|Listen up, you puny (real) human!|
Information in this article is about real-life people, companies and objects, and might not relate inside the Invader Zim universe.
|Vasquez in 2007|
|Born||September 1, 1974|
San Jose, California
Jhonen C. Vasquez is the creator of Invader Zim.
Vasquez was born and raised on San Jose's East Side. After graduating Mount Pleasant high school in 1992, he began film classes at De Anza College. Jhonen, however, is most widely recognized for his comic book works that include Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, Squee, and I Feel Sick: A book about a girl. His JTHM series was first published in Carpe Noctem, an underground Goth magazine out of Mount Pleasant in 1995. Vasquez was soon picked up by Slave Labor Graphics, which is still his current publisher.
Fans wishing to contact Vasquez should now send correspondence to him care of SLG Publishing, P.O. Box 26427, San Jose, CA 95159-6427. (Letters only, no packages, please.) The email address he made available to his fans has been put to rest, presumably so he could get some rest himself.
Vasquez pitched the idea of Invader Zim when contacted by (future executive producer of the show) Mary Harrington. According to an interview, Jhonen comments on the show:
"The idea of doing a show for Nickelodeon, there's just something so twisted about that," he says. "I'm not out to make some nasty, heinous show that will completely destroy the network or anything like that. But just the idea, just the thing that I had a show on Nickelodeon, people go, 'YOU? My gawd, what are they trying to do to the children?' And I usually throw my head back and laugh for 10 minutes. And then when I'm done, I say, 'Well, I thought it would be interesting... and it has been interesting -- if not joyous.'"[Citation Needed]
Vasquez has gone on the record saying he had become uncomfortable with younger fans of Zim reading Johnny, because of the violence depicted.  In this same interview, he also mentions the attacks made on him by Christian parents and parent groups.
Contrary to popular belief, Jhonen loves the idea of working on new Zim stuff and initially agreed to do just that when Nickelodeon contacted him about bringing back the show in 2010. When it looked like Zim coming back wasn't going to happen, Jhonen wrote, "Honestly, I’d love working on newer ideas for different shows, but that place in my head that wants to take those old characters to new places and torture the hell out of them just a bit more can’t help be be a bit sad to see the lights dim on that world just a bit." It has been stated that Nickelodeon has had issues working with Jhonen in the past, but Jhonen has recently been seen at Nickelodeon, implying that lines of communication are open for more future projects.
In the Invader Zim Season 1 DVD, you can hear Jhonen's (and other cast members') comments on production, direction, ideas, concepts plus other interesting tidbits (like the cast eating Wheat Thins) throughout various episodes. There is also a split second of Mr. Vasquez (armed with a puppet of himself!) in the Voice Cast Interview extra. However, he himself has no interview.
In various season 1 episodes, Jhonen Vasquez made several cartoon cameos, distinguished by his trademark trench-coat, black boots, glasses and short, spiky red hair. So far he has been in the following episodes:
He, Roman Dirge, Steve Ressel, and various other crew members appeared in several other episodes. He commented that the cameos were getting a bit out of hand, and that there probably would not be any more. Thus, after around "Career Day", Jhonen and Steve Ressel stopped making cameos, while the other cameos diminished in frequency.
Interesting to note, in the DVD commentary for "Attack of the Saucer Morons", Jhonen states he has, as he put it, "a thing about bees".
- Johnny the Homicidal Maniac (7 books, 1995-1997)
- The Bad Art Collection (1996)
- Squee! (4 books, 1997-1998)
- I Feel Sick (2 books, 1999-2000)
- Fillerbunny (3 books, 1999-2005)
- Everything Can Be Beaten (2002 with Crab Scrambly)
- Jellyfist (2007 with Jennifer Goldberg)
- Marvel Comics' Strange Tales (2009)
- Marvel Comics' Strange Tales II (2010)
- Invader Zim (30 books, 2015-ongoing)
- Invader Zim (27 episode series, 2001-2006)
- "Shut Me Up" (music video for Mindless Self Indulgence, air date unknown)
- "White" (music video for the Left Rights, 2011)
- Invader Zim (television film) - airdate TBA