Before there was Adventure Time. Before there was Rick & Morty. Before there was Mr Pickles – there was Zim.
Any self-respecting weirdo will have watched Invader Zim at least once, right? Or, perhaps, several dozen times, over and over, endlessly screaming things about walnuts at their friends until they no longer have friends, but it’s all OK because they still have Zim. Whichever category you fit in, fact is, Invader Zim is an iconic bit of alt-animation that filled a niche many of the odd little cartoons of the ‘90s left open.
For those who’ve never seen it (it’s online somewhere – watch it) it was created by Jhonen Vasquez (Johnny The Homicidal Maniac/Squee) for Nickelodeon and follows a demented alien on his megalomaniacal mission to take over the earth, aided by his idiotic robot dog.
When the show finished, it left just 27 episodes in its wake for fans to soak up. That is, until back in 2015 when Oni Press and Jhonen teamed up to release a comic series, bringing Zim, Gir and all the old favourites back to life.
If you’ve missed it, a trade paperback is available right now collecting the first five issues.
And while it’s definitely exiting to see Jhonen pen more Zim stories, what’s even more exciting is the recent announcement that Sarah Andersen (aka Sarah’s Scribbles) is creating a special one-shot, due, if the pre-order’s anything to go by, in June.
For anyone that’s spent enough time lingering on the internet, you’ll probably have seen Sarah’s Scribbles webcomics being shared. Quite rightly – they’re awesome.
The short monochromatic cartoons follow a black haired girl going through the perpetual nightmare that is daily adult life. With a raw talent for drawing out the funny side of individual fears, anxieties and habits, Sarah Andersen seems a perfect choice for Invader Zim’s brand of intensely dark comedy.
From the sounds of the issue’s description, Zim’s human nemesis Dib will be be playing a big part in the one-shot’s story. Full of a boiling frustration that no one will ever believe him, he frequently comes across to other characters as intense, neurotic and a balls-to-the-wall weirdo. This is something I think Sarah’s style will lend itself especially well to, so it’ll be interesting to read her take on the conspiracy fanatic.
And while the original cartoon’s animation was unique and beautiful in a chaotic way, I can’t wait to see how Sarah Andersen’s interpretation turns out. The initial cover provides a great teaser – especially if you’ve got a thing for cats.
All in all, the combination of a cult favourite character, and the talent behind one of the net’s top webcomics, is definitely something to look forward to.