In the everyhing you had ever created, which character is your favourite?
Not to sound like I’m playing it overly safe and just going with the most predictable answer, but of all my characters to choose as a favorite, I’d go with the one that happens to be the most popular, Floopy the Cashew Loving Alien Hamster.
I know it's probably super secret info (that you probably get asked about all the time), but how are things coming along with the Squee short? Do you think it'll be released by the end of this year? :)
Right. I partnered up with Titmouse Animation a while back to do a short animated SQUEE! movie. Since announcing it, we both got caught up on other projects, one of them also with Titmouse.
Right after we announced the SQUEE! thing, I, along with Titmouse, developed a series idea for a company Titmouse was dealing with, lots of writing, character and story stuff. While that was going on, I was, and still am, developing a pitch and now pilot for another animated thing of my own.
It’s a little quieter now, and though the pilot is still going, I have a little breather from being intensely involved until some of the other team do their part, so there’s a bit more movement on SQUEE! again as of maybe two weeks back.
It will be released the day right after you die. HURRY UP!
Do you prefer drawing on a graphic tablet or on paper? What pens would you recommend using when drawing on paper?
Computer drawing or on paper, they both have their draws for me. Drawing with pencil or pen, sitting there with a piece of paper in front of you, the feel, the smell of erasers or paints, it’s like sitting next to a warm fire versus and not just an electric space heater.
Sitting at the computer, however, I’m even more loose, more relaxed to make mistakes until something just feels alright to me, and I can have all my favorite music going, often on top of a favorite movie while friends chat with me and I am playing Hotline Miami and youtube is also going and probably I am having cybersex with someone and I can make my own brushes.
It really all depends on my mood.
I’ve been using Pentel Graphgear 1000 pencils for awhile now, and Copic Multiliner SP pens, but that doesn’t mean you should run out and get some yourself, You use whatever feels good in your hands, what feels good running along the surface of whatever paper you yourself like using.
I used to go out with this girl, right? She was a lovely thing, and she just happened to have an unusually peach-fuzzy skin texture. You know how some people, they look perfectly smooth and all, but they have this almost invisible peach fuzz that you can detect if you brush your fingers along their faces. I’m crazy sensitive to that kinda thing, so I’d always pick up on that texture, like a needle reading bumps and grooves in a record, and though it wasn’t off-putting, it was a thing that distracted me a bit to the point where I said “YOU’RE FACE IS OFF-PUTTING!” and ran. I kinda handled that whole situation badly.
But that’s how I deal with my work tools as well, some of them are fine, but for very personal reasons, they just don’t feel right in my hands, so my favorite pens might feel like someone’s weird face to you.
Well, if I was lucky enough to even find an art block, I’d sure as hell sell it at one of the trade markets just near the town center. Ever since the world changed, and the great corruption took all goodness from the growing things of the earth, art blocks are pretty much the only things that contain enough magic to reverse the wasting away effect the great corruption has on the land.
These blocks, they’re like pure, concentrated imagination, crystalized in a tangible form, the last remains of those who couldn’t get ideas out of their tortured heads, some say. I myself have only found 2 in my life, resting in the mostly dust reminders that these things used to be people. They might BE magic, but they sure as hell smell human.
So yeah, I sell art blocks. Everyone does when they can, and use the money towards their off-world hopes and dreams. I figure just two more and I’m outta this barren shithole.
Is there a reason why the ending to Squee seemed so rushed? Was there a deadline or something? I don't mean to talk shit, I really enjoyed the book it just felt like it was cut short.
Hey, talk all the shit you like! I have no problem with people having problems with my stuff. Hell, I love seeing people actually THINKING about what they’ve seen and read when looking at my work, mainly because seeing criticism that shows there was some thought put into it is so rare on the internet.
Weird thing about SQUEE! though, is that I never felt the ending was rushed because it didn’t end any kind of narrative structure. The SQUEE! comics were just little snippets of that kid’s life, but nothing that was building toward some bigger purpose other than to show what kind of horrible shit he dealt with. After JTHM I just wanted to fuck around in an even LESS structured way, which is saying a whole lot considering JTHM is a straight narrative in only the most mad sense.
So really, you didn’t criticize anything that actually existed, man. That’s right, I just criticized YOU! Take that, bitch!
I've heard that you were working on David Fincher's Heavy Metal film before it got the plug pulled on it (which is an outrage in my opinion, it sounds like it would have been amazing). Did you contact the producers to get involved on that project or did they contact you? Would you say that certain elements of the magazine/80's film influenced your work in comics at all?
You heard correctly sir and or madam. This was around 2008 and would have been a pretty great thing to see to completion, but yeah, the project never found traction even with some big names behind it. I had written two segments and was set to direct them.
The producers contacted me, the head of the animation studio being a fan of some of my previous work.
No, Heavy Metal wasn’t really a big part of my life growing up, and pretty much existed as just that first movie from the 80’s. The magazine wasn’t something I even picked up until way later in my life.
Long time ago, i may be wrong but i saw a picture that you uploaded of a bookshelf full of dreamcast stuff, what are your favorite games from that console?, (high five for Jet Grind Radio or Space channel 5)
Dreamcast games, ehh? Well, I have pretty fond memories of playing the fuck out of Soul Calibur, Jet Set Radio, Crazy Taxi, Code Veronica, Chu Chu Rocket, Shenmue, MDK 2, Power Stone, Sonic Adventure, Tech Romancer, Marvel vs Capcom 2, Rayman the Great Escape, Toy Commander, Typing of the Dead, Space Channel 5 and… probably a mess more that don’t stick out as much right now.
Hey, I’m sorry about that. Just have stuff on my mind and you just make me so…SO GODDAMNED ANGRY. CHRIST!
But yeah, yeah I’ve thought about it. Who HASN’T thought about it? I love writing and it’s what I do most of the time now, but I’ve never sat down to try and tackle the prose, ya know? Most of my writing’s been for comics and animation work, but there’s still plenty of time to give novels a try because I’m going to live forever.
That science debate with billy and the creationists made me think. What if some people came to you and told you you're guilty of murdering people in your comics. And you say "They are not real." and they say "Prove it."
Yes I have. It’s a great game, even if it’s just fucking infuriating.
Ya know, I actually visited Edmund McMillen recently, and he was showing me around his house, and at one point he was there PLAYING The Binding of Isaac, an updated version of it he was working on, and as I watched him play, I thought of all the times the game had fucked me over unfairly, all those times I found myself red with anger at dying over some little detail I didn’t watch, and I thought…
"I could kill him right now."
I mean, there he was, his back to me, explaining some bit of behavior in the game, and I realized I could just break his neck as payback for all those times I failed to beat the game, which was like…every time I played it.
I only thought it, though, because he’s a nice, talented guy, and I like games, so killing him would just make for less games and that’s not what I want at all.
When you see a pack of 12-year-Olds walking out of Hot Topic covered with Invader Zim merch, do you feel all warm inside, or do you want to burn them with a flamethrower and nuke the entire site from orbit? (hey, it's the only way to be sure)
Excellent ALIENS reference!
As for the matter of how I feel seeing the what you described, I don’t think anyone with a decent sense of perspective gives a shit what some kids are wearing. There’s a particular time in your life, usually your teens, where certain people just have to act angry about the stupidest, most weightless things, so that’s understandable and not exactly shocking to see people going on about things that I just shrug at, but you kinda hope that, after a bit of growing up, they move on and use their processing power on bigger deals, like whether Coke commercials are the gateway to white genocide.
Also, I can’t recall ever being near a Hot Topic and seeing kids walk out wearing my stuff for me to react to because A. I don’t hang out near Hot Topics, and B. Kids are invisible to me.
I think a good way to approach questions like these is, before asking, to ask yourself “Is Jhonen a grown man?” If you answer “YES.” then there’s a good chance stuff like kids wearing ZIM shirts probably doesn’t register too high on my list of things I want to change about the universe.
You designed the personalities and psychologies of the characters of Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja, or just their physical appearance?
I pretty much just designed their appearance, having had not a whole lot but relationships to one another to go by and a few general physical characteristics given to me.
So yeah, my part was strictly design early on, so their distinct personalities and their movement, all of that, were pretty much mysteries to me until the show came out. I’ve seen an episode or two and it seems like a cute show, but it’s definitely of another universe than something that would have come out of my head, and that’s because it’s from someone else’s head!
So far yours is my favorite episode of Bravest Warriors, thank you for the laughs. Also when do we get a Happy Noodle Boy web series?
Thanks, man, glad you liked it.
A Happy Noodle Boy web series wouldn’t really be all that interesting for me to do, what with the fact that all he does is just scream nonsense as a point of character. It’s the kind of thing that wouldn’t be sustainable, and besides, almost every comic and web series is stick figures now, so it’s already pretty crowded scene.
I’m taking it you didn’t see the Happy Noodle Boy feature film that was in theaters in 2010 (now currently on Netflix). In retrospect, the thing wasn’t entirely successful on several fronts, but it’s a noble effort and hey, when Tyler Perry comes to you and says he wants to make a movie out of your work, you don’t say no, you say “YES, TYLER PERRY!”.
People had a pretty mixed response to Perry as Alex Cross in that one movie, but I can’t think of a single person who took issue with him as Happy Noodle Boy, and his dedication to the role (losing all but one pound) was fucking incredible.
Still, the movie only made thirty dollars worldwide, and that pretty much kills any future projects outside of comics. Thanks though!
do you have any words of advice or wisdom to a struggling new artist trying to get out there
The way I got out was by waiting until the guard got a bit buddy buddy with me, the result of years and years of letting him think I had pretty much resigned myself to my fate until he assumed this self satisfying benevolence thing, and then cutting his throat when he was leaning against my cage while telling me the story about his ex-wife sucking his dick at the Arby’s for the millionth time.
You might have a more convenient weapon handy, but in my case I had plenty of time to train my abdominal muscles to work on my insides to where I was able to break off and sharpen one of my own ribs, then pushing it up and out through my mouth at the perfect moment to strike. Not all of you will have that kind of time to prepare, so be ready to improvise.
That’s how I got out there, and I wish the rest of you luck with your dreams.
Have you ever looked back at your old works and wanted to stab your past self woth a pitchfork?
I sometimes wish I could go back in time and smack myself, sure, but only because I love the idea of time-smacking. However, I usually enjoy seeing what’s changed in my work and how. It would have been horrible to have doubted myself back when I was making that old stuff as part of what makes working fun is actually HAVING fun.
I knew plenty of people who were so worried that what they were making wasn’t good enough that they tripped themselves up or just didn’t push on through to get it done at all.
I don’t look at any of that old stuff of mine as perfect in any way but at the same time it is exactly what it was supposed to be for the person making it, a person who was a giggling idiot who didn’t know enough to give a shit whether what they were doing was perfect or not.
Do you drink the blood of babies or steal the life force of child stars to have such a young complexion? You just look like you haven't aged since 2002.
One of the things I heard the most when I first started attending comic conventions way back when, back when JTHM was first published, was usually some variant of “Oh! I expected you to be a lot older!”
It’s funny, now I’ve pretty much gotten myself to the age that I think most people expected me to ben but the new thing I hear the most is “Oh, but you LOOK so young!”
I usually laugh, crack a joke about how I will not age so long as people keep asking me to bring ZIM back, and that usually gets a laugh out of them.
The laughter is the key.
It’s when they’re laughing and off guard that I clamp my lips to their forehead and suck their life energy from their head. They shake it off, too stunned and weak to understand what just happened.
Looks like my QUESTION SLEEP blog decided to re-promote a bunch of old posts from the site, cluttering up Facebook, tumblr and twitter with stuff that happened earlier the previous year. No, I will NOT be attending conventions in the past and whatever other things you may have thought based on some of the outdated announcements that were posted here.
This is from a conversation I had after seeing Thor 2 last night. Didn’t hate it, but wasn’t so big on it, and was particularly underwhelmed with a lot of the writing, but this lil’ bit of our conversation pertains to a favorite subject of mine: shitty villain treatment. Christopher Eccleston’s presence devolved to him glaring and saying the occasional “rarrgh”. Not cool, man.
3:08:20 AM Vasquez Jhonen: I would never hire Christopher Eccleston just to cake him in goo and have him not say ANYTHING cool.
3:08:24 AM Vasquez Jhonen: That’s bullshit writing.
3:08:29 AM Vasquez Jhonen: You give people things to actually DO.
3:08:31 AM Vasquez Jhonen: ACT!
3:09:20 AM Vasquez Jhonen: He said more memorable stuff in two minutes of doctor who than the entirety of that movie.
3:09:25 AM Vasquez Jhonen: and it’s not just because he’s not the focus.
3:09:28 AM Vasquez Jhonen: He’s your villain!
3:09:34 AM Vasquez Jhonen: He’s why the movie is happening at all!
3:09:45 AM Vasquez Jhonen: Yes he wants revenge, but I’m not cool with that being enough!
3:09:47 AM Vasquez Jhonen: RARARRARARAGH!
3:09:54 AM Vasquez Jhonen: I’m okay now.
3:10:51 AM Tyler Hutchison: I was ok with him just being a big bad
3:11:22 AM Vasquez Jhonen: he’s too cool to just be okay.
3:11:46 AM Vasquez Jhonen: play off more than just bad. Play off tragedy!
3:11:55 AM Vasquez Jhonen: Everywhere he looks is a place that used to be his!
3:12:24 AM Vasquez Jhonen: Have him look at a toilet and say “That was where my throne was…”
3:12:40 AM Vasquez Jhonen: tears in his eyes…and then a janitor shoves him aside and poops in it.
3:12:50 AM Vasquez Jhonen: while dramatic music blares.
3:13:34 AM Vasquez Jhonen: maybe he yells over the music at the janitor and says “WHERE YOU ARE POOPING IS WHERE MY THRONE USED TO-“
3:13:39 AM Tyler Hutchison: :(
3:13:44 AM Vasquez Jhonen: and the janitor just farts so loud that it just shuts EVERYTHING up.
3:13:57 AM Vasquez Jhonen: And it just holds on Malekith’s stunned face for like a minute, a full, silent minute.
3:14:15 AM Tyler Hutchison: and then he gags a little
3:14:19 AM Vasquez Jhonen: yeah!
3:14:20 AM Tyler Hutchison: and runs out of the room
3:14:24 AM Vasquez Jhonen: It just cuts right as he’s gagging.
3:14:27 AM Vasquez Jhonen: oh man..
3:14:38 AM Vasquez Jhonen: see. that enough is like WELL YEAH, of course he’d want revenge.