Jhonen C. Vasquez was born September 1, 1974 in San Jose, California. He is of Mexican descent, hence the rather common Hispanic surname. His first name, however, is quite...well...he's the only "Jhonen" I know. The perils of this fact are elucidated in the Curse of Jhonen Vasquez. Cool name, though. The "C" is not quite clear, but some have hypothesized that it might stand for "Casil," which is Todd's last name in SQUEE! But we have no confirmation on that at all.
Jhonen was raised on the East Side of San Jose and graduated from Mount Pleasant High School in 1992. During this time, he dabbled in art and developed an ancestor to the Johnny character. From there, he moved on to study film at De Anza College in Cupertino, California. The man continued with his unique work, however, and began to get JTHM comics published in Carpe Noctem, a small alternative magazine published out of Mount Pleasant, in 1995. Soon thereafter, he was signed by Slave Labor Graphics, for whom he still works today.
Over his years in the business, Vasquez has produced a large base of constantly humorous work. The series for which he is most widely known, Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, recently passed the 100,000th issue sold mark for the first issue in January of this year. This was a significant event for both Vasquez and his publisher. Sales of Jhonen's work have continued to rise steadily every year since his debut.
Though not as successful, SQUEE! and I Feel Sick are great achievements in their own right. Squee still carries a bunch of Jhonen-y humor and is more sublimated than JTHM. It makes you laugh, but it doesn't make you think. This four-issue series follows the misadventures of the young Todd and his encounters with aliens, grandpa, the anti-Christ and the psycho neighbor. I Feel Sick, a two-issue full-color comic revisits Devi from the Johnny series. This work kicks it back up and is full of great comedy and an excellent plot involving a young woman's struggles with relationships, the awful work world, and her art which is trying to take over her brains. This series is rather deep and intertwines with the JTHM saga. It's an excellent read and the art is better than ever, with full color illustrations thanks to Rosearik Rikki Simons.
Jhonen also created the short-lived Invader Zim animated series for Nickelodeon. This was an odd affair, and by the time it was done, Jhonen pledged that he would rather shoot himself in the head rather than participate in animation again. Mary Harrington, a Nick producer, was first to approach Jhonen with the idea at ComicCon in San Diego about five years back. Jhonen agreed and the network gave him hell about it his works. It was cancelled less than a year after its debut. As a result, the last episodes were quite rushed and we're still waiting for them to air. Nick is acting a little weird about the entire deal.
Zim was declared dead by Jhonen in a nice party, the DEATH OF FUN, in Phoenix on October 28th. At which my friend snagged a very cool sig sheet. Yeah. It's cool. I guarantee you. No, you can't see it. During this party, the final episodes were shown. Well, with the exception of a few, of which Jhonen allegedly said "No, don't show those. Those are crap." So...we'll just see how that goes. But there was a really neat graphic of Dib standing over Zim's limp body with a handgun.
Jhonen travels to comic conventions and always draws big crowds. If you want to see him, Comic Con in San Diego and Dragon Con in Atlanta are great places to start. He does other places, but these are usual stops.
Jhonen is a gamer and spent much a time playing away with the crew of Zim. He also likes anime, but prefers to take bits and pieces, rather than committing to a particular series. Evangelion is a notable pick for him, however.
And now, a timeline of his work:
Jhonen has also done MANY one-page comics for insertion into his buddy Roman Dirge's comic, Lenore. In addition to this, he has recently been donating to Too Much Coffee Man Magazine. He is currently in the process of creating his next work, "Saturday Morning Nightmare". And that'll be just spiffy.
etc: if one wishes to hear Jhonen's voice as THE COMPUTER, as mentioned in mr100percent's w/u above, visit roomwithamoose.com. we've got the vocal tracks from a handful of episodes that never went into final production. and more. much more. wheeeee. *cough*