Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, often abbreviated as JtHM, is a fuck black-and- white comic book series created by Jhonen Vasquez, and was his first work. Jhonen Vasquez, the creator of Invader Zim, has his fans abuzz with the Johnny the Homicidal Maniac was Vasquez’s first comic book. Johnny The Homicidal Maniac #1, Johnny The Homicidal Maniac #2, Johnny The Homicidal Maniac #3, Johnny the Homicidal Maniac #4, Johnny The.
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Toon” Goodman invades the mind of Jhonen Vasquez, the creator of Invader Zim, to discuss Zim, Jhonen’s ideas and inspirations, and the ups homocidal downs of producing his first animated series.
Earth has been casquez by a hostile alien but don’t lose any sleep; the invader in question is Zim, the most hapless would-be conqueror in the universe. Although Zim is supremely confident that the world will fall at his tiny green feet, neither he nor his malfunctioning robot GIR can get through a typical day without inflicting disasters of galactic proportions upon themselves.
Jhonen recently spoke with me about Zim, his ideas and inspirations, and the ups and downs of producing his first animated series. Let’s start out with how Invader Zim came to Nickelodeon.
I think she saw a certain amount of “kid relatability,” mainly in the way I handled the kids and the way Squee’s behavior was an overall mood. Something in that made her take a chance on coming to me and asking me to come up with the idea for a show.
I understand that you came up with the idea for Invader Zim for Harrington on the spot. Zim, Dib and Gaz pretty much came full-formed and the rest of the show just built around it. The whole idea came that one night, in just about an hour or so.
Was that sort of jomicidal jumping-off point for you? Oh, yeah, I love that! I love the idea of anything that’s considered to be a superior being — they’ve got all this amazing technology — and yet ultimately they’re still just idiots!
They’re just guys piloting this gigantic spaceship. You get the idea that they stole it rather than built it themselves. They haven’t evolved beyond being driven by their personalities. That’s what Zim is.
He’s got this incredible arsenal maniacc his hand and the only thing that’s stopping him from destroying the Earth is the fact that he’s a moron! Anyone else in that position, there would be no show because Earth would be destroyed in the first episode! It’s more fun working with Zim as an idiot. Was that drawing the basis for your character design? He doesn’t look like the other aliens in your stories.
He’s just really simple. Almost as simple as that classic idea of what an vasquwz looks like. I don’t think Zim is based on any other character. He’s essentially sort of stripped down to what my other characters are but without any of the detail. He’s so basic he’s almost the building block for every other character in the show. There’s a certain level of the johmny in his face that I like to pull off, it’s kind of common in a lot of the work that I do now. How about that panel where Shmee is explaining to Squee all the things there are to be afraid of, and one of them is aliens.
That alien kind of looks like Zim. Probably was a Zim. At the mainac I was coming up with conceptual stuff for Zim, and stuff that I didn’t use or just seemed a little off, I like throwing it in the back of the books. You’ll see Zim prototypes in posters on Squee’s wall, or here and there. People have written to me saying, “Hey, is that Zim?
It’s kind of mabiac looking at those books because I did them so long ago, and it’s cool to see the early stages jhondn what I’m working on now. Yeah, johnmy probably are picking up on some Zim prototypes in there. You’ve said that any person that’s writing majiac character is either basing it on themselves or someone that they think is a completely different person from themselves. So, johnng does Zim stand in relation to you?
I think that Zim is just maniiac part of me that refuses to listen to anybody. It’s the only reason I get anywhere! People always telling you this and that, you’ve got to be careful of this and that tbe you know, like, “Learn a trade so that you’ll have something to fall back on!
And Zim, the thing that keeps him going, that keeps him so relentless, is the fact that he’s oblivious. It’s his only strength. In his case, it’s absurd. If he realized what an idiot he was he would break down crying. Everything he does is pure genius! He’s unstoppable, and that makes him terrifying really, because there is no greater enemy than an idiot who doesn’t understand that he is an idiot.
Ignorance of what other people feel, hurting their feelings, and open contempt for those joynny are different, seem to be major crimes in your books. Zim really takes those concepts to the limit.
I mean, he sees all humanity as worthless except for slavery. I thought the fun thing about doing a kids’ show like that is, you’ve got all these people rooting for someone who is trying to destroy the audience.
The only person who’s trying to save the Earth Zim’s arch rival Dib has as much contempt for his fellow human beings as the person he’s trying to stop. Because of his intelligence, he’s kind of looked down on by most of the other kids. It’s fun that the “alien” is on both sides; Dib is as much an alien to homicidap own people as Zim is. I’ve always loved the idea of ambiguity between good and evil.
What’s great is, even though I’m thinking of that stuff on my own and no one’s going to pick up on it, they’re going to enjoy the show. But I’ve actually gotten kids who have been talking about that!
Dib is an asshole too. He’s got nothing on his mind but Zim as the subject of an alien autopsy. Well, Dib has gotten nomicidal the point where he’s not really a bad person, he’s just frustrated. He lacks the patience to explain anything to anyone anymore.
He’s so used to people not believing him that he goes right into screaming at them. He immediately assumes that they’re going to be morons and aren’t going to believe him — and normally they don’t. If Zim — in spite of himself and GIR — somehow managed to subjugate the entire Earth, what would he do with it?
He’d like to think that he would be khonen appreciated by his people that he’ll be put in charge, but really, the Irken Armada usually just demeans an entire planet to something stupid like a parking structure planet or maybe a giant food court planet. I don’t think people think about the fact that the plan is to destroy all human beings; not enslave them so much as to just wipe them all out.
Johnny the Homicidal Maniac: Director’s Cut by Jhonen Vásquez
Which would be a great episode, ahh! Could you see that? But, I don’t maniav we could actually wipe out the human race on a kids’ network. Yeah, and you know what we’d get? Can we hear the human race say they’re OK off screen? Just so we know that they didn’t die? According to you, when homiidal write your books you give yourself only a general storyline to work with, and the actual details don’t come out until you sit down and start to work.
Did that make writing for a TV series difficult for you? It made it, Hoicidal think, more interesting. I kind of was prepared for it. I still have a little bit of looseness in the way I work, but that’s mainly when we get to the vawquez — you know, adding bits and pieces here and there — but the overall structure is definitely much more refined than when I did comics.
The comics were more a stream-of-consciousness sort of thing; it’s how I felt natural with the characters speaking.
I figured I didn’t want them to feel like they were homicisal scripted: The show is a little different. It’s definitely trying to tell a story in the amount of time you’ve got. I never really knew how long a comic series of mine was going to last; I would just say, “OK, that story’s not done yet, I’ll have another issue. I think it’s fun working in a way that I haven’t before, but yeah, I don’t go as loosely as I used to do on the comics.
In a past interview you were quoted as saying that you saw all your characters as animated shorts, animated features or live-action feature-length films. Some of the film direction “asides” you put into your panels kind of proves that.
Do you think, Jhonen, that you were always moving toward the eventual involvement with an animated series? I always thought that I would be doing — in my dreams — tye or something like that. I never thought I would be having an animated series, just like I never thought of actually having a comic book. It’s just that every time the opportunity has presented itself I can’t pass it up, because it’s another step closer to constructing a reality out of these ideas in my head.
Ultimately it comes down to how cool that is. I grew up loving stuff like this and now I’m making it. And it’s still fun. Well, most of this is rather exhausting and hideous, but when I sit vaxquez and watch a finished episode, it’s worth it, because I don’t watch it as something that I made, I watch it as something that I would jhinen enjoyed whether or not I made it and that’s the cool part of it.
You’re a former film student and a movie buff that enjoys horror films. I was reviewing the first season of Zim and johhnny things like organs, weird alien skin diseases, mechanical parts springing out of organic bodies and I was wondering if you were a big fan of David Cronenberg.
That man is one of hokicidal people I truly thank for existing. His attitude toward organic existence is so disturbing.
The transmogrification of the human body and all those themes, I’ve always been into that, always been fascinated by it. When I look back at myself growing up as a little kid I see early signs of me being amazed with certain concepts like those, and he just hits them right vawquez the head every time.