Multiplex
August 3, 2009 6:33 AM   Subscribe

Multiplex is a webcomic about life at a movie theater.
posted by lunit (83 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Agreed.
posted by Dr-Baa at 6:36 AM on August 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


Thirded
posted by wheelieman at 6:43 AM on August 3, 2009


I misread the title as Metroplex and clicked on it expecting to read a webcomic set in the bowels of the transforming Autobot city, in which the cast sit around complaining about how hard it is living in an apartment which doubles as the knee joint in a towering robot warrior.
posted by permafrost at 6:55 AM on August 3, 2009 [9 favorites]


I've been reading it for a bit. It's pretty good. Movie-themed webcomics are always so funny though. You can date them so accurately by whichever movies they're discussing or the posters in the background.
posted by scrutiny at 7:02 AM on August 3, 2009


I cut down 6 pounds of stomach fat per week obeying this 1 old rule. I like to think as Zombie Apocalypse as the biggest gross-out movie of all time.…
posted by tellurian at 7:04 AM on August 3, 2009


I'll grant y'all that the actual literary crafting of this MeFi post is a bit thin....

...But, shoot, I like Multiplex. Two of my "summer jobs" were stints at the local movie theater, and I recognize a lot of these characters and the discussions. I keep meaning to email the author and tell him about how a couple of my theater's ushers swiped their parents' leafblowers on the nights when we had huge premieres, because that was how they made short work of cleaning up the theaters afterward (blow all the garbage down to the front of the house first, then sweep up the big pile thus created).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:30 AM on August 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Eh, I figured it spoke for itself. As in, it's awesome.
posted by lunit at 7:35 AM on August 3, 2009


Ha. My favorite one so far.
posted by marxchivist at 7:40 AM on August 3, 2009


I think the art in this is fucking fugly but the subject matter is interesting.

Where's the comic where the little shits at the candy counter turn and start discussing their next break in between giving you your food and giving you your change? The fucking movie starts any second and the kid is burning up your time with their ADD.

Or how bout the one where the kid whose only responsibility is to tear your ticket can't be bothered to figure out that he should probably just face the one direction - the direction where people are coming from - and tear their tickets when they approach instead of trying to see just how much time he can spend with his back turned to the approacing people and pretending not to notice them. I swear they only hire the most passive-agressive fuckheads to tear tickets.

I've been going to the movies long enough that I can remember a time when they weren't staffed exclusively by the most apathetic little fucktards.

I know I'm getting old because I really hate teenagers these days.
posted by autodidact at 7:49 AM on August 3, 2009


The Da Vinci Commode is more like it
posted by scrutiny at 7:54 AM on August 3, 2009


Movie-themed webcomics are always so funny though.

I don't know if that's entirely true.
posted by FatherDagon at 7:56 AM on August 3, 2009


Marge: Multiplex is a regular UserFriendly!
Bart: You got that right.
posted by DU at 7:58 AM on August 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


*raises eyebrow*

Where's the comic where the little shits at the candy counter turn and start discussing their next break in between giving you your food and giving you your change? The fucking movie starts any second and the kid is burning up your time with their ADD.

Probably in line after the one where you've got the guy BEHIND the counter trying to keep it together because there's an enormous line of pissed-off people getting frustrated that the one person at the front of the line is trying to get you to clarify whether the "butter topping" is polyunsaturated fat.

Or behind a guy who asks for "a large drink" but then fails to inform you WHAT drink, even after being prompted ("....do you mean...Pepsi? Or Coke perhaps? Or Fanta? Or iced tea?"

"Large drink."

"Large, yes, but....a large pepsi? Large coke? Large Fanta? Large iced tea?"

"Large drink."

"....um...")


Or how bout the one where the kid whose only responsibility is to tear your ticket can't be bothered to figure out that he should probably just face the one direction - the direction where people are coming from - and tear their tickets when they approach instead of trying to see just how much time he can spend with his back turned to the approacing people and pretending not to notice them.

Probably after the one where the ushers have had the fear of god put into them by the managers because they've had a rash of theater-jumpers who get one ticket and then sneak into other movies, or underage kids who get tickets to something by Pixar because they then plan to sneak into BLOOD AND FUCKING PART IV RATED R, and they are trying to keep an eye on the back of the room while they're doing everything else because they're short staffed...

I've been going to the movies long enough that I can remember a time when they weren't staffed exclusively by the most apathetic little fucktards.

And I've WORKED at a theater and know that there are plenty of little -- and big -- fucktards in the audience too, thankyouverymuch.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:03 AM on August 3, 2009 [18 favorites]


(And incidentally, that bit about the butter topping being polyunsaturated fat is AN ACTUAL QUESTION I was once asked when I was working at the Jillson Square multiplex back in the late 1980's.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:06 AM on August 3, 2009


Don't take it so personally. I think you're making the mistake of assuming things don't change much in 20 years. If you were working in theatres in the 80s then you're probably not part of the problems I describe.

I'm not making any extraordinary demands of my concession worker. All I ask is that they don't stop in the middle of my transaction to use up my time in researching their next break. Hand me my fuckign change and let me get on with my life, THEN discuss your break. Simple concept.

As for the ticket takers with their back to me... they're not being vigilant -- when was the last time you went to an R movie that wasn't stuffed to the rafters with "those under 18"? They're talking to their co-workers (who can see me/the other customers and will not point it out to the ticket-taker), so it's not an understaffing issue. It's a powerless paassive-agressive little fuckhead taking out his frustrations on me.
posted by autodidact at 8:17 AM on August 3, 2009


I think you're making the mistake of assuming things don't change much in 20 years. If you were working in theatres in the 80s then you're probably not part of the problems I describe.

Nah, we had people complaining about us back then too. People always complain about people in the service industry, and generalize all people in the service industry as being incompetent.

Not that there aren't incompetent individuals in the service industry -- there are some in every industry. But there are also plenty who aren't. And for every incompetent person in the service industry making your life nuts, there are incompetent people in the customer base making the employees' lives nuts too.

Complain about individuals all you like -- but don't let it blind you to the people who do actually do a good job, 'mkay?

(And THAT was something our awesome manager lectured a customer with once after he complained that the cashier wasn't making change fast enough and launched into a rant about how idiot teenagers didn't know how to count, only to be informed that he'd given her a ten, not a twenty.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:21 AM on August 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Life sounds unbearably difficult for you, autodidact.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:26 AM on August 3, 2009 [9 favorites]


Why do they have cubicles at this Multiplex? Is there an office in the lobby?
posted by orme at 8:33 AM on August 3, 2009


Hey Callygos I wasn't talking about you personally. No my life's not difficult but I do see a lot more movies than your average bear, and often fantasize about a theatre staffed entirely by non-shitwits.
posted by autodidact at 8:37 AM on August 3, 2009


I'm going to go way out on a limb here and assume that this webcomic is about ten times funnier and more interesting if you've actually worked in a movie theater.

Right. Off to check up on Unshelved.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:42 AM on August 3, 2009


damn, autodidact. you've wanted to get that shit off your chest for a while, huh?
posted by shmegegge at 8:46 AM on August 3, 2009


damn, autodidact. you've wanted to get that shit off your chest for a while, huh?

I think I have a feeling why he keeps on running into "shitwits".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:52 AM on August 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Callipygos, I worked in customer service too. But I don't get personally offended when someone complains about how all Starbucks barristas are obnoxious when they force you to use their stupid lingo.

Being of reasonable intelligence I can infer that they don't literaly mean ALL barristas who ever existed (including me, an ex-barrista). So use some intelligence and get over my comment ok?
posted by autodidact at 8:56 AM on August 3, 2009


I was never personally offended to begin with, quite honestly.

But you WERE the one who introduced the "all theater employees are idiots" trope into a thread that was discussing a comic about "theater employees dealing with idiot CUSTOMERS." So I have to wonder exactly why you made such a comment, and why you are defending it with such....vitriol.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:02 AM on August 3, 2009


There's a shitstorm a-coming, Randy. These movie theatre kids are just begging to have the shitbirds swoop in and knock some shit-sense into them.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:07 AM on August 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


And I've WORKED at a theater and know that there are plenty of little -- and big -- fucktards in the audience too, thankyouverymuch.

I did too, and couldn't agree more. The lack of respect shown by customers to staff was awful.
posted by zarq at 9:14 AM on August 3, 2009


Trust me, I have plenty of complaints about my fellow customers at the multiplex. Probably more than about the staff if I were to tally them up. And any complaint about the staff is really a complaint about the management. Am I alone in remembering a time when it was mostly cheery old men who tore your ticket, and the average age of a concession worker was closer to 20 than 15?

I don't see a lot of vitriol in my responses. You seem a bit oversensitive.
posted by autodidact at 9:16 AM on August 3, 2009


Wow, what a thread!

Anyway, I liked the comic.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 9:19 AM on August 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh and the reason I posted here is because I figured there would be some theatre employees who I could direct my frustrations at by proxy. So, mission accomplished in a sense.
posted by autodidact at 9:22 AM on August 3, 2009


Am I alone in remembering a time when it was mostly cheery old men who tore your ticket, and the average age of a concession worker was closer to 20 than 15?

....maybe I remember seeing that happen on TV?....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:29 AM on August 3, 2009


Oh and the reason I posted here is because I figured there would be some theatre employees who I could direct my frustrations at by proxy. So, mission accomplished in a sense.

Boy, what a flashback -- a customer taking out their frustrations at employees, but then telling employees they weren't supposed to take it personally.

Have a nice day, now. (smile)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:31 AM on August 3, 2009 [13 favorites]


Um. Jessamyn, mathowie, Cortex, I totally owe you guys tickets to a movie when you're in New York next to make up for this. Sorry.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:34 AM on August 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh and the reason I posted here is because I figured there would be some theatre employees who I could direct my frustrations at by proxy. So, mission accomplished in a sense.

It would be awesome if you could refrain from undertaking that sort of mission in the future. Shitbombing a thread for proxy satisfaction sucks for everyone who is not you.
posted by cortex at 9:36 AM on August 3, 2009 [13 favorites]


autodidact: I've been going to the movies long enough that I can remember a time when they weren't staffed exclusively by the most apathetic little fucktards.

No my life's not difficult but I do see a lot more movies than your average bear, and often fantasize about a theatre staffed entirely by non-shitwits.
...
So use some intelligence and get over my comment ok?

And then...

I don't see a lot of vitriol in my responses.

I beg to differ.
posted by zarq at 9:51 AM on August 3, 2009


lunit, that's a fun comic. Brings back a lot of memories. Thank you for posting it. :)
posted by zarq at 9:54 AM on August 3, 2009


Oh, *that* vitriol.
posted by autodidact at 9:54 AM on August 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


ANYWAY

One of the things that I like about straight 100-percent-true autobio customer-service stories is that the "wackiness" of real-life interactions is frequently far weirder than any of the cartoonish "customers are assholes" or "staff is assholes" foofaraw that usually gets portrayed in fictional accounts. This comic feels a little flat to me, mainly because it feels like the author is trying real hard to be entertaining, and falling into a few basic tropes again and again as a result.

I also don't really like the art, but then, it's very rare that I think computer-driven cartooning is anywhere near half as good as freehand stuff; it lacks the liveliness that tiny variations in linework provide, and ends up feeling sterile as a result. This sterility's kind of cool when it serves the function of the story (I dig how qwantz feels like it's always making the best out of being trapped in a Sartre's "No Exit" kind of purgatory), but most of the time (I'm looking at you and your goddamn photocopier here, Brian Michael Bendis), I feel like the machine-made lack of imperfection gives short shrift to the flux of day-to-day life. So many of these comics seem to be about the individual personalities and interactions of the people working at the multiplex, and the sterility of the art kinda sands off the rough edges of human personality.

My other big complaint, while I'm griping, is that many of these characters feel like avatars for the author to say something, with other characters mostly existing to say "What? Clarify what you mean." Unlike the basic improvements I think freehand art could provide, though, I don't have any simple solution to this one.

All that said, though: Looking through the little author's notes the guy wrote on his older stuff, it seems like he's actually doing a fair bit of thinking about the art and writing. I don't really think these comics are that great, but I think that if he keeps working on them and questioning his own impulses and willing to take big risks, they could become really fantastic. On the other hand, he could fall into a safe, easily-digested pattern with a small loyal following, and become the cinephile equivalent to the execrable Questionable Content. I'm looking forward to seeing this in another couple of years, and seeing which path he's taken. Since it's already been running for four years, I'm kind of worried that the latter's more likely, but hell, let's be charitable today, anything could happen.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:55 AM on August 3, 2009 [6 favorites]


I'm going to add to this ridiculous discussion with this completely useless comment.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 10:05 AM on August 3, 2009


Do they have a strip which features a pair of naked-but-for-black-socks-garters-and-sandals, elderly men in the restroom who, seeing as how they could only enact two-thirds of lemonparty, decided to make it up with a splash of tubgirl? Because that was my most memorable ush cleaning experience. Grab your bags of clothes on the way out, boys.

Finding the occasional sticky sawbuck on the theater floor did not go that far in making up for stumbling into little tableaux such as that.

We also need a word for what happens when ushers view a movie in little non-linear snippets, over and over again, until they cannot fully constrain it to a linear form on later viewings.
posted by adipocere at 10:05 AM on August 3, 2009


We also need a word for what happens when ushers view a movie in little non-linear snippets, over and over again, until they cannot fully constrain it to a linear form on later viewings.

*grins* Oh, I SO remember that part.

I actually used to time my theater walks when we were showing TERMINATOR 2 so I would be able to catch the scene right at the beginning where he hits a biker bar to the tune of "Bad To the Bone."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:08 AM on August 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Do they have a strip which features a pair of naked-but-for-black-socks-garters-and-sandals, elderly men in the restroom who, seeing as how they could only enact two-thirds of lemonparty, decided to make it up with a splash of tubgirl? Because that was my most memorable ush cleaning experience. Grab your bags of clothes on the way out, boys.

The closest I've found so far is this one.

I worked at a theater for a couple of years in high school, and I have to say that so far, not too many of these comics are hitting home for me. But the one I linked to? Definitely.
posted by rebel_rebel at 10:13 AM on August 3, 2009


ENID: Here you go -- smothered in delicious yellow-chemical sludge!
MANAGER: What the hell is wrong with you?!
ENID: What? I'm just kidding around with the customers... It's my shtick!
MANAGER: Well lose it! And why aren't you pushing the large sizes? Didn't you get training about upsizing?
ENID: But I feel weird... it's so sleazy.
MANAGER: It's not optional!
posted by porn in the woods at 10:15 AM on August 3, 2009


I've read Multiplex for years now. It's always been one of those solidly entertaining strips I check once a week or so to see what's been put up. I enjoy the artwork, it's usually relatively amusing, and it and the author's accompanying blog is one of the places I like to get information about new release movies. I always figured it was too well known to post to the front page; I mean, it's no xkcd, but it's been around a while and he's got a pretty decent fanbase. I wonder what else in my webcomics folder that I think is old hat could make an acceptable FPP?
posted by Caduceus at 10:17 AM on August 3, 2009


The multiplex is a place I go to once or twice a year to renew my commitment to the total destruction of human life.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:19 AM on August 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


We also need a word for what happens when ushers view a movie in little non-linear snippets, over and over again, until they cannot fully constrain it to a linear form on later viewings.

Hell, yes. :D

I actually used to time my theater walks when we were showing TERMINATOR 2 so I would be able to catch the scene right at the beginning where he hits a biker bar to the tune of "Bad To the Bone."

I TOTALLY did that! :D :D

I worked in a theater for a little over three years in high school. We used to cluster in the back of the theater for certain scenes. The orgasm scene in When Harry Met Sally. The glow-in-the-dark duel in Skin Deep. "IT'S NOT A TUMAH!" from Kindergarten Cop. The "FOUR C BATTERIES" scene in Do The Right Thing. The "Man Overboard" scene in Weekend at Bernies. And a scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where Harrison Ford and Sean Connery were tied to chairs, as a fire raged around them. The movie's surround sound was set up in a way that the fire sounds literally began in one speaker and made their way around the room until the audience felt like they were in the midst of a roaring fire.

What a fun job that was. :D
posted by zarq at 10:27 AM on August 3, 2009


"FOUR C BATTERIES" scene in Do The Right Thing.

AHEM.

20 D Batteries. D, muthfocka, D!
posted by Burhanistan at 10:32 AM on August 3, 2009


We also need a word for what happens when ushers view a movie in little non-linear snippets, over and over again, until they cannot fully constrain it to a linear form on later viewings.

Can we apply that term to VFX folks, too? Mr. F's personal version of I, Robot bore no resemblance whatsoever to the actual finished product (for one thing, the sneaker scene was at the end in Mr. F's version).

The greatest thing he ever heard as an usher, though, was at the end of a screening of Apollo 13, when an older couple walked out and one of them cheerily exclaimed "They oughta make one about th' one on FIRE!"
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 10:42 AM on August 3, 2009


We also need a word for what happens when ushers view a movie in little non-linear snippets, over and over again, until they cannot fully constrain it to a linear form on later viewings.

I have, in aggregate, seen Top Gun nine hundred times, and yet I have never actually seen it as movie qua movie. In the small hours, I can still see Tom Cruise simultaneously showing off his beach guns while pretending to look at his watch. I am truly damned.
posted by Skot at 10:52 AM on August 3, 2009


Reading these backwards, I have to say I was a little freaked when they got to this one and found my neighborhood stores and restaurants.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:03 AM on August 3, 2009


Oh, best weird-customer story I remember:

When Tim Burton's BATMAN was in the theaters (the one with Jack Nicholson as the Joker), we had this one guy who would come to ever 2 pm Saturday matinee, for the entire run. He would always get one ticket, just for himself. He would always get a large popcorn and a medium Sprite. And then, before he left the concession, he would always, ALWAYS lean over the counter and tell whoever served him in a conspiratorial tone: "I'm going to keep on coming back to see this film every week until the Joker wins!"

We learned to just laugh politely.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:13 AM on August 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


The one thing that got me about this comic was the jokey racism, which in a lot of cases seemed to be thrown in when nothing else funny could be substituted. I only read the first hundred, so I make no case against the remainder of the comics, but for what I read I felt that was unnecessary. Maybe that's the way people talk who work in movie theaters? Never worked in one, so I don't know. But this being Metafilter, I'm surprised it's taken forty-odd comments for anyone to bring this up.
posted by seagull.apollo at 11:24 AM on August 3, 2009


The one thing that got me about this comic was the jokey racism, which in a lot of cases seemed to be thrown in when nothing else funny could be substituted.

I would wager to say it's actually pretty deliberate, as is the choice to have much of the cast made up of people of color. The comic definitely tackles race, but I'm not sure that's enough to call it racist. In fact, I think it does a pretty good job. Like this one, for example.

I actually noticed it based on a plug from the angry black woman.
posted by lunit at 11:44 AM on August 3, 2009


Just thought I'd mention--in case anyone was curious about how Greg Nog knows so much about autobio service industry web comics--that he has a really fantastic twenty-six part comic of his own about his time working at the Olive Garden.

He has other comics, too, and then some time around around November 2007 he stopped updating. *sadface*
posted by Squid Voltaire at 11:53 AM on August 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


No RSS feed? Le WTF?
posted by jeffamaphone at 11:53 AM on August 3, 2009


jeffmaphone, there is an RSS feed: http://feeds2.feedburner.com/Multiplex

What browser are you using? The standard RSS feed icon shows up in both Firefox and Safari for me.
posted by gmcalpin at 11:59 AM on August 3, 2009


Hmm, I'm up to #290 right now and I can't say I care much for the treatment of religion in this strip; as has been mentioned before in this thread the comic occasionally tries tackling issues of race and gender, leading to big wouldn't-it-be-nice-if-everyone-was-nice moments. It's okay to be gay, you can make jokes about black people even if you aren't one, it's funny if you get your minorities confused.

Religion, on the other hand, gets a free pass: of course you can believe in an invisible skyman, of course intelligent design is on par with accepted science, and when you like to pretend to follow a religion without accepting its core belief system that's a great and noble thing that needs to be treated with respect.

Sorry, but stuff like that sours me on some webcomics.
posted by PontifexPrimus at 12:05 PM on August 3, 2009


Okay... I've read your comment a few times, PontifexPrimus, and I'm confused. Is your problem with Multiplex that it extends its tolerance of race and sexuality to religion? It certainly makes fun of Christians, such as in this comic about people protesting The Da Vinci Code. Did I misunderstand your comment?
posted by Kattullus at 1:08 PM on August 3, 2009


Religion, on the other hand, gets a free pass: of course you can believe in an invisible skyman, of course intelligent design is on par with accepted science, and when you like to pretend to follow a religion without accepting its core belief system that's a great and noble thing that needs to be treated with respect.

Except that the core of Christianity's belief system actually has nothing to do with science.

Which is that character's point -- that just like not all [insert race here] people act the same way, and just like not all [insert gender here] people act the same way, not all Christian people act the same way, and treating them as if they do is a) prejudicial, b) rude, and c) just plain dumb. Plus you run the risk of pissing off people that you actually know who may believe in some of those things, even if you don't.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:26 PM on August 3, 2009


Kattullus: "Okay... I've read your comment a few times, PontifexPrimus, and I'm confused. Is your problem with Multiplex that it extends its tolerance of race and sexuality to religion? It certainly makes fun of Christians, such as in this comic about people protesting The Da Vinci Code. Did I misunderstand your comment?"

Sorry if I was unclear - my main problem is that the comic tries to be progressive, cliché-breaking; being gay / straight is no big deal, tolerance is a good thing, making fun of racial groups is fun when it's in jest. Basically "there are no Holy Cows, everything is fair game".

The exception seems to be religion: when Angie confesses that she has deep religious beliefs in some vague idea of spiritual higher being (seriously, the linked comic is just so... odd. How can anyone claim to be a member of any religion and then proceed to throw some of its foundations overboard?). This seems to be enough reason to dump her boyfriend and force him to go and do some spiritual learning.

And that's what I don't quite get. I'm not an "Adults with imaginary friends are stupid" point-and-laugh-atheist, but I would have almost no compassion for someone so involved in an elaborate pseudo-religious mentality that they would force them on another, especially with the picking-and-choosing of precepts Angie does.

The fact that this is being portrayed as valid and acceptable is what irks me; it seems preachy to me, and at odds with the other messages delivered in this comic. I'm not trying to tell the author how to do his comic, or to argue from my interpretation of the characters - it's just something that stands out to me.
posted by PontifexPrimus at 1:34 PM on August 3, 2009


How can anyone claim to be a member of any religion and then proceed to throw some of its foundations overboard?

Which of these foundations are you referring to? Because theologically, I think that character's right on the money with what Christianity is, and also what it is not.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:37 PM on August 3, 2009


The weirdest thing about your comment, Pontifex, is that Jason seems to be coming at it from exactly the same point of view that you are; I don't understand how letting someone air their views counts as "preachy," especially given that the comic goes on to revolve around the atheist character way more than around the Christian.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:46 PM on August 3, 2009


As an aside, none of the monotheistic Abrahamic religions think of Almighty God as some kind "invisible sky man". It just makes atheists seem ignorant when they bandy that phrase about thinking that they are serving up some killer refutation. Smug gits.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:59 PM on August 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


How can anyone claim to be a member of any religion and then proceed to throw some of its foundations overboard?).

The vast majority of us aren't unquestioning fundamentalists. Perhaps religion = blind faith to you, but it would seem the vast majority of followers either disagree, or simply aren't strict in their religious observance as you seem to expect.
posted by zarq at 2:02 PM on August 3, 2009


EmpressCallipygos: "How can anyone claim to be a member of any religion and then proceed to throw some of its foundations overboard?

Which of these foundations are you referring to? Because theologically, I think that character's right on the money with what Christianity is, and also what it is not.
"


...except that in this strip she claims to be a rational, almost secular Christian when earlier on she said that she saved herself for marriage, remaining a virgin out of religious conviction.

Doing stuff like that because you claim it gives your life meaning seems very strange to me, as is building your life around the belief that some higher being is responsible for everything that happens in the world.
I do not wish to sound condescending, seriously, but having this kind of unquestioning faith being portrayed as something to be respected is just... odd. Oh, and I do apologize for the snarkiness of my first post, I overshot the mark there.
posted by PontifexPrimus at 2:10 PM on August 3, 2009


I think I see why your comments have been so confusing. you cleared things up when you said this, though:

but having this kind of unquestioning faith being portrayed as something to be respected is just... odd.

see, I didn't understand where you were coming from originally because I had assumed that you were being reasonable.

so let me say this: different religious beliefs, no matter how absurd they may seem to you, are something to be respected, as are the people who hold them. this is not odd.
posted by shmegegge at 2:27 PM on August 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


As an aside, none of the monotheistic Abrahamic religions think of Almighty God as some kind "invisible sky man". It just makes atheists seem ignorant when they bandy that phrase about thinking that they are serving up some killer refutation. Smug gits.

It's a tactic, nothing more. Annoying the faithful seems to be the point.

For generations, atheists been vilified and attacked by religious fundamentalists. Recently, they realized that it is futile to argue with absolutists, and have instead adopted their own, similar brand of fundamentalist atheism. Disrespect yields further disrespect. Sad, but I suppose it's understandable.
posted by zarq at 2:37 PM on August 3, 2009


Interestingly the character expressing her views on Christianity didn't do so until it became a part of the storyline. I think it first came up when she (dark hair'd goth chick Angie) was being supportive of Sunny (or however the blonde chick's name is spelled), who was much more overtly Christian and would bring up her faith in conversation. Different story arc before Angie started dating Jason. Bit of the "no one expects the goth chick to be Christian" thing that I actually recognize from many real life moments.

Er yes, I've been reading the comic for a while. I've enjoyed it for the characters as well as the movie reviews.
Also I really like the artwork.
Er, ok also because I can be an annoying movie geek if I don't restrain myself, I relate way too much with some of the conversations. (Sometimes it's hard not to burble gleefully over film noir.)
posted by batgrlHG at 2:48 PM on August 3, 2009


PontifexPrimus, it sounds like your beef is not really with this strip at all but with non-fundamentalist Christians in general. There really are lots and lots of folks with less-than-hardline approaches to their personal faiths; it's not all wingers and thumpers quoting the Bible as SCIENCE! If this is truly a revelation to you, you haven't been exposed to a very representative cross-section of religious folks. People reject all kinds of dogma and tradition that doesn't sit right with them; that's a big part of how religion changes over time.

Is the idea that the guy's failure to shove a pie in her face and call her names for stating her beliefs is some kind of weakness in the strip? How was that supposed to go in your idealized version?
posted by cortex at 3:23 PM on August 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


I've never read this. But it's great. I'm on 138 already. Thanks!
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 3:29 PM on August 3, 2009


I've started a MetaTalk post if anyone wants to continue the religious debate, because the last time we got into a "but all REAL Christians think THIS" discussion it went on for days and was the tangent from HELL.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:48 PM on August 3, 2009


I read the whole of Multiplex today. It was fun!
posted by ocherdraco at 8:08 PM on August 3, 2009


The art reminds me of the older stuff from Scary Go Round's John Allison, before he loosened up and got all freaky deaky with it. Am definitely going to archive binge on this next time I have insomnia or need to procrastinate.

Speaking of the archives, the site really goes out of its way to make the reader feel comfortable. Extended 'ebook,' hi-res downloads... I wonder how the giving business plan is working out?
posted by jtron at 11:54 PM on August 3, 2009


Webcomics like this are why I don't read many webcomics. Preponderance of strips that merely deliver a shallow message from the author. 'Shipping that seems to be done out of boredom and isn't very believable. The male characters are all nerd/jock crossovers on the make; the female characters are always pretty and never wrong; the characters not fitting into those bins are shallow jokes. The forced over-the-top enthusiasm to cover up the general passive/snarky sameness of the characters. The feeling of dread I get as I approach the last panel and here comes the same old bringing up short of someone.

It's not all like that, but it's too much like that, for not being fantastically funny and clever.
posted by fleacircus at 12:45 AM on August 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Okay, something from fandom that I've never understood: what is "'shipping"?
posted by kathrineg at 9:15 AM on August 4, 2009


Writing in a (relation)ship between two characters, however canonically plausible or otherwise.

Mulder/Scully shipping was for most of the show's run the low-hanging fruit of X-Files shipping, for example, while Mulder/Skinner was more of a stretch but had its own charms.

Shippers could be people who actively write fanfic (or slashfic) about said relationship, or people who merely root for the possible relationship, or people in the fuzzy in-between zone who insist like so many conspiracy theorists that CLEARLY Mulder and Skinner are sneaking around behind Scully's back, because remember when in that one episode Mulder was gone for like an hour and then Skinner didn't have a shirt on and DON'T YOU SEE, etc.
posted by cortex at 9:23 AM on August 4, 2009


Mulder/Scully shipping was for most of the show's run the low-hanging fruit of X-Files shipping, for example, while Mulder/Skinner was more of a stretch but had its own charms.

/momentary derail

Mulder/Skinner? Dude, it OBVIOIUSLY was Mulder/KRYCECK. Skinner was getting it on with John Dogget.

/end momentary derail
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:38 AM on August 4, 2009


/I'll come in again derail

(I actually do not think that about Mulder, Skinner, Krycek, or John Dogget. I was always too busy watching Scully be kick-ass.

/end all derails
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:39 AM on August 4, 2009


Mulder/Krycek was never requited; that was all Krycek, unbalanced as hell, vying for Mulder's attentions. In fact, his whole "Krycek" personality was an off-the-deep-end fabrication by some poor sap who fixated on Mulder during the shock of his confrontation of his own less-than-heteronormative sexual identity.

If Mulder had never walked into that hospital room after the dude's near-sexymurder by the Space-Amish Genderwonder, that guy would have just ended up meeting a nice guy at a club and the whole mythos would have spun out significantly differently. And "Krycek" would probably still have his real arm.

But that'd have a detrimental effect on the existing body of post-amputation-Krycek-attaches-other-things-than-hands-to-his-stump slashfic*, so it's probably for the best that things worked out the way they did.

*I am making this up**.
**Which doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

posted by cortex at 9:45 AM on August 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


But that'd have a detrimental effect on the existing body of post-amputation-Krycek-attaches-other-things-than-hands-to-his-stump slashfic*, so it's probably for the best that things worked out the way they did.

*I am making this up


I'm....not too sure you are. Gimme a minute...

(wanders off to the Gossamer Archive)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:47 AM on August 4, 2009


Thanks, suddenly the Kirk/Spock shipping fandom wank has been put into perspective
posted by kathrineg at 9:47 AM on August 4, 2009


*skips over trainwrecks, tra la la*

Damn. That's a pretty fucking cool comic. The art could use a little work - too South Park flat for a still strip to be visually interesting - but the characters, relationships and development are great and funny. Thanks, lunit, I've turned a couple of other folks onto it already.
posted by mediareport at 10:02 PM on August 4, 2009


I don't if this is allowed because it's self-referential, but just like John Allison and Scary Go Round, Gordon McAlpin (who does have a MeFi account and is my editor on Movie Make-out.com, the blog that accompanies Multiplex) actually does have chops as an artist as you can see from the work he did on the Death Race-inspired arc and the flashback to the old theater.

Personally speaking, I totally empathized with Angie's character when Jason was harrassing her for being religious because a former friend of mine who loves movies and is also an atheist was being just as dickish when discussing Religulous with me. But I also love Jason's character because not only is he Filipino (okay, half-Filipino) he's a main character and it's so rare to see that.

If you want to find out more about Gordon as an artist, you can check out this interview I did with him before he started doing Multiplex on a more serious basis.
posted by TrishaLynn at 8:08 AM on August 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wow, just finished reading the whole thing. I wish there were more [right now]. I worked in a theater in NC and yeah there were some passive-aggressive types but that was mostly a defensive measure against customers.

My favorite part was asking if customers would like the "super hydrogenated soybean oil with anti-foaming agent" on their popcorn.

I thought that this comic covered race, religion, and sex orientation in a real life manner, not with kid gloves but making fun of it constantly like any normal persons friends would.

Loved it thanks.
posted by schyler523 at 7:38 AM on August 6, 2009


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