Searching for Strip Search – Part One

The year was 2012. America said they could (again), I launched my own webcomic (oh God, the art!) and as if in response JPEG juggernaut Penny Arcade ran their very first Kickstarter campaign. This campaign was nominally for the removal of ads from their site, but the real reason we all backed it was hidden in the stretch goals – the promise they’d create the world’s first webcomic reality game show: Strip Search. Five years on I wondered, what happened to the twelve contestants on that show which was, perhaps, before it’s time? Here’s what I found.

For those of you unfamiliar with the single-season show produced by PATV and Loading Ready Run, here’s a quick run-down. Strip Search aired online between March and June 2013, running a familiar “reality TV” format: twelve artists were picked from a multitude of applicants (yeah, including me), and proceeded to battle their way through thirty-one episodes of coaching, industry experience, and tense elimination challenges. The prize? A year working in the Penny Arcade offices, hosting and advertising through the PA site, and access to all their internal resources.

Depending on what webcomics you read, those twelve names might be a bit unfamiliar these days. I know I found most of these guys – particularly the ones eliminated early in the competition – had fallen off my radar. I wanted to know what they’d been doing over the past five years, if they were still making webcomics, and how their art and writing had developed since the show. Today, I’d like to share a bit about the first three contestants who left the show: Alex Hobbs, Ty Halley, and Lexxy Douglass. Continue reading

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Today I Learned (Nothing) Episode 31: That Was Our Inside Joke, Google!

Grasshoppers are a favorite snack for Seattle Mariners fansAutocorrect is judging Jason, and he doesn’t appreciate the judgment. Steve is going out to the ballgame, and he only wants peanuts and … grasshoppers? Like, the insect? Also, priests might find it uncomfortable to take in an indie wrestling match. Shocker!

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Digital Strips Episode 478: Too Much White Space

Slender Man on vacationEver hear a short guy and tall guy come to terms with the appropriate lengths of a pair of pants? Ridiculous. Luckily, this podcast is about webcomics. Together, the guys look at A Comik and Elf & Warrior.

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Pro Grapplers Episode 36: MAKE BRAUN MONSTER AGAIN

The 3-Man Band, feat (from left to right): Jinder Mahal, Heath Slater, and Drew McIntyreRaise your hand if you hate ambulances! Also, Roman Reigns. If you raised them up for both, you were in luck this past week! Also, the shake-up went down and we’ve got brand-new feuds to look forward to! Ambrose/Miz! Zayn/Owens! Mahal/English! All that, plus: Wyatt and Balor will compete to see who is the silliest wrestler in WWE, the Cruiserweights made it a week to remember, and Drew McIntyre made his re-emergence in NXT.

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What’s in a Name?

If you’re on this website, chances are you’re familiar with webcomic creator Evan Dahm (Rice Boy, Vattu, Order of Tales). Even if you weren’t before this week’s podcast episode, you’re probably at least now familiar with a tweet he put out on April 6 2017 questioning the relevancy of the term “webcomic” and calling the word “obsolete.” Steve and Jason had a good chat about this in the podcast, and I’m not going to rehash their arguments here but I did want to weigh in on two points myself – that webcomics have an unique identity and are, at the end of the day, still an important (if not as niche) scene.

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Introducing Terence MacManus

Quick, without combing through the archives when was the last time we had a new Contributor on the site? Drawing a blank? Yep, me too. That’s why I’m so excited to introduce Terence MacManus as the newest member of our staff. Besides having the same last name as my previous manager he has a lot of good things going for him.

  • Long-term listener (although saying 2010 is old makes me feel even older)
  • Starting a career as a professional writer
  • Good background knowledge of webcomics (though he admits it’s not as good as Steve’s)
  • Had his own webcomic
  • Co-hosted a few episodes for the Webcomic Beacon

Let’s all give him a warm welcome as he sharpens his metaphorical writing teeth. Following (technically it will show up before) this announcement will be his first contribution to the venerable site that is our beloved Digital Strips.

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Today I Learned (Nothing) Episode 30: BEZOS’ BALLS!

The soldier with a very, very large backpackSteve’s nerdy, bulky backpack got him stuck in a bus door, and he was quite embarrassed. Jason attempts to give us all a listen to the smooth, soothing sounds of his digestive system. And we find out just how hard it is to have gas in a skyscraper.

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Today I Learned (Nothing) Episode 29: Can’t See The Forest For The Peen

An example of good naked and bad naked from SeinfeldSteve loves his new job, including all the naked dudes he can look at in the hotel across the street. Jason was disconcerted by a large cadre of naked men (in a locker room) (that he wasn’t supposed to be in). And together, the guys decide to stop hatin’ on those happy, naked souls.

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Digital Strips Episode 477: Ate A Wooden Plank, Now I’m Irregular

MetamucilWhat is a webcomic? Does that term matter any longer? Did it ever? After the guys give their mercifully brief thoughts on this topic, it’s on to the comics! This week, Jason brings Irregular to the table, while Steve presents us with Wooden Plank Studios.

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Pro Grapplers Episode 35: The Mania Is Too Damn Long

Neville suplexes Austin Aries at WWE WrestleMania 33 in the Cruiserweight Championship MatchAfter a seven-plus hour broadcast, WrestleMania 33 is in the books. Who won? Who lost? Who traversed the longest ramp in recorded history? All that, plus: interesting battle royal finishes, HHH erring on the side of motorcycle safety, why Cesaro/Sheamus are the best tag team, and SUPERSTAR SHAKE-UP!!! The more things change, the more they change brands to give us fresh match-ups.

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