On Wednesday August 8th, Invader Zim graced the racks of our local comic book shops. It was a great day to be a Zim fan.
Let us rewind to the year 2001. Nickelodeon air a cartoon by the name of Invader Zim written by Jhonen Vasquez (the mind responsible for Johnny the Homicidal Maniac). The show was about an alien from the planet Irk named Zim. The Almighty Tallest, the leaders of the Irken empire, send Zim to Earth to do what Irkens do best: invade. Alongside Zim in his journey was a defective Standard Issue Information Retrieval unit (SIR) named GIR. Upon landing and infiltrating the planet, Zim comes across Dib, a student at the “skool” Zim enrolled in. Dib sees right through Zim’s horrible disguise and the two become mortal enemies. Hilarity ensues and the credits roll. The show itself only lasted two seasons, with most of season two going unaired.
Zim has a style all its own, due to the writing and drawing style of Vasquez. The show was much darker than anything on Nickelodeon at the time. It was originally intended for the eleven to fifteen year old demographic. Zim even won an Emmy award. However, production costs became too much and the plug was pulled. FUN FACT: The rumor going around about Zim’s cancellation was initially that the show was too scary for kids.
Our favorite Irken lived on through the fans. Every episode made, including those not aired, were released on DVD and merch was always available to us (THANK YOU, HOT TOPIC!). Fast forward to March 2010 — Nicktoons, Nickelodeon’s all cartoon channel, started showing reruns for around a year. After that? Our show was locked away from TV. The fans, however, got a surprise in February 2015 when Oni Press announced a comic book continuation of Invader Zim.
My point? Our fandom survived! In fact, it is growing with the release of this continuation. We will have more merch, a bigger presence at conventions, and more! I must admit, I raced home and read it. The book was everything I expected with the writing and the characters. It read like an episode. I got a feeling of nostalgia. The transition was not weird, like I had feared. They acknowledged the time gap and moved on with the story like the show came back from a short seasonal break. All in all, go watch the show and read the comic book.
Already a fan of the show? Comment below with what you are most excited about with Zim’s return.
Invader Zim issue 1 is in comic book stores now.