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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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Deleted Scenes Blog

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movie trailers and more

The Multiplex 10 is ten years old this month

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Multiplex-10-Years

Ten years ago this month (on July 10th, 2005, to be specific), I posted two shitty looking comics to a corner of the Stripped Books website. At that point, I had no idea what I was in for: it was a gag strip that would quickly transform into a character-based comedy where people talk about movies — not just superficially about specific movies, but about how people watch and talk about movies of all kinds. The art got a little better, too.

The Multiplex characters took on a life of their own and ultimately turned this comic into an eleven- or twelve-year “epic” about the movie theater industry in one of the most interesting periods in its hundred-year history (and also this one jerk who kinda sorta becomes a slightly better person maybe if you squint your eyes and cock your head to the side a little).

Multiplex’s readership grew quickly in those first few years, thanks in very large part to a pair of guest strips on PvP and some well-placed Project Wonderful ad campaigns (thanks, Something Positive and Shortpacked!), and in the years since it has since retained a small but passionate readership that has supported me time and time again: the Patreon project of course, as well as two successful Kickstarter projects to fund two books I’m very proud of.*

Thank you for allowing me to tell this story.

Thank you for reading.

— Gordon


* Speaking of Kickstarter projects, there will be an announcement about Multiplex: Book Three… very soon.

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