Back in the dark ages when I was a child, the Wizard of Oz was only shown once a year on television. VCR's and dvd players were beyond comprehension. Heck, if I wanted to change a channel on the television, I had to get up and turn it myself. So "Wizard" was that much more important for me. I don't remember the first time I saw it, but I do know when I was four and living in Albuquerque, New Mexico, I loved the wicked witch. The first Halloween I was allowed to go trick or treating, I insisted on dressing as her. I remember asking my mom to draw pictures of her and pretending I was her.
Then came my next "crush." Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was like Wizard in that it was shown only occasionally. But when I saw the child catcher, I found a new dreamboat. I thought he was awesome. I used to pretend I was him, dragging a wagon around to capture dolls with.
I still love villains. Jason Isaacs' vicious Tavington got me through "The Patriot." He was so vile, wasn't he? And incredibly sexy at the same time. Of course there was the Cigarette Smoking Man from "X Files." I really liked him, loved the way he made Mulder and Scully dance to his tune. The fact he was also a frustrated writer probably pumped up his appeal to me.
I think this love of villainy is what draws me into writing urban fantasy. I can have villains who are villains because that's what they are. They don't need a whole lot of motive to be evil. And they can be deliciously evil. Humans have motives behind the horrible things they do unless they are insane. As a writer, I don't find insanity all that interesting to write. But rottenness for the sake of rottenness is fun. It's the fantasy aspect I suppose, like the terror of riding a roller coaster. The thrill far exceeds the reality.
Do you like villains? Who are some of your favorites?
UPDATE: I won Turn Coat by Jim Butcher from Bitten By Books. I so wanted this book but didn't want to part with money for a hard back.