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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Day of the Superheroes

Posted By on Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 8:59 PM

A few weeks ago I received an email from Chaim Lazaros from New York. He was promoting an event to take place October 13. I laughed at it, then my little nerd brain exploded. Chaim Lazaros, by the way, is a superhero.

I’m surprised I had to dig around to find any confirmation about this event. The announcement would’ve wound up on the blog yesterday, but I guess most people don’t take superheroes seriously anymore.

No, not the Saints. Real superheroes. Like, spandex and capes superheroes. WGNO-TV could barely squeeze out a 49-second clip about them — almost condescending, like a point-and-laugh-with-us filler between commercial breaks. Am I the only one who thinks superheroes are as awesome in real life as they are when they’re played by Christian Bale or Robert Downey Jr.?

That event, boys and girls, was the Day of the Superheroes. Mayor Ray Nagin, a tip of the hat to you, for once.

Superheroes Anonymous, a nationwide collective of superheroes and heroines, organized their 2nd annual congregation of fellow heroes to meet last weekend in New Orleans. But these super men and women are not the flying, supernatural-force-wielding characters from comic books — Superheroes Anonymous is essentially a nationwide collective of activists whose goal is to inspire change within their communities.

The heroes departed from New York and stopped in Washington, D.C. to feed the homeless, then landed in New Orleans to spend the weekend rebuilding homes with Habitat for Humanity.

Yesterday, the heroes marched alongside members of the Marine Corps Color Guard, Silence Is Violence and the Guardian Angels to the steps of City Hall, where Warren Riley met the parade and Nagin supposedly declared New Orleans’ recognition of the Day of the Superheroes.

Nagin also bestowed the title “Ambassador of Goodwill” upon New Orleans’ own Black Ghost

But the best part is these guys aren’t necessarily nonprofit organizers or soup kitchen directors. The Black Ghost, for example, is a professor at Delgado Community College. His name is Will Warner, and he turned one of his comic book characters into an alter ego with community action group I.C.E. Studios, which produces short webisodes about the adventures of the Black Ghost in New Orleans.

Now there’s already a strange X-Men- or Batman-like dichotomy between authority figures and these humble heroes. Cops apparently don’t like folks in red leather boots handing out sandwiches. 


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