Issue: Multiplex: Enjoy Your Show (Book One)
Release Date: September 22, 2010
Writer: Gordon McAlpin
Artist: Gordon McAlpin
Publisher: Chase Sequence Co.
There is an old saying: “Do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life.” Unfortunately for the cast of characters in Multiplex, following this advice isn’t an option. Instead, they do their best to find the humor in dealing with rude customers, sequels of sequels of reboots, and each other, all on a minimum wage salary.
Multiplex: Enjoy Your Show (Book One) is a collection of the first 102 strips from the web comic Multiplex, written and drawn by Gordon McAlpin. Going into its sixth year, Multiplex follows the on-the-job interactions of the employees of the Multiplex 10 Cinemas as they make the best of their situation.
It is largely an ensemble cast, with no set storylines or arcs. The majority of the action of the strip occurs between the employees and customers and the employees and each other. Except for a few strips, rarely does the location drift away from the interior of the cinema.
I found this refreshing. It’s the best parts of continuing story line and daily gag comics. McAlpin’s drawing style is brilliant, with sharp lines and a crisp use of color. It is what would happen if the animators of South Park paid attention to detail.
This is one of the finer collections of web comics available. The formatting from web to book is done perfectly, showcasing both the text and artwork at a scale the reader will find as easy to read in paperback as it is to read online. I was impressed by the variety of special features included in this volume. There is a section of comic interviews done with the primary characters of Multiplex, and an impressive collection of guest strips done by James Turner (Beaver and Steve), Chris Shadoian (Popcorn Picnic), Wes Molebash (You’ll Have That) and many more greats in the web comic scene.
You know those people who ask why they should purchase a collection of web comics in print as long as the web comic is available to read for free online? Yeah, I want to punch them too, but more importantly, this is the volume of web comics that will finally get them to understand why a collection is worth a purchase (besides, you know, doing the decent thing of helping to support your favorite web cartoonist in stressing less about bills and more in making more of the comics you get to read for free, but that is a rant for another day).
Overall, I am impressed. Not only will I add Multiplex to my daily web comic reading (for the readers keeping count and silently judging, that now puts me at 57 web comics) but I eagerly anticipate the release of volume two.
If you’ve ever worked a service job, had to deal with annoying customers and/or grating coworkers, or just enjoy the rare unicorn that is a web comic that has both great art and great writing, then Multiplex is definitely worth a read.
Multiplex by Gordon McAlpin is updated on Mondays and Thursdays and can be found at http://multiplexcomic.com/.