Last week we looked at a few of the contestants who competed on Penny Arcade’s Strip Search in 2013 – what have they been doing for the past five years? Are they still in webcomics? Are they still creating art? What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
Mackenzie “Mac” Schubert.
Touted as the candidate who would “fly under the radar” of the show, “Mac” cruised through the first third of the series, keeping more or less to the middle of the pack until his tandem elimination with Nick Trujillo in episode thirteen.
Since he left the show, Mac has continued a steady rate of comic or illustrative work, updating “Plain Comics” through 2014 (although that seems no longer available) and illustrating short comics such as “Salmon Run” and “The Hub” as recently as 2016. This year another of Mac’s projects, mobile game “Guildlings” is set to launch, showcasing plenty of his artwork and illustrations. Sadly (for we aficionados), it doesn’t seem like Mac has a webcomic running at the moment.
“Cool Guy Nick” was one of the few contestants who came to the show without a long-running webcomic of his own (as far as I’m aware). We had high hopes for his webcomic future after Mike’s comments during his tandem elimination with Mac, and it seems like he’s been pushing the boundaries since that ill-fated episode thirteen. In 2015, Nick ran the “World’s first webcomic told entirely through Twitter”, Glitched, which used Twitter polls to decide what happened next in the narrative like a crowd-sourced choose-your-own-adventure. Like most of the contestants we’ve found so far, Nick doesn’t seem to be working on a webcomic right now, but his Patreon page notes he wants to tackle a long-form comic idea, LOAD, sometime soon.
Amy T. Falcone.
Although billing herself as the reality TV contestant “not here to make friends,” Amy seemed to do the opposite. By the time she left in episode sixteen, we were all on board with “Team AmErika” and, like most of the other artists who went through the Strip Search crucible she seems to have kept in touch with her fellow contestants since.
Amy already had a webcomics pedigree before the show, particularly with Cardigan Weather running from 2012. Since the contest ended she has been busy with her strip Clique Refresh, which was Kickstarted by her fans following the show. She has also kept a healthy relationship with the PA crowd, being one of the artists asked back to give “The Talk” to young Gabe in 2014, and is currently appearing on PATV’s Acquisitions Incorporated: The ‘C’ Team playing the small and scarily intense “Walnut Dankgrass.”
Possibly the most gregarious of the Strip Search contestants, Erika came to the show with a long lineage of webcomic projects behind her – having run her own webcomics from 2003 and having her comic art published both online and in print leading up to the competition. Erika had also already provided guest strips for other prominent webcomics including – you guessed it – Penny Arcade!
Since her run at the contest ended in episode nineteen, Erika has spent her time developing the webcomic she workshopped in the show – Oh Joy Sex Toy (warning: NSFW! Like, really NSFW). It updates like clockwork every Tuesday, and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Apart from the focus on ‘toys,’ Erika uses the comic to explore and normalise a wide variety of subjects relating to the horizontal tango, so well worth checking out by anyone over the age of eighteen.
So there you have it for this episode of Searching for Strip Search! Do you know something about these contestants that we missed? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments or on Twitter! And until we next see each other remember – don’t eat the clickbait!
P.S. Alex Hobbs contacted me during the week to clarify that he ‘no longer considers [himself] a web cartoonist” – which explains why his site no longer loads! Best of luck to Alex in his future endeavors; we who watched Strip Search salute you, and your dislike of table tennis will live on in our hearts.