Nothing Is Happening In Apartment 3-G: Do They Know They’re Ending Soon?


With Frank Bolle and Margaret Shulock’s Apartment 3-G down to its last eight days the question each new strip invites is: did anyone tell them the strip was cancelled?

Before moving in to that, though, let me mention again that my mathematics blog reviewed comic strips with the appropriate theme. I get to nitpick a Sunday Luann comic strip, which is even more fun than you imagine.

Eric feels that his advanced age of forty and compromised health, what with his being dead. Tommie doesn't see why he shouldn't be with the woman he loves, and to whom he was engaged before he died. She does have a point, which is probably why she gives up on her stance so quickly.
Frank Bolle and Margaret Shulock’s Apartment 3-G for the 10th of November, 2015. You might chuckle that Eric looks like a surprisingly old forty, considering he looks older than his fianceé Margo’s father does. But he has had legitimate hardship in his past, what with dying in an avalanche in the Himalayas and coming back from the dead, which will make anyone look worse. Also, he has the problem of occasionally shrinking six inches.

Last week I outlined the loose plot threads, as best I remembered them. Most are centered around Margo, who’s spent the past week suddenly waking from her coma, again and again. But some involve Tommie or other people in the comic strip. I thought it might be possible to get at least the most important, Margo-centric, threads resolved, if the comic strip used its time efficiently to wrap up storylines.

But it’s gone for a loop instead. Eric, Margo’s fiancé who died in the Himalayas and came back as a needlessly elliptical speaker, would seem to be acceptable as a final boyfriend for the strip. He sat up at Margo’s side through her unconsciousness, and so, why not settle with them rekindling their romance and declare that a happy, or at least any, ending?

Eric figures that Margo deserves to be happy, so he's leaving her to Greg.
Frank Bolle and Margaret Shulock’s Apartment 3-G for the 11th of November, 2015. Eric and Tommie work out Margo’s future boyfriend plans, without going to the work of asking Margo what she might like. But then she hasn’t had a non-delusional conversation with Eric since he died five years ago, and hasn’t talked with Greg since she broke up with him two years ago, so why shouldn’t Eric and Tommie decide that Greg is the boyfriend of record for the comic strip to go out on? The first panel may make it sound like Tommie hasn’t got the idea of object permanence, but bear in mind, the environment has worked hard to teach her that nothing lasts panel to panel.

And instead he seems to be getting out of the fading, increasingly-poorly-drawn picture in favor of Greg. Greg was another of Margo’s former boyfriends. He’s an actor who in-universe is the new James Bond, and Margo was his publicist until she broke up with him and left publicity behind in favor of wedding planning. Why should he come back now, and why should Eric bow out of the picture, without ever having a conversation with a conscious Margo, in his favor? Other than that Eric’s a ghost, I mean. I don’t know, and this would be a good plot for a comic strip that had no particular limits on its time. For one that has sixteen panels left to wrap stuff up, plus a seven-panel Sunday? That’s just weird.

I must admit, this refusal to wrap up storylines is intriguing. I don’t see how they can get to a satisfying conclusion from here. I’m just worried they’re not going to get to one at all. Could it be coincidence that the story lurched out of its nothingness to some shambling resemblance of action just as the cancellation decision must have been made?

Eric says he's leaving to say goodbye to Margo. Meanwhile, the car that might be facing either direction has finally been revealed to be a truck! Or a tiny Smart-car class car in front of a building or an icebox.
Frank Bolle and Margaret Shulock’s Apartment 3-G for the 13th of November, 2015. Eric has worked out that there’s no way for him to get out of this conversation with Tommie except by fooling her into thinking he’s going to talk to Margo. He shouldn’t despair so. If he just stands still long enough there’s a good chance he’ll be drawn in a different background, talking to somebody else. And possibly he’ll be drawn as some other person too.

I suppose we’ll know this time next week.

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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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