When Oni Press announced earlier in the year that they would be partnering with creator Jhonen Vasquez to continue the story of the painfully incompetent Invader Zim, fans of the long ago cancelled Nickelodeon TV show were delighted. The show was known for it’s twisted artwork, pop culture inside jokes and characters that often screamed rather than talked. It was everything a cartoon should be. Sadly, it was not as well loved as a talking pants-wearing under sea sponge, and quickly found itself booted off the air. Oni Press is helping to right that wrong.
For those who have no recollection of what Invader Zim is, Vasquez illustrates a small obnoxious child as the initial narrator of the comic. He is more than happy to recap everything we’ve missed. This child also helps encapsulate the fan experience that has passed us by when the recap child’s discusswa a special fan script he’s written.
The first issue of Invader Zim is sarcastic, twisted and pokes fun at the fan culture. Dib begins the comic as an overweight fanboy who has spent all of his time watching Zim, waiting for him to return. Gaz, as usually, just wants to play her video games and eat dinner. The artwork is similar to the work Vasquez did for Johnny the Homicidal Maniac and Squee, but is in fact penciled by someone else (Aaron Alexovich). The coloration is the same as the cartoon, but this time we need to use our imaginations for the voices of the characters.
Invader Zim #1 reads a bit strange several years after the cancellation of the TV show. It may take a couple issues to find its voice, but Oni Press is off to a good start. Keep a look out for fan favorites such as GIR and Mini Moose.
Invader Zim #1 is now available from Oni Press.