(SPECIAL PICTURE AT THE BOTTOM! I’m sure I just made everyone skip the post.)
Lloyd Tenay is the serial killer that Cassidy frees and has as a partner during Crossing Bedlam. He has a strange origin for both his name and his characterization. We’ll probably have to go piece by piece here.
The name is the easiest since I’ve had this one on paper for a long time. Lloyd Tenay first appeared as a hologram computer system in a superhero story. Then I made him a time traveler in the revamp of that story. After that he became a government liaison, a time altering madman, an alien, and then I dropped him from the superhero stuff entirely because I felt he was a weak point. So I grabbed the name for this new guy and it worked surprisingly well.
Unlike Cassidy, Lloyd was more flushed out before I began writing. He stemmed from the two characters above who are some of my favorites from when I read comics. I loved Deadpool’s humor and almost joyous glee when fighting alongside an almost suicidal level of confidence. Carnage is a villain who had the level of brutality and intimidation that I wanted Lloyd to have. Lloyd’s body type is similar to Cletus Cassidy in that they’re both tall and kind of lanky. Sometimes I hit the mark and other times I didn’t, but it all seemed to work for the character. I wanted him to be a whimsical being of chaos who has now stepped into a world that is as crazy as he is. Almost like he’s come home and wants to make sure people know that a new monster is in town.
One aspect of Lloyd that I attempted was making him a 4th wall breaker. This didn’t work out as planned and turned more into a spouting of real world pop culture references. It did should a part of his psychosis where he openly claims to be a character in a fictional story. This isn’t true 4th wall breaking because he has an explanation for it and he doesn’t talk directly to the audience. He has a ‘logical’ reason for why he thinks he’s a main character in a story. Honestly, this is probably for the best because I learned quickly that the 4th wall is a dangerous thing to play with. Some people want you to go to ‘Family Guy’ level of insanity that destroys the actual story while others don’t want you to tap at the barrier at all. I think Lloyd being a character who believes he’s a character without knowing for a fact that he’s fictional works better.
People might be wondering why a murderer is tagging along with Cassidy instead of killing her. There are a few reasons that came about for this, but only one gets admitted to in the book. Lloyd has no idea what’s going on since he was in jail before the blockade and collapse happened. He sees Cassidy as his guide, which he is sure is a safer term than sidekick. She knows the world and it’s made clear that he’s in the dark, so self-preservation tells him to be nice. Lloyd also isn’t really anti-social and he enjoys having a friend. The fact that she’s as efficient a killer and can be as ruthless as him is an added bonus. A final reason that I came up with on the fly is that Lloyd would be a recognizable name since he was an infamous serial killer. It would be like if Charles Manson was walking around. Cassidy acts as backup and almost a calming factor when people realize who they’re facing. After all, Lloyd might have mellowed if he’s traveling with this young woman and that consideration is enough of a pause for her to get an opening shot off.
Finally, weapons were a big consideration for Lloyd. Cassidy had the guns and explosives, which made me want to have Lloyd go for blades and spontaneous weapons. Being a murderer, I felt it would make sense for him to enjoy a close kill. Unlike Cassidy who kills solely to survive, Lloyd takes joy and excitement from it, which means he wants it to be very hands on. I gave him a lot of knives and an eventual machete, but this posed the problem of how he would work against people with guns. The answer was a paintball gun with specialty ammo like curry powder, black pepper, bleach, and ipecac. Lloyd is remarkably patient, so hiding until he gets that one shot to the face is something he would do. He does leave the gunfights to Cassidy and takes small shots when he can, so he’s fully aware of this limitation. Curious to see how that evolves. It’s all about how he handles the situation, I guess, which means it’s a good thing that Lloyd is incredibly smart. Almost feel sorry for anyone who messes with these two.
Now for the cover art teaser. Keep in mind he has not been put in the cover scene yet: