Is Union of Heroes dead?
No, it's not. I know that it must look like this for almost everybody visiting the website and noticing that it did not update for quite a long time. But I would still not call it "dead" - I prefer to see it as "sleeping". Unfortunately this condition will not change for the next couple of months. But since today there is a little light at the end of the tunnel...

Is there any sort of process readers who live in a predominately English speaking country can go through to point out pages with grammar or spelling errors?
That's a question people sometimes ask me via email, too. (Which reminds me that I have not answered to everybody yet, sorry.) In fact just a few days ago (September 2010) I have send most of my transcripted episodes to some people who offered to help me. So we just have to wait a little bit and all the pages up to page 383 should be corrected. For future pages: Just send me an email and inform me about every error you find – I will try to correct them as fast as possible. Thank you very much in advance!

Was there one specific moment or event that inspired you to do what you do?
Or was it something that you simply "fell into"?

In a way: Both.
On the one hand I had this flash of inspiration of creating a photocomic about superheroes while I was sitting together with Jens (who later became the photographer of UoH). We were thinking about what we could do to win a local business plan competition this evening – and UoH turned out to become our project idea...
– On the other hand I am addicted to comics since I was a little kid. The portfolio for my graphic design studies was a comic. During my studies I wrote a paper about the different ways of how to use the speech bubble. My final work before I started my thesis was a print comic presenting all the ways of how to include interactivity into a comic I could think of. And I was always a little bit disappointed about the fact that there are only very very few good superhero comics created by German comic book artists. – So in a way it was something I simply fell into, too.

Will we see a printed issue in the near future? (We now have as of the end of Juli 2010)
If "near future" means the next few months: Probably not. Unless I find a publisher and/or sponsors who would finance the production.

No question, just a comment: I live in the States and couldn't possibly get there, but I wanted to say that your live theater idea is awesome! Good luck with it!
Well, thank you! I hope we manage to play to a capacity crowd.

How often is the comic published?
A new page is uploaded every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

How did you get a bank to help you cover costs of doing a comic on the web? Things must be different over there.
Well, I spent quite some time together with Eric and Jens to create a business plan for Union of Heroes. And thanks to this business plan Eric and I were able to convince our local bank to give us a credit so that we could start working on Union of Heroes fulltime for the first 10 months. (We also were quite successful at a local business plan competition - start2grow - with our idea.) Unfortunately it did not work out as we planed - so sadly Eric had to leave the project. Obviously I am still working on Union of Heroes - but only 65 % of my time.

How long do I need to read all published Episodes and pages?
Hmm, I have no idea - right now (19.05.11) we have a little over 460 pages in the archive (guest art pages, interludes & video-messages included) - maybe two hours?

Do you have any advice for someone writing and/or trying to make a comic?
Go and read all the books of Scott McCloud about comics (you can order the German Version through my amazon shop by the way: astore.amazon.de/unioderheld-21 ).

Do you feel your comic is treated unfairly because it is not in a traditionally drawn "mainstream" format?
No. Of course there are people who say "Ugh, it is a photocomic - I can't stand those." But these are not the people who start writing something about us - manly because they do not even start to read the story. The people who wrote about us all recognised the effort we put in the creation of Union of Heroes. So up to this point *knock on wood* we only got very supportive reviews.

How do you keep the characters look consistent? For example, I would think the models might want to get new hair cuts between photo shoots? Lynn has a very specific dye job! Is it wigs? Has this continuity stuff ever created problems?
First: No, we don't use wigs. To tell the truth: If you look closer you will notice that the hair cuts sometimes change between the different scenes... The hair of Jana for example is far longer in Episode 5 than it was back in Episode 1 when she was introduced. Fortunately Lynn liked her dye job and continued to dye her hair like that up to this point (with only little changes).
Three other examples:
• In Episode 5 Claus wears another red Jacket than in Episode 6.
• The way Marc is running through the Unperfekthaus is totaly wrong (what you could notice if you know the building).
• Heck, even the actor of AHres changed during his fight with Marc! (I bet most of you did not notice, heh?)
So, yes, this continuity stuff did create some problems - but up to this point we were able to solve them all more or less successful. The slow progress of the story and the fact that there is a one or two days gap between each page is helping us there, too. 

Where do the photo shoots normaly take place?
How does those around you (innkeepers, spectators etc) react to the photo shoots?

In the beginning we organised our photo shoots predominantly in closed areas without spectators. In the meantime we go outside more often and photograph in public places or in locations where we spoke about or photo shoots with the specific owners in advance. So far the spectators have always reacted quite pleasantly. Those who are not interested in what we are doing pass by anyway and don't bother us. And those who are interested, who take a look for a while and to whom we talk - they always thanked us in the end for the information we gave them and wished us good luck. Most of them even took our flyers with them to take a look at the website. The innkeepers and other people whose location we used were always very nice and obliging. It would not work in another way. But we also always give our best to be as quiet and unobstrusive as possible.

Have any of your actors done podcasts?
You mean it they have talked about Union of Heroes on a podcast? As far as I know - no. Some of them have mentioned Union of Heroes on other occasions - radio interviews, print interviews etc. But podcasts - no, they would have told me and I would have linked to it.

So where did you get your actors from? Are they friends, or hired professionals?
Some are friends; some are members of my family; some are hired professionals; some are strangers who told me that they would love to play a character; some are strangers whom I asked to play a character.

Have you ever met a real life Superhero and what powers did he or she have?
Furthermore did they wear their underwear over their trousers/spandex?

Nope, sorry, I haven't met one yet. In real life. But you can find some of them in the circle of friends of Union of Heroes
via our myspace-page. As far as I know Real Life Superheroes did not make it towards Germany yet.

What is a real life superhero?
A real life superhero is somebody who dresses like a superhero in real life to inspire his community and to make the world a better place. From crime fighting to charity work real life superheroes seek to help make a positive difference in their communities. Deeper information and a general survey of the real life superhero community (primarily based in the USA)
can be found here: http://www.reallifesuperheroes.org/index.php/about

Will there ever be Lynn in a bikini or something sexy for a bit of fan service?
To tell the truth: I don't know!
a) I have not planned the story up to such a point.
b) I have not spoken with my models about what they would think about a bikini photo shoot.
What I can say is that Union of Heroes is rated WC-14. And I will keep it this way.

Lynn in a bikini as "fan service" (!), by my point of view posting this question is condescend to her.
What's your view on that?

Take a look on how female heroes in most superhero comics and computer games are presented - with tight and fancy dresses, a lot of cleavage, a lot of skin etc. I am not really surprised about a question like this one. Considering the context mentioned above it was a comprehensible question for me. Of course close to the edge – but obviously not close enough for me to not answer it at this point. But to say it once with resounding clarity: I have the greatest respect towards my models! I am very thankful for the time and energy they spend for me and my story. Without them all this would not be possible. And for that reason I would never write a scene with Lynn wearing a bikini without asking her actress Cato first, what she thinks about it and if that's ok for her.

f.a.qf.a.q

New pages normally every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Unfortunately at the moment only sporadic. We have an RSS feed and we are on twitter!
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© 2008 Arne Schulenberg & Eric Wünsche, © 2009-13 Arne Schulenberg,
Photography: Jens Sundheim (except Interlude 1, 5 & 7, Short story 1, the first 20 pages of Episode 5 and the interruption of Episode 6), Markus Mielek (first & third sequence of Episode 7), Illustration: Patrick Soeder, Programming: Christian Noelle, build with TYPO3.
The Menschenleser (Human Reader) © 2008-2013 Michael Constantin

Union of Heroes is a photocomic about superheroes – from Germany. Our photographed heroes experience their adventures in the Ruhr Area of a parallel earth. Sound interesting? That's what it's supposed to be! We do our best to present you, our readers, good entertainment three times a week. Apart from that, please check out the character pages, our link lists and the media section with our buddy icons and avatars, youtube movies, twitter entries and links to our myspace profile and our facebook fanpage.
Happy browsing and stay tuned! Arne

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