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Famous Like Me > Writer > V > Jhonen Vasquez

Profile of Jhonen Vasquez on Famous Like Me

Name: Jhonen Vasquez  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 1st September 1974
Place of Birth: San Jose, California, USA
Profession: Writer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Jhonen Vasquez at the IPEX 2002

Jhonen Vasquez (Jo-Nen) (born September 1, 1974) is a comic book artist and writer from San Jose, California. He is the creator of several cult classic comic-book series, including Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, Squee!, I Feel Sick, The Bad Art Collection (BAC), Filler Bunny, and Happy Noodle Boy, all published by Slave Labor Graphics. He was also the creator of the popular animated series Invader Zim.

Jhonen Vasquez's cartoon artwork often portrays misanthropic and pessimistic philosophies as well as gothic and even satanic undertones, although the latter are usually parodies and satires rather than advocations of. Similar styles and mannerism can be found in many of his characters as well as running gags and common themes, including constant reference to mooses, meats, monkeys and piggies.

Satan confessing his identity to his wife, from Squee!

After graduating from Mount Pleasant High School in San Jose, Vasquez went on to become a one-time film student at De Anza College in Cupertino, California.

Books by Vasquez

Johnny the Homicidal Maniac

A parody of vampirism, filler comic, from JTHM

Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, popularly referred to as JTHM, ran for seven issues. Early one-page strips featuring Johnny were published in Carpe Noctem magazine. Published as a trade paperback under the name Johnny the Homicidal Maniac: Director's Cut, a hardcover edition is also available. Both paperback and hardcover editions have "Z?" on the cover. This logo, which stands for "question sleep", appears frequently throughout Vasquez's work, and relates to insomnia which both Johnny and Vasquez have suffered from. The issues follow Johnny, sometimes called Nny (pronounced "knee"), as he searches for meaning in his life, a quest that rather frequently leads to the violent deaths of those around him. He believes that there is a demon being held behind a wall in his home, and that the wall constantly requires a coat of fresh blood in order to maintain its protective ward. This may be true. One human adult provides sufficient blood for a single fresh coat, but this is only one of his motives for mass murder. The issues tend to focus a lot on Nny's inability to fit in with society, and how stupid the general population really is, something that often catalyzes a violent rampage. Though most of the people (actually all of them but one) he thinks deserves to die for many reasons as tripping him, making fun of him, glaring, calling him names, etc.


Squee, a supporting character from JTHM, was made into a four-issue series. It chronicled Squee's encounters with aliens, Satan's son, and eventually Satan himself. The trade version (which features a cover image of Squee with the words "Buy me or I'll die!") contains, in addition to the actual Squee comics, the Meanwhiles that were so glaringly left out of the Director's Cut of JTHM, as well as comics of Jhonen's 'real life' (with slight exaggerations as to the size of the moon and Senor Diablo's height) and Wobbly Headed Bob.

I Feel Sick

I Feel Sick ran for two issues. It was originally intended to be a single issue, but was later broken in half due to it being longer than what Jhonen anticipated. I Feel Sick follows a tortured artist named Devi (another character introduced in JTHM) as she tries to maintain her sanity in Vasquez's typical insane societies, despite conversing with Sickness, one of her own paintings. The collection won an International Horror Guild Award in 2000 for Best Illustrated Narrative. I Feel Sick features colors by Rikki Simons, who was later the lead color artist and voice of GIR on Invader Zim.

Filler Bunny

Filler Bunny ran for three issues, the third having been released in March 2005. A spin-off of a filler comic designed to replace a vacant page usually reserved for advertising space in the Squee comics.

The Bad Art Collection

The Bad Art Collection was a 16-page one-shot issue of intentionally terrible drawings supposedly created so that Vasquez's high school classmates would stop pestering him to draw for them.

Everything Can Be Beaten

Everything Can Be Beaten is an illustrated storybook that tells the story of a strange person who lives in a room in which he can do nothing but beat kittens. However, an adventure into the outside world changes his perspective, and he discovers "everything can be beaten." The book was illustrated by Crab Scrambly (Brad Canby).

Happy Noodle Boy

Happy Noodle Boy is a short, recurring comic in JtHM of a stick figure doing random, disturbing, and/or obnoxious things. Supposedly created by Johnny and very popular with the homeless insane.

Invader Zim

Invader Zim was an animated series produced for the children's cable network Nickelodeon. The show was cancelled after little more than a year; only 27 episodes were made; most of them 15-minute but several were a half-hour long. On May 11, 2004, two years after the cancellation of the series, after much request by fans, Volume 1 of an official Invader Zim DVD collection was released, featuring the first nine episodes plus audio commentary by Vasquez and various cast and crew, including Richard Steven Horvitz, Rikki Simons, Melissa Fahn, Wally Wingert, Andy Berman, Kevin Manthei, and others. Volume 2 was released on August 31, 2004, the third volume was released October 12, 2004, and a box set was released on April 12, 2005. The box set contained a "Special Features" DVD that had a set of audio-only episodes that never made it to Nickelodeon. (with the exception of the Christmas special)

Invader Zim was broadcast in Japan on June 25, 2005, much to the excitement of all of Jhonen's fans.


Self-portrait of Jhonen Vasquez

He is good friends with Roman Dirge, Rikki Simons, and Tavisha Wolfgarth-Simons, whom he met at Alternative Press Expo in 1995. Dirge became a writer on Jhonen's Invader Zim while Rikki Simons became the voice of the show's crazed robot GIR as well as a member of the show's coloring team.

Another of his friends, Miss Leah England, has her face in the middle of a portrait collection that served as the cover to Johnny the Homicidal Maniac issue 2. She also gave him the inspiration for a filler comic (i.e. - 'Meanwhile') about a child who was dangerously afraid of losing sight of his mother and the infamous "Somebody put shit in my pants" Meanwhile in JTHM issue #2.

Vasquez makes a habit of changing his hair color frequently, possibly to avoid privacy breaching. His typical hair color is red.

Jhonen is taller than 5 ft 3 in (1.60 m), contrary to popular belief. Though there are claims that he is short, his exact height is mostly unknown and debated.

It is difficult to tell if Jhonen really heavily dislikes Goth subculture (a notable satire is Anne Gwish, who features in JTHM), but some of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac's victims happen to be pretentious Goths. More likely, he is making a commentary on a subculture he has sometimes been a part of. In fact, in the first 'Anne Gwish' comic he remarks 'with only a touch of self-mockery.'

Jhonen sometimes uses the pseudonyms "Mr. Scolex" and "Chancre Scolex." His minor voice work in Invader Zim was credited under the former, and his short book "Everything Can Be Beaten" was written under the latter.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Jhonen Vasquez