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Old 06-19-2013, 09:32 AM   #26
Talon87
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So the finale came and went. Thoughts?

Spoiler: show
Disappointed on a variety of smaller levels, but ultimately the one level that matters most is the one where I'm pleased.

Dishonest advertising: my first complaint with the finale is that they advertised it as being something which would air "live" at 7:30pm Pacific. If by that they meant "We've sold tickets to 250 lucky individuals to come join is in a local small stage theater where we'll be screening the final episode," then sure, what they did fits the bill. But if by "live" they meant what 99% of people are going to think when they hear that -- "Oh! So the winner hasn't been decided yet! We're going to witness it live, in real tme, at 7:30pm Pacific!", then LoadingReadyRun and by extension the PA superfamily lied to us. Very disappointed.

When I saw thanks to Twitter that the episode had gone up on YouTube (rather than on the website www.StripSearch.tv as advertised), I hurriedly raced over, expecting it to be a YouTube live stream. It was because of this expectation of mine that, in a first ever, I scrolled down to read the comments. And it was because of this (more on this below) that I was largely spoiled on the outcome. So yes, I can not only say that I am disappointed in LRR and PA for lying to us about the finale being live but that their lie resulted in the finale's outcome being spoiled for me.

Once I saw that the YouTube episode was in fact an episode and not a stream, and once I had it spoiled specifically that Abby lost (but not necessarily that anyone won), I watched the final episode expecting it to be a lead in to an actual live event that would go live at around 8pm or so. Because of technical difficulties on YouTube's end, I had to switch from my computer to my iPhone to watch the episode five minutes in, and so I was hurriedly wanting the episode to end so that I could join the 8pm live event as quickly as possible. Imagine then my anxiety as the ending neared -- followed by surprise and disappointment when the ending arrived! I was like, "What? But ... but I thought ..." I hadn't expected a winner to be crowned yet. I had only expected a 3rd place to be determined. To the bitter end, I clung to the promise of a live event. But that promise was not to be met. Can't stress this enough -- very, very disappointed in LoadingReadyRun and Penny Arcade for their false advertisement.

Outcome spoiled by fans: When I loaded the YouTube page, I did so via my computer. I never watch Strip Search from my computer. (I almost always do it from bed via my iPhone in the mornings when I wake up or else at lunch via iPhone.) Because of the combination of computer and initial expectation that this was a YouTube live stream (and not an actual episode), I instinctively scrolled down to read some comments. And right there, from some jerkface named Yami Hikaru, there was the spoiler: "Noooooooooooooooo Abby didn't win!" or some such. The fuckface had retardedly, hungrily, assholishly clicked ahead straight away to find the ending -- KEEP IN MIND THAT THE VIDEO HAD BEEN UP QUITE LITERALLY LESS THAN 60 SECONDS WHEN I LOADED IT -- and had spoiled it for everyone.

Now, did he come out and say specifically that Katie won? Well noooo ... but it was pretty obvious from the previous episode that this was a contest between Katie and Abby. Everyone knew that. And boy oh boy did this episode do nothing to dissuade viewers of that notion! (More on that below.) So with it being painfully clear that Maki was not going to win this, being told that Abby lost amounted to the same thing as being told that Katie won, thus nerfing any excitement I might have otherwise had going into this episode.

So yeah. Fuck that Yami Hikaru guy. He's basically the Penny Arcade community's equivalent of the "SNAPE KILLS DUMBLEDORE!" Borders bookstore trolls.

Outcome spoiled by LoadingReadyRun: If asshat fans are partly to blame for spoiling the outcome of this contest, they are only partly to blame. Why do I say that? Because LoadingReadyRun did their own fair share of nerfing any excitement that this episode might have had. Instead of editing the footage to indicate that it was a close three-way tie between Katie, Abby, and Maki, they pretty much showed us 48% footage of Katie, 48% footage of Abby, and 4% footage of Maki in that first ten to fifteen minutes. It was fucking ridiculous. Just from the editing alone you could tell that Maki didn't have a snowball's chance in Hell of winning this thing. Whether part of the blame should also fall on Mike and Jerry's shoulders (for perhaps not engaging Maki nearly as much as they engaged the other two contestants) or not, I can't be certain since I wasn't there to see it nor do I have access to the raw footage. But all I can say is that the way the episode currently stands, it ridiculously gives away that Maki loses Strip Search well before the ending. So if you were a Maki fan going into this and thought he could win it, LRR pretty much spoil-dissuaded you of that notion pretty promptly.

Mike and Jerry are so, so wrong about Abby: Another thing which bugs me is just how much Mike and Jerry (mostly Mike) hated on Abby's six-strip take home assignment and celebrated her three-piece finale submission. They couldn't have been more wrong. A, Abby's take home assignment was ten times funnier than her submission on the finale, not the other way around. B, Abby's take home assignment was an awesome way to introduce us to the characters, not a terrible way nor a confusing way. (Like Jerry suggested, it was like an art house film. And a good one at that. It was like Pulp Fiction. Not that I'm a fan of the film, but I respect that approach to introducing folks to characters!) C, Has Mike never even read a book before or seen a movie? [/sarcastic but still wtf] How does he think characters are introduced to you in good stories? Does he think they're all like little kids' books where you're told "This is Bilbo. He is a Hobbit. A Hobbit is a little person who ..." all encyclopedia-like? Hell no! Many of the best stories out there just dive into the thick of things and let their characters do the talking for them. No biographical backstory necessary: you'll learn all there is to know about this character as you go. And so capping this off I will say, D, I would much rather have 200 strips like Abby's take home assignment than 200 strips like her three finale pieces! I swear to God, if Mike Krahulik is to blame for The Last Halloween going from awesome to shit, that will be the single greatest bad thing to have come out of this series. Please don't let that happen, Abby. Mike is not your target audience. He just doesn't get it. Please don't lobotomize your strip to try and please some minority or majority of people. Please just make art.

Lackluster ending edit: Some people have opined that the ending to this episode could have been edited a whole lot better. I'm inclined to agree. My personal top complaint is how they cut to the apex of Bradley Rains' theme song for Strip Search at the expense of all other audio. That was a really terrible editing decision. You want to cut to the song? Great. Great decision. You want it to be really loud and the focus of our attention even? Cool, I buy that. But don't cut out the sound of the confetti poppers and the people cheering and clapping and crying and saying things. Don't cut out all of that raw noise. By doing that, you really sterilized the scene. It felt much less human, much less alive. Very bad decision. Lower on my list but still present are the complaints raised by others. Why didn't we get to see more substantive post-announcement interviews with the winner? Why didn't we get to see any post-announcement interviews with the two runners-up? Why didn't we get to hear Mike and Jerry explain their decision after the announcement? (That is par for the course with host-decided reality TV series outcomes like on Hell's Kitchen, one of the shows Mike says he loves and modeled Strip Search after!)

Yikes. So after so many complaints, what could I possibly have found to like in this episode?

The outcome: I am so, so glad that Katie won. She seems like a really nice person, and Camp Weedonwantcha seems infinitely more appealing to me than her other comic, Skadi. I'm still not crazy about her Nickelodeon-heavily-inspired artstyle, but the comic seems like it could be a load of fun. Will definitely be bookmarking this and be excited to check it out regularly. Here's hoping it's great!

While I came to like Abby and her work a lot over the course of the series, I do feel like she deserved to lose on the basis of the final entries submitted. I feel like Katie won both the take home assignment portion as well as the on-stage portion of the elimination. While the taco stand strip definitely was intriguing and art housey and this and that, it wasn't as appealing to me as Katie's six Camp Weedonwantcha strips. And as for the on-stage strips, oh man, I feel like Abby really fucking dropped the ball. I did not find Abby's three strips to be funny at all. They weren't terrible or offensive or anything, but they just didn't do it for me. Very boring. Very "well, I won't get those three minutes back." Whereas Katie's finale submission was great, definitely the best of the litter. I don't know why Mike and Jerry agonized over this or why they felt that Abby's final three were so great, but I'm glad that in the end they made what to me feels like the right decision to have made.

Condolences to Maki, but based on the work he submitted it really was a distant third place. His artwork was pretty damn awful in the final three (THAT FIRST STRIP'S FIRST CEL'S RITI, FOR ONE! >_< WHAT IS SHE, A MUPPET!? A MS. PAC-MAN?), he wrote around his most dislikable character (even if Anton was a shoe-in for "Good vs. Evil"), and it was just so philosophical and serious. If Abby can be said to have blown it, then that goes decatuple for Maki.

With Strip Search Season 1 over, the questions from me now are:
  • Can I have Fourth Panel Season 4 now please?
  • How long until Strip Search Season 2?
  • How successful will the crowned winner become? And how successful will the runners-up become?
Only time will tell.
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Old 09-23-2013, 03:40 PM   #27
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The Strip Search Q&A at PAX Prime 2013. (It begins at 5:44:30 and ends about two hours later.) If you enjoyed the show, this is a panel you probably don't want to miss. Some sneak peeks of scenes that will probably show up on the DVD, some questions from Mike and Jerry for the Strip Search contestants to answer, and then some Q&A from the audience. Also, a very special finish that I definitely didn't see coming!

Other comments. Contains spoilers about Season 1 of Strip Search.

Spoiler: show
Still no sign of Katie's Camp Weedonwantcha, unfortunately, but that hasn't stopped the other artists from successfully launching their own Kickstarters to fund their dreams. Of all the projects I saw, the one I'm most interested in are Abby's as well as Amy's. I'm also interested in Katie's comic -- have checked to see if it's up maybe once or twice weekly every week since the series wrapped up. Hopefully it'll get going any day now.

Even though Erika is married to her soulmate, I still ship Erika x Amy so, so hard.

In the months since Strip Search ended, I've been enjoying Alex Hobbs' comic, Wanderlust Kid. It reminds me of Penny Arcade during its heyday circa 2004-2006. While Alex does do "What's happening to me in real life?" too, he does far, far less of them and he does far, far more comics that actually have got something to do with video games or broader gaming (like tabletop gaming and TCGs). His comic's basically filled a void left by Penny Arcade's decision to more or less become a journal comic and only give us a comic that has anything to do with video games maybe one out of every four or five strips.

Another comic I've been enjoying, this one a bit more haphazardly, has been Maki's comic, Sci-ence. The only thing that frustrates me about this one is that he/she has a million different ideas he/she wants to explore and so he/she jumps between different comic series frequently, making the going for any one series of strips pretty slow. But aside from that, I enjoy it.

Miss Monica's comic is one I also check out from time to time, but ever since her nasty side showed up on Strip Search, I've had a really hard time enjoying it. For me, she presents that old problem of "I like your music/writing/art/[whatever] but I don't like you. " It's always harder to enjoy art from someone like that than it is from someone who you're also able to like or admire. And while Monica is doing a Nuzlocke comic right now -- oh joy! -- she's revealing to the big wide world once again just how ignorant she can be about the things she professes to be a huge fan of. ^^; First anime with her incessant "MADOKA! :3 MADOKA! :3 MADOKA IS GOD! :3" stuff that after a while started to give the impression that she's not really well-read in anime and manga, now her Nuzlocke comic where it's becoming painfully clear that while this girl might love the fuzzy battle monsters we all love too, she's not very good at the game. (Seriously? You're blaming your Seedot's death on the creature instead of yourself because, quote, "his only attack move was BIDE"!? Girl, it's called putting it in the lead of your party and then switching it out immediately for a stronger Pokémon. I figured this shit out within hours of opening Pokémon Blue up from its packaging on Christmas Day 1998. Aren't you a little old and well-seasoned to still be in the dark about basics like this? )

Amy's Cardigan Weather I check on from time to time but she hardly ever updates it. Which is a shame since while I love Cardigan Weather, I'm not at all a fan of her other comic, Citation Needed.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:19 PM   #28
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The runner up announced that his/her comic, originally promised for Hallowe'en, will be launching in eight days. The winner's comic, originally expected by nearly everyone to launch the week after the show wrapped up, still hasn't launched.
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:27 AM   #29
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Crossposting this ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Abby Howard has launched The Last Halloween. If you don't know who Abby Howard is, she's a web comic artist who appeared on Season 1 of Strip Search.

Copying and pasting from her Kickstarter page, Abby says:

Quote:
If this Kipkicker is successful, I will be able to launch The Last Halloween website and update it once weekly for 9 months, starting in late October of 2013. Each update would consist of, on average, three inked 11x17 inch pages. At the end of the nine months, I will have reached the end of Volume One, at 110 pages.
So I guess she plans to update it Tuesday nights / Wednesday mornings at midnight from now until some time around July of next year. If you want to follow along weekly, mark your calendars for Tuesday nights / Wednesday mornings. If you'd prefer to be able to read the entire thing all in one go, manga tankoubon-style, go ahead and bookmark the page and check back in some time next July.

I have to say that I'm pretty impressed by this opening chapter. Abby's got a lot of talent. It's going to be fun to see where things go from here.
... so I can go ahead and add one final, Strip Search-relevant comment:

Spoiler: show
WARNING! Big Season 1 spoiler!

Spoiler: show
GET A MOVE ON, KATIE! Bad enough that you guys didn't launch Camp Weedonwantcha after you won Strip Search, but now you've been lapped by the runner-up? C'mon, girl. I have confidence in your abilities too and I can't wait to see what you do with Camp Weedonwantcha. Enough is enough! Let's see your new comic!
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