Multiplex - a comic strip about life at the movies
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Posts Tagged ‘Multiplex’

 

What’s a Patreon — and how can it make Multiplex even better?

I’ve just launched a new Patreon project. (“What’s Patreon?” you ask? Well, you can either just click through that last link, or I’ll get to that in a second.) It’s kind of a soft launch at this point — I don’t have a video made for it yet, because I was busy drawing the actual comic instead. I’ll add one soon. But I wanted to post about it today, so here’s a wall of text of me rambling about what Patreon is:

So I’ve been making Multiplex for about eight years now, supporting the production of the strip mainly through advertising.

Multiplex has had a small but passionate audience for most of that time. The comic barely makes a profit from ads every month — but that’s before factoring in the time I spend working on the comic.

Once you factor that in, Multiplex is a money-losing business. And that’s fine — Multiplex is a labor of love. It’s a story I want to tell and share with the world. But when you add up all the costs it is also a fairly expensive hobby: hosting costs, Amazon S3/Cloudfront fees, domain registrations, Creative Cloud subscriptions and other software, iOS Developer Program subscription (for the free iOS app), the new laptop I got this fall (upgrading from a five year old machine!), etc. As a grad student now, these costs are less easy to absorb.

To make money, some websites just throw in more and more ads — an approach that has ruined many of the websites I visit. They’re annoying. The slow down the page load times, and compromise your personal data. And even if you block the ads, they still take up valuable space that could be filled with — you know, actual content.

Ads are killing the Web, and there has to be a better way.

That’s where Patreon comes in.

Patreon is a crowdfunding platform — like an ongoing Kickstarter project, but instead of paying for the printing of two books, it’s paying for the ongoing production of the comic strip. Or kind of like PBS, I guess. I’d heard of it a while back, but it wasn’t until Zach Weinersmith launched a hugely successful (so far) Patreon project that I thought, “Hey, maybe this is viable.”

Just like Kickstarter and PBS, you should only give if you’re able and willing to. Some of you are more casual readers of the strip, and that’s totally cool! No hard sell. If we only raise a few bucks a month, great. It will supplement the ad revenue, and make my life a little easier. If we raise a few hundred a month, I can get rid of the ads — awesome. That’s really my wildest dream for it. My readership is the teeniest, tiniest fraction of the size of Zach’s; I hardly expect to raise as much as he is. (SMBC is great, read it.)

Multiplex updates twice a week (sometimes more), which is equivalent to a quarterly, 24-page comic book. Basically, a graphic novel a year.

I wish I could put out the print books that fast! But in print-comics terms, that averages out to around $2 a month. If three hundred of you chipped that much in, I’d be able to chuck the Google AdSense crap. If six hundred of you did, I could chuck all the ads and redesign the site a bit to make the strip images even bigger.

Again, just like Kickstarter and PBS, you’re not just making a “donation,” you’re getting something in return. First and foremost, for $1 a month or more, you get access to a Patrons-only “Activity Stream.” Those of you who supported the two Kickstarter projects will know what kinds of content to expect in there: bonus comics, sketches, illustrations, and other behind-the-scenes type of stuff. And I’d like to do even more: Adobe Illustrator tutorials, Q&A Google Hangouts, comic strip movie reviews with Jason or Kurt, and other early or exclusive content. So tell me what you want to see!

Higher levels include other incentives, of course, too, so check out the various reward levels at the bottom of the Patreon page!

I hope you consider continuing to support Multiplex — and, as always, thank you for reading!

T-shirts are back in the Multiplex Store!

Those of you who have visted the Multiplex Store recently may have noticed a distinct lack of T-shirts in them. Mostly, this was because my old DTG shirt printer went out of business. Partly, this was because I’m lazy swamped with work this summer. But now that I’ve signed up with a new printer and have the new (responsive!) store design, they are back.

There are currently five classic/old designs — the ever-popular Michael Bay is the Devil shirts (Transformers G1 and TMNT flavors), Rosebud Was My Dick, I Believe in George Romero and the Sarcastic T-shirt shirt that Jason has worn a few times.

But wait! There’s more! There’s also one new design, featuring actual characters from the comic! I call it the Clerks shirt:

MX-CLERKS

All of the shirt shirts are priced from $17.99 — for now. 2XL and larger sizes are a little higher. Men’s shirts are available from XS/Youth Large up to 5XL; ladies shirts come in XS and go up to 2XL. (I’m just passing the additional wholesale costs of the shirts on for those, sorry. I’m offering every size my printer keeps in stock, as well, so I’m sorry if you want a larger size than that.)

Shipping is $5$4 per shirt (in the US) until I can afford a better shipping estimator plug-in for the shop.

ALSO, you can now register or log into the Multiplex Store using your Facebook, Twitter or Google accounts. For you people (like me) who are too lazy to fill out forms and/or too dumb to remember yet another password.

Once again, the Store has been completely rebuilt recently, so please let me know if you spot any bugs!

Interview with Pipedream Comics

This has been up for a couple of days, but I recently spoke with Alex Thomas of Pipedream Comics (“the ultimate guide to the world of digital comics”) about Multiplex — not just the webcomic, but also Multiplex for iPhone and iPod touch, the eBooks, and more.

It’s a pretty long interview (five pages!), but if whether you’re just a fan of the comic or interested in digital comics as a Big Idea, you’re pretty likely to learn something new about Multiplex in it.

Book 2 Update and a bonus comic from Book 3

Multiplex: There and Back Again (Book 2) is being proofread, and I’m doing other technical stuff, getting the files ready for print. I’m also waiting to hear back from my distributor about various things before deciding on a final print run. Once I have the print run determined, I can settle on a printer and figure out when the book will be available — hopefully late summer or early fall, but… we’ll see. I’ll let you know as soon as I do!

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I’m frustrated that the book is running late. I had hoped that the new content would have been done at the end of the summer, so my “free time” during the school year could be used to do the various rewards, and I could get a Book 3 Kickstarter going for the summer. Obviously, that didn’t happen, and I intend to finish everything related to the Book 2 Kickstarter project before launch a Book 3 Kickstarter project — but I still hope to get the next book started much, much sooner — so that I can get it out in under a year.

I shouldn’t need as much time with Book 3, because it will have fewer bonus comics than Books 1 and 2 did — roughly 20. Books 1 & 2 had about 30 bonus strips, plus Book 1’s Prequel story. Anyway, last weekend, I ended up taking a look at what Book 3 will entail and got sidetracked with thinking about what I would do in the bonus comics for the first chapter in Book 3 (a.k.a. Chapter 11). Aaaaand since I was enjoying myself, I decided to do this strip, despite having other things I should be working on (like graduate school stuff)…

Anyway, the strip below is set prior to Multiplex #217, making it the first strip in the book.

 

 The Hollywood Pitch

Multiplex: Book 3 bonus comic