Multiplex

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Multiplex is a Webcomic by Gordon McAlpin.

It's right over here.

Set in the (fictional) Multiplex 10 Cinema, the strip is an interesting blend of Comedy and Teen Drama, littered with lots of movie (and movie theater industry) commentary and criticism about everything from actual movies, to directors and actors, to the debates underlying certain documentaries. The various antics, misadventures, and industry-speak of the cast form the basis for a lot of the humor, and the entire basis for said drama (which thankfully comes in small doses).

The strip manages to create a good balance between all these elements, interspersing the movie commentary and relationship drama between lots of gags, more than one video game challenge, and a good dose of character development.

Despite its setting and the characters, it is very accessible, and the author is part of a podcast panel which goes into more detail on many freshly released movies, as just one of several projects.

The strip also has several things which make it easier to read, including a fairly helpful comments section, with a "related strips" sub-section, and it is one of the many webcomics starting to use a "tagger," which lets the reader cookie the strip they were reading.


Tropes used in Multiplex include:
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Kurt's costume as "The Ghost of Girlfriends Present."
  • Acceptable Targets: White people, as invoked by the black and Asian cast members.
  • Author Allusion McAlpin makes numerous references to his (former) movie review site Movie Makeout.
  • Armored Closet Gay: Chase, before an accidental threesome made him come to terms with his gayness.
  • Art Shift: The standard style is vectorized characters and settings, but when the staff begins filming a zombie film the "camera view" is a sketchy black-and-white/gray-scaled graphic novel-esque style.
  • Author Appeal: Movies
    • His knowledge of the inner workings of movie theaters is actually pretty impressive considering he's never worked in one. He's just really determined to have accurate details.
  • Bait and Switch Tyrant: Norma, whose strict adherence to company policy earns her the hatred of the staff who is used to a laissez faire management. She quickly proves that she truly cares about the staff, shows appreciation for a job well done, and even learns to loosen up a bit.

Melissa: (After Norma hands out promotions and raises to the majority of the cast) So... do we like Norma now or...?

  • Opinion Myopia: Jason believes Michael Bay is the devil and woe be to anyone who disagrees with him.
  • Oscar Bait: Referenced, by name, in this strip.
  • Papa Wolf: Neil, in this strip
  • Paparazzi: Gretchen considers herself an "investigative reporter" in training. Really, she's just a completely unlikable gossip who is willing to sleep around and use minor blackmail to dig up dirt on the personal lives of her fellow employees.
  • Perky Goth: Angie.
  • Put on a Bus: Dom, and how. Introduced as a member of Whitey's band in the same strip he starts up a relationship with Becky, his time in the strip ends with her breaking up right after sex on Valentine's Day and then getting tossed out of his band for leaving them stuck playing covers because he doesn't practice.
  • Queer People Are Funny: Neil is highly annoyed with Jason and Kurt's attitude toward using gay jokes and using "gay" or "queer" as an insult.
  • Really Gets Around: Max.
  • Running Gag: A few strips begin with this setting: "Someone left the west exit open. We need to check the building again."
  • Shipper on Deck: Oddly, the whole theater staff seemed to join in on an elaborate scheme to help Neil hook up with his crush.
  • Shout-Out: Constantly and everywhere about any movie they can reference - and it works wonderfully.
  • Shown Their Work: The author has never worked in a movie theater, but he goes out of his way to depict a realistic cinema, including back room staff-only areas like the projection booths.
  • The Snark Knight: Jason's taste in movies is what he would consider to be distinguished and high brow. He has no problem admonishing others for their choice of films.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Keith for Angie. It gets so scary he ends up fired after he attacks Jason and frightens Angie. It's even hinted that he came back to get Jason with a butcher's knife, but aborted the plan when he found out Jason had borrowed the security guard's taser.
    • Earlier in the strip, one of the running gags was Melissa's stalker, who was a much tamer version than Keith. He was more of an annoyance and faded away.
  • Stop Being Stereotypical: Neil gets incredibly angry about the way Chase is such a flamboyant gay, and chews him out a lot for it, eventually causing Chase to have an emotional breakdown.
  • Invisible to Gaydar: Neil. He wears a pink shirt, but besides that he acts like any other employee in the theater. He's also been trying to "fix" the Camp Gay character who endlessly frustrates him.

Neil: "Just act like a normal person!!"