Saturday 13 December 2014

Strip Search Gives Us Sequential Art for Summer

I am going to preface this by saying that I am not really big into reality TV. Well, I love documentaries, and I sometimes watch the news, but that stuff that they make where people compete in a bunch of really artificial competitions and there is that 'gaming' process by which a competitor can be eliminated by conniving instead of through a lack of talent or skill. I don't like that. It's kind of nasty.

I also hate it when someone who is clearly very good at something and is still really young refers to the show as '[their] last chance'. I think that people should be eliminated immediately for that.

I am also going to preface this by saying that I have a really poor concept of the passage of time, and as a result am reliant on temporal landmarks and the general geography of life to remember when it was that I actually did something, or something was done unto me. This is hard when I do something on my own. That limits it, because the people involved are great indicators.

Actually, I can just go and look this one up. Gimme a sec.

I'm back.

So, it turns out it was mid last year.

'What was last year?', you might ask, which would be totally valid at this stage, because I have not at all been forthcoming with details yet. Strip Search (like in the title) would be the short answer to that question.

Now, before you get all like, 'What kind of reality TV are you watching? Is nudity the key component that is missing from The Block for you? Or perhaps it's the televised invasion of privacy and personal space that you enjoy', the show is not at all about the quest for bodily secreted contraband. It's not about that at all.

It's about comics! Which is also implied by the title. The title was pretty thorough, but what it didn't say was that they are webcomics. It wasn't that specific.

I like webcomics. I have for a long time. This isn't a recent thing for me. I was introduced to PvP by finding it left open by another student in a computer lab back in high school. That was 16 years ago!

Strip Search is a webcomic reality show where the winner got to be a part of the Penny Arcade machine. They got them some money too, but being a part of the aforementioned machine is huge.

Maybe I need to explain Penny Arcade first. No, look, let me just say they are the wizards at this thing. By just about any metric you might want to use, they are the winners of the webcomic game. They are the dominant species. Apex predators. Without the predatory behaviour though. They kind of do the opposite when they made Strip Search. It's their show, and it can be found at their internet.

There is more to the show than the personal interest I have in the subject matter. It has greater appeal than that, and that greater appeal comes from the people involved. They're nice. There is some good natured griefing, but they're all really nice to each other. They're respectful, and they want to be friends. They play their game that they're playing, but instead of being like Monopoly, it's like like something else. Some other game. A game that doesn't fray and tear at the very fabric of society. A game that doesn't ware through the basic foundations of civility and decency.

Monopoly is poison.

Strip Search is the opposite of that, which makes it the opposite of a lot of other reality TV.

You know what it's like? It's like It's a Knockout. Do you remember that? The one that ran in the 80s? Everyone was so positive. They're just glad to be there. It's like that, but with drawing.

You can watch it. It's online. Still. Even though it's about 18 months old. Maybe it will be forever. Who knows? And, unlike shows like The Block in which viewers don't really get an opportunity to benefit from the product of the show, we all get to benefit. A lot of strips have come out of the show. Not just form the winner, but pretty much everyone on the show benefitted greatly from the exposure, which means more tasty comics for us.

I'm going to do a separate post on the strips resulting from, and related to the show, so look out for that in the lead up to Christmas.

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