What I get out of it (and this is just a personal interpretation) is an allegory for introversion. Nuzzling comfortably into the familiar regions of your own mind, ignoring the dark corners where the filth and nast tend to gather, hearing the little noises in the apartments next door and across the street but rarely making enough noise for anyone to even know that there’s more than the standard fixtures behind the lights in the windows… like I said, personal interpretation.
I think the moment I saw the shape of the floor plan of the apartment, the story finally clicked in my head. Great stuff, you don’t usually come across short-stories with this much density of symbolosm, let alone in a comic strip. 5 out of 5.
This comic is twice as good because it has more than one meaning. It’s linked to your own moving, it’s a look at the relationship and similarities between people and their living space, and as Human Unit put it, there’s a wonderful metaphor for introversion and introspection. I bet there’s more there too, that I haven’t noticed and some later- or non-commenters will.
Level one: Hee, Mongo’s found a shabby apartment that’s just like him! How clever.
Level two: Ooh, Mongo feels his shabby apartment is just like him. How poignantly sad and lonely.
Level three: Mongo’s shabby apartment expresses Mongo’s stoic non-conformism and complex psyche, in a way that ascends simple projection and borders on the metaphysical. How fucking deep, man.
Utterly adored the art and the subtle triple-meaning (in retrospect it’s obvious, but it took me a reread to get it, which is good), and was entirely intrigued by the (at least for now) part. Does Mongo expect to change? Can he change? Is he secretly lonely after all? Is he a spy? Is he Buddha?
I think its about changing your state of mind, and being afraid to look into the depths your psyche.. The original apartment represents his old way of thinking and being, while the new apartment seems like a welcome, healthy change, even though the comic alludes that his state of mind will probably change again.
I had a place like that once. It fitted me perfectly, and I it (that did not sound right).
My fondest memories living there where those waking up early in the morning, specifically those moments where I’d lie in bed thinking – I’m awake, but can’t think of a really good reason to get up yet. The city was also still asleep, and then, if the wind was just right, I’d hear the call to morning-prayer from the local mosque. Eventually I’d sneak out of bed, make a plunger of good Ethiopian and sit with a book, just enjoying the calm before the storm.
Then I met my future wife. I know have a study that fits me perfectly, and me it. (Thats sounds better)
I still miss the mornings though.
@A.H. -I got the slight House of Leaves vibe as well, but I assumed it was due to the fact that I’m currently reading it for the first time. It has a similar lingering sense of unease; of something being fundamentally ‘off.’
Sorry, forgot the “?” at the end. But I take what answer you give would depend on your beliefs in the supernatural. If you’re an atheist, you would say his mind intentionally molded him to his apartment; if you’re a believer, you’d say that it was a higher force of spirits that took to the apartment, and molded him to it.
But, I guess that there are way more ways to take it, a bunch of which I’m sure Winston didn’t think of outright when he made the comic.
d, re: the mop’s significance, loath as I am to launch a hypothetical treatise on cleaning tools, it just struck me visually as so carefully drawn-to-look-casual. Like guys who use that ‘bed-look’ hairgel.
That and the fact it’s still faithfully beside our hero in the next frame, just struck me as the epitome of sad loneliness: you’ve got a lovely flat and it’s always clean but your best friend’s a mop.
George: You’re right, there’re some interpretations here that i didn’t consider at all when making the comic. This is a very good thing. This is the best thing.
Eloc: It’s not about me. As for what it IS about, that’s up to you.
Jeremy: I can’t wait to see them in print either. If the heads of any major multinational publishing houses are reading: make me an offer! All i need on my end is total creative control and perhaps some nice biscuits.
Failing that, i’ll be approaching a publisher or two at the end of the year, since i really would like to put out a book. Trees beware!
after a lot of deep thought (literary criticism was never my strong suit) I have come to conclude that the message is that one can never be truly comfortable with oneself until they reach a state in which they are familiar and comfortable with their entire mind. The first apartment represented a state of inner conflicted; the water stain that resembled the psoriasis seems to represent the tip of the iceberg as far as the inner, darker, and scarier parts of ones mind goes. The negative reaction of his ignorance to the darker scarier parts of his mind was characterized by the sleepiness, a sign that his body was not able to function as well. After moving to the new apartment, he became comfortable with even the deepest and darkest recesses of his mind, and how that gave him true confidence, allowing his conscious (his body) and his subconscious (the apartment) to merge and be at peace. His hesitance buying as to moving to the apartment perhaps represents many people’s hesitancy to really get to know their subconscious when it is in fact easier than they thought. I hope you all can follow that, I just got out of 9th grade English class and it’s all on my mind.
Heather: Unwring those hands and fear not, for I am well, or at least well enough. I’m out of town this weekend, hence the lack of an update. And if the apartment wants to consume me, it better get in line because i’m busy being consumed by numerous other things these days. The pieces that remain shall i hope spring forth with a new Subnormality in 7 days.
Leak, thank you, I missed last week’s update. Did in fact send plea of concern similar to Heather’s to The Treeman; I find it wonderful that there is a community looking after the community that looks to Winston to look after their synaptical need for ComicAwesomness. My brain might shortly go into a fatal divide-by-error flux of meta-zero-analyses. For 7 days or so.
I hadn’t checked up on Subnormality since “The worst kind of boss”, and reading the new comics Winston’s created since then totally made my day. I like this latest one — wonderfully creepy — but all the other ones were really great as well. The Sphynx is as cool as ever, Uncanny Valley is one of the best webcomics *ever*, and… Dang, I can’t even pick a favorite.
Thanks, Winston, you’re the best!
So this is the same character in “Hockey” and briefly in “7 dichotomies in a bar”? I hope to see more of him. He always seems to represent the more lonely bits of our personalities and this particular comic conveys perhaps, that change was what he needed?