C2E2 2012: Jhonen Vasquez On The Hunger Games, And Why He’ll Never Work With Ren and Stimpy’s John Kricfalusi

If you like your humor dark, tinged with weirdness, and with an extreme focus on pigs and moose, Jhonen Vasquez is your man. From cult classic comic Johnny The Homicidal Maniac, to cult classic cartoon Invader Zim, Vasquez has cornered the market on insane maniacs who like to scream at people, and only occasionally do the right thing. A clearly appreciative group of fans packed his spotlight panel at C2E2 2012, and though it was light on news of any sort, there was spirited Q&A. Here’s some of our favorite bits, which mainly focused on what movies Vasquez had seen lately:

On The Hunger Games: “I don’t go to things because I want to see violence, I go to things because I want to see them handled well.”

On John Carter: “I go to movies because I just want to feel things. I want to feel like a person again!”

On JTHM’s blue hair: “It used to be blue, and then he died it black.”

On cosplaying his characters: “I don’t like it when people dress up like Zim, because they look like Hulks.”

Fan: “If you have a Johnny Volume 2 in your head, can you just give it to us?” Vasquez: “I’ll see what I can do, it might not be in book form.”

On more Marvel work: “If it came up... I don’t have any ideas, but if I thought of something really funny, something with Wolverine, or MODOK... Then yeah.”

On whether he’d ever want to do games: “I would love to, but it’s never going to happen. I can play Alan Wake 24/7... I get so much inspiration from games.”

What’s with all the moose in your work? “I don’t think there’s a lot of moose. People ask that about pigs all the time, too... I just like the word. Certain words are funny to say, and certain visuals - like pig visuals - are funny. I don’t think we talk about moose at home. Maybe pigs.”

On stories about the production of Invader Zim: “Everything you’ve read about the show is probably wrong... Or made up. Which I helped with.”

Vasquez said he’d never work with John Kricfalusi, the creator of Ren and Stimpy, because it would be too much creativity coming from opposite directions.

On his influences: “Lots of video games. R-Type. Other artists.” The conversation then devolved into a discussion of how cool R-Type was, before getting back on track. “I would draw Giger’s Alien when I was ten... Garfield. Everything in the world, that’s my answer.”

On why Heaven and Hell recur in his work so often: “I think it comes from a very Catholic upbringing, growing up and saying, ‘That’s crap.’ I love Devil and God stuff, I just think it’s funny. Especially the Devil. In all my stories there’s someone who is wasting their talent... There’s always this idea of, if you aren’t using yourself, something will use you. Like the Devil.”

On zombies: “I love zombies. I don’t know how else to answer that... I have trouble falling asleep, so there are certain scenarios I use in my head to relax. I find sniping zombies very relaxing. I’m in a tower on guard duty, it’s boring, there’s crickets, and the occasional ‘Uhhhhh.’ And you just snipe, and think, ‘This is nice.’”


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