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Creator / Jhonen Vasquez

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One of the rare cases where his hair actually has a somewhat normal hue.

"EVERYTHING is funny. So long as you know it's a joke nothing is offensive. YOU try to protect people from wising up and getting beyond the idiotic shock and into a place where they can see how ridiculous things are. Do I think rape and abortion is funny? FUCK NO!! Jeezus! But Aborto and Rape-bo? HELL YES!"
Jhonen Vasquez getting on his soapbox in Fillerbunny 3.

"Someone once said to me 'Jhonen, why do you make up so much shit on your Twitter?' and I just strangled the bastard with my tentacle arms."

Jhonen C. Vasquez (born September 1, 1974) is an underground comic book artist, writer and director best known for the comics Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, I Feel Sick, Squee and Fillerbunny, as well as the cult animated series Invader Zim.

Vasquez's characters are disturbed people living in a Crapsack World. A wildly hilarious one. His most notable characters include a violently schizophrenic serial killer, an unstable megalomaniacal extraterrestrial, an abused and terminally terrified child, and a tortured and suicidal bunny rabbit. Just to name a few. His jokes mostly involve very stupid people getting horribly maimed, tortured, yelled at, mocked and patronized. He's also quite fond of Doomy Dooms of Doom. He's also known for his art style, featuring highly geometric characters with bold outlines.

Works that were created by Jhonen Vasquez, or have had his involvement, include:


  • Johnny the Homicidal Maniac (1995-1997)
  • The Bad Art Collection (1996)
  • Squee (1997-1998)
  • I Feel Sick (1999)
  • Fillerbunny (2000, 2005, 2014)
  • Everything Can Be Beaten (2002)note 
  • Jellyfist (2007)note 
  • Strange Tales MAX (2009-2010; M.O.D.O.K. and Wolverine stories)
  • Beyond the Fringe (2012; issues 5A and 6A)note 
  • Invader Zim (2015-2020)note 
    • Invader Zim Quarterly (2020-2021)


Tropes commonly associated with his works include:

  • Anti-Hero: A majority of his characters, notably Dib from Zim: He's definitely a decent kid wanting to expose Zim as an alien, but dear god is the kid borderline vicious in his plans to reveal it.
  • Anti-Villain: Johnny C. Johnny is definitely the villain of the story (something even he says in the comic) but is portrayed as a broken man who knows he's a monster and wishes to be free from it.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: The comics often have gag panels completely unrelated to the ongoing story.
    • Also, this trope is basically half of GIR's personality.
    • Jhonen himself has frequently been described (both personally and by colleagues) as a real life example of this.
      • The introduction to the "Meanwhiles" section of the Squee collection states that the express purpose of said comics was to keep him from getting bored with the main characters and their world.
      • He's stated on a few occasions that this is the main reason why he prefers working on comics over animation, as while he enjoys both, the months-long wait time involved in the latter is absolute torture for him.
  • Author Avatar:
    • Assumed by many of his fans about Johnny C., who's a part-time comic strip artist, despite Jhonen's statements to the contrary. Parodied by his "autobiographical" comic where he goes on an unbelievable adventure that, in humorously underwhelming ways, parallels one of Johnny's stories.
    • Dib sometimes steps into this role, with Jhonen saying that Dib represents himself when he was a kid, desperate to find something exciting in his boring suburban upbringing.
  • Ax-Crazy: Ye the gods, to say anybody in the worlds of Jhonen are crazy is an understatement. Just look at Johnny C. from JTHM, he literally kills an entire Taco Bell parody over being called "wacky".
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: Especially in Invader ZIM: Dib is arguably as bad as Zim, but it's obvious Dib has some noble intents in protecting the world in his misguided ways.
  • Black Comedy: Literally Jhonen's staple: He revels in dark comedy since, as explained above, it goes well with Rule of Funny.
  • Black Comedy Rape:
    • "I HAVE RATS IN MY ANUS". Nny's a bit of a hypocrite at times.
    • In I Feel Sick, after Devi quits her jobs and walks out, Jhonen makes a small cameo only to be told by Devi's ex-boss "I'm going to rape you up the butt and throw you out the window!" Cut to a scene of Devi exiting the building and a guy in the background falling out the window screaming "WHYYYYYY!?"
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Those who worked with him on Invader Zim noted how professional he was when debating content with the network heads, particularly for a guy in his early twenties known for sadistic, nihilistic comics who'd just been given control to his own TV series. Meetings would often consist of the network giving long-winded notes as he listened patiently before politely responding "Well, yeah, but it's funny!"
  • Butt-Monkey: Fillerbunny, not to mention every single one of Johnny's victims.
    • Plus Dib, Squee, etc...
  • The Cameo: Fillerbunny once showed up in Invader Zim, as did an alternate-dimension version of Nny and various writers for the show. However, years before, Rob Hummel— Vasquez's main writing partner on the show— is depicted as a slimy department-store employee who is forced by aliens to mate with a chicken in one of the JtHM "Meanwhile" segments. Happy Noodle Boy also has a tendency to show up where he doesn't belong.
    • Not to mention said aliens become recurring characters of his. They show up several times in Squee & even have a major role in an episode of Zim (where they talk with inexplicable Liverpudlian accents).
  • Character Filibuster: Several of Jhonen's characters go on frustrated rants in the face of the crazy-ass world they live in, though their indignation is usually undercut by their own insanity/absurdity. Johnny C. and Dib are main offenders.
  • Creator Thumbprint: Works by him tend to feature supernatural forces, monsters, demons, ghosts, and aliens, as well as villainous protagonists as well as a high amount of Black Comedy as well as comedy that focuses eccentricities of the characters and even the settings themselves.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Common in his works. GIR is a notable example.
    • Vasquez himself may count to an extent. His Twitter and tumblr posts are strange and there is this: "I'm always confused when people say how much they miss Invader Zim because the show never stopped running in my head, and then I remember everyone else isn't in my head. I try to imagine the world for all those people who don't know what Zim's been up to since the show went off the air and it makes me shudder. How can people live that way? Hopefully this comic helps make the world a better place."
  • Comedic Sociopathy: As above, his staple, most if not, all the characters he's made are insane sociopaths.
  • Comically Missing the Point: The main source of Fan Dumb. One "Meanwhile" segment parodies this, overlapping with Springtime for Hitler.
  • Crapsack World: Most settings, considered a distinctive personal style.
  • Darker and Edgier: Invader Zim was a very dark show for Nickelodeon, and it was heavily showcased as it went on. And much to everyone's surprises, Nick was (for the most part) very much away from being involved.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: Oh yes. Invader Zim is the best example ever of this trope.
    "I'm gonna sing the doom song now! Doom doom doom doom doom doom doom doom DOOM! Doom doom doom..."
  • Evil Versus Evil: In Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. Invader Zim has Black-and-Gray Morality because Dib, Zim's nemesis, has fundamentally good intentions.
  • Gorn: In Johnny the Homicidal Maniac
  • Henshin Hero: When accosted by irritating fans, Jhonen has the power to change into the mighty Happy Noodle Armor in the blink of an eye.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Again, Dib and if you wanna go further, Devi from Johnny the Homicidal Maniac and I Feel Sick. Literally in I Feel Sick considering the same dark force that had taken Johnny was trying to take her.
  • Latino Is Brown: Generally averted. Many of his protagonists are of Latino descent, either obviously or per Word of God, but they're almost all light-skinned; this is presumably due to Vasquez himself being a light-skinned Latino.
  • Lemony Narrator: His various caption-box asides in JTHM and Squee! tend to be a cross between this and MST.
  • Lighter and Softer: Much of his work from The New '10s, though still full of Black Comedy, tends to ease up slightly on the nihilism in favor of more accessable garbled insanity.
  • Mad Artist: His characters Johnny and Devi. The man himself may also qualify.
  • Mad Eye: He's practically got this trademarked.
  • No Fourth Wall: Fillerbunny directly talks to the audience (usually begging them to put him out of his misery).
  • Noodle People: A very prominent trait of his character designs (although his proportions become somewhat more sensible post-JTHM).
  • Rule of Funny: As stated above, Jhonen believes dark comedy should be done because of this rule, and would emphasis it a lot to Nickelodeon when explaining the dark jokes he'd put in Zim.
  • Sadist Show: A lot of his stuff, but especially Zim: Nothing has and will ever go right for Zim and Dib and the world just sucks for them.
  • Self-Deprecation: Quite frequently. Fillerbunny in particular is full of jabs aimed at himself.
  • Sliding Scale of Cynicism Versus Idealism: Very, very far down the cynicism end of the spectrum, to the point of being nihilistic. His later works have slightly eased up on this, however.
  • Soul Crushing Retail Job: Worked in a DVD store in his early days trying to make it as a comic artist and reportedly hated every second of it. He quit around the time Johnny was wrapping up.
  • Stylistic Suck: Fillerbunny. With the exception of the final issue, which is much more lavishly drawn, Jhonen would intentionally wait until the last minute to do the first two issues to ensure that it would look as sloppy and rushed as possible. There was also the appropriately named Bad Art Collection, which was mostly comprised of things his friends in high school would bug him to draw.
  • Sugar Apocalypse: Many of his works involve having adorable things suffer, which he has stated to enjoy writing.
  • Take That!: Basically anything currently trendy, especially the Goths that seem to idolize him.
  • Transplant: Ms. Bitters appears in both Squee and Invader Zim. Since there's otherwise no indication one should consider the show a crossover, she might otherwise be considered an extremely blatant expy, or alternate dimension version of herself.
    • There are a few minor appearances by other comic characters in the show though. Tenna appears in one episode clubbing with GIR, and a 'demon' version of Nny can be seen on the Halloween episode, though that still is shaky ground to say they're all in a shared universe.
    • More solid evidence is the aliens from Zim episode "Abducted" being recurring players in Squee. The horned aliens that counter them in Squee #1 are also clearly precursors to the Vortian race that makes appearances on Zim.