Saturday, October 17, 2015

21 Questions With JARHUMOR

JARHUMOR interview
James A Roberson (JAR)
This is my follow-up interview with JARHUMOR creator and writer James A. Roberson (JAR), the self-proclaimed Ed Wood of cartoon humor. James and I share a lot of the same interests, specifically B-movies, so I thought it was only fitting to catch up on what he's been up to.

We discuss the change he's made to his webcomic, what he's been watching and the future of movies among other things.

Be sure to watch the videos and click on the links to visit his website and stores. I've posted links to all his social media profiles at the end of the interview so be sure to follow him on those to keep up to date on his work.

Please check out the first interview I did with him to see more JARHUMOR.


Here are 21 questions I posed to JARHUMOR and the interesting answers he provided.

1. In our first interview, you mentioned you would be changing the name of your comic, I Love Bad Movies. It's now called Bad Movie Comics . Are you now going back and re-branding your old comic strips with the new title?

JAR: Yes. The new title reads: Bad Movie Comics written and produced by JARHUMOR It’s important to have the JARHUMOR name on all my stuff, so people can look me up on the internet.

I see too many artists not putting their names on their work. You have to let people know who you are; I’ve even started introducing myself to people in real life as JARHUMOR.

2. What kind of camera and editing software are you using to make videos for your YouTube channel?

JAR: I have a Sony HD Handycam. I bought it online around Xmas; got a good deal. And I was surprised to see how cheap green screens are; I also got that online for less than 20 bucks.

The next thing I need to get is a lighting kit. Right now, I’m using table lamps and doing things like hanging them off the ceiling fan just to get some overhead light.
And I use Adobe Premiere to edit. Thank goodness for YouTube tutorials or I wouldn’t know how to use it!

3. You mentioned before you were planning on making a comic book. Can you give an update on any progress?

JAR: Well, instead of a series of comic books, I’m now working on putting everything into one book, that will be a mix of comics, art, and movie script samples (like the stuff in my videos).

It will be a humor book with an overall theme of sci-fi horror and low-budget filmmaking. I have no clue when it will be finished; I’m just focused right now on creating stuff.

4. How did the collaboration with James H. Lucas on the children's book Tacos from Outer Space come about?

JAR: I’ve known Lucas for years; I acted in a few of his short films, he acted in a few of mine. He’s a very clever writer and a big movie & TV nerd. His twitter handle is @BCNUbooks (which is “Be seeing you” from The Prisoner... big nerd.)

The book is finished and available on Amazon and as a free download on my site.


5. How do you watch most of your movies? Is it in theaters, online or DVD/Bluray?

JAR: Well, I would never say I watch them illegally off my computer. So, let’s just say I watch a lot of movies at home.

The last movie I saw in a theater, (that wasn’t a RiffTrax LIVE event) was Pacific Rim.

6. What is the worst movie theater experience you've ever had involving fellow movie patrons?

JAR: When I saw Corpse Bride in the theater there was a lady and her kid that wouldn’t shut up, but that’s a boring story... I got a good story...

I took my girlfriend to see Brokeback Mountain and the theater was filled with old people. And during the rough gay sex in that film this little old Jewish lady starts yelling, “Oh, God! ...Oh, My God!”

Then later that night the girlfriend and I are making out and I start impersonating the old lady, “Oh, God! ...Oh, My God!” Completely ruined the mood, but it was hilarious!

7. In The Thing That Wouldn't Flush, you made some social commentary on the state of the movie business. Any predictions for the future of movie theaters? Will they die out?

JAR: Well, one day (soon) Movies, TV and The Internet are all gonna be the same thing. And I think the future of movie type storytelling will become very genre specific and episodic, (like The Walking Dead.)

And I think movie theaters will become venues for more communal events; satellite feeds of music concerts, sporting events, theatre, opera, comedy shows, etc.


8. Do you think the term "B-movie" is still relevant today or is it outdated?

JAR: When people think of a B-movie nowadays, they think of old monster movies or Syfy channel stuff. They don’t think of all these teenage horror flicks, like Insidious 3 or It Follows as B-movies, but they are. They have smaller budgets and B-list actors.

I feel most people use it as if the “B” stood for “Bad” instead of meaning not an A-picture.


9. On average, how many movies would you say you watch per week?

JAR: I’ve been watching a lot of Mystery Science Theater 3000 lately and I don’t know if that counts as watching a movie. Also, I’ll watch a movie not for entertainment, but to make fun of it in a comic, and then I might not watch the whole thing. (MV note: MST3K is now streaming on Shout Factory TV


I’d say I only watch one, maybe two real movies a week.

10. Since you draw a lot of robots, what movie robot is your favourite or what do you think is the best robot movie?

JAR: Well, in our last interview I mentioned Chopping Mall, which was originally called Killbots... I love that flick! I also like the film Hardware. And the ABC warrior from Judge Dredd was bad-ass! I like 80’s and 90’s style robots. Does Max Headroom count as a robot? ...Cuz he’s awesome. (MV note: I don't know if Max Headroom could be considered a robot but I agree that he's awesome. Are you reading this, Matt Frewer?)


11. What is your favourite movie snack?

JAR: At a theater it’s popcorn with that liquid butter crap.

12. I saw you mention on Twitter that you watched WolfCop. Out of 5 silver bullets, how would you rank it?

JAR: 5 out of 5! Loved it! It was funny and gross and you actually gave a damn about the characters.

Another great flick that I watched around the same time was Grabbers... really cool and funny monster movie.

13. What/who are some of your favourite comic strips or artists?

JAR: Jim Benton is my mentor, I love his work. I also like David DeGrand, Dan Piraro (Bizarro Comics), Lise Myhre (Nemi), Zach or ZMS (Extra Fabulous Comics), Mikey Heller (Time Trabble) ...the list could go on and on. (MV note: Bizarro cartoonist Dan Piraro, also a favourite of mine, recently announced on his blog he will be retiring his comic strip in three years to paint full time.)

14. You have quite a few Sharknado inspired drawings. Does that movie hold an extra-special place in your heart?

JAR: Sharknado (with the help of twitter) brought bad movies to a much wider audience. My “You Are The Shark to My Tornado” valentine is very popular.

My dream is that the art will lead NBC/Universal to my other work (comics, videos) and they will see how funny I am and give me my own Bad Movie TV show on Syfy.

15. They Kept Hitler's Head is another one of your movie parody pieces of art. Hitler is the villain in Kung Fury although they don't do gross and adult things to him. Have you seen the movie?

JAR: I have not! It is on my list; I saw the first few minutes and it looks amazingly bad-ass! I saw the arcade machine come to life and start killing people! Damn it... I’ll watch the rest tonight.


16. Rick Baker recently announced his retirement. Do you think the writing is on the wall that this is the end of practical special effects and makeup? Is CGI better?

JAR: I think there are enough people who love practical effects to keep it alive. I love rubber monster movies; I’m a big fan of David Cronenberg’s stuff.

CGI has a place... they’ve been doing some cool stuff, like bullet hits, explosions, and blood splatter (like in Kung Fury).

17. The Killer Shrews is one of my favourite bad movies. Before James Best (Roscoe P. Coltrane) died a few weeks ago, he made a sequel to it with the shrews all horribly computer-animated. I prefer the original with dogs wearing shaggy carpets. Do you think they should have used the shaggy-carpeted dogs in the sequel instead of CGI?

JAR: I think what made the shrews somewhat believable in the original was that sound effect and the puppet shrew that we see though the fence. Also, the actors... when Rook in that tree at the begin, you believe he’s scared, but then does get silly when you see a pack of dogs wearing mops.

I think if the problem is money, then don’t make a dozen rubber killer shrews, just make one, film it on green screen and use a computer to make that one look like a pack. I believe in rubber monsters and CGI working in harmony.

I haven’t seen this new killer shrew movie, but I might have to watch it just for its awfulness. (MV note: view the trailer


18. Have you ever seen an obscure Canadian, straight-to-VHS horror movie called THINGS? My challenge to you is to watch it, if you can find it, and draw one of the Things.

JAR: I want to see it!!! I’ve seen the trailer but I haven’t tracked down a copy. It looks great! 

19. Do you sell any of your original art?

JAR: I’m waiting until they’re worth a butt load of money.

20. Do you listen to any music or podcasts while drawing? If so, what are some of your favourites?

JAR: Most of the time I just have an episode of MST3K or RiffTrax playing in the background.


21. Do you have any other creative projects on the horizon?

JAR: The comics, the artwork, and videos are my main focus right now. I am planning on creatively growing my hair out and combing it forward to cover up my thinning hair... that’s a project.


JARHUMOR comic strip
JARHUMORVampire with 3D glasses by JARHUMOR
Crawling Eye t-shirt by JARHUMORCritters by JARHUMOR
Horror movie monster parody by JARHUMOR

I want to thank James for taking the time to answer all of my questions. Be sure to follow James on all his social media accounts and visit any of his shops to purchase t-shirts and other merchandise.

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