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#477: Copycat

June 3, 2010

Notes from the Manager

Short one this time!

In case you weren't aware, Avatar director James Cameron "was among a group of scientists and other experts who met Tuesday with officials from the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies for a brainstorming session on stopping the massive oil leak"; he is "considered an expert on underwater filming and remote vehicle technologies," according to the Washington Post. Despite the snarky undertones of this strip, I think anyone who's read an in-depth interview with Cameron knows that the man knows his technical stuff inside-out.

Here's a decent article from Vektorrum with a little background about Jim Cameron the inventor. It notes that Cameron is "collaborating on the design and construction of a new deep sea exploration vessel that will explore the Marianas Trench in the South Pacific." Yeah, he might be worth having in the room while people brainstorm ways to fix the leak.

Dances with Wolves director Kevin Costner, for his part, was motivated by the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster to help fund a consortium of scientists dedicated to developing technology that "mitigates oil-infected water before it hits the coast." He has invested $24 million of his money to help develop a centrifugal oil separator that BP says it will test soon.


So yeah! I've recently updated the Kickstarter backers, but thought I would share some of the same information for you:

Month four of the two months off from taking any other freelance work has begun, I'm sad to say. :1 As I've mentioned before, to say that I vastly underestimated how much time it would take to complete the new material for the book is a big understatement. The prequel story is proceeding, however — I've got the script where I'm happy with it, and I'm starting to draw it.

I've got backgrounds dropped in for many of the pages and I'm getting the main characters in place, so that I know where I'll be dropping in the reader cameos (and other background characters). Kickstarter backers will get sneak peaks at the story, but as I've also said before, this story is exclusive to the print book, so no one's seeing the whole thing until the book is out.

Speaking of which, I am still confident that it will be in my hands (and yours, soon after) this fall, thanks to finding a US-based printer that was within my printing budget. Their significantly faster turnaround compared to the Chinese printers will hopefully balance out my own delays.

However. Since I've gone a month longer than I'd budgeted for (and counting!) with the Kickstarter project and Multiplex does not currently bring in enough money to pay all of my bills — as you can imagine, my living expenses are spreading a bit thin. Because of this, I've reluctantly added a little button for PayPal donations at the main site (as you may or may not have noticed already). For those of you who aren't already Kickstarter backers, please consider making a SMALL donation — or buying something from the Multiplex Store to help support the strip just a little bit longer. Hopefuly the print collection will make Multiplex a self-sustaining business, of course, because I would love to continue doing the strip full-time — and be able to leap straight into the second print collection. :)

PayPal donors (in any amount) will get access to an exclusive desktop picture featuring Melissa from the prequel story in a Slave Leia costume. You can see a little preview in the right sidebar, on the new PayPal donation button. It's similar to the Tinkerbell desktop pic of Sunny. It's not PG fan service, I swear — it's just nerdy! I'll update the desktop pics periodically, of course, to encourage you to keep supporting the strip.

Thank you all for reading!


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Deleted Scenes Blog

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Multiplex Movie Review: The Island (2005)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

multiplex-island

This is  not as accessible to people who haven’t seen the movie as I like these reviews to be, but if you’re not familiar with The Island or Never Let Me Go at all, the premises are that clones are raised and educated as “spare parts” — which is just plain absurd. (The idea that such a thing would be allowed by any reasonable society made the premise impossible for me to swallow, except as a very far-fetched Twilight Zone-style scenario. At least in The Island, it was secret and illegal.)

An absurd premise isn’t a deal-breaker, though, really. But The Island never lets you go past its implausible premise, because it is constantly trying to explain how it all works in equally stupid ways, further compounded by Bay’s typical disregard for logic and continuity:

  • Once Lincoln Six Echo (Ewan McGregor) learns the truth about their lives, he goes to the apartment of Jordan Two Delta (Scarlett Johannson) so they can escape. She greets him at the door by saying, “How sweet! You came to see me off” (I’m paraphrasing some of that)… yet their next scene, moments later, she is surprised and exclaims that he isn’t allowed in the female tower (as it’s called). This might be able to be explained away by some contrived explanation, but… the two moments feel completely incongruous.
  • The massive underground facility the clones are kept in is maintained by presumably hundreds of normal human employees (including Steve Buscemi, Sean Bean, and Yvette Nicole Brown’s characters) — complete with a showroom for ultra-rich potential clients. Yet Lincoln and Jordan emerge from it into desert with nothing around. No helicopter landing pad, no parking lot… nothing. We even see a helicopter landing pad later in the film, yet it is again nowhere to be seen at the very end of the movie.
  • Pursued by mercenaries, Lincoln and Jordan end up in a train station. The mercenaries open fire, killing Steve Buscemi, and a panic ensues inside the station… yet Lincoln and Jordan run onto the train with oblivious workers and passengers milling around calmly — and it then proceeds to leave the station as if no one has just gotten murdered… and arrives some time later in Los Angeles, without incident.

Minor or not, the sheer number of them just keep piling up. sigh

Anyway.

This is the last of the Multiplex Movie Reviews I’ll be sharing here in the Deleted Scenes blog for the near future. I hope you’ve enjoyed them!

Patreon patrons and Kickstarter backers will see more of these in their respective feeds come January — as well as the Multiplex: The Revenge bonus comics, of course. (There may even be a few movie review comics during the semester as time permits, but I can’t really promise anything. I’ve got A LOT of work to do for my thesis!)

EDIT: By the way, I wasn’t familiar with Parts: The Clonus Horror when I did this strip. (I don’t watch MST3K; I can’t bring myself to watch movies that shitty, even if there are incredibly funny motherfuckers talking over them.) But several people have told me about it since. These kinds of things are usually largely coincidental (or unintentional) — different people independently arrive at similar ideas all the time. $130 million movies generally don’t need to rip off obscure B-movie (or book, or comic book) plots when there are thousands of equally good ideas that they can legitimately use for less money than a settlement.

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