Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Creepy Villains
LIZARD_B1TE at 2:32PM, Feb. 26, 2007
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There's a character in Deus who has a thing for torturing people. Anyway, I've been playing around with ideas about how I want to characterize him.
I want him to have a general aura of unease about him, like every time he appears, the reader feels a little disturbed. To give off that effect, I've come up with the following ideas:

He gets playful child like glee from making others suffer.

He is aroused by making others suffer.

He simply enjoys making others suffer, like a hobby.

Of these three, which one do you think I should go with? And how should I go about with it to achieve the atmosphere I want him to generate?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:36PM
subcultured at 2:56PM, Feb. 26, 2007
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first
J
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:01PM
acadia at 3:55PM, Feb. 26, 2007
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The hobby one, methinks. Makes for a more calculated killer – much creepier. If it's a hobby, he'll put more thought into it and do it in new and interesting ways every time.

last edited on July 14, 2011 10:45AM
roma at 8:34AM, Feb. 27, 2007
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I'd have to say the first. There's noting more interesting than child like wonder in in a disturbing form.

To create the atmosphere for him I would suggest watching a movie with a character that best closely resembles your character. Watch his body language and how he interacts with others. This usually helps me…sometimes.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
josif at 12:10AM, Feb. 28, 2007
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Who needs villains, when youve got zombies and lots of them.
Your Reading Skills Have Increased By Two Points.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:11PM
Inkmonkey at 5:09AM, Feb. 28, 2007
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Personally, I think the second one is the creepiest, but that's really hard to show in a comic without looking like something of a perv yourself.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:59PM
kingofsnake at 7:44AM, Feb. 28, 2007
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I'd say the third.

Also, I think it would help if you wrote him as if he were a normal person with a normal hobby. The dichotomy between the terrifying aspects of what he's doing with the presentation of normality will get under people's skin better than if it's all in your face.

It's why Hannibal Lector is such a scarier villain than Jason.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:15PM
LIZARD_B1TE at 2:35PM, Feb. 28, 2007
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Inkmonkey
Personally, I think the second one is the creepiest, but that's really hard to show in a comic without looking like something of a perv yourself.

Haha, that's true.

kingofsnake
Also, I think it would help if you wrote him as if he were a normal person with a normal hobby. The dichotomy between the terrifying aspects of what he's doing with the presentation of normality will get under people's skin better than if it's all in your face.

I see your point, but… with the victims screaming in pain, wouldn't it end up as in-your-face anyway?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:36PM
Darth Mongoose at 3:17PM, Feb. 28, 2007
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The trick to making something REALLY scary is NOT to show the audience anything. Implying something horrible is scarier than showing something horrible. The imagination comes up with things far worse than anybody can depict. Therefore, if you start with subtle hints and stuff, and work up, it'll build up an atmosphere of creepiness around the character that will be extremely effective.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:08PM
Caz Teh Frog at 4:28PM, March 1, 2007
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Darth Mongoose
The trick to making something REALLY scary is NOT to show the audience anything. Implying something horrible is scarier than showing something horrible. The imagination comes up with things far worse than anybody can depict. Therefore, if you start with subtle hints and stuff, and work up, it'll build up an atmosphere of creepiness around the character that will be extremely effective.

I'm backing Darth Mongoose up on this one : subtlety, so rare, yet so efficient.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:37AM
Kristen Gudsnuk at 9:42PM, March 1, 2007
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I have to say, I'm rooting for the second one. It's pretty sick, but I think it's the most unique of all the choices.
If I were doing something like this, I would make my villain a bit like Christian Bale in “American Psycho”. (one of my favorite movies of all time! ..I just saw it for the first time today, crazy!) You should come up with a psychological reason for him to kill. Like, it could be a power complex, or a way of asserting one's existence. And then maybe he gets off on the feelings of superiority, because it makes him feel omnipotent and godly.

I have a character in my comic who likes to kill people, but it's just because she's trying to normalize it and accept herself as a person. She's like, “This isn't so bad! I'm not so affected by it!” and kills people to convince herself that she doesn't feel guilty. (messed up! haha) No matter what choice you make, there should be a reason why; if it's a hobby, you have to decide why it's pleasurable.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:22PM
subcultured at 7:17AM, March 2, 2007
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you should try watching “ the talented mr. ripley” or “crocodile tears”
J
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:01PM
subcultured at 7:26AM, March 2, 2007
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after reading this thread, i suddenly got an inspiration to write this short story:

“he was a man of below average intellegence, but above average strength. he liked to take apart clocks to see how they work…it fascinated him how the gears interlock and work together. If a clock is broken, he takes it apart and try to fix it.

this man lived with his mother and she was always mad at him for some reason. one day the man realized that if he can take apart his mother, he can fix her. with several utensils laying around the house he began to partake in a painstaking effort of fixing his mother. after 5 hours he found the problem. her heart was no longer beating.”

***any artist interested in drawing this out?***
J
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:01PM
SomaX at 7:21PM, April 8, 2007
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I say you chose all 3. Also, you can research famous criminals. Like Nero, Ivan the Terrible, ect. When I was working on my evil person (who won't appear until volume 2 or 3, for those who want to know), I researched Charles Manson (he's actually quite interesting). Besides, what makes a better, more real character, than one based on a real person?
~*~
#253 in Comic Book/Story #344 Overall ~*~ #383 in Comic Book/Story #517 Overall
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:49PM
The mediocre one at 2:42PM, April 10, 2007
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well going with kingofsnake's comment if you make him seem normal, introduce him as a normal guy, have him act normal, and then behind the scenes he's a freakin psycho then it might work better. Then when he goes out and acts normal again, say inticing someone to go somewhere with him then it makes it creepy.
Paper Mache Cataclysm
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:15PM
Aurora Moon at 2:57PM, April 11, 2007
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kingofsnake
I'd say the third.

Also, I think it would help if you wrote him as if he were a normal person with a normal hobby. The dichotomy between the terrifying aspects of what he's doing with the presentation of normality will get under people's skin better than if it's all in your face.

It's why Hannibal Lector is such a scarier villain than Jason.

I have to agree with King here…

There's nothing more scarier than an guy that seems so normal and makes so much sense when he justfies what he did.
There's times where Hannibal actually MAKES sense in his views about food… and then you realize that what he's really talking about is eating humans. Then you feel reloved and scared because you were this close to thinking like him. or even agreeing with him!

It's like how an terrorist is, when he “coverts” people into his side. when you don't realize what he is, he could seem so normal and seem to stand for the same things you do… then he starts talking to you, influencing you into thinking and doing an certain way that you would never normally do otherwise…
basically, the terrorist could turn an perfectly normal human being into an sudice bomber to carry the tasks out for that terrorist!

That's how real life bad guys are usually like. They know how to be charming, etc… they don't seem like the type to have done such awful things. They know how to corrupt people, etc. They're not right into your face, etc. if you know what they are, then the way they seem SO normal to you is truly scary because you're picturing this normal-looking guy commiting such greusome acts.
it's like Darth Mongoose said: “The trick to making something REALLY scary is NOT to show the audience anything. Implying something horrible is scarier than showing something horrible. The imagination comes up with things far worse than anybody can depict. Therefore, if you start with subtle hints and stuff, and work up, it'll build up an atmosphere of creepiness around the character that will be extremely effective.”

it's all about the imagination.
I'm on hitatus while I redo one of my webcomics. Be sure to check it out when I'n done! :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:10AM
sniper jedi at 7:26AM, April 17, 2007
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I'd say thy first one. But try drawing him a few times with a creepy grin on his face ot try it out.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:49PM
j giar at 3:16PM, April 17, 2007
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One and three…and they both made me think of the Dennis Hopper character, “Frank” in David Lynchs Blue Velvet.

“Sometimes to get to the bottom of something, you have to kill your way to the top.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
mattex at 12:28AM, April 21, 2007
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childish glee with a hint of insanity, nothing makes you shit your pants more than a guy with a crazy ass smile laughing childishly while chasing you down with a chainsaw.
Life is a game - so GTFO my server please!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:56PM
Grafighte at 1:11AM, July 7, 2007
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They're all the same…..
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:38PM
jmt at 8:30PM, July 10, 2007
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a gleeful look is great in a movie. but for a drawn medium you might need something really over the top.

telling a casual story about his idelic boyhood while he does his business. Or having him micro-mutilating himself before he mutilates his victim ( twisting his nipple before slicing his subjects nipple off, or tickling his own fott with a feather before he takes a blow torch to his subjects).

Really this is a character question, it should be a reflection of his character amped way up.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:09PM
OutofLine at 7:42AM, July 11, 2007
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I remember reading somewhere that the less you reveal about a villain, the scarier they appear to the audience, that might help.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:23PM
shadowmagi at 1:08PM, July 22, 2007
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A sadistic, murderous freak you say? I got one of them! :D well, in the future of my comic at any rate xD

As for portraying such a character in a comic, for which I haven't actually seen a lot of direct advice in here, one of the creepiest ways to show such a villain (to me)is only showing parts of him the majority of the time, or at least when he's comitting his horendous acts. What feature, above all others, is showing his love of causing pain? Make that an obvious, attention drawing feature.

As for his actual mannerisms, yes, show him as mostly normal. But when he mentions causing others pain, give a hint. Tease your audience with a sign that this guys' sadistic nature is ecstasy to him. Make it borderline sexual arousal. Reveal, in a small hint (like in a sentence of his) maybe that he particularily likes children. He likes the thought of damaging them while their young, so their pain lasts until adulthood. But otherwise, he seems normal. Charming and likeable, even. But really, under the surface, he sees everyone as his playthings.

Hope that helps :D

*Psst*
….
(i like feedback~!)
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:32PM
SarahN at 12:27AM, July 23, 2007
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How about…all of the above? XD I'm not sure…

LIZARD_B1TE
There's a character in Deus who has a thing for torturing people. Anyway, I've been playing around with ideas about how I want to characterize him.
I want him to have a general aura of unease about him, like every time he appears, the reader feels a little disturbed.
Orlock and your character will be great pals.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:23PM
marine at 11:59PM, July 27, 2007
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read up about sadism, bdsm, serial killers, rapists, mass murderers, history of genocide in the world, and listen to death/speed/black or any darker heavy metal music. If you don't come up with some creepy ideas from all that, research will do nothing for you and you don't understand evil at all. Also might I suggest reading up on the subject of good and evil, and the very nature of humanity. Its not enough to just write “the bad guy comes in and brutalizes these teenage boys” he's got to have motive. He has to have a back story. He's got to be someone genuinely evil.

I suggest starting at wikipedia for information. Its online, free, and easy to use. The information may be questionable, but I'd give it at least a 20-40% credibility depending on the article. If you can find a true crime website to read information on that seems credible, share it with the rest of us.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:52PM
Faliat at 8:49PM, July 29, 2007
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I personally try to make my baddies not look it. So people grow to think the character is a decent person with good strong morals and emotions. And sometimes try to get the reader to relate to them.
At the same time, I make my good characters look like baddies and be very insecure about themselves and sometimes become very frightening.


I think the three choices you have are all overdone ideas. So maybe you should think more outside of the box. I'm not giving you any ideas though…

They're MY ideas! You can't have 'em!

Call that jumped up metal rod a knife?
Watch mine go straight through a kevlar table, and if it dunt do the same to a certain gaixan's skull in my immediate vicinity after, I GET A F*****G REFUND! BUKKO, AH?!

- Rekkiy (NerveWire)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
PIT_FACE at 5:34AM, Aug. 7, 2007
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i'd say the first one i guess, but you know, when people get horney, they over do things. if something feels good to em, they'll just keep going with it more and more till they get satisfaction,and everytime they need to go further, so there's that.

but with the child like thing, it actualy makes it seem more hopeless cuase a lot of times when a kid does something wrong, he doesnt KNOW he's doing something wrong and it's gonna take a lot more then a slap on the wrist to make this guy right. combine traits, load more in there, make this guy a complete fuckin train wreck,a cesspool don't give yerself boundries with this cuase you know this guy sure as hell wouldnt.
that's what'll make your villian shine, dont put so much emphesis on what might be cool, so much as what'll make sense to him. a lot of times one persons sincere thoughts or actions are more suprising then someone who's trying to pushing these kind of things into a tight mold. that's how you've gotta think. sincerity can be unpredictability,for almost any character realy. even if the character himself isnt sincere, you've gotta make THAT sincere.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:44PM
SteveMyers22 at 9:42PM, Aug. 8, 2007
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LIZARD_B1TE
There's a character in Deus who has a thing for torturing people. Anyway, I've been playing around with ideas about how I want to characterize him.
I want him to have a general aura of unease about him, like every time he appears, the reader feels a little disturbed. To give off that effect, I've come up with the following ideas:

He gets playful child like glee from making others suffer.

He is aroused by making others suffer.

He simply enjoys making others suffer, like a hobby.

Of these three, which one do you think I should go with? And how should I go about with it to achieve the atmosphere I want him to generate?

The way I write, I could make the third one work. I have a lot of chatter with my villains (they tend to be a lot more rounded than my heroes). So the hobby aspect is what I'd do.

Still, what's really going to be the trick for you isn't the characterization so much as the visual here. You really need to consider how you're going to make him look, and his body language and his facial expressions. All of this is going to be important in getting your idea across that he is disturbing. No matter which of the three choices you choose, the real work lies in how you visually represent the choice you make.

1. Child-like glee … The Joker.
2. Uh, sexual deviancy … tight leather pants?
3. Hobbyist … kind of a “OMG! That Guillotine is sooo 1700s!” sparkle in his eye?
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:58PM
zero rose at 10:30PM, Aug. 11, 2007
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The idea of arousal from suffering is an interesting one, I admit.

Personally, I feel that the non-traditional villain is the scariest - that is to say, the ones that look and act normal. The way I would go is have this villain be your everday guy or girl. It maybe more interesting (or at least I think it is) to have a villain who appears and acts normal but is truly twisted on the inside - often like most real-life villains like serial-killers and the like are.

As for character developement, I would suggest slowly delving into the villain's mind and point of view - showing how twisted their psyche really is. Why exactly do they get pleasure out of pain? Is it a level of dementia, psychological damage, or personal revenge?
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:57PM
crazyninny at 7:40PM, Aug. 21, 2007
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A cute, child like flavor around him, with some organs wraped around him like a belt is always a winner.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:48AM

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