Our progress into the bowels of Penny Arcade’s Strip Search continues with the series’ first elimination round. In this episode, Alex and Katie must battle it out on massive Wacom Cintiqs to spare themselves from utter destruction.
The elimination round is held in what looks like a small theater while the camera crews swarm the artists as they draw. In one corner is a basket full of crumpled idea segments that the contestants must incorporate into their strips. This week’s gumbo? Space and Table Tennis. The two have ninety minutes to assemble their comics while Penny Arcade’s Mike and Jerry crane over them, sometimes literally. It seems slightly odd that in what the artists admit is a small amount of time, Mike and Jerry are pegging them with questions about their style and the other contestants. Seems like much of this twenty-one minute show could have been excised. The stage direction seems a little clumsy as the two contestants are motioned to return to an SUV outside, rather than some atrium while Mike and Jerry survey the specimens.
The winner is clear by a wide margin and Katie’s comic wins over Alex’s disjointed effort. I’m not sure how one presents comic strips in a show like this, perhaps point-by-point as the guys are critiquing them, but keeping them on screen for ten seconds doesn’t seem adequate. Katie returns to our house and we now begin the wait until our next challenge on Friday. Woo!