Colin: Here endeth the first Jonbot Vs Martha epic. Hooray! We hoped you like it.
There’s a few items of business to get through – we’ve got the results of our art competition further down the page, but first of all it’s our First Birthday, so we’re obliged to play this:
To commemorate our first birthday, here’s me and Neil having a chat:
THE JONBOT VS MARTHA YEAR ONE EXIT INTERVIEW
Colin: So, Neil! It’s been one year since the very first Jonbot Vs Martha hit the internet. Congratulations!
Neil: Thank you and congratulations to you too. Now we’re a year in I have to ask, why me?
C: Purely selfish reasons. At the time I’d been a fan of your stuff for a while, and then we’d kind of become internet pals and I wanted to see what a NEIL SLORANCE webcomic would look like.
N: Actually before I got your ridiculously long email I’d done very little in the way of comics, and yea it was a slow start, I mind rulering and inking my own panels first then lettering it by hand before you went all George Lucas. I’ve actually never thought to ask but where do these scripts come from? What goes on in that there head?
C: I’m glad you appreciate that I took the burden of lettering of you.
As for where the scripts come from… I’ve explained this elsewhere before, but I had the idea of me and you doing a webcomic together before we came up with the idea of Jonbot Vs Martha, which was specifically tailored to suit your uncanny ability of drawing robots and eliciting heart-wrenching poignancy with a few pencil-strokes. So, originally there was no real long-term plan for the strip – I think I’d pitched it to you as a weekly sitcom where Jon and Martha would just bicker, with one of them getting the upper hand one week and then the roles would reverse the next. It was just meant to be a spiteful, possibly nihilistic gag-of-the-week kind of affair.
Then I think when we decided that Jon and Martha had a kid, it humanised the whole thing and I couldn’t justifiably have these two characters fucking each other over every week when there was a child involved. I’M NOT A COMPLETE BASTARD NEIL.
*Realises this isn’t answering the question…*
I guess the scripts are informed by a few things – Firstly, “what would Neil like to draw?” because I got to keep you sweet. The whole storyline we just finished was born out of you wanting to draw Jonbot as a power-loader from Aliens. Secondly, “what makes me laugh?” Normally, if it amuses me, then it goes in the script and I hope other people find it funny too. This doesn’t always work though – see the strips “Robot Pub” and “When Topicality Attacks” for more, anti-humour fans!
N: I have to say you are a very considerate writer and in the nicest way pushed me as a comic artist. Just look at the first strip compared to all the powerloader stuff. I’m trying not to toot my own horn but you can see there’s mad progress all up in that grill. And yeah ‘When Topicality Attacks’ was horrendous.
C: I’m not proud of it. I think there was a bit of deadline fatigue seeping in around that time. We should probably just delete it from the internet.
N: Nah, I’m quite proud that I managed to draw a monkey in a bacon tuxedo mounted on a robot unicorn. It’s all about challenging yourself, someone famous probably said that sometime.
C: You’ve definitely bettered yourself as we went along. I remember the first time you decided to shade in a strip (“Interlude“) and we started getting really enthusiastic feedback focussing on your art. That was all off your own back – I didn’t know you were doing it till I received the strip. What prompted you to change up the aesthetic of the strip that particular week?
N: I had a bit more free time that week? I’m not sure actually, I think at that time I was really buzzed up on comics and wanted to see what would happen if I put a bit more effort in and the feedback really helped so I did my best to keep it up. Although nowadays a strip can take between 6 to 8 hours but fuck it.
Actually on that note I’m a bit burnt out and I’d like to put in some holiday time please thanks Colin.
C: Jeez, what a spontaneous request that I’m unprepared for. If only I had four weeks of top-drawer guest strips lined up! OH WAIT I DO. What are you going to do with your month off?
N: I’m going to work on my illustrated biography of Lonesome George: the world’s most famous tortoise. It’s pretty much what I was put on this earth to do. And you?
C: I’m going to practice my drawing in preparation for the inevitable day when you decide to leave me.
N: Well here’s to another year. Before we wrap this up, any favourite bits from the Jonbot rollercoaster?
C: There’s a few – getting that first strip from you was always a highpoint (even if you did hand-letter it), and then just watching you turn in progressively more detailed work. It’s been good fun. Also I’d be remiss not to mention the acknowledgement from our peers at this year’s SICBA Awards, where we had a clean sweep of losses.
Oh, and that time I made Jonbot do a robocough. That will always be my favourite line of anything I ever do ever. You?
N: Wowzers, for me I guess seeing the characters evolve, the strip when Jonbot remembers who Sarah is really hit that this was actually an involing and fairly emotional story as well as funny. Apart from that it was cool turning up at Glasgow Comic Con and talking to readers and signing books etc, to be honest I wasn’t sure that many people read it beforehand.
C: But they do! People read it! They tweet me!
N: Actually yesterday I found out the guy across the street from me reads it. My dinner’s ready can I get going?
C: Why are you eating dinner at 2235?
N: That’s just how my life’s turned out.
C: Alright. Any final messages for the throngs of Jonbot fans out there?
N: The past year has been a pleasure, thank you.
C: I echo this sentiment. A special thanks to anyone who’s got in touch to tell us what they think about the strip, good or bad. You’re all swell. We’ll be back in a month with PHASE TWO!
THE JONBOT VS MARTHA ART GIVEAWAY COMPETITION RESULTS!
Colin: Regular readers will recall that in our 50th strip we asked for readers to send us in some JVsM-themed art for the chance to win some Neil Slorance original artwork. We were inundated with entries! Let’s rifle through the mailbag and pick a winner, Neil!
Neil: Play this music please!
Colin: First up we have this entry from young Campbell Miller, with his take on an EVIL JONBOT. Sadly, his entry came 24 hours after the clearly indicated deadline, thus meaning his entry is excluded from the competition. Shame!
Neil: This doozey comes from Wull Swales, I’m a big fan of the starry night background and the suggestive eyebrows. Well done, have a logical gold star.
Colin: Here’s an avuncular Dr Eisenriese from our Twitpal Bellsybell! Good use of perspective and suggestive question marks here.
Neil: Is it weird that this looks like I did it? Actually I didn’t but Scott Fox did and I love that Beastie Boys song so well done! Have 100 internet points.
Colin: Detective Space Cat creator Matthew Meylikhov drew Officer Meylikhov in a bid to promote Detective Space Cat and get me to say Meylikhov three times, at which point he shall appear like Candyman and kill us all!
Neil: This comes from Xander Mackenzie. I like this detective look, and that scar. He looks so deep, so tortured, so misunderstood. Reminds me a bit of Detective Space Cat? Great work, have a happy stamp.
Colin: “Jovial” John Grieve has sent in this wonderful role-reversal Marthabot Vs Jon pin-up, with such dedication that he’s recreated the logo by hand when I would’ve done it for him for only a few pounds. Thanks John!
Colin: Gonzo Cosmic and Suddenly Something Really Interesting creator Garry Mclaughlin sent us this lovingly-rendered Jonbot, resplendent in red slippers and backed up with some funky wallpaper! Nice.
Colin: Team Girl Comic editor Gill Hatcher won me and Neil over with this cracking Martha pin-up, because no-one likes Martha except me, Neil and presumably Gill. Thanks Gill!
Colin: Mark Austin blew us away with this inspired prequel to one of our earliest strips, and got bonus points for sourcing the correct font (LetterOMatic!) and nailing Jonbot’s personality with one line of dialogue. Mark, you win second prize! Congratumawelldones!
Which means the winner is:
Neil: Hoooooolly shit, nobody has ever made Jonbot look quite so badass! And if you click the picture it actually moves! I’m gonna have to give the first prize to Lewis Mcdonald. Well done you’ve got yourself some original Jonbot artwork 🙂 give yourself a pat on the back. (pssst want a job?)
Thanks to all that entered, we’ll be in touch with the winners!