Friday, June 18, 2010

Bad Boys Versus Bad Guys

By Merrie Destefano


The WINNER is Crystal, who posted at 3:00 p.m. (just in case there were more than one). CONGRATULATIONS! Crystal, there are two ways you can get me your contact info. One: Friend me on Twitter, I'll friend you back, then you can DM me your address and e-mail. Or you could post your e-mail address in the comments section like this: name [at] address. I'll delete that comment after I get your info.

Thanks so much to everyone who read this post and commented. I loved reading all of your answers! I wish I could have given an ARC to all of you. Just an FYI, I ran everything through a randomizer program to find the winner.

Like most writers/artists, I had an extremely active imagination when I was growing up. Still do. I don’t see monsters behind every rock—I see monsters behind every monster. And of course, they’re all after me. When I’m writing, this works in my favor. In real life, not so much. For instance, the other kids always laughed when they watched Bugs Bunny. I mean, Bugs is the ultimate bad boy, a rebel bunny at heart, always looking for ways to bend or break the rules so he comes out on top. He’s great. Love that rabbit. But the Tasmanian Devil? Oh, baby, that guy gave me the creeps and kept me awake at night.


Because I thought he was real. I was convinced that he would come tearing through my backyard at any minute and demolish my house. And I wasn’t sure, but I thought that maybe, just maybe, he might be able to destroy people too. So, in my mind, all he had to do was make one hungry dash across my horizon and everything and everyone I loved would be gone.

Now that’s what I call a well-drawn character.

That’s also what makes great fiction—bad boys and bad guys that walk, talk, and act like they’re real. Surprisingly, when a bad boy breaks the rules, you want to cheer or give him a hug. But when a bad guy breaks the rules, you want to kick him in the groin, then push him off a cliff.

Bad boys buck against the system and show exactly why the system needs to change. Somewhere, early in the story, they either charm us or make us cry.

Bad guys buck against the system and suddenly we’re darned glad that the system exists; we’re hoping and praying that pretty soon that monster is either behind bars or sizzling on somebody’s backyard barbecue. Early in the story, the bad guy either makes us angry or makes our skin crawl, and we’re suddenly like the villagers in Frankenstein—carrying pitchforks and torches and looking for retribution.

Here are some of my favorite examples from movies:

Bad Boy: Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark

Bad Guy: Hannibal Lector in Silence of the Lambs

Bad Boy: Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind

Bad Guy: Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) in No Country For Old Men

Bad Boy: Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) in Blade Runner

Bad Guy: Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) in Die Hard

I’d love to hear who your favorite fictional bad boy or bad guy is and why! To get this bad boy party started, I’m giving away a signed, advance reader copy—hot off the press—of my debut novel, Afterlife: The Resurrection Chronicles.

To enter to win, please make a comment about your favorite bad boy or bad guy character. You can earn points by:

+1 Posting in the comments section
+1 Linking to this post on Twitter
+1 Linking to this post on Facebook
+1 Linking to the Supernatural Underground blog on your own blog/website

Just post the total number of points that you’ve earned in your comment. Winner to be announced in this post tomorrow. Contest ends tonight at midnight!


Bethany C. said...

I like to think of Richelle Mead's Dorian (Black Swan series) as a bad boy. I love him when he's being the hero, and even when he's being selfish. I think the best bad guy ever is a woman. Watch 24? I've never wanted to punch a fictional character in the face as much as Sherri Palmer. +1

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Nicole said...

I'm a big fan of the bad boy Bruce Willis in the Die Hard movies. Long Ranger out to save the world, yes please!! :)

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Joss Ware said...

Um yeah, but Alan Rickman is always hawt, hawt, hawt when he plays the Bad Guy.

Nottingham, anyone?

Need I say more?

Katie said...

I have to say that my favorite bad guy is from Supernatural. I love the demon Crowley. He is just too much fun as a bad guy forced to work with the good guys to save his own neck.


Tracey O'Hara said...

I have been obsessed with the Movie Face Off. I that you have the ulitmate Bad Boy/Bad Guy faceoff.

I have been analysing it. In the beginning we see Nick Cage's character shoot John Travolta's character and kill his son. Then we see Nick dressed in a priest’s frock planting a bomb and molesting a young female choir. Screams BAD GUY.

Then we see John’s character telling his people he doesn’t care that intel says Nick’s bad guy is not in the country – he trusts his snitch. Screams BAD BOY.

Then John leave his wife hanging on the phone, yells at his people and is rude. Hmmmm – not so cool BAD BOY.

And then Nick’s character drops to tie up his brother’s shoelace. Hmmmm – Not so bad BAD GUY.

But this is to get us ready to be able to relate to the Bad Guy when he turns into the Bad Boy and vice versa. Because that is what happens – they switch faces.

This may not be the best movie ever – but it is good for watching the differences between Bad boy and Bad guy.

John (johnnie_cakes) said...

One of my favorite bad guys is still The Mayor from Buffy, because he was going to destroy the world, but still worried about Faith, and things like mayonaise under your fingernails.

+2 (1 for comment, and 1 for retweeting)

AndreaC said...

Hmmm, I usually like the bad boys, but for some reason the first character your article brought to mind for me was Cole on Charmed (played by Julian McMahon from, and prior to, Nip/Tuck). He was a bad boy AND a bad guy at the same time, and oh so yummy at it. In fact, he was hotter when he was the bad guy than when he was simply a bad boy! I also always loved Angelus (compared to just Angel) from Buffyverse, and he was definitely a bad guy, too.

Tanya said...

My favorite Bad Boy's are Sawyer from Lost and Damon from Vampire Diaries. I think they are both good at heart but their attitudes and personalities are what I am drawn to.

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Amy V. said...

Choices, choices, choices!
Best Bad Boy(s):
Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon
Matthew McConaughey in Fool's Gold
Bruce Willis in anything in which he carries a gun (e.g. Fifth Element)

Best Bad Guy(s):
Alan Rickman in many of his roles, Sheriff of Nottingham, Hans Gruber, Elliott Marston yet he was the sweetest, most patient man in the world as Col. Brandon.

Favorite Bad Guy whoever made me want to cry before he died: Rutger Hauer as the replicant Roy Batty ... "All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain... Time to die."

Karen said...

My all time favorite bad boy has to be Rhett Butler, but my favorite bad guy is Doug Bradley who plays pinhead on Hellraiser.

Zombie Joe said...

Bad Boys...
Han Solo (you had Harrison Ford in there twice anyhow)
Corbin Dallis (Fifth Element)
Martin Riggs (Lethal Weapon)

Sorry, but I am in line with some of the others.

Bad Guys...
The Mayor from Buffy was totally cool as he was not just all "Big Bad" like some of them.
Darkness (Tim Curry) from Legend. A bit over the top, but pretty cool as far as bad guys go.
Wil Wheaton from his episode of Criminal Minds. Creepy, creepy, creepy.

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Larissa said...

Seriously, this whole blog is just GENIUS. You are all so amazing, and I haven't read an uninteresting post yet! Yay, Supernatural Underground!

My favorite bad boy has to be Cap'n Jack Sparrow. *fans self*
Bad guy...actually, Hannibal Lechter's character in HANNIBAL. He's still a serial killer, see some humanity. Very creepy.

I have your SU badge up on my blog:

Thanks so much for the wonderful, thought-provoking posts!

Cylver said...

What a great post! Of course, I never saw Bugs Bunny as a bad boy. Usually he was just minding his own business till Elmer Fudd came along with his rifle. So of course, Bugs fought back, using his best weapons: his intelligence and wit. Against these, Elmer was totally unarmed!

Currently, my favorite bad boys have to be Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (love the snarkiness!) and Henry Fitzroy from the show Blood Ties. The nastiest bad guy has to be Javier Mendoza from an episode of Blood Ties called Heart of Fire. Javier was an ex-Inquisitor who tortured Henry nearly to death, then had the nerve to label Henry an evil monster!

Blodeuedd said...

Richard Amritage as Sir Guy in Robin Hood, he is bad to the bone, wicked, and totally got, and mmm, oh is that deool there ;)

linked to my blog

robsad79 said...

I would definitely go with Spike from Buffy and Guy from Robin Hood :)

Did a blog post....

+2 I believe (commented & blog post)

Rachel498 said...

Damon from Vampire Diaries is an awesome bad boy. Also, Spike from Buffy.

tetewa said...

Josh Halloway as Sawyer from Lost is my bad boy. Yul Bryner from Westworld is my bad guy!

nymfaux said...

Yea!!! GOOD post!!!!--Not to mention, your book looks amazing!!! Congratulations!!!

I think Dr. House is my current favorite bad boy...And the A-Team...

As for bad guys--I'm going to jump on what Zombie Joe said about Wil Wheaton, but I'm going to go with Wil Wheaton as Sheldon's nemesis on the Big Bang Theory--He is RUTHLESS!!!...And I am going to also say anyone with a British/Australian accent...because you just know they are going to be bad!!!

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Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Bad Boy: Eric from True Blood
Bad Guy: Keifer Sutherland's character in The Lost Boys
Had to pick two vamps. :)

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Anonymous said...

My god! Bad guys played by Alan Rickman, Gary Oldman, Gabriel Byrne and Edward Norton are just delicious..
I have to think longer about bad boys - any film by Johnny Depp of course, Harrison Ford (just classics:), Brad Pitt (he's done well as a bad boy in few movies) and Gerard Butler. hmm.. I'm going to stop otherwise the list will go on :)

Tori [Book Faery] said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Merrie Destefano said...

Wow! Such great comments--
Bethany, Me too! Sherri Palmer always made me mad!
Joss, I almost put down Snape as my favorite bad guy. Alan Rickman is great in any role!
Tracey, Fantastic character arc there!
Amy, Oh, yeah! Rutger Hauer was awesome as the Bad Guy to Harrison Ford's Bad Boy. Loved that movie.
Rachel445, Yes and double yes to Damon! He deserves a post all his own.
Zombie Joe and Nmyfax, Wil Wheaton--yes!! We've got some Big Bang Theory fans here--me too.
Tori, I always have a hard time picking too!

I am amazed at all of your answers! Thanks SO much.

Jessica @ a GREAT read said...

One off the top of my head is Damon from the Vampire Diaries, both the show and L.J.'s books Damon.

Ian Somerhalder is basically the perfect bad boy in my eyes. He was even the bad boy in the long forgotten WB show Black Sash. Wasn't too bad boy on LOST. But still he has the perfect look of a bad boy!

Plus in the books Damon is seriously the uber bad guy. In the early books he threatened Elena's younger sister since Elena lived in a part of the house he couldn't enter. How bad can you get? Of course in the newer books, he's definitely changing. Little by little. :)

Terri Garey said...

WHEATON!!! Oh my, I love me some Big Bang Theory! :-)

I know I'm not eligible for your ARC, Merrie, but AFTERLIFE looks soo good!

Nobody's mentioned Dexter - have you SEEN that show?! A sympathetic serial killer who you actually root for... I would never have believed it. Some of the best characterization ever written, I believe. He's a Bad Guy, yet a Good Man.

cindy said...

bad boys i love in YA fiction : eugenedies from megan whalen turner's Queen's Thief series.

nick from sarah reesh brennan's The Demon's Lexicon series.

ariel from lisa mantchev's Eyes Like Stars series.

sidhean from malinda lo's Ash.

Juliana Stone said...

Great post! bad boys are where it's at! Seriously...I love em dark and bad...uber alpha's who love with no boundaries. I also have a bit of a thing for rock dudes....and love, love, love....Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue. Sigh...after reading The Heroin diaries I wanted to save him.....Kat Von D is one lucky chick!

Nicole Murphy said...

Hi Merrie, fantastic post!

Like you, I'm a sucker for Han Solo - rough on the outside, soft as a marshmallow on the other, able to kick butt and then give you THAT look. You know the one...

As for bad guys - we've had some fabulous series in Australia called Underbelly - dramatisations of real-life gang wars and police corruption. Boy, has there been some characters there that I've been glad either the system or the grim reaper (or in some cases, both) have caught up with.

If you want to give on a go oh overseas folks, I suggest the first one - definitely the best.

Pamela Palmer said...

Damon from Vampire Diaries fascinates me. He started out as a serious bad guy, but he's slowly morphing into a bad boy. I've only seen the t.v. show, not read the books, but Ian Somerhalder is nothing short of brilliant in that role. I'm a huge Sawyer (LOST) fan, too. A wonderful bad boy.

Crystal @ RBtWBC said...

Yum...Harrison Ford! He is so sexy.
I love me some bad boys! I like bad boys who have a good heart but just don't know it yet. These were all mentioned already so I have to agree, my faves are: Cole from Charmed, Eric from Sookie/TB, Jack Sparrow :dreamy sigh: and Damon of course.

ylime1981 said...

Bad guy: Gollum (does that count?)

Twitter: ylime1981



TracyW said...

You gotta love bad boys! Two of my favorites:
TV: Bruce Willis
Fiction: Barrons (Fever series, Karen Marie Moning)

Kimberly B. said...

My favorite bad guy is probably the Master from Dr. Who. That's partly because I've been watching the show since my teens, but I particularly like the current incarnation, who is distinctly wrong in the head.
As for bad boys, I'm partial to Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother. For me, a fictional bad boy is allowed to exhibit behavior that would make me slap him in real life. So Barney definitely qualifies!

Kylie Griffin said...

Bad Boys:

Zarek from Dance with the Devil S.Kenyon)
Jonas Wyatt from Lion's Heat, Breed series (L.Leigh)
Zsadist from Lover Avenged (JRWard)
Adrian from Stealing Kathyrn (J.Frank)

Bad Guys:
Stryker from S.Kenyon's Dark Hunter series
Lani Tupu who played Crais in the Farscape TV series
Jet Li from The Mummy 3

Merrie Destefano said...

Ylime1981--Gollum absolutely counts. That guy gave me the creeps.
Pamela & Jessica--I completely agree. Damon has had an awesome character arc and he's one wonderful bad boy right now!
Nicole--The Underbelly series sounds awesome.
Tracy and Kimberly, Great answers!
Cindy, OOh, I love when people give me ideas about what to read next.
Terri--Dexter!! How did I forget him? Vigilante-slash-serial killer, heavy on the slash. =)
Juliana--Could it be our love for bad boys that makes us include them in our books?
Kari-Karina--Wow. What great choices-how did I miss Gary Oldman, Edward Norton, and Johnny Depp? Okay, I'm stealing your answers!

Thanks again, everyone, for all of your awesome posts! You're all the best!

Patricia Lynne said...

My favorite bad boy (and maybe you all don't think he's a bad boy) is Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter. His character just develops from the get go. you think in the first book, oh he's a bad guy, but by the end you realise he's just trying to keep his family proud (and safe) and the path he takes isn't the best.
As for bad guys any serial killer will do. The Cross Country Killer in Rush Of Wings, seven deadly sins killer in Seven (Love that movie!) and every other serial killer portrayed in TV or movies, (except Dexter because he's a good guy in a twisted way so I guess that makes him a bad boy)

Barbara E. said...

I have to go with some of the other comments with Sawyer, Captain Jack Sparrow and Han Solo for bad boys.
For bad guys, I'd have to say Ben Linus on Lost.

heatwave16 said...

I immediately thought of Spike from Buffy, who I just love. He started as a Bad Guy, but ended up being the Bad Boy...although he is always the Big Bad. :) Angel is the same way too. Without a soul, evil...with a soul...a bit of a bad boy with a good heart.

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Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

This post is definitely worth linking to!

As for bad boys, you can't go wrong with Han Solo.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

Sorry, I forgot to include the number of entries in my comment above. It should be two (one for the comment, one for the blog link).

Jackie Uhrmacher said...

Don't enter me, please. I just wanted to say that I have an ARC of this book and it is AMAZING! Seriously. You threw me for a huge loop by Part II and by Part III I didn't know if I was coming or going. STELLAR novel!!

Merrie Destefano said...

I think Draco Malfoy is a perfect example of a bad boy. Thanks!
Great list!
I love that--the Bad Boy who is always the Big Bad! Coolness!
Thanks for the blog link and Han Solo? Yes!

Merrie Destefano said...

SQUEEEEE!! Thank you SO much for taking time to post a comment and letting me know that you liked AFTERLIFE. I think you're about the third person I know who has read it--my husband, my agent, and my editor. I'm so glad you enjoyed it!! Yay!!

Okay, I'm happy now. =)

Tez Miller said...

The Tasmanian Devil species does still exist. But perhaps not for long. Too much inbreeding and whatnot has resulted in a lot of facial tumours in TDs.

Bad boy...Futurama's Robot Devil. I like his way of speaking. I remember him saying, "You're not nice!" which brings a smile to my face :-)

Merrie Destefano said...

Hi! I'm sad to hear about the Tasmanian Devil. In real life, I want them to survive forever. I even watched a special about them once, trying to get over my, I mean, strange fascination with them.

Great Bad Boy choice!

Helen Lowe said...

A few favorite bad boys--

Spike in Buffy & Eric in True Blood

Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean

Waylander the Slayer from the David Gemmell novels & The Upright Man from Tamora Pierce's Alanna books

And then there's the Duke of Avon from Georgette Heyer's 'These Old Shades'

linaramz said...

Bad boys:
Damon from The Vampire Diaries. He's bad and hot!

Captain Jack Sparrow. He's bad, sly and, of course, Johnny Depp = HOT!

Curran from Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels series.

Roman from Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead.

Bad guys:
Victor from Underworld.

The Joker from Batman.


Dracula--Dorina's uncle in Midnight's Daughter by Karen Chance.

Crystal @ RBtWBC said...

Wow, that is awesome. Thank you so much, I can't wait to read this! I've never really joined or kept up with a blog before but this one is great and I visit it everyday. These are such great topics, thanks to you wonderful ladies for creating it! Anyway! =) my email addy is folksohana at gmail dot com. Thank you again and have a great weekend!

nymfaux said...

Congrats to the winner!!!--Crystal, I totally agree with you--I had just started discovering blogs when this one started, and now I am addicted!!!!

--I love all of the discussions; I've had many of these same discussions in my head, but it's nice to hear what other people think!!!!

Sharon S. said...

I missed this contest:( but what a great topic. I never thought about the bad boy vs the bad guy thing before. Now I will have to go off and ponder...I fell in love with Allan Rickman when I saw him in "Something Wicked This Way Comes". That voice!!!

Pixy said...

Great discussion! CONGRATS Crystal!

Oh, Rhett! He's so dreamy!!!

I definitely LOVE LOVE LOVE Dean and Sam Winchester as two bad boys. I guess Dean is "badder" than Sam for most of the series, but then Sammy gets some crazy in him too in the end.

I'd say my fave (or least fave, I guess) bad guy recently is the guy in "Book of Eli"--that mayor. He's a huge jerky creep. Grr...

Water Ionizers FAQ said...

Too bad I missed this contest, I just recently discovering blogs when this started ;P.

Anyway great topic! I love all the discussions!