129 of 133 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Searching for Closure.
I consider myself to be a moral person. I despise causing others pain. It makes me sick to watch cruelty. Human suffering makes me ache. As a matter of fact, I generally dislike comic books. So, what, you may ask, am I doing giving this particularly violent comic book five stars? Read the book and you will understand. It is at times quite hilarious, at others...
Published on August 17, 2000 by Rachel
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well, since I'm here...
If you've read the other reviews of this book, you'll have already garnered a basic idea of plot and characters, so I won't rehash that here. Instead, I offer a sort of pros-and-cons approach.
Negatives first: Not only was this the first comic series the author had ever done as full issues, it is some of his earliest work. The learning process is interesting to...
Published on July 14, 2003 by rueyeet
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129 of 133 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Searching for Closure.,
This review is from: Johnny The Homicidal Maniac: Director's Cut (Paperback)I consider myself to be a moral person. I despise causing others pain. It makes me sick to watch cruelty. Human suffering makes me ache. As a matter of fact, I generally dislike comic books. So, what, you may ask, am I doing giving this particularly violent comic book five stars? Read the book and you will understand. It is at times quite hilarious, at others quite depressing. It has complexities of character and meaning that are rarely (if ever) seen anywhere else in today's pop culture. Johnny is insane. He knows it, the author knows it, and don't worry, the reader knows it too (if not, the author has recommended to such readers that they spend the rest of eternity pondering their own stupidity). He kills out of pure malice for the human race. He kills to savor moments of levity. He kills for reasons that are beyond his understanding. One would think he'd make a nice villain. Yet it is difficult not to pity him. He is the anti-hero of the story. This sad character has been tortured by the demons of society and by the demons of his mind. He is the grimy buildup of society's ills. He is the creation of cruelty. Perhaps in a better world, he could very well have been a bright, intelligent young man, as the author once said. Unfortunately, Johnny lacks the coping skills to have made this possible. Perhaps one of the most disturbing things is that the reader finds his or herself so able to relate to this psychotic killer. I found this book extremely provacative and incredibly enjoyable. Chicken Soup for the Soul, it ain't. One could relate it more easily to The Jungle. I would recommend this to any mature person with an open mind, a sense of humor, and a strong stomach.
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "It Changes Color When It Dries! I Have to Keep It Wet!",
This review is from: Johnny The Homicidal Maniac: Director's Cut (Paperback)Johnny is the figure that skulks through the back alleys of society, always deemed as meriting the unfurled fingers of the "in" crowds as laughter rolls from their robust mouths or as they jeer and taunt with groups of their friends in tow. This is because he always seems to be different, existing on the fringes of a society he doesn't mingle into very well, therefore making him the perfect target for the mockery of others. Still, mocking people is not always the best solution when soliciting that quick burst of enjoyment, especially when the individual happens to be a homicidal maniac that, amongst other things, is consumed with keeping a certain wall in his home painted with blood because it can never be allowed to dry - and with good reason. This isn't the only thing reason that he does the things he does, mind you, because he sometimes revels in the simple interactions and subsequent torment of those that he deems worthy of his loathing, grouping everyone from rude diners to door-to-door surveyors in the happy little subclass we like to call the despised.
On certain levels, it would appear that Johnny the Homicidal Maniac is nothing more than a montage of slaughter wearing a sheepish disguise, reveling in the primordial stew of emotions forged from suffering and lashing out at the elements that cause this inner turmoil. This, however, is far from the case because it contains many elements that, while not exactly inflating the bruised mentality of portions of a world that possibly merits scarring, work as a finger to point out these transgressions. It also shows another side to the combatant within this maelstrom as he tries to comprehend his place within the deeds that seem to rain blood, making him wonder why he seems possessed by such needs and why he can't get caught doing these things no matter how hard he tries. This leads him into the gates of heaven and into the depths of hell, with one question posed on his lips, "Why?"
Joined by a dysfunctional cast of figures that include his ex-pet, now severed head Nail Bunny (you can sort that one out for yourself), Mr. Eff and Psycho-Doughboy (both doughboys that have some very questionable influences about them and some wonderful explicits painted on them), Squee - the little tormented boy that lives next door to Johnny, Devi - the one person to get away from him and to steal his heart in the process, God, and the Devil, you find yourself meshing a variety of thoughts and themes into something quite prolific. In fact, Johnny's search for inner-contentment and understanding of his role in the scheme of things wind down some harrowing roads that pit comedy and the doom of many a person hand in hand with social commentary to question and spit on the sensibilities of the masses. For that reason and because of his frequent tantrums that end in the greatest of fashions, this is merrily Recommended!!!
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun Fact: It's not a moose...,
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Johnny The Homicidal Maniac: Director's Cut (Paperback)...But you will still want this book! Johnny the Homicidal Maniac is one of the funniest and most thought provoking forms of dark humor I've had the pleasure of reading. (Oh, just to let you know, Jhonen Vasquez isn't as messed or outcasted as some make him out to be.)
The book collects all seven issues of the first, (and probably not the last) series of the JtHM comic books. These aren't quite the Super Man or Simpsons type stuff, but don't get the impression it's limited to the "Spooky People." Heck, it makes fun of them too. No one is safe from Jhonen's wrath. Through the character of Johnny C, (or Nny) we get to see all the people we love to hate get caught, tortured, and killed. And do we cry? Nope! We laugh. Why not? For those who think it's childish and disgusting, for all I know, you're probably right. But that's why this is in the form of a graphic novel, and not a text book. Ees fun!
But there is more than violence and laughter. Further on in the book, we find Nny's acknowledgement that he is beyond redemption and isn't happy with himself. It brings us deeper into Nny's character, and wonder if he is the victim of his own choices... Oh, by the way, Nny isn't goth. It's a black n white comic, but he really isn't pale.
Johnny and his colorful cast of voices aren't the only ones who get the spotlight. Both Squee and Devi get supporting roles that lead to their own spin off comic books. (Highly recommended as well!) And then there's Happy Noodle Boy. From what I've heard, he was created to tick someone off. Far from a masterpeice, but you'll laugh anyway, won't you? Hee hee. Then there's Anne Gwish, the "trendy goth" hypocrite who likes to pretend she's deep.
The only things missing from this collection are the "Meanwhile" series, and Wobbly Headed Bob. They come packed in with the complement series, Squee! So if you like this one, check out Squee too. Now go, and buy this book!
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your face is scary,
This review is from: Johnny The Homicidal Maniac: Director's Cut (Paperback)This book was a mixture of horrid philosophy and just plain silliness. The plot is pretty easy to follow: Johnny (or Nny, if you're his friend) is, of course, a homicidal maniac. He kills people for no good reason, really. They trip him, call him names, laugh at him, hurt him, love him, they die. He keeps the real jerks in various torture chambers beneath his two-story shack. He kills, though, not only to fulfill some insane, horrible bloodlust, but to feed and maintain a possessed wall demon that lives in his house. If he doesn't do so...bad stuff happens.
You can imagine how few friends Nny has. Among them are Todd AKA 'Squee', the traumatized boy nextdoor who later on gets his own series, Mr. Eff and Psycho Dough-boy, two repainted Pilsbury dough-boys with serious personality problems, Nailbunny, a severed rabbit's head who acts as Johnny's conscience, and a chubby Bob's Burger Boy named Reverend Meat (all but Todd are voices in Nny's head). Then there's a girl named Devi...the one who got away.
Jhonen Vasquez did a wonderful job on this piece and you can really see how his art got better from issue to issue. His black and white drawings are really attention-grabbing work, and it's full of subliminal messages hidden in borders (especially Happy Noodle Boy), little comments randomly stuck in by Jhonen, and Johnny's infamous magically changing T-shirt. This book is great social commentary, comedy, and just plain weirdness. Buy it. Buy it now...
Mmmyep. Have I talked enough? Please...I wanna go home. Thanks.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well, since I'm here...,
This review is from: Johnny The Homicidal Maniac: Director's Cut (Paperback)If you've read the other reviews of this book, you'll have already garnered a basic idea of plot and characters, so I won't rehash that here. Instead, I offer a sort of pros-and-cons approach.
Negatives first: Not only was this the first comic series the author had ever done as full issues, it is some of his earliest work. The learning process is interesting to follow, but there are some initial rough spots to get through, both conceptually and artistically. Second, this book is unabashedly full of thoroughly gratuitous violence, graphically rendered down to the last exacting detail of each spatter of blood. Despite the fact that the drawings are in stark black and white, I've rarely seen gore done with such vividness. Lastly, the storytelling is erratic, almost random. This is intentional, and meant to reflect Johnny's state of mind, but the continuing plot will not be immediately apparent.
If none of that fazes you, though, you're in for a real treat.
It's a rare writer that can create a character who is so completely irredeemable, and make that character sympathetic without excusing any of their misdeeds. Johnny himself tells us that he is the villian here, and can't justify what he does. No convenient, absolving explanation is given: in fact, such a thing is consciously avoided. And yet, the reader can identify with him, and even laugh at the horror he creates. That's no mean trick.
Going along with that fine appreciation for shades of grey is the fact that while this story is primarily meant as humor, it's not just that. Even at its most random, the intelligence behind this mayhem shows through in fractured gleams. There are references both visual and textual to philosophy, art, literature, and cinema. There's social commentary on several levels--sarcastic, real, and inferred.
And last, but not least, is the sheer creativity of it. Some of the ideas the author tosses in here are just brilliant. And the major twist in the story literally had me saying, "Wow. Can he DO that?" Yes, it's hard to tell sometimes, but there actually is a plot, and a theme, and a conflict here...and it's not fully resolved. Should the series never be continued (and the author's exasperation with the fans requesting this makes future Johnny books look unlikely) you're left to draw your own conclusions.
If that all sounds like your kind of thing, I wish you happy reading.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funniest, Wittiest dark satire I have ever read!,
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This review is from: Johnny The Homicidal Maniac: Director's Cut (Paperback)Where can you find an intelligent and witty glimpse into the sickened, insane, cold-blooded mind of a habitual killer? Right here with Johnny, The Homicidal Manic.
This is clearly a graphical novel for adults only (read the title, parents!), JTHM is a bloody and savage treat to the warped followers of horror and horror satire. If you ever laughed when the Road Runner dropped the Coyote off a cliff and turned him into an accordion, then you should find a chuckle or two in Vasquez's humorous look at homicidal mania.
The cartoons are brutally savage and yet excruciatingly funny, but don't worry because they are all done in black and white so the gore is not as intense as it could have been. Interspersed with Vasquez's storyline are tiny text boxes that cement the fact that this is a satire with such thoughtful comments as how the scene was filmed (its a picture), and cautionary remarks like "Parents: Don't get upset - It's a fake brain." and "Stupid People: I would ask you to keep in mind that this should *not* be a source of moral guidance." and "Kids, don't be stupid and try this: this is a trained flying toddler."
Hilarious little blurbs like these are also accompanied by Noodle Boy breaks. Happy Noodle Boy is the comic strip that Johnny writes, the second (and worse) cartoon within a cartoon, along the lines of "Itchy & Scratchy" to The Simpsons and "Terrance & Phillip" to South Park.
You will indulge your darker half with the intelligent debates between Johnny and his victims, see a gruesome Public Service Announcement, discover that God is a fat baby in a lounge chair and that the devil is a cheerleader. The dialogue is clever, the drawings hilarious, the storyline amusing, and the satire thick and twisted. Everything a horror fan could want in a graphic book.
The cells are quite busy, but take your time reading this dripping black jewel; you don't want to miss the extras thrown into each frame. Also take note of those chapters with scrolled or fancy looking borders. Hidden within the borders are messages such as "I like Ramen" and "Are you awake?" and "I am no potato."
As a finisher to this tasty meal, a dessert of early sketches is presented, along with character boards for Johnny, Nailbunny, Mr. Eff, Psycho Doughboy, Devi D., Tess R., Anne Gwish, and Squee. (who later gets his very own book!)
Completely rounding out our meal, Vasquez also included commentaries on the issues that JTHM was originally released in, and a hysterical interview he wrote by himself...with himself.
The wit and barbs just fly across these pages, and though the humor is indeed dark and intended for horror fans, I think you will be surprised at finding it is humor with intelligence behind it. I deeply enjoyed JTHM, I hope you do too.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sick, Twisted, Morbid, Funny, and Wonderful,
This review is from: Johnny The Homicidal Maniac: Director's Cut (Paperback)This book is amazing. It shows Johnny C (or Nny) living his everyday life. But somehting is different about Nny. He's a homicidal maniac who kills people just for insulting him, trying to harm him (I.e. trip him), or just looking at him funny. He often goes on killing rampages to collect blood to paint a wall in his many level basement, if he doesn't something bad will happen.
Nny also hear voices, Mr. Eff and D-boy (two doughboys with sierous problems), nail bunny (a rabbit nailed to his wall), and later on, MEAT (a bub's burger boy). His only real friend is a traumatized little boy who lives next door named Squee.
Nny also tries to commit sucicide on several accounts, but it seems like something is stopping him...
Happy Noodle Boy also appears in the book. HNB is a comic drawn by Nny (a comic within a comic!)
Sadly, the meanwhiles are not included in this book. To get them you have to buy Squee's Wonderful Big Giant Book of Unspeakable Horrors. I reccomend you buy it in addition to this book.
Overall, the book is well writen and well drawn. Jhonen Vasquez is a Genius.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars z?,
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Johnny The Homicidal Maniac: Director's Cut (Paperback)Jhonen Vasquez is the guy.
He is completely responsible for the slow death of my sense of right and wrong. I cheer for Nny and Zim at all times. I have come to view them as the good guys. It's frightening, really.
Anyway, JtHM is awesome, spiffy fun for anyone morbid, emotionally disturbed or snarky enough to get the humour. It's not only for those dubbing themselves goths or punks or whatever the kids are saying today. It's good violent fun for anyone, eyeliner or no. *is going to get hate mail for that* *giggles*
So, buy the DC book(this way, you don't have to go into Hot Topic to get the comics, which can only be a good thing...^-^), buy the Squee! book, buy "Everything Can Be Beaten', buy the Zim DVD. Buy "Lenore" by Roman Dirge. Embrace your inner Johnny. Welcome to the club.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm Smiling Already...,
This review is from: Johnny The Homicidal Maniac: Director's Cut (Paperback)One day KidKourage was sitting at her desk in her dorm room, gleefully searching the internet for sites concerning her newest obsession, the cartoon show Invader Zim. I got more than I bargained for, let me tell you...
Through my fandom of IZ, I soon became acquainted with the creator, Jhonen Vasquez's, other works of hilarious fiction. After viewing various scanned panels on the internet, I fell in love with Mr. Vasquez's drawing style, his sense of humor, and his complete and utter disregard for the imposed morality of today's society. I was hooked, and now needed to find a way to get my parents to allow me to purchase a comic titled 'Johnny the Homicidal Maniac.' Imagine how hard *that* was. Still, as you must have figured out since I am reviewing this book, I eventually triumphed.
Now, what to say about JtHM? How can I possibly begin to describe this uniquely twisted tale? Well, I may as well start off by introducing you to the title character. Reader, this is Johnny C. If you're nice to him, which few people take the time to be, maybe he'll let you call him 'Nny. One of his greatest goals in life is to become 'as cold as the moon'--emotionless and machinelike. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things getting in his way. For one thing, there's a supernatural evil entity living behind one of the walls of his house which will escape if said wall is not constantly painted with a coat of fresh blood. For another, Johnny's own 'head voices'--and we all have our own menagerie, though some of us deny it--are working for the wall beast and wish to corrupt his mind further. And, for *another*, there are just so many pointlessly stupid people in this world that get on 'Nny's nerves to the point where he is forced to brutally murder them. Yes, that's right. As if you couldn't tell from the title, Johnny is a homicidal maniac. With great enthusiasm and uncanny skill, 'Nny tortures and kills those who fail to treat him with the respect due to any human being. However, though this book is indeed gruesome and violent at times, there is some real philosophical merit here. You can't help but want to root for Johnny, despite his murderous tendencies, because his character is so tragically human. Once a brilliant artist, his memory has been erased and his purpose clouded. Poor, poor misguided 'Nny is doomed to live his life as a 'flusher,' a being whose purpose is to absorb the hatred, stupidity, and general waste of society and to burn it off into oblivion, thus saving the masses from having to deal with the negative products of their own ignorance. However, 'Nny is completely unaware of this role that he plays, and even Satan himself agrees that whoever decided to cast *him* as a flusher was more incompetent than even GW. You see, our boy Johnny is a rather...independent person. Instead of simply allowing the entity that controls him to completely take over, 'Nny is determined to search for answers, to regain sovereignty over his actions, and to simply be himself.
Of course, that's just scraping the surface. I could go on for hours and hours about the amazingly complex creature that is Johnny C, but you'd probably get bored and stop reading. Many likely already have. Anyway, 'Nny is joined in his story by Squee, the cute little neighbor boy with the giant eyes and tendency to have horrific nightmares. Squee, along with his rather frightening-looking teddy bear Shmee, is the focus of his very own comic series, which I would recommend just as much as JtHM. And then there's the lovely Devi D, who has the unfortunate luck to come back to 'Nny's house with him after a date. Persuaded by his evil head-voices, Johnny attempts to end the relationship in a very permanent way; Devi unceremoniously beats him bloody and escapes to begin a new life full of paranoia. Rounding out the cast of recurring characters is Tess R, who also has rotten luck with men--though she's mostly recovered now.
The Director's Cut also features the creation of Johnny C himself, Happy Noodle Boy, whose random insanity will make you laugh out loud. Horrendously drawn and incredibly incoherent, Happy Noodle Boy is the insane person's insane person, screaming obscene remarks at passerby and generally disturbing everyone around him. He's silly.
If you buy JtHM: The Director's Cut--and you have the proper dark, sarcastic sense of humor--you won't be disappointed. The character development is masterful, the storylines are as thought-provoking as they are hilarious, and the artwork is stunning for all its simplicity. You'll laugh! You'll cry! You'll quote Noodle Boy, causing people around you to stare! And you'll always come back for more.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Dear Die-Ary, Today some friends came over...",
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This review is from: Johnny The Homicidal Maniac: Director's Cut (Paperback)I can say, without any sense of doubt, that "JTHM" (short for "Johnny the Homicidal Maniac) is unquestionably one of the most perverted, sickest, deranged, gruesome and disturbing thing I have ever read in my life. Normally, when you hear somebody describe something with such words as the ones I have used, you'd think there's no way in the world that the person enjoyed it. However, I'm telling you that I really enjoyed myself reading this. Sure, it's sick and twisted--but that's the purpose of "JTHM." It's not here to solve world hunger or bring peace to the world. It's here for entertainment purposes.
This book is a collection of "Johnny the Homicidal Maniac" comic strips about a twisted and sadistic character, Johnny. Johnny is one disturbed cookie, as he goes around killing numbers of people on any given day. Sometimes he kills them quickly--other times, he likes to play around and torture them. He doesn't know exactly why he does what he does, and he even questions it all at one point. There's a wall in his house that must be kept painted with fresh blood from his victims, or an unspeakable horror will reveal itself. Johnny is also extremely suicidal and attempts to end his life many times, but there's always something that gets in the way of him trying to do himself in. While he hates everybody in the world--which is the cause for all of his violent outbursts, the only human being he can tolerate is a cute little kid known as "Squee." However, he keeps traumatizing the kid with his "crazy antics."
I know what you're thinking. How can something so deranged and gruesome be viewed as "funny?" Well, there's really no easy answer for that. It's funny because you know that it's not serious and it's not trying to take itself seriously. Jhonen has created a nightmarish world of pain and suffering, but is able to be humorous and openly sarcastic about it. He's always grinning at you along the way, throwing in subtle little jokes that are hidden throughout the book. In fact, this is something you need to read more than once, as you're bound to miss a few hidden things the first time around. Vasquez has created a ghoulishly world filled with unspeakable terror and dark comedy.
In no way is this recommended for people with weak stomachs. You have to really have a warped sense of humor to appreciate "JTHM," and yes--I am a pretty warped person. The book is bound to get a reaction out of you, whether it's pure disgust or helpless giggling. It does contain graphic violence, adult themes, and dark and disturbing imagery. It's a work of fiction that is in your face and refuses to make any apologies for its existence.
Sick and demented, "JTHM: The Director's Cut" is a disturbingly good time that is bound to give you some messed up dreams if you read it all in one setting late into the night. It might be nothing more than a sick-fest of blood and guts, but I think it's done in a clever--and yet, zany way. If you're looking for something dark and unrelenting, this is definitely something to check out. Just make sure you know what you're getting yourself into once you decide to open that door... because Johnny is never fond of allowing his "guests" to leave once they enter his house of horrors. -Michael Crane
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Johnny The Homicidal Maniac: Director's Cut by Jhonen Vasquez (Paperback - June 29, 2010)