Notes from the Manager
Related Strips: #416: Past, Present and Future?, Part One; #417: Past, Present and Future?, Part Two; #418: Past, Present and Future?, Part Three; #557: The Third Miracle, Part Three; #561: A Night in the Patio, Part One; #562: A Night in the Patio, Part Two; #563: A Night in the Patio, Part Three
The first panel here took me twelve hours to draw, so there's a lot more detail in it than you can see here online. Vote for Multiplex at TopWebComics to see it twice as big!
I mentioned on Monday that I'd be telling you a lot more about the Patio today — and I will, but it won't be here. Head on over to Chicago's own Gapers Block to read "The Return of the Patio Theater," an interview I conducted with the Patio's new manager (and son of the owner), Demetri Kouvalis — plus a brief history of the Patio and a photo set with photos by yours truly and my friend Charlene Epple. (Some of the photos were used as reference in this arc, so you might recognize them.)
For some behind-the-scenes chatter about this story arc and Multiplex in general, have a listen to TGT Webcomics Podcast Episode #151 wherein Kurt Sasso and I chat it up for an hour and a half about movies, the Patio Theatre, how I draw the strip, and even a couple of teases about where things are heading in the near future.
See you Friday with the last of my little three-strips-a-week bout of masochism.
SHIRTS ON SALE! I have a clearance sale on all of the T-shirts in my store, because… I'm trying to clear out of my stock. (That's what clearance sales are usually for, right?) Some of the designs are as low as $4.99, so, y'know. Check 'em out soon!
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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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