Johnny C.

Johnny C.

Johnny C. is a fictional character starring in the comic book series "Johnny The Homicidal Maniac". He also appears in the spin-offs of the series "Squee!" and "I Feel Sick", as well as the television series "Invader Zim". Johnny was created by Jhonen Vasquez.


The series focuses on Johnny C., or Nny for short (as in (Joh-)Nny). He is a deranged serial killer, mass murderer, and spree killer who interacts with various other characters, generally by torturing and murdering them. He murders anyone who annoys him even slightly in the most elaborate, sadistic ways possible, then drains their blood and paints one of the walls in his house with it (to keep the color of the blood the same, or, later in the series, to keep something from getting out). If the situation dictates, Johnny is also willing to murder innocent people who have done him no wrong; in his mind, however, even they deserve their fate. The vast majority of Nny's victims are (apparently) bad people who deserve what they get, at least by his perceptions. He has killed people in the dozens (if not hundreds or perhaps even thousands). Authorities are unable to capture Johnny and seem unaware of his existence, although his crimes are often witnessed in public and reported by the few who survive. Johnny usually has conversations with his victims before he kills them or tortures them (or, in some cases, lets them go). However, he mocks their pleas for mercy as "noise".

He is delusional, paranoid, and devoid of remorse. His insanity manifests itself in several entities, such as Nailbunny, the closest thing to a conscience that Nny possesses; and Psycho Doughboy and Mr. Eff, two styrofoam Pillsbury Doughboys that argue over whether to let Nny commit suicide. Later in the story a new character from Nny's mind arises, Reverend Meat, who attempts to invoke feeling in Nny as he searches for numbness.

Sometimes, Johnny shows feelings of self-hatred for the horrible things he does. This shows in his many monologues and suicide attempts (at these times, he is known as "Johnny the Suicidal Maniac"). He even has what appears to be 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.

Johnny also expresses distaste for direct physical contact. In one of his rants with Nailbunny, he states that he loathes all sorts of human waste, referring to it as "sewage of the organism". His pursuit of desensitization also includes riddance of direct physical contact. However, Reverend Meat hints at an instance wherein Johnny may have had contact with a woman ("Don't you remember the pretty girl that gave me to you? Being in her room? Doing what you did?") His statement's foundation or the truth of it has never been established.

Johnny tends to rationalize his killings with reasons which often fall under the category of 'insane'. He has admitted to killing for no reason however, and often it is just to feed the wall. Even after committing a murder in broad daylight, with witnesses, Johnny believes himself to be invincible and uncatchable.

Origins, "Or Lack There of"

In the JTHM Director's Cut, it is said that Johnny's parents were murdered by an "evil man"; it goes on to say that it was then his destiny to become a masked crime fighter. However, this is a joke, as it seems to reference Bruce Wayne's transformation into Batman. Nothing is known of Johnny's family or of his past — even Johnny is deprived of all but occasional flashes of memory.

A running theory on Johnny's origin is that he was once a brilliant artist who lost his talent in drawing and subsequently went insane. Nailbunny chastises Johnny for drawing his Happy Noodle Boy comic ("A goddamned stick figure!") instead of making art. Vasquez writes that the idea of giving Johnny an origin does not appeal to him at all; He once said " [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." Vasquez has expressed in interviews and hinted at in The Director's Cut that the starting point of Johnny C is just the fantasy of murder ("I never killed anyone. I avoid going over that edge by writing about a guy who has taken a flying leap over it"). The progress of the comics also imply that at first, the murder was nothing but a running gag, which then turned into an important part of the character.

In "I Feel Sick", there appeared sufficient evidence that Nny's situation was brought on by the combination of being a waste lock and being influenced by the force behind the Doughboys. This force also appears to be manipulating things so that Johnny doesn't get caught; at one point he even commits a murder in front of a security camera and correctly predicts he still won't get caught.

Because of his obvious insanity, it can be said that Johnny is in fact not evil. As Johnny has expressed before, he is "Quite possibly horrendously insane", and he never seems to act out of pure maliciousness, but rather a drive for something he feels necessary to happen, such as to feed the wall or to exact a punishment onto someone, and even sometimes appears not to know why he did so.Though he may not kill out of maliciousness, he does seem to enjoy his murderous actions. Throughout the book in various humorous moments, Johnny is shown randomly killing or mentioning randomly killing people for no reason other than amusement. After his heaven-hell experience, he takes a note, writes on it and sticks it on the end of an arrow. Once outside, he shoots a teenage boy holding up a sign requesting beer. The note on the arrow is then revealed to say 'kick me'.It is important to note that Johnny seems to have more reasoning for his killing near the beginning of his story, quite probably because in the later issues, he has no wall to feed and is searching for emotional numbness, and so he has less drive to kill and less reasoning for when he does. In the beginning, he is driven to it quite notably by fear of the wall, the urgings of Mr. Eff, and by the mere enjoyment of it, which is most obvious in the massacre at the cafe.He has also killed for educational reasons, such as when he saved Squee from a pedophile by hitting the man over the head with a pipe, mutilating his hand,breaking apart his skull, and forcefully removing his brain, all the while ranting to Squee. Naturally, Squee is absolutely horrified by Johnny's display, despite feeling grateful for being rescued.

Near-Death Experience

Throughout the series, Johnny tries to commit suicide several times. At one point, he succeeds, though ironically it occurred accidentally and after he had changed his mind about wanting to die. He is sent to heaven and then to hell, but discovers he doesn't belong in either place and is resurrected. The series ends with him going on something of a vacation to distance himself from his present lifestyle as to contemplate his feelings towards his internal motivations and urges. The ambiguity of the closing pages presents the idea that Nny may be searching for a new lifestyle or that he wishes to find happiness and personal acceptance with his present one, or even that he is open to either possibility. This open-ended conclusion also leaves room for a second series of comics, but Vasquez has expressed no interest so far to continue Nny's story. However, he does appear (unnamed) in "Squee!", where he is a test subject for sleep deprivation (what he and Vasquez both suffer from) at a mental institution. He also appears in a flashback of "I Feel Sick".

Johnny's reason for insanity was declared in the series to him being a 'waste-lock'. During Johnny's trip to Hell, Satan explains that 'the human negative' is collected in cells placed throughout the world as random objects (The wall in Johnny's house, in this case) and are also assigned a waste-lock, a seal of sorts to protect the combination of negativity from breaking out. This, however, is implied to have a negative effect on the assigned waste-lock, but it serves a purpose; when a waste-lock is full, the waste-lock implodes and takes the existence as it knows it down the drain wherein existence is restored. Satan remarks that the ones that choose these locks must have been 'ill upon choosing him' due to him being 'profoundly disturbed to begin with'. Johnny, unconsciously, shows awareness of this task earlier ("You know, that old thing about what happens to the world when you close your eyes!!!"), but never truly understands its nature until it is told.

ee also

* Johnny the Homicidal Maniac
* I Feel Sick
* Squee
* Characters of Johnny the Homicidal Maniac
* Jhonen Vasquez
* Fillerbunny
* Nailbunny

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