Why You Should Be Reading… Oni Press’ Invader Zim!

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Hey all, the weeks continue to fly by as we return for another installment of,WHY YOU SHOULD BE READING…

This week I wanted to return to a wholesome place, digging up some of the innocents lost by getting older and experiencing the world around us. Cartoons were a huge main stay in my younger years, and telling off my age here I was apart of the Nicktoons revolution of the 90’s, along with Cartoon networks attempt to revive the concept, adding competition in the early 2000’s. In my opinion that era of cartoons had the best of both worlds, freedom to push the envelope, yet still restricted enough, forcing writers to use mass creativity when putting together their series. Many hits, and personal favorites came out of this time, and frankly when I watch some of them today I have a new appreciation for exactly what they were doing during that amazing time period. Some of my fondest memories are sitting closer to the TV then I should have, laughing my ass off at the quality cartoons afforded to us, add some friends, and some snacks to the mix, and your in child heaven, soaking up the blissful time of submerging into animated life. The tune force was very strong with me, making me a pivotal asset in childhood discussions during school hours, helping past the time by focusing on our favorite shows and characters.

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Invader Zim was a show I frequently brought up, I remember it being the cool show, and I felt I added some years to my age by enjoying it. Heck, even my older sister used to watch, it being the last or so of her cartoon faze as her teenage years were coming to a close. Zim was the one cartoon she wouldn’t sweat me for watching, and generally enjoyed it with me over popcorn and snacks, giving us a decent heaven of sibling bonding. Despite becoming a cult hit, its crazy to think Invader Zim lasted only 2 season, being cancelled in the middle, then resurrected to finishing it off. It did in my opinion mark the downward spiral that would be cartoons in the later 1st decade of the 2000’s, as the Toon revolutionaries began to age. As someone who fully cherished that time, I can’t express enough how excited I was for the news of Zim’s return via comic book form, and I can only hope there is no end in site for the comic series. If you were in fact apart of that cartoon revolution, and want to recapture some of that vibe of innocents, look no further, this is Why You Should Be Reading….

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The Invader Zim comic is a continuation of the original story told by the cartoon of the early 2000’s. It has been years since Zim has been spotted, and there has been no activity indicating he is still a direct threat to the human race, or the the world. Dib who is an original main character who has dedicated his life to stoping Zim, has become a paranoid, recluse individual obsessing over the lack of presence from his nemesis. Dib has gained weight, pretty much actively living in a vegetative state, this has caused him to have low confidence, and an even lower drive at life in general. He is completely dedicated to proving Zim is still out there, ¬†glossing over all the evidence of their past battles, searching for the answer to this mystery. For those who may be interested in bridging the gap between the cartoon and the comic, Invader Zim Truth Shrieker is essentially Issue zero in the comic series. It was published like a news letter filled with articles and special “files” that do pretty well adding comedy and bridging a few gaps as to what was going on during the hiatus. As a huge paranormal fan I love The Top Secret presentation of the Truth Shrieker issue, as well as how they blend comedy with a bunch of short stories and articles, still keeping it tied to the main story. As someone who loves collectables this was a must have, and I love how it ties the cartoon and comic together.

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The issues themselves are just laugh out loud funny, that is hands down the best part so far, really making this an enjoyable read. I as a mid 20’s man can laugh audibly at a comic based on one of my favorite childhood cartoons is a real treat. Again it breaks me away from everything around me, returning me to that innocents I took for granted as a child, there is no better feeling then giggling out loud and having the people around you question what is making you laugh so hard, giving you the opportunity to share and spread the joy. The artwork is also exactly as I remember the cartoon being, giving the title a reminiscing feel, crude art with a nice array of unique coloring, giving each page a nice glossy pop. I also fancy how well they break up some of the panels, and strategically arranged them to further push the comedic elements they were trying to get across. It really give the series a nice flow, and they did well spacing out each of the elements giving you clear reason to continue turning pages. From a collector standpoint this series is something you should have on your radar. The Truth Shrieker issues are already going for 40$ online, and I have found the single issues to be gone fairly early in the day upon release, proving this is a hot find and one that should be stored safely


zim6If you are a cool older figure in someone’s life I would also suggest picking this up for them. You are giving your younger sibling or family member a cool kids comic, not just some kiddy little book, although they have their place, this is re hashing a revolution of sorts, like a stamp from the past were cartoons were everything and the coolest thing happening. As an older sibling I have already gathered a care package for my little brother and I can’t wait for him to check these out. With Zim’s impending return I foresee huge opportunities to continue to carry this series, ¬†and as I laugh happily through each issue I find it hard to wait for the next release, for those who are unsatified with reruns, This Is Why You Should Be Reading…..

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Invader Zim

-Grainbelt Jones

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