List of characters in Johnny the Homicidal Maniac

List of characters in Johnny the Homicidal Maniac

The characters of "Johnny the Homicidal Maniac", a comic book series by Jhonen Vasquez, are numerous.

"Real" characters

Johnny ("Nny") C.

The series focuses on the self-titled "villain" (who is in reality just an anti-hero) Johnny C., also known as Nny (pronounced “knee”). He is a deranged serial killer, mass murderer, and spree killer who interacts with various other characters, more often than not torturing and murdering them. He elaborately and sadistically kills anyone who even slightly irritates him, then drains their blood and paints one of the walls in his house with it (to keep the Thing from getting out). If the situation dictates, Johnny is also willing to murder "innocent" people, though in his twisted mind, even they deserve their fate for some reason or another. The number of Johnny’s victims is in the dozens, if not hundreds--or perhaps even thousands. Authorities are unable to capture Johnny and seem unaware of his existence, though his crimes are often witnessed in public and reported by the few who manage to survive.

In the JTHM Director's Cut, it is said that Johnny's parents were murdered by an "evil man" but this is an obvious joke; it goes on to say that he became a masked crime fighter. Nothing is known of Johnny's family or of his past--even Johnny is deprived of all but occasional flashes of memory. He is often devoid of a conscience, though this is arguable since he is also insane. This insanity manifests itself in three entities: Nailbunny, who is the closest thing to a conscience that Nny possesses; and Psychodoughboy and Mr. Eff, two styrofoam pilsbury doughboys that argue over whether to let Nny kill himself.

Sometimes, Johnny shows feelings of self-hatred for the horrible things he does. This shows in his many monologues and suicide attempts. He even has what appears to be frightening moments of clarity, but those quickly turn into yet more crazed rants accompanied by bloodshed.

Though his exact age is unknown, Vasquez has been quoted saying Johnny is in his early twenties. According to the Director's Cut, he is 5' 9" and 115 lbs, making him very underweight.

At the end of the comic, Johnny attempts to reform himself by abandoning his emotions in favor of cold intellect, going on what is referred to as a "vacation." This open-ended conclusion leaves room for a second series of comics, but the creator has expressed no interest so far to continue Nny's story.

A running theory on Johnny's origin is that he was once a brilliant artist (based on one incident, a painter) who lost his talent, and subsequently went insane. Nailbunny chastises Johnny for drawing his Happy Noodle Boy comic, "A god damned stick figure!" instead of painting. Vasquez writes that the idea of giving Johnny an origin does not appeal to him at all. He feels that giving Johnny a back-story would dilute his mystery, stating, " [I] find the blurriness of it all much more appealing than making him go nuts over being pantsed in school once. 'YAAAARGH!! I have been pantsed!! I kill like the damned now!!' That's just not done."

Todd ("Squee") Casil

Also known as Todd Casil, but nicknamed Squee, the namesake originating from the sound the child makes when scared. He is Johnny's semi-friend and next-door neighbor. Squee's mother seems to only notice him off and on, and his father resents his very existence and has no qualms about constantly telling him so. Squee has a teddy bear named Shmee, who is conscious in Todd's own psyche; Shmee happens to be a trauma sponge, and constantly tells Squee to do evil things. Vasquez later authored a comic series, "Squee!", with this character as the protagonist. Johnny is the only person who really cares about Squee, serving as his least evil friend, though he constantly frightens him unintentionally. Johnny has hinted from time to time that his interest in Squee is partially due to his desire to ensure that Squee doesn't grow up to be like him. Also, Johnny has actively taken measures to ensure the safety of Squee, by killing and mutilating a pedophile poised to abduct Squee.

Devi D.

Also known as "the one that got away." Introduced in the infamous "Somebody put shit in my pants!" strip, she goes on to play a larger role in the story. Devi befriends Johnny and becomes a potential love interest, though she is unaware of his antisocial behavior until he attempts to murder her. A struggling artist, she works in a book store for half the duration of the comic; the other half is spent painting in her apartment. She was later the subject of a doubleshot comic by Vasquez called "I Feel Sick". In "I Feel Sick", Devi struggles to maintain her own sanity. She converses with a painting of a doll named Sickness, and the ensuing power struggle hints at the possibility of the dark supernatural forces that were Johnny's undoing.

Tonja

A friend of Devi's. She possesses a squeaky toy shaped like a cute skeleton called Mr. Spooky. Her role in "JTHM" is fairly insignificant. First referred to as "Tonja" issue four of that series, but seems to be the same character later referred to as "Tenna" in "I Feel Sick".

Tess R., Dillon and Krik

Tess R. and Dillon are two people who play part of the goth parody in the series. Krik is a violent misogynist (he claims to have beaten his girlfriend and her grandmother) and chauvinist who is abducted by Nny for drunkenly harassing him. Apparently, Nny removed a chunk of his brain from the back of his head, making him nearly lose sanity. Tess' family moved around a lot so she has a hard time making friends. She is a pseudo-goth in order to make friends with others. She dates Dillon because he's in a band. Dillon uses the goth culture as a means of excluding and ridiculing others. They come into Johnny's grasp due to Dillon's constant badgering during "Kafka": Johnny makes a point of ignoring Tess and tormenting Dillon, who is unaware of the fact that Tess dislikes him. After Johnny's accidental 'death,' Tess and Krik try to escape, but are slowed down by running into other prisoners in the dungeons and encountering the doughboys. Although Krik (who released Tess from Nny's captivity) and Dillon were quite literally torn apart, Tess presumably escaped--although at this point there appeared to have been no universe into which to escape. She was not actually killed but was "flushed" with the rest of reality: she survived once the universe was "reloaded." Anne Gwish (see below) makes a reference to her being just out-of-frame later in the series. In Invader Zim, Jhonen Vasquez's later Television series, the episode "Game Slave 2" features a Battery Clerk bearing a striking resemblance to Tess, but whether or not it is her is unknown.

Edgar Vargas

Edgar Vargas is a religious man who was not afraid of Johnny C's threats to kill him, and talked to Johnny for a while--before he killed him. Johnny rather liked Edgar, despite killing him, referring to him as his "bestest, bestest friend in the room."

It is also believed that Edgar was supposedly meant as a lesson to Johnny, to teach him that not everyone in the world is as horrible of a person as he perceives them to be. But in the end Johnny ignores this 'lesson' and kills him anyway, not out of anger or hatred, but out of a necessity to feed the wall monster that controls him. This is where we first see in the book that the wall is becoming more of a reason to kill than anything else. This is also an instance in which Johnny shows true remorse, or at least no enjoyment in, killing someone as he says "Well that did nothing for me."

Mr. Samsa

Named after the main character of Franz Kafka's short story "The Metamorphosis", Mr. Samsa is a series of normal cockroaches that live in Johnny's basement, and that Johnny believes to be a single immortal one that he must constantly kill. To Johnny, Samsa represents complete desensitization and unemotional thinking, a state for which Johnny begins a quest at the end of the series. The insects are normal bugs, and are not one of the supernatural voices that continually pester Johnny.

Anne Gwish

Anne Gwish is a goth woman that has her own strip in the later part of the series. Her name is a pun on the word "anguish." Her storyline is completely unrelated to Johnny’s, though she lives in the same fictional universe. The strips featuring her are largely a satire on goth culture's tendencies towards pretension.

In most of her strips, you can find puns and parodies on gothic subculture. Like "Johnny the Hamicidal Maniac" (with Johnny as a pig), "Ditchspade Symphony" (a parody of the band, Switchblade Symphony), "The Shmoe" (a rather obvious parody of "The Crow", who proclaims "I stole this look from KISS!") and "The Dirtman" (a 'The Sandman (Vertigo)' joke).

Vasquez ends the Anne Gwish strip with an aside comment, "With just a touch of self-mockery," due to his personal goth lifestyle as well as the cultural category his comic books are placed in.

Jimmy

Jimmy appears later in the comic. Also known as Mmy (his own special way of mimicking Nny) and Darkness, he has a strikingly similar appearance to Johnny, including his original haircut, skinny body, and the same clothes. His face is longer and he's taller than Johnny. His infatuation with Johnny's hobby began when he witnessed the destruction of a "Taco Hell" outlet by Johnny from a "CD Cesspool" store across the street (presumably the "I'LL SHOW YOU WACKY!!!" killing spree from issue #1, though the killing spree took place in a "Taco Smell," but it may be a continuity error). He is the only known person successful in tracking down Johnny's home of his own volition. He decided to mimic Johnny's work, to the extent of assembling a suitcase full of surgical equipment and murdering at least his first grade teacher (he took her face off) and a girl who resembled someone who bullied him in high school, but not before raping her in an alley behind a mall. This is referred to earlier in the story by Tess and blamed on Johnny. However, his attempts at mimicking Johnny are an abomination in Nny's eyes, who is disgusted that Jimmy's sociopathy "is a more reasonable facsimile of [Johnny's] own work than [Johnny would] like to admit." Despite being given three chances to leave, Jimmy doesn't live for long, as Johnny kills him while teaching him various lessons.

As he is preparing to kill Jimmy, Johnny makes particular reference to the rape of the girl, which he finds unforgivable, stating that he himself would never do such a thing, as he considers even basic physical contact with people to be distasteful, and that he considers such an act to be giving in to emotion, something else which he also finds abhorrent. As Johnny is speaking, Jimmy is vivisected with several hooks, opening his torso. Johnny replies to Jimmy's final statement—that Jimmy was "just like you" (referring to Johnny) —by smashing a sledgehammer into Jimmy's open chest cavity and stating, "I don't like myself much."

It is generally assumed that Jimmy represents a particular breed of JTHM fan that seeks to emulate Vasquez's style (and even Vasquez himself) into his/her lifestyle or his/her own "bloodbooks." Particularly distressing to Nny (and presumably Vasquez himself) is that Jimmy's mimicry is more accurate than he would prefer to believe. Johnny reveals this in an analogy about a sculptor.

Johnny's voices

Nailbunny

Also known as Spooky Floating Bunny Head. Johnny's first and last pet, a rabbit whom he fed once and then nailed to a wall. Only the preserved head (which was torn from the body by Mr. Eff) remains, the rest of the body apparently unnecessary for the afterlife. It is unknown whether the disembodied head was given the ability to levitate by the supernatural force that permeates the house, or that Johnny is simply hallucinating. After Johnny's apparent death, Nailbunny didn't show up anymore, at least not physically: his voice keeps going on, much like his former self. Nailbunny is apparently Johnny's conscience and voice of reason. Nailbunny also hates being the only voice of reason in Johnny's head. Johnny is also the one who took Nailbunny away from its mother.

The Doughboys

Based on the mascots for a certain company (Pillsbury) that produces muffins. There are two of them: Psycho-Doughboy (Also known as D-Boy) and Mr. Fuck (aka Mr. Eff). Carved foam figures repainted by Johnny, they were given personalities through supernatural means. Mr. Eff encourages Nny to kill and feed the wall, since as long as the monster remains inside the wall, it will feed more power to him (as well as Psycho-Doughboy), making them more real. He is referred to as "...being the manic one" by Psycho-Doughboy. Mr. Eff also apparently likes toast, as D-Boy suggests in their encounter with Tess and Krik, that Mr. Eff said "Just think, then it would be us doing the killing, having the fun. We could have toast whenever we want". Psycho-Doughboy encourages Nny to kill himself, though is constantly infuriated since he believes that whenever Nny tries to go through with it, he sabotages it on purpose (this theory becomes void once a device of Johnny's, a gun on an automated machine, actually works and shot him). D-Boy is supposedly the opposite of Mr. Eff, as he is the depressing end of Johnny's internal conversations, as he is constantly giving reasons, whether valid or not, for Nny to commit suicide. D-Boy and Mr. Eff originate from Nny's imagination, of which the monster inside the wall may also be a product. D-Boy called the monster his "Master", and while he seems to wish to return to this Master, Mr. Eff seems to have relinquished his devotion to it. Incidentally, Psycho Doughboy has "fuck" written on his chest, not Mr. Eff.

Eventually, the Doughboys become more than just extensions of Johnny's insanity, but rather mortal in their own right, as they interact with Tess and Kirk in Issue 5. Shortly after this, the wall monster kills them both.

Reverend Meat

The complete opposite of Mr. Samsa, Reverend Meat is a Bub's Burger Boy who urges Johnny to give into his every urge and desire without thinking; he represents the desire for instant gratification and physical sensation. He claims that he is not one of the doughboys, saying that they were mere manifestations of a manifestation, and that he's holding up a giant hamburger. Johnny dislikes him, and tends to ignore him in favor of Mr. Samsa the cockroach. In the comic, Reverend Meat's name has not been mentioned; Jhonen gave it in an interview, and listed it in the JTHM Director's Cut.

Heaven and Hell

t. Peter

Works the reception desk in Heaven. He becomes violently ill when he looks up the horrible acts Nny has done. He has sunglasses, dreadlocks and a small curled beard connected to his moustache.The sign that states 'Administration', also has in smaller letters under it "We sell churros too"

God

God is a giant baby-like man living in Heaven that gives Johnny no help. God openly admits to having done nothing since the creation of the universe just before going back to sleep. He created the universe, and is now very tired. Vasquez thinks he is cute, according to an author's note.

Damned Elise

Damned Elise is a character who lives in Hell. She does menial tasks in Heaven as punishment for her hedonism in life. She seems to be attracted to Johnny based on an offhand remark about tearing his clothes off with her teeth, which rather repels him. However, just before being sent to Hell, she remarks also in a rant of sorts that she is in so much trouble because of him and wants him to go away. She also comments that she'll probably get stuck working a giant Taco Bell.

eñor Diablo

In Jhonen Vasquez's graphic novel, Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, Señor Diablo is Satan's preferred name. Standing at something like eight feet tall, with humongous ramlike horns and an unhappy-face pin, he looks positively demonic. Johnny, after being dropped out of heaven with some unanswered questions, asks Señor Diablo about his true nature on earth, learning that he is in fact a 'waste-lock', someone who holds back the vile psychic residue that humans generate on earth.

A relatively sardonic and sarcastic version of the Devil, remarkably akin to Mark Twain's Satan (Letters from the Earth), Señor Diablo is really quite amused by humankind's desire to constantly look good. He finds Nny's unhappy fate rather hilarious, given that he was obviously disturbed enough to begin with. He lives in the same city as Squee with his Christian wife (Who knows him as "Juan" and is unaware of who he truly is until he finally bothers to tell her) and Antichrist son, Pepito (who considers himself to be friends with Nny's neighbor Squee.).

Other

The Wall Monster

At one point in the series, Johnny is unable to paint the wall because he gets shot. This, and his approaching death is what caused the monster to break free. This is why the one of the dougboys wants him to kill himself, their "master" behind the wall needed Johnny dead in order to liberate it, while the other doughboy wants to keep their master imprisoned so they can be free. The monster breaks free and it goes on a rampage through Johnny’s house, killing many of the victims imprisoned there. Presumably it is the animated cesspool of human negative emotional residue the devil spoke of in his monologue. Fans have named this creature "Moose" because of a caption in volume 5 that reads "Fun Fact: It's not a moose." Also, in a strip in volume 2, Johnny is wearing a shirt that reads: "777 # of the Moose." Johnny lives in house #777. Also Krik exclaims that he thought the noises in the wall were "moose".

The Wall Monster could also be seen as a nod towards famous horror writer, H.P. Lovecraft, due to the fact that the wall monster has no definite shape and seems to be mostly defined by tentacles (similar to some interdimensional monsters in Lovecraft stories). Krik also mentions that the noises preceding the monster's appearance make him think there were "rats in the walls", which is the name of a famous short story by H.P. Lovecraft.

Happy Noodle Boy

Johnny is also the creator of a comic strip called "Happy Noodle Boy".

Happy Noodle Boy is a character appearing in a comic drawn by Johnny and read mainly by "the homeless insane". Every issue has (at least) one single-page insert of the Happy Noodle Boy comic itself, detailing the often completely nonsensical adventures (mostly cursing, screaming, and being shot). Happy Noodle Boy spends much of his time standing on a wooden box and yelling nonsense at hapless pedestrians, often provoking his own death.

He appears in the backgrounds of many of the strips of the main storyline (the mall, the movie theatre, etc.), usually in crowd scenes, and pictures of him appear frequently in Squee's room. He also appeared in I Feel Sick 1# in a crowded dance floor. Johnny seems to be in the habit of leaving his drawings lying around.

It is believed that Happy Noodle Boy's name is a reference to Johnny's extraordinarily thin figure. In one particular comic, Johnny says that when he was young, other kids taunted him for this, calling him "Noodle Boy."

According to Jhonen Vasquez, Happy Noodle Boy was something he invented when he was at school so that people would stop asking him to draw things for them, because the comics were so simple and horrible looking.

Happy Noodle Boy seems to be the next 'level' of insanity: Jhonen is eccentric, Nny is schizophrenic and bipolar, and Happy Noodle Boy simply screams non-sequiturs at people.

Wobbly-Headed Bob

Living in a different fictional universe and receiving his own one-page comic in each book of the series, Wobbly-Headed Bob is a depressed, conceited outcast with rodent-like features and a huge "freakishly overdeveloped" head. Bob believes himself to be the "ultimate being" as he is so smart, but is tortured by his own dark intelligence, and has an amazing knack for causing misery in everyone he meets. He meets cutesy, happy, ignorant, carefree characters. By showing them the horrifying reality which he perceives to be their life, Bob makes them miserable, often causing them to commit suicide, which he barely seems to notice.

ee also

* Johnny the Homicidal Maniac
* Johnny C
* I Feel Sick
* Squee
* Jhonen Vasquez
* Fillerbunny
* Invader Zim


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