May 25, 2009


Comic. Yes, they’re real comments, hence the spelling mistakes.


The Whore Who Made This

209 Responses to “Constellation”

  1. Oh, this makes me happy.

  2. Sam Says:

    Now that’s a smart attitude to trolls. Fantastic stuff as always.

  3. AsleepMonster Says:

    Come on, dude, don’t sink to their level.

  4. s1k. \m/ -.-


    p.s. When you find out, let me know.

  5. Mozarella Says:

    Why they all dudes?

  6. Tomora Says:

    Four words: Planet of the Trolls.

  7. Camille Says:

    You’ve got a real talent for caricature. Well done!

  8. bachterman Says:

    i’m the little jerk with the baseball cap. 🙂
    thank you, winston! love your letters. 😀

  9. frankwolftown Says:

    I can’t believe some said trolling is art. At the same time it makes perfect sense.

  10. Joel Witherspoon Says:


  11. Martin S. Says:

    love the way you’ve drawn their faces. 🙂

    it’s been said before, but the people in your comic look like they could be real people.

  12. Martin S. Says:

    whoops, meant to refer to the last panel.

  13. Karhe Says:

    Hey, a comic on my birthday! And a very good one, too, as usual.

  14. phosgopheritz Says:

    That has to be the best retort ever.

  15. Xunngom Says:

    These trolls are just wrong. I think Subnormality’s challenging, ideosyncratic and incisive. It used to annoy me, until I realized that that was simply because it’s uncomfortably true at times, and I kept coming back to read it.

    As for social problems – my friend disagrees with me on this, and sees you as primarily a misanthrope. I think I can detect a real love of people in your comic instead, underlying that massive disappointment of their being casually monstrous, being perverted by social trends and structures, and in general not living up to Standards.

    Honestly, though? You rock. This is my favourite comic, bar none.

  16. Paul Says:


  17. William Says:

    i like this comic, i really hate trolls, because they have no social life, they still live in there moms basement (even though they are 39), they are dumber than road kill (but don’t have the good decency to get hit by a car, probably because they don’t ever leave there basement layer), and have nothing better to do than go around bashing people who are better than they are (i.e. more talented, more inteligent, have friends, know what the sun is, have good higien, better looking, ext)

  18. Jorge Says:

    Love it!

  19. Carter Says:

    Very astute metaphor. I like that the people making the observation are actually enjoying themselves by being social, while the trolls are all by themselves, each one consumed with their own self-importance but ultimately removed from everyone else, alone in the cold vacuum of empty space.

    The only difference is that stars actually produce light and heat, two elements essential to sustaining life. Trolls, as far as I can tell, produce nothing useful.

    I guess they support the economy with their massive Hot Pockets and Jolt Cola purchases. That’s something, right?

  20. TheBrummell Says:

    Good stuff, I quite like this one.

    Needs more Sphynx, though. Maybe the sequel could have her simply eating some trolls? Probably get indigestion, though, and we all know an immortal, flying, man-eating monster with an upset tummy is trouble.

  21. Pantera Says:

    I always appreciate an artist who can make fun of himself.

  22. SeannyJay Says:

    hahaha, the hairy legged chick

  23. Antara Says:

    I really didn’t believe there are that many stupid people out there who dont want to get in touch with reality till I read this.

    Congratulations to the Whore Who Made This, you fucking rock.

  24. Lennon-O Says:

    That was brilliant, hahaha!
    To counter-act such raucous comments, you’ve never done a strip I’ve not liked, and if people want to read a comic in which there is no subtlety to the comedy, there’s a million strips out there.
    Your comic is different, and all the better for it; Captain Estar in particular was a masterpiece!

  25. Forrest Says:

    Well done, Winston. This is the first Subnormality strip in a long, LONG time that I’ve actually laughed at. You’re at your best being whimsical instead of trying to bash points into our brains with a piledriver like you’ve been doing for the past month.

    Good to have you back.

  26. Søren Says:

    I have now, for several months, been sneaking around and reading your comics and I must say that I haven’t seen any other comic giving me the same satisfaction as your comics do!
    And now I felt compelled to leave a comment. Keep up the good work, your comics are in my opinion way above other comics in creative standard!

  27. Chris S Says:

    This strip, as usual, was nickelbacking awesome!!!

  28. Bart Massey Says:

    This is the first time I’ve read the comments, and I am disappointed if not surprised to hear you’ve been heavily trolled in the past. This is the best new webcomic I’ve seen in the past several years, period, and I read a lot of them. This strip in particular was the awesome. Thanks so much for Subnormality! Don’t change a thing.

  29. Red Says:

    You rock. All there is to it.

  30. Ken Stone Says:

    Damn! I was looking forward to hairy armpits somewhere around the campfire! Seriously, sorry to hear that not everybody appreciates what you do (okay, not really — fuck ’em, who cares?), but I’m somebody who does, and I’d like to take this opportunity to simply say “thank you”. So…

    Thank you.

  31. Mario Says:

    Simply Great

  32. Nemo Says:

    Inifectual peopl e are always eatin up with Envy… Pathetic and Sad, do you Wonder wha t there life Is like? When you present your work you give them poewer which they do not know how to use, all they know is “No” and “Not” and “never”. It is these people who populate hell/ IT is a hell they make forthemselves.

  33. thisismyname Says:

    Right, man, everyone that disagrees with you or vocally dislikes you is trolling! Way to keep the moral high ground by drawing pictures of them as being fat and ugly.

  34. LafinJack Says:

    Are you angry because you’re fat and ugly?

  35. thisismyname Says:

    I’m not angry, it’s just that this comic is on an, er… slightly lower intellectual level than I’ve come to expect.

  36. thisismyname Says:

    I guess that actual reasonable arguments are sort of pointless against trolls, so the use of caricature in this comic makes sense, but at the same time it seems a little too easy to group everyone that disagrees with you into the “TROLLS” category.

  37. Nicky Says:

    You hit the nail on the head ever time!!!

    Love it!!

  38. Corwin Says:

    Man. I could go for a beach party right about now…

  39. Michael Ezra Says:

    I’m sad to say I remember some of those troll comments, e.g. “This is the Internet, politeness and decency have no place here.” That particular troll also responded to the purely rhetorical question, “How’d you like it if we all came to your home and heckled you?” by threatening to shoot anyone who tried it. I wish I were making this up. I really were.

    As for the Sphynx devouring the trolls in a sequel, I suspect she’d say “Come on, I may be a monster but I do have standards. Do you see me eating Ch*d Kr**g*r? Eww…let’s never speak of that again.”

  40. Gero Says:

    Well even though this was just your usual hairy armpit feminazi supporting, pseudointellectual, self-righteous bullshit… I enjoyed it! Good job!

    Seriously though, I love the comic, and this was a good response to the trolls. Don’t let them get you down!

  41. Jonn Says:

    I’ve heard the “public forum” bit before, but that was in response to people who called any criticism of them trolls. What’s more, this stuff was posted on a Livejournal community, not even their own journal. Heck, I’ve seen people wank on Livejournal, get mocked offsite, then head to the offsite mockery and try to get people to stop.

    >Very astute metaphor. I like that the people making the observation are actually enjoying themselves by being social, while the trolls are all by themselves, each one consumed with their own self-importance but ultimately removed from everyone else, alone in the cold vacuum of empty space.

    Well, there’s 4chan, a gaggle of idiots.

    >The only difference is that stars actually produce light and heat, two elements essential to sustaining life. Trolls, as far as I can tell, produce nothing useful.

  42. Gena Says:

    I like trolls. Always waiting for me to cross that bridge and give up the little speck of politically incorrectness I’ve kept over all these years.

    The fat troll reminds me of my neighbor

  43. The Scoot Says:

    Hi Winston,

    This is my first comment on your site, and I want to say first off that your comic is thoroughly enjoyable. I used to be a troll.

    I wasn’t a very good troll, by any standard, so I doubt I can offer any reasonable insight into the mind of unrepentant, irredeemable trolls. However, I suppose I can tell you my story, for what ever worth it has.

    I spent several years in my mother’s basement, and I espoused opinions, informed opinions, on sites that were not designed for such thoughts. I once spent 36 hours offending nearly every person on a Gothic Fashion and Nightlife forum on the subject of the Iraq war. I didn’t even mean for it to happen, but I have a stubborn streak, and when someone tells me that I am wrong, I tend to refute their assertion as humiliatingly as possible.

    Any way, I met a wonderful woman, found a good job, and left my basement. I still comment on these forums, but I try to let things go. I have found better things to spend my time on.

    I hope you continue to publish your comic for many years to come.

  44. Dubito Says:

    I think your caricature’s might be a little kind. I’m sure there’s more “twisted” you could come legitimately portray in there.

  45. joe Says:

    You’re far too talented and witty for trolls and I think it’s easily evidenced that you’ve got more fans 🙂
    keep up the great work, you’ve been making me smile for nigh on 2 years now

  46. Heheh – love the Rush shirt.

  47. Matthew Abel Says:

    I didn’t even know you could comment. God, I’ve been wasting my life by holding back.

  48. Danni Says:

    But I’m pretty sure each of those characters has a facebook account… and most of them have at some point done something stupid on the internets.

    In the VERY least, the guy with the Rush t-shirt has at one point gotten in a flaming argument on-line about weather “driven” is in 14/8 or 29/16.

    Anyway, you seem to be kind of concerned about people not liking your huge tl;dr’s and automatically assume that they’re lazy idiots that can’t really read. There IS a literary reason for not having huge walls of text in a comic and you SHOULD consider it. Even if I like those huge walls of text occasionally, you sometimes seem to be overdoing it, and actually making a point of making them EVEN bigger, as some kind of retaliation against all the people that have complained about it.

    Think about it sometimes weather every character in the comic should go on a melancholy rant whenever they open their mouth, or, well, talk like a real person.

    I would have really liked this one if it didn’t sound so much like you were trying to get back at someone. I mean, you kind of have to properly not care about somone to properly deride them.

    And I’M not trolling. And the reason I’m spending all this time writing this like I have no life whatsoever, is that I REALLY like your comic, and would like to see you improve on those little faults within it. Also, having opinions doesn’t work if you have to preach them to us.

    John Solomon has a few things to say about walls of text (it’s near the end of the review about Dresden Codak):

    Mind you, your comic is far too good to be on his website, but the man has good points.

  49. Mozarella: Well, exactly.

    Xunngom: Hey, thanks! And I think you win the bet with your friend.

    Carter: Ha, that hot pockets/jolt cola remark was classic.

    Forrest: Thanks, and I agree that the strip had been less, well, fun of late (i’m looking in your direction, last week’s bout of overbearing trad satire).

    thisismyname: For the record, my intent was of course NOT to label everyone who disagrees with me as a troll. People who disagree with me leave comments like yours which rationally express a viewpoint, and which i totally appreciate; trolls disagree with everything, and leave comments with the sole purpose of insulting others. My intent was to, using my own experience, say something about trolls in general. The recurring theme of trolls taking violent exception to anything resembling feminism is, I think, particularly telling.

    Michael Ezra: You definitely know your Sphynxes.

    The Scoot: In the grand scheme of things, you’re a pretty lousy troll, which is of course a pretty big compliment, so good on yer! Thanks for your story, and the kind words.

  50. Danni: I know you’re not trolling, don’t worry (no troll would type so many words, or go on for sentence after sentence without making any hilarious spelling mistakes or grammatical errors). With regard to your suspicions, i’m “kind of concerned” about everything, really; i’m afraid that people won’t like almost every aspect of the comic, walls of text included. For the record, I don’t assume that everyone who doesn’t like the walls of text is an idiot who can’t read, but i DO assume that every idiot who can’t read won’t like the walls of text, so at least I keep them away, even if the swathes of text, as you discuss, are annoying sometimes. It’s worth it, in that regard. The bonus feature of the text is that it’s a scarecrow for idiots (not that that’s why i do it–it’s just the way i write sometimes). People who refuse to read won’t give my site a second look, and that’s perfect. But, again, not liking walls of text does not necessarily make one an idiot, and I definitely worry about annoying all the, uh, non-idiots out there. So you’re right in that I should consider not having so much text, and I do consider it in the same way that i tediously question everything else in my life to the point of insanity. There is introspection, fear not. I appreciate and will consider your remarks, anyway (that line about Rush was highly amusing, i might add). This is why i like people who disagree with me (as opposed to trolls).

  51. Revyloution Says:

    Loved it Winston. Nicely done.

    I laughed out loud at the guy with the Rush t-shirt. That was humor at its finest. Everyone knows Rush fans can’t get girls.

    Disclaimer: I have the Star and Man tattoo on my back.

  52. Gordo Says:

    Well played Winston.
    I like walls of text. If they were a labour to read and mostly uninteresting then nobody would bother(and you’ve got a strong fan base, right?). There are enough quick-laugh, easy read comics out there it’s good to have a decent read once a week!
    Also, those grotesque troll pictures are sure to give me nightmares.

  53. Monstro Says:

    An interesting spin on an old problem, comedy at its finest.

  54. Gabriel Says:

    They sound a lot like the idiot comments in response to some of your stuff.

    Great work! Always a fan :).

  55. George Says:

    Trolls are everywhere. Hell, I hate you myself sometimes

    I’ll try resist going into a rant about the ending to Estar Goes to Heaven, on which I completely disagree due to the fact that people will give anything to erase a mistake, and even if they remember it, will leave it behind forever. Or going into a rant about you jabbing at some of my favorite movies in that comic with the lady filmed for a second, or your fucking bullshit fucking vegitarianism and fucking bullshit fucking atheism. Or my raging hypocrasy for going into a rant while promising not to rant.

    But overall, I think you’re one of the best in comics today. You just have to learn to block it out, and ignore it. Since you work anonymously, that at least puts you ahead.

    One day, you should do a published book, I would like to read your work away from a computer, as god intended us to read. I hope you keep doing this forever, and hopefully inspire many great future comicers.

  56. Z.K. Says:

    Wouldn’t label this as one of your best, but for some reason I must comment that the final pannel is probably the happiest group I’ve ever seen on this site.

  57. Gerry Says:

    Beautiful comment on the Gnatlife, Winston; I suspect it was made more for the benefit of the Camplife than as a condescension to the constellation: your fanbase will reflexively defend you against trolls, and we’ve seen the pointlessness of engaging the mindless. So I see this piece as your way of telling Us to let it go and enjoy the warmth instead of losing air to the inconsequential annoyances of the vacuum-dwellers.

    Look forward to seeing a background cosmic catastrophe hidden in the future.

  58. K Says:

    Am I right in assuming that the soda in the sand is Catholic Cola? You should market that.

  59. Trawl Says:


    World War 2 called, they want their jews/nazi/japs charicature artist back.

  60. mnov Says:

    Are they getting drunk off of cola?
    Swiss cola?

  61. simon Says:

    Winston, you should upload this strip to a image sharing site and publish the URL here – I would hate for it to cost you bandwidth and money if I link to it when encountering trolls on various forums.

    ps Brilliant strip as ever.

  62. Fri Says:

    This is my first comment on here, though I’ve been an avid reader of Subnormality for over a year.

    I had no idea you faced such a barrage of trolls on a regular basis, so I guess to counterbalance it, here’s a less nasty comment.

    Your webcomic is definitely among those I look forward to the most every week. Keep up the great work, humankind will thank you in the not-so-distant future.

    (well, ok, that was just me, but humankind’s approval is right around the corner)

  63. Innominate Says:

    I used to do a lot of trolling. Still do on occasion. I can proudly say I conform to none of these stereotypes; I prefer my own particular brand of trolling by pre-emption. You learn the archetypes of the internet well enough and you can send somebody – sometimes even a whole forum – off on a tirade.

    But I only troll talentless assholes, which is why I have nothing but praise for Subnormality.

  64. Elle Says:

    My reply would be happy and clever, but I’m too busy panicking over whether I need to get to a beach- somewhere, somehow- to prove to myself I’m not a troll (or a not-as-bad-still-as-lonely obsessively polite anti-troll, like in that kids movie).

    *cough* anyway, thanks for another great social comment, I have to agree with… someone who wrote above me, about this one being less blunt, or more whimsical than previous comics.

  65. Dougie Says:

    this is the best comic on the internet

  66. Flexo Says:

    I’m just going to simply say I like this comic a lot and I hope it continues.

  67. The tearful troll who says “I hate you please kill yourself” made me laugh out loud.
    I’ve read stuff like that sooo many times on youtube.

    But yeah, ditto what Flexo said.
    Another great comic.

  68. Aaron Says:

    Woo! Guy in Rush shirt!

  69. Shareef Says:

    Thank you for another awesome comic. Long time reader first time poster, keep up the good work 🙂

  70. Chilla Says:

    A work of beauty, this.

    I loved the caricatures, the way they reflect the tone, the assumable personality of the trolls.

    Originating from somewhat tamer regions of the internet, I still imagine most trolls as unhappy, spotty thirteen-year-old girls, while being profoundly thankful that I didn’t have much internet access back when I was thirteen, unhappy and spotty. However, some of the comments you got (especially the you-are-a-phony-feminazi-whose-self-respect-should-shatter-beneath-my-righteous-heel) are much too bitter and malevolent for such an innocent mental image.

    In short: your visualisation skills, dear Mr Whore, are magnificent, regardless of the actual demographics of the trolls.

    [I mean, you know, some are probably female, most probably don’t have snot flowing from every orifice, and so on – but that doesn’t matter, nor should you’ve tried to reflect their diversity, I think, because you did something better: you’ve captured the essence of how normal (happy, friendly, intelligent, beach-party) people see them.]

  71. jow Says:

    effin’ brilliant, as usual

  72. adsas Says:

    Rush rules

  73. jtotheonah Says:

    I have to say, in response to some of the criticisms of “grouping everyone who disagrees with you as a troll”…

    The internet, especially comics on the internet, are a niche market. Winston advertises Virus Comix as “comics with too many words.” When I come here, I get exactly what I expect, and if I didn’t want to read that, I wouldn’t come here. But coming here, reading the comics, and then complaining that they have too many words (or that they’re feminazi bullshit or what have you) is trolling. It’s non-constructive criticism that makes me wonder why these people come here to read comics they know they’ll hate just so they can write mean-spirited comics.
    You guys, by and large, are not trolling. But the folks Winston is talking about here, are.

  74. wallace Says:

    It can be hard to decide whether to regard some things as a) Contemptible or b) Beneath Contempt,
    but I think it might be best for you to regard your trolls as Beneath Contempt.

  75. Joe Says:

    Just my thoughts to Winston – I think if you pay attention to what people are thinking when you’re creating a comic – the comic will suffer, and your creativity will be stunted.. I would say, just be genuine, lighthearted with subtle heaviness and look for have talent so I don’t think you ever have to worry about the comic sucking, as long as the strip is inspired…

    I mean to me, after reading these every week or so, I kind of see absurdist humor (which I think is when the strip is its funniest), sarcasm (also funny), cynicism (I’ll be honest – can come across as bitter), mixed with deep messages and observations about how the world is (I think that part should be as subtle and indirect as possible)

    I would say for inspiration – take a trip to any city – nyc preferably (the village) – and just people watch. People are hilarious. Just avoid being cynical or overly critical of them – just find the benign absurdity – something that makes YOU crack up and try to translate that feeling into a strip…don’t spend too much time looking inwards..make the strip about something you find funny and everything else will be come easy…just take it easy man!

  76. Da Says:

    I like the caricatures. They’re varied, lively, and hilarious. In fact, I think the strip would be better if it was just the first panel. Because the whole star analogy? Really not as demeaning as it should be. People gaze lovingly at, spend lifetimes studying, and create mythology about the stars. Calling them insignificant specks just sounds silly, especially coming from the utopian beach party of painfully cool young bohemians you’ve chosen as your mouthpiece.

    By the way, lampshade hanging your own metaphor is achingly poor writing. It’s like when a movie villain says “This isn’t like some movie.” It doesn’t add anything to the work, it just sounds smug.

    And spending hours drawing a comic about how no one cares about the target of the comic creates an amusingly hypocritical paradox. I’m sure getting all these inane, spittle-flecked ad hominems can get your goat at times, but honestly, it’s better just not to acknowledge them. The people who respect you already know who the assholes are, there’s no need to devote a comic to them. Wallace is right: they’re beneath contempt.

    Furthermore, the premise of your insult is flawed. “You’re wasting your time trying to insult me, while other people are having fun and being social.” That’s the gist of it, right? Depicting trolls as people who do NOTHING but insult people online, and teasing them for having no life, is a cliched fallacy not worth evoking. It takes all of twenty seconds to leave an insulting comment on someone’s blog/webcomic/whatever, so it’s doubtful that their whole sense of self-worth depends on how big an impact those comments make in the world. Plenty of trolls enjoy a beach party as much as the next guy, which doesn’t change the fact that they’re fucktards online.

    Anyway, I like the caricatures.

  77. Stanley Soak Says:

    Those aren’t trolls. Those are just angry dicks. Trolls make this face: because they don’t actually believe anything they are saying. That is what makes them trolls.

  78. some guy Says:

    Everyone else already beat me to mentioning all the neat things in this comic. So I’ll just say that the blond with the hairy legs is pretty hot.

  79. Blondeh Says:

    My favorite subnormality to date. Thank you for always making me laugh and think.

  80. Philip K. Ellison Says:

    I can find no other words for this: I love you, Winston Rowntree.

  81. Matt Says:

    Winston, your comics make me happy in ways I never imagined comics could.

  82. De l'huile Says:

    Trolls aren’t losers in real life; they are ordinary people like you and I. It is because individuals are anonymous that brings out the worst in people.

    The only crime you can attribute to trolls is that they live duplicitous lifestyles. Every troll piece you read is the product of a bored individual, nothing more. If you dislike them, ignore them. Don’t feed the trolls, internet 101.

  83. TentacledBeast Says:

    I’m not so sure if Winston intended to imply that people who leave rude, unintelligent comments “have no life”, but in any case I’m appalled at all the comments describing their supposed personal life. You people are becoming worse “trolls” than the “trolls”. If you’re wrong and the “troll” is actually happy and fulfilled (just occasionally mean on the internet), then you’re being stupid; if you’re right and they really are miserable, then you’re being jerks.

    Don’t behave like the worst of them do. 😦

  84. maudlin Says:

    Lol this old habit of internet personas trolling on trolls is getting a bit stale, but you pulled a nice little twist there. consider yourself RSS’d

  85. Joe Says:

    I posted yesterday I don’t know why it didn’t submit, but the jist of it was – Winston – don’t focus on what people think of your comics – and try to avoid cynicism. Go people watching, find something that makes you laugh and try to translate that energy to a comic strip. I wouldn’t worry about the comic sucking – you have a good imagination and you can draw and write very well – just do what comes naturally.

  86. Briane Says:

    I never thought of “Way To Much Reading” as a troll… but I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who gets that.

  87. Worm Says:

    This would be much funnier if it zoomed on you in your appt drawing this comic while repeating the girl’s statement.

  88. Colonel Slate Says:

    All I’ve got to say is, Brilliant! Get this woman a Guinness, or some other type of beverage of her choice!

  89. EthZee Says:

    Gnh. My brain is making angry buzzing noises because whilst I dislike cretinous trolls that insult people on spurious points, I’m also not the kind of guy that gets to sit around on warm beaches with various attractive people (I’d like to, but I have various disadvantages in looks and personality that make that possibility space fairly improbable. I’m hardwired to enjoy videogames over chats and dating).
    I love your comics, Winston, but my brain doesn’t like you. I’d therefore like to apologise on behalf of my brain. Keep on with the good material!

  90. Joe: Sorry, your comments were flagged as spam for no apparent reason (can’t figure out why) and i didn’t find them until today. Thanks for the words of support, at any rate, i totally appreciate it. Good advice.

  91. TH Says:

    yeah! the rush t shirt always gets you laid…

    well, lets face it. if a girl knows who rush is, youre in good hands anyway haha.

  92. MattRam Says:

    Nice!, nailed the essence perfectly. Love the comic. Rock on.

  93. tobilajs Says:

    Wonderful! Right on the spot!
    (And I’ve always thought it was hilarious that everyone thinks you’re a woman)

  94. Shaun Says:

    Man, I want to go to a night-time beach party so bad right now.


    Thanks for making me bitterly discontented, Winston. 😦

  95. LafinJack Says:

    (And I’ve always thought it was hilarious that everyone thinks you’re a woman)

    “Winston Rowntree” is a pen name, so it’s possible.

  96. Zifnab Says:

    Oh, I see how it is. Rush fans have harry legs. Well screw you too, buddy!

  97. Anonymous. Says:

    Doubly cute how you threw up a self-portrait just so you can say, “Look guys! I’m not this petty! Really!”

  98. Caleb Says:

    Very nice.

    Now I can’t wait to hang out around a fire this summer.

  99. Caleb Says:

    “Xunngom Says:

    I think Subnormality’s challenging, ideosyncratic and incisive. It used to annoy me, until I realized that that was simply because it’s uncomfortably true at times”

    So true. The ending of Captain Estar is still buggging me and I read that 6 months ago.

  100. blackie Says:

    Rush sucks!

  101. Vombat Says:

    I love all of these comics. Its nice to see someone is sane.

  102. Serenissima Says:

    Great comic until the ending, in my opinion – trouble was, the use of the party at the end dilutes the message you’re initially trying to put out – and in itself becomes an endorsement of the rather superficial, corporate values that you criticise in other comics.

    While I’m sure it’s not intentional, it certainly seems to be favouring some generic pro-capitalist lifestyle – one which is both unsustainable and incredibly superficial. There are, after all, more kinds of people than ‘uncool internet saddo trolls’ and ‘awesome cool people who endorse all the hip modern brands and are effortlessly wealthy’.

  103. Serenissima Says:

    Also forgot, unfortunately: Given the self-portrait at the top, female seems unlikely. Unless it’s a very fictional self-portrait, at least.

    And to soften what I said above, as re-reading it has made me realise it sounds too critical: Still an excellent comic – I just think it’d have been improved by cutting off the ending, and fading to starfield instead – makes the point a bit more subtly, and avoids the unintentional message I pointed out above.

  104. lol Says:

    people who take the internet seriously are amusing, until you realise they’re only egomaniacs sitting alone in cheap condo in a mid-income neighborhood, “chatting” with others on a Saturday night, likely inside an online game. as you take them to a social setting with women, you see clearly they are just shut-in losers and dorks, and not worth time, conversation, or even recognition of them being alive. let’s kill them all. kill them all by throwing the duck sauce packets filling up your fridge from the leftover chineese takeout. throw those packets hard, my friends. they’ll break and cover those losers with sweet yellow duck sauce. then the ducks will come to eat that sweet duck sauce. they will try to fly away, but their feet will be stuck in the sauce. they’ll lift up the dorks and take them to that island with all the fat ugly people. once we have enough, it’ll sink into the ocean and that’ll be that. rock the vote!!!

  105. CRG Says:

    Neato! I dig a lot of these comics. Some of your trolls look positively troll-like, and then there’s the one that looks like some kind of Grunge-Mantis hybrid. I’m pretty sure I also spied the angry red-headed guy.

  106. Anth Says:


  107. Michael Says:

    Wow! Beautifully made point.

  108. psuedonymous Says:

    I’d have to agree that the examples posted are more griefing than trolling. Trolling (at least, by it’s original definition from the usenet days) is a lot more subtle.
    For example: a griefer would call you a nazi. A troll would praise your work whilst subtly alluding that the source of the praise is the fake poster’s unspecified comparison of the work to Mein Kampf.

  109. dj Says:

    Things I love:
    *the caricature at the top of this page
    *The Whore Who Made This, of course
    *most importantly, the hat on “GET FUCKED THE WHORE WHO MADE THIS” guy. oh, that hat.

  110. Theophilus Says:

    Wonderful. As always. 🙂

  111. Ursula Hitler Says:

    THANK YOU. The next time I encounter some really psychotic, relentless troll online, I’ll just send him the URL for this strip.

  112. Thiago Says:

    I´d hit the hairy legged girl.

  113. sarah Says:

    winston rowntree porn!

  114. This Guy Says:

    Because if there’s one thing you can absolutely rely on as a method of gauging character, it’s mean comments on the internet.

  115. Maximo Says:

    Bravo sir. Bravo. *tips hat*

  116. sarah: You’d think i’d be tired of that video by now, but i’m not–it just keeps on being hilarious. Truly it should be placed in a time capsule or deep-space probe so that it can be preserved for all time.

  117. Mouse Says:

    Do people really not know how to criticise constructively these days? I got taught to do so in English class at SCHOOL, for something’s sake or other. If those are all real comments, I think I’ll just scoot over and clone my old English teacher. Evidently she is still needed.

    You can’t help but feel sorry for the trolls, alone and left out so far away from the party… or is that just me?

    Also, I’ve read your whole archive, and I honestly do not remember any “man-hating feminism”. Your most famous character is the Sphinx; perhaps they meant to type “man-eating feminism”?

  118. Strobedthoughts Says:

    This is a really good take on trolls, i’m glad someone was able to characterize them so well, thanks for that.

  119. sig Says:

    frankly, I was a bit taken aback… personally, I think the cartoon was maybe a bit overdone, portraying them as so ugly…. I mean, most of the comments speak sufficiently for themselves…

  120. anonymous Says:

    This is an epic com, i loved your portrayal of trolls.

  121. rob Says:

    the internet is a non-alcoholic beach party where woman outnumber men!?

    there is only so far I will suspend disbelief sir and most of all I refuse to accept a ginger girl being invited to a party much less having friends

  122. shallot Says:

    I just got linked here from the Making Light blog, and I’m hooked at the first strip. I just want you to know, your comic is awesome. It’s like xkcd but with social commentary!

    (excuse me while I brutally murder the commenter above me)

  123. Talon Says:

    Hey, it gets to the point in less than a few billion words this week!


  124. Some Norwegian Bloke Says:

    Hehe… I need to show this comic to Maccy Man, my local forum troll. Keep up the good work!

  125. Riffner Says:

    Womens can’t be trolls?

  126. Some of those troll points sound legitimate..

  127. Suntiger Says:

    The troll caricatures are, I think, not meant to represent the trolls physically, rather it is a visual representation of their spiritual ugliness.

    I wouldn’t mind going to a party with only ginger girls. Mmm, redheads…

    @Ben Shambrook
    None of the troll’s opinions are constructive and therefore loose any validity as a credible point, regressing instead to mere insults.

  128. Suntiger: Yeah, definitely. The things they say and claim to believe are what’s ugly.

  129. Stewie Says:

    lol, that guy looks too happy to be someone who likes Rush.

  130. diotimajsh Says:

    Ooh, I like Subnormality more and more as time goes on. Much approval.

  131. dunpealhunter Says:

    This was a great comic, but why are all the trolls men? Im sure that there are at least a few women who talk as bad and weird as men do on the internet.

  132. benji Says:

    I like this one. Remember, Dont feed the trolls! Keep up the great art!

  133. Daniel J Says:

    ooh, Rush rocks!

  134. Rez Says:

    The colors and style remind me of my first comics as a child, reading MAD and sneaking peeks at Robert Crumb’s work. You definately have your own style, I think it’s just the feeling I got from your comics, an excitement from the drawings, a thrill I can’t put into words.

  135. Sergio Says:

    What was the number of maximum troll references you can make before you give out that they are affecting you very badly… oh thats right … one, after one reference you are oficially someone who experiencies a lot of pain from trollers … sorry

  136. writer Says:

    Ahh… another great comic! Canadian and hardcore Rush fan here so the t-shirt was double sweet! 🙂

    Is that the hairy-leg girl from the space shuttle sex comic? It’s so nice to see characters coming back even just as bystanders.

  137. Richard P. Thundercles Says:

    So, the beautiful people put down trolls?

    I’m shocked!!!

  138. Roadtoad Says:

    Exceptional, as usual. And, sadly, painfully true.

    There are far too many boards where “free speech” is valued above all else, so much so that you wind up losing valued insights from people with wisdom, courage, integrity, intellect, education. Sad, really, because in the end, everyone on the board loses because of a few people who refuse to control their mouths, (or keyboards, as it were.)

  139. Richard P. Thundercles Says:

    So…an Internet communique designed to inspire negative feelings is…what, exactly?

  140. Roadtoad Says:

    Sorry, I didn’t read it that way.

    It simply showed some real comments from some rather pathetic individuals, contrasted with the fact that offline, there’s a real world out there, with people involved in real life, and making real connections. It showed that when it’s all said and done, trolls — lame, cowardly, self-absorbed, and worthless — are really not worth wasting a lot of time. Sorry you took it wrong.

    Too bad. I see these cowards online all the time. Frankly, if I’d heard this kind of crap IRL, a lot of these folks would get a real time broken jaw.

  141. Emily Says:

    bwahahahaa!! I love it! keep up the good work 🙂

  142. Love your comic! Have never left a comment thought I leave one for this particular piece just to say I love the scene at the bottom. The people aren’t anything special – they just have standards.

    Haha the guy with Rush on his shirt. 🙂

  143. Andy Says:

    wait, I mean thick >.>’

  144. Andy Says:

    The irony is so think you can slice it with a knife.

  145. Andy Says:

    final note: trolling is a surprisingly fun thing to do/watch. Having a simple opinion, or piece of false information cause a chain reaction of angry people.

  146. KmAC Says:

    loooool nice

  147. Mary Says:

    The visual says it all; Trolls in their little individual bubbles, seperated from the rest of the world with only their own bile as company. The person they excoriated; on a beautiful midnight beach with many smiling friends, enjoying life and sharing happy moments. Feel sorry for them, they only dream of such joy.

  148. blargh Says:

    I never get to go to parties and/or the beach. 😦

  149. John Says:

    I was going to make a smart-ass comment about all the Nickelback bashing, but I see you beat me to it! Nice to see you can laugh at yourself a bit…rare these days.

  150. MEK-QUAKE Says:

    “I’ll show all these trolls I don’t care about them… by devoting a whole page about how I they don’t affect me at all”

  151. Roadtoad Says:

    @ MEK-QUAKE: And the whole thing sailed over your head by about ten feet. Nice.

  152. lora Says:

    lmao good metaphor 🙂

  153. saiyanmech Says:

    Loved the metaphor, but more importantly; FUCK YEAH RUSH SHIRT

  154. Danny Says:

    You do overwrite sometimes. But you’re also a very, *very* good artist.

  155. andrew Says:

    I really like this one. Not only is there the obvious metaphor of the trolls, but there’s a less-obvious metaphor of all the people around the campfire. Each one is in their own world. Despite them being social, that doesn’t change that they really are alone (nobody lives anywhere but their own world, after all, due to the very nature of the body-mind relationship)-they just pull each other closer and form temporary clusters which are also isolated from the group. I mean, honestly, how often have you sat in a group of 10 or more people, and kept a group conversation going? It tends to split, pieces rejoin, people switch places, groups split, etc.

    I have no idea if you meant this. But I saw it.

  156. dodoman1 Says:

    I’d really enjoy knowing if these are actual comments you’ve gotten…

  157. ­  Says:

    There’s actually a good way to get rid of trolls.

    It’s called “ignoring”.

  158. Gabe Says:

    Way to go man.
    Personally, I hate the people that pollute the forums with malice, despicable grammar, intolerance, and the like. I go to forums to have a conversation, not a screaming match.
    I find your comic very entertaining. Not only is it intelligent and thought-provoking, but it is also funny and quite clever.
    Thanks for putting actual quality content on the internet, rather than the standard.

  159. Omar Says:

    I was curious as to whether they were real comments, or an amalgam.

    Rock on, the whore who made this! ROCK. ON!

  160. James Says:

    Hmm. Do you really draw a lot of negative criticism? God bless StumbleUpon for directing me to this well-written, well-drawn webcomic. You have a place in my Bookmarks toolbar, and my heart.

  161. Deke Says:

    I understand being upset with the trolls, but in most of the comments I have read so far I have seen nothing like these examples in the strip (I’m not saying they aren’t real, just that they aren’t that common). I do see people making well thought out constructive criticism and suggestions, and being called trolls by your fans. I have never seen you respond positively to any kind of criticism, it’s always defensive. I think you should ignore the trolls and stop associating them with the people who do have valid constructive comments about your strips.

  162. Blé Says:


  163. ksym Says:

    This strip gave me a bit more perspective on the internet and “trolls”. I am often apalled by the anonymous trolling in many occassions but … yeah, I guess it’s not that big deal.

  164. sergio choi Says:

    I just found ur comix from cracked dot com i love them and think they are very smart social commentaries and i am glad that u are still staying on the positive side. keep up the funny work, and enjoy it ur great, thanks.

  165. Bavette Says:

    TOO TRUE!!! You = Genius artist.

    Oh, my, god. Trolls, Tolkien would cry in shame of what they became. Muahahaha

    Viva tua vida e deixe viver, amigo. They should really do things out of apreciation, not despite.

  166. Qusar Says:

    Brilliant, Rowntree. Finally somebody spoke up against those indecent little trolls.

  167. Yeah Says:

    dude like totally brah.

  168. Himh ThatIs Says:

    That was beautiful. Keep it up.

  169. gankme Says:

    That was truely amazing! Haven’t laughed this hard in ages. You keep tellin those trolls what’s what!

    Or send a Sphynx to eat them

  170. nihil pome Says:

    the number of comments is a huge lol. But anyway: yes. Fight trolls by PARTYING. ON THE BEACH.

  171. Another person with opinions Says:

    I feel like the comics pretense at morality is frustrating to me, not because I feel like you’re wrong, but because you are so close to being right.
    Most of the thoughts and opinions expressed in this comic are reasonable, and well-thought-out(in my opinion, clearly of great value of you). It just feels like there’s no presentation to set it apart from all the other boards for people’s uninformed opinions. The comic sometimes feels like a very poorly disguised way to hammer down a lesson for the readers, one that most of them are entirely unwilling to learn under this context, and the rest of which already agree with you.
    It seems pointless and petty to imagine up some stupid looking faces to say things that you didn’t find reasonable upon examination. You have belittled another group of people for not agreeing with you, and it seems like a terrible way to handle trolls, of all things, and certainly a terrible way to lay claim to the moral high ground.
    The fact that you felt compelled to draw up some random insult towards those some find offensive sort of defeats the Aesop you’re trying to hammer into the reader’s skulls.

    Dear god, I’m rambling into a comment box that nobody is ever going to read, about things you probably don’t really care enough about.

    I figure while I’m wasting my time doing this, I might as well ruin my credibility for everyone who reads the end first:

    Trolling is an art. It’s an undesirable one for many, but an art nonetheless.

    Final addendum: No I am not attempting to troll anybody, I am sincerely attempting to express my thoughts pointlessly about this comic that I shouldn’t care quite so much about.

    • madness Says:

      you know, id respect your comment a lot more if it wasn’t for half of it being “no offense”. Mostly because it seems the idea of communication over the internet is a valued part of society, trolls and all. but i think you missed the point, not the idea but who it was being aimed towards.

      actually before that, the faces are more likely the faces we as the… trolled?, see these people. In fact it probably isn’t a comic of hatred towards trolls, but probably that there are bigger things then just being right over the internet anonymously. Nice dodge of the fire btw, saying nothing matters but here it is anyways. I think you missed your own point.

      a year late, but ok haha. You know, ironically i think you got trolled.

    • Another person with opinions Says:

      I’m having a hard time getting at what you’re saying, but here goes…
      The way the comic explicitly belittles the trolls makes it seem obvious that the intent was a shot at them.
      I have no idea where you think I’m conveying a sense of “no offense,” it all seemed pretty genuine and unmitigated to me, both now and then.

    • Somebody Says:

      It’s not about “examination”, it’s considerably objective. It’s not just anyone’s opinion, it’s a fact that all but a few in here are unreasonable

      No seriously, I’m not kidding. There’s no way a reasonable and/or sane person could read that and see otherwise.

    • Another person with opinions Says:

      I’m not here to argue with you on the issue of what constitutes “examination”. The principle is that making an obnoxious and spiteful comment by means of a comic page is not a plausibly appropriate response to obnoxious and spiteful commentary by means of text.

  172. Ghosty Says:

    Hey, “another person with opinions”, I totally get what you’re trying to say.

    I can tell it makes you anxious to say something that might be taken as siding with the “bad guys”, but kudos for stating your opinion.

    I feel like it’s interesting, the points you’re making, but ultimately should be reserved for more focus, specified place to discuss such matters. I don’t know where, but a comments box doesn’t seem to fit. If you were just getting it off your chest and don’t expect anyone to read it, I guess that’s fine too.

    Come to think of it, I don’t think you’re going to read this, either. Meh. Whatever.

    • Another person with opinions Says:

      Hey, thanks for responding.
      I didn’t actually expect anyone to reply, and it’s nice to see that it incited a polite response, as opposed to some wave of trollage.
      I suppose my comment is just too far into the fractal that is this corner of the internet, there is no reason for anybody to look at it, besides randomly stumbling upon it on your way to something else.

      I find it funny that that comment is one of the few things I’m still genuinely proud of having written after so many months. It’s just so easy to write something mindless and stupid, I guess, that nothing I do stands out past the particular moment it took place in.

      Anyway, thanks for the reply.

    • Another person with opinions Says:

      Heh, this is practically my personal biography by this point. Hosted with full anonymity, and without apparent notice by it’s keeper.
      I’ve really beena hopeless romantic, haven’t I? How long ago was this…
      Almost a year on this one, nearly two years on the one prior…
      Those were some long two years. It occurs to me that all the living I’ve done for two years was between those dates. A bit self-evident, but still seemingly profound.
      It looks like I’m still a hopeless romantic, eh?

      I wonder if I’ll come back to this again.

  173. MH_Loto Says:

    Do people really troll you THAT much?
    Tha’s a bit silly, no? I mean, if they think your such a “femnazi”, they have the choice to either: A) Feck off, B)Not read the damn thing, or C)Seriously.. Just feck off..
    I don’t mean to say I’ve ALWAYS agreed with your point, but never should a person be so little as to troll an ARTIST(in one of the only remaining fields no less…) for expressing their opinion, it’s both stupid and will get them nowhere..
    Do you think they feel better about themselves after?

  174. Rev Says:

    It’s definitely an effective image, but it’s always self-defeating to commit one’s attention, effort, focus, and skill to chest-beating over how little attention you’re paying to something. It’s like going deep-sea diving to show how little you care about water.

  175. Appelia Says:

    I absolutely love this comic, I love the representations of the various trollers, it’s so true. And I love the comparison at the end, very funny.

  176. lulzfish Says:

    Lifeguard cola?
    Healthkit cola?
    Swedish cola?

  177. Spoon Says:

    I am another faceless fan of your comics. This one struck me as a bit ironic though, because as insignificant as trolls are, you technically did devote a comic to them 😉

  178. Gareth Says:

    love your stuff

  179. Rob Says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever been moved by comics before. Your stuff makes my day every day since I came across them. So, uh, thanks! I hope you keep doing more. The world is never short on things to point out, and you’ve got a gift. (and I’m sure you get told this all the time, but, totally worth all the reading)


  180. Jason Says:

    I think this comic in itself was a troll. Thumbs up to the artist!

  181. Andrew Says:

    The best part of this particular comic? The amount of trolls commenting on it. Another spectacular job done well. I must say, you are no pseudo-intellectual. You are the real deal. I love it. Keep it up. BTW, are you syndicated or making money off of this? Because you should be. 🙂

  182. AdInfinitumSpero Says:

    I don’t know , I tend to enjoy this strip when it’s not too preachy, the reason I’m here going through the backlogs is because I find it witty and occasionally though-provoking. But then, there are some statements made by ‘trolls’ that don’t sound that trollish to me. You can’t just take any negative criticism and discount it as people angrily venting at you being so fucking right. If anything, that’s my only problem with this series, is you/the author seem to have the same basic problem as most people when it comes to assuming you’re right. And of course the thinly veiled condescension most city-dwellers have, but then that might just be jealousy because I want to get back to the city but can’t due to financial problems…

  183. V Says:

    I love this web comic. I’ve been reading – most of it – backwards for several hours now, as well as bits and pieces every few weeks or so. I’m so glad Cracked posts some of your pages and I hope no negativity ever discourages you.

  184. Ezekiel Says:

    Man, each one of those felt a little too real. Did you pull them out of your own comments section? Ugh. I had to stop reading those sections years ago because it just hurts. Same reason I had to turn off the television. It makes me feel weird. Like I’m hungover and anxious.

  185. sophia Says:

    oh, amen. selah.

  186. Tanya Says:

    fucking WIN! ive spent the entire past two days reading your comics during my classes. i’m officially addicted.

  187. Jawara Says:

    To anyone who doesn’t like Subnormality, either give some *constructive* criticism, or piss the fuck off.

    Rowntree you are superb, been checking your comics for the last week and am hooked, and this one? Turning random hate/idiocy into art? Priceless

    Keep it up 😉

  188. fredrick lyon Says:

    the trolls fading into little more then distant stars feels poetic some how. that was awesome.

  189. Elliott Says:

    This was brill.Thank you.

  190. Archibald Felix Says:

    Do praises shrink to similar insignificant proportion? Comments on this thread surely do.

  191. Garbledina Says:

    Having dissenting opinions or just being mean on the internet isn’t trolling. Claiming it is would be succumbing to the “WE’RE SO HIP CAUSE WE GOT INTERNET TOO” bandwagon that too many people are falling victim to recently. And as far as drawing the people in such unflattering manners, that merely shows immaturity.

    • Well, if all internet criticism was as reasonably-phased as yours there’d be no problem. So cheers on that one, anyway. And yes, i was certainly less mature back when i made this, but in my defense i think i was going for a the-people-are-as-ugly-as-their-words kinda thing. I like it.

    • Somebody Says:

      That first part doesn’t even make sense. And you side with the assholes, then call him the immature one? Almost none of those comments are mere dissent, and I think you know that. If people aren’t trolling when they use the term “feminazi” or making up lies about how men have it so hard…they’re one of Rush Limbaugh’s ditto-heads, which is a lot worse.

  192. Alexis Says:

    Testify! Thank you Winston. That’s bloody marvelous.

  193. DeafCon1 Says:


  194. Kronomancer Says:

    This was really quite good. I love the little touch of idiocy in the misspelled definitely. The brilliance is in the detail.

  195. Mad Cormorant Says:

    Is that a hairy-legged chick, or a feminine-looking guy? Either way, s/he is hot.

    Also, where do I get some of those generic +-brand cola?

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