Who Wants to Marry The Internet's Next Top Webcomic, er, Idol
June 18, 2013 5:13 PM   Subscribe

Strip Search is a reality web show from PATV that's now 30 episodes deep. The twelve indie webcomic artists who arrived at the Strip Search house in February have now been whittled down to three. The final three artists (spoilers) were sent home for two months to each create six strips of a brand new comic, on which they would then be judged. The final episode (Finale, Part 2) goes live tonight at 7:30 PM PST. Better hurry if you're going to catch up.

Interview with the creators: Jerry: I learned that I have a taste for blood. But I had to develop it. And it turns out that dashing people's hopes is actually a very tough business if you are the sort of person that has hopes yourself. Like, I know exactly how they feel and what they're up against, trying to lead a creative life. In one hand, I have the life that they want. In the other hand, I have a black sword. And it's hard to have those two things.
posted by 256 (58 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
This seems like the worst idea ever. What could possibly be more poisonous to creativity and self-expression than this kind of bullshit?
posted by edheil at 5:18 PM on June 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

Really enjoyed watching Strip Search. They basically scraped away all the crud that make reality game shows bad. Not much of a "reality" show, or a game show, since they don't include much of either.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 5:20 PM on June 18, 2013

edheil: "What could possibly be more poisonous to creativity and self-expression than this kind of bullshit?"

Oh, man, there's a hell of a lot of stuff that would be more poisonous to creativity and self-expression than this.
posted by Bugbread at 5:20 PM on June 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

I would suggest watching an ep before coming in here to crap on it though.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 5:22 PM on June 18, 2013 [14 favorites]

I'd be worried about not accidentally giving up the rights most of all.

Fun fact: My first professional comics publication came off of the back of a pitchfest competition, do I guess it works out sometimes.
posted by Artw at 5:37 PM on June 18, 2013

I'd be worried about not accidentally giving up the rights most of all.

SPOILER: In one of the challenges, they actually make them compete to see who can find the most egregious clauses in a hostile rights-stealing contract.
posted by 256 at 5:45 PM on June 18, 2013 [12 favorites]

One episode in, and I'm liking two things about this show: Canadian host, no bleeping.
posted by knuckle tattoos at 6:06 PM on June 18, 2013

I've always imagined a show like this while watching Project Runway. Now watching the first episode, seems pretty good so far.
posted by Corduroy at 6:25 PM on June 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also, nice that it is not only men.
posted by Corduroy at 6:28 PM on June 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

I can find the rejection bit of reality shows of this type to be difficult and unpleasant, so I haven't watched this, but Erica Moen, who I really like and was on the show and got rejected, has nothing but good things to say about her experience on the show. (Warning: link is slightly NSFW, as it is a sex toy review comic.)
posted by foxfirefey at 6:28 PM on June 18, 2013 [5 favorites]

Also also, does anyone else feel like they are at a MeFi meetup while watching this?
posted by Corduroy at 6:30 PM on June 18, 2013

I've been enjoying the hell out of Strip Search. Admittedly it helps that I definitely have a dog in this fight - I used to work with one of the contestants when we were both young hopefuls learning lots of things at Spümcø. And I am absolutely delighted that she's made it to the final round.

I will be totally delighted if she wins, because (a) YAY ANOTHER ONE OF MY FRIENDS WON A THING, and (b) she'll move to Seattle, which means I can drag her out for drinks or something now and then.

It's also been really fun to watch it as an educational experience. Half of the challenges are the usual reality show stuff. But half of them are based on the kinds of problems you will encounter as a working cartoonist. I'm an old hand and there were a few bits that made me go "huh, I've never thought of that"; a beginning cartoonist (and you can be pretty sure there are a LOT of those watching the series) might pick up quite a lot about how to take their thing further.
posted by egypturnash at 6:54 PM on June 18, 2013 [7 favorites]

This has become one of my favourite shows. It's sort of cheap and it lacks the pace of a Top Chef, but it's solidly in the same genre of competitive people being competent at what they do well. Very good cast, and they have a great rapport, which I think is at least partly because webcomics is such an isolated line of work, so they're happy to hang out with similar-minded souls.

The PA guys (who I've never really cared much for in particular) do a good job of mocking reality TV while still making something good in the genre; the contestants are also all self-aware enough to the point that they are also taking part in the mockery. Any time a reality contestant says "I'm not here to make friends" with the exact right knowing tone, it's gold.

Maybe my favourite part is when the contestants get kicked off. They haven't had a lot of interaction with the PA guys, who they clearly respect. So they go sit in the back seat of a car, and give their "confessional" debrief, where they talk about what it feels like to be eliminated, and how much fun they had and so on. Very standard reality trope. Then, suddenly, the doors open and the PA guys pile in on either side of the contestant, and they have a little chat. It usually starts out with "Are you okay?" and then progresses to the PA guys giving effusive praise and the occasional helpful tip. The contestants are sort of blown away; it's the most humane ending to a reality show I've ever seen.

Also, the contestants are all awesome; Erika Moen is like the coolest ever, and her final confessional is just heart-expanding. For the final, I'm cheering for Abby Howard, who is the funniest person ever. But they're all winners in my book.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 6:57 PM on June 18, 2013 [6 favorites]

I am all for people moving to Seattle and talking about comics and going to meetups, in whatever combination.
posted by Artw at 7:07 PM on June 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

I've watched every episode up til now. When people leave, they thank the hosts and are genuinely grateful for the experience. Someone commented that the house where they're all staying is kind of like a little artists' colony, where everyone gets to meet and hang out with other web comic artists, and it sounds like a really wonderful environment.

There was even a segment in one of the early episodes where two mutually-admiring artists (one a fan of the other, the other feeling nurturing toward the fan) were each saying the other should win. They were OMG so cute.
posted by amtho at 7:14 PM on June 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

I think the chemistry was so good partly because they're all creative types, they all share the same creative mindset, plus they're all Penny Arcade fans in some capacity. Mostly though, I think it's because they didn't have access to the internet during the contest, so they had to hang out with each other or else shrivel up like a flower.

Another neat thing about this show is that if you become a fan of a contestant, you can go and look at the comics the artist's doing right now; most of them are regularly updating a web comic already.
posted by cyberscythe at 7:16 PM on June 18, 2013

The show was enjoyable to watch in biweekly chunks, but I can't imagine sifting through the 20 hours of content now that it's (nearly) over. There's a lot of potential for an artist commune-esque competitive reality show but Strip Search missed the mark. Way too much filler and not enough focus on what people were watching the show for.

The artists had no internet/phone access for two weeks and we know they were drawing a lot in their off time. However, we never got to see them hanging out or see what they were making. Instead, almost 1/3 of the episodes were "social challenges" (ping pong, go-karts, tours of Seattle) that not only didn't focus on making comics or the business of webcomics, but were just boring to watch from a spectator point of view. I know they wanted low stress activities since they had elimination rounds every single day, but it would have been nice if a few were drawing games.

In terms of the final strips and cartooning ability, Katie deserves to win. However, Abby's the underdog that Gabe ragged on early in the show so I can see them going with her instead. I found her a bit overrated (over-reliance on random humor, final strip is too much of a rip off of Jhonen Vasquez), but she also has 10 years less experience than her competitors.
posted by bittermensch at 7:22 PM on June 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

where is my new episode I've been reloading the page for four minutes why is it really really slow all of a sudden maybe because tons of people are doing the same thing.

*reloads some more and helps penny arcade's bandwidth bill for this month go through the roof*
posted by egypturnash at 7:35 PM on June 18, 2013

Aha, here is a Youtube link to the last episode via the twitters.
posted by egypturnash at 7:41 PM on June 18, 2013

I haven't watched the finale, but I really felt like the show was pretty terrible, as a show.

It's great that they all like each other and are all getting along perfectly, but it's boring to watch. There's never *any* bitterness about being selected for elimination, hardly any emotion at all except excitement for whatever dumb task they get to do. Maybe all webcomic artists are boring milquetoasts, but that's not all that fun to see.

If these people are/want to be successful webcomic artists than why the hell aren't they being judged *ENTIRELY* on their strips?! I want all strips all the time! Or have the dumb competitions and then have them make strips about it.

Give me as a home viewer a way to actually judge how good they are at their jobs.
posted by graventy at 8:23 PM on June 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

You could go and look at their strips maybe? They're all linked on the site.
posted by Sebmojo at 8:33 PM on June 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Pretty weak ending. They announce the winner, 20 seconds of celebration and then cut to credits. No feedback from the two other players. No reflection about the show at all. Maybe it's asking too much, but it would have been nice to also get an update on each rejected artists's plans for the future (giving each one last piece of marketing through the show).

Worse, the final critique was way too short. I really would have enjoyed having them (perhaps along with other members of the PA staff) really going through the different portfolios and doing a proper critique. There was a lot of material there and they didn't really delve in enough. Maki's work was pretty much cast off in less than a minute.

The valuable thing about this show should having been seeing the process of making comics (and how people do things differently) and the interactions between the artists and Gabe/Tycho. However, it was presented as more of a variety hour featuring cartoonists. They had hours of footage of the artists developing ideas for every single elimination rounds and we barely see anything before the final product. Instead you get 20 minutes of Gabe and Tycho cracking jokes while people work.
posted by bittermensch at 8:40 PM on June 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

i loved this show and I agree with every bit of criticism about it. It could have been so much better. That being said, I can't wait for Abby's comic to start up. She should have won!
posted by rebent at 8:49 PM on June 18, 2013

You could go and look at their strips maybe? They're all linked on the site.

I don't have to go to a restaurant to watch the Top Chefs cook, or attend Fashion Week to see what kind of outfits win on Project Runway.
posted by graventy at 8:50 PM on June 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

I followed it from the start, less closely than I originally intended because it really got on my bad side fast... it seemed clear that Penny Arcade and the Production Company they hired TRIED at first to make it more like your average Reality Competition Show*, but were held back by the genuine camaraderie among the contestants and a realization by Mike and Jerry when they started playing Judge that they didn't WANT to be Gordon Ramsey/Simon Cowell-like assholes. But still there was an underlying tone of "we have to make this a Real Reality Show!" that was palpable, especially in their direct interplay with the elimination contestants.

Everything that I have learned from observing (and interacting, when I could) with people in the Webcomics Community demonstrates that it is a real Community (no, not like the TV show of the same name) and any intent to create DRAMA was thankfully undermined by not choosing any known Drama Queens as contestants. Yep, Mike and Jerry just couldn't be Reality Show Asshole Judges, even off-camera, and that, for me, SAVED the show.

I was constantly frustrated by the show's lack of focus on the actual art, the comicmaking. The first episode, dedicated to meeting the artists, showed ZERO examples of their work! There are only so many truly relevant challenges they could have made, outside of the cartoon-drawing eliminations, and they did get around to pretty much all of that. Of course, it must be noted that the Penny Arcade Comic Strip is an ever-shrinking part of the ever-expanding Penny Arcade Inc. Media Empire, and this show just kind of drew attention to that for me.

I expect them to take what they learned from this process and make Strip Search II even less entertaining. Sigh.

UPON SEEING THE ENDING (NO SPOILER): I'm satisfied. The winner was one of the few whose work I was already following and two of the three finalists were among my favorites from Day One. That person's new comic promises to be superior to almost all of the "new" comics that have recently emerged from anyone closely associated with PA (except Kris Straub's "Broodhollow", but he's a humble genius).

*disclaimer: I used to get PAID for writing about Reality Shows, from Big Brother to American Idol to The Biggest Loser.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:54 PM on June 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

Bittermensch, did you see the previous episode? The finale was a two-parter; part one was about half a montage of the cartoonists at home working on their pitches, and half going over those pitches.

That said yeah some kind of outgoing interview with everyone might have added some closure, yeah. On the other hand this has been a resolutely nice reality show; the closest anyone came to being cruel was Gabe and Tycho hamming it up as The Imperious Judges, and then dropping the act when they'd visit the Shame Hole to console the loser of a face-off. And sticking a camera in the face of the two people who came that close is kinda evil. Also the heart of a reality show; there's some conflict going on there.
posted by egypturnash at 8:54 PM on June 18, 2013

It should be okay to post spoilers after about 24 hours... this ain't Game of Thrones (that is, your favorite did not get beheaded).
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:00 PM on June 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yes, I saw part one. The montage was from the episode before the finales and it didn't really show much beyond their work spaces. The pitch portion was just that, a pitch. They did some brief critiquing while the artists worked, but it was still pretty insubstantial.

There's a lot to say about all of those portfolios, both on a macro (Is slice of life a good concept for Maki's? Is Abby's "6-10 pages per week" plan actually feasible in the long term?) and micro level (Why did so many of Maki's jokes fall flat? Why is Abby's dialogue so clumsy?). How about some insight from Robert Khoo, who's the main webcomic business guru? This is the stuff that will make the show actually valuable in the long term. Instead we got nearly an hour of ephemeral chit chat.
posted by bittermensch at 9:05 PM on June 18, 2013

I agree with all the critiques of the show as a show, and bittermensch makes good points above, but it's been a huge window into some great artists. The one who came second (pretty obvious who it is) in particular I love enough to start giving them money when that becomes a possibility).

While I think they could have put more time into the art, if you pay attention there's a lot you can glean from Mike and Jerry say about them. It's condensed, because they've been working together for years, but there's a lot of meat in their musings.

For all the winner wasn't necessarily my favourite I think they made the right decision for exactly the reasons they state and I'm really looking forward to seeing what they produce.

As for the show, I could take or leave it apart from the eliminations which were great great TV. Especially the Abby/Mike sass-off.
posted by Sebmojo at 9:35 PM on June 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

PA is just not okay with me; those guys try too hard to be offensive.

But LoadingReadyRun (of whom Graham is a prominent member) is supercool. I love their work: insightful, bizarre, quotable, hilarious and not strewn with hate.
posted by jiawen at 9:49 PM on June 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

I don't have to go to a restaurant to watch the Top Chefs cook, or attend Fashion Week to see what kind of outfits win on Project Runway.

The comics are right there. On the web. The webcomics made by the webcomic artists. Who are appearing in a web tv show about webcomics on the web.

You don't even have to move your hand, it's already on the mouse.
posted by Sebmojo at 9:59 PM on June 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

So, it's not polished. It's like a homemade chocolate chip cookie: weirdly lumpy, a little oily-looking, won't store or stack like what comes in a plastic bag, but comforting and, if you take two bites and chew them up, quite nice.
posted by amtho at 10:07 PM on June 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

it seemed clear that Penny Arcade and the Production Company they hired TRIED at first to make it more like your average Reality Competition Show*, but were held back by the genuine camaraderie among the contestants and a realization by Mike and Jerry when they started playing Judge that they didn't WANT to be Gordon Ramsey/Simon Cowell-like assholes.

Agree and disagree, but first here is the Strip Search Panel at PAX East

So they explain some of the ideas they were going for, and the whole faux asshole judge thing is one of the things they actually planned on. Jerry purposefully hams it up with a bunch of gaudy jewelry and the whole "we're above you" judges thing they maintain throughout show and messing with them during the competition was already in place before they started. I thought they followed through on that just fine. They have also joked a few times throughout the show that they "tried" to make the house a living hell of emotional turmoil hahaha, so I'm pretty sure they knew that was something they were not going for. Which is the usual crap that reality shows churn out. "I hate you!" "No, I hate you!" "Good, now let's kiss." Dun-dun-dunnn! Tune in next week! Yeah, so they didn't show any that crap on purpose.

What I kind of agree with you on, and is my big problem with the show, had to do with an early episode where they kicked off both of contestants (instead of one) and then decided to bring one they liked back. Okay, so I know this was kind of dividing thing between the fans on whether it was cool or not, and PA (or Khoo) spun it as a "TWIST!" which was the biggest bullshit copout because it was obvious they really didn't care about the game part of the show at all. I mean, think about it. The "game" aspect really didn't matter one lick after that. There was no gaming at all, whoever went up, then it was the most talented ones Mike and Jerry were going to keep around. Which I get makes sense because they would most likely produce the best stuff, but if someone had try to game it early on by sending up the best people first like Maki and Lexxy then they would've just brought them back anyway. The game aspect was totally pointless and ended up just being filler.

They could polish it up and maybe focus on some different aspects, and maybe not put the contestants through such mental anguish by making them pick each other to go up for elimination. I kept thinking I would've just said eff it and had them choose straws. And, yeah, maybe concentrate more on the art and the artist doodling stuff like the scavenger hunt ep was cool. I look forward to next season.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 11:13 PM on June 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

PA is just not okay with me; those guys try too hard to be offensive.

Could people maybe stop doing this at some point? I understand that some stuff they have done wasn't exactly cool, but I think some people have a really weird distorted and overwrought perspective about PA. Also, I can find more hate on Reddit in 5 minutes than I could by spending all day on PA, but people don't shit up every single Reddit thread whinging about it.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 11:21 PM on June 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Though i agree with you, I was actually thinking Jiawen put it reasonably well; s/he finds them too eager to offend so s/he does not care for them. Can't disagree with that as an approach.
posted by Sebmojo at 12:26 AM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Okay, PA is "strewn with hate", got it. Let's save those "reasonable" opinions for a proper thread about that instead of dropping it as a random derail in this thread.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 12:56 AM on June 19, 2013

Mod note: Asking to drop the derail by continuing the derail is not actually an efficient strategy. If more discussion needs to happen about this, maybe go to Metatalk.
posted by taz (staff) at 3:24 AM on June 19, 2013

Sorry, I was mostly trying to recommend people check out more LoadingReadyRun!

(And it's "she". ^_^)
posted by jiawen at 9:20 AM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

I've been watching Strip Search since Erika Moen posted a link on her Tumblr to the episode where she was interviewed. Really enjoyed the show :-)
posted by floatboth at 9:58 AM on June 19, 2013

Wrap-up post from Gabe. Notably, they filmed exit interviews with both runners-up but it was "unusable," for reasons unstated.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:46 PM on June 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Spoiler zone from here on.


Abby wrote on the forums:

Also, I've seen a lot of folks who feel it ended abruptly-- there WERE exit interviews filmed, but they were taken out because they were crap. Especially mine, I just stood there like a zombie while Mike and Jerry talked at me.

But after the cameras stopped rolling, I had trouble keeping it all together, so Kathleen took me off to Mike and Jerry's studio and I sat on the ground and cried, and Mike and Jerry came in and we had a heart-to-heart that I really wouldn't want in front of cameras.

So there WAS a pretty ending, but you don't get to see it. You already saw me cry, you don't need to see it again!

I binged on her strip junior scientist power hour and it's fantastic. The individual strips are good, but there's a neat cumulative effect from reading a bunch, seeing inside her head. And it introduced me to Tupperware Remix Party who are the best post funk galactic keytar fusion rock band in the entirety of known space. Seriously, check them out. I'm right.
posted by Sebmojo at 5:00 PM on June 19, 2013 [5 favorites]

Monica's comic is worth checking out. It's a pretty great autobiographical strip with funny gags on nerdy topics, which is not at all what I expected from the artful, contemplative dinosaur comic featured on the show.
posted by knuckle tattoos at 4:52 PM on June 20, 2013

I imagine that after four hours of drawing, the stress of waiting for the finale to start, knowing their work was being evaluated, dressing up, the plane flight there -- the contestants were too utterly drained to be amusing at the contest's end.
posted by amtho at 10:58 PM on June 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Well, Abby's 'post-finale' interview may have been Not Ready For YouTube, but three days after all was revealed, she has made a striking recovery, starting a Kickstarter to launch her Final Challenge comic idea (not as a book, but just a webcomic, where she'll have a lot less expense and trouble providing supporter rewards). It reached its initial $9,000 goal within minutes, and after 7 HOURS, is closing in on $45,000... which would be THREE TIMES the monetary prize Katie Won.

Is this the Hive Mind of the Internet declaring that Mike & Jerry screwed up their final decision? (For the record, I like Katie's AND Maki's comics more... I eagerly await Maki's next move).
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:44 PM on June 21, 2013

Impossible to say. For somebody with a bunch of recent Internet fame, $45,000 on a Kickstarter isn't that much - if she got significantly more than Katie, then maybe it's a judgment on the judging.

Plus, like the guys said in their wrap, Katie got a free ride on the business side of her comic for a year. That's hard to put a price tag on, other than $Khoo.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:03 PM on June 21, 2013

(I mean if Katie did a Kickstarter and got less)
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:30 PM on June 21, 2013

I love love LOVE Abby, but man...you've got to pony up $150 to get to the shirt level? It's great that she's gotten enough support to really work on stuff now, but I'm a selfish Kickstarter backer; I like some swag, and mini prints at the $50 level just aren't too exciting.
posted by redsparkler at 11:38 AM on June 22, 2013

I thought that was smart on her part. You don't want people to think they're just buying the stuff at each level. Those are bonuses for backing the main project, like tote bags from NPR. Many people who run Kickstarters don't appreciate the time and cost of sending out extra swag that doesn't exist yet, and it can bust them. She did everything right: made the rewards reasonably easy for her to fulfill, put ones that might cause her difficulty at high donation levels, made the expensive ones limited in number, etc. I think Robert Khoo might have given her some advice. Erika Moen wrote that after she got kicked off, Khoo took her to dinner and gave her a bunch of useful direction.
posted by painquale at 4:59 AM on June 23, 2013

Yeah, I get a little worried whenever people offer physical rewards on funding tiers with no limit. Fulfilling those can distract hugely from what you're actually trying to fund and sometimes drag down the whole project.

I'll be keeping an eye on The Last Halloween. Depending on how it does some hardcovers would be really nice to have.
posted by ODiV at 9:40 AM on June 23, 2013

Okay, also worth noting for perspective: while the competition was on (and before both competitors were eliminated), Monica Ray and Lexxy Douglass both ran fundraisers to publish books of their work.

Monica's, a collection of years of her webcomic, Phuzzy Comics, went to Indiegogo where it raised just under $10K and 4X her original goal amount.

Lexxy's is actually a Concept Art collection ("Chapter Zero") of a major fantasy adventure comic project she had 'never had the time to commit to', which raised on Kickstarter $83,632 (from an original $7,500 goal). (And Lexxy was the one who got the PA guys criticized when they let her back into the game.)

If $15K and a year in the PA offices (with ancillary support) is going to look like less than the top prize for competing, Strip Search II is going to be either (a) much more interesting or (b) total trainwreck (and classic 'Reality TV').
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:45 PM on June 23, 2013

Well it's not like anything is stopping the winner from running a Kickstarter.
posted by ODiV at 3:26 PM on June 23, 2013

Rich Burlew has said that his massively successful Order of the Stick KS basically broke even or was a slight loss once he'd sent everything out (though it also bought him a bunch of stock which he can now proceed to sell, and was great exposure, so it wasn't in any sense a failure). That's partly because he had some bad luck, but also because the amount of physical stock he committed to shipping proved hugely expensive.
posted by Sebmojo at 8:59 PM on June 23, 2013

Is this the Hive Mind of the Internet declaring that Mike & Jerry screwed up their final decision?

Speaking for myself, I love Abbie's stuff (and just backed her kickstarter) but I think they probably made the right decision - the decision was hair fine and seemed to come down to 'peer or protege'? They thought peer was a better choice. It was pretty clear to me they thought that the combination of prepared work and elimination strip put the two women neck and neck (and Maki as the clear third, which I'd also agree with, as strong as his chops were).

Ultimately she had the chance to convince them that she could bring the awesome, given time and focus, and she didn't quite do it.
posted by Sebmojo at 9:05 PM on June 23, 2013

I got the impression that the tone and format of Katie's stuff was a lot more familiar to them too, which probably helped.
posted by ODiV at 9:51 PM on June 23, 2013

Yeah, I think Mike disagreed with her 'post complete chapters once a week' plan, and that was coming from their own 'three days a week, come hell or high water' perspective. I'd be happy with a long post once a week personally. I mean hell I follow OOTS, which is like a strip every two weeks if we're lucky.

Nice interview with Abby here.
posted by Sebmojo at 7:13 PM on June 24, 2013

I'd love to see a show like Strip Search but aimed at creating something more graphic-novely instead of a series of gag strips or a story with punchlines at regular intervals. Not like the finalists don't all have great art chops - I just got tired of hearing Jerry ambivalently saying "high concept" about other contestants's work in so many episodes.
posted by knuckle tattoos at 7:47 PM on June 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

The six-page update was a great idea, I thought. Story-driven strips like Girl Genius are really hard to read if you visit for each update; it's best to wait a week or two and then go back for the glut. Order of the Stick can get away with it because it's so text-packed. Abbie's comic looked really sparse, so it makes sense to hold back.

I did like Katie's comic more though. It reminded me of Psychonauts.
posted by painquale at 8:52 PM on June 24, 2013

It's interesting to me that except for the elimination challenges, all of the challenges that had anything to do with comics were either about visual art or about running a business. Not one of them was about writing. Yet, every single person was eliminated based on the writing or the structure of the comic. It's almost obviously the most important part of a strip --- you can get away with terrible art but not terrible writing --- but I couldn't tell you anything about the writing chops of most contestants. They never had to flex those muscles. Seeing Monica's comics online was surprising... her dinosaur comic was really unrepresentative, and I had no idea.
posted by painquale at 9:04 PM on June 24, 2013

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