Monday, June 29, 2009

I'm Super! Thanks for asking!

There seems to be a lot of confusion around the word "Superhero" - we're gonna clear that up right now.

You don't need superpowers to be a Superhero.
A Superhero is someone willing to go outside the normal channels of law to do what is right. A Superhero is a normal person that dedicates their life to stopping wrong-doings however they can. Superheroes use their skills - natural and learned - to stop the misuse of power wherever they see it.
They are not in ideological conflict with law enforcement or the military- they are complimentary. The law and its typical method of enforcement is a system and, just like any system, can be beaten. The Superhero works outside this system and can break the laws of a society in the interest of that society.
The Superhero is the ultimate philanthropist, freely giving their time, effort, resources, and sometimes even their life to the good of the people, usually without anyone even knowing their name.
Helping the people and eliminating wickedness are the ultimate goals of the Superhero.

Stay Super.

PS - I'll try to get a form or something up soon for applying to the school and link to it from this blog.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Neither teenage, mutant, nor ninja

Let me tell you about turtles, because there are some things you need to know.
  • "A turtle’s organs do not gradually break down or become less efficient over time... the liver, lungs and kidneys of a centenarian turtle are virtually indistinguishable from those of its teenage counterpart"
  • “They can turn [their heart] on and off essentially at will”
  • Turtles have colonized "every continent save Antarctica"
  • They live in "deserts; rainforests; oceans; rivers; bogs; mountains"
  • Turtles predate snakes, crocodiles, and dinosaurs
  • Some forest-dwelling turtles "can spot a lake or pond a mile in the distance"
  • "The great leatherback sea turtle... can measure seven feet long and weigh 2,000 pounds"
  • "Scavenger turtles that live in the Ganges River devour human remains"

Leatherback Turtles Lay Eggs

Ants are also totally suite in different ways than turtles, but we'll talk about them another day.

(Fun facts about turtles taken from this article)

Stay Super.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Here's what I've come up with for the courses (grouped by rough similarity):

Intro Superherology
--Law for Superheroes
--Leading two lives
--Tools of the trade
--Finding crime and criminals
--Names, costumes, and symbols
Machining and fabrication

Hand to hand
Knife fighting and throwing
Fire and explosives

To kill or not to kill
Dealing with pain and torture
First-Aid for yourself and others

Stealth and invisibility
Intelligence gathering

Entry and exodus
Parkour/urban climbing
Jumps, flips, falls, and rolls

I'd been toying with the idea of a class that talked about Heroing in a rural environment, but decided against it (after all, the classes will be taught in NYC). It's a lot to fit into one year, but intensity builds character.

Stay Super.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sew you want to be a Superhero?

Note: The following may be a little graphic and gross for some, as it deals with the trials and tribulations of giving one's self stitches/sutures. It should also be noted that this is NOT medical advice. Long story short, if you vomit or disfigure yourself thanks to this blog's content, always remember that I warned you.

Being an underground do-gooder has its problems. Besides, of course, the difficulty of finding a job like mine where you only have to work a few days a month to support yourself, you also have trouble getting decent medical care. Say, for example, you get a little cut up by some jerk in the process of dealing with him (or her). If you go to the hospital, somebody might put 2 and 2 together (and get you!). Maybe not the first time, but eventually your wounds will be put together with the masked person that some crackhead said he "defended himself" against.

The first few times I ever gave myself stitches (aka, sutures), I did it with waxed floss (Mmmm, minty!). I don't know why I did this - I think I heard it was a good idea somewhere?
At first, all I could find was this huge 5-inch needle. Why did I have a 5-inch needle? Why do they even make 5-inch needles? I really don't know. Maybe some apartments come with them. So anyway, I thread my needle, push it through. Well, try to push it through. Despite its pointiness, there is no progress. The needle bends as it drives itself into the thumb I'm using to push it (this is the night I realized that thimbles actually do serve some practical purpose). I fashioned a (very poor) makeshift thimble out of a soda cap I found. With the huge needle as dull as it was, the skin wasn't so much being pierced as mashed. With my ruined flesh becoming pulverized almost unto the point of being gelatinous, I decided that this was not the tool for the job.
I doubled my efforts to find a decent needle and found a normal-sized one with just the slightest bend to it. After a few passes through the wound, it broke (the needle, not the wound). So now I have a tiny piece of broken metal stuck in my arm. Which is why the universe supplies us with needle-nose pliers. Large amounts of hydrogen peroxide are also available for an additional fee.
So far, not a great night.
So I redoubled my efforts to find another normal needle and found one in a button-fixing kit, if I remember correctly. I was on my third or fourth makeshift thimble by now, having discovered that broad flat surfaces were useless, large erasers were roughly useless, etc. This time, it was a thin piece of semi-hard packaging plastic. After a little effort, the needle decided not to have its sharp end go into where it was needed, but rather to have its dull end go straight through the plastic thimble and draw blood from my thumb. Come on - the tip of the needle wouldn't break the skin, but the dull end would?
The universe had clearly pooped on me.
Eventually, I got the damn thing done and tied it all up. Of course, despite my liberal use of hydrogen peroxide during the operation and in the following days, an amazing infection broke out - very icky. Culprit? Pretty sure it was the wax in the floss.

These days I've got my system down pretty well. How has my method evolved over the years to where it is today?
Wax floss --> Fishing line (kept with a set of small, sharp needles)
Makeshift thimble --> Holding the needle with needle-nose pliers
Hydrogen peroxide/Rubbing alcohol --> Good scrub in and around the wound with with soap and water, rinsed, and carefully dried (unless the wound is bleeding a lot, then things are a bit more dicey, but you still have to clean it)
Square knot --> Surgeon's knot

I should have the course listing ready to post soon.

Stay Super.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Of evil-doers and the twiddling of thumbs

Did you ever notice how superheroes always just happen to be around when crimes are taking place?
If you haven't heard, let me be the first to tell you - being a superhero can be booooring.
How boring? Have you ever waited in line for 10 minutes? It's like that, only instead of having a person behind you, it's a dirty alley, and instead of having a person in front of you, it's a dumpster, and instead of 10 minutes, it's 6 hours.
Also, you have to pee.
Sometimes movies try to make it more "real" by having the heroes listen in to police scanners, but if the cops are on their way, it's being taken care of, and you usually won't get there before them anyway. (Random thought - why does no one ever just follow the batmobile home? It's not like it blends in with the other cars.)
Yes, you get better at anything the more you do it, and technology certainly doesn't hurt to point you in the right direction, but some nights it's just like COME ON! Somebody get mugged already! Where are the days when New York was seething with pain and the vilest of human nature - a city whose screams were bursting at the seams of the pillow being used to smother it? Now, we're about even with Boise, Idaho.
Well, maybe tonight will be better.

Stay Super.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Get your learn on

Hey, Party People.
The store is now up and running (or at least walking briskly).
All items are hand-picked by yours truly and have met my rigorous quality standards (which include, but are not limited to, Will it work on the street?, Can I learn it in a reasonable amount of time and effort?, and/or Will I look great doing it [mainly for the Wushu flips and such]?). As a result, it's not a very big store - but that means less sifting through useless crap on your part and cutting straight to the good stuff. Also, there's movies - suite!
While I recommend everything, I have to give a special shout out to something you might otherwise overlook, A Glossary of the Construction, Decoration and Use of Arms and Armor: in All Countries and in All Times. It's a great book full of information and pictures of interesting weapons from throughout the world and time (not so much guns, though - see previous post). It's one of those books where you pick it up and suddenly it's dark out and you've lost three hours of your life. If you have even the slightest interest in weaponry, add it to your collection. Or coffee table - makes an excellent conversation piece, whatever that means.

Is anyone else shamelessly excited about G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra? Because I know I am.

Stay Super.

Swords vs. Guns - which is cooler/better?

I have this swords vs. guns argument all the time with people, and I'm sure you do too.
For most people of character and intelligence, the answer is obvious:
Swords are totally sweet. Let me break it down for you:
  • Swords don't need to be reloaded. Swords don't run out of ammo.
  • Swords look awesome, and you look awesome using them.
  • Swords don't need a silencer - they are the silencer.
  • A guy that chooses to use a sword in an age of guns is clearly someone you don't want to fight.
  • Swords can remove heads (and other limbs) with style.
  • Swords have a history, harking back thousands of years.
  • Swords are precision instruments - innocent bystanders are rarely killed when a swordfight breaks out.
  • Swords, unlike most guns, are excellent medium-close-range weapons.

Then there's guns.
  • They're lame. And also loud.

Think about it - how many totally sweet gunfights have you seen in movies? Outside of Equilibrium, not many. How many totally sweet swordfights have you seen? A crapload.
What's the first weapon every boy forges from his surroundings? That's right - pick up a stick, and it's a sword. See? It's instinct. It's in our blood.

Swords are awesome.

I'm going to try and post some course listings and a bookstore-front thing in the next few days. Stay tuned - the you you always wished you were awaits!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

In the beginning...

I'm doing this blog to document the founding of my new school,
JT Awesomefellow's School of Superhero Arts.
I'll talk about me (JT), what's happening with getting the school started, and more. Stay tuned, and you might get to witness some of my process in action!
The school will work to pass the crime fighting torch to the next generation. It will take one year of night and weekend classes to become a certified Superhero.
There's no radiation or mutations involved (I get a lot of stupid questions about that) just me teaching the incredible set of skills I've gathered over my life, like fighting, climbing, interrogation, and more! You'll learn to save lives and then disappear into the night.
Students should be in good shape and at least 18 years old (it won't hurt if your hot too ;)