The Life of Nob T. Mouse is one of the oldest web comics still on the Internet.  However, it is not considered to be one of the longest-running and many comics that have begun after it have far more episodes under their belt.  The series was created by writer/artist Zoë Robinson, based on characters she created as a distraction at school in the late 1980s.  Nob T. Mouse himself was part of a series of card games styled on ‘Top Trumps’ in 1988 and may have existed earlier.  Since the debut of the Series Three stories, Zoë has occasionally shared the task of writing the series with cult sci-fi author Jennifer Kirk.

The series debuted in December 1996, when Welcome, Mr. Nob was written during an exam revision break.  The comic was quickly followed by a handful of other stories charting events in the life of Nob T. Mouse (the T stands for ‘The’) and these were all scanned onto computer to be uploaded onto a website for the creator’s school friends to enjoy.  At this point in time Zoë Robinson, the series’ creator, had never heard of the concept of a web comic but managed to make one anyway.

The comics were produced on an ad hoc basis with no overall planning or design.  They were produced on spare sheets of A4 paper using a pencil to sketch the comic, a biro to ink the lines and coloured pencils to provide colour and highlighting.  Dialogue would then be inked onto the artwork in biro and the comic would be scanned for display on the website whenever Zoë remembered to do so.  Delays between a comic’s completion and its publication on the Internet could be significant, the record being held by Nob & The Pies, which was produced in 1997 as part of Zoë’s GCSE Art and Design project but not uploaded until 2007.

The new comics are all hand-sketched on A4 paper in pencil before being scanned for inking and colouring on computer.  Comics are now produced regularly, with new episodes appearing on Mondays and Fridays.  Unlike many web comics, The Life of Nob T. Mouse runs separate storylines at once.  The Monday comics appear in long form and often feature ongoing storylines while the Friday comics are in three-panel format and generally favour the joke-a-day approach, shunning continuity and ongoing storylines for quick gags.

Continuity between stories exists by luck more than planning because of a decision by the creator to subscribe to the Quantum History model of time.  This is a theory that events do not need to follow on from one-another, although they are likely to due to the effects of probability.  For a clearer discussion of Quantum History, please see its dedicated page on this website.

About the creative team

Zoë Robinson

Zoë is the creator of the Nob Mouse universe, which existed inside her head until 1996, when it leapt down her motor neurones and exploded onto the some A4 pages that happened to be nearby when she was revising some physics coursework for an upcoming exam.  Now it exists in many places, but still keeps a holiday home in her mind.

Zoë was not born; a feat that has confused many people over the years.  She was instead grown in a vat and marketed as a special edition meat pâté that was given away as a competition prize her parents entered using a coupon from the back of a cereal packet.  She was originally meant to be a special limited edition but all attempts to limit her have so far failed.  She has remarked in correspondence with closer family members that although she is technically way past her sell by date, she stays alive to spite those who would rather she didn’t.

Zoë currently lives near to Manchester, in the dark recesses of a packed office and occasionally emerges to check the world hasn’t accidentally been deleted while she slept.  As improbable as that may be, she insists it is technically possible, if not probable.  Some might say it has already happened and we have simply not yet noticed, but she is not one of them. She keeps a website at www.zoerobinson.com.

Jennifer Kirk

Jennifer was born in 1979 following a dark ritual in the woods, where 100 ninjas performed the rite of Ret ‘Urntu Senda; the ancient and forbidden ritual to summon Biglas, the demon with 100 nostrils.  Unfortunately they mispronounced an important word in the five hundred line long chant of summoning and Jennifer was the unexpected result.

Having served her apprenticeship in the darkened voids of the radio studio, Jenny left the guidance of the ninjas to try her hands at writing.  Since this fateful date, no one has been able to stop her

Jennifer was last seen living in a house a short distance from Manchester, with a cat and a person made from meat pâté.  Her reasons for doing this remain a mystery. Clues about her reasons may be found at www.jennifer-kirk.com.