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?