I admit to being a huge fan of reality tv style game shows. I love shows like So You Think You Can Dance, Hell’s Kitchen, and Master Chef. I even watch shows like Ink Master and Shear Genius. It doesn’t matter if it’s singers, chefs, fashion designers or gardeners. I love watching groups of people pushed together to compete at something they are good at. I don’t know a thing about cooking or dancing but I can’t get enough of these game shows. I’m always amazed when the challenge is something like “make a fruit tart” and one guy says “shit I’ve never made a fruit tart before” and then he proceeds to make a fucking fruit tart. I could never do that and maybe that’s why I love watching it so much. Could you pull a theme out of a hat and then write and draw a comic strip about it? Probably not, but I’m guessing you might like to watch people who can.
That’s the idea for our new show Strip Search.It is the next goal in our Kickstarter and It is a reality game show for web cartoonists. Like any of these other shows I mentioned it is about watching incredibly talented people face off in a competition with a reward that could change their life.
In the case of Strip Search we are talking about ten people. Each one of them a talented cartoonist. They will all live together in a house here in Seattle. They will compete in a series of challenges that will test their skills and we will slowly whittle them down until we are left with one winner. This cartoonist will win a cash prize along with integration into the Penny Arcade machine. That means a studio in our office but it also means access to our business people, our merchandising operation, our designers, and our ping pong table. The winner will get plugged into the Penny Arcade family for one year. We will not own any of their work, and there will be no evil contract to sign. We will just be there to support them and help grow their comic in a way that very few other organizations could.
Tycho and I will be the hosts and participate in the judging but we won’t be alone. We are very lucky to have friends in every corner of the industry from syndicated newspaper comics to book publishers, and web comic pioneers. We’ll be bringing these folks in as guest judges and mentors throughout the competition. You’ll also see everyone here in the office working with these contestants. It’s a huge undertaking for us but incredibly exciting I think.
There is something magical about watching a comic strip come together. I think Strip Search is a show that could appeal to a much bigger audience than anything we’ve done before on PATV. So if you could help us get the word out I’d appreciate it. Tell your friends who like reality TV and tell them to tell their friends. I’d love to see Strip Search get funded and if it does we are very close to the goal of all ads removed from the home page and our Daughters of the Eyrewood Lookouts comic.