The webcomics blog about webcomics

Two, Two, Three

I’d like to start off today with a correction, or a clarification, or whatever’s appropriate when you specualte out loud and it turns out you were totally off base, but since it involves spoilery information I’ma stick it down at the bottom of the page and we can start with something else.

Books! New books! Second volumes, in fact, the both of them!

  • There may be no single [web]comics character of the past few years that is as disturbing as Cornelius Snarlington, Business Deer (although whatever the hell that is menacing Wadsworth Zane in today’s Broodhollow is rapidly heading for the top spot). In case his mayhem-related office activities (or office-related mayhem activities) aren’t enough to piece your very soul, he also stares at you dead-eyed, menacingly, from the cover of the new collection of Jon Rosenberg’s Scenes From A Multiverse, Business Animals, which has just gone up for pre-order.

    Usual disclaimer: Jon got me started in this blog-based opinion-having racket and also he owns my soul. But none of that changes the fact that regardless of whatever bias I might be injecting into this discussion, PZ Frickin’ Myers wrote the foreword, and you can’t do much better than that.

  • In a neat bit of self-wanging, Zach Weinersmith managed to hose up his own site by crosslinking SMBC and the Kickstarter campaign for his newest original book, Trial of the Clone 2: Wrath of the Pacifist. Like the original Trial of the Clone, ToTC 2:WotP is a choosable-path comedic story, wherein your character from ToTC has failed upward to being in charge of the galaxy and now must rule; near the end of the first book’s Kickstarter campaign Weinersmith asked if the sequel should follow the protagonist on a Good path or an Evil one, and the consensus was Good.

    While Evil often looks to be more fun, you can’t deny that there’s nothing funnier than to watch somebody attempt to do Good and screw it up (and since the “hero” of ToTC is easily the most inept being in all of time and space, there should be plenty of room for up-screwing).

    In the hours since the book-kick launched, ToTC 2: WotP has cleared 75% of its US$20,000 goal, and reached the first four stretch goals (Weinersmith having pioneered the art of setting goals below the funding goal, building excitement while guaranteeing some outcomes). So far the stretches have all been related to getting more illustrations (by Weinersmith’s longtime collaborator, Chris Jones), but I imagine that there are some interesting goals in store once goal has been met in … oh, I’d say about two hours from now.

Okay, here’s that correction and remember: spoilers ahoy.

  • Four days ago I laid out a timeline for the remainder of the season of Strip Search:

    Okay, looking at the calendar we’ve got the Maki/Lexxy elimination tomorrow, then four more episodes on 7, 11, 14, and 18 June. I had speculated early that there might be a final three approach (there’s ample precedent in the reality competition genre), but given the setup of the Strip Search Thunderdome, it make sense that all eliminations will be two Artists head-to-head, and this schedule reinforces that thought Consider: that gives us time for a social challenge among three competitors (7 June), a competitive challenge for immunity (11 June), an elimination to get us down to two (14 June), and the Big Ready-Set-Art on 18 June.

    So, yeah, my guess was wrong; as seen in today’s episode of Strip Search, none of that is happening. I should have stuck with my original speculations, since it turns out that by defeating Lexxy on Tuesday, Maki advanced to the Strip Search equivalent of Fashion Week: he and Abby and Katie face no more challenges in the house, are sent home to work up a final challenge for two months, then return to make their pitches.

    The original strips that they develop over eight weeks must include a name, three character bios, six sample strips¹ and a t-shirt design. Judging will be shown in a two-part finale, next Friday (14 June) and the following Tuesday (18 June), which per Robert Khoo will have some live component.

    There is at this point no way to tell which of the three finalists has the edge — each of the three could (and deserves) to win the prize, who wins almost doesn’t matter. While US$15,000 and a year’s embed in the Penny Arcade machine are nothing to sneeze at, the attention that the Artists have garnered, the audience that each of their new comics will have right from the beginning, and the support system that they’ve forged among themselves² means that they’re all winners³. Abby, Katie, Maki, it’s been a hell of a ride that you’ve given us and I just want to thank you for it.

Updated to add: Tickets for the Strip Search finale just went on sale. Tuesday, 18 June at 6:30pm PDT (GMT-7) at the Meydenbauer Center in Seattle. The final three episodes will be played in the theater, with the final episode released to the world at 7:30pm. Oh and on an unrelated note, kudos to the Meydenbauer for keeping ticketing fees to an entirely-reasonable US$1.52; I just bought tickets for Alton Brown’s Tour O’ Fun and I got socked for ten bucks a ticket. Screw you, Ticketmaster.

¹ It’s gotta be the best six strips I’ve ever written — Abby.

² Everything that the nominal winner learns from their year in the PA offices will absolutely filter out to the other Artists. There’s a precedent for this kind of very fast, very thorough knowledge diffusion, and it’s within Mission Control during the Mercury/Gemini/Apollo era. As Gene Kranz observed, it wasn’t necessary for one flight controller group (or crew) to experience everything themselves, because they worked under the model of What any one of us learns, we all learn and build on.

³ There’s no lose in this. — Maki.

RSS feed for comments on this post.