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#108: Red Hot Christmas

December 25, 2006

Notes from the Manager

There's been a bit of a fuss about Black Christmas -- not only because it's a Christmas horror movie, which is kind of retarded, because there have been plenty of those (including the original 1974 Black Christmas this new version is a remake of), but also because it opens on Christmas Day.

What I want to know is... so what?

How is this really more offensive than just any other blood and guts fest out there? I'm not a fan of the genre (although I must admit I enjoyed Nightmare on Elm Streets 1, 3, 4 and 5 as a teenager, because those films at least had a little imagination and some fun special effects), but shouldn't just the whole killing people thing be offensive enough to Christians, regardless of the fact that it's set on Christmas? Or have I just been blissfully unaware of the pro-Christian slasher flick genre all my life?

In more than one article I've read on the subject, they make special note that Christmas horror movies and other non-horror "anti-Christmas" films like Bad Santa never open on Christmas Day.

Well, no shit. It's not out of respect, folks. It's because by Christmas, people have already had their fill of Christmas: Christmas movies traditionally get a boost leading up to and on Christmas, drop a relatively normal amount for the next week, and then nosedive in January. (I'm basing this on a totally unscientific analysis of Christmas movies' weekly performances from the past several years at BoxOfficeMojo.com.)

By putting out a Christmas-themed horror movie on Christmas Day, I'm pretty sure the Weinsteins are either making a dumb move -- or, more likely, burying a film they know would bomb, while smartly going for broke at the same time, hoping for a huge opening week tally thanks to all the controversy this stunt release date has generated before it quietly disappears from theaters in three weeks.

I'd have done a strip about all this, if it wouldn't have been basically a rehash of the Da Vinci Code strip.


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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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