InvaderCon II: DOOMCON: Animated Series Invader ZIM Was Canceled a Decade Ago, But Fans Still Want to Bring It Back
|AnnaMaria Bryant holding her Invader ZIM fan art|
Now Bryant is a 20-year-old college student and budding comic book artist and writer with her own web comic, Adler's Watch. She's here as part of the fan group Operation Head Pigeons, who are trying to get new episodes of ZIM on the air. It's a group filled with web-savvy, artistically inclined fans, most of whom are in high school or college. Bryant contributes ZIM art to the project, along with 22-year-old graphic design student Kaitlyn Carr.
OHP was founded by Sarah Touzet, a 15-year-old girl from Florida who traveled to the convention with her grandfather. She launched the group about two years ago and they've become pretty well-known online. Recently, they were invited to be guest judges, along with InvaderCon organizers, for Mighty Fine's Invader ZIM T-shirt design contest. At the convention, they were raising money for the charity Toys for Hope.
Right now, the group is in the midst of Project Massive, a snail mail letter-writing campaign for new episodes of ZIM. They held two letter-writing workshops at the convention. "We know it's going to be successful," Touzet says.
During the "Panel of DOOM," Touzet stood up and asked the Invader ZIM team if they would be willing to do the show again. The panelists answered "Yes," one after the next. Then Vasquez responded. He mentioned W.W. Jacobs' 1902 story "The Monkey's Paw," about wishes that don't turn out quite right.
"If ZIM came back, it would be a hideous zombie of a thing," he answered. "Are you OK with that?"
He then talked a little about an attempt to revive the show that happened several years ago and went into some ideas for plots that he had. "It's not going to happen," he concluded about the failed ZIM talks of 2010. Whether or not that there's absolutely no chance for any kind of ZIM activity in the future remains to be seen. Even after the panel, fans had hope that there could still be a new Invader ZIM series.
In the meantime, there's Soapy Waffles, a group of young, female artists who are painstakingly animating "Mopiness of Doom," an episode that was written and recorded but never animated. (The cast read the script at the first InvaderCon.) They've been working on the project since January of last year and showed off some of the earliest footage at the first InvaderCon. This year, they were back and ready to premiere "Mopiness of Doom." It's a passion project for the fans, but it's also good practice for the future. Emily Satterfield, who goes by Tallest Rose and co-founded Soapy Waffles, is a 19-year-old college student who would love to transfer to CalArts. This episode, she says, is going in her portfolio.
Croom often points to the parallels between Invader ZIM and the original Star Trek series. Both shows lived long after their cancellation, thanks to the passion of the fans. But with Star Trek, there were, eventually, continuations of the franchise. Invader ZIM fans simply don't know if that will ever be the case for the show they love. But with the fan groups, fan-made media and InvaderCon, they have something. Even if ZIM remains finished, the fans have succeeded at spreading the word about a show that was canceled way too soon.