Happy New Year everyone! Clear the sleep from your eyes and behold the bright and shiny 2013, freshly laid down in front of you. Like the blank calendar you just got for Christmas, it’s wide open with opportunities.  It’s going to be a great year. Let’s get some scuff marks on it, shall we? (Also, check out the Best Comics of 2012 for a hand-picked list of personal favorites)

On to the brass tacks. What does this comic even mean? For those of you who frequent the web comic Penny Arcade, you probably know what’s going on. You’re probably either squealing in delight or roiling with jealous hatred.

What’s a Strip Search? I assure you, I haven’t joined some reality-show casting call for male dancers. Though that statement is half correct. During Penny Arcade’s ultra-successful Kickstarter campaign, one of the goals met was funding towards a reality tv show about webcomic artists. That’s right. Twelve artists (out of over a thousand applicants!) were hand-picked and thrown into a house to compete in the Thunderdome of cartooning. The whole shebang is being produced by LoadingReadyRun and it was an absolute joy to work with them on it.

The grand prize is the opportunity to spend a year cradled in the arms of the amazing Penny Arcade offices. That means the winner gets to draw their comics with full access to Penny Arcade’s merch team, designers, marketing, etc. That’s a pretty big deal! Oh, and also 15,000 dollars. Just saying. Gabe describes it here. And PA mastermind Robert Khoo dangles juicy tidbits over at Fleen.

Long story long, I was one of those contestants, and I spent the majority of last month filming for the show. Hence the mysterious absence and secret mutterings.

Now, of course I still can’t tell you anything else about how the show went. That would be spoiling. If you ask me about who won or how poorly/well I did, I will slap you. I already slapped Nadir. It’s harsh, I know, but Khoo is a very kind, friendly, and utterly terrifying man, and I’d rather not get on his bad side at all. So you’ll just have to watch the show.

That’s it! That’s the big announcement*! I am so, so happy to have been given the privilege to compete, and in the process, meet so many talented artists—all of whom are amazeballs and never cease to surprise me.

Of course, I’ll keep you updated as the show times are announced and episodes air. Oh, and before anybody disparages at my fabricated downwards spiral into mainstream pop-crap-culture, I will tell you that this was a very, very different reality show. Different, how? Well, you’ll just have to watch. Happy New Year!

OH! and check out who else was on the show with me: Lexxy Douglass, Amy Falcone, Ty HalleyAlex Hobbs, Abby Howard, Tavis MaidenErika Moen, Monica Ray, Katie Rice, Mackenzie Schubert, and Nick Trujillo. All extremely formidable opponents and dear, dear friends. [Edit: Left off a name. Sorry Tavis!]


*It’s the big one, but not the only one. Stay tuned! :)