Motor Mouth

Posted in Heroes, News on Monday, February 28th, 2011 at 12:05 am 30 Comments

He’s all talk. And all action to back it up. He’s Motor Mouth, a Real Life Superhero working in and around the East Bay/San Francisco area in California. From domestic violence in The City’s notorious Tenderloin, to street thugs running rampant in Oakland, to those who prey on the weak and homeless in San Jose, the one thing he never has done—and never will do—is sit idly by, even if it means taking the occasional risk of potentially physical confrontation, as it had recently, when riots broke out on the streets of Oakland after the verdict in the Oscar Grant case.

In July of 2010, violence broke out when Police Officer Johannes Mehsurle was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter—a controversial ruling in a case tinged with serious racial overtones—in the shooting death of an unarmed African American man, Oscar Grant. As the police were deployed to quell the looting and mayhem, Motor Mouth knew he had to do something—and promptly sprang into action. “We went to Oakland, we defended its businesses, we protected its people, and were bold in what we did. The Bay is our home, and we stood our ground and stood up for it.”

The “we” here are a confederation of Real Life Superheroes called The Pacific Protectorate, a network of like-minded costumed activists that stretches from its southernmost point in San Diego, up along the Pacific coast to Oregon, Washington State, Vancouver, B.C., and all the way north to Alaska. As the Regional Head of the Nor-Cal Protectorate (extending from the Oregon/California state line south to Bakersfield), the riots saw Motor Mouth tapping into every available resource available to him. “The first thing we did was figure out what we were going to do about the situation, then put out the call to the entire California branch of the phone tree. With that, we activated 20 heroes, who left their lives behind, and hit the streets on the chance something bad was going to happen. And eventually, it did. It was in all the papers.”

But that level of action is not common, nor does he want to see it become so. “I don’t actively seek out those type of situations, but it’s a matter of being prepared, he says. “I mean, Oakland at the moment is being inundated with car jackings, stabbings, rapes, murders, you name it, all flooding in from east of Lake Merritt, so I am prepared. I’d rather be caught with my pants up than down.”

Coming from a family rich in its commitment to service, from education to medicine to first response, Motor Mouth has steadily found himself coming into a leadership role—whether he sought it out or not. “I didn’t want that, I really didn’t think I was up to the task. But taking on the position with the Nor-Cal Protectorate, I’ve seen that I can help other members develop their talents. Still, there’s nothing I’m going to throw them into that I wouldn’t throw myself into as well. And that is what I think real leadership is about.” And it has also improved his ability to focus, network and gain some clout within the community. “I have people coming to me for advice now, and who am I? Look, America pushes agendas worldwide. California pushes the country’s agenda, and the Bay Area pushes California’s. It all starts here. Someone needs to strengthen a better line of defense for the average citizen. And it may as well start with me.”

Motor Mouth supports the work of The Surfrider Foundation:

Motor Mouth’s Pictures:

Motor Mouth's Poster Motor Mouth's Portrait

30 Comments to “Motor Mouth”

  1. Rebecca says:

    YAY. Wow. Yay.

  2. Geist says:

    Wow! This is one of my favorites! MM, you look awesome. It’s like Sin City met kung fu exploitation flicks!

  3. Champion says:

    awesome poster. awesome article. semi-awesome person.

    J/K please dont hurt me! :P

  4. Minuteman says:

    Wow that’s the bomb-diggity
    very Terrintino-esq
    Great work Peter, good going Motor

  5. Motor-Mouth says:

    Thanks for all the kind words but honestly, I’m just a simple hard-working RLSH in my own eyes and nothing more then that.

    And Geist, it’s funny that you mentioned the whole “exploitation” look…when Peter appropached me & asked me what kind of a feel I wanted for my poster I said “Japanese pop culture meets 1970’s blaxploitation films (like Dolemite or Shaft)”. Obviously you can see that I got what I asked for. =)

    - MM

  6. Jasubea says:

    I wish we had people like you here in Scotland.
    What you’re doing is amazing. I hope you get all the recognition you deserve for your good deeds.
    I’m sure that without you and the other heroes, a lot of people would have been injured or killed that day.

  7. The Shadow says:

    @Jasubea Why spend time wishing when you could do it? =D

  8. Kikii says:

    You’re a very inspirational guy.
    I’m just in awe.

    You also have impeccable bad-ass taste. I agree with the Sin City/Tarantino comments!
    Anyway. Major props to you sir.

    Also agree with @Jasubea, I’m in Scotland too!

  9. Victim says:

    I have seen Motor Mouth preparing to leap into action to keep someone safe (fortunately there was no need, and he would have had to climb over me in the van to get out…). He will be there when action is required and others do nothing.

    Dude, you’re badass, and you’re going to be a lot more badass after what I have in store for you…

  10. DC says:

    mm. . .you are watched by several. . .and for good reason. . .you’ve got a good mind. . .and a great heart. . .


  11. Yo momma says:

    Thats my brother….

  12. Gaucho Negro says:

    the Brazilian and I wonder how I join you in this fight to a better world …. I’ve already chosen the name and the mission … patrol our main municipal park, who suffers from assaults by the light of day and the homeless. My name is Black Gaucho. I know how it will be clothes, but I have doubts about how I should deal with the police and to cooperate with their work. I hope some light to proceed. Thank you.

  13. X RAY VISION says:

    i know guys like you, they’ve taught me alot about being strong, and being real.

    keep it up, we need guys like you.

  14. Heather says:

    Hey Motor Mouth,

    I think this work is interesting. By the looks of the local chapter no one happens to be from/focusing on the Peninsula. I work for a newspaper on the Peninsula that focuses on local news. This story would be really fun if you guys had a local tie. Let me know. My email address is


  15. inspired says:

    I am Inspired. Thank you sooooo much. :)

  16. Anon says:

    This is a great article. I started reading about superheroes when Phoenix Jones hit the news, and while googling for information and following links, it would appear that there’s an awful lot of contradicting information. Some of the interviews you guys give are articulate and classy, and then you go on some rant and start fighting with one another like 2 year olds. It makes me question whether you’re showing your true colors when you’re trash talking, and just cleaning yourselves up for the cameras. I don’t think “Superheroes” would behave this way, and if they had, they wouldn’t have garnered the following they did. I’d imagine Batman would have been an epic hollywood failure if he’d been calling Robin a fatass and threatening to kick his ass.
    That said- doing something great for your community is wonderful and commendable, but it in no way exempts you from being a good person when you think the world isn’t watching. If you have a strong ingrained moral code of conduct, it should be perpetual, rather than a wavering concept utilized at your convienence.

  17. Elijah N. says:

    Hi Motor Mouth! I’m a photojournalism student at SFSU and my final assignment in one of my classes is to do a themed portrait series. I am very interested in doing a series on you and your fellow SF super heroes. How can I get in touch with you and/or them? My email is and my phone number is 510-394-4815.

    Thank you!

  18. Elijah N. says:

    Hi Motor Mouth! I’m a photojournalism student at SFSU and my final assignment in one of my classes is to do a themed portrait series. I am very interested in doing a series on you and your fellow SF super heroes. How can I get in touch with you and/or them? My email is and my phone number is 510-394-4815.

    Thank you!

  19. [...] many denizens of the comic book pages, Motor Mouth, 30, of Oakland, who declined to give his “civilian” name, started out as just an average [...]

  20. Redviper says:

    Hey could people please read these definitions at: now down the first 2 and up the last 1.

  21. paladin says:

    keep on fighting and keep on making the world a better place.

  22. Andy says:

    Dude my roommate and I would like to buy motor-mouth a beer and say thanks for making our streets a safer place. How can we contact you or find out your patrol schedule?


  23. Comic Privy says:

    MM, read the article on what you and the group did for Oakland during the riots, you guys make me feel safer at night. The world needs heroes, keep up the good work.

    On another Anon made a great point, heroes have to behave like heroes, infac we have to be better than the heroes in comics becuase when we play in this world it’s for keeps. No more trash talk on the forums, only recommendations.

  24. the preymantis says:

    saw the movie a few days ago, and was totaly inspired! so decided to do some superhero costume shoping, and i was wondering were you got your mask. please reply soon!
    -the preymantis-

  25. Capitán Covinhas says:

    I have been to Tenderloin. The quarter is scary even at daylight. Be careful MM

  26. Motor-Mouth says:

    @ Andy: Contact me through my team email at but just to warn you, I’m not much of a drinker and I don’t consume alcohol while I’m wearing my outfit and/or on a patrol. It’s just too unprofessional.

    @ Preymantis: I get a lot of my gear actually through The mask is a simple neoprene mask which I took some acrylic paint to (first a base coat of white then a layer of orange for color).

    @ Captain: Tell me about it but you know what you do with something that like The Tenderloin that scares you? You take that fear factor, turn it upside down, make it your own, and turn it into something useful. Unless you do just that then that which scares you will just end up ruling over you at the end of the day then you’ll never get anything done at all.

  27. Militia says:

    Greetings. I’m curious if you are still active in the Sacramento area at all. I am considering getting more “active” in my community (have already been working as a “civillian” in outreach and education) and have been wondering what the next step is. I’m looking into CERT training, as well as a first aid/CPR class. Any suggestions on the skillset necessary to do what you do?

  28. Militia says:

    Interesting… left a post earlier, interested in “putting on the tights” as it were, and found the post deleted. I know my handle might be controversial, but I my interest is sincere. Just looking for advice.

  29. Motor-Mouth says:

    @ Militia: I have no idea how your earlier post got deleted (I can still see two of them, was there more?). Anywho, I am infrequently active in & around the Sacramento area. My primary areas of work are Oakland & San Jose with occasional work in San Francisco & “satellite work” (work in areas normally not tackled outside my group’s usual range) in Sacramento, Stockton, & Chico. I would like to have a division of the Nor Cal Protectorate based out of Sacramento as it is too far from the Bay Area for myself or my group to regularly work in (our newest teammate, Pikey, is based out of Chico but he infrequently patrols).

    If you would like to contact me further, drop me a line either on my Facebook page or at my team’s email at (I rarely check the team email so contact through Facebook is best advised).

  30. Ian says:

    If you’re still at it stay safe MM. I don’t live in SF, but I think you’re the closest RLSH to us. Represent!

© 2018 Peter Tangen/The Real Life Super Hero Project. All Rights Reserved. • Website Customized by James Kocsis