Sept. 21st: “Science Fair”

September 22, 2008

El comico es finito!! I am left with just scads of spare time, having finished at like 11pm this week, thus I shall fill this blog post with awe and wonder and things that go bump in the night because they’ve lost their flashlights and are trying to sneak back into the house after curfew. I wish I had a curfew. Might get these drawings done sooner.

Things I did this week:

  • With the help of You, the Heroes who read this comic, It has been determined that the only word around here which is too rude to type out in full is “N***elback.” Take note, and add as many asterisks as you please. Find a ninja if you’re short a couple.
  • I read that “artist” Damien Hirst continues to sell his “works” for 18 millions dollars each. Not that a shark in a big tank isn’t neat and all, but unless he gave birth to the shark then I’d have to hesitate at calling it a piece of art. Mostly I just think that 18 mil is kind of steep for something you could just catch on your own for far less money. THUS: for those looking for pieces of art, but not looking to spend 18 million, I shall be selling original Subnormality art for the bargain price of one million dollars each. That’s eighteen you could have for the price of one pickled shark, so I think that’s a pretty good friggin’ deal. Email to arrange payment or to inquire which art is available. Yes, I am seriously charging one million dollars. No, I do not expect any takers, which is kind of the point.
  • I finished reading my Mom’s latest novel (actually i did that last week, but oh well), and I can objectively recommend it to anyone who likes reading (there’s lots of words in it, like my comix) because it’s that kind of book: fundamentally good. Humorous, moving, and it makes you feel better about your life. Plus it’s totally suitable for these modern times of small worlds and global villages and whatnot. Did you know that sometimes people in one country go to live in another country?! Well, it’s true! Not that you’d know it from the usual mass entertainment crud. Around here (Canada), we’re constantly being told how we’re all beer-drining hockey fanatics who like tractors and being polite when someone’s stabbing you in the face with a hunting knife. I like books that contradict this. This is a novel about Real characters, the kind of thing I aspire to write. Highly recommended. And no, you can’t figure out my real last name if you know my Mom’s name, because she writes under her maiden name! Ha!! Fools!! Anyway, this ends the only advertisement you will ever see in this space. Give birth to me and thou shall receive free press! This is a standing offer.
  • Ah yes, my favorite columnist was the target of death threats and verbal abuse from Fox News because she dared to state the bleeding obvious and identify Sarah Palin as white trash. Well guess what? SHE’S WHITE TRASH!! The whitinest, trashinest, homophobinest, pro-lifinest, whitey white white McTrash that ever shot a moose, and if McCain is elected and then dies in office and then fuckin’ Wilma Flintstone becomes president then I will be moving to Jupiter at my earliest convenience before she decides to initiate the End of Days by nuking Moscow or something. I’m not American, but I am from Earth, and here on Earth we don’t put up with that kind of bullshit. I hear Jupiter’s nice this time of year. Very little snow. No tourists. No dangerous hillbillies.
  • Watched some random, aeons-old YouTube video of, erm, gwen stefani when she was in high school. Back when she was a Real person. Weird shit. Apparently celebritites used to be people when they were young. Or maybe the lesson here is that they still are people. Or maybe the lesson here is that it’s definitely time to stop typing for another week.
  • Cheerio, then! Be seeing you. Death threats to the usual address (mine, that is).

Awkward double handshake,

W. Rowntree

40 Responses to “Sept. 21st: “Science Fair””

  1. Chris Moran Says:

    Nice writing style. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    Chris Moran

  2. Michael Ezra Says:

    Loved the comic, though I wonder exactly how many amanita muscaria mushrooms you must ingest every Sunday in order to come up with these ideas. As for Suzy’s science project, I think that it fails on methodological grounds for this simple reason. If she was trying to replicate and expand on the results of her predecessors’ experiment–namely, that repeated enforced exposure to a *recording* of Sinatra was sufficient to cause death–then building a robotic Ol’ Blue Eyes who went around burning people and buildings was quite frankly, cheating.

    What Suzy should’ve done was construct a satellite to orbit the Earth, use it to bombard the atmosphere with Sinatra music (preferably the annoying novelty songs like “High Hopes”), and measure from the safety of orbit how many people went mad and killed themelves or others. *That* would’ve been a valid extrapolation from the method of the original experiment.

  3. T. Lewis Says:

    Epic. I hope it IS contined, as suggested in the comic…

    @ Mike Exra: She was twelve. building a robot was amazing enough. GOSH

  4. Michael Ezra Says:

    @T. Lewis: Yes, it was amazing, but if we grant that a twelve-year-old can be intelligent enough (and that her family had enough money) to build an invincible fire-spewing robot crooner, it’s not much of a stretch to imagine that she could construct a Sinatra Satellite.

    Satellites are AWESOME.

  5. Prairie Dog Says:

    You FOOLS!!! The Elvis Robot will create a hellish world worse than the Sinatra bot. Death by pelvic thrust and inundated with PB&Js fried in french fry grease will be our fates. Don’t you realize the Elvis Robot is unkillable! When will the madness end???

  6. Herr Anonym Says:


    Then people would stop listening to the radio.

  7. Kiwi Says:

    Prairie Dog: aha! But if you look on the blackboard behind her, you will see she has included a self-destruct “before it gets too powerful” 🙂

  8. Questo's Dad Says:

    MEzra, I think that Suzy’s “cheating” is infinitely preferable to the alternative as seen in Subnormality 56, what with the legions of alien spacecraft salivating at the chance to pulverize the planet transmitting “Ice Ice Baby”.

    Either way, she better start looking for parts, because the next solution involves 4 robots. And moptops. Those are hard to make.

  9. Robot Sinatra Says:


    (Translation: Gawd, these comics are awesome! But I have to retort on that last panel, Robot Elvis wouldn’t stop me. This is a job for Robot Jim Morrison!)

  10. bachterman Says:

    let me guess: r. frank sinatra is sarah barracuda?

  11. Innominate Says:

    This works on so many levels! Brilliant, as usual. I notice that you had far fewer words than normal. I’m unsure as to whether to be impressed or fearful. Perhaps you’ve already become a pawn of the insidious Robot Beethoven – deaf to our cries for mercy!

  12. Ok, I thought I loved the truth ninja.
    Now I love elvis-bot.

    What’s that Sarah?

    “Hockeymom Hockeymom, family, alaaaaaskaaaaa”


    Oh and by the way, my latest less egregious work is on display.

  13. Jim Ryan Says:

    So for Part III, do we up the ante and watch Robo-Elvis be brought down by the Robo-Beatles? And how big a donation to the artist do we need to scrounge up to see this?

  14. Kurdt Says:

    Robo-Beatles can only be brought down by a Robo-Ono, which would kill all life on earth with its ear-splitting shrieks.

  15. Ratazana Says:

    “Did it his way”, excellent, better even than the chrono-nazis.

  16. Jose Says:

    This the best comic in the web!!!!!!!c´mon Robo_King, you can kill this fuking Sinatra-Bot!!!!!!

  17. Fretsejaz Says:

    Honestly, anything I really want to say about this comic has already been expressed, but I feel that I should simply say:

    This comic was bloody awesome, superb, amazing, divine, eloquent, *rants off for a few hours using as many words he can find that are positive traits* and most of all, hilarious! I do think he’s getting better at these, as hard as it is to believe.

  18. The Count Says:

    Only 35 degrees for maximum pelvis rotation? Good luck taking over the world with THAT… Hell, Oliver Cromwell had 38 and he only had the British Isles to worry about…

  19. Michael Ezra: Yeah, Suzy was totally cheating, but she mostly just wanted to burn down the school.

    Prairie Dog: I agree completely!! The madness shall never end…

    Kurdt: The End of Days is as you describe. KIEEEEEEEIIEIEIEIE!!!

    The Count: Oh yeah, well [ultra-witty, historically-themed retort]!!! So there!!!

    And yes, the Atomic Beatles are the only thing that can bring down Mecha-Elvis. Well, that and his love of deep-fried lard or whatever it was. Bacon-fried gristle burgers with cheese. And by “cheese” i mean “spare ribs.”

  20. T. Lewis Says:

    Lets hope that self-destruct works *before* we’re doomed to Robo-Ono.

  21. arkonbey Says:

    Perfect illustration of human nature. We can’t seem to let well enough alone. That’s why I am leery of the ‘planet cooling’ technology. It could just create a see-saw of badness (why not just stop heating first and see what happens).

    And Mechanical Beatles may lead to the Robotoic Yoko Ono. Or, just Yoko Ono.

    Concerning Damien Hirst. Too much money. At least Duchamp didn’t ask for gobs of cash for his R. Mutt urinal.

  22. Chris S Says:

    Great. Just great. Now we’ll need a robot Darby Crash to save us from the robot Elvis…

  23. Putney Says:

    Excellent. Goddamn excellent.

  24. Rob Retter Says:

    It’s often the case that SUBNORMALITY (why always with the caps, anyway?) works on several levels. One of them is in the little details of background text: “Chaos in Streets, Cul-de-Sacs”

    Cul-de-Sacs? Where do you *get* this stuff?

    And there’s a similar sort of thing in some speech: “Ready your sharp implements!”

    Now there’s a phrasing that kinda knocks you upside the head just a little, makes your eyes widen a tad as you absorb the scene. Such writing is one of the reasons SUBNORMALITY’s endless text blocks offer a charm all their own, more than justifying their oft-excessive length.

    Winston, yer a weird one. Keep it up.

  25. Rob Retter: Cheers, man. I and my endless blocks of text would like to thank you for such positive sentiments. Why the caps for SUBNORMALITY? Ah, the mysteries of life…

  26. Spaztick Says:

    Oh man, I think I know where this could lead to…

  27. yoche Says:

    also love the reference to metric 🙂

  28. yoche: Glad i’m not the only Metric fan here!

  29. brady Says:

    I would propose that the entire bailout bill go to buying your art. At only $1M each, the American people could own 700,000 of your historic works.

  30. Mack Says:

    I don’t actaully have a problem with the price of Hirsts’ works. There’s only one, and all art collectors with any understanding of the piece want one, supply and demand, ergo, so many bazillion dollars.

    It’s just the way the art world goes. Shepard Fairey proved the inevitability of economics affecting art with his Obey Giant campaign and book Supply and Demand- Where the giant face goes from being countercultural to purchasable.

    Banksy fought that shit for years, and now he sells his pieces anonymously for thousands.

  31. wes Says:

    haha, nice, I love where the guy says “you’ve really done somethin’ stupid now” perfect time for a reference. The scat stuff isn’t exactly frank sinatra-esque, but still really funny 😀

  32. Someone Says:

    Wow, I just discovered this site and it is amazingly hilarious, I don’t know how I’m going to go back to normal comedy now. Keep up the good work!

  33. Mudora Says:

    Best, thing, ever. Called it by the way. Uh huh huh.

  34. Andy Says:

    I can’t wait to see Metric in 16 days!

  35. smally biggs Says:

    Yeah, I hate school.

  36. Sean Says:

    I would actually love to see a follow up to this comic

  37. Matt Cooper Says:

    If this was a “Summer Epic Blockbuster” I would totally go see it.

  38. tevra1 Says:

    this could work…Elvis is WAY more annoying than Sinatra

  39. continue the story!!!
    Pd: i love u

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