May 3rd: Embarrassment?

May 4, 2009


Here’s some text and images for y’all. I’d write more, but it’s always like 1am when i post these damn things so the only appropriate thing to write is, uh,  “goodnight.” And thanks for reading! A virtual, internet e-handshake to any new readers, and a huge, web-based iHug for anyone who’s been sticking around week after week dashing themselves on the rocks of text that line the base of these here cliffs.




Shit, i keep forgetting to post this: got a nice review by a nice man on a nice blog, so that was a nice surprise and was nice to read also. Nice.

90 Responses to “May 3rd: Embarrassment?”

  1. clerick Says:

    Always love these comics and your art style. Sucks if that really happened to you but then again we all fall.

  2. Anonymous Coward Says:

    She’s now at a worse position than in the stapler/scissors series.

  3. Alan Broadmoor Says:

    I only wish the walls of text were even taller! Cheers to the best comic in my RSS feed.

  4. Dusty668 Says:

    I would totally kill for some fish and chips now, except for chicken instead of fish, and a a piece of cornbread instead of chips. Rawk!

  5. LafinJack Says:

    Hahaha, #3.

    I almost thought you gave in to the wall-o-text haters on that one, then I scrolled down further.

  6. bachterman Says:

    the 10th guest has it all wrong. his power is not in his hands, it’s in his nostrils. 🙂
    #21 reminds me of d-fens from falling down. what a great movie.

  7. GerryB Says:

    “How observant thou art, let me count the ways.

    22 ways



  8. Camille Says:

    Great one again! You deserve a i-Hug as well because your comic is one of the best I ever saw on the web, and god knows I procrastinate a lot.
    Number 16 is adorable xD

  9. Sahanavic Says:

    I usually find myself thinking #7 (or #6 on bad days) in these situations.

  10. Isaac Says:

    But … but… do they ever really make kitchen doors like that with only “pull” as an option? I thought those sorts of doors swung both ways by design.

  11. Qwerinty Says:

    I’ve been reading since comic #54, and each week I’m further entertained by these. I for one love the “wall of text”. I don’t see these as comics as much as I see them as social commentary with pictures.

  12. Lauren Says:

    Brilliant as usual! I hope we see the Amphibious Libertarian Chainsaw Militia and/or the traveling salesman in future comix.

  13. Stutkhartz M Says:

    Nice one WR! Rising to new heights — especially in contrast to The Sun. Is it possible to sink any deeper away from what constitutes ‘news’?

    CK: This one time, at band camp…

  14. Ryonm Says:

    Don’t worry, you can never hate Nickleback too much.

  15. TToM Says:

    Thanks TO Subnormality I know never read a comic unless it rags on Nickleback. THIS IS GODS PURPOSE FOR US!

  16. TToM Says:

    *no never. I now know things I know nothing about. Now then now then, what can Uncle jimmys magic chair do for you uhahuhahuh.


  17. TToM Says:



  18. Theophilus Says:

    @ TToM: How appropriate 🙂

  19. Caleb Says:


    When will that poor girl catch a break…

    …oh wait. This is subnormality. Probably never then.

    Excellent comic.

    (In real life I would have helped her pick up the dishes and been immediately labeled a creep for doing so)

  20. brian Says:

    Wow, you totally skipped speech bubbles and went straight for “long list beneath drawing”. I even caught the reference to strip #82. 😀

    Your comics are truly an amazing work of art. Keep up the great work, it is much enjoyed.

  21. Eric Says:

    Love it!

  22. Kellee Says:

    Wooo, hugs. And we like the rocks, they’re witty.

  23. Thaif Says:

    Heh, these are definetly my favorite ones. They always give you an identifying feeling.

    Mostly I react with #6 or #7. There was this one time I did help a waitress after she dropped some cutleries. Noone commented or even acknowledged the act(not even the waitress herself), but it made this gent feel Very Good. Besides those actions are a great way to get a conversation going for shy people…

  24. charles Says:

    So she isn’t married to bill nye?

  25. Kurdt Says:

    Awesome as usual! Love the format for this one!

    Heh, anyone else read the Alt-text? I think Winston should sneak a N*****back slam into every comic, maybe hide it so we have to find it.

  26. JmanRomania Says:

    #5: Exactly how I think. “Oh my god, how did I even get onto this subject?!” Enters my head every five minutes. And I mean every five minutes, rain or shine, awake or asleep, night or day, life or death.

  27. Michael Ezra Says:

    This is a very funny comic, but funniest of all is how you made Ch*d Kr**g*r the only one who actually laughs at her, rather than feel bad for her, or thankful for the distraction, or whatever. True, in a real-life restaurant that full there’d probably be at least a few more jerkasses who’d do that, especially if they’d had too much too drink. But this is not real life so yeah, stick it to Kr**g*r as much as you like. (Wait, that came out wrong…)

    Thinking about all the eternal damnation-related comics you’ve done leads me to ask you (and anyone else who wants to take a stab): What fate will await N*ck*lb*ck, especially Ch*d, in Hell?.

  28. Michael Ezra Says:

    Sorry, looking over the comic again I see I was wrong: #4 may not be laughing at her as Kr**g*r is, but he’s also taking pleasure in her fall. Jerk. Well, at least he’s not going for the Lifetime Achievement Award in the “Most Inexplicable Multiple Juno Award Winner” category. Ha!

  29. Gena Says:

    its true, there’s really nothin’ finer than havin’ a vaginer…. or so says some punk band, i dunno

  30. Tess Says:

    Did #14 want to be a male cheerleader?

  31. Gordo Says:

    Isaac made an excellent point, but I guess the implausible setup for the comic means nothing to the hilarious outcome.
    From past expiriences the message is pretty acurate: do something embarasing (but understandable) in a public place where nobody knows you, and they’re either sympathetic, distracted by something visual, too absorbed in the their own life and personal issues to care, or worthless pieces of living turd (Chad Kroeger).

  32. Mo Says:

    Why does Nickleback guy get a severed bloody head to eat his dinner out of, while everyone else has to make do with plates? Rockstar red carpet treatment?

  33. Thesaya Says:

    Number 13 has a The Ark tshirt!
    I only noticed the second time I read the comic. Now only to hope that it is positive towards the band. If it even references to the band…

  34. stunty Says:

    This is awesome. Better than most of Abnormality on Cracked, I’d say.

  35. George Says:

    God damn I hate N*ck*lb*ck, they’re the worst non Disney band working today not named Fall Out Boy.

  36. Thesaya: I was listening to “We Are The Ark” whilst drawing the comic so i just threw that in on a whim. It’s definitely positive towards the band; i’ve only got the one album, but it’s pretty great.

    Oh, and the dude from n*ckelb*ck is being sued by someone for assault this week (when he’s not drunk driving he’s punching people in seedy bars like the class act that he is) so fingers crossed that the courts rule in the interests of justice!

  37. Martin S. Says:

    i like pink haired girl very much. 🙂 hope she gets some good karma soon.

  38. I’m number 24.


    NO NUMBER 24????
    shame on you.

    naaah. I love it really.
    here, have this novelty sized awquard and badly spelt silence.

  39. DamienBixlan Says:

    I wonder: would you be able to hate Chad Krueger to death?

    ‘Cause that would be great.

  40. anon Says:

    it seems as though your primary motive was to hate on nickelback

  41. Ray Says:

    I seriously love your comic. Every time I read a new one, I love it more.

  42. Djiril Says:

    This would be a great poster!

  43. Writer Says:

    Hey Mr. Rowntree, first time caller.

    Found out about Subnormality only recently. Read them all in one sitting; absolutely amazing! The art is beautiful, the writing is always excellent. So funny! Thank you so much for all of it, it’s the best online comic I’ve read in ages.

    Keep up the great work and never give up on the wall-o-text! It’s what makes it so good!

    Fan for life

  44. Tentaclese Says:

    Hey there, I just finished reading through all of the archives after finding out about this comic through Cracked.

    I have to say that this is maybe one of my favorite comics out there and that’s in part because of how much text there is in all of them. I haven’t read a single one that I thought was half-assed, either, and that is quite an accomplishment in my opinion.

    I love your art style, too and seeing characters come back is always fun because it makes me start to wonder what their lives are like….

    Anyways, keep writing them and I’ll keep reading them.

    P.S. I’m a bigger fan than the guy that posted before me.

  45. Duh Vig Says:

    Another Great Strip, Winston. Although, you just know that the honkknob from Nickleback eats his human brains in Hot Pocket form right? Good stuff, my man.

  46. Gordo Says:

    some random, scarcely-related linkage:

    It’s people who have written 1 star reviews of classic films and albums. Check what some very clever people said about the jimi hendrix experience’s album: are you experienced, here’s an example:

    “Words cannot describe my intense dislike for Jimi’s guitar “skills”. This guy is a HACK. All songs sound exactly the same, the drummer is weak, does the bassist even exist? Listen to some REAL music that actually requires talent- like Nickelback!”

    I doubt I could eat the amount that makes me want to vomit.
    And he’s not the only nickelback fan who hates hendrix.

  47. ChefZeeek Says:

    i stumbled in here.
    loved every strip of comic, and actually read everything, too.
    i hope to see new and groovy material.

  48. Alex the bus boy Says:

    There would not be a pull door to the kitchen. How would you get in with your hands full of dishes?

  49. MIKE Says:

    I wish, but atribution bias tells us that everyone is going to associate her fall with an internal fault and that’s embarrising enough. I do think that once its happened it’s over and we should be able to quickly move on, not that I practice such advice.

  50. Matt Cheetham Says:

    I can honestly say ive had some embarassing moments like this while i was a waiter.

    I guess people arent always judging you like you think they are

  51. Davis D. Says:

    This was brilliant!
    Great work!!!

  52. David S. Says:

    I’m number 7.

    God, I didn’t realize that I’m such a inhibited moron!

  53. Illogic Says:

    I’m starting to feel sorry for the formerly pink-haired girl now.
    Why are you trying to make me sad Winston, why?!

  54. msr Says:

    Nice one! And I hate Nickelback too.

  55. Overlord K Says:

    This is my first time posting here, after just having finished catching up through all the archives. I must say, Subnormality is one of the best webcomics I’ve read. I’ll be back for more, for sure!

    That being said, I gotta agree with Illogic…poor formerly pink-haired girl. 😦

    Here’s hoping things eventually turn around for her!

  56. Nick Says:

    Good comic. I sense a theme in your work, where one imagines others are thinking the same, but are wrong. The concert comic comes to mind. The comic about dividing people in to us vs them has a similar topic, where one assumes others are thinking differently but they are in fact thinking the same.

  57. Nick Says:

    PS I am the master of time and space, if you ever need to know

  58. Anna Says:

    YEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!! That is me. By “that” I mean Chad Kreuger, not the waitress. This is so funny! xo

  59. Dana Says:

    lol Homer simpson =P

  60. titiw Says:

    Gosh.. You are so talent-fuckin-ed, man..

  61. zwrdl Says:

    OK, then. A good review. Not enough. What can we do to help you out, WR? If we have web pages, would a link help? That would possibly generate more traffic, which may or may not be the first step to getting paid more. I really don’t know, since my own site income was from licensing rights (hey! there’s an idea..rights, originals,etc.) and selling a book.

    Please consider (and accept suggestions for) more ways than merchandise to generate some income off the strip so you *can* quit your day job and at the same time not pander to wholesalers of commercial crap. (What is it, BTW?)

    We know that mainstream syndication is akin to winning the lottery, at least in the US, and your stuff woulnd’t fit anyway. But are there any paying alternate art print medium possibilities.

    What about post cards? There is a postcard market, actually, and advertising cards are also highly collectible.

    Just thinking out loud.

    Yr fan,


  62. zwrdl Says:

    Hey Nick:

    Assuming a group of strangers, what portion or percentage of the individuals’ mental *themes* (i.e. not specific pictures or words) do you think we guess, know, or intuit correctly at any given time? How about with a group of friends?

    Assume an expert is not trying to manipulate the crowd. (Chances of predicting thoughts correctly improve, of course, to the extent that they can be manipulated and directed: a basic tenet of advertising.)

  63. HypnoKitten Says:

    I don’t normally leave comments on comic pages, though I appreciate them and those who take the time to create them a great deal. This one however really moved me – as well as my girlfriend – to the point of tears. That does not normally happen either. (Well, with me it doesn’t very often, can’t speak for her). I think what I love most about your comics is that you do such an incredible job showing the things we can all relate to and yet always feel so alone experiencing or thinking. Thank you so much for sharing your art, and please keep doing it.

    PS. Sphinx is still my favorite. Not quite as meaningful but she is just too adorable.

  64. Da Says:

    I like the absurd whimsy of a lot of these characters. Why is the Nickelback dude eating brains? And is his shirt a subtle reference to the forthcoming strip?

  65. J. Rein B. Says:

    I love this comic. XD.

    I’m 6, btw.

  66. Rohan Says:

    I love how we both have this magnificent hatred for Nickleback. Whoo Nickleback SUX!

    BTW great comic i’ve been reading it straight for the last couple days and its just great!

  67. Richard P. Thundercles Says:

    Hmmm…you know, I hyperlinked in to this comic (so I really know nothing about it), and I get this vibe off the cartoonist:

    1. Female
    2. Feminist
    3. Probably hot
    4. Has no empathy for those who are not hot
    5. Probably has some denial about being superficial (we’re all superficial!!)

  68. Richard P. Thundercles: Hey, one out of five ain’t bad. Oh wait, it is bad.

  69. Dax Says:

    I enjoyed this one.

  70. angela Says:

    commenting late since I haven’t been checking up on webcomics, but 10 especially was hilarious

  71. Nataly Says:

    Totally loved this one, Winston.

    Especially number three’s ironic comment.

  72. curdles Says:

    well it’s not subtle or anything but it certainly gets the point across, funny too

  73. Azaroth Says:

    I see you Mr 22. Avatar inserts are always atypical of the rest of the scene.

  74. Liz Says:

    Thanks… that was so great. I felt that way yesterday… so easy to be the center of ones own universe.

  75. naveed Says:

    i love it when you do these types of comics, i like the rock scene one as well these two are my favourite

  76. Vonthako Says:

    Amphibious Libertarian Chainsaw Militia? Where can I sign up?

    Great comic as usual!

    Oh, and the mouse-over text is dead-on. Your hatred of that band has become somewhat of a running gag, IMHO.

  77. Sid Says:

    Hey Winston, I have been reading your work since some time now and I am at awe of your style and content. Your mind is a beautiful place and so is your presentation.

    I must admit though, I honestly assumed that you were a woman, as a ‘matter-of-fact’ thing initially, but maybe that’s only because there’s a running trend of webcomic artists identifying themselves with their main characters? (Exceptions are abound)

    Back to your webcomic, the style and thought-sequences are like nothing I have seen before, and are for some reason nostalgic in a very satisfying way.

    I hope you keep up the good work in the future and don’t let the inertia of your inevitable success derail your mind or disfigure the mental ambience your thoughts ushered in (my problem actually)

    Anyways, best of luck for future!

  78. Sid Says:

    PS — I am number six in this situation….. 😛

  79. Lindsay Says:

    Nickleback represents everything that is wrong with the music industry. Glad to see you agree, but then again- I seem to identify with most of your ideas. Great comic. I love your work.

  80. kristy Says:

    I was unaware of the fact that other people hated nickelback as much as I. How about creed guys? I hate them too.

  81. Ghosty Says:

    I’m #6 in that scene… I just sort of hope they feel better later when something like this happens. I’d still rather be helping, but I guess there’s something wrong with me…

    I don’t know…

  82. Psudeo-Nym Says:

    Your artstyle is godly. I’m jealous.

  83. TheNickster Says:

    this stuff is gold!!!

  84. I love you, this is gold indeed.

  85. Baeraad Says:

    I’m totally # 7 whenever that happens around me.

  86. PainisiniaP Says:

    I’m the guy who wants to help, but doesn’t for fear of people thinking I’m that creep who helps attractive women in the vain hope of free sex.

  87. Mad Cormorant Says:

    I’d say the Juno Awards voting committee can’t be completely rotten if they voted for Alexisonfire for “band of the year”, but that was back in the day, and Alexisonfire is an acquired taste.

  88. Sam Wallace Says:

    That last guy is my role model.

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