Nothing Is Happening In Apartment 3-G: What Was That Something That Happened In Apartment 3-G?

I don’t want people to think I haven’t been tracking the atomized remnants of plot from Margaret Shulock and Frank Bolle’s Apartment 3-G of late. I’m watching. The most understandable thing is that Bolle’s name has reappeared on many of the strips, and his initials are in some of the others.

Since the last time I checked in on the nothing going on, Margo has apparently gotten hungry. This is fair enough since she’s been wandering aimlessly around a fence and a building with windows ever since breakfast back in January. She ran into some woman that I thought was the waitress back in January but apparently isn’t. Non-waitress agreed to get her a roll with butter in exchange for all the money in her bag. I’m ashamed they’re playing in to hacky jokes about New York City’s cost of living.

A woman offers Margo 'a nice roll with butter' in exchange for all her money, which Margo can't believe.
Frank Bolle and Margaret Shulock’s Apartment 3-G for the 4th of September, 2015. I note that in neither the daily strips nor the Sunday recap was Margo’s name ever given to the woman who’s charging her all her money for a nice roll with butter. Yes, I don’t need to see every single bit of normal interaction but since the setup was that Margo was wandering confused and befuddled and apparently unaware of her surroundings — she was starving and across the street from DINER with a bag of money and couldn’t work this out — it would be nice to know whether she even knows who she is.

Eric, Margo’s formerly dead fiancée who’s been wandering around seeing her without telling her who he is, suddenly sits upright next to his bed. The bedside is decorated with a travel alarm, a nuclear power cooling tower-shaped coffee mug sitting on an Art Deco riser of some kind, and a large ellipsoidal end-table hump. He chants a little from yoga, tells his brother Tim to go home, and then finds Margo!

No, I don’t know how he found her, other than that the strip has two outdoor locations anymore, “fence” and “diner”. Maybe he got lucky. Maybe the strip just threw background elements at random together until two named characters were accidentally on-panel at once. I don’t know.

Margo's dead fiancee Eric finds her and she doesn't know who he is or whether he knows her.
Frank Bolle and Margaret Shulock’s Apartment 3-G for the 10th of September, 2015. No, you did not miss anything. I promise.

There is an interesting and surely accidental dramatic symmetry here. Margo’s long wanderings started with her determination to bring down the fake psychic interloping in her mother’s wedding. And now apparently Eric has been drawn to her by luckily-timed and accurate psychic vibes. I don’t imagine that’s deliberate, because nothing about this storyline suggests any kind of planning or thought or really anything at all. Why would Eric hover around but not identify himself to Margo all summer long, and then suddenly decide to do it now? Why has Margo been wandering around? Why has she gotten suddenly amnesiac and befuddled? What basis has she got for thinking theres “as much [ money ] as you need” in her bag? Where did the woman buying Margo’s life with a buttered roll disappear to? And … what about Naomi?

I have no answers. I don’t believe anyone has. The problem is not you reading it. I must admit it’s a nice change that for at least this while the problem is more the writing than the artwork. The artwork is still shoddy but I don’t think it’s the source of confusion the past few weeks.

With that hopefully all cleared up, please consider my humor blog, where I had comics up for review on the 5th and then another essay just for comics on the 6th and I probably could’ve put one up today if I had really felt like it. Thank you.


Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there.

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