I received an e-mail today. It was a document containing a press release about Real Life Superheroes. It also contained some photos. The text follows, as well as thumbs of the photos and these thumbnails, when clicked, will take you to the original corresponding links in the document.
Superheroes do exist in real life and they are out to save the world
Superheroes have been a part of American culture since the late 1930's. From Superman to Spiderman, superheroes have filled the hearts and minds of children and adults alike with feelings of awe and inspiration. Over the past several years, superheroes have become more than just characters in comic books. Conscientious citizens are creating their own superhero personas, putting on costumes, and going out to make their communities a better place. They call themselves Real Life Superheroes.
Real Life Superheroes is a grassroots movement of people who create a superhero identity and work in a fun, exciting, and inspirational fashion to make the world a better place. They are using the iconic essence of comic book superheroes to make a difference, inspire others, spread a positive message, and call attention to issues in their communities. They are making an impact by doing civic activities, public safety patrols, crime fighting, charity work, school talks, hospital visits, helping the needy, and more acts to serve society. They are breaking the comic book barrier and bringing the ideals of superheroes into the real world. . Real Life Superheroes create living positive role models which our children are in need of.
The concept of a superhero, an individual who aspires to a higher moral code which benefits society, has a psychological impact on children, both appealing to their sense of fun as well as teach them important values.
With names like Dark Guardian, Zetaman, and Citizen Prime, Real Life Superheroes have been out patrolling our streets, helping the needy, assisting in crime prevention, and inspiring others for many years now. It is a growing movement where more and more people are creating their own superhero personas and taking to the streets to make a difference.
Real Life Superheroes believe there is a hero in everyone and if we can tap into that and help people find the hero in themselves we could live in a much better place. They hope through their actions they can inspire others to go out and be a little more super themselves.
Real Life Superheroes have an online headquarters. If you ever need help you do not need a bat signal. You can find a listing of heroes, where they are from, and a way to contact them. The site has all the information you need on real life superheroes plus ways you can be a hero, articles, a forum and much more. A non profit organization is even being formed by real life superheroes called Superheroes Anonymous.
Real Life Superheroes are out there saving the world one person at a time.
"I'm making this decision for a variety of reasons, but mainly because I want to do other things besides be a cartoonist"
Well, good luck Nicholas. PBF has been a breath of fresh air, and many people will be sorry to see it go. I'm afraid Sim does intend to keep publishing his work here on Exotic Trousers, although it seems it will be at increasingly longer and irregular intervals.
Ah, yes they exist. An estimated 150 and 200 real-life superheroes (or "Reals" as some call themselves) are believed to, er, fight crime in the United States. About 50 are believed to "work" internationally.
Of course in the real world, things don't always quite work out as they do in the comics, or the movies.
Soon Geist faces his first obstacle: parking on the left side of a one-way street. "Usually one of my superpowers is parallel parking," he chuckles as he eases his car into the spot, emerging victorious with a foot and a half between curb and tire.
In addition, there's the costumes to contend with:
On the street, he encounters businesspeople on lunch break—some stare openly; others don't even notice his garish attire. "It's easier in winter," Geist says with a laugh. "Winter in Minnesota, everybody's dressed weird."
If you don't want to make the suit yourself, there's a guy who'll do it for you online at Hero-Gear.net.
There are some interesting anecdotes:
One evening when Master Legend was on patrol, he heard a woman scream and ran to investigate. But when he located the damsel in distress, she thought he was attacking her and called the cops. "They wanted to know if I was some kind of insane man, a 41-year-old man running around in a costume," he recounts. "Apparently, they had never heard of me."
If you read the full article, don't forget to have a have a look at the Details box, which has links to an excellent slideshow of "Reals", video and other links, plus a Real Life Superhero Map (via Google maps).
The UK's contributions to the ranks of "Reals" are the "Black Arrow" whose work includes instructing people on how to care for their pets and the environment, and a hero I have heard of before, and for whom I have much admiration, Angle-Grinder Man. It seems that there are many others in the UK whose good work goes unnoticed and unrecorded.
This sort of thing fascinates me. It's a flash-based graphical presentation of the more recent theories on how the world was populated by humans. Starting from Africa 160,000 years ago, the various routes taken, successes, and setbacks are displayed.
If you're old enough to remember some of these comic book ads (mainly from old Marvel/DC-style comics), then like me you're pretty old. I always found some of these ads fascinating, such as the seven foot long Polaris Nuclear Sub I drooled over so many times. The ad promised:
Over 7 feet long
Seats 2 kids
Controls that work
Rockets that fire
Electrically lit instrument panel
I was horrified to discover from this article the ugly truth about the toy I dreamed of:
The holy grail of kids’ toys back in the Sixties. The Polaris Nuclear Sub fired rockets/torpedoes, had working controls, and dove deep to help you search for pirate’s treasure. Fun for girls and boys, wow!
The only problem was that the sub was made from cardboard and rubber bands. Thank goodness they were discontinued well before I was born, the disappointment would have been devastating.
Childhood dreams of exploring old wrecks and sunken cities have been shattered ...
The Civil Service in the form of DEFRA (Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) has its head firmly buried in the sand:
Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) occurs when a hive's inhabitants suddenly disappear, leaving only queens, eggs and a few immature workers ...
The alarm was first sounded last autumn, but has now hit half of all American states. The West Coast is thought to have lost 60 per cent of its commercial bee population, with 70 per cent missing on the East Coast.
CCD has since spread to Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece. And last week John Chapple, one of London's biggest bee-keepers, announced that 23 of his 40 hives have been abruptly abandoned.
Other apiarists have recorded losses in Scotland, Wales and north-west England, but the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs insisted: "There is absolutely no evidence of CCD in the UK."
Bill Watterson (of "Calvin and Hobbes" fame, need I say?) answers 15 questions posed to him by fans from around the world. This has been timed to coincide with the release of "The Complete Calvin and Hobbes".