Straight outta washington

March 7, 2010

Comic’s done, so here y’are. Nothing is scarier than that woman. NOTHING. Not even a thousand-bowled toilet that forces its way into your house and violently backs up three minutes before the guests arrive at your opulent dinner party. Feel free to quote me on that.

MISCELLANEA!

Here’s some Virus Comix-related stuff that y’alls might turn an eye to:

the Links page – reworked to be less horrible!

The Weird comic, adapted for the screen! – And adapted splendidly by a very talented person indeed for a school project. View it!!

Subnormality in Hungarian! – Just what it says. Really awesome, so Big Thanks to Ross, the man responsible. And a Big Hello to any Hungarian readers out there!

That’s it for now, I’ll see youse guys later,

-WR

111 Responses to “Straight outta washington”

  1. Pierre Says:

    Wow, that reminded me of some old acid trips.

    The good ones.

  2. FennecFoxz Says:

    I know this one took ages, but personally as a non-American I couldn’t relate to this one;

    I mean I was thought WWII facts in a more general way, we aren’t taught the political background from neither both parties so I guess that’s why I didn’t quite got the joke. (Im from Spain)

    Anyways, it was a good read

    Cheers Winston,

    P.S Don’t get me wrong just my two cents

  3. Leak Says:

    So, who’s going to get Sam & Max to get rid of those two?

    (They managed to off Robo Abe Lincoln just fine, after all… :D)

  4. Noel Says:

    I didn’t get it :(. Was looking forward for this one, but I hope the next one is better!

  5. SoWhyMe Says:

    I’ve suspected the artist was a raving left-wing fanatic without a clue about the real world, but it’s good to have it confirmed in such a graphic yet humorous way.

  6. Joe Boges Says:

    Meh… Why should I listen to a Canadians opinion on American politicians? ;)

    Can’t wait for the next comic that gets back to ripping on society in general


  7. Yeah, didn’t really get this one either. I did like the rappin’ Ronnie and the evil insectoid Thatcher but the whole thing did not come together for me (unlike the last one you did about time travel paradoxes — that on was spectacular.) Very cool about the Hungarian translations though.

  8. DoubleW Says:

    This would’ve been funnier without the bit concerning the batteries not being in the machine. Conservatives reading it would have just thought “Oh, the exaggeration machine was cranked up HIGH!” while left-leaners would have entertained the idea that it had been set below their actual levels.

  9. DoubleW Says:

    The Hungarian translations are cool. I like scanning over foreign language stuff and seeing what phrases remain the same after crossing borders.
    I now know that I can say ‘Bingo!’ in Hungary and be understood.

  10. George Says:

    Insectoid thatcher? I thought she was a vampire, the dangerous, psychotic, Angelus, Buffy the Vampire Slayer kind, not the limp dick Twilight kind.

    Although Nixon and Bush make Reagan look like a genius, I like this better, it gives the comic more symmetry.

    Weird fact about Reagan, he’s done more to help the advancement of gay rights than any other president in American history, and Thatcher was totally for socialized medicine. If you’re more conservative than either of these two, you’re mentally unfit to be considered human, and should be thrown into a vat of strychnine. That means you, Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin.

  11. Michael Ezra Says:

    Your rappin’ Reagan was okay (frankly, as odious as I found his views, I recall him being much more articulate), but I loved loved LOVED your eerily calm, coldly-reasoning Thatcher who, as the reveal about the batteries suggests, isn’t that much different from the real-life one.

    I especially got huge laughs out of Thatcher’s “Any person unable to endure a thermonuclear detonation is simply lazy and disinclined,” and the neo-Nazi’s “We rely on its inclusiveness and freedom of speech as a base from which to mount our war on inclusiveness and freedom of speech!!” (The latter is so, so true, especially here in Canada; just ask Maclean’s magazine and Ezra Levant (however distasteful I find his personality and views).

  12. grawk1 Says:

    i like it. not worth the 2 week wait, but it’s one of your better ones.

  13. Serenissima Says:

    Thatcher is absolutely spot on.

    To the real Thatcher.

    Down to the “Any person unable to endure a thermonuclear detonation is simply lazy and disinclined” policy.

  14. Sociotard Says:

    If they were trying to turn the course of WWII, they should’ve focused on a being who could destroy the Soviet Union from within, since they did a whole lot more to beat Germany as it was.

  15. TRubloff Says:

    As someone who grew up in Britain in the 80s, I can say without doubt you’ve this is uncannily accurate! Many thanks!
    (It also brought back my childhod terror of nuclear annihilation,

  16. bachterman Says:

    a big hello to you, too! :)

  17. Daniel Says:

    Politics and art do not mix well … PERIOD.

    BTW, the artist should really cut down on left-wing screeds.

  18. Stephen Says:

    When you purposely exaggerate and simplify something, it really does negate any impact your political views might have. I’m no fan of Ronald Reagan, but since this comic was about an absurd, overwrought caricature of him, I felt like it said little to nothing about the actual world we live in. I think you were attempting to get humor out of the exaggeration, but that just never works with political jokes — it makes your point look stupid and childish, even if it isn’t.

    It would be much more effective if you took concepts closer to actual reality and demonstrated their absurdity by building up to their projected and exaggerated consequences, rather than start out with the extreme extrapolations.

  19. Ceno Says:

    Oh dear, it seems you’ve let down a lot of right-wingers. I think you’ve just been labeled a “left-wing loon” to use Bill O’Reily’s vocabulary. Oh well.

    Anyway, solid writing, great work on the nazi’s dialog and thatcher. Reagan… well, I guess you really need to know american politics from that time to understand it. Not a bad thing, just can’t evaluate properly.

    Just a brief comment on stephen that said “I think you were attempting to get humor out of the exaggeration, but that just never works with political jokes — it makes your point look stupid and childish, even if it isn’t.”

    Could be, but there’s more to the last comic than that. When thatcher says “The greatest impediment to liberty and free markets has always been the rivers of humanity that ooze across the land like raw sewage”. It’s exaggerated, put it puts forth a very valid point. Capitalism relying on submission and misery of the many for the comfort of the few. And the vision of the lower class by the upper class… might as well be like raw sewage. They can probably give money to charity and smile for the photo op, but give a stray face if a construction worker asks for the time on the street. That bastard was gonna try to steal their rolex anyway. And those f’ing unions, why can’t those idiots just shut up and work like honest and decent people.

    Hm, got a little carried away there, but you get the point. cheers

  20. oddman Says:

    Time-travelling nazis – what can’t they solve?

  21. Broggly Says:

    I hear that Spitting Image did the Xenomorph Thatcher too, but I can’t find the video. Winston, do you have any idea where to find it?

  22. No Hablo Ingles Says:

    loling at the comments more than the actual comic. Bravo, Winstor. Bravor.


  23. Noel: [in Rainier Wolfcastle voice] Reagan was insane and Thatcher hated people. That’s the joke.

    Sociotard: Yeah, but considering what he did, if Stalin couldn’t destroy it from within then no-one could. Actually, you could easily argue that he DID destroy it from within.

    Daniel: It’s not a left-wing screed, it’s an anti-supervillain screed. Anyone who is assuming that I equate those two lunatics with conservatism is Wrong. Oh, and politics and art DO mix, except in North Korea.

    Michael Ezra: Oh, outwardly he was articulate, but inwardly not so much. I read this fantastic anecdote about a meeting he held once, but i can’t for the life of me remember when or where it was so i frustratingly can’t refer to it just now. He was nuts though. And Gorbachev thought he was “a caveman” when they first met (source: The Cold War documentary, part 22)

    Stephen: You, sir, are holding me to an awfully high standard. And while i definitely appreciate that, i will say that retain the right to be silly and childish and so on. I would also say that the subjects of this comic should be taken about as seriously as i have taken them.

    Broggly : Sorry, I have no idea. I haven’t watched that show in a long time, save a couple Thatcher segments last week (research!).

  24. Illuminatus Says:

    As a son of the Late Cold War I completely agree with this. Speacially since these two people escalated the confrontation with the Soviets and put us at risk of going to Nuclear Hell (I partially blame my neurosis on the Thermonuclear obliteration images in the TV I grew up with). For those who don’t know: look for Able-Archer 83. Pretty instructive.

    Winston, you marvel me.

  25. Mallark Says:

    Aside from all the politics, this is spot on! Loved it!

  26. Quirel Says:

    Well, was anyone else able to identify the P-1000 Landkreuzer before it was actually named?

    Well, Winston, I probably fit your definition of “Brainless, spineless, right-wing flunky”, and I don’t usually enjoy your comics. Mostly, I check in to see if you’ve written anything as good as #382. And no, I’ve yet to see anything as good in your archive.

    The problem with your comic here is the missing batteries part. With Predator Reagan and Xenomorph Thatcher explained by the enhance-o-tron, it makes for good satire. Admittedly, Ronald Reagan DID have Alzheimer’s in the last years of his presidency, and Thatcher’s economic policies weren’t exactly kosher. But, like so many of your comics, this ended up being merely anvilicious.

    So yeah, I know American history, enough to say that Reagan was hardly the God some make him out to be today, but I know enough to say that he wasn’t any worse than American presidents before him or after him.

    Don’t know as much about Thatcher, except for the retaking of the Falkland Islands, nuclear deterrence, and privatization that went wrong.

    As for Reagan’s oratory skills and whatnot, some people are orators, some are leaders, some are thinkers. Thomas Jefferson didn’t address Congress in person because he was a lousy public speaker, and a skilled writer. By writing to Congress instead of addressing them in person, he was compensating.

    Gorbachev thought Reagan was a caveman, but Kruschev (The only remotely decent leader Soviet Russia had) thought that Kennedy was an incompetent prettyboy who got the office because of daddy’s interference. (He got half of it right.)

    So, what’s that prove?

  27. Andrew Says:

    To quote Thatcher, “I think we have gone through a period when too many children and people have been given to understand “I have a problem, it is the Government’s job to cope with it!” or “I have a problem, I will go and get a grant to cope with it!” “I am homeless, the Government must house me!” and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and there are families and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then also to help look after our neighbour and life is a reciprocal business and people have got the entitlements too much in mind without the obligations”

    Funny thing is I agree with her…

  28. Theophilus Says:

    Art doesn’t have to be subtle to be funny. This comic was not subtle, but I found it very funny.

    Margaret Thatcher was a politician who fundamentally rejected the idea that all people should have fundamental human rights in a modern, civilised state. The anniversary of her ousting should be a national holiday as far as I am concerned.

    As she is gradually gripped by an intense senility and degenerating bill of health, I find it hard to resent her as a person anymore. She’s just a crazy old lady now. Without a doubt though, she has left a poisonous legacy, and one that threatens to manifest itself in policy from May onwards, if it hasn’t already been doing so for the past two decades.

  29. Nachum Says:

    What a terrible strip. To cast Thatcher and Reagan, some of the strongest opponents of totalitarianism in the past century and to whom millions owe their freedom, as Nazi heroes is despicable.

    Oh, and the only people waving “Death to the Juice” signs out there- really!- ain’t Nazis. Your childish (and, by now, way in the past) vendettas only allow you to ignore the real threat to liberty in this world. And as opposed to the cute line above, it ain’t Ezra Levant.

  30. Commentor Says:

    Keep up the good work, Artist! Don’t let anyone tell you what you should or should not make comics about, please. If I wanted editing I’d read the damned Newspapers.

    Art is Art to the degree that it perfectly expresses the artists’s intentions and beliefs (to use one of the many definitions thereof). If you change your art to fit a few dissatisfied viewers you’ll be in a constant state of change.

    Then again…maybe that’d be interesting. But I digress. Love your work. Thank you for it.

  31. Skippy Says:

    “Yeah, but considering what he did, if Stalin couldn’t destroy it from within then no-one could. Actually, you could easily argue that he DID destroy it from within.”

    The most interesting explanation for the fall of the USSR that I am aware of cites the fact that Gorbachev was the first Premier to live his entire life within the Soviet propaganda system. The argument goes that he genuinely believed that given free choice, every state in the Union would choose to stay there, and that his Sinatra Doctrine was an attempt at proving this that misfired horribly. Stalin can certainly blamed to some extent or another for both Gorbachev’s ignorance and Eastern Europe’s desire to get the hell out of there.

    I haven’t done enough research to be able to say how credible this is, but it is interesting.

    Great comic, also.

  32. Dr Quinn Says:

    Although some of the rhymes were pretty fly, this strip pretty much throws in the stereotypical left wing beliefs of Reagan and Thatcher. Political humor (or humour) is best when its actually humorous, of which this recent strip is not. Please try and do the funny or intelligent strip next time. Thx

  33. Michael Ezra Says:

    Nachum: I fear you’ve misunderstood my reference to Ezra Levant. What I was referring to was when fundamentalist Muslim individuals, in two separate cases, filed complaints against Levant and Maclean’s, with human rights commissions, in an attempt to have them legally penalized for expressing critical views of Islamic fundamentalism. Last I checked, freedom of expression (i.e. freedom from governmental or quasi-governmental penalty for expressing one’s views) is a Charter right. The plaintiffs attempted, like the neo-Nazis in this week’s comic, to use instruments of a democracy (in this case, human rights commissions) in order to make Canada that much less democratic. It’s not as bad as rioting and killing people over Muhammad cartoons, but it’s still a damned dirty trick.

    So in other words, Nachum, despite my not otherwise agreeing with his political stances (and my finding his personality grating), I’m on Levant’s side, not against him, in this matter, just as I’m on Maclean’s side. Governmental/quasi-governmental repression of free expression is wrong regardless of where the victim falls on the political spectrum.

  34. Adam Lloyd Says:

    Oh dear… it appears you’ve annoyed people with your continued dabbling in anything political, Winston. You should refrain from anything of the sort and stick purely to comics which people can laugh at airily and tell themselves ‘I totally relate to that!’ because anything other than this is an horrific failure in the eyes of your fans.

    On a less sarcastic note, I catually found it quite funny. No, I don’t necessarily agree with the politics, but that’s not really the point. It’s overblown satire. Some people seem to be taking it just a tad seriously… perhaps Reagen in such an exaggerated form hit a nerve with some people?

  35. NoVan Says:

    Oh, c’mon, REALLY? Listen, I try to enjoy this comic, truly I do. When the anviliciousness gets to be too much, I attempt to laugh at how overblown it is. But as soon as I saw “Who have wrought more internal damage on those nations than anyone else in history!!”, I knew I was in for a hard time, whoever popped out of the machine. D’you *really* gotta be this pious about communicating your views?

    Yeah, I guess that no-one’s forcing me to read your comic if I don’t enjoy it. So I probably shouldn’t.

    But, I will give you some of the rap lyrics. “Nicaraguans got it bad because they’re brown!” By god, that line has some form.

  36. Cyanin Says:

    Just an agreement with that alt-text, really insane how many of those you managed to come up with. =P

  37. Kim Says:

    “The Thatcher” will haunt my nightmares, and Rappin’ Reagan reminds me of Warren Beatty in Bulworth.

  38. Gaber the Guba Says:

    Sweet!

  39. Max Chaplin Says:

    And thus, a streak amazingly fine streak of comics, beginning at “the date from hell” and peaking at the Christmas comic has come to an end.
    Godzillifying universally despised leaders who weren’t in power for most of the readers’ lifespan isn’t satire. It could only pass as a parody of satire, and not a successful one.

  40. Michael Ezra Says:

    Well, the majority has spoken, it seems.

    Henceforth, Winston, don’t do any more comics expressing your views on anything. Stick to ever-so-droll New Yorker-type cartoons where gentlemen quip about how old doctors’ waiting room magazines are, or how simply awful airline food is.

    Your readers will nod and mutter “Mm, quite”; no one will get offended or be challenged to think or question; everyone’s happy.

    Alternatively, hire other people to write and draw strips for you about a fat, lazy cat who loves lasagna and hates Mondays. That never gets old, and the merchandising! oh, the merchandising!…

  41. NoVan Says:

    @Michael Ezra: It seems to me that you want Mr. Rowntree to be provocative, but you’re practically mystified when people take exception to it.

    I wish to stress that I have absolutely nothing against you; you seem like a very nice guy. Rather, I’m pointing out a contradiction (or what seems to me like a contradiction).

  42. Mallark Says:

    In the words of Brian Clough
    “It’s just an opinion…..and opinions make the world go around”


  43. Nachum: I’m no Sphynx, but in the grand scheme of things 25 years ago is not what i’d call “the past.” Good and bad, the direct effects are still being felt.

    Quirel: Regarding Kennedy, which half did Khrushchev get right? I don’t know a lot about JFK, but both halves sounded kind of plausible. Oh and good eye on the Landkreuzer, by the way.

    Kim: Rappin’ Reagan partly inspired by this (from a Simpsons episode).

    Michael Ezra: I would hope that it’s the minority that’s spoken… Just in case though, next week’s comic will be about shopping carts with one bad wheel. Awesome recap of the Ezra Levant story by the way, thanks for that. Damned dirty trick is right.

    Adam Lloyd: Yes, overblown satire, exactly. That’s the phrasing i was looking for.

    NoVan: No, NOT really. That’s the point. I’m not one to stand up for my own work, but this comic was in my opinion some childish goofery with a couple of nice drawings in it, and not intended as pious or a Big Statement on anything. I definitely think that deregulation is bad, but this was not a serious attack on that or any other issue.

  44. wallace Says:

    The part that I liked about this one was the sloth mole rat aspects of Thatcher.

    PS I believe it’s “malevolence”.

  45. NoVan Says:

    @WR: Hey, thanks for writing back mate. And since I never said so after your last comic, I’m really glad that you found something a way to make money that you love. That’s always a good thing, and I wish you the best.

    Now onto the issue at hand. You stand by your opinion of the comic, and I stand by mine. You spend goodness knows how many pixels and words demonizing Thatcher and Reagan, and you try to pass it off as a flight of whimsical fancy? In the announcement you say: “Nothing is scarier than that woman. NOTHING.” And I quote again: “[They] have wrought more internal damage on those nations than anyone else in history!!” What is this if NOT a Big Statement?

    The answer to that question, as far as I can tell, is that we’re supposed to laugh at how heavy-handed it is. Fine. But for goodness’ sake, say so — for me, it’s not coming off that way at all (and I’m not a fan of Thatcher or Reagan either). Instead, it seems like you’re taking yourself way to seriously. In other words, being “pious”.

    I’m sorry that I’m being angry. I’m not usually an ass — seriously, I’m not! But maybe you can see where I’m coming from?


  46. NoVan: Don’t apologize, I definitely didn’t think you were being an ass! And yeah, I can see where you’re coming from, though i’m still not certain in what sense you’re using “pious,” so maybe you could clarify. I’ve never been accused of taking myself too seriously before, so you’ve kind of got me wildly glancing around in a panic…

    When you feel helpless from not being able to affect the world around you it can be comforting to mock world leaders in a silly and childish manner. That’s what i was going for with this comic, and there’s plenty of precedent for that kind of thing is there not? Personally i think we’re both overcomplicating the issue (i can only speak for myself, but i overcomplicate pretty much everything, so my apologies for gradually meandering towards any points i’m attempting to make here…).

  47. Blee Says:

    I disliked this strip as political humor, liked it as satire of political humor and liked it even more as simple, non-political absurdist artist.

    However, I kind issue with rappin’ cyborg murder cowboy Reagan. That portrayal is as an unfair a treatment of Reagan as his modern-day saintification.

    Last year, I did a 15-page paper on American-Soviet Relations in the 1980s, so I do know that the real Reagan wasn’t a mass murderer. He was gun-slinging at first as we all know, but cooled off a lot after 1983, when the USSR was an inch from blowing us up, (google Able Archer 83) and quickly and eagerly pursued peace and arms limit talks with Gorbachev. True, Reagan got into trouble with the Iran-Contra and the US deficit, but in the end, his actions more or less got the USSR to be friendly with us again. And there’s speculation that he provoked the USSR into overspending on the military and thus collapsing.

    Oh and that part about Reagan hating on the brown people? Turns out that Reagan was actually very supportive (ie. liberal) towards Mexican immigration to the US.

    So, although Reagan was clearly a nutter, he was hardly a psychopath like you (seriously or not) depicted him.

    The rapping itself was fricking hilarious though.

    Keep up the crazy good work Winston.

  48. Elbanana Says:

    The rapping was hilarious, as was the extrapolation of their views to their natural extremes. However, I don’t really believe that reducing Reagan and Thatcher to straw really ends up accomplishing a lot. Reagan had a lot of policies that I didn’t agree with, and I also blame him for the current wave of conservatism in American politics, but he did in fact have noteworthy accomplishments. You may take issue with his renewed aggressive policies, but there are some political scientists who attribute this stance to getting the USSR to loosen up. Further more, he certainly was not the most destructive force within the US. In fact after the Carter administration, an energetic adminstration that was willing to get results was what many Americans wanted and in restrospect he remains one of the most respected presidents, though at the same time he has garnered a substantial hatedom. The Clinton administration has causes many of the same feelings in people. Bush, most people agree, was just awful though.

  49. Reignonyourparade Says:

    I kinda want a destroy the Juice t-shirt now

  50. Quirel Says:

    Well, I can’t say I’m less biased than anyone else, but out of “incompetent prettyboy who got the office because of daddy’s interference”, everything after “Incompetent” applies.

    Yes, he hopped from bed to bed. Yes, he took the “Nuclear Football” with him on one of his romps. Yes, he boned the same woman that was servicing his brother and a mob boss. Yes, Daddy Kennedy pulled a lot of strings to maneuver his sons into power, and lived the life of a robber baron.

    But no, he had the savvy to back the world down from nuclear annihilation, and I don’t think anyone else could have done that. And as much as I don’t like the Kennedy family, I’ve come to accept that JFK was overall a pretty good president.
    This concludes the twenty-five cent history lesson.

    In retrospect, I guess what made this comic seem so bad at first is the simple fact that it’s so hard to tell juvenile whining from clever satire on the internet. After all, this is the place where a broadband connection puts a 13 year old brat on the same level as a 21 year old political science major.
    Omitting the “batteries” line may, just may, have pushed this comic past satire, but it might also have deprived the comic of a punch-line.

    But Hell, this was a comic about two neo-Nazi Mad Scientists resurrecting Reagan and Thatcher with Science! Are we reading too much into this?

  51. Joshyboy Says:

    I just wanted to mention how much I utterly love the idea of Reagan using N.W.A lines.

  52. Levi Says:

    Just goes to show that mad science is the lesser evil compared to thermonuclear politics. (Scary thought, they are attempting to put Reagan on the 50 dollar bill again.)

  53. Gary Says:

    Funny as always, though the UK has had far worse leaders than Thatcher. Such as Chamberlain, Churchill, Attlee, Eden, Macmillan, Wilson, Heath and Callaghan. All just as bad and detrimental to British intrests as Thatcher is often portyed as. To say nothing of Major, Blair and Brown!

    But yeah, Neo-Nazi mad scientists, rapping Raygun and zombie Thatcher. Fantastic!

  54. Ayn Rand's Queef Says:

    Holy shit!

    Awesome comic.

    That’s all I can say right now

    *tired*

  55. donny brook Says:

    You would have done better with Nelson & Winnie Mandela.

    Reagan and Thatcher are soooo over-used. Do the above and you’ll REALLY be provocative, AND, score points among the literate in-the-know folks who will feel good about understanding the reference.

    Reagan and Thatcher? Dial it back a couple of generations and you’re using FDR and Churchill.

    Now there’s a challenge!


  56. I love that you actually seem to have got Reagan and Thatcher’s voices right. I can actually hear then in my head.

    Not all the time, obviously. Just when I read your comic.

  57. Jake Says:

    I was with you until I noticed you give the baroness skull earrings. All politicians should be wearing those.

    Seriously though, some great lines in there, especially Thatcher’s one about people just being lazy. Her government honestly believed that the unemployment they caused was due to people suddenly being more attached to the duvet.

    I thought it was kind of unnecessary to draw them ten feet tall – kind of subtracted from the joke at the end to be honest. Good comic though.

    @Gary – You thought Thatcher was the best PM of the post-war years? Seriously?

  58. SoWhyMe Says:

    “but this was not a serious attack on that or any other issue”

    Yeah, right. I’ll believe you when you draw Obama and Pelosi as raving lunatic demons in a comic. Should be easy for Pelosi. When she smiles, she looks so much like Skelator already. Obama would make a good “Joker” as he was portrayed in the latest Batman movie.

    Thatcher at least proved that a woman can be every bit as war-like and quick to send men to their deaths as any male leader. Though, in fairness, several queens proved that long before Thatcher. And lets not forget the greatest mass murderer of young women ever was a woman. I think God just loves irony since humans seem to be so good at it.

  59. Tomé Says:

    Politics is never pretty

  60. Richter Says:

    Mr Rowntree, sometimes you scare me.

    Don’t ever change.

  61. NoVan Says:

    @Winston: Good onya! What I like about you is, even though it’d be far easier to ignore the complainers, or put them down as mere trolls, you talk with us.

    What I meant was, I think that your political jokes don’t seem silly, they seem vicious and bitter, and more importantly, they seem totally heartfelt. Last week, I thought the Sphinx was supposed to represent you. It didn’t help that the policeman’s pro-car arguments were reduced to straw-men, as were Reagan and Thatcher. So, since it seems like you’re communicating your views, it seems like you’re trying too hard to bring the point home.

    Now, I’m not saying that you should write about harmless topics, which other commentators might think I’m saying. Rather, I I’m saying that you could step back and let up on the “rant” pedal. You could *really* damn with faint praise, instead of demonization. Jon Stewart doesn’t paint Dick Cheney with fangs; he takes his quotes out of context.

  62. schtroumpf Says:

    SoWhiney Says:

    “Yeah, right. I’ll believe you when you draw Obama and Pelosi as raving lunatic demons in a comic. Should be easy for Pelosi.”

    *******

    Has it occurred to you that maybe Winston doesn’t want to cater to your political views, as it’s his comic, not yours?

    Let me repeat that, in case you rode the short bus to school:

    HIS. CO-MIC. NOT. YOURS.

    And now, SoWhiney, why don’t you go read Mallard Filmore, rather than continually returning here to make comments you know very well won’t be heeded. Leave, now.

  63. Jack Says:

    Can I just mention here, that this comic becomes AMAZING when a sick instrumental beat is put to it while reading.

  64. comingstorm Says:

    Yep, looks like you’ve provoked that vocal minority who call themselves Libertarians, and whip out their weird neocon ideology at every opportunity. You’re oppressing them, man! And, like, you’re boring, and, like a stoooopid liberal. Stupid liberals!

  65. SoWhyMe Says:

    Oh, I’m sorry schtroumpf, was I too hard on your god-like artist? Should there only be glowing praise and outright genuflexing worship here? Love it or leave it, is that it? What happened to that cornerstone of liberalism, “diversity/inclusivness?” Or are you a (shudder) conservative!?

    I imagine 99% of the comments won’t be heeded in any way and he’ll just go on doing whatever he wishes since, as you say, it’s his comic. That’s fine by me and as it should be.

    Clearly, you missed the point of my comment. I never labored under any illusion he would “cater” to my desires, any more than yours or anyone elses who posts here. He said he was not trying to make any attack on any issue. I found that statement ludicrous and said so. I was not the only one. I simply tend to point out hypocrisy when I see it.

    Okay, you’ve had your say, I’ve had my say, I’m dropping it regardless of whatever else may issue forth. Somehow, however, I have the feeling you won’t be.

  66. anonymous coward Says:

    I call bullshit on this comic, it’s more embarrassing to people who hold non-right-wing positions than Jack Chick tracts are to the non-insane Christians.
    There are three main problems here. First, it’s not funny. Second, your caricatures of Reagan and Thatcher are useless for explaining the issues of their times and are instead only useful for convincing right-wingers that leftists are stupid assholes unworthy of the right to breathe. Third, your use of Nazis is poledancing on Godwin’s law so badly that I find it hard to believe you aren’t trying to make leftists look like idiots.
    It really doesn’t seem worthwhile going into detail about how you’ve distorted or misunderstood the facts about these politicans having been prosthetic faces for the sinister rich and their armies of thinktanks that actually did the things you appear to be blaming them for. The reason for that is I have to needle you on something much more important: Your asinine treatment of fascists in general and Nazis in particular.
    Please read David Neiwert’s Rush, Newspeak and Fascism before you consider using another fascist in any of your comics, thank you.

    http://cursor.org/stories/fascismintroduction.php

  67. Kurdt Says:

    I’ll quote Bill Hicks on this:

    “I’ll show you politics in America. Here it is, right here. ‘I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs.’ ‘I think the puppet on the left is more to my liking.’ ‘Hey, wait a minute, there’s one guy holding out both puppets!’”

    No matter who’s fucking us over, we’re all getting fucked either way. At least have a good laugh at the puppets dangling from the strings. They all deserve to be mocked.

  68. anonymous coward Says:

    To Kurdt:
    You and Bill Hicks are of course both right, and that’s also pretty much the case in Canada, the UK and a lot of other places too–perhaps most or even all places with some form of republican or representative democracy.
    Maybe I take politics too seriously but I find it severely trying that popular wages keep going down thanks to inflation and everybody keeps getting poorer except for a small fragment of the population who gets even more too rich for everyone else’s good. I wish that weren’t so and that’s not gonna change if nobody even tries to do anything to fix it.
    That’s what bothers me most about this comic… this comic just becomes something else American right-wing talk radio and the Free Republic assholes can point at to “prove” leftist thinking is bullshit and starts the next round of everybody yelling at everyone else for being wrong and stupid. And when those insults back and forth are all that’s going on in political discourse the rich don’t have to do any work dividing us in order to conquer… we’re already divided.

  69. Trenino Says:

    I must admit I sort of skimmed through this comic. I usually like political satire, but I must have a short attention span or something, because the length of this comic really put me off, unfortunately. You know I completely agree with you politically speaking… but I’m afraid this comic was too much for me.
    Aesthetically I think it’s brilliant. I particularly like the fact that Thatcherzilla reminds me of the Uber-Zombie Mother at the end of Peter Jackson’s Braindead/Dead Alive, whilst still being its own Rowntreeian creation.

    ‘Rowntreeian’?

  70. DoubleW Says:

    Yeah, Winston, you know the panel, where Reagan says “I’m a badass, motherfucking cliche, that’s why I walk and talk this way!”

    I think everyone missed it. I know I almost did. It seems like that was the hint your were dropping that this was a parody of parody. Next time you do something like this, you might need to have ‘the hint’ in a more prominent panel, or have more then one instance of it. Unless you get a kick out of watching living strawmen immolating themselves out of sheer rage.

    @ Kurdt – This mindset is why no one ever gets held accountable and why the media remains so complicit in the process. It isn’t ‘both parties are being controlled by the same people OMG!’, it has more to do with political parties being constructs devoid of any features other then what we tell them to be. These people function within rules that require them to give us what we think we want, and we’re just horrified when we figure out what that is. Do you really want to hear the other side’s opinion? Or do you just want them to start talking so you can have an excuse to scream at them? Do you really want to be included in the process, or are you trying to play the role of The Oppressed, to benefit from the moral high ground that imparts (I’m looking at you SoWhyMe)?

    @SoShyMe (because I know you’re still reading) – I can tell you right off that you aren’t impressing anyone. I was raised Republican, so you can’t just dismiss me as a ‘raving, left-wing fanatic’. People aren’t retaliating against you because of your political beliefs, they’re retaliating against you because you don’t bring anything to the table and have a massive sense of entitlement.
    Winston clearly takes time to address his readers, so you just come off as shrill and hypocritical.

  71. DoubleW Says:

    Oh man, I just spotted the girl in the last panel. Has she really been waiting all these years? Or have these guys set up shop in the timeline just a few years ago?

    http://www.viruscomix.com/page416.html

  72. schtroumpf Says:

    DoubleW: Well said on all points, particularly re the offended, entitled Republican dude. You put it much more articulately than I, too. (Although I still stand by the content of what I said, if not so much my hectoring tone.)

  73. Lye Says:

    Yeah, no. Not funny.

  74. Vincent Says:

    Winston, I loved the comic! Keep up the good work that cheers me up every time I read it.
    Where is the “Eisenschlafanzug”-script und the suit of the villain-Nazi? New model?

  75. Ayn Rand's Queef Says:

    Tbh if you’re quoting Bill Hicks as an excuse on why you shouldn’t vote, then you really are a fucking tool.


  76. NoVan: I appreciate that last point, and i’ll keep it in mind, though there are a lot of reasons to make a comic and, for better or for worse, ranting can be one of them. I thought back to a couple weeks ago and honestly what motivated this comic was that i thought it would be funny to have ronald reagan doing the lyrics to Straight Outta Compton, so that was the origin if anyone’s wondering. My sense of humor is quite childish, i assure you…

    anonymous coward: There’s taking it too seriously and there’s taking it WAY too seriously (the comic, that is). You’re clearly well-intentioned and very intelligent, but i promised myself that i’d ignore anyone who tried to bring up Godwin’s Law on this one, so I’m sorry, have a nice day.

    Vincent: I remembered that, but there was never really a close enough view to write it in legibly. Regardless, these are assuredly the very same Iron Pajamas.

    Ayn Rand’s Queef: Oi, keep it civil! Say it without insults. (plus I don’t want the quoting of Bill Hicks to be discouraged).

  77. NoVan Says:

    And, as I’ve said in my first post, I rather enjoyed some of those rap lyrics.

  78. J Says:

    Nice catch DoubleW! I love the little easter eggs that people bring up in the comments.

    That being said, I don’t really mind if Winston wants to experiment with political satire. He’s a brilliant satirist so it make sense that he’d expand his repertoire. I didn’t especially care for the comic, but it was still leagues better than anything in the news paper. I don’t just like Winston because he writes comics I like, rather I like him because I never know what to expect from him. Sometimes you aren’t totally pleased with the result, but overall it comes out above average.

    Give the guy a mulligan. I’d rather see him stretch his wings and fail than constrain his abilities.

  79. PoliticalParasites Says:

    Hey
    Enjoyed the comic, I really appreciate the Thatcher references… Don’t really know much about American politics but I think I get the thing with Ronald Raegan.

    But something stuck out in the comments. In what possible way was Thatcher in favour of socialised medicine (the NHS)? As in, she didn’t dare take it away? Is that what qualifies as support now? Remember that this is the same woman who pretty much crippled 40 years worth of social and public development. Britain had its problems, but selling the whole lot off for short term profit did us no good at all.

    What we have now is a society where the working class consists of violent disillusioned young people who don’t trust anyone anymore. The political left here is a joke (for more details see New Labour). I am proud that we have something like the NHS to call ours, but Britain really doesn’t have much left any more. I’m getting out in a couple of years. Maybe Sweden or The Netherlands.

    I suppose Thatcher got what she wanted, a society of people looking out for #1.

  80. benS. Says:

    Some smorgasbord !

    Matching rap music ? Don’t know nothing about such. Why not just R.I.P.-music ?

    Or, perhaps, something from My Fair Lady..
    or simply : “Old aunt Maggie’s got a farm, ee-eye, ee-eye oh”

    Taste these cookies:

    AA?-Batteries for Landkreuzer “Ratte” (designated weight: 1000 tons !!)

    Old cowboy’s bird-style weapon.

    The Bugzilla bug report
    and..
    some weird-looking grass in the last panel. Well.. not sure really.

  81. Noel Pruden Says:

    Hah! Ayn Rand’s Queef. That was fantastic.

    Although I’m not a fan of the time-traveling Nazis, they comprise only a small minority of the strips.

    Looking forward to some busted-ass shopping carts.

  82. Noel Pruden Says:

    Also, as it came out a while ago, that Stephen Harper strip was damn fine. That man is a complete ass, and it’s really pathetic that no other party in parliament has been able to get their shit together enough to challenge him on… anything.

  83. anonymous coward Says:

    Dear Mr. Rowntree,
    If you are dismissing Godwin’s Law calls because you feel like it then I guess we don’t have much to talk about.
    If the reason you felt like it is because you’re satirizing leftist demonization of Reagan and Thatcher then consider yourself as having earned a cookie and please accept my apologies for taking your work too seriously.
    Aside from that, eh… good luck finding ways to get value out of the hours waiting for and on the TTC.

  84. Da Says:

    Ehhh not your finest hour. Loooong convoluted setup and explanation, building to a joke about an old white dude singing gangsta rap and a woman so unpleasant she looks like an alien (because we all know that with women, ugly means evil).

    And then GASP! THEY’RE NOT EXAGGERATED AT ALL??? I could almost hear the Wa Wa Waaaaaaaa in the last panel.

  85. LightHorseman Says:

    Scientific progress goes “Thrummmmmm”?

  86. SoWhyMe Says:

    Actually, ugly women are generally ok. It’s beauty that breeds evil.

  87. William Brust Says:

    So, is the bald Nazi from our times? I ask because “Jimmy Jim-Bob” doesn’t sound like a German name from the 1930s.

  88. WarWeasle Says:

    Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your comics. Thanks for making them!

  89. jal Says:

    I’m a little late to the party and surprised to see no one has tried to identify the songs. If it were a Nickelback reference people would be all over it. It’s funnier (slightly) if you can imagine the music in your head. Here are my best guesses:

    1) N.W.A – Straight Outta Compton
    2) Run DMC – Walk This Way
    3) ?? –
    4) Dope Felons – Fuck Tha Police
    5) Jay-Z – 99 Problems
    6) ?? –
    7) Cypress Hill – Insane In The Membrane
    8) ?? -

  90. jal Says:

    I hate it when the number “eight” gets magically transmogrified into a smiley…


  91. William Brust: Yeah, they’re both from modern times.

    WarWeasle: Thanks!

    jal: Right on, i was waiting for someone to guess! You got a few of them, though “Fuck Tha Police” is NWA as well and the Cypress Hill song is “3 Lil’ Putos” in this case. The walk and talk this way/i like it hard bits are from “Walkie Talkie” by DJ Shadow (google the video, totally worth it, best video ever) and the last panel references “Alright Hear This” by the Beastie Boys. Oh, and “i’m not big on reality” is all Reagan (comic strip reagan, that is).

  92. Bizzle bizzle Says:

    Haha, read it for a second time; just saw the cameo in the last panel.

  93. James Dean Says:

    New Reader here, got caught up on the archive only recently. Comic style and this strip especially invoke a huge feeling of Deja Vu about a comic published in the ’80s called “Crisis: Third World War” from the same stable as 2000AD.

    As someone who grew up in the ’80s in neither Britain or the USA I used to think Maggie and Ronnie were the worst leaders of those two countries ever. That all changed on having to live through their successors…

    ‘Wot? No Pool Tax riff?!

  94. Matt Z Says:

    Brilliant!

    And to all the haters out there, go somewhere else. I’m sure Glenn Beck needs more idiots to buy his books, I mean toilet paper.

    Seriously though, Reagan was the worst modern US President. He’s pretty much the guy that put into place the terribly regressive tax system where the billionaire 1% that controls 80% of all wealth actually pays a lower percentage of their income in taxes than a grocery store clerk. He’s also the guy that started the entire deregulation of the financial industry which basically caused the collapse of the world’s markets. So if you are living in a country that was prosperous but now in dire economic straits, you can thank ole Ronnie Reagan. The morons that came after him pretty much either kept the downward trend, Bush and Bush 2.0, or ignored it because they were too distracted by other things, Clinton.

    And Rappin’ Reagan is hilarious. I hope he makes another appearance.

  95. James Dean Says:

    Matt Z: Before you grab the wealth envy pitchforks and fire up class hatred torches about the tax system in the USA, you might want to get your facts straight:

    From the Treasury Department: the bottom 50% of wage earners in the USA pay about 3% of all taxes, while the top 1% of wage earners pay about 40%. That top 1% doesn’t earn 40% of all income it earns about 22%.

    Then the Congressional Budget Office has these some new figures, not what percentage of all income taxes a particular group pays; but what percentage of their income they pay in income taxes:

    The poorest fifth of the population, with average annual income of $15,400, pays 4.5% of its income in federal taxes.
    The middle fifth, with income of $56,200, pays 13.9%.
    The top fifth, with income of $207,200, pays 25.1%
    The richest 1% with an an average income of $1,259,700 pays 31.1% of that income.

    That’s more like progressive in the extreme, not regressive. You might also want to look at not confusing income with wealth, just like our current tax system does.

    “You are entitled to your opinions, but not your own set of facts.” (I Couldn’t resist.)

    I’d be happy to argue that a progressive taxation system is a large root cause of the current economic woes, but that’s *my* opinion.

    Some “think it through” should also lead to: “Soak the Rich” comes under the heading of “For every complex problem there is a simple, obvious, and WRONG answer.” I’d also put single-payer and socialized medicine there.

    If you are interested in the skeleton of a taxation system that might stand a chance of working and *IS* progressive, go Google up the “Fair Tax”. Make sure you understand the prebate idea, as ideologues and critics frequently miss it. You may also have to get over the idea that it’s being pushed by a Republican or two and a talk show host, but I’m pretty sure anyone who enjoys this comic won’t be that narrow minded?;-)

    While I’d love to debate some of the more scientific and evidence based solutions (as opposed to ideological fantasies) to the current economic and health system woes of the USA I don’t want to do so here, and I’ve probably said enough on those non-related subjects already. The last word is thus yours if you want it.

    I loved this comic for its caricatures, but it scares me that some people don’t think that they’re caricatures.

  96. Matt Z Says:

    @James Dean

    I’d be more inclined to trust your ‘facts’ if you actually cited them. Of course the ‘rich’, or in all reality more like ‘moderately well off’, do pay a larger number of total taxes. But that is not the point. The point is that they pay a smaller percentage of gross income. When ‘capital gains’ are only taxed at 15%, and when bank bonuses that reach into the millions of dollars are considered capital gains, well, a reasonable person could understand a distrust of the terribly broken US tax system.

    You could also look at how historically, when the upper 1% paid a larger share in taxes, poverty levels dropped and surpluses rose. Granted, the current economic crises and the US being trillions in debt to China may have more to do with the fiscal irresponsibility of the Bush administration and less to do with the low taxes imposed on the rich, but I digress.

    And if you are going to argue that Reagan did not push through deregulation and tax cuts on high income earners, well, revisionist history does seem to be in vogue right now.

    The FairTax actually seems like a good idea. However I doubt the political feasibility of it. There is also the issue that since it is tied to consumption, rather than income, the rich may just go ahead and hoard their money rather than spend it, which could cause massive deficits. Raising income taxes on the wealthy seems to be somewhat more politically feasible than the FairTax is right now. However, you cannot argue that something needs to be done to raise revenue, and quick, before the US slides further into debt.

    Unless of course you don’t mind seniors going without their Social Security and Medicare.

    But I do like the idea of being able to pay rent and utilities before the IRS takes their cut.

  97. DoubleW Says:

    I’m not done reading yet, but concerns are already cropping up –
    So if this is designed to encourage saving by taxing spending, what happens when the desired amount of average savings per person is achieved? I’m seeing a steady tapering-off of the government’s income, but roads and armies and such still have to be paid for, regardless of how many shopping sprees people go on.
    Also, stores like Wal-mart do all kinds of number-fudging on the individual-outlet level to meet various goalposts set by the company, and get away with it. I’m not sure I’d trust them to handle something that could adversely affect anyone but themselves.
    Now, I’m not done reading it yet, but I haven’t seen anything pertaining to the wonderful ‘financial innovation’ that seems to make and break fortunes. Even without deregulation, there’s a huge amount of money flying around the stock market. It really seems like a fair area to milk some income from.

  98. ZeroSphere Says:

    Hmmmm. Not sure about this one.. Although I spotted the reference to the General Belgrano incident. Heard on QI (A Stephen Fry hosted ‘quiz’ of sorts!) that the said ship was actually the only battleship to survive Pearl Harbour unscathed, and was known as the luckiest ship in the US Navy, before being sold to Argentina. Weird old world.

    Peter

  99. jal Says:

    Whoops. I guess my rap knowledge is rather lacking. I spent the 80’s listening to Rush so please do a comic filled with 2112 references!

  100. Matt Z Says:

    @DoubleW

    Exactly the whole problem with the FairTax. Should consumption dip, like it is now due to the recession, tax dollars disappear. The even bigger problem is that tax dollars are disappearing at a time when the federal government needs even more money to fund social programs.

    There is also the issue where used items and items sold by non-corporate entities, individuals, are not going to be subject to the tax. So while the tax would feasibly force people that work outside the tax system, ie drug dealers, illegal immigrants, people that work ‘off the books’, would be forced to pay their fair share, I can see a complete underground economy forming that sells stolen, contraband, and used personal goods, merely so that people are enabled to circumvent the tax system.

  101. James Dean Says:

    DoubleW and MattZ: I’d love to respond to your concerns (which are valid, and either solvable or already addressed). However I’m respectful of this forum and not detract from the focus on the artwork and direct issues raised.

    So by a random and completely unscientific show of Internets, does anyone else think I should reply here or be a good guest and stay on-topic?

    More on topic: The reason,I think, that the caricatures of Reagan and Thatcher work so effectively is that both were great and effective leaders. Note that leadership is not in and of itself a good or a bad thing that judgment is tied to whether you think the aims of a leader are good or bad.

    I think this is possibly tied to my liking the Sphinx and the strips with her in it so much.

  102. Torus2112 Says:

    James Dean, I agree that the rich pay more. The impression that they don’t given by supporters of reform is irresponsible. That said, taxes are not nearly progressive enough. The rich should pay even more, and income from capitol gains should be taxed. This is not class warfare, it’s just fair. the money needs to come from somewhere, and that’s where it does the least damage. I think this is a fair game issue because domestic policy was brought up in the strip, and Reagan was the one who started the regression in the US.

  103. Matt Z Says:

    @ Torus
    And here’s where there is a problem. Representing the fact that the rich pay less as a percent of income is not ‘irresponsible’ as you call it. Especially when it is the truth.

    Warren Buffett, multi-billionaire investor, blasts the tax system that allowed him to pay a mere 17.7% on the $46 million he made in 2006, whereas his secretary paid 30% on her $60,000.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/money/tax/article1996735.ece

    I’d think he would know, since hey, he was the guy paying his taxes.

    This means Buffett paid $8.124 million and his secretary paid $18000. So yes, while he did pay more, it was a smaller percentage. That is what this discussion is about.

    I think what is more irresponsible are people like Jame Dean that want to perpetuate the myth that the rich pay so much in taxes that its becoming too onerous on them. We tried lowering taxes on the rich to spur economic growth and investment. It was called trickle down economics. Guess what? It was championed by Reagan. And guess what? It failed miserably. Poverty rates have climbed in the US while businesses closed, specifically in the high wage manufacturing sector.

    Well, maybe not failed entirely. We did see greater economic growth and investment overseas in China…

  104. TED Says:

    If they changed to a flat tax then the secretary and Buffet would pay the same percentage, Buffet would still pay a lot more but they would both pay an equal percentage of their income.

  105. DNTMEE Says:

    Percentage isn’t always fair either, nor does it tell the whole story. If both paid 50% taxes, for example, the secretaries lifestyle would come down considerably. Whereas, Buffet would STILL have millions upon millions. If compared to someone making $30,000 a year to begin with, 50% would leave them with $15,000 and a much more impoverished life. Again, Buffet and those other high earners out there would still be living in luxury. Even at 80% tax for that matter. Obviously, the person making $30,000 would be on the streets at 80% tax. Same percentage, drastically different outcomes.

  106. MattZ Says:

    A flat tax system is slightly fairer than the one we have now, where the rich enjoy almost limitless deductions and offshore tax havens to hide their money, making their taxes actually less than most working Americans. But it is still grossly unfair.

    For the reasons that DNTMEE said is why we need a strong, progressive based system of taxation. From 1945 – 1970 we had such a system. And at that time the USA enjoyed the greatest economic growth a prosperity for everyone, not just the privileged few.

  107. Steve Nordquist Says:

    Sorry supervillains have to get the blame exactly correct now, nevermind checking the AAs in the exaggeramatron! I did want to hear Rbt. Gates checked for unchecked privatization, but for the trouble of avoiding slander and striking enjoyable parody Rap, there it is. Aaaand that’s where the zombie money is. You schlemiel.

  108. kapsi Says:

    Son, someone should kick your teeth in for that comic.

  109. A Person Says:

    You know, I remember reading this comic a while ago and being kind of offended. Even knowing your left-wing-ness and complete readiness to display it it felt kind…facepalm-worthy, I guess, to do something like this, but now I’m just very amused. It’s so very stupid, yet so very funny.

  110. Samu Setanen Says:

    You’ll convince me that Thatcher and Reagan were “strongest opponents of totalitarianism” they day you’ll also convince me they WEREN’T just trying to replace a communist one with their own.

    I really don’t see any difference in crushing an opposition with guns and tanks (Prague spring) to crushing them with politics (1984 miners’ strike).


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