Strip Search Episode 31: Finale, Part 2

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And now we finally get to Part 2 of the Finale! Now… I do understand that some readers had some issues with how I viewed the first part of the finale. I make no apologies. However, I will say that Part Two? I thought it was a pretty strong one, mainly because pretty much everything focused on what I tuned in to watch: what makes a webcomic succeed, and the potential within all the artists. Perhaps if I’d seen more episodes like this, I would’ve liked Strip Search much more.

The show starts with some lightweight banter. Gabetycho all of the sudden notice Abby’s hair, namely how it’s shorter on one side than it is on the other. Abby, who seemed very nervous in the initial episodes, is far more comfortable now with snarking back and forth with the Penny Arcade guys.

Katie, on the other hand, seems very nervous. I mentioned that she seemed a little edgy in the first part of the finale, and that continues here. I think there’s far more riding on this for her than the other two contestants. She has a current job in the animation field, but the show she was working on hadn’t been picked up for another season and there seems to be a lot of uncertainty. Still, out of the three contestants, her illustrations are easily the most polished.

At the end of the last episode, she hit a mental roadblock while she was working in Photoshop. So, rather than continue, she decided to rough it out old school with a Sharpie pen and paper. Maki is the last contestant toiling away on a computer while Abby and Katie sketch it out with pencil guildelines and thick ink. And you know what? It’s a much more interesting thing to see on video than a guy on a computer.

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Gabetycho look over the submittals and remark about Abby’s natural affinity toward drawing creatures. While her style is loose, she clearly has a good grasp of anatomy. They ask her if she ever wanted to get into taxidermy, and she says she thinks about it all the time. Girl’s got moxie.

They’re less complimentary when looking at Katie’s stuff. There’s something in her comic that strike them as a teference for reference’s sake. “We don’t get to explore the idea that pop culture is a currency for kids,” say the two headed judges of doom. Katie sorta grunts in assent. I think she’s trying to make up for lost time and filing the white noise buzzing around the room for future reference.

Meanwhile, Gabetycho decide to do some weird visual gags with food. First, they eat some rotisserie chickens and egg the contestants on the moistness of it.

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I was actually wondering aloud to myself where those chickens came from. My gut instinct is someone picked them up from Costco. However, there’s a sign in the back that says New York City Comic Con. Would there be Costco’s at the Convention Center? Maybe there was a street vendor outside selling rotisserie chickens? I mean, that’s a New York thing, right?

And later, the bald one puts his face in a cake.

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Maki sorta disappears for a while, only being mentioned when Gabetycho start to speculate on which contestant they would’ve eaten. Maki does mention that Strip Search is good at marketing me as a character and winning would be a big reset button careerwise. But… well, given how little attention he’s been getting thus far in the finale, he shouldn’t get his hopes up.

Maybe he’d get more attention if he was more snarky like Abby? Gabetycho lampoon their early reality show baiting by asking her if anyone in the house was kissing. Abby just sorta rolls her eyes, makes a quip about falling back on old tropes, and then makes fun of her own weak attempts at being a reality show character. Clearly, Gabetycho are in love with Abby. And really, who wouldn’t be?

The clock winds down, the contestants stand together, and Gabetycho ponder their etchings.  I mean… no, not in that way.  Get your minds out of the gutters, guys!

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Both Gabe and Tycho agree that the drawings that Abby put together in four hours were better than the results that came out of her studio.  They wonder if maybe she’s better when she works under a constraint.  Next is Maki’s stuff.  Gabetycho look at it in a bit of a daze.  They are clearly not big fans.  Gabe, I think, mentions that it’s “anthropological in nature.”  I…. think that means he thinks it takes the character studies too seriously.  I have no idea why “anthropological” would be used in that context, though.

It doesn’t matter though, since, despite Gabetycho claiming that they love all three strips, the subsequent discussion is whether they should pick Abby or Katie.  Katie’s drawings were less great than her studio drawings.  However, the stuff she came out in four hours time was still pretty good.  They know that the winner’s going to be working in a studio environment, and Katie’s studio drawings were definitely up to their standards.  Abby’s, meanwhile, were not as good.

Gabetycho realized that that person they selected would have to be treated as a peer.  They wouldn’t feel confortable trying to give advice to a fellow cartoonist in the same way that they let Scott Kurtz and Kris Straub pretty much do their own thing without supervision.

And thus, Gabetycho make their decision.  The winner of Strip Search is Katie Rice.

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What can I say?  She definitely deserved it.  Katie’s drawings were easily the best illustrated, which should be no surprise given her animation background.  Even after switch from computer to pen an hour into the competition, Katie’s drawings looked far more polished and dynamic than either Abby’s or Maki’s.

Thus ends the first season of Strip Search.  While I can’t say I was the biggest fan of this show, I thought that the second half of the finale was especially strong.


About El Santo

Somehow ended up reading and reviewing almost 300 different webcomics. Life is funny, huh? Despite owning two masks, is not actually a luchador.

Posted on June 19, 2013, in The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I thought Maki really shot himself in the foot by deciding to make a somewhat generic slice of life comic. It didn’t really standout.

  2. I preferred Lexxy to any of the three finalists since I thought she was more talented, and I enjoyed her humor in the comics she made in previous elimination rounds. Still, out of the three finalists, I agree with you that Katie was the clear choice.

    One other thing I agree about is that the bulk of the show should have been like these elimination rounds: A strong focus on actual comic-making. Some of the previous challenges did that well, but there were too many others where I felt like it was irrelevant to whether or not the winner actually deserved a good comic-making gig.

    I sort of wonder if the way the show was made, it was to appeal to a wider audience than comic makers and comic fans. Artists and writers would enjoy a show focusing on art and writing, but I suppose not a lot of other people would. Are webcomic geeks too small a niche to create a reality show for? I’m not sure. But I do know that I would have enjoyed the show more if it was mostly elimination rounds.

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