Comic Talk and General Discussion *

Sexy Villains in Webcomics
MegaRdaniels at 1:54PM, Jan. 6, 2018
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Happy 2018! Hopefully, it would be better than 2017 with all the bullcrap that happened that year. Can we at least pretend that year didn't happen? Okay, cool. Cool.

Now, you all know we all love our bad guys. Bad girls and bad boys and everything in between. Someone at my job had asked me about my henchwoman, Victoria from my webcomic, Stringy and Mopy and her overtly sexual appearance. He asked me should evil in webcomics be treated as something delicious for the audience or sour for people to learn that bad is bad?

I think some villains are just broken people trying to fix themselves. Like Harley Quinn from Batman and Charmcaster from Ben 10.

Are your villains are just broken people or are they just chaotically evil?

Ironscarf at 4:57AM, Jan. 9, 2018
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I think the villain should be every bit as interesting as the hero/ine, maybe more so, especially if you've got an extended narrative going. Delicious is much more fun than a moral lesson and readers don't like to be lectured, but sour can be delicious too.

 
last edited on Jan. 9, 2018 4:58AM
usedbooks at 9:26AM, Jan. 9, 2018
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I have an ensemble cast, protagonists and antagonists, and I love designing new characters of any type and bringing them to life. The antagonists, especially the really villainous ones, can be tougher to design. Some are fun to write and some make me super uncomfortable.

One of the regular “villains” has his own moral compass. He likes things orderly and likes control. His character is somewhat based on the mentality of slave owners and historical upper class, believing in the superiority of the wealthy and also a duty to guide, care for, and keep the lesser people in their place. He is quite dislikeable but as he also conflicts with other “villains” on a moral level, it makes for an interesting dynamic.

Others have their own priorities and motivations. I often have a historical type or figure in mind when I write for them. I have one character that I had to read the creepiest of rants from MRAs to develop. Another one of the second tier antagonists is a very intelligent and skilled “all business” type. I have others at that level who are hot-headed brats or power-mad sadists. All are unique, though.

My latest antagonist is a fun-loving, material guy, who can have fleeting anger/frustration but is all about enjoying moments, accumulating possessions, and living big. Honestly, he's one of the most fun characters to write. He's not malicious but he is callous. In another work, he would be the starting point of an anti-hero. (But at this point, I have no intention of him “changing his ways.”)





In short, both. There's room in the webcomic world (or in a single work) for despicable villains all can rally against and for misguided or complicated antagonists that readers may pity or enjoy or hope for redemption.
last edited on Jan. 9, 2018 9:52AM
PIT_FACE at 9:20AM, Jan. 10, 2018
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Ironscarf wrote:
I think the villain should be every bit as interesting as the hero/ine, maybe more so, especially if you've got an extended narrative going. Delicious is much more fun than a moral lesson and readers don't like to be lectured, but sour can be delicious too.




Absolutely agree. moral lessons like that tend to get predictable and boring, too. I like both “Bad for the fucking sake of being bad” characters and “broken person” bad characters as long as there's something entertaining about them, more or less. What I DON'T like is when you can tell that something has been set up JUST for the sake of the evil HAVING to be utterly destroyed at the end or vanquished or whatever, because it's the way things HAVE to be. I guess I think of the old saturday morning kids cartoons that had those sort of “bad always loses” lesson. THat always bothered me as a kid, i think. You'd get so invested in the story, but so disappointed when the bad HAS to be overcome by the 20 minute mark and so everything just magically aligns for the evil to be O.K.ed. Granted, when it comes to kid shows, that's what's expected. But it's the mark of a kid's show for a REASON– because you can shoe it in arbitrarily in place of any credible story conclusion. THat's not to say that I think bad guys shouldn't ever lose in the end, my problem is that the moral lesson approach is so annoying because it makes the outcome of the villain uninteresting and frankly, makes the writer sound like a twat.

KimLuster at 10:34AM, Jan. 10, 2018
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Villains can (and sometimes should) be sexy!! Beauty (and sexiness) aren't inherently bad - as always, it's what we do with them that determines that! Some villains (like Harley Quinn, Catwoman, Kylo Ren (hey I think he's sexy), Loki (movie versions)) just work better being sexy!!
PIT_FACE at 11:31AM, Jan. 10, 2018
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I think something about villains IS sort of sexy, even when they dont look that appealing. There's just something that seems to be alluring.

ozoneocean at 9:17PM, Jan. 10, 2018
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Interesting topic…
I don't think that being a villain is sexy, I think you make a villain sexy in order to make up for their other shortcomings.
They're someone you probably wouldn't care about or despise, so you give them something for the audience to root for: make them attractive.

Cc:


Sometimes they're accidentally attractive, like the villains in a lot of American movies-
The good guy was often super American, white bread, buff, a dumb jock, casually dressed but cool looking meat-head, so they deliberately contrasted him with a more sophisticated, cultured, well dressed antagonist with a foreign accent…
So you just have two choices for different types of attractive types really. Extremes…

I think that because of those things we've associated bad WITH sexy as a causal relationship, when really it's just a correlation.
Hitler isn't sexy, Blowfeld in James Bond isn't sexy etc.
 
ozoneocean at 3:13AM, Jan. 11, 2018
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In fiction power isn't that sexy, it's appearance, sound, the way a person carries themself… Darth Vader is sexy because of his voice, stature and the outfit.
Take away James Earl Jones and stick in David Prowse's original west country accent and higher voice and he loses some of that appeal.
Grand Moff Tarkin is more powerful than Vader but not as sexy. Any sexiness he has cones from his uniform and demeanor.
Emperor Palpatine is the most powerful and not sexy in the least.

Back when Costner's Robin Hood came out he was massively sexy to ladies in that role. More so than Rickman. Coster lost some of his luster after Waterworld and the Postman though so we look back on the film differtly…
 
last edited on Jan. 11, 2018 3:24AM
usedbooks at 5:55AM, Jan. 11, 2018
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In fiction, power is not sexy. Rebellion is. “Sexy” villains are the outlaws. Masterminds are not “sexy” if they are the establishment. Espionage fiction is alluring because the main players on both/all sides are sneaky and playing high stakes. Their bosses are not sexy. The spies are, especially when they ignore orders and go renegade. In a work of fiction where the villains are the establishment (such as a dystopia), the good guys will hold all the appeal.
El Cid at 8:34PM, Jan. 11, 2018
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Bad guys are sexy because they're bad. They're fun; they're uninhibited. Girls like bad boys and boys like bad girls, because… well, because sex. The hero may have a chiseled bod and bulletproof chin, but beneath his tough guy veneer he's a momma's boy who wants to court you and take you home and raise a litter of kids. Romantic, maybe, but sexy? Noooooo! The bad guy's sexy. The bad guy wants to helicopter you onto his private yacht, drape you in furs, and give you multiple orgasms, not even because he's all that into you; just to show you he can. The bad guy's the one you don't bring home to Mom and Dad. He drips with sex, and danger, and sure he's a heartless cad but maybe he'll change, just for you…
bravo1102 at 10:22PM, Jan. 11, 2018
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Boring cliche ridden fiction paints villains as sexless and power as a madness. Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac as proven by reality time and again. Powerful people attract others sexually through charisma or just because they can do what they want.

Charles Manson, David Koresh or Jim Jones? All evil. All powerful and charismatic and got tons of women but hardly the sculpted ideal of male beauty. Women found them sexy.
PIT_FACE at 2:46AM, Jan. 12, 2018
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I guess it all depends on what yer thing is, but I definitely fall on the “power/bad is sexy” side of the fence, which is funny because I've associated myself with sub-cultures that are usually considered anti-establishment. That's a sort of power too though, maybe. It' something I've thought about for some time. It feels antithetical to myself, but I still find it alluring. Also amusing….

Like you know that clip of M. Bison saying, “OF COURSE!”? Yeah, that's kind of sexy, lol. and its also ridiculous. Vader has a sexiness too as you guys were talking about before, but to me, it gets boring. It's alluring, but not something that I myself go to when I think of bad power dudes of my choosing. but Bison (and I mean from the Street Fighter movie)? Bison is fucking hilarious while keeping all that “bad power dude” status and I fucking LOVE that. So why don't I find the Joker sexy? He's got lols and he's pretty bad, but I think he's too chaotic for me. I mean as a character, I think he's great (my loins dont have to rule everything). But in the manner of him being sexy the chaos tells me, “sister, too dangerous to screw! Get out've there!”

M.Bison? He's just right.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjogCytzX0s

Look at that silly fucker! I laugh through the whole thing, lol. He's great.

EDIT: Something else I consider after the fact, THere are plenty of maniacal, silly powerful people that do and have existed but I don't find them sexy. I guess the “fictional” aspect creates a safety net maybe?

I don't know. Well, now you all know more about Pit-FAce than you wanted to, at any rate. Go find me a good date.

last edited on Jan. 12, 2018 2:50AM
ozoneocean at 12:27AM, Jan. 13, 2018
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El Cid wrote:
Bad guys are sexy because they're bad. They're fun; they're uninhibited. Girls like bad boys and boys like bad girls, because…
This is an old myth I feel, and I largely explained why. It's correlation not causation: baddies were often MADE to be sexy for a reason, but being bad definitely doesn't automatically make a villain sexy, not in reality or fiction.
There are lots of sexy villains and just as many unsexy ones, male or female. But because of some notable examples people have come up with the idea that bad=sexy, just like people believe homoeopathy and acupuncture work :)

i.e. the femme fatale is not the only kind of female baddie, she's one specific kind and she's used for a specific reason. Sexy traits are added to male baddies because you want your audience to react in certain ways.

And power is only sexy in reality, as Usedbooks says, in fiction it doesn't work the same way, the rules are completely different.
 
last edited on Jan. 13, 2018 12:32AM
bravo1102 at 7:59AM, Jan. 15, 2018
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Rules in fiction writing are made to be broken. I'm very anti-cliche. All that time in writing forums.

But oz is right about correlation not being causation. It's not so much the evil that's sexy so much as the charisma and that can be part of a good, bad or indifferent person.

This thread got me thinking about that which is why I deleted my previous posts. I was wrong. You can have physical attractiveness without charisma and it's just a good looking person, but you can also have a homely person who knows how to talk and carry herself and suddenly you have Marlene Dietrich. It's what she said and did that made her super sexy as much as those rather skinny legs of hers.

In my comic there's Falkimir who is charismatic as well as good looking, but Searsha is very good looking but not charismatic. Men find her attractive because of her looks not what she says or does. Larya despite her bosom is average, but Orshia has more charisma and Glorreaka has both in abundance and her contract with evil made her more forceful and self confident so people were more inclined to follow her. Because of her slide into depravity she became a much more sexual creature (predator) so she's sexy or at least more overt than she was before embracing exclusive self interest.
last edited on Jan. 15, 2018 8:21AM
El Cid at 9:55PM, Jan. 15, 2018
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@Ozone: You may be reading a little too much into my fun little blurb. I was trying to colorfully illustrate the seductive appeal which so many people find in evil characters in fiction, not lay down some kind of binding rule. There are no concrete rules in literature, and there are countless examples of other permutations of that dynamic. To fall back on James Bond, that is of course an easy go-to example of a hero who is charismatic and sexy, whereas his adversaries are often portrayed as bloodless impotent freaks.

Personally, I prefer a balanced approach to representing evil in fiction. Showing the “delicious” aspect can at least go toward explaining what draws the evil character toward adopting his or her villainous lifestyle. But at the same time, it's good that we see the ultimate folly of their decisions. The evil playboy gets all the exotic women and lives a life of luxury, but in the end he finds himself behind bars. The femme fatale tests the male hero's resolve, but he prevails in the end by resisting her temptation. That sort of thing.

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