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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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“Autobiography” (excerpt)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

So I finished my Master of Fine Arts degree—technically as of March 31, although I’m still working on a couple of assistantships. But I got my diploma in the mail today.

This is one of the weirder things I did in grad school. It was a project I did for a Graphic Design Studio class, and the only stipulation was that you had to make a collection of… something. I chose to do a “collection” of twelve books that shaped who I am as a person. Not necessarily books that I still hold dear, but that really connected with me when I read them.

So, I call it an autobiography, although obviously it’s not. I decided to make a story scroll using clippings from these books, cut and pasted to build a NEW story (a creation story). I made scroll handles for it from wooden dowels (painted bronze) and bronze drawer handles on all four ends.

It was roughly 6¾ feet long if you completely unrolled the scroll, so I’ll only show the first bit here. You can click through to the Patreon page I posted it on a couple of years ago if you want to read the whole thing. I made it public so anyone can see it.

The books are (in no particular order): The Book of Job, translated by Stephen Mitchell; The Illustrated Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking; Cages by Dave McKean; Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood; Epileptic by David B; Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman; Hamlet’s Mill by Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechen; Justice League: A New Beginning by Keith Giffen, J. M. DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire; Metaphors We Live By by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson; The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan W. Watts; and The Complete Winnie-the-Pooh & The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne. (The Pooh books are technically two separate volumes, so it’s really thirteen, but I now own a single-volume collection of them. I also read Justice League in the issues first, not TPB, so whatever.)

Enjoy! Or just kind of squint your eyes and wonder why this is something that graduate students spend their time doing. But hopefully you’ll enjoy it.

autobiography-part-1

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