Johnny the Homicidal Maniac

Johnny the Homicidal Maniac  (often abbreviated  JtHM  ) is the first comic book by Jhonen Vasquez . The series tells the story of a young man named Johnny C. as he explores the psychological and eventual supernatural forces which he believes to be a reality.  JtHM  began as a comic strip in the 1990s, then ran under alternative comics publisher Slave Labor Graphics as a limited series of seven issues, later collected in the paper trade  Johnny the Homicidal Maniac: Director’s Cut  . The series produced twospin-offs :  Squee!  and  I Feel Sick  .


Jhonen Vasquez started drawing in kindergarten.  [1]  Later, he attended Mount Pleasant High School , where, taking part in a new look for his school mascot , the Cardinal , Vasquez submitted an entry that the judges rejected.  [2]  On the back of a preliminary drawing for the contest, he drew His First sketch of the character he Would later name Johnny C.  [2] Vasquez’s high school’s student newspaper published a number of comic strips titled  Johnny the Little Homicidal Maniac  .  [2] Vasquez says the character originated as a personal avatar who could carry out his own fantasies revenge.  [3]  Rob Schrab makes the same observation.  [4]  However, Vasquez later distanced himself from the character, saying that Johnny should not be mistaken for an author surrogate .  [3]  [5]  Vasquez also created Happy Noodle Boy while attending Mount Pleasant as a way to stop his girlfriend from asking him to draw comics for her.  [6]

In the early 1990s,  Carpe Noctem  , a magazine about the goth subculture , published several one-page strips featuring Johnny, now called  Johnny the Homicidal Maniac  .  [2]  [7]  Though he never planned to create comic books,  [1]  [8]  Vasquez de son Submitted artwork samples to alternative comics publisher Slave Labor Graphics.  [2]  [5]  Between August 1995 and January 1997 , the publisher released a series of seven full-length issues based on the character.  [9]  [10]  [11]  [12]  [13]  [14]  [15] Vasquez describes the production process for  Johnny  as “mess” and “spew”.  [3]  As Vasquez worked on the comic, he prepared less and less, foregoing outlines and sketches and writing dialogue as he wrote.  [2]  [3]  Vasquez wishes that he had taken more time to plan the series, and feels that the quality of the dialogue is due to his haphazard approach.  [3]

A photo of one of Vasquez’s friends, Leah England, serves the middle of a portrait collection on the cover of the second issue of  Johnny the Homicidal Maniac  .  [10]  [16]  England also gave Vasquez the inspiration for a filler on a child who was dangerous in the face of his mother, as well as the “Meanwhile …” strip in the second issue.  [10]  [16]  The two were discussing an event that had happened to a cheerleader, and thinking up the worst possible excuse.  [6]

Jhonen based Psychodoughboy and Mr. Eff on two real Styrofoam Pillsbury Doughboy .  [6]  He created Nailbunny as he was drawing the first page on which the character appears.  [6]  Vasquez modeled for himself while drawing the characters.  [6]

Vasquez intended a tapeworm named Scolex to be one of Johnny’s voices, but the character never made it into the finished series.  [17]  Vasquez now uses Chancre Scolex as a pen name for  Everything Can Be Beaten  and his LiveJournal .  [18]  [19]  [20]

Like many other comics, and other Slave Labor Graphics titles,  Johnny  is creator-owned. By September 1996 , Vasquez announced in his introduction to the sixth issue of  Johnny the Homicidal Maniac  that he was able to succeed in his artistic career to be able to quit his day-job and devote himself to full-time to his art.  [14]

As his comics moved to a comic book shop shopping malls , Vasquez bemoaned the waiter change in his audience.  [3]  Vasquez went on to create a children’s television series called  Invader Zim  , and became uncomfortable with younger fans of  Zim  reading  Johnny  , because of the violence depicted.  [3]

Director’s Cut 

The front cover of  Johnny the Homicidal Maniac:  Happy Noodle Boy, Mr. Samsa and Nailbunny.

Johnny the Homicidal Maniac: Director’s Cut  , a paper trade released by Slave Labor Graphics in July 1997, collected the series.  [21]  Slave Labor also released a hardcover version of the collection. Rob Schrab provides a foreword.  [4]  The trade paperback includes a “Gallery of Ancient Horrors” that features a few strips previously published in the Mount Pleasant High School newspaper and  Carpe Noctem  , as well as some previously unpublished strips, with commentary by Vasquez.  [2] The paperback also introduces some new issues such as sketches, an issue-by-issue synopsis, character profiles, and a fictional interview with Vasquez, but leaves out many of the filler strips from the original series.  [21]

The cover of the trade paperback features the logo “Z?”, Meaning “question sleep”. “Z?” appears frequently throughout the world Vasquez’s work and Question Sleep is the name of his official website.  [22]  “Z?” is a reference to insomnia , a condition from which of several characters.  [21]  [23]  [24]  [25]


Johnny the Homicidal Maniac  spawned two spin-offs: a four-issue series titled  Squee!  [23]  and a double-shot titled  I Feel Sick  .  [24]  [25]  The trade paperback release of  Squee!  , titled  Squee’s Wonderful Big Giant Book of Unspeakable Horrors  , includes the filler strips left of  Director’s Cut  .  [23]  Johnny makes cameo appearances at the end of  Squee!  and in the second issue of  Feel Sick  .  [23]  [25]


The comic is high-contrast black and white with stylized and geometric cartoon characters. Graphical perspective is often very loose. The panel borders are jagged, and some strips have messages hidden in the complex designs of the borders. Many of the characters are thin about the point of being stick figures . Several of the characters, including Johnny, wear t-shirts with expressive messages that change from panel to panel. Often Vasquez breaks the fourth wall with side comments to talk about the book, ict hearing, gold himself. The speech balloonschange with the moods of the characters. For example, Johnny’s word balloons grow thorns when he becomes angry.  [21]

Main characters

Main article: Johnny the Homicidal Maniac characters

Johnny “Nny” C.

Johnny the Homicidal Maniac.
Main article: Johnny C.

The series focuses on Johnny C., a man in his early 20’s who elaborately slaughters anyone who irritates him. He drains his victims of blood to paint a wall in his house to prevent a monster from escaping. He is five feet, nine inches and one hundred and fifteen pounds. He likes stars, Cherry ‘FizWiz’, Cherry ‘Brain-Freezies’, All kinds of movies, Fruity Pops drawing Happy Noodle Boy. He dislikes humidity, sleep, the physical and mental need for  anything  , being white abducted by aliens, people who’ve ” GOTTA HAVE A SMOKE !”, Some words (Such As ‘wacky’), losing His Mind, Satan’s attitude and getting shot in the head.

Not much is known about Johnny’s history. All of these are known to have been killed by an evil man, so setting the race for NNY’s life as a masked crime fighter, or, perhaps not. At present, NNYs more than his own enemy. What with the decomposure of what may have been, at one time, a fine, intelligent mind. Johnny is, possibly, more hideously mentally malformed than the people he seems to think.

Todd “Squee” Casil

Main article: Squee

Todd Casil is a young boy who lives in the house next to Johnny. Neither of his parents, especially his father, who works countless hours at a dead end job and leads to a miserable life after raising Squee. Squee’s closest friend is a small teddy bear named Shmee. Shmee tells Squee that all of his fears and nightmares are inside of him in a dream. Squee is also friends with Satan’s, with whom he is waiting for school. Squee has his own series called  Squee!  , which was later collected in the TPB Squee’s Wonderful Giant Book Of Unspeakable Horrors  .


The series is set in the mid-1990s in an unspecified city. Decaying urban streets, shadowed back alleys and filthy convenience stores serve as the series’ backdrop. Crumbling and covered with litter and graffiti, everything is in a state of bleak decay, the neon signs of trashy consumer capitalism .  [21]

Johnny lives in a decrepit, single-story house with the street address 777 .  [9]  The house has an extensive labyrinth of tunnels underneath.  [12]  Johnny uses the subterranean rooms and torture chambers have dungeons,  [21]  as well as a storage place for corpses,  [15]  though he aussi de son remains Buries the victims.  [11]  Squee’s residence.  [15]  Johnny perceives the layout of the house as changing, though he does not know if this is the result of the supernatural forces at work or his own psychosis.  [26] Johnny states that he found the house and moved in some time ago.  [21]  He also constructed an unidentified flying object landing pad on the roof.  [11]  Throughout the series, there is no case where the authorities or the police are looking for Johnny, and they seem unaware of his existence.

A later part of the story takes place in the afterlife .  [14]  After accidentally shooting himself,  [12]  Johnny journeys first to Heaven and then to Hell , and both turn out to be more common than Earth than he expected.  [14]


The story is told in vignettes that reflect Johnny’s disjointed mental state.  [16]  Vasquez leaves unexplained which events in the story are subjective, and provides no back-story about Johnny’s origins.  [16]

The series begins when Squee wakes in the middle of the night Johnny in the bathroom of his family’s new house. After a confrontation with Squee ‘s Teddy Bear , Shmee, Johnny Leaves, informing Squee that they are neighbors. Later, Johnny goes on a rampage with a spork in a ” Taco Hell”restaurant, incited by an elderly boss referring to him as” wacky “.” Johnny watches its coverage on the news. “Johnny captures and kills a man named Edgar Vargas and a beautiful woman. Devi, a cashier, and attempts to stab her, but Devi escapes after nearly killing Johnny Sometime afterward, he kills everyone in the Cafe the Prick Johnny realizes he can feel like afloat head Nailbunny journey through the bowels of his house and discuss the nature of Johnny’s psychosis.She has a name for himself in the name of Samsa (after Gregor Samsa , the main character of Franz Kafka’s short story  The Metamorphosis ), Johnny rigs a robotic arm and handgun to shoot him if he was to answer the phone if someone calls, further flaunting his belief in his own immortality.

Eventually, Johnny’s soul arrives in Heaven , where he meets St. Peter , Johnny has done throughout his life. With him distracted, Johnny enters Heaven and meets a demon woman named Damned Elise who gives Johnny a turn. Johnny starts a massive psychic battle when he discovers that the souls in heaven are immortal and have mental powers which include the ability to explode people’s heads. Johnny is brought before God , who is a lazy, obese man sitting in a flesh in a state of exhaustion. Johnny starts a tirade that ends with Elise sending him to Hell . Johnny meets Señor Diablo, who gives Johnny a tour of the underworld and reveals that Johnny is a “flusher” or “waste lock”, a creature chosen to concentrate the spiritual byproducts generated by humans into a specific object or point in space, in this case the wall in Johnny’s house. As Johnny died, the wall unleashed the built-up negative energy, in the process destroying the universe, which was then restored. Later on Earth, Johnny is unsure if he really does not know anything about hallucination. He resolves to become emotionless. When a copycatkiller named “Jimmy” country Johnny has visited and confessed to several murders and a rape, Johnny Jimmy eviscerates. Afterward, Johnny visits Squee. The series ends with Johnny sitting on a cliff overlooking the city, writing in his diary, with the hopes that he will be “as cold as the moonlight” that touches the diary’s pages.  [15]

Filler strips

Johnny the Homicidal Maniac  features several filler strips, which, for the most part, have nothing to do with the main storyline.  Johnny the Homicidal Maniac: Director’s Cut  Collects “Happy Noodle Boy”, “Public Service Announcement”, and “Anne Gwish” While  Squee’s Wonderful Big Giant Book of Unspeakable Horrors  includes “Wobbly-Headed Bob”, “Meanwhile …”, and “True Tales of Human Drama”.  [21]  [23]

Happy Noodle Boy

Main article: Johnny the Homicidal Manic § Happy Noodle Boy

There is also a comic within the form of “Happy Noodle Boy”, written and drawn by Johnny himself.  [21]

Public Service Announcement

In a few issues, there are “Public Service Announcement” strips that parody public television announcements on topics such as teen pregnancy and substance abuse .  [21]

Anne Gwish

Main article: Johnny the Homicidal Maniac § Anne Gwish

Anne Gwish is a young goth woman who has her own part of the series. Her name is a word on the word “anguish.” Her storyline is completely unrelated to Johnny’s, though she lives in the same fictional universe. The strings are largely to satire on the goth subculture.  [21]

Wobbly-Headed Bob

Main article: Wobbly-Headed Bob
Wobbly-Headed Bob resolves to commit suicide.

Wobbly-Headed Bob lives in a separate fictional universe from the main storyline, one inhabited by funny animals who, with the exception of Bob, lives in a state of innocence and bliss. In contrast, Bob is a megalomaniac who believes himself to be the most intelligent person in the world, and the only one who understands the true nature of reality, which he sees in entirely pessimistic terms. His extreme negativity leaves him isolated and depressed. He overwhelms anyone he meets with his despair and often causes them to commit suicide or flee from him in horror.  [23]

Meanwhile …

In one “Meanwhile …” strip, a group of piñatas come to life to exact revenge was girl Whose birthday party Claimed One of Their Own. In another, two ancient gods of war a pair of grade school crossing guards to reenact an epic battle. In yet another, a naïve goth teenager, a character who also appears in  I Feel Sick  , dreams of becoming a vampire like those found in  The Vampire Chronicles  , but transforms into a vampire more like Count Orlok . One of the more infamous “Meanwhile …” strips, a nervous man on a date with Devi D. tries to conceal his explosive diarrhea . In an act of self-insertion, Jhonen Vasquez himself appears in other “Meanwhile …” strips.  [23]

True Tales of Human Drama

The strips titled “True Tales of Human Drama” tell stories about things like a baby exploding, a plane crashing on a bus full of boy scouts, and a man blowing something out of his nose so horrible that a priest commands him to jump off a building.  [23]


On 5 April 2008,  Wizard  Placed end of the third  Johnny the Homicidal Maniac  at number 151 in icts rundown of the 200 greatest comics since the magazine started in July 1991.  [27]


Over the years, Slave Labor Graphics  Johnny the Homicidal  Manicas, posters, and toys.  [28]  Slave Labor released a Spooky Squeeze Toy, first shown in  Johnny the Homicidal Maniac  # 4,  [12]  as part of its promotion for  I Feel Sick [28]  Several years ago, a question about the Sleep Logo was under development.  [20]


  1. ^ Jump up to: b   Ivey, Shane (2001-10-26). “Death and Morons: The Jhonen Vasquez Story: Page 3” .  Revolution Science Fiction  . Retrieved 2009-07-05 .
  2. ^ Jump up to: g   Vasquez Jhonen (July 1997). “Gallery of Ancient Horrors”.  Johnny the Homicidal Maniac: Director’s Cut  . Slave Labor Graphics . ISBN  978-0-943151-16-8 .
  3. ^ Jump up to: g   Epstein, Daniel Robert (2003-05-19). “Interviews: Jhonen Vasquez Invades SuicideGirls” .  SuicideGirls  . Retrieved 2009-07-05 .
  4. ^ Jump up to: Schrab  b  , Rob (July 1997). “Foreword”.  Johnny the Homicidal Maniac: Director’s Cut  by Jhonen Vasquez. Slave Labor Graphics . ISBN  978-0-943151-16-8 .
  5. ^ Jump up to: b   Vasquez Jhonen (July 1997). “Super Amazing Interview”.  Johnny the Homicidal Maniac: Director’s Cut  . Slave Labor Graphics . ISBN  978-0-943151-16-8 .
  6. ^ Jump up to: e   Romao, Selina. “The Torturous World of Jhonen Vasquez” .  BunnySneezes  . Archived from the original on 2010-02-27 . Retrieved 2009-07-07 .
  7. Jump up^  Carp Noctem.
  8. Jump up^   Puerto, Michael. “Youth Radio meets comic book artist Jhonen Vasquez in a dark alley” .  Youth Radio  . Archived from the original on 2011-07-16.
  9. ^ Jump up to: b   Vasquez Jhonen (August 1995).  Johnny the Homicidal Maniac # 1  . Slave Labor Graphics .
  10. ^ Jump up to: c   Vasquez Jhonen .  Johnny the Homicidal Maniac # 2  . Slave Labor Graphics .
  11. ^ Jump up to: c   Vasquez Jhonen .  Johnny the Homicidal Maniac # 3  . Slave Labor Graphics .
  12. ^ Jump up to: d   Vasquez Jhonen .  Johnny the Homicidal Maniac # 4  . Slave Labor Graphics .
  13. Jump up^  Vasquez, Jhonen (1996).  Johnny the Homicidal Maniac # 5  . Slave Labor Graphics .
  14. ^ Jump up to: d   Vasquez Jhonen (September 1996).  Johnny the Homicidal Maniac # 6  . Slave Labor Graphics .
  15. ^ Jump up to: d   Vasquez Jhonen (January 1997).  Johnny the Homicidal Maniac # 7 . Slave Labor Graphics .
  16. ^ Jump up to: d   Vasquez Jhonen (July 1997). “Issue Synopsis”  . Johnny the Homicidal Maniac: Director’s Cut  . Slave Labor Graphics . ISBN  978-0-943151-16-8 .
  17. Jump up^   Ivey, Shane (2001-10-26). “Death and Morons: The Jhonen Vasquez Story: Page 4” .  Revolution Science Fiction  . Retrieved 2009-07-05 .
  18. Jump up^  Scolex, Chancre ; Crab Scrambly (August 2002).  Everything Can Be Beaten  . Slave Labor Graphics . ISBN  978-0-943151-65-6 .
  19. Jump up^  “Everything Can Be Beaten By Scolex and Scrambly” .  SLG Publishing website  . Retrieved 2009-07-05 .
  20. ^ Jump up to: b   Vasquez Jhonen . “We Get You When You Sleep” .  LiveJournal  . Archived from the original on March 31, 2011 . Retrieved 2009-07-05 .
  21. ^ Jump up to: k   Vasquez Jhonen (July 1997).  Johnny the Homicidal Maniac: Director’s Cut  . Slave Labor Graphics . ISBN  978-0-943151-16-8 .
  22. Jump up^  Vasquez, Jhonen (2009). “The Official Website of Parasite Induced Dementia” .  . Retrieved 2009-07-05 .
  23. ^ Jump up to: h   Vasquez Jhonen (August 1998).  Squee’s Wonderful Big Giant Book of Unspeakable Horrors  . Slave Labor Graphics . ISBN  978-0-943151-24-3 .
  24. ^ Jump up to: b   Vasquez Jhonen ; Rikki Simons (1999).  I Feel Sick # 1  . Slave Labor Graphics .
  25. ^ Jump up to: c   Vasquez Jhonen ; Rikki Simons (1999).  I Feel Sick # 2  . Slave Labor Graphics .
  26. Jump up^  Vasquez, Jhonen . “Johnny C. (Johnny_C) on Twitter” .  Twitter  . Retrieved 2009-07-05 .
  27. Jump up^  “200 Greatest Comics in Wizard’s History” .  Wizard  . Archived fromthe original on May 13, 2009 . Retrieved 2009-07-07 .
  28. ^ Jump up to: b   “Comics and Stuff By Jhonen Vasquez” .  SLG Publishing website  . Retrieved 2009-07-05 .

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