Friday, July 10, 2015

Someone Sane

WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING! Is Margo seriously sitting down on the streets of Manhattan? Is Gabriella really there, or is it a figment of her imagination? Wasn't Margo's mom a big part of what was driving her crazy in the first place? How does Margo keep bumping into people she knows on the streets on Manhattan? What were those two panels with some random stranger about—not the somewhat familiar stranger, just the totally one-off stranger? I mean, what was the point?

We've thrown the phrase "lucid fever dream" around and only been a little serious about it, but now I'm really serious about it. There is no other way to explain the narrative content and the artwork. How can this storyline end without a serious discussion of Margo's mental state?


Downpuppy said...

End & Storyline are 2 concepts that left Apartment 3G a long time ago.

Toots McGee said...

Seriously! Where is Margo now? Some quaint little house somewhere in Manhattan where her Mama is? Did she wander there in a fugue state to sit down?

Are there living, breathing people at the syndicate who review these strips as they are submitted for publication? I seriously wonder what they think about this strip.

Kibo said...

There are three major possibilities at the moment.

1.) They're attempting a serious drama about Margo's bout with mental illness, and are ramping up to her running through the street naked screaming "EVERYONE'S INSANE BUT ME!" and then being committed to a mental institution for nearly a week and then being fine afterwards, because this is how this stuff works in popular entertainment. This would be an attempt at dealing with a serious real-world issue in a format that can't convey enough depth and nuance to do it will, but at least it would be a laudable effort.

2.) They're doing some magickal drama about Margo being touched by a fourth-dimensional angel who can assume different physical forms and will show her the true meaning of Christmas as they travel through time and space, possibly also stopping World War III and resurrecting all of their dead boyfriends and pets. This would be a dopey anticlimax, but at least an anticlimax is an ending and then they could move on and do a new storyline.

3.) The writer and artist are unconsciously broadcasting their own mental states as they lose touch with reality. I'm getting worried that this will end like the sad story of "Joe Palooka" where Ham Fisher's last few weeks of strips were Little Max repeatedly telling everyone, "Goshers! I'm ever so happy that I have so many friends! Everyone loves me and I love everyone and everything is wonderful all the time!" and then the cartoonist killed himself after spending Christmas alone.

I hope this isn't a "3" situation, because that would be tragic beyond the bounds of what we need in a newspaper strip -- even "Mary Worth" doesn't do strips in which the cartoonist commits suicide. I hope what we're seeing are simply hamhanded attempts at "1" or "2", and not sad cries for help.

There's also a wild card in play,

4.) Maybe the writer and artist will suddenly realize the plot is going nowhere and all of a sudden Margo and Lu Ann and Tommie will be back in the apartment having ordinary boyfriend troubles and nothing that happened during the last six months will ever be spoken of again. Maybe there will even be some grand "reboot" of the "Apartment 3-G" universe where one of the Moon people from "Dick Tracy" will give Margo a button she can push to erase the last six months... naah, it's one of the first three.

And I'm starting to think we'll never find out whether Lily pooped in the car.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Lily pooped in the car all right. Only her name was human!

Dawn Weston's Evil Twin said...

This strip is pushing all my buttons! I don't understand any of this!!!

That said, I wouldn't mind a reappearance of the dreamy yet dangerous Evan Graham. He could come back to haunt Margo. Where is he now "in (A3G) reality"? Is he in prison now?

Kibo said...

Sadly, Evan Graham's real first name was revealed to be "Teddy", so he has been confined to a smelly cardboard box in the snack foods aisle, between E.L. Fudge and Cheez Nips. Incidentally, Margo's childhood nickname was also "Cheez Nips".


...but for something else.

Dear syndicate, let me write the strip for a week and I promise to solve all your storyline problems just like that. If you don't hire me, you'll never find out what really happened when Mrs. Bloom and her variable-size cat disappeared. I'll give you a hint: It involved Diet Coke and Mentos and a Taser.

Jim Donahue said...

I recently started reading this strip and can't believe how bonkers it is. (I read the archives backward which didn't help, but probably also didn't hurt.)

Thank you for being here for me -- this blog is like group therapy.

Kibo said...

And for Saturday's strip --

Gabby, don't do it. Don't go along with Margo's suggestion to "PULL MY FINGER!" That would result in a loud, annoying noise coming out of Margo's mouth, until she stops talking, which she won't. If anything, you should PUSH her finger to make all the incoherent speech bubbles from the last several months go back into her mouth. Also try twisting her finger with pliers. Sure, she'll get louder for a little while, but at least eventually she'll lose her voice.

BaHa said...

I live in Manhattan, and rarely go out without running into someone I know.I wouldn't, however, presume to comment on their sanity.

True Standis said...

OMG! A coherent conversation! What a shock!