Multiplex: Enjoy Your Show review

What Did I Learn?

Multiplex - Enjoy Your Show

Gordon McAlpin sent me a copy of Mulitplex: Enjoy Your Show to look over. I’ve already done two reviews on the comic, and my opinion remains the same as the last review. That is, I found it entertaining and worth reading. Now, I’m not a big movie goer and I would expect those of you who love movies will truly enjoy this book.

What I would like to write about in this particular review are the differences in reading a Multiplex online and reading it in print.

One thing I saw was that the comics in general are much more vibrantly colored in print than on a screen. This episode has much richer color in the background, which makes the pasty looking blogger that much more pathetic.

It also appears to me that the last comic is much more square online, whereas it seems more rectangular in print. That’s a feature you can enjoy if you create your comic in vector art. Need it in postage stamp size? Or on a billboard? No problem.

In general, the comic reads much nicer on print than on a screen. (Not all comics have struck me that way.) If I understand things right, screens are unable to show the full range of color that the human eye can distinguish. That means that a print product’s colors may well be an improvement over the web version. In Multiplex, the employee uniforms and background elements are mostly solid blocks of color which stood out crisper and with more contrast to my eye.

Other effects like the blur look better in the bigger print version, too.

One thing I took a big lesson from was the Multiplex process strip. He starts with a three or four-tier grid and just puts in brief text about what’s happening in each panel…”Parents and kids ask about movies.” Nothing too specific but you can easily flesh out the story. McAlpin goes back to tweak the script and then create dialog before creating the visuals.

Maybe this sounds pretty standard to you. However, when I start to write a comic, I start out with good intentions to actually write out and edit a script. Before long, I begin to think visually and start sketching out what happens, the placement of word balloons, etc. And as you know, placement of something early on in a comic is something that has to be worked around in later panels. I hadn’t realized just how much this can steer the story as it is created – well, as I create comics, anyway. Also, not drawing in the initial stage is bound to be quicker overall and easier to pull together a better story.

Something I am beginning to look into further are the differences between print comics (which need to fit a certain number of pages) and web comics (which are free from that restriction.) I think it goes deeper than paper, colors and pacing but this is a voyage of discovery for me. I’ll keep you posted.

What Did I Learn?

Not every webcomic looks as good in print as it does on a screen and neither does every print comic look just as good on a screen. Some comics, like Multiplex, are almost media neutral. It sure seems to me that when we create our comics, we should be able to lean them toward print or screen. Check out Multiplex: Enjoy Our Show and see what you think.

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Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)

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