Sunday, November 22, 2015

So Smile, and Move On

Aww. So they really didn't plan anything for the last week! No final group picture, champagne glasses in hand, at the GabMar wedding. No John Darling-like final twist with Bobbie Merrill shooting Martin. Just a random assortment of the week's panels that wouldn't make sense if you only read Sundays, and Margo coaching herself (and us all) to smile and move on. I guess that's appropriate. Although, wait, what the—what's going on in that final panel??

Huh? A dog?? We haven't seen a dog in the strip since Lily the brindle terrier ever! What does it mean? It seems unnaturally fixated on Margo. Is it absorbing her essence, with which to infiltrate another strip? Is Barksy going to have his own spin-off comic, maybe with Lampy and Taser Lady? Let the conspiracy theories commence...

But today, I suppose, isn't about theories. It's about celebrating the end of a 54-year-old comic strip. A strip that provided me, Josh Fruhlinger, and many others with daily entertainment for years. A strip that gave me the discipline to write every week, and a reason and to collaborate with college friends. And a strip that connected with an audience that wound up being funnier than me on many, many occasions.

In fact, on this, A3G's last day, and quite possibly this blog's final post, I wanted to share this piece of fan art from longtime reader/occasional commentator Molly. It encapsulates just about everything we loved about this strip:

A fitting ending indeed. Thanks Molly, and thanks again for reading, everyone.

Saturday, November 21, 2015


And the story comes full circle, as Margo goes back to wandering the streets and muttering to herself.  But she must be feeling better because she's turning her back on the man who left her and ordering her mouth to smile.  Just like old times.

I'll miss you nondescript buildings and 1940s cars, but not as much as I'll miss primary color turtlenecks/blazers.  Don't you change in the comics afterlife A3G.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Don't Cry, Mama

Girl. No one brought up marriage but you.

So, I don't know why I held out hope for this long, but it looks like we're not going to get a decent conclusion on anything before the strip concludes November 22nd. I wouldn't be surprised if the Sunday strip is a recap with one text panel like "Thanks for reading for 50 years, byyyyyyye!"

Still, if this was just these are just the normal strips they had planned for the past few weeks, this has been a really abrupt ending to the year of anticipation built by Margo's wacky behavior. A very sudden Margo's-slow-burning-thyroid-disease-culminates-in-a-coma-oh-wait-the-coma's-over-she's-all-better arc. Maybe Frank and Margaret felt like "Okay, I've dedicated years of my life to this dumb thing and they just cut the cord, I'm not going to give everyone the satisfaction of a big happy ending, but we should at least make sure Margo is conscious for the last strip."

So, thanks for that, Frank and Margaret. And thanks for penning a strip I felt excited to read and laugh about every day. (Well, almost every day.) I'll miss writing this blog. Maybe Megan, Casey and I will collaborate on something else in the future, but for now, sayonara!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Tears of Joy and Sadness

I'm so sad I could cry.

In the last months of this strip's existence, Margo has been reduced to a blithering mess, then in a coma, and then a blithering mess again. And now my very last strip is Margo-less (though frankly Gabriella could just be Margo with longer hair at this point), and background-less! No squiggle art to bid me adieu! No Lampy to help dry my tears. No drapes or random city streets appearing in the second panel to say good night! Just a void with maybe a little plant in the corner (? I think that's what that is?) mocking me!

Well, thanks all! It's been fun! Hopefully something happens in the next few days!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

See Our Wedding

You... peeked? At what? Can one "peek" at a wedding the day before it happens? Oh god. Is the wedding going to be downstairs? Have they been living on the second floor of their house (their... Manhattan house? forget it, Martin probably lives in Wilton, Connecticut) this whole time while Thelma (THE WAITRESS FROM THE DINER, by the way) runs around the living room, blowing up balloons and hanging up streamers? Gosh, I hope she didn't drop the crystal punch bowl. And by "crystal punch bowl" I mean "bowl of pears."

We have three more strips left! I think that's enough time for 1. a wedding 2. an appearance by all three roommates, maybe not wearing collared shirts and 3. some implied conclusion to the Margo love triangle with whoever she brought as a date. I am not giving up hope yet!

This is the End

Burn!  I'm so glad we fast forwarded 4 weeks to see that Gabby and Martin super procrastinated firing their wedding planner/psychic adviser/witch who cursed Margo with thyroid storm.

I'm still sad that Diane Devine was just a regular blouse wearing A3G world lady instead of a fabulous turban and caftan wearing caricature.  But in the years of doing this blog, I've significantly lowered my plot and character development expectations.

As we are winding down with this strip, I just wanted to thank the readers and commenters for sticking with the blog and tolerating my feeble attempts every week.  I've always enjoyed reading the comments, and they have made me laugh out loud.  

Monday, November 16, 2015

Four Weeks Later

Well, I guess we got the Eric-Tommie Margo situation is in good enough shape that we can jump four weeks into the future. Because this conversation really needed a four-week time jump to occur.

I'd prefer the narration box to say "Epilogue..." instead of "Four weeks later," but it's still pretty unclear whether this is actually going to conclude or if the final strip will be just some wacko dialogue between these two about how superstition is the national religion of Guatemala or wherever Gabriella was once from before becoming WASP-y Gabby.

Still, I prefer to think this is the beginning of the WEEK OF MIRACLES, where we wrap every outstanding plotline! There's work to do:
  • Monday: Gabriella confirms that she will take no part in Diane Devine's flimflamming. CHECK!
  • Tuesday: Lu Ann rejects that smug create Mike Downey and decides to move to Dallas with Ruby.
  • Wednesday: Rick E finds Tommie and offers her a record contract... to his heart?? (she rejects him too)
  • Thursday: Professor Aristotle visits Bobbie Merrill in the psych ward and gets prison-married.
  • Friday: Trey Brooks, Evan Graham and Margo's assistant all chat in the Mills Gallery. The neglected structure collapses on top of them.
  • Saturday: Eric Mills contemplates life on top of a mountain. Margo clambers up behind him and says "WE'RE GETTING MARRIED, DAMMIT"
And Lily the Deer and Lampy watch over them all. FINIS.