August 31st: “The T-Shirt”

September 1, 2008

Comic’s finished once again. Goodbye summer, hello, uh, fall. Autumn. Anti-leaf festival. Septober. The Coldness. Even though it’s still 25 degrees here. Celcius. Summer Part 2.


77 Responses to “August 31st: “The T-Shirt””

  1. Michael Ezra Says:

    He: “Then if you hate that t-shirt so much, why did you buy it in the first place? Maybe *you’re* the idiot.”

    She: “It was a gift. Idiot.”

    He: “Oh. Well…well, couldn’t you have tossed it or regifted it or something?”

    She: “Hardly. It was a gift from my mom who was dying of fingernail cancer and who made me swear I’d wear it once a year on our Family Anti-Hipster T-Shirt Day. It’s…it’s kind of a sacred occasion for us; my grandmother started it in 1946 in honour of great-granpap who made t-shirts for war orphans in occupied North Africa, until a Nazi bullet–”

    He: “*Sniff* *Sob* Stop. You win. I’m the idiot. Not you.”

    She: “Ha! Psych! Can’t believe you fell for that bulls**t. You really are an idiot.”

    He: “You know, you already made me admit it; you could’ve stopped there.”

  2. Kurt Says:

    I had a shirt in high school that said “you laugh because I’m different, I laugh because you’re all the same.” I thought it was pretty cool till I saw about 5 other people wearing it. Sigh.

  3. Questp's Dad Says:

    So where do we all line up to buy the shirts? Nice one this week; reminds me of my designated “laundry day” shirt (Red Army, anyone?). Not serious about the shirts.

    P.S. Totally forgot to look for that movie, but I’m probably right in guessing that the Moviecone of video rentals doesn’t carry it. So I got 2 Miyazakis instead. Can’t go wrong. Totoros aplenty!

  4. andrew Says:

    man, she is one smart cookie

    I loved it when she called him an idiot

  5. bachterman Says:

    i have a tee like this:
    it means “don’t smile, you’ll die anyway.”

  6. I generally buy amusing t-shirts that just have funny pictures rather than phrases.
    Still I find those sorts of shirts greatly amusing.
    The few I have with words on them say stuff like ‘easy on the chillies’ alongside a monkey with flames erupting from his arse.

    Yes, I AM an idiot.
    Who likes farting monkeys.
    And LOVES this comic.

  7. Innominate Says:

    I think that t-shirt is awesome! It looks like it’s about the non-idiots being crushed by overwhelming idiocy; something I can empathise with greatly.

  8. Camille Says:

    I’m rather impressed she can guess he has an Armani suit like that 🙂
    But eh, brilliant as always. Poor little blue guy.

  9. Daniel Polwarth Says:

    It seems that woman has a really miserable attitude to life. When she hits sixty, she’ll be a haggard, bitter crone. She’s half-way there, now.

    The guy in the suit has been flagged to be an ‘arsehole’ by the writer because he has an expensive suit (and is therefore a corporate whore) and is a drink-driver to boot. But take away those flags, and the comments he makes are absolutely spot-on.

    The girl is wearing a tee-shirt that is clearly provocative, and is making a statement that suggests she is in some way superior to her fellow human beings. They are all idiots, she is not. When confronted by this, she says she hates the tee-shirt but must wear it out of necessity. The fact that she hates the tee shirt is another cheap get-out clause by the writer. It’s her tee-shirt. She’s wearing it. She could easily be lying when she says she hates it. Why own a tee-shirt you hate? Doesn’t make any sense.

    Given the excellent points the man has made, it would be difficult for her to admit to believing the message of the tee-shirt. Saying she hates it gets her out of the argument, but then why does she own it?

    Her attitude is surly and rude. It seems the writer is trying to make her seem ‘urban’ (hence her ethnic, not-quite-black-not-quite-Hispanic look), and that he believes the best way to portray a ‘street’ perspective is to be rude and surly. But it just makes her look bitter and twisted, and confirms the notion that the guy in the expensive suit has a good job, is clearly a professional, and is eloquent enough to engage in conversation at a bus-stop. She on the other hand lives in an apartment block, and given the nature of the tenants she describes, it’s clear its pretty run-down and cheap.

    Who’s the loser here? It seems she is. She is from a lower socio-economic background, takes a bitter, twisted view of life, and is surly and rude to people she meets.

    I’m with Armani guy on this one.

  10. joe Says:

    lol yet another fantastic strip that has a twisting punchline that succeeding in eliciting a laugh and a deeper understanding of social interaction. Keep it up

  11. gaw Says:

    I’ve followed this comic for months now without looking at the comments before. Are they always this analytical? I was expecting a dozen “dude, I want one!!!”, “when can we buy those shirts!” comments…because I wanted one.

    The shirt doesn’t explicitly say that the wearer is not an idiot. It simply contains Life’s Pie Chart showing the idiots outnumbering everybody else, and Armani guy has used his own opinions and prejudices to insinuate where the girl must feel she belongs on the chart.

    I will proudly wear my shirt knowing that my idiocy is crushing the good intentions of the few…assuming the shirts become available.

  12. Zev Says:

    Daniel Powarth wrote:

    “Who’s the loser here? It seems she is. She is from a lower socio-economic background, takes a bitter, twisted view of life, and is surly and rude to people she meets.

    “I’m with Armani guy on this one.”

    Geez, can you say “elitist?” She’s poor and therefore she’s wrong? Also, I don’t like to use the “-ist” word beginning with “r,” but your comment, “‘urban’ (hence her ethnic, not-quite-black-not-quite-Hispanic look)” treads dangerously close.

    Also, this is a single, “gag” comic strip, not a novel worthy of “don’t trust the author” Derrida-type deconstruction. Unless, I suppose, one has some sort of socio-political agenda to push.

  13. Robbie Says:

    dude, I want one!!!

  14. TentacledBeast Says:

    @Daniel Powarth: Nope. I couldn’t disagree more.

    – The woman is entitled to a miserable attitude because she’s been having a really bad day, as she explains. It happens to everyone.
    – The man is not making good points. He makes a completely unsubstantiated assumption, namely that the woman mistakes difference in tastes and lifestyle for difference in intelligence. “I think people are idiots” doesn’t necessarily mean “I think people are idiots because they don’t like the same things as I do”.
    – The shirt is not provocative, because everyone who sees it will assume they belong to the intelligent minority, and agree (“yeah, people are such idiots…”). It’s human nature. Think about it! 😉
    – The fact that the woman feels she is more intelligent than most people does not make her a bad person. She could be right, she could be wrong, but as long as she doesn’t offend anyone in *particular*, she has the right to express that feeling – which is understandable, because we all feel like that when some idiot ruins our day (for example, when confronted by bureaucracy).
    – The Armani guy is ultimately more rude than the woman, as he is the one making assumptions about her.
    – Many of us (myself included) believe most people are idiots who ruin it for everyone else. To me, for instance, people who drive a car when the bus would suit them perfectly are idiots, and they are the majority; and they totally ruin it for the others by creating traffic jams. I make the intelligent choice by taking the bus, so as not to contribute to the problem. I do not think this view makes me a bad person.

  15. TentacledBeast Says:

    And of course, I’d like to congratulate the artist for another tought-provoking comic (almost forgot, shame on me).

  16. name Says:

    If she’s too dumb to check the dryer before she puts all of her nice clothing in it, she deserves what she gets.

    If she’s too dumb to know how to lock up her bike correctly, or take it inside her home for safe keeping, she deserves what she gets.

    If she’s too dumb to figure out that she should put a jacket over her shirt, or failing that, wear the shirt inside-out, she deserves what she gets.

    She’s just a dumb idiot like all the other dumb idiots on the street that she so glibly condemns.

  17. Kurt Says:

    Reply to name:
    How often do you check the dryer before you throw your stuff in? Would you actually think someone would be stupid enough to do something like that? Neither did she, hence why she’s so pissed off.
    Locked bikes get stolen too, quite a bit actually. Those chains aren’t 100% effective.
    Maybe it’s too hot out to wear a jacket, ever think of that?

  18. Kelly F. Says:

    I love humanity. All this vitriol from a simple t-shirt.

    I just wanted to say that, from a distance, her shirt looks like Pac Man eating Grimace…

  19. Megan Rose Says:

    This is my favorite strip, and that’s saying a lot! (I love them all!)

  20. I actually did consider the jacket issue. Bottom line is, in the comix i tend to go by what the weather is in real life, and it’s been like 25+ degrees here the last few days. T-shirt weather, in other words.

  21. Rip Van Says:

    Dude, I would SO buy and wear that shirt! Aint it the truth! LOL

  22. seanux Says:

    It’s strips like these that give me a moment of joy.

  23. riggzilafem Says:

    Hey I just want to know where to get the T-Shirt?

  24. MakingBoost Says:

    Too True…. Too True!

  25. Rob Retter Says:

    I’d spend a long time here, typing in a lengthy dissertation on which character in a comic strip deserved insulting vitriol… if I were an *idiot*.

    Shirt proven.

  26. April Says:

    I really like this comic, I’ve never seen it before and I found it very empowering. Thank you to whoever wrote and illustrated it. It says the things I’d like to say on an everyday basis, but feel to intimidated by the moment to do so.

  27. supervossi Says:

    i think i love you

  28. Mufasa Says:

    Wouldn’t it be interesting if they really sold a shirt like that? I know I’d be the first to buy..

  29. pepojelly Says:

    I love it! Very Kuan Teen!

  30. AmirHossein Says:

    Where can I get one of these shirts?lol

  31. Ian Says:

    I want that shirt lol

  32. Michael Ezra Says:

    Winston, dude. I think it’s time you started moderating comments more closely. Up until now there hasn’t been a problem, but for some reason all the goons seem to be crawling out from their rocks all of a sudden. Show some pride in your site, man! 🙂

  33. Fretsejaz Says:

    Hmm…. Honestly, I considered the man in the suit to be the twit in this particular situation, but after reading the comments made against the….. “dyke” was it?, I’ve changed my mind….

    The man in the suit is a twit and the idiots who defend him are bigger ones.

  34. Marc Says:

    Rob said:

    “I’d spend a long time here, typing in a lengthy dissertation on which character in a comic strip deserved insulting vitriol… if I were an *idiot*.”

    I got started typing one, but stopped when I read that. Great comment. Thanks for reminding me there are better uses of my time today.

    Hopefully we’ll get some more time-traveling Nazis, soon. At least those aren’t controversial!

  35. Kiwi Says:

    dude wtf is up with the comments?

    Fabulous comic, as always.

  36. Kurt Says:

    Hey Thespeakeroftruth, your name links to a porn site. You lose the right to judge anybody or anything for quality ever again.

  37. I know, I know, I’m sorry about the comments. I’ve been at work all day. I apologize to everyone for having to look at such fucking nonsense. The worst offenders have been deleted. I do take pride in my site!! I do I do I do!! There will be no more such nonsense in the future. Hateful posts will be quickly deleted. People who make homophobic remarks will be hunted down and pelted with overripe fruit. I apologize to everyone for the door being left open so that some Idiots could slip through and start pissing on all the furniture. Moderation will be more timely in the future. I wasn’t prepared for the Idiots, not having seen them here previously, but nothing brings out the Idiots like a comic that mocks them. They don’t like that, Idiots don’t. I readily accept dissenting opinions, but anonymous hatred will be vaporized on sight.

    I do not want the good and decent people of the world to be afraid to post things here. I am pissed off at the Idiots. I hate, hate, hate having to delete comments. I fucking can’t stand it. It makes me feel like Big Brother. But (SIGH) I need to set a precedent here. There will NOT be any more homophobic remarks on this site. I fucking mean that. Oh boy do I ever mean that.

    Daniel Polwarth: No, a “cheap get-out clause” would be not making the comic in the first place. Or just having the t-shirt image as the comic, with no further exploration.

  38. Chase Says:

    Sweet, another pretentious comic featuring hypothetical opinions! It’s like a liberal/nonconformist version of Mad TV! Not funny and doesn’t really have a legit point. YAY CYNICISM.

    I like the T-shirt though, don’t get me wrong, just a stupid premise to base a comic off of. I do like the artwork too.

  39. Andrew` Says:

    I always wear my clothes inside out anyways; it is more comfortable due to the seams.

  40. Frank Black Says:

    Funny! Haha. This is the Subnormality I love.

  41. Gabe Says:

    Just stumbled upon this comic late a few nights ago and I’m instantaneously hooked! I’m a big fan of xkcd, toothpaste for dinner, and questionable content among others, and I’m happy to have found another quality interweb comix to follow. I seriously spent maybe an hour reading through past posts…

    And Seriously: Bttf references including nazis and roosevelt, Brilliant!

  42. Daniel Chong Says:

    Hello from Malaysia.

    Found Subnormality yesterday through Digg.

    Today, I have decided that Subnormality is like my webcomic ‘soulmate’.

    Thank you very much!

  43. Daniel Chong Says:

    ‘Idiot’ is too general. I prefer to see people through the D/A/P lens I first heard in Team America 😛

    “We’re dicks! We’re reckless, arrogant, stupid dicks. And the Film Actors Guild are pussies. And Kim Jong Il is an asshole. Pussies don’t like dicks, because pussies get fucked by dicks. But dicks also fuck assholes: assholes that just want to shit on everything. Pussies may think they can deal with assholes their way. But the only thing that can fuck an asshole is a dick, with some balls. The problem with dicks is: they fuck too much or fuck when it isn’t appropriate – and it takes a pussy to show them that. But sometimes, pussies can be so full of shit that they become assholes themselves… because pussies are an inch and half away from ass holes. I don’t know much about this crazy, crazy world, but I do know this: If you don’t let us fuck this asshole, we’re going to have our dicks and pussies all covered in shit!”
    – Team America, World Police 2004

  44. the psychological aspect is always awesome

  45. curlpop Says:

    She’s gorgeous! Your updates always make me smile!

  46. RuleNo2 Says:

    I have never met someone wiser than myself, and yet I consider myself an idiot. My only logical conclusion is that we are all idiots, merely capable of being mediocre at a few choice skills if we put tons of work into it – but completely useless at anything we haven’t trained over and over to do.

    Someone should figure out some better ways to take those skills everyone has and combine them into one super being. THAT being would not be an idiot, at least.

  47. Nick Welp Says:

    You might make some money off that t-shirt. Ever consider Threadless? You can submit a design, people vote on it, and if yours is voted to be the next batch of shirts made they’ll pay you a couple thousand dollars.

  48. Nick Welp Says:

    to me an idiot is someone vastly overstepping their knowledge. A non-idiot isn’t so presumptuous.

  49. Marc Mielke Says:

    I want a t-shirt. And the girl’s number, if she’s single.
    Seriously, I think you draw some of the best-looking and realistic women I’ve seen in comics. You could definitely give those Marvel or DC folks a lesson in basic anatomy.

  50. Baljet Says:

    Dude, I want one!

    Yeah, put it up on Threadless:

  51. Not sure about the whole Threadless thing. I’d rather keep the merchandising to a minimum. Oh, I’ll make t-shirts eventually, but the time has not yet come. Or something.

  52. Just to say thanks for your wonderful comments. It was quite touching…
    I’m advertising subnormality as much as I can here in Italy.
    I’m still of the opinion that is the ebst webcomic I have ever seen on the internet.
    For the sake of the universe, please continue.

  53. awesome comic in many aspects i can really dig that statement.

  54. Chaos Shepherd Says:

    Can I get a shirt like that?

  55. Zev Says:

    “I’d rather keep the merchandising to a minimum.”

    That’s fine if you’re Bill Watterson and already have a widely-syndicated strip as a source of income. But come on, do you really want to mow lawns all your life when you have so much talent? Making money off your art isn’t “selling out.”

  56. Zev: Oh, I realize it’s not selling out, don’t worry. In the days of my hero Bill Watterson, one could make a living from the comix alone, but, in the here-and-now, the webcomics business model REQUIRES merchandising to actually earn a living. Merchandising is the sole source of income. And so there will eventually be merchandising, because I do not in fact want to mow lawns all my life. But it will be kept to a minimum. I’m just not comfortable turning this into a Business. There will be a t-shirt or three. They will be stylin’. People will say “hey man, nice shirt.” I will potentially spend less time mowing lawns and more time makin’ comix, for that is the goal.

  57. Chris S Says:

    @Winston: I would definitely buy a shirt or three and never call you a sellout. Bill Watterson had newspaper syndication and regular book releases with royalties, and you have a website I can look at for free.

    Anyway, if I’m ever in the neighborhood, I’ll mow your lawn for free.

  58. Phrank Says:

    They’re both judgmental assholes, though I’ve got to be honest, Mr. Armani less so. His superficial judgments are based on the shirt, but also that preemptive, condescending scowl/smirk she’s got. He still reads too much into her…but then again, it’s maybe understandable. She’s not necessarily a smug, elitist artist who puts herself on a creativity pedestal and puts more effort into being an artist than making art…but it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine.

    Now for her judgments. I’m all for progressive tax systems, you know, the kind that some call “class warfare,” but her derision of this guy for wearing a suit is ridiculous. I wear a suit when I go to job interviews, and I don’t have a car. That means sometimes I’m at the bus stop wearing a suit. I make like $8,000-$10,000 a year, guys. So I could very well be that guy. The fact that she happened to be right about his drive-drinking is a bullshit coincidence. The distinction being, I might see her shirt and her scowl, and make a bit of a snap judgment myself, figuring that, suit or not, she’d be “above” any conversation we might have. Mr. Armani at least had the decency to give her the benefit of the doubt, despite his preconceptions. Though with a scowl like she had, you couldn’t blame a person for knowing who not to talk to.

    I don’t buy that she was making any effort not to look like a bitch, and Mr. Armani going beyond our societal norms to comment on it, may make him as much of an asshole as her, but not exactly an idiot.

  59. […] – bookmarked by 2 members originally found by PrincessofFire99 on 2008-10-27 August 31st: “The T-Shirt” – bookmarked by 2 members […]

  60. Initialdproject Says:

    Yes! Bill Watterson FTW. Great comic and I personally love psych/social aspects.

  61. asd Says:


  62. Jay Says:

    It’s the 80/20 rule in effect. Everywhere I look.

  63. lora Says:

    kinda looks like pac man

  64. Nataly Says:

    Did no one read that she was having a bad day? Seriously, it’s like you all just like to skip the “inconvenient” evidence and just go straight to attacking the artist.

    Next time you have to rant about the idiocy of others, you should probably go re-read what you missed.

  65. tyler Says:

    hahaha this is pretty funny.

  66. Vonthako Says:

    This reminds me of another great webcomic strip:

  67. BBQsauce Says:

    Well, WR you are an engaged artist and I appreciate you defend a lot of causes I empathise with with that much talent.

    As itself I like the t-shirt as I find it to be provocative, well thought and well drawn. But, with all the respect I’ve got to your work, the whole dialogue makes me feel nothing but angst. The morale is supposed to be, the shirt is right, look at how many idiots ruined that woman’s day, and yet how asocial this morale is, and how artificial this situation is. We live in society where no one can live on it’s own, we need a peer for birth, sex, feeding, security, health care, recognition and accomplishment, every imaginable primary need and comfort, and where most of the time an other human being even a fucking stupid dumb fuck helped or could help you in the future rather than is an opressing obstacle to happiness.

    The shirt is wrong, it’s good but you can’t defend it rationally and this comic is it trying too hard.

  68. BBQsauce Says:

    Meant anger btw, also maybe 2-3 other typos

  69. rod Says:

    This is so frickin awesome i don’t even have words to describe it

  70. Yamara Says:

    Raoul (Mr. Armani) is the very soul of unexamined privilege, right down to his postmodern self-awareness of being a character who represents this.

    He assumes the shirt is supposed to explain the person wearing it– but that’s only because he expects what he is wearing to explain his status. Typical of Raoul, he’s explained himself far more completely than he imagined.

    We still don’t know much about T-Shirt Wearer, though. For all we know, she may be just angry because of her job.

    Nice earrings.

  71. Dr. L Says:


  72. Paul Says:

    I have to wonder if this comic was created with the guy who angrily commented on the last one in mind. I saw what he wrote about your comics all being negative and your arguments equivalent to something along the lines of a little kid taking a shit on the Sistine Chapel and thinking he’s cutting edge… If so, I don’t blame you. I also don’t understand how he can say “show, don’t tell” when a comic is a visual representation doing exactly that.
    Curious thought aside, I actually happen to enjoy your comics – nearly all of them (I don’t speak Spanish, so that one left me clueless, needless to say) in fact. I just discovered your site recently, and I don’t know if you still produce these or not, but they are wonderful and I’ve loved most of what I’ve seen so far. Keep up the good work, I love your style and subtle messages you place in your comics so well.

  73. Euan Says:

    She could have told the guy that she didn’t like the shirt either. Its not exactly fair to assume that the guy would know in such a situation.

    • Neferius Says:

      nah, fuck that. We all assume things about others. He opened his mouth first and assumed she was some “artsy hipster”.
      That being said, i’m assuming he would next casually ask her out for coffee 🙂

  74. I love her look. And I want that shirt!!

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