"What's wrong with you? All you talk about is aliens and ghosts and seeing Bigfoot in your garage!" - The Letter M.
For two years, 2001-2003, a large number of people lodged pencils in their brains, collected piggies (PIGGIES!) sang the "Doom Song," and ran around in circles shouting "WEE!"
The reason for this apparent mental break? Invader Zim!
Invader Zim first aired on the 30th of March, 2001, on NICKELODEON, becoming an instant cult classic, thanks to its peculiar brand of humour, twisted plots, grotesque and fantastic characters, and all round sense of "WTF!"
"Bwahahaha. Inferior human organs!" - Zim.
For the dozen or so of you, who have never watched ZIM. I shall give you a brief background on the characters and a quick synopsis.
INVADER ZIM is an alien. (So far, so good.) He comes from the planet Irk, capital of the IRKEN EMPIRE. Now, unlike his fellow Irken's, Zim is a complete moron. Which doesn't bode well for an Imperialistic people.
After almost destroying his home world, and most of the Irken military, he is banished to the Planet of Foodcourtia. Though he quickly "quits that job" and returns home to be assigned a new military post. (Enter the TV series.)
In an attempt to rid themselves of his stupidity, the rulers of the Irken Empire -THE ALMIGHTY TALLEST (Yes, they are in-charge because they are taller than everyone else.) give into his demandsort of.
After convincing Zim that he must conduct a "secret mission," they gift him some second hand tech, a defective robot sidekick, and send him to the back of beyond, to some planetary cesspit called "EARTH" -which is of no use to the Empire.
There he begins his bumbling quest to conquer the planet, and destroy its people.
Zim was created by American comic book writer, cartoonist, and music video director, JHONEN VASQUEZ (SQUEE! JOHNNY THE HOMOCIDAL MANIAC. I FEEL SICK.)
"YOU'RE NOTHING EARTH BOY! GO HOME AND SHAVE YOUR GIANT HEAD OF SMELL WITH YOUR BAD SELF!" - ZIM.
Invader Zim featured a myriad of memorable charactersor at least character you couldn't forget, unless you were taking strong medication.
Is a short green megalomaniac. He is obsessed with his mission, his greatness, and his desire to please his leaders. To infiltrate human society, Zim disguises himself as a green human child, and attends the local school.
He is voiced by RICHARD STEVEN HORVITZ (ANGRY BEAVERS, BEN 10, POWER-RANGERS.)
Zim is accompanied to Earth, by his defective half-witted, robotic sidekick, Gir. Voiced by ROSEARIK RIKKI SIMONS (I FEEL SICK, SHUTTERBOX.) Each of the invaders (those chosen to pave-the-way for the Irken invasion) is assigned a SIR unit (Standard Issue Information Retrieval unit.) Each SIR comes with a wide range of weapons, technology, skills and specialized training.
Of course GIR comes with defectiveEVERYTHING. Though he does have a nice dog costume, and a friendly, party animal disposition.
Now every villain, even one as useless as Zim, needs a hero to combat. And that hero is named, Dib, and he is voiced by ANDY BERMAN (ROCKET POWER, WINGS.)
Dib is not your average child. He is smart, very smart, a genius in fact. Though like most geniuses he's a blundering idiot. He is obsessed with the supernatural, paranormal, and all things esoteric. (Remind you of someone, Wookiee?) He is also one of a hand full of people who know Zim is an alien, though most of them either don't care, or are themselves bumbling morons.
The sister of Dib. She is unique piece of work. Obsessed with video-games, she hates her brothers UFO obsession and his war with Zim. she loathes anything that interferes with the consumption of pizza (Sounds like Wookiee.) and is generally sarcastic and dry towards all others. She is also a little psychopathic.
She is voiced by well known Anime star, MELISSA FAHN (GHOST IN THE SHELL: STAND ALONE COMPLEX, BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE.)
There are of course dozens of secondary characters and othersBut I shall let you discover the joys of them.
"Children, your performance was miserable. Your parents will all receive phone calls instructing them to love you less now." - Ms. Bitters.
Such was the cult impact of Invader Zim, that almost overnight dozens of figurines were born.
Best get out those wallets.
There are dozens of sites .But wait.
T-Shirts, caps, hats, vest, trousers, and so much more .And that's just the tip of the proverbial iceberg .
"OkayUm, founded in 1492 by, uhdemons, the FBI is a crack law enforcement agency designed touh, I dunno, fightaliens?" - Computer.
Not only did Invader Zim conquer the world of inferior human merchandise, but he and his comrades invaded music videos and memes.
With over a thousand different songs, videos, ringtones, and audio tracks available on the internet, there is something for everyone. There's even a room with a moose.
This "evil minions" meme is the most popular Zim meme at present.
They even have cosplay music videos.
"Ms. Bitters, I think a pencil is lodged in my brain. Can I go to the nurse?" - Dib.
Now here is something you don't see everyday, a libido killing cosplay. This particular cosplay took place in 2004.
"I made mashed po-ta-toes!" - Gir.
Of course fan art is a major part of Zim Cultureor should that be Zimians? Or Irkenzians? Or so other bizarre made up fan subculture.
Regardless, Zim art work, particularly anime-style, is a fan favourite and a must for any desktop.
And there's even an Invader Zim convention, called "INVADERCON." The first one was in March 2011, and last year it ran for two days, 28-29 June. Hopefully they'll do something amazing next year.
Zim also appears in a flash game, and a number of Nickelodeon games, including NICKTOONS MLB. (MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL.) where he and Gaz are playable characters.
"So, you're saying the humans are dumb, yettall. HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE? How can anything tall be dumb?" - Tallest Red.
Of course Zim caused controversy as well.
Some people found the humour, style, contentHell, even the name offensive in some way. But the most damning controversy, and final nail in the coffin of a relaunch, came in 2006.
American murderer SCOTT DYLESKI killed and removed the organs of his neighbour PAMELA VITALE. Which according to the prosecutor was similar to the Invader Zim episode "DARK HARVEST," where Zim harvests children's organs to appear more human.
There's always some insolent fool boy trying to ruin the fun.
"My head's not big! Why does everyone say that?" - Dib.
And as it's KWEZNUZ EVE (That's from Black Adder's Christmas Carol. I wish you people would watch it,) we'll end with something festive. Sing along if you know the words, pitiful humans.