Strip Search

Are You Experienced?


Spoilers, such as they are, BELOWWWWW!
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Strip Search: This One Goes To 11

Wow – very entertaining episode. Jerry and Mike strike a nice balance as judges between honesty and encouragement.  As usual – spoilers after the break.

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So the first episode of the webcomic reality show where there is a contest with not only a winner but a loser.  Today’s contest, as teased last time, is designing a t-shirt. First prize is getting the t-shirt produced and placed in the Penny Arcade store; winner keeps the profits.  Seriously — nice prize and you could tell the contestant were happily surprised to hear it.

I have to say; the producers of the show made watching 12 people sketch a t-shirt way more exciting than I would have predicted.  The show is well done.  The staff from Penny Arcade judging the t-shirt designs were interesting, personable — I like the fact that Penny Arcade, inc. is essentially offering up everyone in the organization a role on this show.

So spoilers?  Yeah spoilers ahead.  Don’t wander too far below the video of this episode if you don’t want to read the spoilers.

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Strip Search Episode 2: Gary Should Never Encourage Me

The webcomic reality show, Strip Search, posted its second episode where its 12 contestants play “fax machine” a game where everyone writes a phrase in a notebook, passes it to the left, and then draws a picture based on the phrase and repeat.  “Pictionary telephone” is what I think someone described it as.

After everyone plays the fax machine game, the episode shows up some of the results.  Which is good television (I doubt every drawing was funny or clever) but not good for evaluating the unofficial POWER LIST of Strip Search.

Ericka Moen did nothing this week to disabuse my sense last week that she comes in as the favorite, given her proven record of talent on display in webcomics such as DAR and Bucko. I also think Moen’s sense of humor has enough of an overlap with the Penny Arcade vibe that they will appreciate her comics.

So who else distinguished themselves? Well Maki did with both his clever scenarios and some of his drawings that were shown.  I also thought some of the women had some interesting, funny bits in their ideas and drawings, particularly Lexxy and Monica.  Tavis from the drawings they showed from him has a pretty slick style that I think should work really well in this competition.

To be honest — the format of the show made it tough to form an opinion about everyone given how much their work was interconnected with the work of the rest of the group.  No one seemed completely out of place in terms of their contributions in this episode. And the teaser about the first challenge in next week’s episode — designing a t-shirt, is something that not every webcomic artist is actually all that good at.  As just one example, I love John Allison’s and Gordon McAlpin’s comics but I don’t recall either of them has ever designed a world-beating t-shirt. So while I could speculate about who’s at the bottom right now it’s probably pointless until we learn more about the contestants.


  1. Erika Moen
  2. Maki Naro
  3. Monica Ray and Lexxy Douglas
  4. Tavis Maiden
  5. Everyone Else
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Strip Search Episode 1 – Not That Anyone Asked But Here Are My Thoughts

This is the true story… of seven twelve strangers… picked to live in a house…work on webcomics together and have their lives taped… to find out what happens… when people stop being polite… and start getting real…Strip Seach:

I honestly do not watch much reality television, but it’s impossible to not be aware of the genre.  I watched the first Survivor; I usually watch the latter half of American Idol seasons; what else? I guess I used to watch Iron Chef sometimes.  Anyhow the last thing I think I ever would have lived to see is a web series with all of the Reality Show cliches BUT about webcomics.  Strip Search may be good, it may be bad but it is in some real way, a validation of this reboot of comics I will always call webcomics.

Strip Search may be good, it may be bad, but it is in some real way, a validation of this reboot of comics I will always call webcomics.

The first episode is simply a drama’d up “meet the cast” montage.  I don’t recognize anyone except for Erika Moen who is already a fairly established artist in the webcomics medium (DAR, Bucko).  Erika looks (and talks) like what one would expect from a reality show teevee star. She also has the chops, including the sense of humor, to win a contest like this.  The first episode tells you a little bit about each of the contestants, but not enough to get a sense of who has talent, let alone who has the right kind of talent to win a show judged by the Penny Arcade creators.

So at the end of the first episode the not at all official POWER RANKINGS for STRIP SHOW are:

1. Erika Moen

2. Everyone else

I hope it does well — why not? It could be a good thing for the winner and even for those who don’t win they will still likely be better known by the public. Even better — it might be a splash of publicity for comics as a whole, which is always a good thing.

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