While I was hanging out with my good friend Lord Ebo in Conneticut last August, we were talking about television series, comedies and such. You know, nothing special, just talking about what was good and what was worth watching… the usual. Along the way, I mentioned that I had always hated the way sitcoms portrayed the way people’s apartments (and more specifically the apartment’s door) worked, and how they always seemed to be capable of just barging into one another’s homes without ever having to knock, giving the impression to the rest of the world that North American doors simply have no locks on them.
In response, Ebo gave me a weird look and said “but people in your comic go in and out of your apartment just like that”.
Of course, I tried arguing, desperately attempting to justify the way people come and go from my home in the comic in some manner that would not make it look as if my apartment’s door is nothing more than one of those saloon doors that cowboys could just swing open. But in the end I had to admit these during the 5 years that COMMISSIONED has been published online, the different character’s living arrangements have been less than clear; they’ve been non-existent. Most of the time it just looks like we all live together.
Personally, I have no plans to modify this. Sure enough, there is no clarity or even more than a hint that would suggest that I live in an apartment all by myself. But I have come to make peace with the notion that my own creation is the very embodiment of that aspect of television series that I disliked, so I feel no need to try and make changes.
Nevertheless, ever since the whole discussion took place, I had always wanted to make a joke on how even the characters themselves seem to be unaware of who lives there. I mean, if Batey and Carlos have apartments of their own in the comic, both places must be in a terrible state of abandonment.
NOTE: I will note, however, that the “unlocked door” rule does not apply to all sitcoms. Most of the time, if the characters live in a house instead of in an apartment, people have to knock – and in other series like “The Big Bang Theory”, doors seem to work with a rather satisfying effectiveness.