Let us begin by saying I am not an artist in any sense of the word. I'm a writer. However, Strip Search, Penny Arcade's talent-search competition for webcomic artists- which if you haven't started watching, go get caught up now starting with Episode 1- seems to have had something of a Bob Ross-style effect on a lot of its viewers. They just want to go out and draw something afterwards.
Apparently including me.
One of the chief vehicles driving that is the seemingly-simple, easy-to-play-along nature of the elimination challenge, which fans have deemed the 'Thunderdome'. In the Thunderdome, the two artists placed up for elimination each draw one crumpled-up piece of paper from the "Wastebasket of Broken Dreams". They then uncrumple the papers to reveal two topics, and then have 90 minutes to create a comic strip combining those topics.
This is amazingly easy to emulate. You can just write down a bunch of topics, fill a little wastebasket with them, pull two out and set a 90-minute timer... which can be found here. Or better yet, skip the wastebasket and just pause the elimination episode when the two topics are revealed to the contestants. That's the approach I've just taken.
MILD SPOILER ALERT WE'RE ABOUT TO GET INTO SHOW-RELATED MATERIAL SO STOP HERE, GO WATCH AND COME BACK WHEN YOU'RE CAUGHT UP
The official Strip Search website has taken to recognizing some of the better home-game strips as submitted via the #ElimComic hashtag on Twitter. In the previous round, given the topics 'mermaid' and 'ukelele', someone actually managed to sew a comic. With a sewing machine. And felt. When someone throws down that kind of gauntlet, you gotta pick it up, right? This can't be that hard to attempt, right?
So I tried my hand at it this morning. The topics presented to the viewers here were 'mystery' and 'naughty'. Topics I'm not entirely a fan of, but all right, let's see what we can do with this.
My attempt, too large to fit in the space provided here, can be seen at this link. Please once again note that I am a writer, not an artist, and I was pretty much limited to an MS Paint disasterpiece as the medium.