Just over a year ago, we published an interview with Polarman, which it turns out broke the story of his impending departure from Iqaluit.
Since then, there has of course been interest in getting a Polarman update, both personal and public. The thing is, Iqaluit's former Real Life Superhero (RLSH) hasn't been that easy to track down. Long story short, I tried messaging him directly via Facebook, but noticed that he hadn't been online for months. Then, I contacted friends and acquaintances, all of whom told me the same thing: Polarman hadn't been online in ages, and they didn't have any direct contact info for him. Just when I was about to call the Kingston restaurant I had heard he frequented, this happened.
What followed was an impromptu interview, published below. Have a read, share your thoughts, and find out exactly what has become of The Polarman.
FTN: First things first. Are you still Polarman in Kingston?
POLARMAN: Yes, I am still Polarman. People here have recognized me from the last interview. I've had handshakes and warm welcomes. [I wear] the mask from time to time, the white shirt and pants, but not the black vest or trunks because it's too hot.
I'm guessing a lot of people you meet haven't been to Iqaluit - how do you describe Iqaluit when people ask you about your time up here?
I tell them it's a good place for a visit but very expensive to live there. It's a dry cold in Iqaluit where down here it's damp because the cold comes off the lake. I've also talked about how the snow in Iqaluit is a harder and heavier snow because it freezes where the snow here is softer.
How do you explain your life as Polarman in Iqaluit to people down south?
I have told people about the RLSH and explained that is what I am as Polarman. I've recommended getting a book called Heroes In The Night by Tea Krulos who has interviewed a whole bunch of RLSHs. I'd recommend this book to anyone who wishes to know about the RLSHs.
What kind of duties or helpful things do you do as Polarman in Kingston?
Right now my duties have involved patrols and bike patrols. I also have talked to parents and kids about issues such as stranger danger. My patrols are mostly on my own. During the summer I rode with the cycle clubs to familiarize myself with the layout of the city.
What are you on the lookout for on these patrols?
Pretty much the same when I was up north looking out for bullies bothering kids, however that doesn't seem to happen as much here.
One of the things you were looking forward to about going down south was meeting with other RLSHs. Have you met any?
No, I haven't met them yet. We do talk on Facebook. I'm trying to see if I can get some to come here to Kingston maybe during the holidays. Timberwolf and I were talking this morning but he lives in Mississauga, Ontario. I've also talked with Super Hero, but he lives in Florida.
What happened with the Katalysts of Ontario? In the last interview you said you were maybe going to join them.
I haven't met them in person but they do consider me part of the team. One of them did have plans to come to Kingston but then got sick and had to cancel at the last minute. And Oshawa is quite a ways from Kingston.
One of your powers was the ability to withstand freezing temperatures. How are you dealing with the heat of Ontario?
I've never claimed to actually have any powers. I'm adapted to a colder climate, but I'm not invulnerable. This past summer was hotter than hell. And I've been out in a short sleeve shirt.
What do you like most about life in Kingston?
The friendly people. The diversity. How everyone is so different from each other and it doesn't matter where you're from, you can belong here as if you were home.
Is that different from Iqaluit?
In a way it is. In Iqaluit they don't have events such as gay pride day and when they did have that back years ago there was the picnic but never the parade through town. People here are more accepting of things that are different.
Also I've been told that a Comic Con event would never happen in Iqaluit because it doesn't have anything to do with hockey. It would please me greatly if say, the Brampton Batman was to make a trip up to Iqaluit to support kids activities and education. I know he'd never be able to bring the Batmobile but that shouldn't stop him if he was to appear as a fundraiser.
Iqaluit does have several pride events throughout the year now - so maybe Iqaluit is changing?
I hope so.
What do you think about Franco Buscemi doing a set at the last Mahaha event dressed as you?
Ha ha I wish I were there to see that. I didn't know that, but it doesn't surprise me since he and I knew each other as friends since our school years.
Not sure if you know, but the last interview with you is the most popular article on the blog, ever. How does that make you feel?
It's great. I hope that the many people out there can pass on to their kids that right to speak out and stand up for what they believe in.
Do you think you have left a lasting impression on Iqaluit?
I'd like to believe that I left some positive impressions on Iqaluit. That whether or not we wear masks and whatever, we can all be role models and superheroes to the kids.
What do you miss about living up here?
Shovelling snow. The Alianait Festival. The many friends over the years.
Any plans to come up and visit?
I don't have any plans for that right now because it's really expensive. I hope to in a few years or so. [I'd] drop in and surprise a few friends. Maybe grab coffee at the Grind and Brew.
Any final words or thoughts?
Believe in yourself. Work to make your dreams happen. You don't need drugs or alcohol or cigarettes to have a good time; that happens when you're with real friends and people who care not only what they see on the outside, but can look beyond that. Don't be afraid to express yourself with your own image.
Header photo by James Rogers.