The Best Devils

March 1, 2017

The Devil, no matter what you call Him or believe about Him, has been an ever-present force in popular culture. Sometimes hero, sometimes villain, and sometimes just there, He is one that everyone knows and recognizes almost immediately.

While one of the more famous antagonists in one of the most famous books of all time, many other forms of literature and storytelling include the dark one as well. Movies and television, for instance, are one of the most accessible mediums to deliver depictions of the great antagonist, and some of the most recognizable.

The following list contains some of my favorites, but by no means is the most definitive.

Little Nicky (2000) – Harvey Keitel

Actually not an antagonist, but a loving, caring father who wanted the best for his kids. Little Nicky, played by Adam Sandler, was his son, who had an important job and was cheered on by his dad down in Hell. Also one of the best portrayals of what happened to Hitler after he died, and one we all hope is true.

End of Days (1999) – Gabriel Byrne

Definitely overdone in the pompous way that Byrne is famous for, this man truly made you feel like he was ushering in the apocalypse. One of the more interesting foils for our hero, wonderfully portrayed in the overdone style that Arnold Schwarznegger does so well, this was the popcorn flick we needed in times of turmoil and stress brought upon by the new millennium, and Byrne portrayed the villain we so desperately wanted to see vanquished.

Prince of Darkness (1987) – A swirling mass inside a container

Does anyone remember this forgotten gem from John Carpenter? A movie you truly have to pay attention to every detail to fully understand, it’s rather psychological and leaves you with a really…creepy feeling. There’s the Devil, but also an Anti-Christ and an Anti-Anti-Christ…yeah.

Reaper (2007) – Ray Wise

I feel like if the Devil truly does exist the way the Bible says, this would be the most accurate portrayal. Ray Wise, always awesome in anything he does, brought a wry sense of humor and realism to his character. It’s such a shame that this show only lasted for two short seasons, but I have a feeling that it would have gotten old pretty quickly if it continued for much longer. Still, this cemented Ray Wise in my mind as one of the greatest actors of our time, and provided a lot more fun to this comedy that teetered on the edge of meh.

Constantine (2005) – Peter Stormare

Okay, so this movie wasn’t the greatest. In fact, John Constantine, one of my favorite characters of all time, was not even remotely done justice. However, the surprise appearance of the Devil Himself at the end gave it a ray of light that made me smile. Peter Stormare, one of the greatest character actors we have, brought such a matter-of-factness and passion to the Devil that you just couldn’t help but want to have a beer with the guy. Full of jokes and buddy-buddy attitude, no one but Peter could pull this off. Worth watching the movie just for this, but you could also skip ahead to his scene.

Supernatural (2007) – Mark Pellegrino

Over the years on the 28 seasons of Supernatural (yes, I know there’s only been 12 with a 13th coming), many people have portrayed Lucifer Himself. Rick Springfield worked hard for the weekend, but didn’t do as good a job as the Devil as Mark did. You may remember Mark from Lost as Jacob, or Dexter as Rita’s ex-husband Paul, but in my opinion his shining moment was on Supernatural. He had a subtle smoothness to him, a sense of urgency that shined through his gritty exterior. The kind of guy that you could envision being possessed by the Devil, and if you knew it, and would totally believe it.

The Prophecy (1995) – Viggo Mortensen

Yep, it was Aragorn himself in this one. A chilling, cerebral haunter in a graveyard, he talked, and you listened. He played a bit of an anti-hero, actually preventing someone from doing something really bad. This movie is beyond a cult classic, and if you haven’t seen it before, why not? Every performance is awesome in this, but when the Devil shows up, you’ll know it, and won’t forget it.

Futurama (2000) – The robot Devil!

How can you not love this guy? Played up for laughs more than anything, some of the best plots came about because of him. Still, some diabolical antics arise and no matter how much you love him or hate him, you realize that yep, this is still the Devil.

So that’s my list. What do you think? Let me know in the comments—which depictions of the Devil do you like best?

And if you’re interested in reading an interesting take on Lucifer, check out my new book, In the Pale Moonlight, available now!

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It’s Time

February 13, 2017

Well call me Mr. Bigtime.

Things have been happening for me. Good things, things that make me feel like an actual, real-life author. I know I am, but this is for real. This is awesome.

Where do I start?

For quite some time now, I’ve spoken about my novel, In the Pale Moonlight. Never at length, and never anything revealing. But it’s coming soon, and I’ve had so much to do for it. After 60+ failed attempts at getting an agent, I made the tough decision to self-publish. I realize that self-publishing isn’t the taboo thing it once was, but I wasn’t crazy about it.

Self-publishing is good because I control everything. I don’t get shafted on money, I don’t have ideas and decisions tossed out because someone wants to vicariously implement their thoughts onto mine, etc. It’s bad, though, because I’m 100% responsible for everything.

EVERYTHING.

Artwork, promotion, dates, times, formats, basically just getting shit done is 100% on me, with no one else there to do it for or with me. Sure I can ask for help, but for what? “Hey, can you bust your ass for me so I can possibly make a couple bucks with my novel and you’ll get a hearty pat on the back?” Yeah, no.

It’s okay, though. I’ve learned a lot. And I’m happy with myself for managing to get it all done. Formatting, proofing, artwork decisions (believe me, there were a LOT!), promotions, all of it. I’ve worked very hard on this, and I feel confident in myself.

The book is coming out on February 27th.

That’s two weeks from now! Preorders are available, and the book is easy to find online. Smashwords, Amazon, and all the other sites they’re affiliated with. It’s even on Goodreads! Hell, I’m an official Goodreads author now!

It’s exciting.

While it’s true that “anyone” can do this, how many actually do? How many put the work in to not only write a book start to finish, but also go through all the steps of getting it online and ready to sell/read/enjoy?

Like I said, I’ve put in a lot of work. And I know it’ll all be worth it. I couldn’t be happier to share it with you, and I’m sure you’ll all enjoy.

Thanks so much for your support!

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So close I can taste it

December 17, 2016

As we (here in Ohio, at least) delve into colder temperatures and stupid snow all over the place, I suddenly have a lot of free time. My day job is centered around selling building supplies to contractors (and the occasional clueless homeowner…seriously, are there any homeowners out there that actually know how to fix their house without making it worse?!), we are experiencing a lack of business.

This has been beneficial for me personally, because I can get a lot of stuff done that otherwise I’d have to squeeze in somehow–especially with Rogue One this weekend! I hate to plan my life around movies, but c’mon, Star Wars!!!

Ahem. Anyway…

I’ve talked about my novel, In the Pale Moonlight, several times over the years. It’s been a long time coming, specifically because I’ve taken a long, long time with it. Mostly, it was laziness. I’d write a lot, put it aside for “a week or two” and several months later I’d get back to it. Even after it was done, I putted around with editing it, but ultimately, got it all done.

So my attempts to get it accepted by an agent were met with either stock rejections or silence. It won’t keep me down, however, and I declared loud and clear that I was going to self-publish it. There’s so many free programs online that hey, this can’t be that hard, right?

Wrong! It’s so much work that other people would typically do for me had this been accepted by an actual publisher. It’s okay, I’ve learned a lot about it, and also about myself.

For starters, I really make a lot of typos. I mean, not as many as some people I know (every other word, like seriously!), but I’ll gloss over a word or two here and there. Not to mention, there’s a lot of sloppy writing in there. So I decided to go through the book just to make sure there weren’t any major issues, figuring it would take a day or two.

Two weeks later, I came out with a new draft of the book. Typos fixed, grammatical errors taken care of, and awkward sentences rewritten, it’s got a fresh sheen on it that no one can take away from me.

As far as I’m concerned, the book is good to go!

All I need to do is format it (well, finish formatting it, I’m almost done) for Smashwords and Amazon and whatever programs I plan on putting it on. I also have to finalize cover art, which is much more difficult than you’d think. I know, I know, you have a program or website or this and that and I need to check it out right now! I’ve seen all of them, tried them all, etc. I have something in mind and it isn’t as easy as you want it to be.

Finally, I need a release date. Do I plan it a month in advance, so I can promote it? Two weeks? Two months? Six months? I don’t know…and I’m worried that I won’t give myself enough time to prepare. Not to mention, I’ve got to start worrying about marketing and promotions for it…

Ugh. It will (hopefully!) pay off in the end. Not that I’m looking for a huge payday–I’d love to be able to pay off my car, my credit cards, my student loans, or anything else, but let’s be honest: am I going to be a millionaire from this?

Nope. But my book will be published and available for one and all. In the end, that’s all I can hope for.

Wish me luck–I’m oh so close!

Updates

October 30, 2016

There have been some good things going on lately. A few bad, too, but isn’t that par for the course? I’m not on top of the world, but things are looking up, so I’ll take that as a win.

The Good:

-The poll that I’m in is going very well. Thanks to everyone who has voted for me! I appreciate the assistance and support. It’s good to know that so many people believe in me. Even if I don’t win, I know I’ve got more than enough love from all of you, and you’ve got mine as well.

-Some publications that I’ve submitted to are taking longer than usual to get back to me. I know that this doesn’t necessarily mean anything and I really shouldn’t get my hopes up, it’s nice to think that they’re deliberating over my work. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get that long awaited email very, very soon and have a new reason to dance on top of a table.

-A year or so ago, I wrote a story that was basically my realistic take on He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. You all know how much I love MOTU, and I really love the sword & sorcery aspect to it, not to mention the sci-fantasy twist. I’ve written a lot of stuff like that, but never anything inspired so directly by it. By realistic, I mean that it’s going to have much more adult themes, and more understanding of how and why things are the way they are other than simply to sell toys.

Well, the story ended on an ambiguous note. Apparently, no one wanted it because it doesn’t slap you in the face and tell you directly what happens at the end. Yep, you read that correctly: publishers think that you’re an idiot and need me to hold your hand and tell you straight up what’s going on.

So I decided to make this into a serialized story. As of now, there will be 7 parts to it. I’ve been busting ass on part 2, and am almost done…but every day I say I’ll finish it, and life happens. Could today be the day? I hope so—it’ll allow me to get the rest of it done as well!

-Lots of people have been interested in my Halloween story! The sheer amount of exposure I’ve got with it is amazing! But maybe you could support a struggling author? It’s only $.99, folks!

The Bad:

-A publication has had my story since June 27th. They haven’t even opened it and looked at it yet. Come on, this is one of the biggest and most well-known pubs in the USA. You can find it at any chain bookstore, fer cryin’ out loud! I know they’ll say know (yeah yeah, so what if I’m cynical?), but why make me wait so long? Unprofessional, I say. Feh!

-I don’t have as much time to write as I’d like. Typical, but I’m trying so hard to do it and life just keeps getting in the way.

-I haven’t even started looking at getting “In the Pale Moonlight” published. A friend was supposed to be reading it, but she hasn’t said word one about it. I really need to get off my arse and just do it!

That’s all. I’m happy and working, but need to get it moving a little better. Wish me luck, and stay awesome!

Could be trouble…

May 19, 2015

My wife and I went to see the new Mad Max: Fury Road movie yesterday. I loved it. Tons of mindless, action movie bullshit that really just makes you happy that movies like that exist.

I paid for my whole seat, but I only used the edge!

Sigh…and then all the feminist stuff.

Wait, what? Where? How? Who? What?

Ladies and gentlemen, I really didn’t notice any of the stuff that people are bitching about. Furiosa (Charlize Theron) was on a mission of vengeance and led a group of people going to get it. Is THAT the feminist stuff?

I’ve always been taught that true feminism is equal rights. Plain and simple, when you get down to the nitty-gritty, it’s not that men are “less than” or anything, and not that women are “dominant” or whatnot. Equality.

Okay, so I guess I’m a feminist. If you’re willing and able to do something, great. If you can’t do it, well, sorry but you’ll have to figure out a way to do it or find something else.

If you’re able to do something but don’t want to, well, tell them to go get wet.

I’ve worked for women, with women, been in charge, been equal, all that. Why is it so difficult for people to just see the reality of it that it doesn’t really matter what is between your legs or what color your skin? If you do a good job and earn my respect, awesome. If you’re a piece of shit who just needs a good baseball upside the head, I’ll bring my Louisville Slugger…no matter what gender you are. (Well, okay, I really won’t hit someone with a baseball bat but you get the gist.)

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about this outcry that thousands of dipshit internet turds are going on about all because of a movie, and it worries me. In my upcoming book, “In the Pale Moonlight” there are several characters that are women. Shock, I know! To make things worse, they don’t just act as sex objects! Some even have jobs to do that are cooler and better than men’s!

And I’m worried it’ll be trouble. Because the insecure internet whiners will make a stink about it.

But I’m not that worried. Fuck ’em. People can talk all they want. What really matters is that in the long run, if you like something, you like it. If not, you don’t. Want to waste everyone’s time (including your own) by writing a blog about how hurt you are by something? Fine.

Just don’t expect me to care.

But I do care about kickass movies, books, television, comics, music, artwork, whatever. Even if it’s a woman doing the ass kicking.

I have a lot to say, but I feel like much of it belongs to separate blog posts.  However, I felt the need to have a cliché end of the year type thing, because let’s face it, 2013 was a good year for me.

 

–I had some better luck with publishing this year.  While I’ve been published before, I actually got paid for this stuff!  Three publications, in fact.  One will be out in 2014, but the money already came through.  Not that I’m all about the money, because I made a grand total of $40.  Still, it’s a good sign for things to come.

 

–I set up this blog, plus my Facebook page.  That’s good!  Like many people, I have a habit of talking about things in excess, and then never actually getting around to them.  Or, I’ll wait for a few years to finally do it, and it’s not nearly as grandiose as I had envisioned.  I never intended for anything to be grandiose or amazingly awesome, but I’m happy with the way these things are going for me.

 

–I’ve probably written more stories this year that I actually care about than any other time.  2008 was a great year short story-wise for me, but I can’t look at most of that stuff without cringing.  While more than a few of the 2013 fare is cringeworthy, a lot of it is pretty good too.  And that’s good because I can get them shaped up, and have more stuff under my belt.

 

–Editing was big, too.  I would go out on Saturday nights to coffee shops or restaurants, chugging multiple cups of coffee, chicken fingers, milkshakes, and various soups, while editing stories.  My fiancé has come with me many a time, and while she’s sitting there, reading her book and looking beautiful, I’d be focused on shaping up my stories.  I do give her plenty of time at home, and it’s great that she’s so supportive of me and doesn’t have a problem when I’m working on my stuff.

 

–My biggest achievement?  Finishing “In the Pale Moonlight” in December.  I have a lot to say about this, but let’s just get the nitty-gritty out of the way: it’s a novel.  As of now, 50 chapters.  435 pages.  Lots of words.  Oh, and the fact that I started it in February of 2010.  Now please don’t think I’ve been working on it that entire time.  I took breaks.  Many breaks.  Many months-long breaks.  Some were warranted.  Most weren’t.  It wasn’t laziness, and it wasn’t writer’s block.  It was life; adulthood, other jobs, other writing stuff that really drove me crazy, forcing me to write and edit it.  It’s okay, because I’m happy with the final product.  I have a lot of work ahead of me, and lot of editing to do.  But I’ll do it, because I want to.

 

–Clay and Styg, my seafaring adventurers, have been going on even more adventures and having even crazier experiences.  Lately, I’ve been writing a lot of stuff for them, but more importantly, researching a lot of stuff to make their adventures even cooler.  Big thanks to my good friend Josh for the new book on poisons, as that will help me with some really cool ideas I have.

 

I’m looking forward to a great 2014.  I hope everyone is ready for a fun ride, because it’s only going to get better.