Multiplex - a comic strip about life at the movies
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The Multiplex: The Revenge (Book Three) Kickstarter is GO!

Short version: The Book Three Kickstarter project is live. Please support it! I love you.

Long version: Much of this is also on the Kickstarter project page, but I wanted to mention a few other things here that aren’t necessarily relevant to people who aren’t already familiar with Multiplex. Apologies about the long-windedness, but I want to be as transparent as possible in these projects.

So today’s good news is that because I’m almost finished with grad school (December! Hopefully!), I finally have the time to make a third Multiplex print collection. For the rest of the summer and into the winter and spring, I can work on Book Three — if we can raise the funds to cover the printing costs, of course, and to supplant the freelance work I’ll need to forego to work on the book.

The bad news is, printing costs have skyrocketed in the last two years. The quotes I’m getting are uniformly much higher than they were for Book Two (which had identical specs), which not only raises the printing costs, but the taxes and fees associated with the whole project. And so, the funding goal is significantly higher than the last project: $24,000.

If we can reach the funding goal, I’ll be able to work on Multiplex and the print book full time for the rest of the summer, pause for the fall semester, and then jump back in again after I complete my MFA in December. (The Kickstarter project page has a detailed tentative budget and timeline.)

Hopefully, I can count on you to help make Book Three happen!

And, ideally, we’ll even surpass the goal, which would let me move straight into working on the new material for Book Four. I’d really like to put the remaining books out once a year — or even faster, after the webcomic ends. For those of you already lamenting the imminent end of the comic strip (in a couple of years), the print books are not just a great keepsake — but the bonus comics mean they’re also more Multiplex.

Book Three can only happen if we hit the funding goal by July 31st at 9pm Central, so please don’t wait. Remember, you are only charged if and when we reach the funding goal by the deadline!

“Tell me more about this ‘Book Three’…”

Multiplex: The Revenge, as Book Three is officially titled, will collect #217–338 (March 2008 to March 2009), which includes Jason and Angie’s brief relationship, the Multiplex 10’s ultimate battle against Flickhead Video, Gretchen getting her due, and much more. It will have the same high production standards as the award-winning Multiplex: There and Back Again (Book Two) collection.

The book will be 208 pages long (just like Book Two) but have about 35 pages of new material spread out across its five chapters, with two slightly longer arcs set on opening nights of The Dark Knight and Watchmen. (Some of this material has already been shared with Patreon backers!) That’s like four months of new stuff!

These new strips will also answer one of the most common questions I get at conventions: “Whatever happened to Brian?” Brian and his accomplice will appear in new strips throughout the book, building on their appearances in the original strips, and culminating in the Watchmen arc that closes off this volume.

This plot line just kind of unceremoniously slipped between the cracks of too many other storylines  back in 2009, and I eventually realized that it made more sense to revisit it in a print book rather than try to pick it up again after too much time had passed.

(Not the final cover)

(Not  final art)

“When will it come out?”

I’m hoping to have Multiplex: The Revenge printed and in your soft, supple hands in September 2016. There is a more detailed timeline on the Kickstarter project page if you want to know more. (Full disclosure: I’m likely to be moving out of Minnesota next summer, and I’ve set this date to accommodate that. If I don’t end up moving, I will be able to move up the timeline by a few months.)

“What kind of rewards are there?”

Rewards include sketches, the Multiplex Chapter eBooks, movie parody mini-posters, cameo appearances in the book or the online strip, and much much more. You can see the complete list on the project page, but one of the coolest ones (in my opinion) is the set of three 11″x17″ movie parody mini-posters, though, which includes The Breakfast Club and Serenity (previously seen on the backer-exclusive T-shirts from the first two Kickstarter projects) as well as a new design based on suggestions from the Kickstarter backers! Brokeback Multiplex? Multiplex Strikes Back? You decide!

(Not final art — obviously, with the last one

(Not final art — I mean, obviously, with the last one)

But I don’t have Book One or Two!

Book One is nearly sold out, but there is a (very!) limited number available at some reward levels, and I have a second printing of the book as a stretch goal. Book Two is available in some of the reward packages, as well.

Many of the reward levels also include the Chapter eBooks of Books One and Two, as well.

I plan to use BackerKit to allow backers to upgrade their rewards packages even after the funding period ends and for “add-ons” — but those orders don’t contribute toward the funding goal, and they won’t open up until after the project has been successfully funded (if it is funded).

What if I already own too many things, maaan?

Now, if you’re not interested in having the printed book, you can also read all the new stuff by pledging to receive the eBook collections (which, personally, I love reading on my tablet in ultra-high resolution) or back the Patreon project instead — although that doesn’t contribute toward the funding goal.

Other ways to support the strip and the book project

The Patreon is an ongoing subscription for the ongoing production of the comic strip. It currently raises roughly $600 a month after fees and such, so while those funds are ostensibly for the comic strip, it still lowers the amount of money I need to work on the book (that is, to pay my rent and bills so that I can work on the book instead of freelance work). I’d rather work on Multiplex than do most of that freelance stuff. You’d rather read Multiplex. Win/win, right?

All funds raised by the Kickstarter will be used  for the production of the print collections and the various Kickstarter rewards (including “hiring” myself for the time to create and fulfill everything). If you want to support the comic but aren’t super keen on the monthly patronage thing (which I totally understand), supporting the Kickstarter project is a great way to make a one-time contribution.

Patreon patrons will have access to all the bonus comics for Book Three that Kickstarter backers do through the Patreon Activity Stream, so unless they want to get the printed book — or just want to chip in a little extra money to make sure the book series continues, there’s no reason to contribute to both.

If you’re allergic to Kickstarter, BackerKit will also facilitate pre-orders for non-backers — but again, those orders don’t contribute toward the funding goal. For Patreon patrons: I don’t yet know whether BackerKit supports coupon codes (all Patreon patrons at the $3 level and up get Multiplex Store discounts), but I’ll figure it out when the time comes.

Finally, if money is tight, you can still help by telling your friends about the books and the Kickstarter project! It all helps me, and that means more Multiplex for you.

Did I mention again that Multiplex is ten years old this month?

Well, it is!

Thank you for your continued support!

The Multiplex 10 is ten years old this month

Multiplex-10-Years

Ten years ago this month (on July 10th, 2005, to be specific), I posted two shitty looking comics to a corner of the Stripped Books website. At that point, I had no idea what I was in for: it was a gag strip that would quickly transform into a character-based comedy where people talk about movies — not just superficially about specific movies, but about how people watch and talk about movies of all kinds. The art got a little better, too.

The Multiplex characters took on a life of their own and ultimately turned this comic into an eleven- or twelve-year “epic” about the movie theater industry in one of the most interesting periods in its hundred-year history (and also this one jerk who kinda sorta becomes a slightly better person maybe if you squint your eyes and cock your head to the side a little).

Multiplex’s readership grew quickly in those first few years, thanks in very large part to a pair of guest strips on PvP and some well-placed Project Wonderful ad campaigns (thanks, Something Positive and Shortpacked!), and in the years since it has since retained a small but passionate readership that has supported me time and time again: the Patreon project of course, as well as two successful Kickstarter projects to fund two books I’m very proud of.*

Thank you for allowing me to tell this story.

Thank you for reading.

— Gordon


* Speaking of Kickstarter projects, there will be an announcement about Multiplex: Book Three… very soon.

Multiplex is taking a short break.

Longtime readers of the strip know I don’t just stop updating. Three years of grad school, and I’ve missed maybe one update. But as some of you may know (from Twitter or the Multiplex Facebook page), a friend of mine died in a car crash on Wednesday.

Ryan Love and I went to school together from 3rd grade until graduating high school, and he was probably the one person most responsible for me getting interested in comics. When we were kids, I read all his He-Man mini-comics, because my parents never bought me any of those toys. After I got into comics, he read my DC stuff, and I read his Marvel comics. He bought my comics for me on the sly when my mother banned me from reading them for getting “bad grades.” We co-created a ton of really dumb superheroes together, plus a couple of cool ones.

We drifted a bit after high school — different colleges and just part of growing up and being interested in different things. We kept in touch (not as much as we should have), and when we got together, we mostly talked about comics, he would badger me to join our high school friends’ Fantasy Football League (never going to happen), and we’d argue about something or another. He was great at arguing.

Since I was back in my hometown (Peoria, Illinois) for the Artist and Comic Expo, we had lunch on Monday, two days before he died. I hadn’t seen him in about three years, since the last time I had visited Peoria. This time we talked about comics, Age of Ultron, Game of Thrones, and how we’ve both recently become engaged. He badgered me to join our friends for their annual get-together to watch “the draft.” I think that has something to do with football.

I also gave him a copy of Multiplex: There and Back Again. I inscribed it, “This book is all your fault.”

Even though we didn’t talk nearly as often as we did when we were little, time doesn’t change how much friends meant before, or how much of them was and continues to be a part of you.

Multiplex needs to take a short break while I head back to Peoria to go to his memorial service, and then immediately turn around and head over to Denver Comic Con. Hopefully I’ll find time to work on the strip somewhere in there, but in any event, I’ll start posting new strips in two weeks.

EDIT: Aaand we’re back. Thank you for your patience.

Come see me at ComfyCon 2014!

ComfyCon 2014 — the first and only all-online webcomics mini-convention — starts later today, and this year, I’ll be part of it! I’m joining Monica Gallagher (Bonnie N. Collide, Part-Time Princesses) and Jeff Zugale on the “Making Comic Around a Dayjob” panel Sunday at 2pm Eastern/1pm Central. I might sit in on another panel or two before that one, too — who the f knows?

Check out the full schedule, chock full of your favorite webcartoonists and also me!