Villainpunks: You Made Us

We weren’t always Villains, you know.

Some of us thought we were Heroes. We thought we’d be judged by our deeds, not our opics, and we didn’t realize that eventually, our deeds would cease to be measured by their effects, and begin to be measured purely by whatever voice could scream about them the loudest. Rescue a kitten from a tree? All the world will ever know is the picture of you lifting the kitten from the branch, and the deafening clamour of a hundred voices shouted, “MONSTER PLACES KITTEN IN TREE”.

Eventually, you feel bad for the felines, but you leave them in their arboreal prisons; you just can’t allow it to be your problem anymore.

Someone once said to me that every Villain is the Hero of his own story. I patted on the head and gave him a cookie and threw him in the kitten pit. I can still hear his screams.

I think that there are plenty of thorny ethical debates in the world. But I’m in quarantine/seclusion, working on World Conquest, and I don’t go outside, so I don’t have to worry about thorns unless I order roses for myself.

I have said before that to name something is to claim it. Well, to misname a thing is to let it loose. I was never a Villain until I was so named; and now, it’s the only name to which I want to answer.

I can consume the Moon now, if I so desire.

I can steal hearts, or minds, or souls, or doughnuts. I could even steal a heart-shaped doughnut made entirely from souls; I live nine miles from Hell’s Kitchen, after all.

I can quietly replace everyone’s Starbucks coffee with any sufficiently burnt caffeinated beverage. Nobody will notice.

I can start an entire fake genre with a ridiculous name like “Villainpunk”, and people will buy the books. Then other people will write books in that genre and I will buy their books. And this is actually happening.

Do you want to know why so many of us are no longer attempting the impossible juggling-tightrope-walking-backflipping-apologetic-balancing-act which is necessary in order to not get called a Villain in the modern age?

Because you made us Villains, and now we’re free, and we’re not going back.

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.

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