How to Be a Villian by Neil Zawacki

Title:  How to Be  a Villain:  Evil Laughs, Secret Lairs, Master Plans, and More!!!

Author:  Neil Zawacki

Illustrator:  James Dignan

Hardback:  160 pages

Date Published:  2003

PublisherChronicle Books

ISBN:  9780811846660

Being evil is more than a job, it’s a lifestyle.  By embracing the dark forces, otherwise ordinary men, women, and even children and pets can gain power and wealth beyond their wildest dreams.  Perhaps the single greatest benefit of a career in evil is equal access to executive level positions.  Black, white, or green; male, female, or alien life form; spikes, scales, or brain in a jar – nothing prevents a devotee of darkness from rising to the top of the quagmire of destruction.

- “The Benefits of Being Evil” from How to Be a Villain by Neil Zawacki, page 10

In these troubling times, jobless rates on the rise, paychecks dwindling into microscopic amounts, and a general malaise about the economy, you might be considering a career change.  If so, might I suggest a career in EVIL?

The field of Evil-Doer is wide open, and you have a delicious variety of career paths that include:

  • Becoming a criminal mastermind!  Whether you choose to rob banks or send out emails asking for help to move your multi-million dollar wealth out of your impoverished, third-world country, crime is the tried-and-true classic medium for a villain to flex his wicked muscles.
  • Try your hand as a necromancer!  If graveyards and funeral parlors are your favorite places to hang out, and you can get your mitts on ancient books of the  occult, why not take possession of your true purpose and give Ol’ Scratch a run for the “Most Evil” award this year.
  • Take that corner office with the wall of windows and become a corporate bastard!  You can even mix career advancement and the pleasure of revenge by taking over and destroying the very company that let you go.  Make sure to funnel off all the executive pension fund before it’s demise, though, or you’ll be back to square one, JOBLESS and BROKE.
  • Have a knack for mixing ingredients?  Give mad scientista try!  Build up your army of mutant eight-legged simians, actual spider-monkeys, and take over the world.  Then you can set about re-create MAN in your OWN image.
  • If you like horseback riding and wearing metal clothing, black knight might be the path for you!  You will derive endless pleasure from making peasants your neighbors bow before you, quaking in terror, wondering if today will finally be the day you make good on your threat to “gut them like the pigs they are.”
  • If you own a lonely motel on a lonely stretch of never-used highway AND  have conversations with your long-since deceased mother, horror-movie villain may have your name written all over it!  Rub elbows with A-list actors and slay sexy starlets, not to mention peeping on the co-eds getting busy in the next room, are all in a days work!
  • Take dominion of the spirit world as an avatar for a god/demon/supernatural creature beyond all comprehension!  While allowing the forces of evil to use your body, you’ll be enjoying all the perks of your new-found godhood.
  • Not quite up to all-out evil?  Try a career as a marketing executive!  Shape the way future generations think by creating advertisements that mesh their favorite, beloved underwater hero and a sexually-depraved rapper.
  • You may even try your hand at an evil-lite career as a villain and become a telemarketer!  Endless pleasure can be derived from interrupting dinners, sleep, and the recipients physical fun with their significant other.  This career as an evil-doer, however, has been in a steady decline since the invention of caller ID.

How to Be a Villainby Neil Zawacki is a fun, light read full of tongue-in-cheek, dead-pan humor that feels like an actual tutorial how-to guide.  The quirky and fun illustrations, however, let assure you the book does not take itself seriously.  Get in touch with your inner villain by picking up a copy today :-D  I give this book 3 1/2  out of 5 black hats.

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This video is cheesy (on purpose)  and is an example of the information found in How to Be a Villain by Neil Zawacki.   They do not credit the book, so I don’t know if it’s where they got their ideas, but it’s great :-D  (seriously, though, cheese factor is off the charts!)

Night of the Crash-Test Dummies by Gary Larson


Title
:  Night of the Crash-Test Dummies:  A Far Side Collection

Author:  Gary Larson

Illustrator:  Gary Larson

Paperback:  104 pages

Publish Date:  January 1995

Publisher:  Andrews and McMeel

ISBN:  99780836220490

Miscellaneous:  The Far Side is a popular syndicated comic strip.

The Far Side by Gary Larson

I have loved The Far Side since the first time I saw an inky panel in my hometown newspaper’s comic section.  Quirky and often irreverent, Larson drawings almost always make me laugh, and often accompanied by the “swallow my tongue” effect.  The strip’s sense of humor is dead-on me.

The Far Side by Gary Larson

“So! Planning on roaming the neighborhood with some of your buddies today?”

One of my favorite Far Side funnies was of a cat hurdling to the earth, a look of terror on her face, and the caption read “After falling 2000 feet, Fluffy suddenly realized it didn’t matter if she landed on her feet.”

Occasionally Larson makes a political joke in his strip, but usually they are play-on-words, or he connects two totally unrelated concepts (i. e. “Python escapes local zoo!” headline on the newspaper S. White is carrying as she walks up to her house.  Unseen by Miss White is a snake slithering out the back window, seven separate dinner-lumps along its body).  Sometimes the joke jumps right out at you, other times the incongruity dawns on you, and almost always, sooner or later, you laugh.

The Far Side by Gary Larson

Night of the Crash-Test Dummies by Gary Larson is a 104 page collection of humorous comics that’ll take your mind off the harder, more pressing things.  Laughter is a strong medicine, and Dr. Larson provides a great relief :-)  I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

The Far Side by Gary Larson

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Finding a video to go with this was kind of difficult, the only other one I found was for a Far Side book the person had on Ebay. I don’t really get the joke in it, but according to the videographer this video is based on a Far Side comic pic.

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