Notes from the Manager
Most of you have probably heard of The Illusionist already, but it was nominated — along with How to Train Your Dragon and Toy Story 3 — for a Best Animated Feature Academy Award. I haven't seen it yet (the Blogger's opinions here are based on the "universal acclaim" it has been receiving from other critics).
The film is by Sylvain Chomet (The Triplets of Belleville), based on a script by Jacques Tati, a French filmmaker who had a very singular approach to comedy: it's gentle physical comedy (not exactly "slapstick"), with a heavy dose of social commentary. Many of his films are available on Criterion Collection discs (and via Netflix Streaming), including Playtime, which is widely considered to be his masterpiece. Personally, I would not recommend starting there with his movies; it seemed to me like all of Tati's ideas distilled into one movie.
And yes, for those of you in the Chicago area, it is actually playing at the Music Box Theatre, one of my favorite moviehouses in the city, and one that is long overdue for Jason and Devi to visit… I will definitely be catching it there as soon as possible.
UPDATE: I was interviewed by MTV Geek not that long ago, and it looks like they've posted it. Checkitout!
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Friday, May 15, 2015
Longtime readers of the strip know I don’t just stop updating. Three years of grad school, and I’ve missed maybe one update. But as some of you may know (from Twitter or the Multiplex Facebook page), a friend of mine died in a car crash on Wednesday.
Ryan Love and I went to school together from 3rd grade until graduating high school, and he was probably the one person most responsible for me getting interested in comics. When we were kids, I read all his He-Man mini-comics, because my parents never bought me any of those toys. After I got into comics, he read my DC stuff, and I read his Marvel comics. He bought my comics for me on the sly when my mother banned me from reading them for getting “bad grades.” We co-created a ton of really dumb superheroes together, plus a couple of cool ones.
We drifted a bit after high school — different colleges and just part of growing up and being interested in different things. We kept in touch (not as much as we should have), and when we got together, we mostly talked about comics, he would badger me to join our high school friends’ Fantasy Football League (never going to happen), and we’d argue about something or another. He was great at arguing.
Since I was back in my hometown (Peoria, Illinois) for the Artist and Comic Expo, we had lunch on Monday, two days before he died. I hadn’t seen him in about three years, since the last time I had visited Peoria. This time we talked about comics, Age of Ultron, Game of Thrones, and how we’ve both recently become engaged. He badgered me to join our friends for their annual get-together to watch “the draft.” I think that has something to do with football.
I also gave him a copy of Multiplex: There and Back Again. I inscribed it, “This book is all your fault.”
Even though we didn’t talk nearly as often as we did when we were little, time doesn’t change how much friends meant before, or how much of them was and continues to be a part of you.
Multiplex needs to take a short break while I head back to Peoria to go to his memorial service, and then immediately turn around and head over to Denver Comic Con. Hopefully I’ll find time to work on the strip somewhere in there, but in any event, I’ll start posting new strips in two weeks.
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