Nita Dodd: Mammon and Max (and Button)

Mammon and Max are fun characters for me because they’re amoral (not because they’re demons, but because they’re just made that way) and not particularly venal.  Mammon hangs out with those who should be stepped on like bugs, but he really only needs slapped down every now and then, or at least have somebody pull him to one side and say, “If you do that, that would be stupid,” to be a fun if occasionally treacherous person to know.

 Enter Max.

Max’s job is to keep Mammon from going off a cliff in his pursuit of life, gold, and the pursuit of ecstasy, and he does that pretty well.  Max as a character is a lot of fun to write: He’s pretty much the dark side of Rab.  He’ll haul Mammon out of trouble on a regular basis, but he’ll also keep an eye open for chances to get ahead.  When opportunity knocks, Max opens the door, picks its pocket and then cons it until it gives up more than it wants.   Above all, Max likes playing the game.

Mammon isn’t going to change much during the course of the book, but Max is going to take some hits and at least one bullet (don’t tell Button she looks like a dandelion), and he’s going to end up part of a team that includes two supernatural humans, a relentlessy cheery demon, and the latest in a long line of demon slayers.  Think of it as a growth experience, Max.

So this is how I see Mammon and Max:

And then there’s Max and Button:

So much fun.

27 thoughts on “Nita Dodd: Mammon and Max (and Button)

  1. Melissa Rauch is perfect for Button!

    In The Demon Always Wins, Mammon is the head of Accounting and has been known to crawl into a sewer to retrieve a penny that fell through the grate. He is not on board with giving Belial unlimited funds to pursue his mission.

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  2. That is perfect and I can just hear it, “Max muh boyyy.” Still hearing it in Jeff Bridges’ Obediah Stane voice. Guess my brain doesn’t want to let it go.

    See an opportunity an con it. I’ve used the Dempsey short con a time or two. Hope you have more tutorials. 😀

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      1. I love ’em! Did you notice that the heart breaks after you like something? I’m not sure if I’m ready to face the deeper truth that that implies (-:. I’m glad they are back!

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    1. Ray Wise should be in all my books. Along with Mark Shepherd and Enrico Colantoni and Margo Martindale.

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      1. YES!! I would read the hell out of that!

        Ray Wise is perfect for that slick guy who charms you, even as you realize he’s conning you.

        Enrico Colantoni as Max-appears mild-mannered, but is probably the smartest guy in the room. And his morals are a little … sketchy.

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        1. Max is Jason Bateman.
          Enrico Colantoni is the Mayor.
          These are all placeholders that fall away once the book really gets going. Then they’re just the characters. Sometimes I can even remember who the placeholders are and I have to look at the collages to remember. Of course, I’m old.

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      2. Ooooh, Mark Shepard. Sterling remains one of my favorite antagonists of all time. It’s always amused me that Shepard has the British accent in every American show I’ve seen him in, but when he went to Doctor Who he played an American. Now I want to watch something with Mark Shepard in it. Perhaps that Burn Notice episode…

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        1. Oh, the “Bad Breaks” episode where they were trapped in the bank while Sheppard was holding it up? That was terrific.
          Ray Wise was the asshat to framed the nice guy in the pilot of Burn Notice. So, so good.

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          1. Yes, that’s the one. Still my favorite episode of Burn Notice. And it ties with Leverage’s “Bank Shot Job” for my favorite trapped-in-a-bank-during-a-robbery episode. I’ve seen four of those; I suspect there are more. Apparently it’s a popular premise.

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      3. I love how this pic of Ray Wise has that overly polished look. The bleached, blue-white, almost false looking, teeth of a vain con man. Immaculately groomed, coiffed, bronzed, plucked, and beautifully suited. Just that little bit too much i.e. when men with rampant eyebrows overdo the trimming and plucking.

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    2. And that particular photo is just perfect, with the grin and the salesman pose. I’m always happy when Ray Wise appears on my TV screen. He played this smarmy lawyer on The Closer, and he was just fantastic. I also enjoyed him as that priest on Psych. I suspect Mammon will always look like Ray Wise for me now, and I’m fine with that.

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        1. Peter Falk was outstanding in everything he ever did.
          Did you see him in Pocketful of Miracles? “This looks like inside of a goat’s stomach.” One of those line deliveries I will never forget.

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  3. I like a good amoral character! (Is that a contradiction in terms? No, I don’t think so. There are amoral characters who wind up doing good, and ones who really are hard to sympathize with.)

    Anyway, this reminds of some article I read in the Atlantic ages ago about a researcher/journalist who discovered through a brain scan that he was a nonviolent psychopath. Here’s one interview with the guy: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/01/life-as-a-nonviolent-psychopath/282271/ By all accounts, he’s a reasonable member of society — he just pulls crazy stuff on friends and loved ones in order to see what happens. In general, it seems he can choose the “right” thing, but maybe his reasoning is a little bit different than someone who isn’t a psychopath. Very, very interesting sort of character.

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