And it’s over! I really enjoyed this show, more than I expected I would for sure.
Spoilers abound after the break:
So an interesting format for the two episode final showdown between the last three contestants. All of them were given two months to go home and create a webcomic with characters, six sample strips and a t-shirt design. And all three, Maki, Katie and Abby came back with very different ideas.
Maki had a humorous slice of life comic; Katie pitched a humorous take on summer camp meets Lord of the Flies, and Abby had created a whole apocalyptic Halloween-centered mythology. All of them have their own art style, Katie and Maki are better at the craft of it at this point in their lives although Abby certainly has a lot of talent and potential.
But that’s not the whole thing. The final part of the final contest was a four hour variation on the usual elimination contest — this time each contestant had to draw a three strip arc based on the words from the wastebasket of ideas. Which was a little long for television, even with Mike and Jerry making their usual snarky remarks throughout — plus Jerry sticking his face into a chocolate cake!
All of which led to the two judges agonizing over their comparison of each contestants’ webcomic portfolio plus their four hour work. The portfolio represented more polished and refined work whereas the contest strips had the pressure of deadline which is a part of creating a regularly updated webcomic. An interesting combination for the judges even if it didn’t make for the best viewing for the audience.
After all of this the judges picked Katie Rice which is a great choice and of the three strips pitched her is definitely the one I wanted to read the most. And I am looking forward to Katie getting a chance to spend more of her time on her own comic creations versus the studio animation work she’s been doing to make a living. Katie seemed like one of the strongest contestants throughout the show, particularly after her trial by fire in the first couple of elimination contests.
Maki and Abby seemed to have a good experience as well even if they didn’t win. Abby surely has expanded her audience for her current webcomic by being on the show. The judges had some insightful comments about her work during their judging — hopefully they pass that on to her and that she listens. She has done some of her best comics ever during the show and in her most recent webcomic updates. I hope Maki sticks with it as well — he’s a very talented artist although he’s not quite strong enough with his writing (conceptualizing I suppose as well) to hit homeruns and triples that much. A collaborator might be the thing to get his work to the next level.
I’m still a but bummed that Ericka didn’t last longer just because I would have like to see her in more of the show.
It was a good show. A few of the challenges were stupid and boring but most had some connection to independent webcomic artist slash business person and also made for good viewing. The elimination contests were great. I think the finale was a let-down simply because it was a two-parter and blown up to larger proportions. I would have much rather seen them stick to the 90 minute contests, even down to the end of the show.
It would be worth watching again. I don’t have any idea how it worked financially for Penny Arcade and they only have so much office space but I hope they are planning on trying to do this again before too long.