10 Perks of doing an English Degree

So I’m one of those blessed peopledictionary-costume who spent two years at college, and three years at university studying the joys of Anglais, reading plenty of contemporary, medieval and classical literature,  and contemplating the symbolism behind storms in an angry scene and the writing int he ingredients part of a chocolate bar.

Unfortunately, in the work-world, there’s isn’t always a way to apply the lessons of Shakespeare and Chaucer to, say, buying bread from Asda or typing an email to a client saying that you need them to send in proof of their VAt registration. And stuff.

So here’s a quick list of things that only English majors (and lit-geeks) would probably sympathise with. Wave a sonnet at me if you can relate.

1. People remind you that you already know how to speak English so you just wasted a degree and three years of your life.

2. You are the office dictionary.

3. You are also the office spell-checker and thesaurus.

4. People don’t believe you when you say you have to read books for your studies.

5. Your parents don’t believe you either.

6. People think you’re weird when you say “Oh yes I’ve read that book” every time a new film comes out.

7. Everyone assumes you want to be a teacher because of the english degree. Even if you don’t really like the idea of teaching other people’s children.

8. You over analyse. EVERYTHING. One lone egg left in the fridge? Must be a sign. (To make breakfast maybe).

9. It’s YOU’RE. Not YOUR.

10. You become a little pretentious. Cos you know how something is really spelt, or the origins of a word, or you know the ending of that film cos you read the book.

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The Unspoken Rules of All Soap Operas

I don’t watch as much soap operas and those day-time tv series as much as I used to, mainly because they frown on watching television at my workplace (it doesn’t look good to have iPlayer running in the background of my reports, managers tend to frown on that), and also because after years and years of watching Eastenders, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks and Neighbours, I got sick of watching the same storylines being disguised and recycled with each generation.

How many times will Den die? Will Kat cheat again? More importantly, will she be wearing leopard-print while doing it? And how on earth do people like Tony from Hollyoaks and Ian from Eastenders convince so many women to marry them?

It got me to thinking about how a lot of TV’s soaps follow some unscripted rules which seem to be unchanging over the years – even if they’re disguised to reflect current issues. In the 80’s and 90’s there was a lot of controversy over story-lines like homosexuality and teenage pregnancy, these day the storylines will be about immigration, transgender issues, terrorism or just about Cornish pasties – but the results are the same, possibly because the soaps follow the same ‘rules’.

I expounded on some of my theories about soaps to a friend of mine and she urged me to share my theories so I can enlighten you all with them. Admittedly, her exact words were “write a post about it, it sounds funny”, but I’ll take that as a positive too. Read on follow soap-cynics, and tell me if you agree.

Rule #1: There is no such thing as a happy relationship or marriage.

No matter how long the ‘romance’ has been dragged out, and the suspense built up, when a couple finally ends up together or gets married, it will never last. I have yet to see a marriage which has lasted on any soap. Even those married couples who have supposedly been married for 50 years suddenly end up having problems with each other.

It is inevitable that there will be three possible outcomes in any relationship:
1. One of them cheats (which probably means nothing because the other one is likely to be cheating as well)
2. One of them dies (which forever immortalises them and makes them the perfect partner)
3.They just give up their relationship because it gets boring/one of them has to leave the country for obscure reasons/one of them turns gay (i.e. their relationship got boring and producers wanted to spice it up)

The best relationships have been the ones where one half of the couple is dead (probably because they’re too dead to argue or cheat) – in which case, the living half will remember the relationship with unrealistic fondness. Strangely enough, this doesn’t stop characters from having an impaired memory – the amount of times Pauline Fowler talked about her beloved (and belated) ‘Arfur’, despite the fact that he was a cheater and she was a husband-beater. Sounds like him being dead suddenly redeemed him.

Married and separated so many times, we lost count.

Rule #2: Everyone must visit the pub.

It doesn’t matter if you aren’t a drinker, every soap has a thriving pub which is at the centre of all business, drama and gossip, which means it’s a place that everyone eventually ends up being in the episode. Teetotal and/or ex-alcoholic? Why not go to the pub and surround your lemonade with some drinkers? Muslim and don’t drink? Down to the pub with you. Underage or with young children? Why not have a rest at the pub, there’s plenty of people to keep an eye on your children while you have a quick pint. Best of all, no one will ask you why you are at the pub at 11.00am, plus a possible pub lunch and a quick pint after your dinner too.

Some would argue that the pub is a great equalizer – the rich, poor, working class, middle class and people of all colours and ages congregate to the pub cos they all want a drink at the end of the day (or want to witness the latest debacle about to take place). But I’ll just say that the Queen Vic and Rover are too over-populated to be realistic, especially when you know most people would prefer to be at home in front of the telly (I wonder if there is a soap that the characters watch in Eastenders, something called The Market maybe).

Rule #3: Ian is always going to be a git.

I just don’t like him. ‘Nuff said.

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Rule #4: There should only be one taboo topic at any one time.

Every season in soap-world will have a new scandal going on, whether it’s affairs, crime-doings or someone ‘aving a go in the market. In order not to confuse us simple viewers, there’s only ever major story arc at a time, so that we can keep our bums on the edge of the seats without being distracted by other storylines. The downside of this is that a story can drag on for months until we stop caring. But it also means that you can watch a story about an affair in January, go on holiday for a couple of months, come back in April and the affair’s still going on. When it comes to ‘taboo’ topics which become major storylines like teenage pregnancy, homosexuality, immigration or similar issues, I can’t help but think that they’re dumbed down and simplified so that we are beaten over the head with the overall message.

Rule #5: There is always a loophole for characters to come back, regardless or how they leave.

Death is not a preventive factor because there’s always an explanation , even if it’s not a realistic one. We may have seen someone get shot/stabbed/go on the run for twenty years, but it still means that there’s a small lee-way for them to come back. Yes, you, Dirty Den, we’re looking at you. What do you think this is, the Resurrection?

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Rule #6: There is always a villain that we love to hate in every soap

It’s practically a requirement. In Eastender it’s Ian (for me), but there’s plenty of real ‘baddie’ characters to spice things up a bit. And there’s different strands of baddies too, whether it’s the gangster type;, the smarmy type who everyone hates; and, worst of all baddies, the ones who pretend to be good but have serial killer eyes and end up going cuckoo crazy before they get carted off in a wheely bin to a local asylum (which they’ll probably escape from). Think Annie from Sunset Beach, maybe.

Rule #7: The token ethnic person is never accurate.

I have a personal gripe about this because every time there has been an Asian, particularly a Pakistani character in a soap, they’ve never sounded or behaved like anyone I know. The Masoods are a classic example of unrealistic storylines which have either been lifted straight from a Bollywood serial or just made up by non-Asian people who think that Pakistani families are like this. Coronation Street was just as bad, although the only thing they got right was that the Indian family owned the corner shop. As for Emmerdale, well, I have yet to see any Asian people out in the fields.

Put some more of these in Coronation Street.
Rule #8: Time is irrelevant in soap operas and doesn’t run at the same speed as real life.

Don’t try to make it make sense of it, it’ll only give you a headache. A character may find out she is pregnant in May and then be ready to give birth just two months later, pay no attention to that, it’s just producers speeding up time for us. Similarly, a baby will grow into a toddler and suddenly get replaced into a teenage character in a couple of years (I may be exaggerating here, but still). And if it’s highly convenient that Christmas day in Soap World is on the same day as real life, well that’s just clever timing.

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Rule #9: Every character has potential to have a huge (translation: stupid) secret

This ‘secret’ will cover a storyline that will drag on for weeks until we stop caring and the producers are forced to do a ‘big reveal’ so they can try to save the storyline and make us all interested again. Usually the secret is something like having a criminal past or that they’re really someone’s secret mum, or that they were the one who stole Dot’s sandwich. Admittedly, there have a been a few interesting storylines in the past, like the secret serial killers, the complicated affairs and the random storylines which make no sense but which still are fascinating. At the core of soap operas, the moments we all hang on for are the ‘Big Reveal’ parts, the moment everyone finds out something that we knew all along – even if it’s a boring secret.

Rule #10: I can’t think of any more rules so here’s a picture of a cute turtle.

Look how cute it is.

That’s all I could think of folks, I know some of these are silly and some of you might not agree with these, but a lot of these are silly and down to the fact that I watch a lot of rubbish TV which doesn’t always make sense, so I may have done some over thinking here!

Next up, clichés and rules about Bollywood films (and Indian TV serials) – expect some silliness!

The Top Ten Fashion Faux Pas We All Had from the 90s

I thought I’d do a ‘blast from the past’ post, this week, seeing as it brings back a lot of good memories about being a 90s child, not to mention all those great kids shows and cheap 1p sweets we used to have. Sure there were rubbish stuff too (like , but from the generation that gave us Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Are You Afraid of the Dark and the classic literature (read: terrible) that are Fear Street books, the 90s were really just one big rave (with 90s trance music).19

So its inevitable when looking back with these rose-tinted glasses that we also remember the awful, awful fashion trends we all had. And yes, we all did it. We all wore the sparkly tiaras with leggings and jumper dresses (wait, that sounds like fashion from today. Recycling trends, of course not!) We  had the neon, glow-in-the dark t-shirts , the plastic Walkman headphones with the horrible curtain hair style (be still my beating heart, *swooooon*) with the heft Air Nikes, which boys clomped down the street in, either posing as Brian from the Backstreet Boys or er, Coolio.

And I’ll also confess, between being dressed by my mother and also being ‘adventurous’ with my own fashion choice, I mostly looked like a crazy troll doll. At least I was oblivious to it at the time, and that’s what counts.  So that you can all share the pain too, here’s the Top Ten fashion faux from the 90s, whether you wore them proudly and loudly or hid in your room and dressed up.

1. Floppy hats aka Blossom-style, or what I call lids-for-empty-heads. I hated those hats. See below for example. Mind you, I used to wear woolly hats as a teenager during my goth/grunger phase, so I can’t really talk there. But still, whenever I look back on these big man-hats (and not cool man-hats either, like a decent top hat) I think of the good-girl next door look. This girl had an unhealthy obsession with floral hats, I tell you. I think I vaguely remember one of my sisters trying this look, but it must not have stuck (and I don’t have any photographic evidence to laugh at her every day remind her with.
Ugh. Goddarn cheesy hats.

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2.  Brown lipstick. More specifically, (and even worse) that dark lip-liner outline look. I hated that look. In fact, I still do. I know it was meant to look hot at the time (and thank god I was too young to be bothered about make-up at the time), but it just had the effect of looking like you drew outside the lipline and it was waiting to be filled in, like a colouring book. I have a friend who still wears her make-up like this, and WILL NOT LISTEN TO ME when I tell her to lighten up with the deep clashing lipliner with an opposite colour inside. This trend is one reason why I never wore anything brown for a very, very, long time : (

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3. Light up trainers. Anyone who was anyone, had one. Okay, not anyone, just all the little kids, but it was fun sliding down the slippery shopping mall floors and lighting up. Pity they only came in red lights. Presenting the kids answer for what to use if there is ever a blackout.

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4. Stick on earrings, one for every day of the month! Probably aimed at those of us girlies who were unfortunate enough to have mothers who didn’t think pierced ears were for little girls or something, I can’t really relate to be honest, my mum had my ears pierced a baby so they’d be done and over with, so these were kind of a pointless novelty for me. I do remember having swirly bright pink and green round stickers in different shapes, which we used to stick everywhere on books and on our skin. Although if these stayed on for longer than three minutes without the use of superglue, it was a miracle. Even more fun, my sister and I would experiment with them as bindhis, and then make fun out of each other for looking stupid when they fell off.

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5. Stirrup leggings. Sound like horse clothes, don’t they? Personally, I never wore them because I was never allowed, but remember a lot of girls wearing these in my class, and wondering whether the strappy bits were comfortable (they didn’t look it),  I always worried that you might trip up on your owns straps of the elasticky pants (and maybe yank your pants down in the  proces), although this never happened to anyone I knew – but they didn’t look entirely flattering either.

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6. Fanny packs (we just called them bum bags). Oh my god. I won’t even go into this one.

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7. Platform shoes, for all us short girls. I remember my sister wearing this to high school every day (Kickers shoes, yay!) and then losing about a foot in height when she came home and took them off. Funnily enough, I see a lot of Goths wearing them these days, but I don’t think they mean to be ironic about it. I used to have platform sandals which I wore in the late 90s (I was a bit late, I know) which I wore every day for about a month until I just threw them away because I felt a bit deceptive about relative praising me about how ‘big and tall’ I looked (Asians value weird things, I tell you).

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8. Leotards. Another item which I (thankfully) never wore, but saw plenty of in my youth. I remember seeing these being worn as tops with cut-off jeans or just trousers, but they just looked….like leotards under jeans. Funnily enough, this is one of the typical ‘American’ outfit which I associate with the 90s, although most women who weren’t Hpllywood stars just looked like they’d finished doing gymnastics at P.E. time rather than a male fantasy.

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9. Blue contact lenses. This doesn’t sound as bad, unless you remember that I’m Pakistani and everyone around me is, well, brown. So it’s not a big leap to assume someone is wearing contacts when they turn up one day with dazzling baby blues, (or in the case of one guy we knew, one green contact lense with demo written across it. I kid you not). Granted, this was more of a late-nineties-to-noughties thing, but that doesn’t make it any less tack, it was a terrible look then, and still is now.

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Yes Shahrukh, those must be your real eyes.

10 The epitome of the 90s look: shell suits. I had one, my sisters had one, my brother had one, heck, if we had a family pet, it would have had a mini one sewn by my mum. While they were very, em, comfy, they were also very bright, plasticky-looking and noisy, not to mention making you look like Vicky Pollard in co-ordinated shoes and accessories. I cringe mightily.

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Vogue, baybeh.

That’s not all the embarassing 90s fashion trends, but they’re certainly the worse ones. There’s other ones which were less embarassing, but still evoke silly memories (like huge scrunchies, slap bracelets and fake henna tattoos). And how can I do a 90s post without mentioning the Rachel haircut? We had all sorts of silly accessories, weird hair styles and questionable tastes, but I suppose that was half of the fun.

The 90’s for me was the fun part of growing up, exploring colours, trends and making friends, and it really was one unique decade (although the 80’s kids will say different, but don’t listen to them). While it’s weird looking at the kids of today (the tenties?) zoom around with smart phones, iPads, skinny jeans and straightened hair, the inner 90s child with her crimped hair and bright pink Michael Jackson pants knows what they’re missing out on.

I do have to say though, I never did see anyone wearing MC Hammer pants.

Fairy Tales & Long Tails: The Top 10 Vampires List

I’ve always liked vampires in literature (and films), until Tweelight and the Sparkly RPatz gang kinda ruined it for me. I share the sentiments of this genius lady’s ranting on that point.

Anyhoo, I thought I’d compile a list of Top Ten vampires which are either the most notorious or just super-cool vampyres. They’ve been there through the years, from the stories of Hungarian duchesses drinking blood of young virgins for eternal youth, to films of today, including Johnny Depp’s recent ‘Dark Shadows’ (which I have yet to see!)

10. RPatz aka. Edward CullenTwilight
I didn’t really want to include this vampy, but thought he needed a mention because of how famous he’s become. Set in Ess Meyer’s Twilight trilogy, this vampire is the ultimate romantic gentleman, he’s watches you while you sleep, controls himself from sipping on your sweet, sweet blood and generally promoting all things education, abstinence and not chomping on weak humans. And oh, his tortured soul which sparkles his very innocence and his pure love. Or something.

9. Dr Acula – J.D., Scrubs
Okay, not really a renowned vampire. Or a very successful one. But it still makes me giggle. This undercover vampire who screens as a doctor by day is the brainchild of J.D. from Scrubs – although for some reason, never got made into that biopic he envisioned. I have no idea why. He’s a doctor AND a vampire!

8. LestatThe Vampire Chronicles: Interview with a Vampire, Queen of the Dead
Lestat is the vampire most recognisable as Tom Cruise, the long-haired sissy turned blood-sucker who philosophies, dallies around and turns Brad Pitt into a vampire who disappoints him by bleeding chickens dry. Perhaps not really a hero, Lestat is nevertheless an interesting character who is hard to kill, charismatic and diverse – at one point he even becomes a rock star!

7. Vlad the Drac Vlad the Drac series, Ann Jungman
Just because I remember reading these books this as a teeny tot. Vlad is the ultimate (and tiny) vegetarian vampire who blesses the reluctant Stone family with his presence by choosing to stay with them, and getting up to all sorts of naughtiness. With a diet of household liquids (washing up liquid, shoe polish, soap) and hiding his vegetarianism from his traditional family, Vlad covers his identity with a bottle of ketchup and tall tales of eating the milk-man. Great fun : )

6. Count von Count Sesame Street
The Count who taught us how to count, in a very slow, breathy way and with Romany music. No signs of blood-sucking, hiding from the sun or sleeping in coffins for this vamp, so that us kids were protected from the traumas of vampirism and instead exposed to him counting EVERYTHING. “When I’m alone, I count myself. One count!” Ah ha ha ha…

5. VampiraMaila Nurmi, Plan 9 from Outer Space
This is the only female vampire in the list (probably because vampires are usually seen in the male role who attack the weak helpless women) – yet she is quite an iconic figure. With one seriously thin waistline to rival Dita von Teese, and pale skin to fit the list, Vampira is sexy, disturbing and weird all in one. Although I’m sure that Maila Nurmi probably never even played a vampire, her career was based on the image of one, and it was pretty much spent mocking the gothic roles, and was made famous by director Ed Wood’s flop film ‘Plan 9 from Outer Space‘.

4. BladeWesley Snipes, Marvel Comics
Quite possible the most kick-ass vampire of them all, Blade is the mixed-race vamp who can walk in daylight and still drink blood of us puny humans. He’s like the Chuck Norris of vampires – the hero who becomes a vampire hunter just by beating the living daylights out of them. And he’ll give you a smart-ass comment before he kills you too.

3. AngelDavid Boreanaz, created by Joss Wheden
Our favourite vampire romance, featuring Buffy and her boy Angel, this is a man of few words and fewer facial expressions. While he battles for good and has a human soul, he’ll break the habit every now and then to go evil and get his vamp on. But fear not, he’ll become commercialised and gets his very own corporate business to run happily ever after, with his own team of evil-slayers.

2. DraculaBram Stoker
The original vampire in fiction, this is a timeless character which has been depicted time and time again by many actors, cartoons, puppets and even text-based role-playing games (yes I had one. It was awful). With a name that’s become synonymous with the word ‘vampire’, the original story behind Dracula is a lot less gory and a little more spooky, involving a hero called Jonathan Harker in a chase to defeat the mysterious Dracula who has employed him. Perhaps most famously played by Bela Lugosi, this character really is a bit scary, with a death scare that could only be matched by my mother

1. NosferatuCount Orlock/Count Dracula
Although Dracula was more notorious, ever since Nosferatu scared the living crap out of me as a child, it’s stuck in my mind as the creepiest (and most geriatric) vampire of them all. Technically, Nosferatu is just a rip-off of Dracula, where the directors of the original were unable to get permission to use the names in ‘Dracula’ but as a result, this vampire has become just as famous as the original, and just as creepy. Although I did like the Willem Dafoe version.

There’s always going to be something to add to this list of vampires, whether it the newer interpretations, real-life history cases or just a random squidgy vampire from Spongebob Squarepants. Vampires can be creepy or alternative just good entertainment (think Buffy the movie), they may not be to everyone’s taste but I can guarantee you this – everytime you now type in ‘vampire’ on the internetz, you’ll be sure to find a Twilight sparkle reference 😀

Fairy Tales & Long Tails: The Top 10 Most Famous Literary Villains

I’ve always found villains in books to be fascinating, whether it’s because of their glee when they’re causing havoc, their deeply fascinating intellectual psych or whether it’s because they’re just downright entertainingly evil in a way that the heroes are never allowed to be. Maybe it’s also because the villains symbolise the free, uninhibited sides of ourselves that do all the things we’d want to do if only we didn’t have that darn conscience. Although for those of you listening to that pesky voice telling you to burn stuff…er…that might not apply.

Here’s my list of Top Ten in no particular order:

1. Lord Voldemort (or Tom Marvolo Riddle) – Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling
This is a pretty disturbing character, showing how magic can go to one’s head (and burn off your nose to make you look like a cocaine-user in the process). Lord Voldemort is a sinister wizard, intelligent, manipulative and quite charismatic – a lethal combination which works well to gather followers who are willing to destroy, murder and battle in his name. With people being afraid to say his name out loud, he is almost comparable to a mythical legend whose actions have a long-lasting, although terrible, legacy. The film adaptation did justice to his creepiness, showing a ruin of a man with barely any humanity left and a consuming ambition to win – not to mention a seriously worrying face problem. Dentist, anyone?

2. The Grand WitchThe Witches, Roald Dahl
An old hag severely in need of a face-lift, The Grand Witch is the ultimate scary witch with features that you never even knew about until you read this book. Bald, blue-spitted, wonky teeth, square feet and with about a hundred other maladies which also sound suspiciously like something a lot of old people might suffer from (hate children, always telling children to take a bath), the Grand Witch has ambitions no less than to rid the population of their greatest pests – children. Quentin Blake captured the look well, using sinister looking figures with scary eyes and wonky noses to make us think twice about every other strange woman who offers us sweets in the street. Not that I ever took sweets, Werthers Originals were never my thing, hmmph.

3. Count DraculaDracula, Bram Stoker
The original of the Gothic bloodsuckers, this character is surprisingly understated in the actual book itself, rather than the Hammerstein-style, blood-spatter and gore we often see today. Nor is he like the sexy-pire seen in Angel and Buffy, with their techno-gadgets and sparkly stakes. Dracula is a Transylvanian aristocrat who uses dreams, charisma, manipulation and intelligence to fool the hero, Jonathan Harker, and manages to get very bitey with Mina, his fiance/wife. What follows is a difficult journey to hunt down a cleverly hidden vampire who is difficult to defeat.
Not to be confused with Vlad the Drac, the vegetarian vampire, who incidentally also is a pretty nifty dancer too.

4. Lady MacbethMacbeth, William Shakespeare
Quite possible one of the coolest villains, both in level-headedness and erm…levels of awesomeness, Lady M is a very memorable female anti-hero who isn’t quite villain nor heroine. Unlike her weaker-willed other half, she’s a strong character and willingly pushes her hubby onto meet her higher ambitions (who WOULDN’T want to be Queen, eh?) Although she’s finally reduced to a hand-wringing wreaked, unravelled by her own imagination and visions of blood, she’s proof that behind a successful man is a pushy woman who may not necessarily always be his mother.

5. SauronLord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien
This villain is more than just a big eye in the sky, it’s a FIERY, angry eye in the sky. Unlike the more subtle, politically-charged eye of Orwell’s Big Brother, this eye is constantly searching for the One Ring which will bring him better broadband quality and more Sky channels. Or something like that anyway.
Makes you want to buy some eye drops for the poor, cranky thing.

6. IagoOthello, William Shakespeare
Another of ole Billy Shakespeare’s creations (yes I’m a fan of Mr S, as you can see), this time of a master of the manipulative mind-changing and seed-sowing. And he’s not very nice to his wife either.  Iago is the epitome of the whispering devil on your shoulder, being careful to side-step any actions which could land himself in trouble while always encouraging the worst in others for his own entertainment and jealousy. Racist, jealous and sexist, this is a pretty nasty character, and not someone you’d want to your pet guinea pig to in case he micro-waved it out of pure spite.

7. Professor MoriartySherlock Holmes Casebooks, Arthur Conan Doyle
Moriarty is the ultimate brainy villain, designed to be Sherlock’s perfect arch-enemy to match his wits. Always in the middle of a network of thieves, spies and murderers, Moriarty represents chaos and villainy, always escaping away in the background without being caught in an exasperating slippery way. Mind you, this is from the Victorian period where people were so prude they’d put pieces of fabric around table legs to hide any potential scandal from looking at…well…it’s legs.

8. The White WitchThe Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, C. S. Lewis
With her shares in the Turkish Delight Factory, a questionable hairdo and a face seriously in need of some make-up to liven it up, the White Queen is another female delight who does the usual tyrannical thing of keeping the land in ice and terror. Oh, and turns anyone who defies her into stone. While her social skills need some serious dusting, her levels of scary-ness and witchy-ness are pretty up to scratch. My sister dressed up as the White Witch once, all she did was wear a white dress and put a white scarf on her head and she won the prize for best dressed costume. I went as Alice in Wonderland but just about managed a blue dress and a random apron which nobody understood what I was meant to be. I’m guessing the long black Pocahontas-hair didn’t help much.

9. The JokerBatman, Bob Kane
Although technically a graphic novel villain rather than a literary villain, I still think the Joker deserves his place in this Hall of (obscure) Fame. Having several facets to his personality, and being seen as genius, insane, evil, criminal and heck, even funny (well, he IS the Joker), he is arguably one of the most famous and fascinating villains in graphic novels which has been interpreted and re-interpreted by so many. I love the fact that several actors have made this role their own, each representation unique to the other, and yet still open to others to be re-invented. Not sure I approve of his crazed make-up style, but you gotta love the jokes : )

10. President SnowThe Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
I had to mention this sinister fella, due to all the hype recently from both the books and the film adaptation, and it can be agreed that this blood-breath’d and rose-obssessed President is one you certainly wouldn’t want to cross paths with. Cold, politically inspired and willing to sacrifice anyone to make an example, this is a character who uses brutal, Battle-Royale style games to keep the country in check. While his motives are continually questioned throughout the novel, he is a character that is hard to feel sympathetic for, simply because he’s just a smug git.

There are, of course, hundreds more villains out there that I’ve missed out (otherwise I’d be here all day), but to me, these are definitely the ones which come to mind when I think of ‘villain’ in the traditional sense. Oh and I’d like to make an honoury mention to Dahl’s The Twits simply because they always made me laugh, and they look like half of my family does first thing in the morning :).

Any more literary villains you think there are worth mentioning?