INVADER ZIM Fact #13

Stop reading before you get to the bear stuff.

Man, are you lucky. My travels have settled down a bit and I’ve got more time to make this entry a bit more up to par with what you’ve grown spoiled on and used to. Sometimes, and understandably so, I really wish I could just trade places with you that I might experience the way your heart beats a bit faster and your eyes light up at the prospect of me delivering yet another spoonful of this magic stuff I’m doling out, injecting directly into your heart with a syringe forged in the fire of MT. AWESOME.

Before I get into today’s quality fact infusion, I’ve a few things I want to mention before I do. As you all know, I’m currently in Seattle for the Emerald City Comicon. You probably also know that I am drinking some green tea, wearing only my writing robe, looking down upon the city from up high in my hotel room. I’m looking back on a day of wondrous sights and profound conclusions arrived at. Let me share with you, my ugly children, a few of these things.

1. I saw a chihuahua wearing a leopard print sweater, sitting in the front basket of a bicycle parked inside of a liquor store. Think about that for a moment, won’t you? If you don’t understand the power of that, then just keep thinking until you do. Keep at it, even if some part of you starts thinking it might be a better idea to go use the restroom or eat some food so that you don’t die. If friends and family begin to express concern with this quest for understanding, simply share with them what you are trying to figure out, distribute the equation amongst them that you may all compute in tandem to bring light to the situation faster. Good luck.

2. I stood behind Lou Ferrigno as he was checking into the hotel. Parked inside Lou Ferrigno was a bicycle with a basket on the handlebars inside of which sat a chihuahua wearing a leopard print sweater. This was before the sighting of the dog mentioned in item 1, so at the time I thought nothing of it.  I didn’t even think to lean over to someone to snidely say “Pfft.  Lou Ferrigno’s got one of those sweater chihuahuas parked inside of him, I guess.”  I simply looked away and found more interest in the upholstery choices on the hotel furniture.

As you can imagine, hours later, upon glancing into that liquor store later in the day, my mind was blown.  I felt, honestly FELT myself ascend to the next level, marveling at everything the world had to present to me, looking upon it all with my new eyes.

3.  Coming back to the hotel just recently from the outing during which I passed the liquor store and had that moment detailed in 2, I walked through the lobby on my way to the elevators.  I had already gotten quite bored of seeing everything with my new eyes, and was, in fact, complaining about how bored I was of everything, when I saw Stan Lee walking away from the elevators and toward the lobby.  Stan Lee seemed as though some invisible hand had stopped him in his steps, his conscious brain seeming to have to catch up with something some indefinable part of him already knew and was commanding him to obey.

He turned to me, and with frantically gesticulating hands held out at me, approached like the haunted, wild eyed-gypsy with a warning in the old films.  His hands found a place on my shoulders, and with his head cocked, he regarded me unevenly and asked “You saw Ferrigno, right?  SAW?  YOU SAW?”

“Yes, I saw him.”

“Then you know what…what…”  Lee struggled here, seeming to battle with something else inside of him.  What it was I could not say, simply could not imagine what a Stan Lee would even have going on at most normal times, let alone times possessed by whatever spirit I was now confronting.

“EXCELSIOR!”, he screamed at full volume, bringing the attention of everyone on the lobby level to the two of us. His eyes cleared and he resumed.  ”Then you know what must be done, don’t you?  What we have to do?”

I nodded my head, having no idea what had to be done, wanting only to be away from this madman, away from this lobby, away from lobbies where madmen invoked the name of Ferrignos as they held you there with trembling claws.

“No…you don’t.  Not yet you don’t.”, he spoke through a grin.  ”But you will.  You will.”   And with that, he loosed his grip on me, allowing me to pull back, to stumbled and fall on my ass , looking up at the man in shock and disbelief.

I looked around the room, all eyes on me, looked around in hopes of support, of anyone to give me a look that said they thought this was crazy too.  I dusted myself off and when I looked back to Stan Lee, the man was gone.  Simply gone, without a trace as they say.  It was as if the man simply never was.

“WHERE DID HE GO?”, I implored of the room which gave back only cocked eyebrows and distasteful stares.

The concierge, at that moment, decided to approach me, and the look on his face…that look on his face.  I knew that look, but never once imagined I’d be the one getting it.  It was that face that said there was a situation to take care of, to shoo away and make quiet, and it was a face that was being given to me.  To ME!

“Excuse me sir, but is there a problem I can help you with?”  The tone all implying politeness, but barely containing the attitude of a bouncer.

“Where’d he go?”, I asked again, bewildered and annoyed at this man’s manner.

“Where’d who go, sir?”

“Stan Lee!  STAN LEE, man!  Didn’t you see what just happened?”

What just happened?”

That calmed me down right quick.  How was it possible this man didn’t see what just went down feet away from where he was standing?  Things were obviously afoot.

“Stan Lee just accosted me, was flipping out right here.”

“Stan Lee, sir?”

“Stan.  Fucking.  Lee.  SIR.”

“There’s no need for that kind of language sir.”

“There’s no need for your kind of face, sir. Seriously, what could possibly be so wrong with you that you don’t know what I’m talking about?”

“Sir, nobody saw Stan Lee.”

“What…what? He was here. What…?”

“Sir…there was never any Stan Lee.”

“What…the fuck?”

“Stan Lee never existed.”

The room began to spin.  I backed away, away from the concierge, away from the embarrassed “look at the crazy man” eyes, away from nothing that made any sense to me.

The man fixed me with his eyes, taking command of my legs which stopped me backing away, held me there like rivets were fired down from above into my feet.  I saw into those eyes, each of which appeared to be as a stage with curtains being drawn apart.  On each of those stages, though I cannot be sure of just what I saw, was what I, for just an instant, took to be a bicycle.  On each bicycle a basket hung.

In those baskets?

I think you know what.

Just thought you should know, dig?  To prepare you.

Now ON WITH THE SHOW!

FACT:

Did you know that Olivia D’abo, the actress who provided the voice of TAK,  was the only person alive with the ability to touch the gem that, if used in the right rituals, could resurrect the demon god, Dagoth?

This is true, and this time I’m prepared to shut you up when you start whining about how I’m not respecting the sanctity of INVADER ZIM and giving you what you want to hear about the show and its creation.  That’s right, I’ve got actual documentation, and even video to back up what I’m telling you.

That’s right, you just sit back down and save your griping for someone that is purposefully trying to deceive you instead of improve upon your design – your hunched, greasy, mewling design.

I had already established the show’s dynamic in which the protagonist was the villain and the “villain” was actually, from the human perspective, the good guy.  After a few episodes of that, I had grown incredibly bored, because I’ve the attention span of a shoe, and was looking to make life interesting again.  People were getting tired of having to step over me there on the spot where I decided to simply flop down and die, having no real motivation to go on with anything anymore.  It was time to make life interesting again, and that’s when the whole TAK idea popped into my head.

What’s more fun than introducing a villain into a show to antagonize a villain?  I’m sure all manner of things, but in my case, it was the best I could do, and it at least did the trick of getting me off the floor for  bit.

I knew right from the start that the character would be something of a badass, and, in the classic motion picture science fiction tradition, I knew that the villain would simply have to have an evil British accent.

Our show’s casting agent was a woman named Donna “The Grill” Grillo, so named for her mean talent with grilling up bacon-wrapped wieners during our recording sessions in the early days before I took over directing the voice sessions completely.  Those wieners would stink up the room to high heaven, but goddamn were they delicious.  By the end of season one, you can actually hear just how much fatter the voice cast had gotten, speaking in the telltale “fat voice” of those who’ve had a significant amount of wiener buildup in the vocal chords.

I wasn’t a big fan of celebrity voice casting, feeling that a character should have the right “character” rather than an actor whose name would raise the interest level on marquee value alone, which is why I decided to go with Richard Horvitz for ZIM instead of Gary Coleman whom everyone was in love with and was trying to push on me at the time.

So when Olivia D’abo’s name came up on a list of suggestions for my new villain, my new Moriarty to my Holmes with severe brain damage, I gave it the usual consideration, but no more than that.  I had only known her as an actress in various shows I had seen while growing up, including the Wonder Years, and, though I thought she was pretty, I hardly saw her as being appropriate for ZIM’s new nemesis.  As it turned out, D’abo was British and had been fooling everyone for as many years as I was aware of her.

Well, she had a fine voice, was fun as hell to have around in those few voice sessions where TAK was required, and gave us all something far more attractive to look at than Richard’s ever-worsening, twisted body.  Everyone made sure to be around when she was in for a record, and, I’ve got admit, I wasn’t complaining much to spend time with anyone with that particular kind of overbite that I find so adorable.

We’d find extra lines to give her just so that she’d stick around in the recording studio, to keep us from being plunged back into the usual, miserable freakshow that was our regular voice cast.  ”Here!  Here, read this!” I’d tell her, handing her a box of Wheat Thins to read the ingredients off of.  Lovely woman.

She was great, but god did she dress funny and hang with barbarians.

So when the time came to resurrect Dagoth, we were as as much thrilled to have her around as we were in awe.

It was the usual setup before a record session. I was in the studio along with a few of the technicians who were setting up the room for the actors who were slowly trickling in.  We were in the middle of a discussion about our need to resurrect Dagoth for some reason or other, each of us expressing growing dismay at how none of us were capable of so much as touching the mystical gem required to retrieve the horn that would complete the process of allowing the ancient demon lord to walk once again among the mortals.

Typical, right?  The problem stemmed from the fact that we were all too impure to handle these sacred objects, each of us being some variant of natural violator or having been molested by something or other, or in Andy Berman’s case BOTH as he was notorious for his love of having a go at whatever animal had the “right bottom for the job” as well as having once been raped by a bear at a zoo that didn’t even have a bear.

“I can do it.”, came a voice, automatically evil sounding for its Britishness.  We all turned to see Olivia hanging up her coat, and screwing the cap back on a bottle of water.

“You?”, I asked.

“BLOAAOARAGARGAHH?”, asked Richard, immediately filling the room with the smell that only his insides could produce.

Olivia, the very picture of manners, stifled a vomit and explained that she had been raised for the very task of handing precious, supernatural gems and resurrecting ancient horrors.

Wizard. Lizard. Wizlizard? Wizizard? Lizwizard? Zzzwizzliwwaazz?

Long story short, we had some pretty spectacular adventures that I won’t bore you with just now.  Just know that we bested that ridiculous wizard, even when he mutated into an even more ridiculous lizard thing, and we all had a pretty good laugh when were awakened in the night by the sound of Andy screaming for us to help as that bear, having somehow tracked him down, had a good go at his anus.  We laughed and laughed, which Andy didn’t find all that amusing, until the bear turned on each and every one of us, using us all like condoms with feelings.  We all had a good laugh after that, Andy included, and fell down laughing and bleeding.  Hell, even the bear was laughing!  CREDITS.

Dagoth, eater of souls and story editor supreme.

So we resurrected Dagoth, after all was said and done, and had him do a polish pass on a script that had been giving us a bit of trouble.  All that for a whole lot of nothing, sadly, as shortly after Dagoth was put in charge of editing the scripts, the show was canceled.  Almost none of what Dagoth contributed was seen in any final product, the bulk of his work left unproduced in episodes we had planned for future seasons.

But that’s television for ya, right?  You go to the ends of the earth to summon hideous, hammer-headed monstrosities and then you’re just another casualty of cost cutting.

Still, we had some pretty fun times, and I hope you had fun hearing about them!

I know I could use a Dagoth right about now, and not just in the way that we could all do with a Dagoth in our lives.  I’ve no time to go back and edit whatever it is that I’ve just written, but I think the general idea comes across, and I hope that it has taught you all a bit about yourselves as much as it has opened your eyes to the possibilities and potential inherent inside all of you.

Remember, it’s not important that you know just what to do when problems arise, be it your inability to handle the horn of Dagoth or some such thing or your insides are being pulled like taffy by a grizzly bear’s raging lusts, it’s important that you not flip out when a phantom Stan Lee,  from a parallel dimension where Stan Lees are even possible, tries to clue you in to the secrets of the universe unless you want to feel like a total and complete prat when walking through the lobby every day from that point on.

See, I just tried to tie everything together neatly into what appeared to be some pre-destined conclusion there, but looking back on it after sleeping I’m not at all happy about it.  No time to fix anything, unfortunately, as it’s time to get ready and head over to the comicon for a day of comiconery.  Sean Comiconnery.

See, right there.  Sean Comiconnery.  Dagoth wouldn’t have allowed that at all.  He’d be gnashing his teeth and redacting the hell out of that, but all I can do is watch as even more terrible stuff gets piled on after it.

COME TO ME, DAGOTH!

The fun adventure times, back when I was Grace Jones.