Johnny's origins are largely mysterious. His parents may have been horribly murdered. He is implied to have been an artist of exceptional talent at some point in the past, but he started to lose grip on reality and descended into paranoid schizophrenia. He also lost the ability to create art, presumably around the time that he became a waste-lock and descended into homicidal insanity.
Johnny C. was created by Jhonen Vasquez, and he appears in the comic Johnny the Homicidal Maniac.
Johnny was initially created when Vasquez was in elementary school as a surrogate for him to project his revenge fantasies onto. Single strips of the character were published in Carpe Noctem
magazine, and eventually the character was picked up by Slave Labor
for a seven-part series that ran between 1995 and 1997.
Major Story Arcs
The Homicidal Maniac
As the name of the series suggests, Johnny is a paranoid schizophrenic with severe psychotic tendencies who murders people in increasingly bizarre ways for increasingly bizarre reasons. He appears to be cognizant both of the fact that he is insane and that he is committing excessively violent acts, yet he seems mainly to be uninterested in stopping. He occasionally experiences lucid moments in which he expounds at length on the nature of life and the state of society, assessing the flaws in both people around him and himself. These monologues frequently end either with non-sequiturs or acts of violence. He spends much of his time torturing and murdering people, painting the wall in his house that holds back the Wall Monster with fresh blood, attempting suicide, and conversing with the various representations of his inner voices and delusions, notably Nailbunny, Mr Eff and Psycho-Doughboy.
Though there does not appear to be any rational reason for Johnny to commit his crimes, he often refers to the need to re-paint a wall in his house with fresh blood in order to prevent the dried blood from changing colour and allowing whatever is behind it to emerge. He also frequently directs his violence against himself, resulting in a number of suicide attempts that inevitably fail because he is actually incapable of dying. He is also apparently unknown to the police, or at least they are incapable of capturing him; his crimes are frequently very public and he makes no effort to cover them up or hide himself, yet he has never been arrested or even questioned. This unwanted immortality and apparent invisibility in the eyes of the law is tied to Johnny's status as a "waste-lock". Basically, he unknowingly protects and contains a "space" that holds within it the residues left behind by the negativity and aggression of humanity. When his suicide attempts eventually succeed, he "flushes" this residue out into oblivion and is restored to life. It is revealed that he is the sadistic murderer that he is because of the pressures of being a waste-lock, and that he will stay so forever.