What is a Fillerbunny you ask? The short answer is that it is a bunny that fills…What? My explanation’s not good enough for you? Fine! I’ll let Jhonen Vasquez explain it.
Several years ago while compiling materials for the SQUEE trade paperback, I came upon…A DILEMMA. In one of the original issues, an ad had been run in place of the usual piece of actual comic nonsense. This left me a page uneven when it came time to put all four issues in one big book.
I lost what little sleep I occasionally get racking my brainmeats for the solution to filling a page without really trying too hard.
The answer was so very simple.
The answer came in the form of a happiness inducing rabbit, genetically engineered to draw attention away from my occasional forays into HALF ASSED workmanship. I hired a team of scientists from the back of a van to create and maintain the lab that serves as the bunny’s home, and theatre for his lovable jigs of glee.
His life is one of unending suffering.1
So, there you have it…Still not enough? Okay.
Fillerbunny is a small, pink cartoon rabbit. You know the kind with giant eyes, huge buck teeth, and head that is bigger than its body. His entire purpose in life is to be cute and entertain the reader with his exploits. Unlike Jhonen’s other page filler Happy Noodle Boy, Fillerbunny tries to make the reader smile in between convulsions from the numerous injections he receives, and the occasional begging to have someone kill him.
But just like Jhonen’s other minor characters, Fillerbunny has acquired his own cult following, with his own line of books, t-shirts, and a plastic doll. Fillerbunny can be found introducing the Squee TPB, at the end of both issues of I Feel Sick, and in a small cameo at the beginning of the Invader Zim episode “Dark Harvest”.
#1 “Fillerbunny In “I Fill Up” 15 Pages!” (September 2002)
Guest Staring: Monkey who gets SHOT IN THE FACE!
This issue was entirely created in 24 hours. An amazing feat, but not too terribly surprising if you understand that Jhonen is a chronic insomniac which explains the “Z?”2. Also the Fillerbunny comics are only about ¾ the dimension of regular comic books, and this one is only sixteen pages3.
There isn’t really much of a story, just Filler bouncing around, being forced to eat various things. Eventually he vomits violently, poops violently, then vomits and poops violently. Filler is a lonely bunny, and overjoyed when a pig becomes his friend. He challenges the pig to a staring contest, but watches as the pig’s eyes fall out of its head and dies. After that a monkey joins him but you know what happens to him. He is then followed by a “weird beaver moose Godzilla thing!!!” who suffers the same fate as the monkey.
#2 “Revenge! Of The Fillerbunny” (Feburary 20014)
Guest Staring: Butt Monkey
This issue was completed over the course of two days, and is 16 pages like the first. On the cover a “Dooky covered Hypno-Moose-Beaver” hypnotizes you into buying the book, and if you look closely at the panels that form the back ground you can see Filler being ass-raped by a Marlon Brando dog/gofer.
Again not much of a story, except if you count Filler being threatened with a circular saw forcing him to allow the “Butt Monkey” to climb in his “booty”, eating lug nuts, and repeating the violent poop thing from the last book, which rockets him back and forth across several panels leaving mounds of intestines.
#3 “Fillerbunny in “MY WORST BOOK YET!” (Today5)
Guest Staring: Aborto!!
So, it’s been several years since Everything Can Be Beaten back in August 2002. Want to know what Jhonen was doing during that time? So do I. As Jhonen himself says at the beginning of the book,
Children have been conceived and shat out into the universe in the time it has taken me to complete this affront to good taste6.
But you can really see that Jhonen has refined his drawing style. He used more of the shape edgy style that you find in Invader Zim and I Feel Sick, rather than the slightly wiggly inconsistent lines seen in the previous work.
Did I just make a critical statement? This write up is now officially a review! There is also the bonus feature of 2 PAGES OF COLOR! This is the only time that Jhonen has done color comics other than I Feel Sick, which was fully colored, and a short Zim strip in an issue of Nickelodeon magazine.
This one actually has a bit of story so….
SPOILEAaaaah forget it. Read ahead anyway, you might learn something.
Filler finishes his greatest adventure, slaying a enormous demon, punching a comet off course to save a doomed baby, and taming a vampire bee. That is the top of page two. From then on it is a struggle between Jhonen and the Chief who wants Jhonen to make cute friendly comics. Of course Jhonen responds by having page after page of vomit jokes. Filler is finally given a friend who will not die, a creepy, living, floating aborted fetus
named Aborto. During a long attempt by Filler to find a less disturbing friend that doesn’t explode or get shot. GIR
, of Invader Zim fame, in his dog suit has a cameo, though he is dead on a pile of corpses with an intestinal tube coming out from under his zipper.
Chief, while annoyed that Jhonen’s hair keeps changing from panel top panel, yells at Jhonen for making comics that are so disturbing and gross that no one will buy them. Jhonen comes back with a monologue about though things like Aborto and Rape-Bo7 are offensive and gross, they are funny because they are jokes. Jhonen understands that many people can be offended by his work but they shouldn’t be because none of it (Well, the violence and grossness) should be taken seriously. He writes to entertain.
I liked this part because it got Jhonen back to actually having his work say something in between the mayhem. Sure it takes a little known character and 24 pages to say, but there is a message there.
After that, Jhonen jumps out the window shooting Chief. He rescues Filler from the back of the van, they go on to shoot some overly opinionated Goths, and run off into the sunset shouting, “Yeah! We’re doing it! We’re changing the world, sorta!”.
Unfortunately it was a dream, seeing as how Jhonen smashed into the concrete after making guns with his fingers and jumping out the window of a skyscraper.
1 Jhonen Vasquez. Fillerbunny In “I Fill Up” 15 Pages!. San Jose, California: Slave Labor Graphics, 2002.
2 The meaning of the “Z?” symbol has been one asked by many fans, since it appears so much in Jhonen Vasquez’s works. According to him it means “Question Sleep”.
3 Yes, I can count. Jhonen can’t.
4 Now looking at this you may think I made a mistake, when in fact I am noting the publishing dates that are printed in the comics I have. Hence the 6th printing of #1 came out in Sept. 2002, while the 5th printing of #2 came out in Feb. 2001.
5 Um, why did you look down here? The date is at the top of the write up…Okay, yesterday in fact March 23, 2005, but it’s still the 23rd here.
6 Jhonen Vasquez. Fillerbunny in “MY WORST BOOK YET!”. San Jose, Califonia: Slave Labor Graphics, 2005….Today damnit!
7 The raping Hobo.
Fillerbunny, and the other characters mentioned above are owned by Jhonen Vasquez. His books are published by Slave Labor Graphics.