Don’t cry for ZIM, he was already dead.
Back in March I spent the month doing a blog post a day covering various aspects of the creation of INVADER ZIM, the greatest animation product ever to be called INVADER ZIM.
What people don’t know, but probably suspected, was that the ZIM marathon going on at the same time on NICKTOONS was part of a sinister plan to test the waters for a possible ZIM invasion.
A part of me hates dispelling that freakishly ugly response in a portion of the fandom that seems to thrive on making up their own reasons for why the show ended, but an entry like this kind of makes not doing so impossible.
For a quite some time now, there were rumblings at the network of bringing ZIM back to television with new episodes and such. On my side, it was little bits of information I’d get from friends still working at nickelodeon, people who’d call me up or IM me to speak of an odd little meeting they had with some higher up or other talking about the old show in more than a nostalgic way.
Then they started re-running the hell out of the show on NICKTOONS where it started getting some decent ratings. Around this time I began getting calls from the network, some old familiar voices, but mostly some new ones, people who either seemed to love ZIM or not quite know what ZIM was but they felt that maybe other people loved it and perhaps that was reason enough to call me and discuss more of it.
Now here’s the part that doesn’t quite play into the lunatic agenda of spreading hilarious misinformation: I loved the idea of doing more ZIM stuff!
See, people like me (awesome ones), the second something becomes even remotely possible, something on the scale of an animated series or, what I was hoping to do instead, less frequent specials, that’s the instant my brain just goes nuts with new ideas, places to go, stupid jokes and horrific new stories.
So I had my meetings, and phone calls, and listened to people discuss my show in that strange way that makes dealing with a network so unlike dealing with an actual human being that knows what it likes, knows what it wants and expresses a love or hate of anything. It’s that particular way of interacting that made me decide a few years back that if I was to do ANYTHING, be it animation, live action stuff, comics…basically anything creative, it was going to be something worth driving yourself mad for because that’s what inevitably happens, you drive yourself to exhaustion to get an idea out of your head before you die, and you do it as best you can.
Like I said, the show was doing alright on NICKTOONS, getting the 2nd highest ratings of anything on the network, coming in under Avatar, and for a show coming up on a decade old, that’s pretty damned great!
That I still keep in touch with people from Nickelodeon is probably one of the more mindblowing bits to people that think I do nothing by firebomb the place anytime I’m near enough to hit it. That the network would even dare call me to talk about more of a show it is supposed to hate is the second such bit.
Well, my brain got going, like it does, and I was already imagining all kinds of fun stuff, like voice actors to bring in, having favorite bands do covers of the theme song for each episode, a sequel to ZIM eats waffles that would somehow be even more stupid than the first one. Big, dumb, fun stuff.
But crazy stuff is sometimes just as crazy as it sounds, and more ZIM is probably too crazy for reality! The weird energy around resurrecting the show (that’s actually how one of the NICK execs referred to it) ebbed a bit in recent months and it looks like it’s not going to happen. Honestly, I’d love working on newer ideas for different shows, but that place in my head that wants to take those old characters to new places and torture the hell out of them just a bit more can’t help be be a bit sad to see the lights dim on that world just a bit. A world in mothballs is what it feels like when these things don’t get to live in more than just reruns.
Reasons? The usual…too expensive, and not nearly soul-crushingly bland enough. Okay, I added that last part, but come on…you know that’s part of it!
But here’s what IS cool, and not sad in the least: This all came to be because the show simply doesn’t die. It might be wrapped up in packing peanuts and shoved out of the way a bit, hidden even, but like the most determined child on the hunt for its father’s handgun that they KNOW is gonna be a hell of a fun time, the audience just never let the show go, potentially to the aggravation of the network. You guys just don’t shut the hell up about it, and even though there will probably be no new episodes, it made a bunch of executives, people who seriously don’t know what the hell is happening without first polling actual human beings on it first, blink in confusion, irritation and possibly wonder at this old show I came up with to where they actually picked up the phone to discuss breathing just a bit more life into it.
We made a pretty cool thing, and then we went away from it, but you guys, you never dropped it, you infected your children with it, and those kids infected their pets with it. I visit my wee nieces and nephews and they talk about it like it’s something that just came out, and they act out episodes and when I’m done screaming at them to shut up, I think about how freaking cool it is to have infiltrated people’s brains in such a way, and I wonder how I can use this to my criminal advantage someday.
Okay, so that’s that, for now anyhow. This is all based on information that is still steaming hot, like phone calls just this morning hot, and that’s the gist of it, that new ZIM stuff is likely not going forward. In this world, that never means never, but it’s not the kind of thing anyone should be holding their breath over!
I’m glad you guys dug the show, continue to dig the show, and hopefully, when someone has the balls to not just consider more nonsense from me, but to actually make it, you’ll dig that too! If you don’t…I’ll firebomb your ass.
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