Villainpunk Is Cheating

Villainpunk is cheating, of course.

Surely you wouldn’t expect anything less from a monster?

Villainpunk is a genre which intentionally allows all the other genres of fandom to come on in, brew a nice cup of arsenic tea (the arsenic isn’t strictly necessary, but it adds flavour) – and make themselves at home.

Because there are no genre or stylistic limitations on who or what could be a fictional villain. All fandoms are welcome; and, indeed, there are many important cautionary tales about the misfortunes of those who fail to invite certain malefactors. (Do YOU want to be the monarch who fails to ask the Wicked Stepmother to the wedding?)

It’s also timely. With the power of instant, worldwide speech, we have learned, rather to our chagrin, that anybody can be called a villain. This is always been true, but the internet took that particular truth and amplified it until it managed to extrude itself into our everyday lives.

Villainpunk simply makes a natural assertion: if anybody can be called a villain, then anybody can call themselves a villain.

We tale on the names people use to hurt us, and build from them a community and a new culture. After all, if you use a weapon, like culture, against us, you should expect consequences. In our case, the consequence is creation.

Moreover, neither genres nor fandom subcultures tend to grow well when there is a lot of policing, judging, and gatekeeping. That doesn’t mean that I am recommending pure Anarchy; it means I recommend being welcoming. I have heard some extremely convincing arguments that Star Wars is basically fantasy and not science fiction. On a purely theoretical level, I agree with those arguments. On a practical level, I’m going to let science fiction keep its spaceships and its Space Battles and its space Wizards and its space swords, in the same way I’m not going to criticize someone for putting tomatoes in a vegetable salad, even though tomatoes are fruits. Having these discussions can be a lot of fun. Using these discussions to decide whether or not a person or a body of work is going to be allowed into your subculture is seldom fun.

In Villainpunk media, I care a lot about creativity and good stories and interesting characters. And I care very little whether the villain needs to be in 35% or 51% or 75% of the story for it to count as Villainpunk. In terms of Cosplay and events, I care a whole lot more whether someone is coming to an event with the desire to enjoy it and help create an atmosphere that other people will enjoy, or if they’re coming out to criticize others and bring them down, mess with others, and generally make the event a worse place.
Villainpunk is whatever you can get away with. Just bear in mind, we operate within the Villain’s Truce.

That is, we keep the villainy between each other as fictional as possible.
Because frankly, no offense intended, I don’t plan on wasting a perfectly good death ray on obliterating someone for being a jerk, when I could use it to take over the planet.

I am a Villain, after all.

Jeff Mach


My name is Jeff Mach (“Dark Lord” is optional) and I build communities and create things. Every year, I put on Evil Expo, the Greatest Place in the World to be a Villain. I also write a lot of fantasy and science fiction.. You can get most of my books right here. Go ahead, pre-order I HATE Your Prophecy“. It may make you into a bad person, but I can live with that.

Jeff Mach Written by:

Jeff Mach is an author, playwright, event creator, and certified Villain. You can always pick up his bestselling first novel, "There and NEVER, EVER BACK AGAIN"—or, indeed, his increasingly large selection of other peculiar books. If you'd like to talk more to Jeff, or if you're simply a Monstrous Creature yourself, stop by @darklordjournal on Twitter, or The Dark Lord Journal on Facebook.