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.

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Let it gooooooo, let it gooooooo.  I'm going back to the ice and snoooow.  

Maybe instead of resolving any of the ongoing storylines, one aspect of the background/characters will disappear until the last day when all that's left is a blank panel.  It will be a fitting end.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Not This Time, Tommie

Oh my god, fine, just go! Quit yammering and get moving! I hope that the waiting room is chock full of A3G legacy characters that are there to visit Margo, so we have a last glimpse at Marty and Cole and Aunt Iris and Dan Diller and Bobbie Merrill in a Hannibal Lecter mask. Of course, they'll all look identical at this point. Even Lily. The last strip is going to be one big electric blue and carnation pink blur.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Walking Off Into the Sunset

We have eight more strips before we say goodbye to Apartment 3-G forever.... and we're focusing on the most boring of the three roommates and a character that hasn't been in the strip as long as I've been writing this blog.

I mean, I know the strips have been drawn, what's done is done, but honestly, if you polled the readership of this strip (or at least this blog) on which characters they would love to see a last appearance from before the strip's finale, I highly doubt Tommie and Eric would make the top 20.

Who do you guys hope to see one last time?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Wonderful Life Full of Love and Joy

Is Eric talking about inception? I think he's talking about inception. Maybe we're all a part of Frank Bolle's dream right now.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Margo Has No Use For Me

I just keep shouting at my laptop screen "We don't have time for this conversation!  DON'T YOU KNOW THE STRIP IS ENDING?!?!?!," but I think my random outbursts are upsetting my cat.

So I guess Eric just came back to tell everyone but Margo that he's alive?  Does he just expect Tommie and GabMar (I'm tired of typing their names) to never tell her?  I mean he does look pretty terrible for forty, but like at least offer to run the Eric Mills gallery again.  Then Margo could relax and focus on her one client and planning GabMar's wedding.  And we can see what new squiggles Lu Ann has been working on over the last year.  Margo can always find a way to squeeze something out of someone.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Make Margo Happy

You guys! We only have a few weeks to settle everything and tie up all the loose strAAAHAHAHAHA okay so of course that's not going to happen, but two weeks should at least be enough time to resolve this particular plot line, even if we never see Lu Ann or Ruby or the Professor or Diane Devine or Trey Brooks or Lily or that smug creature or Taser Lady ever again.

So! Tommie, I'm going to need you to stop talking like a cryptic voodoo priestess, and Eric, you're going to have to get over the fact that you think Margo's most recent rejected suitor is a better companion than you, the beautiful white-haired man.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Dead Wrong

Leave it to Margo to be taken to Manhattan's exclusive gated hospital.  Surrounded by like a giant underground electric fence? 

I don't know why Tommie is singling Eric out for not visiting.  Gabby and Martin went for a walk like a week ago and haven't been back.  At least Eric is skulking about the hospital grounds.

My theory for the end of this strip, if  they are actually are planning an ending (which is probably not likely) is that Gabriella and Martin elope and that Margo and Greg or Eric (whomever she designates) use the preplanned Diana Devine wedding.  Lu Ann moves out of the apartment and Tommie is made head nurse or something.

Friday, November 6, 2015

That Man

Greg, I'd hardly say you and Margo are on "darling" terms. Last time you met she publicly harangued you. Also, not to criticize your approach here, but she's getting away. Try to steer her away from the door and back to the uhhhhhh hypothetical hospital bed? Also, maybe now's a good time to tell a doctor Margo's not in a coma anymore.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

This is Greg Talking, Margo!

Wednesday November 4, 2015

Thursday November 5, 2015
Oh man. The abundance of red milk and Anjou pears can't hide that the artwork has worsened noticeably, even since just the beginning of this week. Poor Frank isn't even signing his name anymore, he's just kind of scrawling his initials. The end is near. 

In the meantime, it's helpful that at least Martin and Eric have different sports coats on now. (Right? Those are different people?) And I do appreciate Greg introducing himself in the most awkward way possible. It's hard to tell from Margo's reaction whether she's sustained some kind of memory loss or she's just a little disoriented from the Thy. Storm or the writing is just so bad, just so bad, why is it ending like this, why, uh huh huh huhhhhhhhhhh....  (NB: that's the sound of me dissolving into tears)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Conversation in the Street

Eric survived a Nepalese avalanche. He's not going to risk his second chance on life by having the "Oh by the way, I'm not dead and have been stalking you in a tan overcoat for months without telling you who I am" conversation with Margo until her hormones are back at some sort of equilibrium.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Going to be Fine!!

I guess all those theories about entering/awakening from a dream state will remain delightful theories. Margo's totally fine, y'all! Even Gabby (not Gabriella, never Gabriella) knows.

So, we had literally less that two weeks of Margo being in a coma. What the heck! The whole reason you put a character in a coma is to have other characters make tearful confessions over the comatose body, and then produce some kind of did-she-or-didn't-she-hear tension. Ms. Shulock, I demand you return Margo to her coma this instant!

P.S. Great tip from DWET that Mary Worth will be crossing over with another strip while visiting New York this week! In today's strip, Mary enters a taxi with a driver who texts while driving. (Get those platitudes ready, Mar!) Maybe tomorrow, she'll have to share the cab with Lu Ann, finally getting her act together to visit her friend in the hospital?

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Vital Signs

I mean Eric can't be a figment of everyone's imagination...right?  We definitely do not have sophisticated enough art and writing to have a ghost who appears to Margo, Tommie and her parents. 

Maybe it's just the green of her blazer playing tricks on me, but Margo has never looked better.  That coma/thyroid storm did wonders for her complexion.

Friday, October 30, 2015

The Man Who Loves You

I like the theories proposed by Rock Doc that we're just entering—or just departing—a dream-like mental state happening inside Margo's head. Which might be a good way of explaining, say, why Margo awoke from her coma bolt upright, perhaps even standing, or why the medical staff allowed her hair to stay in a bun the entire time. But it wouldn't explain the complete disconnect between the dialogue and the artwork, right?

And also, never, not even in my craziest most inventive robot dreams did anyone ever say something like "The man who loves me—where is he?"

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Margo Opens Her Eyes

Worst reaction to your friend coming out of a coma ever. Seriously, WTF, Tommie? She's evil. Evil nurse Tommie. I'm calling it.

"Where did who go, Margo? No one's been in the apartmen—I mean, hospital... since you went into your coma! Now just close your eyes... there was no need for you to change into your Green Blazer of Renewed Consciousness... I'm going to give you a little injection to help you sleep better... just relax..."

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Good for Her

Tuesday October 27, 2015

Wednesday October 28, 2015
Jesus Christ, we couldn't have Greg coming straight from set and dressed up like a pirate or an astronaut or something? Unless he's working on the newest James Bond movie, The Man with the Cyan Dinner Jacket.

How the heck did Skyler find out about Margo's coma anyway? Snopes? Could be that Margo is such a PR genius that she's using this as an opportunity to get old clients to stop by and maybe give her some sympathy business. Clever girl.

Monday, October 26, 2015

I Don't Feel Right About This

Friday October 23, 2015
Saturday October 24, 2015

Monday October 26, 2015
I miss Margo. Is this strip going to cruise on into the sunset before Margo can wake up and berate her loved ones for missing all two days of symptoms of hyperthyroidism before it escalated to full-on thyroid storm coma?

BTW, what's Margo's Glasgow coma score? Can we talk to an actual doctor at some point? I'm starting to fear that Tommie is "nursing" Margo like Bette Davis was "nursing" Joan Crawford in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane. Maybe Tommie got everyone out on the street, hastily constructed some "Hospital" and "Emergency Room" signs, slapped them all over the apartment, and then rushed Margo in to the "ER." Judging by the backgrounds and Tommie's behavior, I deem this theory PLAUSIBLE. She's not even wearing scrubs!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Good News

Good news. Fantastic news. Gotta love Tommie's bedside manner. Martin looks like "Um, when are we going to talk to an actual doctor?" That's a classic Hank Hill expression.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Final Curtain?

In real-life A3G news, Monday's comments revealed rumors swirling around the future of the strip: both that the strip maybe be totally shelved by the end of the year, and that there is interest among Mark Trail artist James Allen to take over the strip. There's a great discussion going on at The Comics Curmudgeon about this, which I've seen a few of you weigh in on. I added my thoughts in the comments, and have reproduced them here:

This is extremely sad and inevitable news. As one of the bloggers on The Lovely Ladies of Apartment 3G, I’ve had really mixed feeling about snarking on the increasingly David Lynch-ian fugue state that is Apartment 3-G. Because, while there’s nothing quite so dreamlike or discombobulating as A3G right now, it does make me worry about Frank Bolle’s health. (And Margaret Shulock’s, for that matter.) Remember when we thought the “I Dressed in the Dark” makeover storyline might be a clever way of ushering in a new artist? That was five years ago.
So sad as it will be, it’s time to close this chapter of the strip. Hopefully, it’s not the last chapter. I would be really really excited to see this revamped by an all-female creative team. In lieu of that, Jared Allen is a clever, detailed artist that might just have the industry clout to save A3G from the final curtain. I’m certainly willing to stand in support of any way to keep this strip afloat, and would be glad to lend my deep knowledge of A3G history and writing services if that would help the cause. I’m that invested in Margo. And Tommie–honestly I’m more of a Tommie. We all are. That’s why we need Margo.

And then I added a second comment about how Jared AllenJames Allen. James, I meant JAMES. Stupid, stupid!

I Dread It!

Wait, Tommie has to go back to the hospital? As in, we're not at the hospital anymore?? What the heck. I mean, it's not like we've had reliable background details for reference for the past six months, but I SWEAR that is a minty green wheelchair in the first panel. That would be really effed up of Frank to include a wheelchair in the background just when the script reveals that they're no longer in the hospital. Like he's just toying with us at this point. Although I guess they could just be in some ADA-accessible public space, or maybe they just keep a spare wheelchair around to give each other rides down the hallway.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Apology Accepted

Um, what?  Looking back, I guess you were kind of snippy with Eric on August 28th, but you were both so much younger and different looking then.  And he did have to explain why he wasn't dead and found thyroid addled Margo wandering  around the streets. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

That Meditation Stuff

LATER... okay, so I guess Margo's parents didn't need any direct comforting about the whole "coma" thing, just getting scooted into her ER bay was enough. Eric was upset about the whole thing, but now he's not, because he did get to spend the whole night with her by pretending he was a chair. A night spent watching over Margo's nonverbal-but-not-yet-comatose body.

We have a lot of loose ends to tie up before Margo emerges from this coma. Will Greg Cooper, who appeared to us as if in a dream back in June, impact this plot at all? What about Margo's pal from the streets--will she return to Margo with a nice roll with butter, as promised? Are we ever going to see Diane Devine again? (Answers: maybe, no, and probably not.)

Sunday, October 18, 2015

It's Very Serious

If by everyone, you mean Eric?  Martin, Gabby and the background scenery are still taking that walk to clear their heads/build up even more anxiety about how their disastrous wedding plans killed Margo.

Well at least they're not pretending that Margo has hyperthyroidism...they went full storm.  Hopefully some sort of endocrinologist is actually treating Margo and it's not just Tommie inputting Margo's symptoms into WebMD.

Friday, October 16, 2015

My Beautiful Baby is Dying!

Thursday October 15, 2015

Friday October 16, 2015
Are we really still just talking about hyperthyroidism here? Is Margo's "turn for the worse" actually just going to be that on top of hyperthyroidism, she's been diagnosed as an emotionally manipulative sociopath that's milking the current situation for attention and, possibly, cash prizes?

Also, not really getting Gabriella's logic here. Is family discord a possible cause of hyperthyroidism? I deeply suspect this is something Margo whispered in her mother's ear right before passing out in the ER. "Your dumb wedding did this to me..."

Also......... is this the waiting room? Maybe we should wait to talk until we get to the waiting room.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

How a Mother Suffers

Um, I don't think this walk has cleared anybody's head. How could it? No nature walk could possibly explain why Margo's hyperthyroidism is inexplicably severe after just two days of symptoms. Life is cruel!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Three's Company

I looked at today's strip and thought that Margo and Martin were having a conversation in the first panel.  It's getting pretty hard to keep track of who's who and where they are supposed to be.  And that Martin is now younger than Eric.  I guess that avalanche thing really took a lot out of him.

So I'm not a doctor, but I didn't think that hyperthyroidism was so life-threatening.  According to internet medical research, which is always accurate, a thyroid storm is pretty dangerous, but Margo wasn't displaying any of the symptoms besides being cranky, disoriented and binge-eating at the diner.  I felt that way at work today when I didn't get to eat my lunch until 1:45.  It was touch and go.

Monday, October 12, 2015

At the E.R.

To the golden banistered  E.R. we go! ....You know what, actually? I think we've been here long enough, let's get some air.

P.S. to DWET and anyone theorizing that Gabriella has been possessed by Diane Devine: at least her hair color has returned to normal? Maybe exposure to Western medicine dilutes the effects of Diane's spell....

Friday, October 9, 2015

Sounds Familiar

Thursday October 8, 2015
I initially read Martin's "Hello" as "Hellooo" which made me like him a lot more. Like "oookay, 'it's a long story but I've always loved your daughter' is not an acceptable reason to get all up in my grill on the sidewalk . To one side, 'young man.' My gray flannel suit and tie outranks your blue blazer."

Battle of the white-haired dudes! Thank goodness they're wearing different colored jackets or this could get really confusing.

 Friday October 9, 2015
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE JACKETS?? WHO IS THIS?? WHO'S THAT LADY?? Is Martin talking to Gabby or is Eric talking to Thelma the waitress?

It literally took me several read-throughs to understand that those are supposed to be two different men in those two panels. THAT SAID, Eric is on a roll with the hilarious dialogue. "I'm Eric Mills, and I'm afraid there's more" is quite likely the new banner caption for this site.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Something Useful

Wait, he's actually going to see them? In person? Wouldn't a phone call be more efficient? They're just going to want to go to the hospital anyway, right? And um, hey Tommie, since you know so much about Margo's family, why don't you just call them? Ya big MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL! Jeez!

Two full weeks since we've seen Margo... I'm wondering if they even remembered to bring her to the hospital in the first place. She might be back on the streets, begging for dinner rolls.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Ready and Willing

October 6th 2015 

Thanks to Mags for covering for me the last two weeks while I was on vacation!  I'm a little bummed that I missed the culmination of Margo's thyroid storm.

"I'm ready to face the awkwardness of waking up complete strangers and explaining to them that I am their only daughter's previously thought dead fiancee, and that I rescued Margo from the eye of the thyroid storm."

Monday, October 5, 2015

Too Wired

Is this... Margo's hospital room? I'm sure the green curtains and bookshelf of encyclopedias have been sourced through evidence-based design, but I feel like Tommie should at least be wearing scrubs, right? Maybe one of those little hats? Also, Tommie literally just told Eric to stay in Margo's hospital room all night, so I don't get where this "Enough sleeping in that chair, go sleep at home" 'tude is coming from.

Alternately, Eric could be waking up from a year-long "what if Margo got hyperthyroidism and I came ?" dream, and now he'll go into the bathroom and find Patrick Duffy taking a shower. And scene!

Seriously, though, fauxprof is right, shouldn't somebody tell Margo's parents?

Saturday, October 3, 2015

We Don't Give Up!

Tommie, I think you're going to have to write Eric some kind of special nurse hall pass, because normally they don't let unsupervised strangers just hang out in hospital rooms all night, even in the event of a thyroid storm. And it isn't going to cut it to say, "Look, she won't remember me, but we used to date. I'm a hero to the Tibetan monks who went missing in an avalanche for five years. Call up the Dalai Lama, he'll vouch for me!"

Friday, October 2, 2015

These Last Two Days

Thursday October 1, 2015

Friday October 2, 2015
TWO DAYS? Was this really all happening over two days?! Holy moley. I question everything in my life now.

In the comments the other day, nimuejohn mentioned that this all started with Margo in the shower at 2:00 in the morning complaining about being hot... which was, as he said, in January 2015, but just a day ago in strip time. At the time, I had a little laugh and then hit myself repeatedly over the head with a frying pan to make sure that memory didn't keep. But, my god, he's right. Sweet Mary and Joseph. You could even argue that her erratic behavior began before that, though it's pretty hard to distinguish between Margo-erratic and hyperthyroidism-erratic.

So, this incredibly arduous set-up for Margo's diagnosis of hyperthyroidism took over nine months of our lives, and happened over a couple of days in the strip. I could've been painting a masterpiece, or writing a book. Man.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Typical Hyperthyroid Symptoms

Tuesday September 29, 2015

Wednesday September 30, 2015
Uh oh! Margo's not out of the woods yet; Tommie has changed into her gray turtleneck of foreboding.

I feel like  Tommie's dialogue is the windup for an antithyroid medication. "Hyperthyroidism hurts; Tapazole can help!" "Don't leave me hanging here, Tommie. Should I get in touch with my doctor if after taking Tapazole I have nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice?"

P.S. those are legit side effects, I never in my life would've thought to come up with the phrase "clay-colored stools."

Monday, September 28, 2015


And the winner is.... Hyperthyroidism?? Oh man. What an underdog. There's no predicting Margo's crazy endocrine system!

According to WebMD, Margo has been exhibiting many potential symptoms of hyperthyroidism, including feeling moody, nervous, weak or tired; shakiness and sweatiness; and of course, eating more than usual (remember the breakfast bowls at Diner?). Things that haven't come up: her frequent bowel movements and missed periods.

Hyperthyroidism doesn't seem super dramatic or life-threatening, but hold on! WebMD says:
In rare cases, hyperthyroidism can cause a life-threatening condition called thyroid storm, which occurs when the thyroid gland releases large amounts of thyroid hormones in a short period of time. 
So here's hoping for the GREAT THYROID STORM OF '15!!

So, sadly, no one wins the guess-Margo's-disease contest. I'll just look for a real zinger of a hyperthyroidism quote in this week's strips to replace the banner caption. I think it's what we all deserve.