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MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2007

NEW YORK COMIC CON: JHONEN VASQUEZ PANEL

NEW YORK -- Jhonen Vasquez -- the creator of Invader Zim, Squee! and Johnny the Homicidal Maniac -- said at his panel at New York Comic Con on Saturday that most of his current focus is on the script for a feature film.

"One of the cool things about having fans is that some have money, and they're like 'Do you want money to make a movie?'" Vasquez said. "And Iım like, 'Okay.' It's really low budget, super low budget to the point where I can do whatever the hell I want to and I get left alone, which is nice.

"Right now Iım working on the script, and I can't go in to it too much, but I should be writing it, directing it. Hopefully that'll happen this year.

"But to everyone else it looks like you're not actually working because you're not putting out books. But I'm doing stuff. Maybe someday youıll be able to rent this from the bargain bin."

In terms of comics, Vasquez said he's been writing stories that are others are illustrating.

"One of them coming out by Comic-Con in July is just sort of a one-off thing," he said. "I was going to start it off back with Everything Can Be Beaten where I was going to try and regularly work with other people where I was writing and they were illustrating just to exercise my writing. It got hard to keep that up."

Vasquez is currently working on a project called JellyFist.

"It's a nonsensical title, but the entire book is just me writing very surreal, one-page scripts for someone who has no idea what they're about," he said. "And then they're supposed to illustrate it the way they think the scene is supposed to play out. Then they bring it back to me, and I go 'What have you done! This is wrong!'

"We integrated that into the book so that there's the comic and then over on the side there's this running commentary."

Vasquez played the funny curmudgeon with fans during throughout the question-and-answer session. Following are other highlights:

* On a reputation of disliking fans, Vasquez, "It's case-specific fans,² said Vasquez. "Whether they'tre fans of mine or not, thereıs just horrible people. They absolutely have no idea how to interact with other people, and I can't relate to that."

* Vasquez said he's basically been able to do his own thing in comics.

"The most contact Iıve ever had with outside agencies was Nickelodeon, and that was weird," he said. "But in terms of comics, it's just been me drawing whatever I want to do, and then Dan (Vado at SLG Publishing) cries.

*"But no one's ever come to me and said, 'Hey, we want you to do Batman' or whatever because they know better."

* On the Invader Zim animated series: "Overall it was a good experience," he said. "I got to work with some extremely talented people -- and a bunch of hacks."

* Asked about putting an Hispanic influence on his work, Vasquez responded that, begin Hispanic, all of that his stories are ultimately Hispanic. "Even if I'm writing about Swedes," he said.

* Vasquez said he would be interested in directing another music video, but nothing is lined up.

* Asked about the availability of Invader Zim episodes, Vasquez said he believes they have all aired in the United States.




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