This week on View from the Gutters our topic work is Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, by Jhonen Vasquez. Originally published in the mid-90s, JTHM is one of the seminal indie comics of the period. It features the adventures (i.e. murders) of Johnny, a deranged psychopathic murder who is honestly kind of a sweet guy when you get right down to it. Johnny is joined on his travails by the imaginary voices in his head, as well as the many MANY people who suffer (some perhaps justly) violent deaths at his hands.
There’s also this one wall that he keeps painting with people’s blood, so that it doesn’t go all soft…
This is a complex work which is filled with black humor, but which is also strangely meditative on subcultures and our larger existential condition. It’s also been hugely influential on the evolution of indie comics, along with it’s animated sibling Invader Zim, also created by Vasquez.
In our recommendation section our hosts nominated Wolverine: Snikt, Through the Woods, Black Widow: The Name of the Rose, and Rai for discussion on our next episode, and our selected title is Through the Woods.
Our hosts for this episode are Andrew Chard, Tobiah Panshin, Kayleigh Fleeman, and Kit Deforge.