June 22nd: “In Defense of Weird”

June 23, 2008

Another day, another comic that stopped making sense on friday but by then it was too late to think of something else so here it is as preceded and described by this sentence which you might say is maybe a run-on sentence but who’s to say what is and isn’t a run-on sentence in this world of grey areas and blurred lines and comics that don’t make sense even to the person who drew them which is too bad because it’s his birthday tomorrow and he really should take one day a year to feel quasi-pseudo-good about himself. Oh yeah, and I bought me a new PC, hence much setting-up and downloading and installing and so on, hence the lateness of this week’s installment of the comic. Switching computers is pretty much just as bad as switching apartments, I’m finding, but at least I finally replaced my 10-year old monitor–which will result in a different look to the coloring of the comic, perhaps, because the brightness/contrast/whatever settings are all different now. Oh well, at least i’m not subconsciously inserting Chad Kroeger into my comics!! J’ACCUSE, Penny Arcade!!!

–Rowntree

98 Responses to “June 22nd: “In Defense of Weird””

  1. Pavel Says:

    I would totally see those guys live.

  2. Keith M Says:

    Nice strip. Although the gas jar needs to be a bucket.. Happy B-day.

  3. Questo's Dad Says:

    Is it truly a day of high feast? Tacos and burritos for everyone! I think I missed Celebration of a Champion Day too. And he truly was Championic this year, what with the captaining and victorizing.

    Your comic has confirmed my failure as a human being, since I always thought it would be really cool to go to Mars. Is it my fault that NASA didn’t hold to their plan of having manned missions to Mars by 2008? Seriously, that’s what the plan was 20 years ago (according to National Geographic). I figured I’d be about the right age and everything, but even so, I doubt there’d be room for musicians on board. Not even one. Not even one who accidentally typed Mission to Mars (the greatest film Jerry O’Connell has ever starred in). I liked it, even if it didn’t make sense to you.


  4. this one of your best comics ever, man.

  5. John Hoffman Says:

    Having helped raise two daughters, I believe I get your comic. My ladies totally schooled me in snark .

  6. L'Anonyme Says:

    Did you just imply that Chad Kroeger is Jesus?


  7. Did you just imply that Chad Kroeger is Jesus?

    For the record, I believe in neither of them.

  8. Camille Says:

    I’d totally see them live, I guess they’d be better than Nickelback!
    Happy birthday by the way! Hope we’ll get to see many more years of such great and unusual comics :D

  9. Rodrigo Oliva Says:

    Some interesting comments on reddit:

    http://www.reddit.com/r/comics/info/6okmn/comments/

  10. Crispin Says:

    Perhaps because it hits so close to home, this is one of your best comics yet.

    I second Camille – here’s to many more years of Subnormality!

  11. Fontleroy Says:

    This is nothing like that Calvin & Hobbes comic where Hobbes wishes for a sandwich and Calvin makes a huge wish and Hobbes at the end says “I got my wish”


  12. This is nothing like that Calvin & Hobbes comic where Hobbes wishes for a sandwich and Calvin makes a huge wish and Hobbes at the end says “I got my wish”

    I love that strip. Calvin’s facial expression in the last panel is just classic.

    Some interesting comments on reddit

    [reads comments] Rather a mixed reaction, but then everything gets rather a mixed reaction. And yeah–the guitarist is technically an admiral. Ten thousand bonus points for identifying the historical inspiration for each band member’s costume.

    I second Camille – here’s to many more years of Subnormality!

    I shall do my best. I never thought i’d make it even one year, and yet here I am. Thanks for the kind sentiments!

  13. arkonbey Says:

    Man that comic is too true.

    Funny thing is, I DID live my childhood dream: to be a search and rescue helicopter crewman in the USCG. Did it for nine years.

    Now, I’m a graphic designer at a boring software company and look just like the proles in the top panels. Dreams are tough to make last forever.

    Crap. I’m all depressed now.

    • Brennan Barrington Says:

      You’ve got to keep coming up with new dreams. If you just go with the flow in life, it’ll take you down the drain and into the sewer system.

  14. Rob Retter Says:

    It’s an odd dichotomy: as the saying goes, truth is at the core of humor….but then, there’s a point where truth may *subsume* the humor.

    It’s hard to know where, exactly, that happens. And it’s certainly subjective, so I won’t even begin to claim that my impression defines the success of your latest strip. But I will note that my reaction was an awful lot like arkonbey’s: “Crap. I’m all depressed now.”

    Subnormality treads that line an awful lot, and you frequently get the path just right. I’d like to be able to say something *helpful* that might be of some minor use to you in your future strips. But the fact is, I just don’t have a clue, beyond perhaps suggesting you might wanna explicitly ask yourself: “What/where’s the *funny* in this strip?” When you can describe that presence, great. At least then, we’re all in the same Subjectivity Hell, where some will get the joke and some won’t.

    That, of course, assumes you’re *wanting* funny to be there at all, which may not always be true.


  15. Man that comic is too true.

    Funny thing is, I DID live my childhood dream: to be a search and rescue helicopter crewman in the USCG. Did it for nine years.

    Now, I’m a graphic designer at a boring software company and look just like the proles in the top panels. Dreams are tough to make last forever.

    Crap. I’m all depressed now.

    Yeah, but at least you DID live the dream, right? I wouldn’t be too depressed if I were you. Novelty rap-metal bands don’t last forever either (I hope).

    That, of course, assumes you’re *wanting* funny to be there at all, which may not always be true.

    Your suspicions are correct. Funny can be hard to come by, and then there’s the days where I just don’t feel like being amusing, but Funny is still my overall objective. That, and causing crippling depression among the readership!! Well, erm, not really. Still, if you accept the theory that laughing and crying are roughly the same thing (tears of joy, anyone?), then I’m usually in the ballpark. I think? I hope.

  16. skye Says:

    I love this comic.

    My dream was to go to space and visit Mars. After working in the space program for a few years though*, I knew that despite everyone in the Mars program fervently wishing to do manned missions to Mars, it was never, ever going to happen on the funding that NASA is going to get for the conceivable future.

    So I’ve since aimed my dreams a little lower, into the realm of the achievable. That’s kind of depressing to contemplate, but I think it’s more fun to actually get my wishes sometimes!

    *Atmospheric science, nothing -that- exciting.

  17. Eric Roussac Says:

    Seconding the sentiment that I would see that band live, despite rap and metal being two awful tastes that taste awful together!!!!

  18. Eric Roussac Says:

    I’m so torn, I love the band’s gimmick but rap and metal are two awful tastes that taste awful together. What a dilemma!!!

  19. Leak Says:

    Bah… I’ll take Industrial/Hip Hop over Rap/Metal any day of the week… :D

    http://bilder.posthof.at/20080530/page.htm

    (Run, don’t walk, if you have the opportunity to see Saul Williams live…)

  20. chacharles Says:

    it’s all part of the plan

  21. Josh Says:

    Even though I knew the punchline before I scrolled over, the last panel still made me laugh. Well done man!

  22. Dean Says:

    sadly, only the terrible, terrible dreams come true…

  23. Trex Says:

    definitely one of my favorites

  24. Tim Says:

    It’s allegorically autobiographical. Good on yah winston.

  25. Robert B Says:

    There’s Patton on the left and Napoleon on the right… I *think* the drummer is Charles de Gaulle. I can’t place the singer, though.

  26. Robert B Says:

    Got it — the singer is Zhukov!


  27. Right on all counts except the guitarist, whose uniform was inspired by admiral Nelson but isn’t really accurate enough to be recognizable. Napoleon is therefore close enough. Ten thousand bonus points are yours!!! [thunderous applause, cheering, the doffing of hats]

  28. Clarence Boddicker Says:

    I think I’ve seen those guys. Didn’t they open for British Sea Power?

  29. Murray Says:

    Hilarious. :)

  30. Andrew Says:

    Hi!
    I just read the whole comic strips availible. This is one of the most interresting webcomics I’ve read in the last months. Great art combind with uniqe and sool themes is a major plus in the world off web comics. thumbs up for the creative mind and hand behind this.

  31. joel kauffman Says:

    Too true. Too true.

  32. Jameslame Says:

    One of the best to date.

  33. anon Says:

    The individual has alway’s had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is to high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
    Friedrich Nietzsche

  34. arlequin Says:

    This strip is so true it’s sad, not funny. I guess it”d be much funnier if I were in a band! Then I”d be laughing my butt off at the drones.
    I’m still young though, and if I can appreciate this comic and relate to it I guess all is not yet lost!

    and yeah Nietzsche sure got it right.

  35. James Woods Says:

    LOL, dude that was too cool man! Wow, you hit the nail on the head with that one!

    JT
    http://www.Ultimate-Anonymity.com

  36. ASSEMblerEX Says:

    Truely, truely a masterpiece.
    I went down the road less traveled
    and have never regretted doing so.

    • LiliannaByron Says:

      “I took the path less travelled by
      and that has made all the difference.”

      I hate misquoters.

      Twit.

  37. No Boy Says:

    You forgot to include the part about the rocker shooting heroin into his veins, and dying in a pool of his own vomit.

  38. joan de arc Says:

    unfortunately, the reality is more like all of them end up at desk jobs
    and plus, that metal band guy had about 5 dollars in his jar. He could never afford to pay for the food of his band members and certainly couldnt afford a car
    =(

  39. wes Says:

    yes, because all that matters in life is having fun and partying your ass away. The key here is not to get married or have kids, or else you’ll have to get a real job so you can take care of them. But you still want plenty of sex… so,… just don’t get anyone pregnant. And if you do, just get a freakin abortion.. cuz ROCK AND ROLL AND F**KIN’ is my idea of a meaningful life – forget anyone else.

    (this comes from a musician and artist who believes in creative expression – and also responsibility. i don’t think we should resign too life in a cubicle… but this type of cartoon sends the wrong message. Just sayin.)

    • LiliannaByron Says:

      Oh, shut the eff up. Fun is what makes a meaningful life, believe be- I’ve been successful, and it doesn’t make you any happier. Actually, it’s really depressing, because no one really likes successful people.

      “Crush your intolerance, your stinking abhorrence for pleasure and laughter and life.
      The essence of life is to share our delights-
      drink it down for theres more stil to come.”
      Candia Ridley/Tony McCormack- Inkubus Sukkubus

  40. Luciérnago Says:

    Really gorgeous!!!

  41. J. Martin Says:

    Sweet Strip!!! That was totally funny.

  42. Ryan Says:

    The Generals Rock! YEEEEAAH

  43. anonymous coward Says:

    > yes, because all that matters in life is having fun and partying your ass away. The key here is not to get married or have kids, or else you’ll have to get a real job so you can take care of them. But you still want plenty of sex… so,… just don’t get anyone pregnant. And if you do, just get a freakin abortion.. cuz ROCK AND ROLL AND F**KIN’ is my idea of a meaningful life – forget anyone else.

    As someone who’s married with two kids and a cubicle job to feed them —yes, that’s pretty much correct. Should have stayed with my guitar.

  44. anonymous coward Says:

    > He could never afford to pay for the food of his band members and certainly couldnt afford a car

    who the fuck cares for cars? cars are stupid.

  45. anonymous Says:

    oh yah lol

  46. anonymous Says:

    Brilliant. Everything I’ve been trying to explain to people for the last 8 months summed up perfectly.

  47. laura Says:

    so fucking true

  48. Chris Says:

    One more comment about this comic, which I return to again and again:

    Awwwwwwwwww… Muthahfuckin’ YEAH!

  49. Hexagon Says:

    I really love this one its excelent. Strive to be what you want to be it’s like saying btw don’t live to be bored.

  50. Alex C. Says:

    Dude… thank you for making this.

    Awww Mothafuckin YEAAH!!!

  51. christa l Says:

    I don’t know how you learned to see into my head, but I dig it. Awesome comics!

  52. Dalibor Says:

    The best, yeeeaaaahhh!

  53. Cbizkit Says:

    AWWW MUTHAFUCKIN YEAH!!!!!

    That is fuckin classic

  54. ZigZagOyeah Says:

    Ha ha ha!!! Too true!

  55. Devon Grey Says:

    Amazing.

  56. Jackattack Says:

    What are the nationalities of the generals costumes?

    American, German, French aaaand? (Shit like this drives me mad, knowwhatimean?)

  57. Jackattack Says:

    How stupid of me, didn’t read the above posts.

  58. hedpe09 Says:

    LOL nice! kudos dude kudos

  59. AbleCharlie Says:

    I wanted to be a doctor when i grew up

    And now I’m in Med School.

    Sorry to buck the trend there, looooserrrrrs hahaha

  60. Furyou Miko Says:

    If this strip is supposed to be all dystopian and ‘power-to-the-rebels’…

    What exactly is the blonde girl smirking at? She knows something we don’t?

  61. Ronald McDonald Says:

    That’s me on drums in the last panel. In the future….

  62. Justin Says:

    I generally like your comics, but you really missed the mark here.

    The messages of this comic get further and further from the truth as the list goes on:

    1: No one who wants to become a doctor or policeman ever realizes his dream, and aspiring musician never end up living with their parents and working at Block Buster.

    2: No one who works in a cubicle ever enjoys his job. He always hates his life, because anything that doesn’t involve fame and fortune isn’t worth getting up in the morning to do, and nothing that requires sitting at a desk, using a computer, and working interacting with colleagues could ever be challenging or rewarding.

    3. Edgy, “nonconformist” kids that were into music were picked on and viewed as outcasts and nerds, while kids who actually applied themselves and wanted to do well academically were always popular and never considered nerds.


  63. Great stuff, I am officially a fan

    Long live Weirdoes everywhere (yes, YOU too)

    check this, mate of mine here in Berlin:

    http://www.toonpool.com/toonagent/profile?userid=169

    all the best
    (-:

  64. Alex Says:

    Hahaha. Who’s livin’ the dream now. XP

  65. Tiffany Says:

    I agree following your heart and taking the road less travelled is the most difficult option, but the most rewarding. However, this comic and many others on this site tend to be very harsh on people who might not have the self-esteem to get up and accomplish their dreams and therefor prefer the security of boredom. I am not in disagreement with the message and you might find I am being a troll for writing this (over)analysis of the comic, but it’s just a general critic. Whatever, I am a party-pooper. They didn’t show that the rap-metal band boy might not be that happy after all. I mean, he probably has to work a part-time job somewhere which might make him unhappy and sometimes, no matter how much you persevere and try things just don’t work out. Sure at least he tried, but not all our efforts bring fruits. So he might have no real regrets, but that doesn’t make him necessarily happier. I just thought it was a little harsh and also simplistic.

  66. Vonthako Says:

    I find it ironic how the girl who wants to be a doctor and “help people” is also the one shoving the kid she deems “weird”. Hippocrates’s oath? More like “hypocrite’s”.

  67. Jon Says:

    I love your work. You are a truly gifted artist, and your sense of irony is sharp as a razorblade. Keep up the great work. I especially love your atheist apocalypse and the Emperor’s New Clothes metaphor.

  68. mike Says:

    Thoughtful, fun, strangely funny.


  69. i love you. i really really love you.

  70. Sam Says:

    that’s great :)

  71. Griff Says:

    AWWWWWW MUTHAFUCKIN’ YEAH!!!

  72. steven Says:

    Ive never felt more in love

  73. Bill W Says:

    that could be a mini dave grohl right there

    here’s a video about him saying exactly how he got to be where he is now

  74. D Says:

    If only life worked that way.

  75. Tera Says:

    I think the doctor looks pretty happy. She’s clearly chilling after a long day, drinking some red bull. She doesn’t look stressed. Why? because doctor is a good and fairly realistic goal. kids who want to be astronauts and firemen and policemen just think “COOOL!” kids who want to be doctors usually do want to help others…. and there are lots of doctors in the world. And the kid she said was a weirdo? he was a weirdo… and as that kid, I can honestly say “I am a weirdo”. My goal when I was a kid? Astronaut, fireman, doctor… but mostly writer. guess what? I am! Weeeeeee!

    • Bill W Says:

      I think the point was that none of those other kids actually followed through with their dreams. They didn’t become an astronaut, policeman, baseball player or doctor. They took the safe option and got boring office jobs, sitting in cubicles. The only that followed through was the “weird” kid

  76. Jade Says:

    i wanna be a mass murder when i grow up : D

  77. Adam Says:

    Hey – just wanted to say thanks; I don’t read web comics but my business partner does, religiously. He read your archive in like 2 sittings and makes me read them now :) This is great, and the rest of your stuff too… They address real things that not a lot of people seem to talk about. Maybe I will be a web comic reader… Thanks for being encouraging

  78. JR Says:

    Someone dressed as Gen “Monty” Montgomery and his duffle coat would make an excellent addition to the Generals.


  79. This is my favorite by far, you’re work is brilliant and I enjoy the updates.

  80. tyciol Says:

    Doctor loli is cool :)

  81. Dominick Says:

    I am stealing this band idea.

  82. Nicole Says:

    I’m not actually a very big fan of comics/quotes that – in their attempt to talk up individuality – seem to always talk down everyone else.

  83. Derek DeCoux Says:

    Love it, love everything about it


  84. Awesome. what i can say? send me the song!!!

  85. fiddlesticks Says:

    Am I the only one that kind of wants a boring office job?

  86. I'm reading the hell out of this. Says:

    I heavily dispute that, and raise you a people will do fuck all so long as they’re fairly comfortable for long periods of time.

  87. I'm reading the hell out of this. Says:

    I’ll say that in this comic, our wierd friend may have won so far, but we as a whole would probably lose without fail. I’ve read people saying they like how the guy lives, and would do the same if they had half a chance, but that’s why the rest were in office jobs in the first place, amongst much worse.

  88. I'm reading the hell out of this. Says:

    As for why she’s smiling, note the pills.

  89. tevra1 Says:

    I can relate to that one – I was in a band for a couple years that played for beer on the weekends at small clubs and even got paid a few times until we had to finally quit and find real jobs. A couple of us even got married and joined society

  90. RPhillips Says:

    Is the hi-hat deliberately bent?

  91. B. Lodermeier Says:

    We can’t all “live the dream”. But for those who can, consider your self luck!


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