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#632: Speaking Ill of the Dead

October 10, 2011

Notes from the Manager

Related Strips: #518: Dodged That Bullet

First, some news:

1) The Chapter 6 eBook is NOW AVAILABLE at the Multiplex Store. If you're one of those people eagerly awaiting the second print book, click through to the Deleted Scenes post about it for why you should support the eBook collections.

2) I'll be doing a "Digital Artwork" workshop at Minneapolis Indie Expo on Saturday, November 5th, at 1pm. Obviously, it will be about how I use Illustrator, so if you've ever wanted a behind-the-scenes peek at Multiplex, make sure to add MiX to your calendar.

 

Okay, so as for this strip — I wasn't planning on doing a Steve Jobs strip, and this isn't a "tribute" strip… obviously. It's about a movie (or movie news)! As a Windows guy, mostly, Franklin is a little less sentimental about Steve Jobs than I am, and Jason isn't a techie, so hey. There you go. The characters aren't me!

Deadline has reported that Sony is trying to nail down the film rights to Walter Isaacson's upcoming biography, Steve Jobs.

Since the internet just ate the long-ass post I was going to make, sort of annotating this strip and outlining my personal history with Apple, I'll just leave it at this:

For the first time since Jim Henson, I've been sad about the death of a "celebrity." Jobs didn't invent the personal computer, or the MP3 player, or the smartphone, or the tablet, but he was a big picture guy, and he knew that devices like these are useless unless they get out of your way so you can do things with them, and he surrounded himself with the geniuses who could make that happen.

Apple's products often get dismissed as little more than slick design and savvy marketing, and that's simply delusional. Usability is so much more than just aesthetics. Yes, he was a hell of a salesman, but Jobs's contributions to technology, both direct and indirect, are much more substantial than that and difficult to overstate.

The Mac featured the first graphical user interface on a personal computer (refined from technology licensed from Xerox PARC), which made possible applications like… Adobe Illustrator and QuarkXPress (and later InDesign) that now allow me to make a living out of my house, from a computer that fits in a backpack — and to draw this strip. Again, Jobs didn't have anything to do with Illustrator, Quark, or InDesign. But it's because of Jobs, Jef Raskin and the rest of the original Macintosh development team that they exist.

The first web browser was programmed in NeXTstep (the OS for the business/science-focused workstations made by NeXT, the company Jobs founded after he was fired form Apple in the '80s; NeXTstep later evolved into OSX). The first web server was a NeXTcube — and here we are, twenty years later, on the World Wide Web, readin' comics. Jobs wasn't involved with any of that, but he helped make the tools that made that happen.

And I can't help but like a person who doesn't mince words, who could be a pretty huge, raging asshole at times. Because hey, can't we all?

So anyway. Thanks, Steve.


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Multiplex is taking a short break.

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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