March 2nd: “One Day in the New Kingdom”

March 2, 2009


Comic. The New Kingdom: 1550-1070 BC. Dialogue and signage have been translated into a crude form of english for your convenience.



PS: I retract last week’s apology. I’m not sorry.

78 Responses to “March 2nd: “One Day in the New Kingdom””

  1. Leak Says:

    Heh… subtle. πŸ™‚

    Then again we’ve had anachronistic stuff in big Hollywood productions as well, so people might be used to it now… πŸ˜‰

    np: The Whitest Boy Alive – Time Bomb (Rules)

  2. Martin S. Says:

    oh, this is class. XD

    where do you get your ideas, i wonder. πŸ™‚

  3. bachterman Says:

    the wristwatch gave it away. πŸ™‚

  4. Questo's Dad Says:

    It was worth the wait. Thanks again WR.

    2 down, 3 to go.

  5. p Says:

    this was a good one!

  6. Camille Says:

    I’m loving the little “there’s probably no Osiris” xD

  7. Daniel Saenz Says:

    You are awesome, it was a brilliant, clever comic, and I love you πŸ˜›

  8. steve Says:

    The expression on the girl’s face when she says “indeed” is priceless.

  9. Sam Says:

    I laughed very, very hard at the “probably no Osiris” sign.
    The main joke was awesome too.

    I completely agree with your retraction of last week’s apology, too. =)

  10. Parry Says:

    “Indeed” + Ancient Egypt = Teal’c, obviously.

    Beautiful as always. ^_^

  11. stan Says:

    I like it

  12. Hatman Says:

    sexual liberation…. yum!


    OMG, I totally didn’t notice the watch!

    Well done.

    Oh, and thanks for revoking the apology. You had me supremely worried there. :p

  14. David McClelland Says:

    Ha! I love the ancient version of Metro. πŸ˜€

  15. Michael Ezra Says:

    Looks like Time-Travelling 21st Century Man has done very well for himself. Now where do I sign up so I can marry a hot Ancient Egyptian woman? (I would, of course, never tell her I was Jewish, or it’d be off to the stone quarries with me…)

  16. sarah Says:

    Hello I love the strip, but am having a though time seeing it. Could you possibly also upload uncompressed (png?) images in the future for those with visual problems? A hi-res would be cool too.

  17. andrew Says:

    Awesome strip! Also liked esthar goes to heaven, any more comics like that coming? I would totally buy one of your books if you had them. What comics, books, or tv shows would you recommend? Thanks a ton

  18. mouse_over_spolier Says:
    Bar pna bayl nffhzr gur Uvggvgrf unq ovt “U”f ba gurve uryzrgf.

  19. Sarah: I’ll see what I can do. In the meantime, if there are any previous comics you’d like higher resolution images of please send me an email and i’ll gather some for you.

    andrew: Hey, thanks. Won’t have another graphic novel ready for a good while, but there’ll be something eventually. As for recommendations, the comics I like most are linked to from this blog. I’m sadly not up to date on novels and TV right now, though I did watch the comedy series “Nathan Barley” and quickly purchased it on DVD because it’s overwhelmingly hilarious.

    mouse_over_spolier: At first I thought you were spam, but nowww I get it…

  20. sarah Says:

    Hey thanks for the response. I have been able to manage so far by using the zoom page feature on Firefox, but the comics appear very grainy. I agree with Andrew that a book would be great though. If its not too much trouble I’m sure some people would love just a link from your blog to a hi-res version on new comics (you could host on and even same on bandwidth). You do some great art I just hate it being ruined by my awful eyes!

  21. sarah Says:

    s/same/save eek!

  22. migue Says:

    Just Great.

  23. Thomas Says:

    Even if the wristwatch goes unnoticed, the guy’s blue eyes would probably stand out then as much as today. Speaking of eyes, love the period-correct eye make-up on both of them. πŸ™‚

  24. cleinonen Says:

    I’m gonna second (or third?) the point about the girl’s expression in the last panel being fantastic.

    Great ideas in this one. I especially liked the “Metro” and the “Osiris.” I had no idea ancient Egypt was as sophisticated as all that. (Though I guess contemporary Egypt might not be as fast to mention that ‘equality of women’ thing.)

  25. Paul Says:

    I have one of those solar powered, compass, altimeter, thermometer pressure watches. I always look at it and wonder if it would work well, abit without the atomic feature, in the past. What i could use it for other time and direction.

    • The Snark Says:

      The handy thing about watches is that if you’re ever suddenly sucked into the past anywhere between a few thousand BCE and 1930 CE, you can sell it for a ridiculous amount of money on the premise that the buyer can reverse-engineer it and make even more money. The buyer would never be able to do this, and would probably break it trying, so no risk of contaminating history.

  26. Clare Says:

    I first came across your comics on Cracked and have since read your full archive. I’d just like to say that I love your comics and that you show a great attention to detail that I really appreciate, such as the “There is probably no Osiris” in the background, which I found utterly hilarious.

  27. sorax Says:

    i really love your scripts they all have humour tha deals with a lot of things and the strips are also very detailed and excellent!!!keep up the good job

  28. nondisbeliever Says:

    Oh, come on! Like you could tell it was a wristwatch before the money shot.

    Great comic, as ever! Keep it wordy! πŸ™‚

  29. pillota Says:

    This was awesome!(as usual) πŸ˜‰

  30. Leak Says:

    @sarah: I don’t think that the JPG compression is your problem, as I can’t see any JPG compression artifacts even when I zoom in several times – the JPG is 1.6MB after all.

    I think what you’re really after is a higher-resolution version, but that’s got nothing to do with the compression. But since the original file is already 1.6MBs I’m not sure if offering them in an even bigger size isn’t going to kill Rowntree’s hosting plan…

  31. S.Human Says:

    I love your comic, there is a subtlety there that makes it stand out.

  32. Johnny Says:

    Hitites!master of the chariots my ass,haaaaa!, I love those details. I donΒ΄t know why but the H helmet made me laugh

  33. A very clever idea and superb art.
    I could actually see this happening in the distant future, were time travel discovered.

  34. Just love your work. Fabulous. Everyone is fantastic. I just hope you can keep it up, that’s a lot of creativity. Hopefully the well is deep and fed by a deep and powerful stream.

  35. Vadi Says:

    @sarah: Tried downloading the image and viewing it in a picture viewer with 100+% zoom? Or if you’re on a Linux with the desktop effects enabled, you can just zoom in.

    I loved that strip though. Interesting blend!

  36. Megan Says:

    Was there any meaning to the hieroglyphics at the top? I tried deciphering them using websites I found through Google ( and, but all I got was “Rainthshqingdm”.
    And the hieroglyphics at the end look like they means something, too, but I can’t figure out how to decipher those.

  37. Megan: The hieroglyphics at the top were just my attempt at spelling out the title. You almost got it: there’s actually a “1” at the start there, and the symbol for Ra can also mean “day,” so it’s “1 day in th new kingdm.” That thing in the middle can supposedly also mean “new,” so that’s where that comes from. The text at the end is just the website in a hieroglyphs font.

  38. Farrah Says:

    I am definitely linking to this in my web design class project. Yay! I have five ‘things of interest’ now (the minimum). You’ve made my day so much better!

  39. J.T. WIlson Says:

    Sir Rowntree, as always a wonderful tome.
    This one is more subtle but what a wonderful hit when it hits you! I had to go back to read more about what the guy said, THEN I noticed his watch……
    I was expecting a pan back in the last panel today with maybe the purple haired girl watching reality tv…I’m glad you didn’t, and outran my expectations!
    I simply love to study each panel for details but admit I can’t catch them al…

    I now need to read about the Hittites. I’ll tell ya, that’s how I impressed my teachers in elementary and high school, through knowledge I had gleaned from comics. Wonderful, wonderful, absolutely marvellous!

    DIG IT!!!

  40. Henry X Says:

    haha. Love it. Your comics have a great way of building on themselves.

  41. Ozymandias Says:

    Why on earth did you apologized on the first place. It was a wonderful comic.

    Now the funny is good too. ut if you want to deaviate from the common format more often by all means do so!

  42. Roadtoad Says:

    “Now that there’s funny, I don’t care who you are…”

    Quoth Larry the Cable Guy.

    And, lo, it was.

  43. Fenn Says:

    Hilarious, and I love how the Sphinx gets a cameo, too.

  44. mike Says:

    So that’s why they built a big statue of the Sphinx. They must have loved her. Pesky Hitites.

  45. Roadtoad Says:

    Well, come on, Mike! Why do you think the Egyptians invented ketchup? All that bronze in the Hittites’ armor, the ketchup helped it go down a little easier. (Or maybe the dude with the Seiko brought it with him…)

  46. Hatman Says:

    you think the fact that blue eyes are a more recent mutation (they’re actually a dominant gene, they just haven’t had a chance to spread yet) more common to northern Europe at the time was a hint to?

  47. Nick Welp Says:

    I like the gag in this one… I think it’s a gag, I guess it’s supposed to be ambigious. 1 reason I’d go back and live then: Interesting drugs, made from now extinct flowers. 1 reason to stay: booze made now tastes waaaaay better

  48. Martin S. Says:

    just my nitpick:

    when the lady says “a better form of government than the unelected pharaoh” i don’t see where ‘unelected’ comes in. its almost like an oxymoron. :p aren’t they a succession of rulers with a ‘divine mandate’ passed on by heredity? or maybe she’s thought of a better form of government already. haha!

    i read this strip when it first came out, and i had to read it again. it’s still fresh, and still a joy to read. πŸ™‚

  49. Dusty668 Says:

    Three times a day! Huzzah for Progress!

  50. Dusty668 Says:

    Hey, where are the Nazis, if there’s time travel, shouldn’t there be Nazis?

  51. Ian Says:

    i love the guy’s watch or rather, the fact that he has one.

  52. Dave Says:

    The negative connotation of consumerist irritates the crap out of me. If people didn’t buy useless bullshit (many would classify art in this category, but I disagree) then the already failing North American economy would be doing much worse and probably never recover. Useless crap provides jobs, and provides idiots with something to occupy their time.

  53. Roadtoad Says:

    Hmmmm. I don’t suppose it occurred to Dave that useless bullshit is one of the reasons we’re in trouble. But, hey, whatever turns your crank, I guess.

    There’s always EBay.

  54. Martin S. Says:

    dave’s view is ok, other countries, like the ones in asia were able to jumpstart their economies by producing the stuff the US buys.

    i’m not too familiar with how much of its own production the US consumes though. But like they’re saying in the papers, asians should start buying the stuff they make, and the US should get its production up again, and cut back on the buying.

    everything’s good in moderation. πŸ™‚

    i first heard of the words crass commercialism in calvin and hobbes, and its cool to see a another take on it by a comic inspired by the previously mentioned.

  55. Roadtoad Says:

    Yes, America, BUY MORE USELESS CRAP! It’s your patriotic duty to buy SHIT!

    Give me a moment while I wrap myself in the flag… πŸ˜€

  56. TS Says:

    Martin – it’s division of labor. The US/West has more skilled workers and produces higher-priced goods that require more skilled labor and more energy for production. (Airplanes, heavy equipment, software, etc.) Asia/developing markets make products that require less skilled labor and less training/energy for production. (Textiles, consumer goods, etc.)

    There are of course exceptions.

    Note that the more the US/West buys, the more prosperous those exporting Asian/developing nations become, and the more prosperous they become, the more high-end US/Western goods they can buy.

    It’s not a zero-sum game.

    Unless meant ironically, sustainable agriculture, diet, and hygeine would be somewhat lacking. Glorification of any past requires totally overlooking the squalor of the common slave and peasant for the grandeur of the rare patrician and ruler.

    Oh, and glossing over slavery. Workers strikes would be ended much easier by a pharoah than a cadre of lawyers. But I’m raining on the parade.

    The artwork is gorgeous, as usual.

  57. Martin S. Says:

    good points!

  58. Colin Says:

    TS, I don’t think it was intended to be historically accurate. You’ve missed the point.

  59. Colin Says:

    I crazy dig this.

  60. Mulky Says:


  61. Legollama Says:

    Epic social commentary. Epic.

  62. NBTT Says:

    That actually depressed me a bit…

  63. ken kleeb Says:

    Great.Great…Great. There is more accuracy in the cartoon then many might think. Search
    Women’s legal rights in ancient Egypt, you may be very suprised..Recommended for all women to read.

  64. Da Says:

    Nice. I think you might be giving the Egyptians a bit too much credit, but the premise is clever and unconventional, and the long buildup works well here.

  65. ok Says:

    Please marry me.

  66. Azaroth Says:

    I see what you did there. Clever.

  67. Agrim Says:

    You sir, are a genius!

  68. carol Says:

    I thought the girl might be a time-traveller also, given the anachronistic viewpoint she’s taking….
    Great comic, just discovered it, catching up on the archive, are there hardcopies for sale?

  69. Amused Says:

    This was an excellent comic, but I have to say: The man’s remarks about being a time-traveler just made my day!

    It’s rare to find something that in depth and thought out, not just on the internet, but anywhere! Thanks for making my day just a bit happier…

  70. Ben Says:

    If you seriously think ancient Egyptian society was better than modern society in these regards, you’ve got to study more about ancient Egyptian society. Egyptians atheist? They were so religious that they didn’t even have a word for religion; it was taken for granted and a part of every aspect of life.
    Also: slaves, man.

  71. Gerald Fnord Says:

    The most chilling words you can hear some days are, ‘You might look back on these as the _good_ times.’

  72. egyptian Says:

    I can relate to this…

  73. Gyrre Says:

    Actually, the Kemetian (Ancient Egyptian) Empire began as a matriarchy. It wasn’t until the (absurdly corrupt) Amun priesthood took over that it became a patriarchy.

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