While the title would lead you to believe that The Medium-Sized Book of Zim Scripts: Vol. 1: Pigs ’n’ Waffles is just a collection of Invader ZIM scripts, this book is so much more than that. But, yes, it’s also a collection of some of the best and fan-favorite ZIM scripts including Hamstergeddon, GIR Goes Crazy And Stuff, and Bad, Bad Rubber Piggy.
Eric Trueheart opens the book with the first time he stepped on the Nickelodeon lot as a fresh-faced MFA screenwriting grad trying to break into television. He reminisces about how his goal was to redefine the film industry and in a small way, Eric’s film-school grad dreams came true thanks to a working relationship with Jhonen Vasquez, the creator of the comics Johnny The Homicidal Maniac and Squee. He touches on the start of ZIM with an entirely fictional account of his first time meeting Jhonen.
Before diving headfirst into scripts, Eric gives a short lesson on how screenplays get written and their role in the bigger picture in the creation of a cartoon, alongside storyboards, voice actors, timers, and shipping artwork to a studio in Korea for actual animation.
More than just including copies of his actual scripts, Eric provides a context and explanation behind the thought process of each one. And following each script, he includes notes looking back on the finished episode 20 years on.
For his first script in television, Eric wanted to prove himself as a smart and clever writer, so he wrote an episode centered around a time-travel paradox, Bad, Bad Rubber Piggy, which seemed simple enough for him – until he had to deal with notes and changes, something new to a starry-eyed “clever” writer.
In between the script analysis, Eric adds in stories from his time working on ZIM, ranging from clashing with TV executives, their lunch rituals, how the ZIM offices were exactly what you imagine, and the inevitable cancellation.
This is a must-read for any fans of Invader ZIM, in addition to anyone interested in screenwriting and humor. Eric’s unique sense of humor, something shown in some of the best episodes of Zim, is the heart and soul of this book.
Eric Trueheart is a TV writer on Turbo FAST, Pound Puppies, Yin Yang Yo!, and most notably, Invader ZIM.
You can pick up The Medium-Sized Book of Zim Scripts: Vol. 1: Pigs ’n’ Waffles as an eBook or paperback here.