Friday, May 21st, 2010, 3:20pm ET

Casting Call!

With the couple of Speed Dating strips I did a month ago and the print I recently re-mastered, an idea came up that I’ve been tossing around for a while… How would YOU like to star in your favorite aLp episode?

Edit: Thanks for all the comments and emails everyone… I just wanted to say that I’m not gonna do anything drastic, and anything I do end up doing would only be if I’m positive it’d turn out great. This is more a fun thing to do, rather than a core change in aLp’s aesthetic.

It’s always bugged me more than a little bit that aLp’s supporting cast and extras are played by action figures or Barbie dolls, because the whole idea of it has been that this is supposed to be photorealistic. This is supposed to be New York, with real New York locations and real New Yorkers, and oh, there’s a real Alien and Predator walking around among us. I don’t really expect to be fooling anyone (though you’d be surprised how many people have asked where I got the awesome A & P costumes), but I do spend a lot of time trying to make everything look believable. Now there’s a suspension of disbelief that comes with Abe and Preston because they’re monsters (and Macfarlane did a great job on their figures), but as soon as a human shows up, played by a toy, it’s painfully obvious that they’re all toys and whatever semblance of an illusion I had going is gone.

That’s why I decided to replace the Barbie doll with a real person in the If You See Something print… and that’s why I wanted to see if YOU want to be in aLp too. That’s right, this is a casting call!

I’m looking for the following aspiring webcomic models – note that right now I just want interested people, so you don’t have to send me any final shots:

1. Girls to be Abe’s speed dates
You know you want to! In fact, I know you want to – I’ve gotten plenty of emails from girls who want to date Abe (hey, don’t judge). This is the easiest and most important to cast because it’s a single, all-purpose pose that can be used for both past and future Speed Dating strips. You’d just be sitting back in a chair comfortably, like the girl in every Speed Dating strip.

2. Guys and girls to replace the toys in other past episodes
Basically, any strip in the archive that has a random human character in it being played by a toy, I’d like to replace that toy with a human model. Some examples of such episodes can be found at the very bottom of this post. If you find such a part that you’d like to see yourself in, let me know!

3. A girl to play Corinna
Actually this is easy too – instead of any specific poses, I’m looking for someone who just looks like Corinna in general. If you think you look at least vaguely like Corinna, just send in 1 or more photos of yourself and show me! If you don’t have the same kind of glasses, don’t worry about it of course, and don’t worry about the clothes. Whether or not it’d be possible for you to “play” Corinna in the comic, just consider this a Corinna lookalike contest.

4. A guy to play Theo
Same deal as above, ‘cept this one’s for the guys.

If any of this interests you, just drop me a line letting me know, and please send me any photo(s) of yourself (full body preferred) you have handy. Also, if there’s a particular episode you have in mind, include that too. If it looks like we could make it work, I’ll guide you through your shoot!

Oh yeah, and a free t-shirt’s in it for you too, if I use any of your shots. Looking forward to hearing from you!

(Some examples of model type 2:)
- Cab drivers in #10: Cabbie, #63: Cabbie of Power, #163: Forgive It and Hit It
- Speed Dating host in #15: Speed Dating Intro
- Real estate agents in #17: Apartment Hunting, #18: Bug Problem?, #20: We’ll Take It 1, #21: We’ll Take It 2
- Tattoo artist in #25: Does a Tattoo Hurt, #28: Any Tattoo, #29: New Tattoo
- Etc.


  1. Dreth

    I’d love to try my hand at this, I’ll have to get a good camera though.

  2. tony

    Just wanted to say I think action figures add to the feel of the comic. I you put humans in there, your not going to make Abe and Preston look less like toys. I think its going to make them look more like it.

    I like the real scenes and photo backdrops with the ‘fake’ people in front of it. Its kinda realistic in its own way. And the universe is consistent.

    Also, maybe make changes going forward, but going back? The strips are great the way they are. Think about when Lucas went back and messed with the Star Wars movies and you will get an idea of why I oppose this.

  3. Bernie

    Fair point, and I’ve thought about that a lot. For instance, there’s the chance that a human model could end up being too distracting. The decision to put Carly in the IYSS piece was a tough one, but fortunately (imo) it turned out well.

    I’ll just say for now that I’m only gonna do it if I’m positive it’d turn out great. On a case by case.


  4. avp fan

    i second what the tony guy said

  5. Ann

    I have to admit, at first glance, the real girl in the print didn’t look entirely natural to me, though that may simply be because it’s a remake of an image I was already very familiar with. In any case, I’d be interested in seeing what the strips would be like with real people, though I’d also very much hope you’d leave the original strips on the site along with any remakes. Regardless of whether you – and ultimately, your readers – think the new versions are improvements, the originals were discovered and loved as they were, and it would be a shame for us fans to lose access to them, even if we do end up enjoying aLp v2.0 as well. :)

  6. Eric Meyer

    I’m going to put in another vote for the supporting-player action figures being a plus, not a minus. Since Abe and Preston are played by toys, it makes sense that the rest of the cast is as well. If they’re the only toys, then as Tony said, it will make Abe and Preston stand out as being even more toylike.

    Besides, not every secondary character can be a real person—the little blue guy of recent strips, for example—and the mixture of real and toy would just be weird.

    Just thought I’d throw in my two bits.

  7. Kevin C.

    Agree with Tony… ALP is fantastic as-is (with action figure co-stars)! Photorealistic the comic is not (e.g. Boris and Zeev’s Lego-man bodies), and it really need not be. It’s already perfect in its present state.

  8. Thomassonic

    what, you don’t need a jesus?

  9. Ian

    Gotta agree with general run of comments here. I always thought it was a big part of the comic’s identity having the other characters being played by toys. I think it fits in with the tone of all the strips.

    Real live people could be fun as a novelty, though.

  10. Bernie

    Thanks for your thoughts everyone! I understand and appreciate your concerns about the aesthetic. I won’t be doing anything drastic and I won’t be depriving you of the original versions of any old episodes. Maybe the new versions will be merely alternates, or even, as Ian says, merely novelty. We’ll see how it goes, and again, I won’t do anything unless I’m sure it’d be great. I’ll make an edit to clarify the post above.

    In any case, thanks especially for giving a damn!

  11. Mike

    I think it’s a cool idea, and I’ll totally participate! I dunno, I kindof like the toy characters though… It’d be cool to see Corinna and Theo as real people though!

  12. melissa brown

    good idea, with the casting call.
    from melissa brown

  13. Marvin Arnold

    I think the fun comes from action figures/Barbie dolls behaving like real people, driving taxis, going on speed dates, etc. Real people would be… well, “just” real people doing what they do anyway.

  14. Steve York

    As another guy who does a (far different) web comic with action figures ( I vote for the plastic people. Sure, I know from long experience how much harder using figures makes EVERYTHING (though I’ve got to think that using real models creates its own set of problems, but it’s part of the charm and unique flavor of the strip. It’s like the past-on paper mouth-movements on “Robot Chicken.” Could they do “better?” Hell, yeah. But would it make the show better? Hell, no.

    I love the figures, and the way they’re juxtaposed against the real-life NYC. The premise is so absurd and over-the-top that I think to make it more realistic is to make it LESS realistic. I certainly don’t mind an occasional appearance by a one-shot photo-real character, or by a celebrity or newsmaker.

    But for what it’s worth, give me ongoing characters as toys, please. That’s just how I roll.

    - Steve

  15. shane

    the only real people in the strip should be ‘celebrities’
    such as clinton and will smith.
    the two greatest black presidents evar.!!1\

    “that’s the joke”

  16. charlie

    say it ain’t so bernie…i liked the remake of the ‘if you see something’ strip, but the toys are what make this strip great. well, that and the great scripts of course.

  17. Robin

    I’d like to be a random character somewhere, if you decide to go through with this, but I will agree with the sentiment that the action figures is part of the strip’s charm. Still, it’s your call. =)

  18. Arimmus

    I am soo looking forward to this, I Loved the print with the real chick placed there, and I don’t agree with what some have said. I feel that Abe and Preston need real people there, It would add more atmosphere since you already use some real people from the world now. Bill clinton, will Smith, etc. I hope people get turned on to this, because I hope to be a part of it :p

  19. Martin

    OMG were do u sign-up i wanna be the tattooist.

  20. Manic

    I think being in the strip would be sooooo cool. Just personally, for my own selfish pleasure. On the whole, I love the strip action figures and all.

  21. Wario-Girl

    Heh, I’ve just seen this and I’m hoping that I’m not late or anything. But me and my sister LOVE your comics. They really do make my day. My sister and i also love Alien and Predator, she loves alien and I love Predator. Weird, huh? Anyway, if there is anything we can do for you, we’ll be more than happy to help. I want to repay you for making me smile every day. I admit, we’re not extremely beautiful or anything, we just wanna do this for the fun XP

    So, just let me know what you think. I guess I’d be more than happy do something with Preston. I wouldn’t mind being his girlfriend XD he looks sexy in a suit, by the way. XD

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Alien vs. PredatorTM © 2008 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Alien and Predator toys © 2008 McFarlane Toys and TMP International, Inc. Other imagery, concept and writing © 2008 Bernie Hou.