Gordon McAlpin (A nice fellow that I met at PenguiCon with, in retrospect, odd ad cards)

585 pages AToW

Updates W & Sa

I wish that I worked at Multiplex 10 Cinemas.

There,  I said it.

Multiplex strikes me as how a theater’s patron would idealize working there, glossing over the tedious and nasty bits in order to strike at the free movies and popcorn. It’s rather a silly if the creator is trying to show how life is at a cinema.

It’s a good thing that he isn’t.

Quick, name a good way to talk about movies without sounding like a egomaniacal twat. Sorry, all of you that said “blogger” lose commenting privileges. Instead, why not make a diverse cast of people with different opinions, only one or two of them holding yours? That way you can present your tastes in a relatively objective way. Of course, you would have to be somewhat hyperbolic at times (otherwise no one would read it), but it’s like watching the news. You view everything as a whole to get the real story.

That’s one way to view Multiplex. It’s certainly the movie-lover’s comic, or at least I would assume so. Quite a few of the “review comics”, let’s call them that, revolve around the workers dropping names and saying how awful X would be for Y. Maybe it’s really hilarious if you know the actor’s filmography by heart, but most of them sailed over my head. Call me a philistine if you will, it’s true.

However, that’s not the only perspective to take. I read it more as a typical drama, with a few of the characters being really, really into cinema. It makes sense in the scope of the story; these people chose to work in a theater probably because they actually like theater. The movies act as a framing device for the social interaction, giving each character a chance to play the stock roles that they fill.

This was one of the few things that bothered me about the comic. Yes, the cast is varied, but they tend to be interchangeable and heavily dependent on stock characterization. If pressed I might be able to remember the names of a few of the characters, and only because they were in every single panel (Jason, Kurt) or had unusual nicknames (Dub, Jailbait, Angry/Angie). Even then, I had trouble telling the people apart unless they did something blatantly them-like or dress oddly.

Relating back to my original point, it seems like the characters are more plot-telling tools than anything else. Rather, they don’t seem to have a life of their own, simply dancing on the strings that have been set up by the creator. Sometimes it seems like every interaction is just a rising action that climaxes with sex. No, I could not make that sentence any less suggestive.

But seriously, these people fuck like it’s going out of style. I know that it’s par for the course in “dramatic” stories, but let me say this: either I’ve been going about my business all wrong or someone has spiked Multiplex 10’s water main with Viagra.

In all, I liked Multiplex. The characters might be a bit static but they tend to be varied and numerous. When someone becomes old news they get fired or die in a horrible, gory, burro-related death. Was that last bit a complete lie? I’m not telling. While it hasn’t developed Cerberus Syndrome, it does seem to have the sniffles on occasion.

It was good enough for me to read 600 pages in a day. Take it at that, eh?

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