Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Someone is Playing a Trick on Me!!

Okay, so I think the thing I've been worried about recently is that 91-year-old Frank Bolle is struggling to maintain any semblance of consistency, relevance, or general order in his illustrations. (All things, including this riviting storyline, being equal.)


I'm really not sure what's going on with the writing anymore either. Is Margaret Shulock inspired by the erratic and sometimes surreal art with this storyline? Are we witnessing some kind of experimental newspaper comic art house piece? OR, duh, I can't believe I just thought of this. Diane Devine is piping a consequential but imperceptible amount of Nitrous Oxide into Gabriella's apartment and it's effecting everyone's judgement and making the house evil. BAMMMMMMMMM everyone!! Mike drop. I'm out.

...kind of liked the idea of art house A3G though.


mrvy said...

Wasn't there a storyline some years back - maybe even a decade ago - that ended with Lu Ann suffering carbon monoxide poisoning in an old art studio? If I'm remembering correctly, there's precedence for your theory, Maggie.

Please let this be over soon. This is exhausting, even more so than Tommie Adopts a Fawn and Rides Horses.

Kibo said...

Each time the whirling heads pass through the time loop, the faces get a little more melted. In the second panel, Margo has devolved into a fivehead with clip-on hair, and the Mysterious Stranger's eyes are migrating to the same side of his face like a pubescent flounder.

A month ago, I advanced four hypotheses as to how this would turn out (edited highlights of my July 10 comments):

1.) They're attempting a serious drama about Margo's bout with mental illness, in a format that can't convey enough depth and nuance to do it well,

2.) They're doing some magickal fantasy about Margo being touched by a fourth-dimensional angel who can assume different physical forms.

3.) The writer and artist are unconsciously broadcasting their own mental states as they lose touch with reality.

4.) Maybe the writer and artist will suddenly realize the plot is going nowhere and overnight Margo and Lu Ann and Tommie will be back in the apartment having ordinary boyfriend troubles.

I still hope it's not #3, as I don't want this to turn into a Ham Fisher situation where on Christmas day Margo is yelling "I'M GO GRATEFUL I DON'T HAVE ANY SORT OF DEMENTIA!" and then the second panel is just a big spatter of blood that used to be inside a deeply troubled cartoonist. I want Margo to get better (through therapy, or via an angel, or through just abruptly dropping this storyline) but more importantly I want Frank Bolle and Margaret Shulock to be okay. I'm scared that maybe this strip is going to drive them insane, before it can even drive the rest of us insane.

You have to suffer to make great art, but if "Apartment 3-G" is causing its creators anguish that doesn't make it great art, that makes it a sad cry for help.

I like the little Empire State Building in the background of the second panel. This may be the first moment, in many months, when we've had a sign that the characters are in New York City and not some steampunk Flatland.

Now to float a fifth possibility as to what's been happening:

5.) "Apartment 3-G" has slowly been taken over by corporate interests to be propaganda for The Pastel Turtleneck Cartel, because a decree has come down from The Turtleneck Advisory Council that people are not wearing enough pastel turtlenecks, what with Carl Sagan still being dead. Of course, secret turtleneck money isn't "Apartment 3-G"'s only source of funds -- they're also taking money from whatever cosmetics company makes that cream that gives you a Hair Boner. Side effects include your flesh melting, but it's worth it, because... Hair Boner.

Kibo said...

Lu Ann's carbon monoxide coma was in 2007. She kept hallucinating a ghost dude, who was made out of Morse code surrounded by a cloud of psychedelic sparkles:

Look how nicely the ladies and especially Ghost Dude are drawn compared to whatever it is we're seeing in the strips of 2015. Looking at these strips from eight years ago is making me sad in all the wrong ways.

fauxprof said...

I love how brown suit guy runs away from Margo--provided of course, that this is what Frank meant to portray. Who knows? Kibo's observations are comprehensive and well-reasoned, plus being a pleasure to read. My theory is a bit cynical: Shulock no longer gives a damn, and poor, 90 year old Frank is trying to make some kind of sense out of the dreck copy he's given.

Sweet Fiend said...

I think that maybe Shulock has been watching the movie After Hours.

This storyline feels like that movie.

Maggie said...

Sweet Fiend: I just read the plot to After Hours, and I can definitely see where you'd make the comparison....