Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Something Suddenly Came Up

This dog is like fifteen thousand times better than Marmaduke. Dammit Tom, she doesn't want to speak to you!! Everyone knows that "something suddenly came up," is just an opaque way to blow someone off. This bold technique was pioneered by Greg Brady, who taught it to his sister Marcia when she wanted to break her date with Charlie so she could go out with Doug Simpson, BMOC. Vague enough to spare Charlie's feelings, but firm enough to send the message, "something suddenly came up" changed the way I would blow people off for the rest of my life.

It's probably worth noting that both Nora and her apartment look pretty different from last week, with Nora looking hardly at all like Marlo Thomas, more like a Claire Bloom circa Charly, I guess. Actually, that's a pretty bad match, I think I just wanted to name drop Claire Bloom. Who does she look like, though?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Maybe it's Maybelline?

Margo is definitely a red lipstick kind of lady. Wh wh WHAT??

Forget about whatever it is they're saying! Just a week after this post where I observed that the ladies of A3G go without makeup six days a week, THIS comes out!

I have to admit, Margo looks fetching. As a working woman who really tries her best to remember to wear make up most days, I can tell you a little lipstick and mascara can make the difference between, "You look nice today!" and "Are you okay?" "You look sick." "You look exhausted!" etc. Sad but true.

I also have to admit that I have never felt more powerful in my life.


I have never felt more delusional in my life.

Either way, I am very excited right now. And, crazed with power, may I submit the following suggestions. Now keep in mind they're only suggestions, no pressure! and they're more deeply involved with the plot then cosmetic changes (so to speak, ah ha ha), buuuuuut, you know, if you ever run out of ideas... consider the following.
  • Margo solves the conflict between China and Tibet single-handedly. (more of a prediction than a suggestion)
  • Lu Ann meets more ghosts and goes into some kind of ghost whispering business with Gabriella.
  • Tazer Lady comes back!
  • Tazer Lady becomes a door-to-door tazer saleslady? (I would buy twelve)
  • I become one of the characters... something like... Margo's boss or something. And at first, we don't get along and we fight a lot? But that's just cause we're so similar! And we wind up being best friends in the end.
  • Tommie finds a dinosaur egg and tries to raise the dinosaur without her roommates knowing.
  • Margo finds the dinosaur and starts riding it to work.
  • The dinosaur develops the ability to speak English!
  • The dinosaur joins the workforce.
  • The girls move out of Apartment 3-G, but not the dinosaur! so the strip becomes about him, kind of like how Robotman turned into Monty.
  • Margo wakes up; it was all a dream?!

Ah...... well, you guys probably know what you're doing, you just let me know if you need any help.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

What Is Going On

As it turns out, everyone in the world has seen this article.Okay, now I full blown don't know what's going on. Should I? I don't know. Margo has the expression of a friendly unicorn in the second panel. My world has been turned upside down.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Foolish Pride

Your father's very proud of you for killing some time in India.Wait. No offense to Margo, but what has she done that Martin's so proud of? She's dating Eric, and everyone's proud of him, so... maybe this is a case of pride by association? Let's just say Margo knows how to take a compliment, Mr. Baker.

I love the golden background characters in the dining room. It's like being served dinner by an Academy Award. This place is fancy!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Margo changes her shirt, and...

Work it, girl! Not much to say about today except that I'm glad Margo changed her outfit. Much more stylish than that frumpy turtleneck. Get this girl to a press conference! You can use the elevator conveniently located inside your room.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Press Conference was Delayed

This place isn't even seafoam!Since my Eric Mills/Tim Mills mix up yesterday, I've been doubting my A3G sanity, and now... I continue to doubt. We weren't made aware of any press conference, right? I shouldn't know what they're talking about... right?? They're just elaborating on details they've... read in a... a previous newspaper. Probably on the plane.

The art is more interesting than my spotty memory today. What's going on in the background of the second panel? Half of a chair, and half of a door frame, I think. I thought Martin was gonna shell out for deluxe accomodations. Well, maybe he got the M. C. Escher Suite.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Secrets Revealed!

Remember like a million years ago when Margo said something that I thought was kind of weird (and then said it again in the Sunday strip, as she and everyone else is prone to doing)? Well now you can know why! Margaret Shulock, author of Apartment 3-G, reveals all in this blog post. You'll have to read it to find out.

OH ALL RIGHT twist my arm, I'll just tell you! She's one of the authors of Barney Google and Snuffy Smith! Oh my god, right?? What an awesome reveal! I feel like I just saw the last five minutes of Citizen Kane, The Sixth Sense, Fight Club, and Memento all at the same time. You may think that I'm being an ironic jerk when I say that, but actually that's how excited I am.

So yeah, you'll have to read the blog post to see how that affected Margo's speech. It's a good read, I really enjoy these behind-the-scenes glimpses.

Welcome to India, Honey

Cows have horns, right? Don't they? And long tails? Wait.Talking about the cows outside seems like a cheap way of not drawing the cows outside, but you know what? I can't draw a cow either.

Meanwhile, Martin whips out today's edition of the South Dakota Times, which carries all the news that's fit to print about Tibetan current events. "Are they talking about Tim Mills?" Margo wonders, looking bored. My question: who refers to her boyfriend by his full name?

UPDATE: I'm stupid! Tim Mills is Eric Mills brother! Oh my. I feel like a fool. A damned fool. I guess I was thrown off because I thought Eric was the media darling.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sunday/Monday Comparison

I've begun to look forward to the Sunday edition of Apartment 3-G. Why? Certainly not because it adds anything to the story; it's a pretty by-the-books recap. No, it's the art. Observe these two strips featuring the same content. The top is from Sunday, the bottom is from Monday.

Here Nora answers with her left hand...
...and here she answers with her right! What does it all mean!?

So what's so different? (besides Monday's distressed thought balloon in the final panel) Here are a couple of things the Sunday edition adds:

  1. Nora is wearing make up.
  2. Nora has some white in her eyes instead of just flesh coloring
  3. Nora looks just like Marlo Thomas circa That Girl!
  4. Nora appears to be majorly bummed about something in the last panel, rather than just kind of thinking about something else

Am I missing anything? Overall, I'd say the Sunday edition offers a more smooth, mellow flavor, while the Monday through Saturday delivers frenetic, flesh-colored action (or lack there of). That's just my feeling though. Thoughts?

Get a Grip

Happy Father's Day! "Now you sound like your mother! Your disgusting immigrant mother whom I hate!" Why's he gotta make that face? I thought he and Gabriella were getting all cozy.

Tim Mills journal makes another appearance today; maybe Martin just read something disturbing about Margo in there. Something a father should never have to read about his daughter.

Lu Ann the Wonder Dog

BANG! Ow, my head! Ha ha ha, Ruby totally stumped Lu Ann with that one! I love her expression, the total emptiness from her side of the frame. Almost like she doesn't understand what Ruby's saying. It's like if a beautiful golden retriever answered the phone.

Meanwhile in first class, Margo has the loudest head bobble to date.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's Electric!

The girls aren't just separated by distance; they're separated by lightning. Oh! It is Lu Ann! And she surprises us today in many ways.
  1. Lu Ann read a newspaper?
  2. Lu Ann read a caliber of newspaper that considers a Tibetan lama fleeing to India to be newsworthy?
  3. Lu Ann found that newspaper in South Dakota? OR, weirder, Lu Ann subscribed to that paper while in South Dakota?
  4. Lu Ann and Tommie have the same cell phone?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Do You Smell the Phone Ringing?

Ring ring! Smells like a phone call! I'm trying to remember what secret information Margo knew about Eric's brother... but it's just not coming to me. I think she knew that Eric's brother was in Tibet trying to free this lama character or whatever, but I didn't know it was some big burdensome secret. Or that she didn't tell Tommie, not until last night. Italics make it so dramatic. She's begging for a follow up question: what happened last night? What happened... between you two... last night? But Ruby's moved on and OH THERE'S THE PHONE! Oh please oh please oh please be Lu Ann! ORRR Taser Lady! This "Margo goes to China" storyline has to bounce off some other plot, and Tommie is fresh out of interesting.

That said, I do like that Tommie percieves the phone is ringing through her sense of smell.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Prelude to a Recap

Care for some sticky bun-like cupcakes? Ooooh... I hope this isn't an elaborate setup for a week-long recap of recent events. A3G is usually pretty good at avoiding that, but we'll see. Actually, I would gladly sit through a week of recap if they showed Tommie plowing through those sticky buns all the while, one after the other.

P.S. I like that Ruby calls Margo "Maggie." It's just part of her Southern charm! The same Southern charm that compels her to stick her hair full of bows.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Rolling in First Class

I'd be DELIGHTED to read your boyfriend's journal! I can see why they call it first class! ....the seafoam interiors!

So, here's something I didn't notice yesterday: Tim's journal is the size of a dictionary. Where do you even buy a dictionary-sized journal? It seems like those bitty little moleskin journals are more in vogue these days. Maybe he got it... at enormoushop.com??


Recapping the important 'you can sleep on the plane' dialogue.Oh my gosh, did Martin get them tickets for a first class cab? That's the biggest cab interior I've ever seen. You could put a pool table in there!

I don't know how Tim's journal will give Martin his coveted opportunity to throw his weight around Beijing, but isn't it just so delightfully charming that he wrote "Tim Mills Journal" in big letters at the top? Presumably the "Keep Out!" with the skull and crossbones is closer to the bottom.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dark Hour Before Dawn

I wish someone would tell me they owe me more than first class tickets to Tibet.Martin's hair continues to freak me out. At least it distinguishes him from the curator guy and the detective guy, who are practically the same person. Blaze we can always tell apart, of course, by his signature kerchief. This newscaster may introduce further confusion if he continues to relate A3G-centric news on air... let's hope it was a one-time thing.

Meanwhile, I spent at least a half an hour trying to find trying to find the panel where Lu Ann's father (I think?) is making the exact same face that Martin is in the second panel... and I never found it. So not only has Apartment 3-G become an unhealthy obsession for me, I'm not even an effective obsessor. Oh well, I'll work on it.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Blank-faced and Dazed

Uh-duhhhhh... I knew it! I knew Tommie would help her pack! What'd I tell ya?

It's pretty unsettling when I comic strip character breaks the fourth wall and stares deep in to your soul, like Margo's doing in the second panel. What is she trying to tell us?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Incredible Aging Man

Yes Dad, he's a real man. I didn't make him up. Holy mackeral, what happened to Martin?? He looks awful! His lustrous black hair is going white from the bottom up! Plus he's screaming into the phone, just like an old person would! What is Gabriella DOING to him??

There are Japanese legends about this kind of thing... demons who take the form of a woman and seduce men so they can suck all the life out of them... Gabriella does have supernatural powers, so I shouldn't be that surprised, but you know what? I am. I AM, GABRIELLA. Tsk, tsk.

I hope he actually remembers to book the flight.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Back to You, Katy

Why is the TV remote screaming at me? What's to negotiate with China? How much that guy is not allowed in the country anymore?

Margo's got a pretty serious look on her face... she probably knows she's going to have to exchange her plane tickets, which can get pretty tricky within 24 hours of the original flight time.

And one more thing: how did Margo's parents know this news article was pertinent to Margo? They didn't mention Eric until halfway through. Maybe it was one of Gabriella's visions. It must be cool to have a psychic mom.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

An American in Tibet

Synchronized head bobbling! After one millisecond of suspense, we find out that the American isn't some random stranger, but Eric Mills! Yes, we all probably guessed it, but it was nice to have that tiny tiny moment of doubt where we all thought maybe we had Eric's name wrong this whole time. In fact, the news reporter is so surprised that he head bobbles, coordinating his head bobble with Margo watching at home! Fantastic. Though I can't believe Margo can see anything from the angle she's watching from.

I'm kind of skeptical of how much coverage this lama's getting. When's the last time you turned on the news and heard about any lama that didn't start with "Dali"? My understanding is that a lama is a kind of master of Tibetan Buddhism who's able to pass down the lessons of the Dharma. Um. So a missing teacher living in Tibet is getting mad American news coverage. Unless Mr. Newsman is trying to imply that this guy is the next Dali Lama, in which case, doesn't the reigning Dali Lama have to die first before he can be reincarnated next year? And isn't he usually reincarnated as a child? Not rules haven't been bent before... sometimes, you gotta adapt.

Heh. I'm just showing off now. East Asian Studies major, hollaaaaa!

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Complicated Issue

Frankly, I hate it when comic strips dabble in current events, especially highly charged socio-political issues. I read the comics as an escape from real life, and I get annoyed when they don't come through. The situation in Tibet is complicated by a myriad of issues and centuries of history, with no easy solution. You can call it modernization of a thoroughly isolated area or you can call it cultural genocide; either way, China continues to use soldiers instead of diplomats, and Tibet doesn't have any soldiers. Through both destruction and displacement, Tibet's unique culture is disappearing. Not that it's easy to boss around China; there's plenty to complicate that diplomacy, not least of all its close ties with North Korea.

I don't think a comic strip can really do justice to any issue as delicate as Tibet, but I am sort of cheered by the fact that the names are believable. Dharmasala, India is indeed where the Dali Lama himself took refuge when he fled Tibet, and Lodi Gyatso sounds like a super-Tibetan name.

Considering how prominent this storyline has become, I didn't want to completely brush aside the gravity of this real life situation. But I'm not going to let it stop me from enjoying Apartment 3-G, which is really a ridiculous strip at heart. I can only hope that old man from the monestary comes back with more riddles for Alan.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

TV Guide

Turn on le TV to channel ocho news!"Give me the phone, Gabby. No one can even fathom what you're trying to say!"

Margo's last comment makes me think she's trying to do the old "coyly imply your separated parents have deeper feelings for each other and maybe it will actually be true" trick a la The Parent Trap, but you know the news update is gonna be something about how Tibet is on fire and sinking into the ocean, which will just kill the mood. 

Friday, June 5, 2009

So Anyway!

See Tommie, this is a cellphone. It rings, it doesn't tootle."I understand, Tommie! There's pretty much nothing else to say about your break up with Icky McBlandface anyway. SO GUESS WHAT HAPPENED TO ME??"

Meanwhile, in panel two, Margo shakes her cellphone over what appears to be a scale model of a city... Denver perhaps? I have to wonder: is this all part of a larger, Denver-centric conspiracy? Or maybe it's the cellphone's family, banded together for protection, but still helpless to prevent their son's abduction.

I might be overthinking this. 

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Mystery Date Game

You can't date the drapes.
When I first read this, I immediately thought something was up with the second panel. But what? I think I know now. Margo's arm looks totally tacked on. It looks like it's coming out of the middle of her chest for some reason. Maybe it's because a sweeping gesture doesn't really fit with "he's not your type."
Which, of course, raises the question: what is Tommie's type?
Who's the lucky guy?
Because I don't have the time or the patience to wade through the archives, I'm borrowing this graphic Uncle Lumpy made for the Comics Curmudgeon Spring Pledge Drive. It well illustrates just the richness of variety Tommie has to choose from. And people say all the guys in this strip look the same! I know who I'd go for: row two column four! He looks FIESTY!

Is it sad that I actually know who most of these people are?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

That's What Friends Are For (Reprise)

At least the drapes won't leave me. Is Tommie looking to see if her friends are outside somewhere, or is she looking for them behind the drapes? Or WAIT, maybe the drapes themselves are her friends! In which case, Margo is right to look concerned.

However, I think that's just Margo's "guilty conscience" look, probably because she forgot to tell Tommie she's about to leave for Tibet. "Oh yeah, friends are great, they're always around when you need them! Heh! Sooooo, yeah, I'm gonna go to Tibet... for an indefinite period of time... Actually, could you drive me to the airport in an hour? And take care of my plants while I'm gone? Great. Now come help me pack. What kind of turtlenecks do they wear in Tibet?"

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tommie: The Final Frontier

If you ask me, your FACE is the one that failed!I'm no Star Trek geek, but I think Tommie is channeling Lt. Uhura in the second panel. And maybe a Klingon in the first panel. Well, props to her for turning down a loveless marriage, but what a weird thing to say, that you failed to fall in love. She kind of is a robot. Love = [null set].

Meanwhile, is Margo's sorrowful head bobble the most concerned I've seen her for another human being ever? in the history of the strip? The answer is yes. Of course she manifests it with hostility and accusations. Gotta love her!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Tommie explains and...

Margo's always entertaining, even when she repeats herself. How long can I wait to hear that Tommie rejected Gary? A little longer, I guess. I'm really just curious to hear why she rejected him. I don't think I've ever seen the word "icky" printed in Apartment 3-G.

You crazy non-skiing dummy!!

The dishes need washed, Tommie!I would've thought they would've corrected whatever Margo's trying to say for the Sunday strip, but we must be consistent I suppose. "Hope you weren't waiting dinner for..." presumably, "dinner" and "for" just got mixed up, but maybe this is an acceptable grammatical construction wherever Margo comes from. Like a Pennsylvania Dutch kind of thing.

That’s really besides the point. Margo is at her finest when she’s outraged. She’s a wonderful flurry of head bobbling and bold print and hand gestures. What does Margo know about Tommie’s skiing prowess anyway? You can’t even ski in Denver; you have to go out of town (where, true, there are many world-class skiing options available). Clearly Margo’s desperate to retain the one housemaid she’s got left (Lu Ann having fled to South Dakota).

To be fair, Tommie holds her own with the "lay off, Margo" stare in the final panel.