Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Penny-Arcade's anxiety over creating a strip worth $20,000, which is the amount of money someone paid at a 2006 Child's Play auction to be in a Penny-Arcade comic, is understandable. However, for that much money... couldn't Penny-Arcade have given that person a line or two? Or hell, maybe let them have have the punchline? They only paid, gee, twenty-thousand dollars. If I donated that much I'd expect to my representative character's facial expression to at least change noticeably within the strip:

This isn't the first time Penny Arcade's dropped the ball on a charity "be in a Penny-Arcade strip" comic... nearly the same time last year, Penny-Arcade released this comic, which was the result of a local Star Wars group pooling their money (1,200 dollars) at the Child's Play auction for 2004. And, as a result, Penny-Arcade released a single-paneled talking-head strip, with Gabe and Tycho doing all the talking. The people who donated the money? They got to stand in a single-file line, smiling at nothing, wearing the same easily-drawn stormtrooper outfit (with the exception of one Jedi). Every standee has the same smirk on their face... except this guy:

I can only imagine him to be thinking, "$120 for this?!". Penny Arcade may have well just called the category "Your Face Here."

I do see how Penny-Arcade could be reluctant in giving the philanthropist(s) dialogue or action in the comic... placing words in their mouth or making them do something they, in real life, might never do could possibly cause a conflict, and be a sore stain on the purpose of Child's Play. Even still, if it were me, I'd like to think that my presence in a PA comic would not detract from the normal humor I'd come to enjoy and respect, affecting the quality of the strip simply because I had to be in it.

On the other side of the fence, If someone donated $20,000 to a charity for me to put them in the strip, I would have them steal the goddamn show. I would show my appreciation for their generosity by really trying to be innovative, making a strip that would be memorable and give the benefactor the spotlight, as opposed to simply placing their caricature in an atypical setup and have the typical main characters pussyfoot around the joke.

I know it's for the benefit of kids across America, and that the charity should be the focus... but I didn't even donate the money and I feel cheated.


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