who were genuinely interested in what I was up to. People got to talk with The Watchman, who was there with two of his kids– Wonder Boy and Guardian Girl.
The next morning, we headed down to the Chicago Ghost Conference. Real Life Superhero Razorhawk (of Minneapolis) had been invited to do a panel on what being a RLSH is all about and he had Chicago RLSH Citizen Prime and Wraith as well as myself as guests. Attendance was low, but we didn’t let it get us down. I got to chat with a couple people I’ve met over the last year or two who will be featured in my next book, Monster Hunters (out in June 2015, you can pre-order HERE).
I also met a few new people involved with the field of paranormal investigation. I did an interview with second generation ghost hunter Alexandra Holzer, which will make for a great future article somewhere. I even got my photo taken with B movie host icon Svengoolie.
I am planning a one day Milwaukee Paranormal Conference for June 6 (see website HERE), so perhaps the best thing I got from the conference was taking a look firsthand at things I thought worked and things I thought did not.
A fun weekend hanging out with a lot of great people I’ve had the fortune of meeting, and in many cases, writing about.
A month or two ago I exchanged messages with Leslie C. Lewis, a playwright from Denver, Colorado. She told me that she was writing a short play titled “Superheroes,” which is part of a line-up of short plays sharing a setting called “The Playground.” Lewis’s entry consists of a team of Real Life Superheroes, the “Dark Star Patrol,” having a post-patrol meeting in the early morning hours at the playground.
Lewis told me that reading my book Heroes in the Night was part of her play research and asked me a couple follow up questions while finishing the final draft. She also tells me she is working on an expanded, full length version of the play.
“The Playground” is produced by And Toto Too Theater Company and runs November 6-22 at The Laundry on Lawrence in Denver. More info here: www.leslieclewis.com/leslie-c-lewis-upcoming-events/
Below, check out these awesome pictures of the cast on the set with their personalized copies of Heroes in the Night!
Top row (L-R): RLSH characters Dr. Intelligent, Brave Fairy, Confucius
Bottom row: Omni, Zygote, Mantis
Heroes in the Night is available here: www.ipgbook.com/heroes-in-the-night-products-9781613747759.php and wherever fine books are sold.
A big congrats to And Toto Too Theater Company. Break a leg!
This copy is signed by myself and 45 Real Life Superheroes. The signatures were collected by the author in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis. The book was then sent with Razorhawk to San Diego to collect signatures at a mass meet up, HOPE.
All money raised from this auction will be donated to HOPE, an organization that distributes supplies to the homeless.
You can find more info on the book’s eBay auction page: www.ebay.com/itm/131289995764?ssPageName=STRK%3AMESELX%3AIT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649
Thanks for taking a look!
Hello, my friends, it has been awhile since I posted on my blog here. I’ve been extremely busy working on my next book, doing final interviews, transcribing, research, a million and one little details. It’s going well and I can kind of see the forest from the trees on this project now.
I have two events going on later this month that I’m real happy, real excited about.
First, I’ll be talking about Heroes in the Night at the next MKE Comic Book Meet-up, April 22. This is a cool group in Milwaukee that meets up on a regular basis to discuss comic books. The them for the next one is “Social Issues in Comics” and they kindly asked me to be part of it. The first part of the evening will be a discussion from 6:30-7:45pm about comics that have tackled social issues. People are encouraged to bring comics they’d like to talk about.
I will be talking about Heroes in the Night afterward from 7:45-9pm, particularly focusing on how the subject of the book (Real Life Superheroes) reflect their comic book counterparts. I’ll be showing some slides and I will have copies of the book available for a flat $16. This is going to be a fun time at Anodyne Coffee in Walker’s Point, a nice, casual environment.
Info: Tuesday, April 22, Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co., 224 W. Bruce St., Milwaukee 53204. Comic discussion 6:30-7:45pm, Presentation by Tea Krulos 7:45-9pm. Free, copies of Heroes in the Night available for $16.
Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/292877017537427/
Next, how cool is this– I’ll be hosting a panel at this year’s Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2)!
The panel is titled “You Can be a ‘Real Life Superhero!'” I’ll be moderating special guests Razorhawk, the Watchman, Crusader Prime, Crimson Catalyst, and Night Vision. We will also have a couple surprise guests appearing via video message. I will be showing some slides and we will be talking about what this Real Life Superhero business is all about. We also will have a Q & A session with the audience. Hulk Hogan will be at C2E2, but I can’t speculate if he’ll show up for the panel.
This will take place Sunday, April 27 2:30-3:30pm Room S401ab. Afterwards, I will be signing copies of Heroes in the Night at the Chicago Review Press booth from 4-4:45pm.
Besides the panel members, several other RLSH will be attending the con and my inside sources tell me the assembled RLSH will be joining forces and patrolling Chicago, handing out supplies to homeless people as they go. Good work, my super friends, good work!
Info: The panel takes place at C2E2 (South Building at McCormick Place) Sunday, April 27 2:30-3:30pm, book signing follows 4-4:45pm at the Chicago Review Press booth.
Here is the panel listing on C2E2’s site: http://c2e214.mapyourshow.com/5_0/sessions/sessiondetails.cfm?ScheduledSessionID=18ADCB
Wow, what a month! I’ve really been burning the candle at both ends.
October 1 was the official release date of my book, Heroes in the Night: Inside the Real Life Superhero Movement. It was a really proud day for me– I did it! I got a book out, you can find it at a lot of bookstores. It’s also available online here: http://www.ipgbook.com/heroes-in-the-night-products-9781613747759.php?page_id=21
To promote the book, I did four bookstore appearances. I was at Quimby’s Bookstore in Chicago on 10/05. My big hometown appearance was 10/11 here at Boswell Book Company in Milwaukee. A lot of family and friends were there and we had a fun after party at Stonefly Brewery.
I appeared at Westfield Comics in Madison on 10/19 and Common Good Books in Saint Paul, MN on 10/20. All cool stuff. I was joined by people featured in my book at all stops, so I big thanks to Wraith, Citizen Prime, the Watchman, Geist, Razorhawk, Misery White, and Blue for joining me at Q and A sessions. It was really great to get out, see old friends, and meet new ones, too.
I haven’t seen exact figures, but the publisher tells me the book is doing good. I’ll be continuing to promote it with media appearances through the holidays (and beyond.) Next place I’ll be is here in town for Milwaukee Zine Fest Nov. 9 (website: http://milwaukeezinefest.org/2013/index.php) I’ll have copies of the book and a little zine of wacky poetry I did titled Palookaville.
I’ve also been working hard on my (as yet untitled) second book, which is about people who study the paranormal. I took a hectic trip east to do field work for the book, travelling to West Virginia, Kentucky, Maine, and Florida over a ten day stretch. I’ve been writing about some of this for Onmilwaukee.com. You can read about my Kentucky adventure here: http://onmilwaukee.com/myOMC/authors/onmilwaukeecomstaffwriters/milwghoststorybobbymackey.html
Last thing I wanted to mention is an article I wrote for Third Coast Daily about Arkham House, a little known but important Wisconsin publishing house. They published the first works by H.P. Lovecraft and Ray Bradbury, among others. I worked on it on and off for a long time, and it was well timed to appear just before my favorite holiday, Halloween.
Below is a picture included in the article of Arkham House founder and prolific Wisconsin writer August Derleth. Happy Halloween!