JHONEN VASQUEZ

MASTER OF CENTRIFUGAL BUMBLEPUPPY

Jhonen, I just want to thank you for making Devi. I've been looking for a female character that I relate to since I was little. I always liked characters like Buttercup or Spinelli, but they never quite clicked with me. Devi is just perfect. She seems like a person rather than someone going "What do women like/do?" Anyone else would have had Tenna try to get Devi to go out by taking her shopping or something. You didn't. So thanks.

Asked by
hyenafan

Hey, thanks. Not sure she started out as such a great idea, though. Hell, initially the gag was that she was going to be this character, kind of like Squee, who was just a focus for terrible life-events, only specifically dating events.

Seriously, a female character defined by her disastrous interactions with guys, ya know? Now, it’s not like people like that don’t exist but I didn’t exactly want to be doing that kinda thing by the time I Feel Sick Came around. There’s still a bit of that bad date stuff in there, but I hope that it doesn’t color the character as being one note in that way. Ultimately I Feel Sick was just me having fun with a far more confident, more badass kind of fuckup than Johnny’s kind of fuckup. 

Johnny was more of a joke on people who think they know everything and deal with being treated like shit by only becoming more shit, and even worse, god-like, untouchable, pretentious shit. Devi was just a bit more grounded while hopefully not being boring. I think it’s easy to WANT to be Johnny, superficially anyhow, but Devi was probably the more realistic option, or at least slightly less absurd.

I always like when people say I Feel Sick is their favorite work of mine, and it’s always a little funny when they tell me I wrote a cool female character. It’s funny because I sure as hell wasn’t even trying to convincingly portray any kind of female experience so much as just write a character I’d like. She’s just another way of telling a condensed version of a situation Johnny probably went through, with a slightly happier outcome. 

I have a very good question (or at least I think it's good. The goodness of this ask is purely subjective). Do you read fanfiction? If so, what's the fanfic that left you thinking "Good god, these people must be crazy"

Asked by
kimkagamis

No, I don’t read any fan fiction, not in any way where I pursue it anyhow, but now and then a friend will send me something particularly awful and I’ll read a paragraph or so and be done with it. I think it’s great for people to be writing in general, and in some ideal scenario it’s actually some kid doing the writing and then moving on to their own thing at some point. Inspiration, no matter what kind of hideous product it inspires, is still a good way to start on your own shit down the road. 

As for people doing fan fiction of my stuff, yeah, I’m aware of it being out there but I just don’t really care past what I’ve already said. I’ll have people, usually girls from their mid teens to early 20’s, come up to me at conventions and tell me about some ZIM fanfic they wrote or read, and they’ll tell me to my face that it would make me furious or disgusted. There’s like this standard face and attitude these people have when conveying this stuff to me, like they’re barely able to contain their glee at being the person two bring this mind-blowing craziness to my attention and I’m not sure I’m ever really capable of impressing upon them how much I don’t give a shit. 

I think it’s because I look and often act a lot younger than my age that they think I exist in the same realm of interests as they do. like they think I’m trolling fan fiction pages and gaining rage power by checking out all these things people are writing up as they say stuff like “Jhonen would KILL me if he knew I was writing thisssAAHAHAHHAHAH!!!” They’ll confuse me shitting my pants with shock and awe instead of what it really is, just me not knowing how to use the toilet.

I just nod and, sincerely tell them it’s cool they’re writing at all, which it is, but if I’m gonna read anything myself it’s not fan fiction. Not enough time in the world to add that to my list of things to consume.

Hey, you may or may not have been asked this question before, and you may or may not know the answer but I believe it's worth it to ask. What's your status on attending Invadercon III? My sister and I live very far away from where it's being held but we're willing to cross oceans in our birthday suits to get there. Well, that's if you're going of course. You should go, it's the last Invadercon, a convention all about you! (This is the Devi from those B&W cosplays a while back btw THANK YOU SO M)

Asked by
cosyoctopus

No I don’t think I’m going to this new Invader Con, but don’t let that stop ya! I wouldn’t say it’s a convention dedicated to me so much as a convention for some of the fans, and that’s cool, yeah? The last thing those people need is me there mucking up their enjoyment. 

Dude! DUDE! DUUDE! Kaos from Skylanders is Zim! Like... not just the same Voice Actor (which it is) but the same voice/tone/phrasing/love of Doom... so what I'm trying to say is that you don't need to make any more Zim because someone else already has. You're FREE!

Asked by
sinbadev

Yeah, I heard about that, though I haven’t actually heard it with my ears. It was funny, before ZIM I had known Richard’s voice from Power Rangers and Angry Beavers, but after getting him in to do ZIM’s voice, I’d come across things that I didn’t even know he was in and hear him doing a sorta ZIM thing. It was odd to realize people were probably directing him to do that ZIM-style thing even though ZIM is such a specific character. 

One of the things I would do with Richard in the recording sessions was waver my hand up or down like I was playing a theremin, and Richard would adjust the quaver of his overly dramatic line read. There was no “just do ZIM” back in those days! We had to MAKE him, dammit! People these days have it easy! Grumble.