Notes from the Manager
Related Strips: #275: Death Race, Part One
Three updates this week, all hand-drawn. See you on Wednesday and Friday.
To draw these pages, I draw and redraw thumbnails until I have a good idea of the basic layout, then create the panel borders in Illustrator. I lightbox the borders onto Bristol drawing paper, then pencil in the panels loosely with dark blue Colerase pencils. I find the light blue/non-photo blue ones too hard to see. I tighten up the pencils where needed with a regular 2H lead (although I suppose I could just use a different Colerase color) before moving on to inking.
I inked this page with a crow quill, because I'm only working at about 8.25" x 10.5" — not much larger than actual size. The bright white spots and the pitch black art show where I've done a bit of digital retouching. For instance, the shadows below the fronts of the karts and most of the checkered pattern on the sides of the karts were added in Photoshop, simply because I forgot to pencil them in the first time around. And the drawing of Kurt in the final panel was composited in from a different page, because I screwed him up the first time.
You can see panels 1–3 from this page over at my Flickr page. I inked those panels with a brush, because the figures were larger. If you compare the scan to the final panel, you'll see that I fixed Franklin's wonky eye digitally. Even when I work "traditionally," I do a lot with a computer.
You can also see a preliminary sketch of Kurt in his kart over at my LiveJournal.
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Saturday, October 4, 2014
Written and directed by James Ward Byrkit.
Starring Emily Foxler, Hugo Armstrong, Nicholas Brendon, Elizabeth Gracen, Lauren Maher, Alex Manugian, Lorene Scafaria, and Maury Sterling.
A new Patreon backer at the $50 level opted out of the usual reward of a plug in the “Become a Multiplex Patron” box (above, on the website), asking instead for me to plug the 2013 indie science fiction filmCoherence (with which he is not affiliated). I was happy to oblige, and so “A fan of Coherence” — a.k.a. The Patron, as I’ll refer to him from here out — is, for the duration of his patronage, among Multiplex‘s supporters. (And, yes, I will review just about any movie a $50 backer asks me to.)
What really got my interest in the film (aside from being asked very nicely to see it) was that The Patron compared it to Shane Carruth’s Primer, one of the best no-budget sci-fi movies ever made. I can definitely see the comparison: both are decidedly low-budget films with small casts and a science-fictiony premise. I feel like seeing the film fairly blind is probably the best, so I won’t summarize the plot beyond the premise of eight friends having a dinner party when a comet passes over and Strange Things Happen, but I don’t think I’m quite as enthusiastic as The Patron.
Unfortunately, the “go in as blind as you can” suggestion means I feel like I need to be pretty vague. Some clunky (and largely unnecessary) exposition gets spat out early on, which tried my patience a bit, but it gets fun as the plot gets rolling. And the plot is definitely the star of the film, not the largely forgettable cast of affluent, Southern California white people or the dialogue, which often feels improvised (in that it neither pushes the story forward nor reveals character, as good dialogue ought to).
Despite some genuinely terrifically creepy or suspenseful moments in the film, a handful of contrived plot points hold it back from being much more than a fun genre flick for me, but I found myself wondering what would happen next — almost up to the very end. A late turn in the film got more of an eye-roll from me than the shock that I think it was supposed register. As always, your mileage may vary, but the film’s merits make it well worth a viewing, particularly for science fiction fans suffering from blockbuster fatigue.
Here’s the trailer! If it piques your interest, please do check it out. It’s available for rent from Amazon Instant Video or for purchase from its official website, among other places. (I never recommend reading YouTube comments, but definitely on’t read the comments if you want to stay away from spoilers.)
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