JHONEN VASQUEZ

MASTER OF CENTRIFUGAL BUMBLEPUPPY

This one's been bugging me for a while. Considering the...unique content of your comics, how many angry letters do you get from self-important mothers saying you've "ruined [their] child's innocence!" or "twisted [their] mind with your sick artwork!"?

Asked by
izkitty

To date, since starting out with comics, through my time on ZIM and since, I can’t recall any kind of communication like what you’re describing. As parents who know about my work go, most, thankfully, have better things to do and far greater things to worry about than to write angry letters at me.

The only “parent letters” I’ve ever received on the subject of their children have been overwhelmingly positive, whether it’s about how some of my work inspired their kid to start making comics or made them want to get into animation, or some such thing. I’ve gotten mail from teachers describing students who opened up a bit because they were into my comics and, through comics, they were able to deal with some issue or another.

Now and then I hear about parents who were themselves fans of my comics from back when I was first doing them, and, despite being fans of my comics, managed to get someone to sexilize with them and they procreated! These parents tell me about how they sit with their kids to watch ZIM, they’ll tell me what parts the kids laugh at and it’s pretty awesome. 

Was any of this my intent when I was making all that stuff? Not at all. Hell, I was too busy giggling while writing something or drawing, the exact same way I do now when I’m working on something, to even think of a surreal future where people are digging my work with their kids, or, in some cases, waiting until the kid is old enough to show them the more intense stuff. Either way, it’s cool to hear about.

I have a great curiosity about the JtHM animated project! The art style on the comics transformed subtly from beginning to end (as generally happens with comics), and then made a big jump of change in style in I Feel Sick. Visually, are you wanting to keep with the original style, or more like in IFS, or something even more different and new? (No matter what you go with, I'm sure it'll be the bees knees. ROCK ON)

Asked by
thetomface

Sort of like the person who asked before about the content, the visual’s would very likely be something different, still distinctly Johnny and world, but still different.

The funny thing about going dark for a while, having made my living on a fishing trawler since stopping work on ZIM, is that it kind of locks your audience down, freezes them in time in a way. People much younger than me find the books and think that, somehow, I am that same person who made those books or that cartoon from over a decade ago now, and in the case of the comics, DECADES. People much older also find those same books and THEY also think much the same thing because there’s nothing past a certain point to compare to, visually or on the narrative front.

That’s the trouble with not continuing to provide a frame of reference throughout time for people to update their idea of you or what you do. It’s like getting up every morning and finding the paperboy has been delivering you the same newspaper from 1996 because he thinks that’s where you’re from and can never escape.

Visually, it would HAVE to be different because those old comics are fun for what they are, but they were never intended to move, and they were especially not written with actual human beings speaking those lines in mind.

19 year old me from back then was just having fun, but he was also something of an idiot. 

I hope I’m a far more capable, proficient idiot now, and I’d want the animation to reflect that. So it’d likely not look like the comics and it wouldn’t just look like JTHM in the ZIM universe. 

Let’s just wait and see! 

ok ok ok I'll ask the question everyone wants to know but everyone is afraid to ask...when are we gunna see the live action movie based on your hit series "Bread" everyone knows you've secretly been working on?And is it true Bette Midler will be playing the guy who eats bread with a spoon?

Asked by
captainjohnnysausage

Bread’s just too expensive a film to even imagine. Russell Crowe’s fee alone would break the budget, and without him in the title role there’s just no movie.

What do you consider to be your all time favorite movie? The 1991 movie Kafka by Steven Soderbergh is brought up in JTHM, but I could never be certain that your adding the movie into a work of fiction actually reflects your own tastes or just the tastes you were creating for NNY.

Asked by
andrew-snarls

Hey, thanks for not assuming what I wrote decades ago isn’t enough to construct my definitive character as it stands now! 

As for Kafka, I still think the movie is worth a watch, and Cliff Martinez’s score is still one of my favorites, but overall it’s lost some shine over the years for me. I’ve always been a sucker for the anti-utopian stuff, though, and that one came along at just the perfect time with there prefect combo of elements: Soderbergh, Kafka, Martinez and Jeremy Irons. 

Brazil had pretty much altered my brain very early on, and Kafka was channeling that something fierce in spots, only with more of a straight face.

My including it in the comic was only the most shallow nod to something I thought was pretty cool back then but it wasn’t ruling my universe. Really I should have just made something up and disconnected Johnny’s world from reality a bit more.

All time favorite movie. Impossible to answer.

Thanks for a good question, man!

What is your favorite book or novel, out of everything that you've ever read?

Asked by
pancakefairy

That’s one of those questions I don’t even try to answer properly because there’s just no good answer, and my opinion would change based on the direction of the wind and the amount of dust on the surface of my eye at any given moment.

Still, there are books I’ll always go back to think about and scream about point blank into the faces of strangers while in line at the bank.

A Confederacy of Dunces, Dune, God Emperor of Dune, 1984, Cat’s Cradle, War of the Worlds. Those are a few. I can devour Lovecraft like chips on the right day. I don’t ever really understand people that don’t enjoy reading and do so as a rule of life. Well, it’s not that I don’t understand it so much as find it disgusting.

I have to read, the same way Pac Man has to keep eating dots or else the madness gets channeled elsewhere and he has to eat his wife or child. he HAS to eat dots because it makes the pain go away. Reading is fundamental, pac mans.

Do you think it would have been a better idea for Oscar to use his intestines as a sort of long range lasso or whip against Riki instead of the upclose sneak attack?

Asked by
railith

It’s not really anyone’s place, especially my own, to try to understand or interpret Oscar’s reasoning or apparent lack thereof. It’s said that when Oscar shows his tattoo he HAS to kill. Why? I don’t know, and maybe even Oscar himself doesn’t know, so to even question his intestinal weapon choices in the heat of  combat is like asking the sky why it drops mysterious moisture beads on us on cloudy days. 

Nobody can know!

For all we know, Oscar purposefully chose to strangle instead of lasso  BECAUSE it was tactically inferior just to end what might have been a tortured life for someone who just liked going around shirtless but hated the requisite killing it entailed.

Hahahahaa at the people asking you about Invader zim.

Asked by
otrix-darkeda

I think people think they’re having fun exasperating me when, really, that hasn’t happened in probably longer than before they were born. No, more important than any of that is that people see the movies those gifs are from.

SCANNERS.

RIKI OH, THE STORY OF RICKY.

DEADLY FRIEND.

Go now, and improve upon yourselves.

Actually, the ZIM question got me curious. If you had the opportunity, WOULD you continue the show, or do you think it's sailed its course, or would you refuse out of spite? (I couldn't tell if the head explodey GIF was meant to imply frustration that the fans are still bugging you with questions about it or that your head would explode out of surprise/excitement if you got the rights to it.)

Asked by
theslitherydee