I’ll be giving this sketch away to one lucky Patreon Patron OR Kickstarter Backer (at any level), shipping included — just leave a comment on the posts about this at either Patreon or Kickstarter. And if you’re both a patron AND a backer, leave a comment both places, and you can have two chances to win! (Or, you know, you can just look at the sketch. I’m flexible.)
The winner will be chosen at random at the end of the month, once the Kickstarter funding period has ended and July’s Patreon funds are collected — whether the Kickstarter project is successful or not.
(I forgot to sign it before I scanned it. Yes, I’ll sign it first.)
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.
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.
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.
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 — 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?
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.
* Speaking of Kickstarter projects, there will be an announcement about Multiplex: Book Three… very soon.
So if you’ve ever wanted the Chapter eBooks but don’t want to sign up for an account with the Multiplex Store and are wary of sharing your credit card information with Gumroad, you can now use PayPal instead!