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Old 03-05-2013, 08:06 PM   #1
Talon87
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Strip Search

Strip Search is a reality game show for web cartoonists. They will face off in a competition for a reward that could change one of their lives…

In 2011, the Creators (a.k.a. Mike and Jerry) declared to the Penny Arcade office that a reality show based on webcomics must be done. After a year of research and a successful Kickstarter stretch goal (thank you!), the stage had been set for 12 Artists flown from around the world to compete for $15,000 in cash and a year integrated into the Penny Arcade machine.

Through a variety of events and challenges, these 12 will fight, claw, write, and draw until only one Artist remains. Friends may or may not be made.
So who else is watching Strip Search? You can check it out via the main site or by checking out Penny Arcade's new YouTube channel. (First episode on YouTube here).
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:25 PM   #2
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After watching the first episode, my initial impressions were that:
  • I least wanted Tavis to win. He reminds me too much of some specific cocksure asses I've had the displeasure of knowing in real life.
  • Lexxy didn't seem too bad ... until the bit where they showed that she was still doing other stuff even up to the very morning they scheduled to escort the artists to the Strip Search house. That kind of put me off her, even though I wanted to like her since 1) I felt bad for her after "The New Hire", an episode of PATV in which she was interviewed for a job at Penny Arcade but passed over for someone else, and 2) she's from the Indianapolis area so I was slightly inclined to root for "my home girl". But yeah, the whole "just give me five more minutes", "I chose to keep working on my stuff from my private life even though we agreed to sign off on a grand Penny Arcade adventure for the next n weeks" kind of put me off her, like ... like she feels like she enjoys some sort of familiarity with the staff (even if they don't reciprocate! ) and she thinks it's okay for her to be late because she's special, or something. I dunno. She otherwise seems like a nice person. ^^; I just really didn't like that she did that.
  • Amy seems really bitchy
  • either Abby or Ty will probably be the first one voted out of the house
Then I read some stuff online and was surprised to read some of the former houseguests say some pretty nasty things about one another! And then I went over to a friend's house, and we started discussing the episode, and:
  • he actually had the exact opposite impression of me regarding Tavis and Alex! I thought Alex seemed like a really nice, chill dude. (Still do!) He felt that way about Tavis, and he felt that Alex was the smug asshole. Weird.
  • he also had the exact opposite impression of Amy. "Smitten" wouldn't be too far off the mark , but he definitely thought she was really nice and genuine.
  • he categorically hated Lexxy on the simple basis of (paraquote) "I've known many Lexies in my day and all of them were bad news."
  • he indicated that one of the interviews suggested that Erica Moen (another of the houseguests) may have had a lesbian crush on Amy (his crush the girl he was rooting for)
So I have to admit, this made me reassess Amy completely. I decided to check out a few of the artists' art pages Monday night, and while most of them didn't hold my interest for more than a few seconds, Amy grabbed me right away with this one. Then I backed up one and was like wow, okay. Then I backed up one more and I was like "THIS IS TALON87'S PROBLEM! XD ^^;;" Kept backing up ... until I hit this one (NSFW). And then I realized: this Amy chick, a) she was probably pretty darn cool , and b) she might very well be a lesbian herself. I go back to the very beginning of the comic and ... well, I'll just let you see for yourself. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4) Needless to say, I feel like I judged Amy so wrong and right now she's probably the person I find myself rooting for most in the house too. hahaha

Watched Episode 02 earlier today. Was one of the first people, actually. O_o Happened to check the site at around 2:27am or so, and there was the video, but no one could view it. Private listing. I refreshed ... and it still couldn't be viewed. I refreshed again ... and there were three posts saying it didn't work (they had all just been posted mere seconds ago), and the video now worked for me. Watched the episode, refreshed, ... and saw Robert saying he was looking into the problem, and later saying he'd fixed it. Strange, considering it worked for me before he even posted. ^^; Oh well! Checked the YouTube site ... saw that there were 0 comments ... decided against posting a shameless first post. :p ("If you don't have anything to say worth saying, ...")

Episode 02 was definitely more fun to watch than Episode 01 was ... but I'm pretty frustrated by how short these episodes all are. They're simply much too short. Big Brother usually airs three times a week in the summer and each episode, once you strip it of its commercial breaks, is around 40 minutes long. That's 120 minutes a week. Strip Search offers only one-tenth of that. Even Survivor, at one episode a week and only 40 to 45 minutes of footage, is over three times the length of Strip Search's episodes. And while two episodes of Strip Search air each week (one on Tuesdays, the other on Fridays), that still means we get only ~24 episodes each week. It's just a ridiculously tiny amount. I don't mind it nearly as badly with the more podcast-like series on PATV (like Fourth Panel or Extra Credits), but with Strip Search, it's just ... argh. What makes it even more frustrating is the knowledge that all of these episodes have already been filmed. I'm not sure if they're still being edited or if even that's finished, but the mere knowledge that the series has already been completely filmed makes me that less patient. I WANT THE NEXT EPISODE NOW! Please?

Last edited by lilbluecorsola; 03-08-2013 at 02:53 PM. Reason: Adding NSFW warning
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:11 PM   #3
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Talon, that fourth one was NSFW. @[email protected]
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:22 PM   #4
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But the punchline ...!

Sorry about that. I'd edit in a warning but ... I hate those edit notices at the bottom of posts. -_-; And this one is so cartoony that I don't think it'd get you into hot water. Not if you showed them what the rest of the comic looks like.

To be honest, though, anything to do with PATV in general isn't going to necessarily be worksafe / high school kid's household safe. A whole lot of F bombs, a whole lot of weird random sexual comments, particularly on Fourth Panel with Mike and Jerry ... it's not the sort of thing you'd watch at the office with your speakers on and no headphones. So I should probably give you that fair warning too. So far, I don't think Strip Search has been too vulgar? But it certainly will be before all is said and done. The sneak peek for the rest of the season, shown at the end of Episode 01, has some of the houseguests going "fuck fuck fuck", so like, you know that things'll get crass sooner or later.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:02 AM   #5
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Reading through these guys' Twitter feeds, it's become quite apparent to me that the nasty things said in some of the interviews have got to be 100% false / sarcasm. 'Cause like ... it seems like these artists all MEGA SUPER BONDED as a result of their shared experience with the show. They're all following each other, cracking jokes with one another, etc. Not literally 100% of everybody, but like, most of them seem to be keeping in contact with at least 7 of their fellow artists; and given that there were only twelve contestants to start with and counting themselves makes eight, that means that there're only four or fewer people I don't see the group interacting much with on Twitter. Possible spoiler-indication of who goes home soonest? *shrug*

Spoiler: show
I noticed Mac, Maki, Tavis, Nick, Amy, Erika, Lexxy, and Katie all joining in on each others' chats quite a bit, but not so much Ty, Abby, Alex, or Monica, particularly those first two.

To be honest, if this is indicative of who goes home first, I'm not the least bit surprised. Tied for Most Likely To Go Home First right now for me are Abby and Ty. Can't tell who it's going to be but I have a strong feeling it'll be either one of these two, very probably followed by the other the following week. As for Alex and Monica, *shrug*, I can see them going home at various stages, but if many of the earlier competitions are weed outs based on artistic skill or creativity, I can see these two being axed early simply because they're both still so young and relatively inexperienced. And Monica not only is young but also her style feels very derivative of Scott Pilgrim, which could mean she's sent home because her style wasn't unique enough, or something.

Of course, it could just be that these four don't use Twitter much. ^^;; And tbh, Monica and Alex are in quite a few chats predating February 22. Just ... not too many of the ones from March 1 on forward. At least not from what I saw.

I thought this tweet funny. Nick writes:
Quote:
The awkwardest thing about being a contestant on #stripsearch? Telling my grandmother the name of the show.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:27 PM   #6
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So, pretty soon here they'll release the third episode of Strip Search, and with that we'll find out who was the first to be eliminated from the competition. I'm formulating a list right now, but I've only got two people down for certain, and I'll write in the rest later.

Prediction for 12th place: Ty

Reasons:

Spoiler: show
If there's any degree of popular vote that helps to decide who stays and who goes home, I think that will hurt Ty. He doesn't strike me as the type of person who will easily make friends in the house. In fact, from what little we saw or heard of him in Episode 02, he seems to be a bit of a socially awkward person even amongst other socially awkward people.

To whatever degree the decision is decided by artistic talent, I think Ty's a bit in jeopardy here too. Not to the same degree that someone like Abby is (oh good lord), but Ty's artwork doesn't seem as technically impressive as Lexxy's, as mindblowing as Mac's, or as cute and fun and as Amy's or Monica's. Again, I think this will hurt him: even if the competition is officially to do with t-shirt design, if it comes down to them submitting drawings and stuff, and the others vote based on who on their team drew the worst, I think it'll be Ty who gets voted off.

But perhaps most importantly? ^^;; I haven't really noticed Ty interacting with the other eleven much on Twitter at all. Now granted, not everyone is a social butterfly and not everyone cares for social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook. But like ... I have noticed eeeeeeveryone else at least posting something. Have I caught Ty posting some stuff? Yeah, but like, nowhere near as much as the others. It gives me the impression that, even if he's not the first one voted out, that he's voted out very early. Early enough that he didn't really bond with people in the house too much, make lasting friendships, etc. But who knows, I could be COMPLETELY wrong about this. I mean, I haven't seen Erika Moen tweeting much either other than in response to Amy Falcone. So like, it's quite possible that she gets voted out first on the sheer basis of the other artists fearing her as competition. But ... some comments she made very early on, when Episode 01 was the only one that had aired, gave me the impression that she spent more time in the house with Amy than a mere day. So like, I'll be very surprised if it's her. The next least tweety ... has probably been Alex Hobbs. So like, if he's the one going home today, then again, I guess I assumed too much about Ty's quietness on Twitter being indicative of his early exit from Strip Search.

But we'll see, we'll see! This is all just fun, largely harmless guessing anyway.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that the other theory I'm entertaining, as I'm sure many people are, is that nobody gets evicted this week. My guess above is only if someone really is being sent home this week. But of course there is always the possibility that they were just alarming the houseguests to try and, I dunno, get 'em workin' serious or to generate juicy tension for reality TV or something. Nobody wants to be sent home without even being given 24 hours to really do anything in the game, and I kind of would like to think that Mike, Jerry, and the others are not so cruel as to do that. But who knows, who knows. If I had to guess right now, I'm leaning 65% towards false alarm, 35% towards true eviction (in which case my vote stays with Ty).

Last edited by Talon87; 03-08-2013 at 12:06 AM.
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Old 03-08-2013, 03:57 AM   #7
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Well THAT was surprising.

Spoiler: show
Yay for Amy (my surprise new favorite ) winning the competition, although tbh I didn't think her design was the best. (I personally liked Katie's best, though I can see Kiko's points about the design being too wide for a shirt, etc.) But what really surprised me was that Abby was deemed the loser of the competition ... yet didn't have to face Mike and Jerry. What was that about? You come in last place, but the two people on the chopping block are two other people who're picked by the winner? I'm sure Abby's glad but it hardly seems fair to the others. The judges shouldn't have said anything regarding Abby's coming in last place if it wasn't going to have any impact. Just crown the winner without hurting feelings and then ask for two nominations for who should be sent home.

Alex's design was astonishingly bad. I think he was trying to emulate the little polo shirt embroideries you find above the left breast, like Penny Arcade's own shirts have (like the one Kiko was wearing that very day), but not only is that unoriginal, it's just not a very smart answer to give when you're asked to design a t-shirt. Has Alex never seen the shirts in the PA store before?

Ty's design wasn't very good either, but it was still better than Alex's. If we're going off of the competition alone, Alex should definitely be the one sent packing this week.

Worried that the hosts forced Amy into a really shitty position. She won the contest, but at what cost? Having to pick two people to send home makes her the #1 enemy of whoever remains behind (which will probably be the super-talented Katie), and it sure doesn't endear her to the rest of the house either. But it's not her fault! They made her pick. I think she should have picked Abby and Alex, and then most would've agreed with her decision. But by going after Katie, whether she meant it this way or not, it makes it look like she's playing strategically and trying to get her competition out of the house early. Hang in there, kiddo! [/well wishing somebody for something recorded months ago]
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Old 03-08-2013, 04:51 AM   #8
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So I finally got around to watching the first episode of this. My first impression was EEEEEE IT'S GRAHAM STARK mostly just that compared to the standard reality show fare most of these people weren't playing up a character and were keeping it real. Mostly particularly Nick, Abby, Mac, Maki.
A couple of the others grated on me for the exact reason that they didn't seem genuine - Tavis, Lexxy and also Ty a little bit. But it's nice to be able to say that they were the exception rather than the rule.
Other than that there really isn't much else to say about episode one. The announcement from the creators felt flat and the whole cringeworthy 'traps' thing was a case of well-written, poorly-performed. The rest of the show was very slick though, as expected of Bionic Trousers.

Looking forward to getting into this a bit more later. As a side note, the main PATV site is also worth checking out. I get the impression that a lot of people have already made up their mind about Extra Credits one way or the other, but I can't recommend Checkpoint highly enough.
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The round continues with Relicanth landing on Central Avenue! He decides to purchase the property.. it's super effective! Vulpix instead decides to use Imprison! Suddenly Relicanth finds himself in jail! What an exciting twist! The round ends with Relicanth unable to do anything else at the moment.


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Old 03-12-2013, 05:37 PM   #9
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The fourth episode of Strip Search aired today, and with it we've had our first taste of the eliminations. I thought the episode entertaining but, aside from the first episode, this for me was the most boring one yet. I didn't really need or want a twenty-minute episode devoted to nothing but this 90-minute contest between two comic artists. Jerry and Mike tried to keep things entertaining for the audience at home with some faux seriousness, some over-the-top silly humor, and conversations with the two contestants, but I dunno ... I just found it kind of boring, tbh. ^^; I am happy for Penny Arcade though to see that most of the fans disagree with me on this one. Seems like most people are calling this the best episode yet, and are especially won over by Mike and Jerry's removing the seriousness veil and giving the loser some heartfelt, kind words of advice and encouragement. I dunno, they were definitely polite, but I wouldn't go quite so far as a lot of the fans are going in saying "GOD BLESS MIKE AND JERRY! " for what they did at the end. It's not like they offered to adopt the loser or gave the loser their personal cell phone numbers and said "Whenever you want? Call us," or something. They were just polite ... and then bolted out of the car leaving the loser all alone. ^^; I'd be more on board with what the Internet is saying had Mike and Jerry accompanied the loser all the way back to the airport or something and talked with them the entire way.

As for spoiler details ...

Spoiler: show
To the surprise of no one, Katie won, Alex lost. Katie is just too good to be going home in Round 1, and unfortunately for Alex he is one of the greenest greenhorns in the initial batch of twelve, perhaps only outdone in his newbishness by Abby.

And while Alex could have made up for his deficit in art with wit and humor, even there he fell flat on his face. His comic unnerved me as an overly obsessed fanboy fanletter of fangasmic fanjuice to Mike and Jerry. The text, the plot, the artwork style, and the art content ... all of it, it was just way, way too much. When Alex had his character being all (paraphrased) "Yeah, yeah! That would be totally rad to play ping pong with you, Mike!", I felt like I was reading an overly attached girlfriend fanboy's fantasy penned in his diary. "Dear Diary, today I dreamed of playing ping pong with Mike Krahulik. It was rad. Then we dipped ourselves in chocolate sauce and ..."

Katie, on the other hand, had a simply executed comic that was both drawn well and was a gently witty combination of the two keywords, "space" and "table tennis". It reminded me of the old idea that was played on by the popular film series Men in Black, this idea that we humans are merely toys of aliens far, far greater in scope than we can possibly imagine. Although I still don't care for Katie's art style (and that came across loudly for me in how she drew the alien on the left), I feel that as far as technique goes she was very impressive, getting what looked like a finished product done in just ninety minutes. Very, very impressive. So I'm glad she's sticking around and I hope she'll be with us through many more episodes. I'll be quite disappointed if she winds up being the second or third person to go home. Here's hoping she won't be going home any sooner than fifth to last. And hell, maybe she'll win the whole damn thing.

That was very strange to see that Amy did in fact choose her nominations strategically ... yet not for the reasons many of her harshest critics suspected. Everyone was all like "SHE BE PLAYIN' DA GAME, YO! " and accusing her of putting Katie up because she perceived Katie as a huge threat. Turns out she did pick her nominations with the whole idea of threats in mind ... except she actually nominated Katie because she didn't perceive her as a huge threat, and did so expressly because she didn't want to risk putting up a strong artist who might then come back into the house and want revenge against her. So the fans totally got Amy's agenda backwards. Yes, her nominations were strategic, but no, she genuinely didn't think Katie was a strong competitor. Guess we'll have to see now how badly this backfires on Amy, if at all. (Katie was insanely nice throughout this entire ordeal, including on her return to the house. Will be amazing if she and Amy actually become friends, though I somehow don't see that happening. )

XFD @ the part where Mike burned Alex by saying he was flattered by Alex imitating Mike's style ... right on down to all of the mistakes Mike makes. OoOoOoh~ SNAP! Alex didn't seem to take it too badly on camera. Maybe he was far too stressed to even register what Mike had just said. ^^;

Alex seemed like a really nice guy, so I am sad for him that he had to be the first to go, but if this competition is about finding out who is the best comic artist in the house / who most deserves a year within the Penny Arcade empire, then I definitely don't think punches should be pulled just because some of the houseguests are green. May the best man or woman win!
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:37 PM   #10
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Even if it's only a temporary thing, what with how YouTube's top rated comments are like dust in the wind, ...


... I currently have the top-rated comment on the latest episode of Strip Search.

Truth be told though, I think it might be a YouTube glitch. 'Cause I see comments with many more thumbs up than mine. So either mine has overall higher ratings but they're not being reported accurately, or else mine really does have fewer ratings than others' comments and my post is simply showing up as a Top Comment for reasons I don't know. Anyway.

Episode 06 was decent. It was useful for getting us more information on some of the contestants -- while I see it had the opposite effect on many, for me Nick's interview helped me to care about him a whole lot more than I had up until now -- but it was painful sitting through some of these. I'll withhold my specific thoughts on these, at least for now, but I will say that going into next week ...

Spoiler: show
1. I really hope Katie wins. And I believe she will. Easily.

2. Amy is still probably my favorite contestant in the house right now, followed by Katie in 2nd. I don't really have a clear 3rd yet and that bothers me.
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:15 AM   #11
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Episode 07 was very tense.

Spoiler: show
Going into it, I expected Katie to utterly demolish Ty. But only a few minutes into the episode, it became clear that this week's episode was, for all of Katie's superficial self-doubt and meekness, a Tortoise and the Hare situation where Katie didn't seem to take it seriously enough, confident she would win, and it near about bit her in the ass. First? She took much longer this time storyboarding. Not just fleshing out her idea, but fleshing out two different ideas and then agonizing over which one to go with. Second? If the camera reel edits this time as compared with last time are any indication, she spent way more time bantering with Mike and Jerry over their silly and distracting questions rather than ignoring them, giving short, single answers, and focusing in squarely on the comic at hand.

Ty surprised me. He can actually draw decently well under pressure (though nowhere near as well as Katie); and despite Mike's incessant questions for Captain ADD, he actually turned in a finished rough draft, not a half-finished one like I was expecting to see. Still, I think Ty's psychological problems did end up getting the better of him. For while his comic was on target for the two topics ("The Future" and "Getting Lost"), it felt very train-of-thought-y to me, and it was a difficult train to follow. Much like the real Ty, his characters ramble. And his comic just wasn't very funny.

Katie's comic, on the other hand, was at least somewhat funny (if only slightly and darkly so). But the problem I have with hers is that it didn't feel on target. Yes, it dealt with the future, clearly, but getting lost? Katie opted to go for a metaphorical spin on that phrase by having her character "lose her way" / "lose herself" in the game of Life. Jerry found that clever, thankfully, but it bothered me and felt sort of like a copout. It'd be like if they drew Birdwatching and Coffee from the wastebasket and Katie were to draw a bird coughing "*cough* EEEEE! *cough* EEEEE!" You didn't draw a comic having to do with coffee. You drew a comic playing on the word "coffee". I dunno if that's right. I guess I should be glad it is since I support the notion that art is creative, where imagination is king, and so it's good to see them not stamping out creative licenses like that. But still. As I watched the episode and saw the two comics, I sincerely worried that the judges would eliminate Katie, in spite of her drawings being infinitely better and her strip at least being somewhat funny, on the grounds that she didn't draw what they were asked to draw whereas Ty did.

I was surprised even more then when Mike and Jerry didn't seem to care for Katie's comic at all aside from the art. Though I did find myself agreeing with Mike's "This one," Katie's, "makes me sad ... and this one," Ty's, "makes me mad." When the judges told Katie and Ty that they were disappointed in them both and that whoever would be returning to the house tonight would have a lot to prove, I was like, "Dayum. "

But relief soon set in as I saw Jerry pass Ty's drawing off to Kathleen. Yay, Katie! And then relief soon gave way to contempt mixed with horror at LRR + PA's idea of a joke -- cutting a frownie face into Ty's comic -- went horribly wrong with how long it took. People flipped out about Mike tearing Alex Hobbs' comic in two, but at least that was one swift action! Kathleen's scissor show took, even with edits, over ten seconds! Good lord! That must have been so degrading for Ty, to see his comic mutilated like that in what was clearly an attempt at humor by LRR+PA.

Hooray for Katie surviving though. As she returns to the house for her second time, we get to see the other houseguests weighing in on her. Amy assesses that Katie is a serious threat and seems to be thinking at this stage "I'd better put her back up for elimination should I get the chance." Little does Amy realize how these competitions work! The only person who could send the threat home ... is an even bigger threat! I've come to like Amy and find myself rooting for her, but I just don't see her winning this tournament: or, even more specifically, I have a hard time imagining her beating Katie. Maki's assessment was priceless, mirroring what many fans were already saying by the end of the last episode: that if you want someone sent home, you just put them up against Katie. Nick seemed very pleased to see Katie return, which only further cements my belief that his reasons for putting Ty up were personal (don't really blame him though ) and not the bull he prattled off last time.

Here's hoping that this next cycle's social round is more entertaining and substantial than the previous two've been. We're gonna have to wait eleven days before we can see the next elimination, so it'll only be rubbing salt in our wounds if this week's social is another time-waster. I want to see the houseguests interacting more! Where are their in-house interactions!?
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:37 PM   #12
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Haven't posted here for a while. First, before I forget, have this Madoka character map someone made for the six girls on Strip Search. They're mostly forced, but the main two (Erika and Amy) work very well. Anyway ...

Episode 8 was the Round 3 fun episode, featuring the artists pairing up and trying to replicate comic cels based on their partner's verbalized descriptions.

Spoiler: show
Not much to say here. Probably why I fell off the wagon with posting in this thread.

Episode 9 was the Round 3 challenge episode, featuring a Twitter challenge judged by Scott Kurtz.

Spoiler: show
Lexxy really signed her own death sentence, maaan. That was PAINFUL to watch her raise her hand like that and pick a second fight with Kurtz when he'd already moved onto critiquing Abby.

I didn't really agree with Scott Kurtz's judging though. I think ignoring obvious trolls or haters is a perfectly grand approach -- admirable, even -- and I think replying to them with snark is a bad idea ... unless your brand is being Captain Asshole, in which case keep it up.

Episode 10 was the Round 3 elimination episode.

Spoiler: show
I already discussed this one extensively with lilbluecorsola, so you guys'll just have to settle for the short version. A, I liked Lexxy's overall product better. B, I liked Lexxy's artwork MUCH better, so I'm very shocked that the ARTIST of the two judges was in favor of keeping Tavis too. (I expected a split jury.) C, I immediately got Tavis's joke but I just didn't find it all that funny. A + B + C = I felt Lexxy should've won but meh, whatever, it sounded like they were planning on eliminating her from the start anyway.

Episode 11 was the Round 4 fun episode, featuring the artists experimenting with spray paint in teams of three.

Spoiler: show
I liked Amy's team's best, followed by the admittedly too noisy work of Monica's team second, with Maki's team's pineapple in dead last. Apparently the Internet vociferously disagrees with me. Whatever.

Episode 12 was the Round 4 challenge episode, and today's episode, featuring the challenge for the artists to design a Chandra Nalaar-themed skateboard.

Spoiler: show
Copying and pasting from YouTube ...


Quote:
Regarding Elaine's criticism of Nick's submission, I have two words for you: Chandra Ablaze. (Google that if you don't know what it looks like.) One of the most popular pieces of Chandra Nalaar artwork ever and Wizards' own preferred advertising piece (stand-ups in stores, booster pack art, etc.) for years. Therefore her criticism of Nick drawing a Chandra who looked too angry was totally bogus.
So yeah, there's that.

Aside: WOOHOO! Top comment on the YouTube page again! Though once again mine has a lot fewer thumbs up (at the time of this post, only four) than some people's (winner has 24, someone else has 20, someone else has 39 O_o ... yeah, I don't think YouTube accurately reflects the top comments anymore. ^^; Still, cool to be appreciated!

I liked Maki's best but for the ugly gray background. Katie's was well drawn but looked like a Bratz doll on closer inspection. I quite liked Mac's drawing but not for a skateboard.

I'm hoping that the decision to delay the revealing of the nominations until next week is a one-time thing. It completely kills the excitement for me in between challenge and elimination episodes and gives us fans nothing to discuss around the water cooler that isn't blind speculation. (At least give us seeing speculation! )

I expect the nominees will be Katie (given Mike's comment to, presumably, the other nominee) and Mac (given his stands out for being the only one not in color and not well-suited to a skateboard ... even if it is much better art than what several of the others turned out).
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Old 04-09-2013, 03:42 PM   #13
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As of the writing of this post, my comment has 29 net likes and is still one of the two top comments that I see when loading the site. Not sure if that's true for everybody or what, but it's pretty snazzy to have so many likes on such a public forum as that.

Copying and pasting some of the replies I've gotten (and the replies I then wrote back) so that you can read them more easily than YouTube tends to allow.

Spoiler: show
Conversation #1
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuiginChou
Regarding Elaine's criticism of Nick's submission, I have two words for you: Chandra Ablaze. (Google that if you don't know what it looks like.) One of the most popular pieces of Chandra Nalaar artwork ever and Wizards' own preferred advertising piece (stand-ups in stores, booster pack art, etc.) for years. Therefore her criticism of Nick drawing a Chandra who looked too angry was totally bogus.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Clarke
not so, they already HAVE Chandra Ablaze... this challenge was to try to display that other side of her. The snarky, in your face, playful kind of style.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuiginChou
She told him that he got her character wrong by depicting her being angry. Quote, "The thing about [Chandra] is that she's a little bit more spontaneous, a little bit more snarky, a little bit more of a ... having fun while she does stuff ..." Which, while true of Chandra in an ordinary emotional state, is still a joke of a reason to reject artwork that depicts her looking badass and angry when you consider that the single most iconic art piece of Chandra Nalaar is Steve Argyle's Chandra Ablaze.

Basically, she told him "You got the character wrong. =\" Which, if she's going to tell that to Nick, she's going to have to tell that to Steve Argyle as well. And kiss all of that sweet, sweet money good-bye that his amazing artwork drew in for the company. Do you remember the "badass" Looney Tunes artwork on clothing in the early-mid 1990s? You could think of this as a similar sort of thing. That clothing sold ridiculously well despite not depicting the characters as they usually are.
Conversation #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuiginChou
Regarding Elaine's criticism of Nick's submission, I have two words for you: Chandra Ablaze. (Google that if you don't know what it looks like.) One of the most popular pieces of Chandra Nalaar artwork ever and Wizards' own preferred advertising piece (stand-ups in stores, booster pack art, etc.) for years. Therefore her criticism of Nick drawing a Chandra who looked too angry was totally bogus.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jharrod123
her product, she knew what she wanted, asked for what she wanted, did not get that from Nick.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuiginChou
What we did not see Elaine do before sending the artists off: specifying that Chandra had to look fun, "spunky", and not angry. What we did see her do: give the artists a satchel with sample artwork in there to give them a feel for Chandra. Skip to 9m45s and what do you see? Amy's pile of pictures from the satchel is on the floor ... amongst which is Steve Argyle's art for Chandra Ablaze. You say she didn't get what she asked for? Sorry, but she got *exactly* what we were shown she asked for.
Conversation #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuiginChou
Regarding Elaine's criticism of Nick's submission, I have two words for you: Chandra Ablaze. (Google that if you don't know what it looks like.) One of the most popular pieces of Chandra Nalaar artwork ever and Wizards' own preferred advertising piece (stand-ups in stores, booster pack art, etc.) for years. Therefore her criticism of Nick drawing a Chandra who looked too angry was totally bogus.
Quote:
Originally Posted by QualityJeverage
But that was the feedback she gave, and that's what Nick has to go with. That's kind of the point here.

If this were a real professional situation, Nick can't send a snarky letter back saying she's wrong because the company has done X and Y in the past. For whatever reason, angry Chandra wasn't what they wanted now. End of story.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuiginChou
Don't get me wrong, I completely agree about the feedback process. I'm just saying that when this is a challenge, a competition with real prizes and punishments at stake, as a judge you must abide by the rules you yourself lay out. You can't *after the fact* say to someone "You failed to do what we wanted you to do" and then provide a reason that they're hearing about for the very first time ... and have documents in their satchel that YOU provided them with which contradict that very position.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe M
I understand what you're saying, but it is a realistic aspect of design work that your customer will fail to give you the correct requirements up front. They didn't show it but I wonder if they could ask the magic reps further questions during the 90 minutes. Does it suck when that sort of thing happens? Of course. Does it happen? Constantly.
Conversation #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuiginChou
Regarding Elaine's criticism of Nick's submission, I have two words for you: Chandra Ablaze. (Google that if you don't know what it looks like.) One of the most popular pieces of Chandra Nalaar artwork ever and Wizards' own preferred advertising piece (stand-ups in stores, booster pack art, etc.) for years. Therefore her criticism of Nick drawing a Chandra who looked too angry was totally bogus.
Quote:
Originally Posted by danpsho
Well, we didn't see Chandra Ablaze in this challenge, and they probably didn't mention Chandra Ablaze during the challenge. I think you have a point but it's irrelevant to the challenge they gave. Everybody's work was great, they just had to pick the best model for the 2014 campaign and the Warped Tour, and they only explained the reasons why.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuiginChou
9 minutes 45 seconds in. See that pile of references next to Amy? See a certain picture next to her right hand (the hand on our left)? Not only does Chandra Ablaze show up in this episode: she was one of several references all nine artists were given to work with, to establish a feel for the character.

Anyway, pretty cool.
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Old 04-12-2013, 02:03 PM   #14
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Episode 13, the Round 4 elimination episode, has set the Strip Search internet ablaze. People are furiously debating whether [the stuff that happened in this week's episode] was a good thing or a bad thing. As someone who was mildly in the In Favor Of camp initially and who is even more centrist now that he's read both sides' impassioned arguments, it's very fascinating to hear people explain their rationale for what side they're on in this debate. Anyway, let's head on into the spoiler box.

Spoiler: show
I don't know why they bothered delaying Erika's picks until this episode. Given who she picked -- Mac and Nick -- I feel it was a mistake on LoadingReadyRun's part to edit the episodes this way. Had she foolishly nominated herself (and then been sent packing at the end of this one), then maybe. Or had she nominated the person everyone's shipping her with, Amy, then possibly. But given that she picked Mac and Nick, two guys who were called out by the Wizards employees for producing the worst work in the challenge, I really don't see why this call was made. Oh well, doesn't matter now.

The two topics the artists had to work with -- Flatulence and County Fair -- were really awful picks. Someone on the Penny Arcade forum explained it best to some confused readers who wondered how anyone could think this:
Quote:
As soon as the topics came out, I knew straightaway you weren't going to see Marcel Proust. It's tougher to make a good fart joke than you think. A lot of the time, 'fart' IS the joke, and added with 'country fair', there weren't really that many places to go with it.
That was the problem. Pretty much everyone I've talked to came up with the same ideas for a comic. (Funnily enough, they were different from both Nick's and Mac's. lol) These involved county fair contests (like the sort you see with 4H blue ribbon animals or like the sort you see with pie-eating and hot dog-eating contests) that either then produced farting or else were about farting. Whenever everyone comes up with the same joke for these two words, you know the options are pretty limited. Originality isn't in the cards for two topic phrases like these two.

I honestly did not get Mac's comic. I paused the video and read, and re-read, and re-re-read his comic, but still I didn't really get it. I wasn't even sure what I was looking at. Bit by bit the puzzle pieces fell into place. "Oh, that was the bolt holding the Ferris wheel in." "Oh, in that panel it isn't that the man or his carriage crashed to the ground -- it's that the entire Ferris wheel came out of its chassis and is barreling down on the pig." But even then, I didn't really get the joke. It was only after reading someone explain it on the PA forum that I got it. The explanation goes something like this: pig (hot dog) makes man fart, man (via chain of events from his own fart) makes pig fart. It's like a Circle of Life deal ... only with farting. ^^; The Flatulence Cycle? *tomatoed*

Nick's, I think everyone got, but man if it wasn't crude. And I'm not talking just about the two yokels with musical instruments rammed up their assholes either. I'm talking the drawing quality, arguably the worst we've seen yet from a technical perspective (although Alex is a close runner-up there if not winner) or else from an overall "how I feel about it" perspective (with Tavis a close runner-up); and I'm also talking about the text -- GOOD GOD at those distracting back-to-back typos, and good Lord at how poorly the joke was executed. Nick seems like a nice enough guy, really he does, but I was not impressed by his comic at all.

If I had to pick a winner for this contest, I'd pick Nick (bad comic) over Mac (comic I didn't even get), but I wouldn't have been sorry to see either of them go home given their submissions this time. So when it was revealed that they had both been eliminated, while I felt bad for both men as a fellow human being who wishes them only the best in achieving their dreams, as a reality television viewer I was rather pleased and entertained. And before I had long to think about the consequences of this dual elimination, the episode pressed on to Mike asking Jerry if they should execute some special plan of theirs. "Here it comes," I said. "A surprise thirteenth contestant." Some reality TV shows have done this, where they have a hidden bonus contestant waiting in the wings to step forward should anything happen to one of the other contestants (like a medical emergency), so this was the first thing that jumped into my head. But as that hotel door opened to reveal an astonished Lexxy behind it, my mind immediately jumped to the other (now obvious) possibility: that they were bringing back a previously-eliminated contestant. This is something that they do all the time in reality TV too. (Big Brother is an especially big fan of doing this.) So I was not the least bit surprised to see Lexxy there, even though I was hugely surprised by the development overall -- I did not see it coming, and usually it does not happen so soon in a reality TV series.

Before I dive into the Internet's rage and ecstasy over Lexxy's return , let me bring up her Kickstarter. As you may or may not know, Lexxy launched a Kickstarter for her comic, "The Cloud Factory", yesterday evening. At the time I checked it, it had already raised nearly $10,000. This morning it had already raised $20,000. Many contributors are reporting that they donated to Lexxy because a) they like her artwork and believe she has talent, but also b) they felt bad for her that she got eliminated from Strip Search. The fact that she chose to launch her Kickstarter last night, on the eve of the episode in which it's hinted that she's returning to the show, is pretty shady business, say many critics. I'm of the "innocent until proven guilty" camp myself, but I'll agree that if Lexxy ends up winning all of Strip Search, then it's clear that she launched her Kickstarter when she did precisely to try and cash in on the Internet's pity points. And I think that that could horribly, horribly backfire on her. Of course, there is another obvious possibility that everyone's discussing, and it was the very first thing I thought of too when I recalled her Kickstarter: is the fact that she even launched a Kickstarter evidence that she's going to lose again? Many say "No, it isn't," because the PA prize of $15,000 is not enough to live off of for 1 year in Seattle. Lexxy has made it pretty clear that, given her poor time management skills, she needs to be able to fully commit her time to the comic if she's to make it happen. So it could make very good sense that she plans to use the Kickstarter money to supplement the PA cash prize, thus enabling her to properly make a living for one year working on her comic. But many other people believe "yes, this would seem to be proof that she's going to go home again." It's quite possible that the houseguests will nominate her for eviction again immediately (Round 5), and every time thereafter until finally she's sent home. It's quite possible that Lexxy will be going home again, on our computer and television screens, no later than the Tuesday after next. Me? I was in the "yes, it's proof she's going home again" camp on gut instinct initially. Now that I've had time to read others' thoughts and think it over, I'm 50/50 split. Which I guess is why Robert gave Lexxy the green light to go ahead and launch her Kickstarter last night. Had it truly threatened to spoil the outcome of future episodes, he'd have legally bound her by contract from doing that faster than you can blink.

Sooo ... now that that's out of the way, let's talk Lexxy's return. There seem to be two prevailing camps right now. The first camp is the people in favor of her return. These individuals seem to consist of two subgroups:
  • people who value Lexxy's return as a sign that that this competition is about artistic talent, not rules which were arbitrarily crafted to begin with
  • fanboys of Lexxy's
I'm definitely in that first subgroup, but I cynically believe that most of Lexxy's supporters are in the second subgroup, and her detractors seem to share my cynical belief.

These detractors of Lexxy's are the second camp I spoke of, and like her supporters, Lexxy's detractors are also split between two subgroups:
  • people who believe she should not have been allowed to return because it is unfair to the other contestants (past or present), devalues the show, etc.
  • people who dislike Lexxy as a person
Again, it's easy for a cynical mind to believe that most of the people who claim to be in Subgroup A are actually in Subgroup B. I have read several people who dislike Lexxy express reasons for disliking her that include (and are not limited to):
  • a suspicion that she's a lesbian or bisexual (and a personal dislike or disapproval of LGBT individuals' lifestyle choices)
  • a suspicion that she's a radical feminist (the type that believes all men are scum)
  • the belief that she's an arrogant bitch who thinks too highly of herself
And more. Whether these reasons color the thinking of the more game-minded critics or not, who can say. Personally, though, I think that the people who argue based on the merits of the game's integrity that Lexxy should not have been brought back have a strong case. Strong enough that I find myself barely, barely right/left of center, in the camp of supporters for Lexxy's return. I do think that her return has the potential to devalue the game and be insultingly unfair to other players, but at the same time I also feel like it's undeniable that her comic was one of the best we've seen in this entire tournament thus far and that if anyone were to be brought back it should be her.

One thing's certain: Round 5's first episode should be the most entertaining first episode of a round we've seen yet.

Last edited by Talon87; 04-12-2013 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:12 AM   #15
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Episode 14 was very good. Divided into roughly three parts, we had:

Spoiler: show
First, the house's response to Lexxy's return. This was a lot less exciting than I would've expected. Nobody seemed pissed. In fact, only Amy seemed to express the least bit of concern. Everyone else was all "YAAY LEXXY! "

Second, the Amy chunk. This was the episode highlight for me. Tavis's sitdown talk with Amy was fine, but where the scene really shined was in the diary room edits between Erika and Amy. That portion was great. Seeing how much Amy loved and respected Erika (that she would bow out of the competition rather than overthrow her hero) and seeing how much Erika in kind liked Amy (going so far as to say that, were she to win and were the producers to allow her to do it, she would give Amy the grand prize) was just awesome.

Third, the clay challenge. This bit was okay. But I didn't agree with many of their votes. Not to mention that the voting system was really flawed. (Open voting? And you can see who exactly made what? Nah, man. Graham should've put those creations in a pile and had the houseguests vote like that. Also on marker boards, so they couldn't try to rig the outcome.) That stated, this group seems really nice and not schemey, in particular Maki who even to Graham's surprise one time screwed himself out of some solo points had he voted for anybody else but Katie. Arguably ended up giving her her win.

Episode 15 was fine but not that fun to watch more than once. Obviously the highlights were to do with Abby.

Spoiler: show
That was sad to see her so sure she'd lost but to everyone else she seemed to have performed just fine or maybe even better than fine. Kinda reminded me of an anorexic person's self-perception except with this challenge instead of with body image. Very kind of Robert to lay the compliments on so thick for honestly what was a pretty small yet good idea on her part.

If the contestants were privy to all of the same criticisms we heard from Robert and Brian, then I think Monica clearly picked based on friendships/alliances given how she didn't tap either Lexxy (her anime buddy who fucked up the prices) or Tavis (her other buddy) but instead Amy and Maki. Amy in particular strikes me as a personal choice considering that (judging from Amy's tweets) she likely liked anime well before entering the house yet when Lexxy returned Monica said in the diary room how Lexxy's departure had left her without anyone to discuss anime with. So that tells me that Amy and Monica probably weren't friends. Maybe not enemies, but not friends.

If, however, they weren't privy to everything we heard, then I can appreciate Monica's choices. Lexxy's booth certainly looked better than many of the others'. And Maki's signage did look like crap considering an artist of his caliber wrote/drew them.

Also, I think this choice may indeed have been genuinely tough for Monica, considering that, in an unprecedented move, LoadingReadyRun had Monica nominate her two choices to the home audience diary room-style: we didn't get to hear her actual nomination talk in the flesh. People speculate she broke down, and I don't think that that's altogether unlikely.

Episode 16. Elimination challenge #5.

Spoiler: show
Amy vs. Maki. Mermaids and ukeleles.

I love Amy, and I was disappointed that she was eliminated; but, I was even more disappointed by what she turned out for this challenge. A confusing mess of text, a joke that didn't really make much sense or have much of an impact, and -- worst of all -- a suspected-to-be canned comic that she came into the competition with ahead of time and shoehorned "mermaid" and "ukelele" into. If this is in fact what she did, then all I can say is that Amy died as she (is accused to have) lived: gaming the system. Anyway, it was a poor comic. She's capable of so much better and it shows in her comic, Cardigan Weather. (Not a fan of her other comic, Citation Needed. ^^; Still love you though, Amy! )

Maki's comic was great. One of the few that made me chuckle, one of the few (perhaps even the only) I would have saved to my hard drive were I to have come across the artists' submissions in their great big portfolios / if I followed them weekly and their entries so far were weeklies I'd come upon. Good art, funny joke, well executed. I think Tycho was grasping at straws a bit in his overstated criticism of Maki's text, but I do agree with him that the comic becomes so much better if you delete speech bubble #2. I kept #3 though; didn't agree with Tycho there.

Perhaps my favorite scene in the history of the show occurred this episode. The part where Mike shared with us that he hasn't had his beloved combination of Golden Oreos and milk in two months, and then he has them, and he practically orgasms. That was so weird , so funny, and yet so relatable. Amazing scene, very funny.

Another great moment and, it seems, the Internet's favorite was when Jerry drank the smoothie mix with Amy's comic inside. It was great to see Amy take it like an honor, which perhaps is what Jerry intended it to be, rather than as a soul-crushing or degrading action like most of the other contestants have (understandably) taken theirs.

I felt bad for Amy that nobody seemed sad to see Maki return except for Erika. But man did Erika seem heartbroken! They didn't even show if she hug-welcomed back Maki along with the others or not! I wonder if Erika now finds herself with a huge target on her back, seeing as Amy seemed to be her only really close friend in the house. Guess we'll see!
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:12 AM   #16
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Episode 17 was very boring to me. Definitely the worst episode so far, no contest. Glad it was so short, though, and glad it got something out of the way that's been hinted at for ages by the trailer:

Spoiler: show
A go-kart race.

You would think that an episode showing the Strippers engaging in a high-speed vehicular race would be awesome. Unfortunately, poor driving, poor winner's criteria, and poor editing choices made this episode almost unwatchable, never mind enjoyable. How am I supposed to care who wins and who loses if I can't actually watch a solid race but instead keep getting tugged around from helmet-cam to helmet-cam? And how am I supposed to care about who wins if (apparently!?) the winner is decided by best lap time instead of by who is first to cross the finish line on the final lap? Why should I care who wins or loses if sometimes cheating is allowed with a laugh and a smile and other times it's not? And how am I supposed to maintain my sanity when THAT OVERLY SIMPLE SONG KEEPS REPEATING OVER AND FUCKING OVER? Yeah, I just wasn't feeling it.

The prize seemed pretty shitty this time too. ^^; "Win a trivia+memory recall test, win a thousand-dollar Cintiq! Win a go-kart race, win ... some shitty polo shirts. "

The sneak peek reveals an interesting development: those booths they made weren't just for show! :o They're really gonna use 'em! It'll be interesting to see what the ones who left themselves little working space do in the opening minutes. I wonder what they'll do with Amy's booth too. Will they simply remove it and create an awkward open space there between two other booths? Or will they convert it into an area that serves some purpose? Most importantly though ... what are they going to be judged on!? Most sales would, I think, be the most likely. It is, after all, a sales booth. But doesn't that automatically place the ones with pre-existing fanbases (like Erica, Lexxy, and Maki) ahead of the ones who don't (like Abby)? Also, isn't that sort of dumb / unfair / unreasonable seeing as all seven of them had to work with the exact same materials, sell the exact same things, and not really get a chance to sell their brand? Someone might've wanted to buy from Katie if they had seen posters of her artwork behind her instead of Mike and Jerry's, Mike and Jerry's which can be seen behind six other booths as well. Lexxy would probably demolish the competition if she could've had a poster of one of her works up there. Guess we'll just have to find out next time.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:07 PM   #17
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Episode 18 was okay. As we enter the second half of the tournament, I find myself caring more and more about the elimination rounds and less and less about the stuff in between. This is partly because the stuff is between is still more contests, just not ones that count for too much, as opposed to being the (as one person put it) "fly on the wall" observations of the houseguests' time spent with each other in the house like you enjoy on a program like Big Brother. I could use more fly on the wall footage and less go kart footage or fake convention footage. But I digress.

Spoiler: show
I can't believe Erika left that sign up like that. A lot of people gave Tavis shit for putting Erika up for elimination for (in their view) such a poor reason, but I didn't feel it was a poor reason at all. I thought it was a great reason. Holy shit yeah she should've changed that! I'm frankly astonished we didn't see more footage of people arguing with her about the pricing of the sketches and pointing out her "FREE SKETCHES" sign to her.

Tavis said that he picked Abby because he wants her to gain confidence in herself. A sort of "believe that you can do this and you will do this, kiddo " message. But then he tells the camera a couple of seconds later that he's confident Erika will be able to return to the house no sweat. So ... either Tavis is an insincere ass or else he's very confused and/or conflicted.

That stated, I warmed up to Tavis more this episode than I have all season long. Were it not for that final "Erika should have no problem " bit, I'd maybe even go so far as to say that I'd definitely warmed up to the guy. But yeah, if we ignore that one problematic moment, I did like the rest of his bit on camera.

I *HATE* the people that Robert was pretending to be this episode. Oh man, they are my least favorite kind of nerd. So while I feel a teeny tiny bit bad for any of them who might've been watching and made the connection that "Oh shit, this is supposed to be me! ", for the most part I quite enjoyed PA's message to them. Hopefully some of them might take the message to heart and try to change their ways.

Quite a few horndogs are going wild over Abby's shirt + cleavage + boobs on display this episode, but ... I don't want to be cruel, so I'll just say that the dimensions of Abby's breasts don't do anything for me and leave it at that. ^^;

With previous episodes, some viewers have accused Lexxy of being arrogant and obnoxious. And I haven't felt that she's been quite that bad. But this episode ... oh man. Yeah. You could definitely feel it this episode. Especially at the very end when she was all "I'm surprised I didn't win. Tavis must have been really something because I really feel I should've won that." I mean, she has no way of knowing how the others fared, but we know, and we can see that she was probably at the bottom of the pack, in either 7th, 6th, or at best 5th place. Hell, we know she didn't make 3rd.

Maki was also feeling pretty confident this episode, but again, as we see, he didn't manage to make it into the top three. ^^; I'd feel bad for the guy if he was 7th place.

I do like that Tavis's picks involved two people who've never been sent to the elimination challenge before, whether or not that influenced his decision.

And that actually leads us to anticipatory talk for Friday's episode.

Spoiler: show
Abby vs. Erika. Honestly, I am hoping and betting that Abby wins. I have a variety of reasons, including a few possible spoilers, so click at your own risk.

Spoiler: show
Reason 1. Somebody, possibly on the LRR staff, tweeted that he really wanted to talk about today's episode but that he would have to hold off until next week because spoilers. (No, he didn't say the spoiler. I'm saying he used the word spoilers.) To me, that declaration in and of itself suggests an Abby win. Why? Because if Erika wins, it won't really be all that noteworthy. Tangent Girl goes home. Professional Comic Artist goes back to the house. No one is surprised. Abby also wasn't a huge friend magnet or anything, so it's not like people are going to be hounding Erika and Tavis for Abby's departure. But now imagine if Abby is the one who goes back to the house. Don't you think that would cause the other Strip Search contestants to freak out a little bit? "HOLY SHIT, SHE DEFEATED ERIKA MOEN! ERIKA MOEN, PROFESSIONAL COMIC ARTIST!"

Reason 2. During the sneak peek for today's episode, Mike looks somewhat pissed/agitated while he's sitting in his theater-style chair next to Jerry. While this could just be that he's pissed/agitated because Abby is inferior to many past artists in the house in his eyes and he's in pain watching her waste his time, I think the more likely reason for Mike's body language is that he's frustrated about being so wrong about her. He wants to hate this girl (given her standup), and he's already sort of talked himself into a corner now where if the girl is amazing then he will look like a jackass, aaaaaaaaaaaaand ... I suspect he's talked himself into said corner. Because Abby will perform very well. And he'll be forced into the very uncomfortable position of having to send Erika Moen home.

Why is sending Erika Moen home so tough for Mike and Jerry? And why is it so especially tough for Mike with an Abby vs. Erika faceoff? Because: Penny Arcade has let Erika do guest comic strips for them in the past. I was reminded of this earlier today because at the time I had no idea who Erika Moen even was. Here's Erika's guest strip for Penny Arcade in 2010. So yeah. They are already on good, established terms with this person. Which makes having to tell her, to her face, "Sorry, but you weren't as good as this scrub over here who we don't even care about" all the more painful for Mike.

Reason 3. We know that LRR tell Mike and Jerry about the goings on in the house. So it's likely that they'll have ratted on Erika and told M&J that she was thinking about leaving as well as thinking about winning but then handing the prize over to Amy. I don't think this will sit too well with them.

Reason 4. Mike and Jerry might have higher standards for Erika than they do for Abby. So if the two perform nearly equally well, then even if Erika is sliiiiightly better, they might still send Erika packing, just because they know that she's already made it as a professional comic artist and because they know that Abby could use the prize more.



So yeah. For all these reasons, I suspect Abby will win. But we will see! We will see. :o

EDIT: Came across this just now on the PA forum discussion for the episode and thought it worth sharing.

Spoiler: show
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cultural Geek Girl
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spman2099
Sadly, I feel the same way. I fear that I may end up being a booth barnacle. In all honesty, I would be pretty devastated if I realized that I had inconvenienced an artist and had actually become a pest. More to the point, I recognize that my conversations may, at times, be a little time monopolizing. So yeah, if I am ever at a convention with any artist I will just quietly buy something, thank them for their quality work and keep my eyes on my boots.
This is a thing that I've tried to explain everywhere: if you're worried about being a booth barnacle, and have that concern in your mind, there's very little chance that you will be one.

If you want some loose guidelines, "take a few minutes, but don't monopolize" is the best I can offer. Go up to the artist. Say hello, chat for a couple minutes... but if you've been there more than a few minutes, and someone else wanders up to the booth wanting to talk to the artist, wrap up the chat and walk away.

The "pace" of the room and the con matters too. Is there a line? Are there other people waiting to talk to the artist? I was once at a con where an artist I liked was sitting alone with no line at the end of a day, and we ended up getting into a twenty minute conversation. The last time I met John Hodgman, we ended up talking for more than ten minutes, even though I had intended to just run up to him, tell him a joke, and run away.

I used to be a "say hello and scarper" person myself, and a bunch of really kind celebrities broke me of that. In 90% of scenarios where there is not an active line waiting to buy things, an artist can easily spare you a couple minutes of honest interaction, regardless of whether or not you buy anything.
I think she makes a marvelous point about the pace of the room, the nature of the convention, and the length of the line all mattering. Even the time of day matters. No line @ 8:30am is very different from no line @ 5:30pm. Granted, I've never been to a convention before. ^^; But I just think that what she says sounds very correct, based on my own impressions of people and of situations like cons (as I've seen them on television or read about them in stories).

Last edited by Talon87; 04-30-2013 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 05-03-2013, 08:53 AM   #18
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Episode 19 was great.

Spoiler: show
Quote:
Originally Posted by me, on YouTube
I liked Erika's. I loved Abby's. Simple as that, really. And you can see from the judges' genuine reactions that they agree.
That's the short of it. As for the long of it ...

A lot of people went into this elimination as very blind Erika Moen fans, apparently. I say this because YouTube is just littered with people saying that Erika's made them laugh out loud while Abby's didn't do squat for them. Umm, no? I had the same exact reaction as the judges ... and actually a bit more toned down than them for Abby! Hers made me chuckle and want to insta-save it. Erika's made me smile -- but no chuckle -- and not really care enough one way or the other about saving it.

Other people say they don't get the joke in Abby's. I wonder how can they not? But are you one of those people? If so, I can explain. It's not the word choice. Like, some confused readers actually think the joke is that she said "penis". Umm, no? ^^; It's just the gag of this woman shoving her butt onto Sherlock's crotch and he's standing there stoically; and then she puts her brassiere on top of his head and he still doesn't budge or show any loss of composure. It's funny. If you're one of the ones who doesn't find this funny, I don't know what more to say. I'll just reiterate that I loved it and so, apparently, did the judges.

Some people are accusing the judges of bias, saying that the judges had high expectations for Erika and felt let down that she didn't reach them while they had low expectations for Abby and were thus disproportionately impressed by her competent strip. Maybe there's some element of truth to that? But honestly, I had the opposite biases and I still quite agreed with the judges' decision. I had low expectations for Poop Humor Erika and high expectations for Junior Science Power Hour. Abby met my expectations, Erika exceeded them. Doesn't change the fact that Erika's comic wasn't as funny as Abby's.

Results aside, what else?

Spoiler: show
I loved Abby's bold level of sass with the Creators. (How many times did they use the word "sass" anyway!? XD) I loved that Mike took it as well as he did.

The tangent showdown was a little disappointing. ^^; A, because Abby recognized it before he did anything, completely agreed, and chalked it up to not wanting to redraw it. B, because Mike didn't build up to the Wite-Out scene: he just got up and did it. Building up to such an action with tales of how much Abby's tangent had been boring into his brain would have made it that much funnier. Oh well.

Erika + Amy. <3 However, I'm sad to report that Erika's already married. To a dude, too! (They're both bi! Erika and Amy. Totally pegged Erika for a straight up lesbian. Whoops.)

Abby's comic looked great for pencil, paper, and marker in 90 minutes. Very impressed, very pleased. Hoping to see her win further contests. [/abby convert]

I liked how well they both took Mike's ribs & napkin bit.

Erika's bit in the SUV was sad. Good for her, making new friends, reaching out to people.

And now, sadly, begins the 11-day wait until the next elimination. Argh, why must you be so spaced out, Strip Search!? >_<
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Old 05-04-2013, 02:00 AM   #19
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So, Kris Straub, Scott Kurtz, Mary Cagle (the artist Scott hired to help him on The Trenches and who he later handed the project over to), and the first five eliminees from Strip Search did a radio show live stream tonight on YouTube wherein the two veteran comic artists bantered ŕ la Mike and Jerry whilst the six others all tried their hand at two topics "randomly" selected from the chat room. The words ended up being "secrets" and "Sasquatch".

Spoiler: show
Alex Hobbs'

Amy T. Falcone's

Mackenzie Schubert's (his own upload)

Mary Cagle's (her own upload)

Nick Trujillo's

Ty Halley's

You can catch the creative process here. Unfortunately, they didn't get good, clear, zoomed-in shots of most of the comics, so this video really isn't worth watching, I'd say. I bounced between it a lot and some other things, having fun popping into the chat room (which has now been converted into over 1,800 comments? ^^; ) every now and again.

Personally, I liked Mary's best. I liked Ty's second best, but unfortunately I think Scott reading it for me when I couldn't read it for myself kind of ruined its impact when I later got to read it for myself. (Also, Ty needs to learn the use of commas. ^^; ) I think I responded to both Alex's and Nick's better than the judges did. I think I responded to Mackenzie's worse (though I do love his artwork) and I'm pretty sure I responded to Amy's much worse, as (sadly ^^; ) hers was my least favorite of the bunch by a big margin.

The fact that Mary drew up her comic in only 90 minutes is really damn impressive. It pretty much looks like a finished piece. Artists of UPN! You've got your work cut out for you! Practice, practice, practice!
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:58 AM   #20
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Just watched Episode 27. Haven't posted here in a while. Brief thoughts on the last eight episodes:

Episode 20:

Spoiler: show
This was the episode where they practiced table tennis. Not much to say here other than yay Katie.

Episode 21:

Spoiler: show
This was the table tennis doubles tournament at the PA office. Highlights:

Robert did much better than was let on, I would say. Lexxy was a major handicap and yet he still made 2nd place.

Lexxy's boobs were pretty distracting. Even the cameraman was transfixed, we can surmise, given just how much attention they got.

Episode 22:

Spoiler: show
Lexxy vs. Monica. What is there to say but man did Monica self-destruct? Very uncomfortable to watch her. Like Lexxy later noted, Monica's behavior on this elimination stage was devoid of levity. That levity is the difference between Abby's sass (which feels playful and in jest) and Monica's smartmouthed hostility (which felt ... well, hostile!).

Well, I guess I should also point out that despite her poor attitude, I felt Monica deserved to win. Much better drawn, and a very "from the heart" comic. That stated, I personally liked Lexxy's more, so I'm not too bummed out by her victory.

Episode 23:

Spoiler: show
Jungle Speed. Not much to say here other than ...

One, Abby is starting to feel like she fits in and thus can be her silly, childlike self. Good.

Two, man did this episode showcase the insufferably egotistical side of Lexxy. I kinda felt sorry for her with the blaming her loss of traction on cold feet. ^^;

Episode 24:

Spoiler: show
The Obama signatures episode. Nothing to say. ^^;

Episode 25:

Spoiler: show
Abby vs. Tavis. Abby clearly won this one. I'd say Tavis's two biggest problems were a) his building a joke around a regional product which the judges weren't familiar with and b) opting for one giant cat on the roof instead of several normal-sized cats on the windshield as he originally had.

Episode 26:

Spoiler: show
The Seattle scavenger hunt. Meh? ^^; It was okay. Felt bad for Maki though. Having seen the episode, I would not want to be partnered with Lexxy on this sort of challenge.

Episode 27:

Spoiler: show
The contract negotiation / screwjob-catching episode.

Could not discern a clear winner myself. Felt they all did well; feel that due to the edited nature of the show it's impossible for us to know who caught the most bad things, who overlooked the most major ones, etc.

Kinda boring to watch, but very important subject matter.

However, really surprised (in a bad way) just how naive people seem to be about contracts, given comments made both on the show by the contestants and on YouTube by viewers.
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Old 06-04-2013, 01:47 PM   #21
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Episode 28:

Spoiler: show
Before the episode, predicted a Maki win. I was right ... but I didn't expect to be right because Maki submitted the better of two unimpressive comics. I expected to be right because he barely eked out Lexxy and both submitted amazing comics. *sigh* Oh well.

Of the two comics, I honestly preferred Lexxy's. It seems some people did not get the Wizard of Oz reference? (HOW!?) Well I got it, and I thought it was solid enough to beat out Maki's really pathetic comic. And I'm not saying that as a Maki hater, 'cause I'm no Maki hater and I quite liked his first Strip Search elimination comic. I just ... really thought he bombed, and I felt Lexxy's was at least neutral if not positive scoring, so she should win. Her concept reminded me of Perry Bible Fellowship's comics (somewhat), so I'm surprised that Mike and Jerry failed to see any humor in it beyond the Lollipop Knights Templar's coat of arms.

Maki's bugged me because it didn't really make any sense as a candy comic. He forcibly sat the kids down at the breakfast table with bowls of cereal ... and then had them pour candy into their cereal, candy which resembled PCP or some other sort of drug. So basically, instead of being about religion and candy, Maki's comic was really about religion and medicine posing as candy that's being added to cereal. Ummm ... no. That's too much of a stretch, bro. No one adds candy to their cereal. No one adds medication to their cereal. Your strip is clearly about cereal. You cheated. Get out. What makes this even worse is ... *sigh* ... Maki admits this on the PA forums. Too lazy to dig up the post, but it's somewhere on either page 3 or 4 of the thread. People were grilling Maki over the identity of his "candy" and he admitted that he deliberately made it very vague and muddled because he really wanted to tell a joke about religion and cereal. So yeah, it's not just my imagination. He admits it. To me, this should've secured Lexxy's spot in the finals, even if I was rooting for Maki over her myself!

On a separate note, speculation about when and how the series will end:

Spoiler: show
According to people who posted on the PA forums, it sounds like Robert reserved a convention hall or some such for June 18. That indicates three more episodes (or so says the poster), so it looks like we're either:
  1. going to get three filler episodes and then a convention hall finale that's a three-way faceoff; or else we're
  2. going to get another full round of the competition, reduce the playing field to two remaining artists, and then have a face-off at the convention hall
My money would be on B. I certainly hope it's not A since man that would be a huge waste of our time and they should just have the convention hall thing now if that's the case. So yeah, B seems the most likely. Given that ... bets for the final outcomes!

Who will face off in the second-to-last elimination: probably Maki and Abby, assuming Katie wins the competition challenge for the fourth time in a row. If Maki should win the competition challenge though, then man oh man will that be a big deal since it will pit Katie against Abby prematurely.

Who I think will win it all: well, assuming it's down to Katie and Abby, I'll go with Abby. Assuming it's down to Katie and Maki, I'll pick Katie. And assuming it's down to Abby and Maki, I'll go with Abby. So that's two votes Abby, one vote Katie, zero votes Maki as far as my permutations go. Considering I'm saying I think Abby can beat either of the other two contestants, I'm more or less ruling out the possibility of the finale being Maki vs. Katie. Which meaaaaaaaaans ... my prediction for the winner of Strip Search Season 1 is Abby Howard. We'll just have to wait and see now whether I'm right or wrong.
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Old 06-07-2013, 09:41 AM   #22
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Episode 29:

I think my YouTube comment sums it up best:

Spoiler: show
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuiginChou
The entire time I was watching the episode, I kept thinking, "This is going to be the most brutal 4-day wait yet."

And then the ending happened.
Damn. Damn, damn, damn. >_< THE EPISODE WAS ALREADY TOO SHORT. NOW WE HAVE TO WAIT AN ENTIRE WEEK FOR THE NEXT EPISODE ON TOP OF THAT!? D: GRAAAAAAAAAAAAHAM! ROOOOOOOOOOOOBERT! WHY COULDN'T YOU SCHEDULE THE SERIES FINALE FOR JUNE 14 INSTEAD!?

Guess we'll find out on Friday. Here's hoping that Friday's episode is a super-special extra-long episode. Like ... 45 minutes or something. That would be a nice surprise. If we have allotted 30 minutes to two comic strips, I don't see why we couldn't allot twice that amount of time to nine times that many strips.

As for Episode 29 proper ...

Katie automatically wins the cuteness war. That cat. :3

From what little we've glimpsed, I think I like Maki's the most and I think it feels the most like a serial comedy strip ŕ la Penny Arcade & Co. Katie's, we didn't really get to see enough to know how it'd play out as a comic (and she didn't have any comics on hand). Abby's, it looks like she may have goofed (may have goofed!) and gone in the direction of a sweeping, narrative, non-funny comic ŕ la Lexxy's Cloud Factory. Whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiich ... from what we've seen so far on Strip Search, doesn't seem like something that can win the judges over. ^_^; But Maki's comic looks like it's right up PA's alley. From what little we saw of it, I was reminded of Amy's Citation Needed comic (in terms of feel). I'm not a fan of Citation Needed ^^; , but Maki's already looked more appealing to me, both visually and (possibly) setup-wise. (Hard to know! We couldn't really tell much!)

The fact that Maki showed up wearing a Team Maki t-shirt suggests that this round of the competition took place after the show had started airing. Whoa, that's so meta. O_o ()

From what little, little, little we've seen so far of the comics, if I had to rank their likelihood of winning, it'd be Maki > Katie > Abby. But if it's one thing Miss Abby Howard has done well this entire competition, it's proving me wrong! So good luck, Abby. I predicted last time that you'd win this all, and I'm not fully counting you out just yet.
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:22 AM   #23
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Episode 30:

Spoiler: show
The first half of the finale. I was disappointed with some of the editing decisions in this week's episode, but I guess it's meant to stoke us for the second half of the finale on Tuesday.

One thing I was disappointed by was the running time. At one week, the LoadingReadyRun team had double their usual time for editing; and at four hours, the elimination challenge was nearly triple the regular elimination challenges' length; and yet this episode still only weighed in at around 28 minutes, about par for the elimination episode course. We only made it around one hour in and saw very, very little of the contestants' elimination pieces. In fact ... I think we only saw one head in a panel of Maki's and one head in a panel of Katie's and that was it.

Another thing I was disappointed by was the decision to ask viewers to check out the comics on the website rather than showing them here (1 minute per strip, so 18 minutes total had they all stuck to the rule of six strips). I didn't want to pause the episode to go and look at the comics, but the entire time I watched the episode I was thus left with a nagging sensation of feeling insufficiently informed to make any judgment calls on whose work seems the best yet. Even had it added ten minutes to the episode's length, I think they could have and should have shown all of the comics in the episode proper.

Now, I mentioned "had they all stuck to the rule of six strips," and that's because it turns out that they all kinda sorta cheated depending on who you ask. The judges seemed to feel that both Katie and Abby cheated a tad (though they didn't use the dreaded 'c' word) when they pointed out to both ladies that their "strips" were page-long adventures that, in the judges' opinions, could've easily been broken up into halves or thirds. Having read the comics for myself, I totally disagree with that assessment. I feel that Katie truly submitted six strips -- they'd feel boring and incomplete if you chopped them up into halves or thirds and each one tells a complete story. And I feel that Abby submitted not more than six, not six on the nose, but one singular giant strip. Like ... I can totally see why she was saying that she wants to submit her comic pages all at once rather than split up across days during the week: and that's because her comic wouldn't even work if you did it the traditional way! It'd be far too much of a tease. It'd piss me off to read it that way. I'd have to say, "Y'know what? I'm just going to check this once every blue moon and read up on what I've missed." A comic that works well in separate parts it is not. Not in my opinion, anyway. So what about Maki? Well, the judges didn't harangue Maki for his editorial decisions, but the thing is, I think they really should have. Because Maki submitted not six, not ten, but thirteen comics. On the one hand, that's really cool and shows how much work and passion he put into the project. But on the other hand, it's not fair to the other contestants. He got to tell that many more jokes, show off that much more character development, and so on as a result of having thirteen strips instead of just six. So in the end, I guess what I'll repeat is that if you combine my criticism with the judges' criticisms, all three artists kinda sorta "cheated" with the six strip limitation and thus everyone's sort of back on an even playing field anyway. I don't really feel that way. ^^; (I feel that Maki has the advantage here.) And the judges clearly don't either. (They felt the girls do.) But if you combine our sentiments then it all balances out.

So, with all of that stated, what did I think about the comics?

Spoiler: show
Katie's is definitely my favorite of the bunch. I'm still not a fan of her Nickelodeon art style (and it really shows in full force in certain ones of her cels), but hers was the funniest and most charming for me personally.

My second favorite would have to be Abby's. It feels less like a webcomic to me and more like a graphic novel? But I would bookmark it, and I would want to read it every once in a while. She's done a really good job with creating individual characters who stand out and are recognizable for their personality traits. I do wish we could've seen more than just their visit to a fast food taco restaurant, but taken as a single strip it worked really well.

In third place is Maki. While last week it was his comic which most impressed me (just from the sneak peek we could see of it), this week it felt like "just another webcomic." I don't mean that as a nasty disparaging remark. It honestly was kinda funny (kinda ^^; ) and wasn't bad to read. But like ... I dunno, it just doesn't grab me. Meg is unlikable. Anton is unlikable. Not really a fan of "the landlord" (Maki himself? ) either. The only characters I like are Rich (baaaaaaaaarely) and Riti (who for me single-handedly carries this comic). Maki's jokes were funniest when he played to his strong suit: showing the hilarity or the wonder in science, history, and other academic fields. The vomiting bird story was educational and hysterical. The Toxoplasma gondii reference for the cat and the foot-long corkscrew penis reference for the duck were fine on their own but became suitable humor for a comic when dressed up as "Riti, what do you think of when you look at the world?" and the animals were "talking" to her. Even the flashback with Riti and her father was nice. The comic fell more flat for me -- and was more "just another run-of-the-mill webcomic" -- with Meg, with Anton, and with Rich's time spent behind the computer. As it stands, Maki's is currently the only one of the three that I do not think I would bookmark today. Katie's, sure, even if the artwork might eventually drive me away. Abby's, sure, even if the long-form comic isn't one I normally enjoy online. But Maki's ... sorry, bud. Just not feelin' it.

Last but not least ...

Spoiler: show
... that cliffhanger ending. Oh my gosh, that was pretty crazy. I think Katie made the right decision given that sticking with digital she would have just been obsessed over it the other time -- and you don't need that sort of distraction during a tense, time-limited competition! -- but at the same time I really wonder how much this might hurt her chances for winning Strip Search. Putting Katie's six prefabbed comics aside (since she had all the time in the world to craft those), Katie's strength in Strip Search has always been her artwork. Her first elimination comic was decently funny but it was nowhere near as funny as Abby's best. Her second one was so not funny that she almost got sent home right along with Ty! What helped Katie to demolish Alex and to squeak by Ty was, I believe, her artwork. Alex's artwork was garbage compared with Katie's. (No offense, Alex! I love your Wanderlust Kid strips!) Ty's, likewise, couldn't hold a candle to Katie's polish. But now Katie might be forsaking all of that in her switch to pen and paper.

The big wildcard is whether or not she'll have access to Copic markers. We've seen in the Magic: the Gathering challenge what Katie can do with markers. She can turn out some seriously impressive color artwork that looks just as good as the digital stuff. So if she has access to her markers, then her strips should still be in color and I think she should be fine. If, on the other hand, they tell her "Sorry, you told us that you wanted to use a Wacom Cintiq and that's what we prepared for you. The pen and paper we've given you right now actually come from Abby's stock, since she requested pen and paper and so that's why we have them. But Abby didn't request color markers, since she doesn't do color, so ... yeah. We don't have any of those here. They're all back at the office" ... if they tell Katie this, then I think she could possibly be up Shit Creek without a paddle. Because Abby has shown us that she can knock it out of the park with a short time limit, Maki is 1 for 2 in my book, but Katie is an even weaker 1 for 2. In a strict black and white faceoff between Katie and Abby, I'm not sure Katie can win it. But if she gets her color markers, then sure, I think she's back in the race.

As for who I think will win Strip Search ... after Episode 28 I predicted a win by Abby Howard; after Episode 29 I indicated that I felt Maki showed a strong chance of winning; and now, after Episode 30, I've returned to the stable of my good ol' favorite, Miss Katie J. Rice. Do I stand by my prediction that Abby will win it all? I'm going to tentatively say yes. >.< Who would I prefer to see win? That is tough.
  • I think Abby could use the gig more than Katie.
  • I think the PA offices could use a personality like Katie's (which would offer some balance) more than a personality like Abby's (which is just "more of the same" for them), even though I think both would work very well there.
  • I think I would prefer to read Katie's comic on a one-strip-every-two-to-three-days basis.
  • I can't tell whose I would prefer to read in the long run.
I really don't know. Abby or Katie, I'd love to see them both win. (Sorry, Maki. ^^;; ) But for now ... I think Abby has shown the advantage in these timed elimination challenges, so I'll stick with my prediction that she wins Strip Search Season 1.

NOW TO TUNE IN NEXT TUESDAY NIGHT TO FIND OUT!
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Old 06-15-2013, 01:35 PM   #24
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So ... Ty made a video ...
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:34 PM   #25
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Friendly reminder that the season finale airs live in about four hours, at 7:30pm Pacific.
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