Literature / Mr Blank
"Every conspiracy needs a guy like me.
Problem is, they all have one. Me."
— Mr Blank
is a comic neo-noir novel about a guy who does bizarre errands for every conspiracy, secret society, and mystery cult in existence. On one of his errands, someone tries to kill him. Everyone has a motive and everyone is a suspect. From Satanists to Little Green Men, from the Russian Mob to the CIA, he's betraying everyone. In the funniest way possible. Followed by a sequel
Mr Blank provides examples of:
- Alien Abduction: Mina is abducted, forcing a daring (and somewhat insane) rescue plan.
- Aliens Steal Cattle: When going to the HQ of the Little Green Men, there is a herd of cattle on the premises. It doesn't really seem to serve much of a purpose.
- Bald of Evil: The Satanists deliberately invoke this trope, as they want to look as evil as possible. Vassily is also bald and evil, but on him it merely completes the image of him as a landbound cetacean in a shiny suit.
- Bi the Way: Eric Caldwell, though it's unclear as to whether or not he's playing a role.
- Big Beautiful Woman: Mina Duplessis is a plus-sized model and described rather generously in several places.
- Chupacabra: Used by the Little Green Men (they're actually Greys, but the name stuck) as security, the chupacabras are vicious little blood-drinking monsters whose hisses make people drowsy. They're easily confused but nasty in groups.
- Conspiracy Kitchen Sink: The main character works for every last shadow group there is. Pretty much a textbook case of this trope.
- Eldritch Abomination: Shub-Internet is the personification of the actual internet... and it's become a Cthulhoid deity that eats porn.
- Fantastic Noir: Conspiracies, cryptids, aliens, and a few garden-variety unkillable mobsters.
- Fat Bastard: Vassily the Whale, the local head of the Russian Mob, is described as looking exactly like a beluga whale someone put in a suit and taught to talk like a Bond villain.
- Femme Fatale: Subverted with Mina (and lampshaded by Our Hero).
- First-Person Smartass: Our Hero never met a quip, insult, or pop culture riff he didn't like.
- Flying Saucer: A UFO shows up to abduct Mina after the parking garage shootout.
- Fun with Acronyms: The feminist ur-conspiracy V.E.N.U.S. Our Hero explains that he's too much of a gentleman to reveal what that actually stands for.
- Genre-Busting: It's a comedy noir with elements of a conspiracy thriller, a little horror, some science fiction, and urban fantasy thrown in.
- Groin Attack: Our Hero momentarily disables a Manchurian Candidate assassin with a kick to the groin. He calls it "crotch soccer."
- Heroes Want Redheads: Mina's a redhead. Also subverted with Paul Tallutto, leader of the First Reformed Church of the Antichrist. He likes redheads too.
- Hollywood Satanism: Lampshaded with the First Reformed Church of the Antichrist who are not only evil, they'd proudly put it on business cards if they thought it would help them.
- I Have Many Names: Our hero has tons and tons of names, and they're all phony.
- Knuckle Tattoos: The two mechanics with the Flock of Seagulls hairdos outside the Brotherhood of Sisterhood both have tattoos across their knuckles. One reads "GOOD FISH." The other is never revealed.
- Los Angeles: L.A. is the Casablanca for the Information Underground, where representatives of every conspiracy, cult, and secret society on the planet. The combination of mild weather, nice scenery, and attractive people with low self-esteem is a siren song to the secret masters of earth.
- The Mafiya: The Kosher Nostra, and their monstrous leader, Vassily the Whale, definitely qualify.
- Manly Gay: Burt Shaw is an old-school spy (who resembles Statler from The Muppets). He's also gay.
- Manchurian Agent: They're actually referred to as Manchurian Candidates by the hero (and he's a fan of the original — not so much the remake). This includes Raul Diaz as well as any number of others.
- The Men in Black: Victor Charlie definitely qualifies.
- Naked on Arrival: Gehenna Tattoo is introduced without a stitch on. Of course, it is the middle of an orgy, so the mode of dress was appropriate.
- The Napoleon: Paul Tallutto, of the First Reformed Church of the Antichrist, is a primordial dwarf and is pretty aggressive with everyone he meets. Or at least their knees.
- No Name Given: Our Hero never reveals his real name.
- Not with the Safety on, You Won't: Subverted for comedy. A mook attempts to invoke it on our hero, who sneers "You really think I'm going to fall for that?" And then the gun goes off.
- Once Killed a Man with a Noodle Implement: Tariq Suliman, notorious assassin, once killed a guy by stabbing him to death with a pillow.
- Parking Garage: A large shootout takes place in a parking garage, capped off by an alien abduction.
- Psycho for Hire: Tariq Suliman, the capital A-Assassin works for hire, and he's not really stable.
- Samus Is a Girl: Brady turns out to be Ingrid Brady. The mustache is a fake.
- Stalker with a Crush: One of the creepier yet mostly harmless examples of the trope, with the clone family Brians.
- Sweet Polly Oliver: Brady dresses like a man.
- Tap on the Head: The hero is knocked unconscious for several hours, and he suffers no ill effects from it.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Eric Caldwell was shot twice in the chest with a .12 gauge, thrown through a plate glass window, run over and set on fire. The police were calling it suicide.
- Waif-Fu: Oana Constantinescu, the bronze medalist in the women's gymnastics all-around in Sydney, is a practitioner. She's not really described as slender — she's a solid block of muscle — but it's repeatedly stated that she's roughly hobbit-sized.
- Waking Up Elsewhere: Our hero is knocked unconscious (via the aforementioned Tap on the Head suffered in a Parking Garage) and wakes up tied to a chair in a bunker in San Pedro, where he's interrogated by a makeshift collection of weirdos about what's really going on.