Jhonen Vasquez began creating his own comics very early in life. The earliest version of his most famous character, Johnny C, was first published by his high school newspaper. In 1992 he graduated from high school and began attending college with a major in film studies. By 1993 he had dropped out of college and taken up professional cartooning. During this time, Carpe Noctem magazine began to publish one-page instalments of early Johnny comics. He began to send examples of his work to Slave Labor Graphics, which lead in 1995 to the release of the first issue of his comic, Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. Johnny continued to be published for the next two years, during which he accumulated a dedicated cult following, and by 1996 he was able to dedicate himself full-time to artistic pursuits. That same year he released The Bad Art Collection, a short collection of art originally produced in high school in response to constant demands from classmates for art. Johnny concluded publication in 1997, and Vasquez began work on a four-issue spin-off based on a character from Johnny, his tiny neighbour Todd Casil, also known as Squee!. This was followed in 1999 by a two-issue comic, I Feel Sick, again centred around a supporting character introduced in Johnny, Devi D, with whom Johnny had a disastrous date in the second issue. In 2001 he released the first of three Fillerbunny comics, the last of which was released in 2005. Also in 2001 he created the animated children's television series Invader Zim, for which he was head writer and original character designer, as well as providing the voices for a number of secondary and background characters. The series was cancelled after two seasons due to low ratings and disinterest from the network, Nickelodeon, with the final episode airing in early December 2002. Despite this brevity it has maintained a large cult following. In 2002 he wrote the one-shot Everything Can Be Beaten, with art by Crab Scrambly. In 2006 he directed the video to Mindless Self Indulgence's song "Shut Me Up", providing artwork for their deluxe album if two years later. In 2007 he wrote the comic Jellyfist with Jenny Goldberg providing the illustrations; it did not perform very well, and plans for a similar comic were abandoned. In 2009 he provided a story about MODOK for Marvel's Strange Tales, and the following year provided a story about Wolverine for Strange Tales II. In 2010 he provided artwork for MC Frontalot's album Zero Day. Also in 2010 he directed the video for The Left Rights' song "White." By 2019, he released Enter the Florpus, an Invader Zim special on Netflix with most of the voice cast returning.
Jhonen Vasquez was born and raised in San Jose, California. He suffers from hypnophobia. He has received an International Horror Guild Award for his work, as well as being nominated for two Eisner Awards. Invader Zim has also won an Emmy and an Annie, as well as being nominated for seven other awards. He occasionally uses the pseudonym "Chancre Scolex" or, simply, "Mr Scolex," both of which are based on a character that he intended to introduce into the Johnny series but was unable to.