Notes from the Manager
Related Strips: #469: Enquiring Minds Want to Know
Sorry for the delay with this week’s first update!
If you didn't get the (almost) play by play with my Twitter account, my NYCC experience was a bit… hit and miss.
When I arrived on Friday morning to set up, I immediately noticed two things were wrong: (1) my “table in the Webcomics Pavilion” turned out to be an empty booth in a small, unmarked strip near some other webcomics people, and (2) the box of books I’d had delivered to the show was looking a bit unhealthy.
Somehow, what Reed Exhibitions had described to me as a “table” did not include an actual table, and I was forced to pay extra to actually get one. (I’ve complained, citing their sales person's e-mail describing it as a “table,” not a “totally empty booth” or “dealer space” or something accurate like that. While I’ve received an apology for the “miscommunication,” Reed hasn’t yet resolved this to my satisfaction.)
The box of books had clearly been dropped at some point, with over half the books’ back covers covered with black dirt of some kind and varying degrees of damage, and the box had been taped back together. While most of the dirt came off with an eraser, about 10 of the books were, in my opinion, unsellable.
Clearly, either UPS or Freeman, the company that handles any shipments and various “services” on site at the show, had dropped the box, and I needed to figure out who did it. A bit of detective work leads me to believe it was probably UPS, but I can’t really be sure, and as such, I may not be able to get any compensation for the damaged books.
It wasn’t all bad, though: Liz Bailie was an awesome fun tablemate (read Freewheel!), the Michael Bay T-shirts were a hit, the book sold very well, I met a lot of great fans — and (I think) made a few new ones. I also ran out of all the Multiplex cards with the URL late on Sunday, so now I need to order more before the next con I go to — which is actually next weekend. (I’ll have to figure something out for that.)
Those of you in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area should drop by and visit me at FallCon 2010 this Saturday, October 16th, at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in the Progress Center!
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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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