PC: The Real Life Super Hero Movement is one that both amuses and interests people. What drew you in writing about the people involved?
TK: I’ve always been really interested in unique sub-cultures, movements, lifestyles. I’ve also been a comic book fan for most of my life. When I read a short blurb about the RLSH in 2009, I was instantly hooked on the story. After some preliminary research and a meeting one of my local RLSH (The Watchman) I decided it was a story I really wanted to immerse myself into and write a book about.
PC: Out of all the people you met, did you have a favorite of the 'super heroes'?
TK: I met so many interesting superheroes all over the country, but the guys I got to know best are my local team here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin—The Challengers. I think they are a good group and I still plan on hanging out with them long after this book is on the shelf. I still talk with other RLSH I’ve met along the way, too—my phone contacts list reads like the shelf of a comic book store!
PC: There are both funny moments and scary moments in 'Heroes in the Night' but what would you say was the most memorable for you?
TK: Definitely the “pepper spray incident” in Seattle. It was the craziest night of my life. To give a short version for readers here—Seattle superhero Phoenix Jones saw a group of people fighting in the street, ran into the middle of the fight and pepper sprayed some of the combatants. All hell broke loose after that. I got punched in the face and almost arrested...hey, sometimes you got to suffer for your art, right?
Tea Krulos with a group of Real Life Superheroes at Wizard World, Chicago Comic Con
TK: Yes, a few. I interviewed around 200 RLSH and a lot of these people got cut from the final draft. I just didn’t have the space to write about them and didn’t want to confuse readers by having hundreds of subjects introduced. There were also a few stories that got cut because they were like a puzzle piece that just didn’t fit anywhere.
PC: How did your background in journalism prepare you for writing this, your first book and how did it differ from your normal work?
TK: Well, I’ve interviewed a lot of people who don’t live normal lives, so I think I’m comfortable talking to people who are outsiders. I’m respectful and view myself as somewhat of an oddball so I think people who are unusual are comfortable talking to me. Usually I’ve done shorter takes on subjects for newspaper and magazine articles, this was really my first effort to write a big picture piece. I’m glad it was on such a unique subject.
PC: What's next for Tea Krulos?
TK: I’m happy to say that my publisher liked the work I did with Heroes in the Night enough that they bought my second book. This one involves me traveling around to meet up with various paranormal investigators, cryptozoologists, ufologists, and demonologists. I’ve already got a good start on it and it’ll be out in 2015.
'Heroes in the Night' is available to buy from October 1st