July 12th: This Apartment Earth

July 12, 2009


The good news: the comic is finished early for once. The bad news: it ain’t funny.

So: hooray, and sorry.

Apocalyptically yours,


78 Responses to “July 12th: This Apartment Earth”

  1. LafinJack Says:

    You promised us wordiness! *sob*

  2. Stel Says:

    Thought-provoking. =\

  3. Justin Says:

    Several-month reader, first-time commenter here.

    I appreciate the well-drawn IKEA chair and couch.

    Because, let’s face it, that’s what we’ve got.

  4. Mike Says:

    Love it. Social perspective on something most people associate with some forest, animals or weather. Climate affects humans first and foremost- yes animals have less protection but adverse results lead indirectly to human hardship. Anyways, thanks for a sweet comic maybe I’ll print it out and put it up.

  5. damunzy Says:

    Thanks for my new Desktop wallpaper!

  6. Questo's Dad Says:

    Hurrah for the details! Thanks, WiRo.

  7. Michael Ezra Says:

    Now now, Winston, parts of it are funny. I love the dig at the National Post. One finds the same thing, of course, in various national/ethnic community papers all the time: “2 of the passengers on [airline/flight number] that crashed on [date] were [member of paper’s target audience].”

  8. Nathan Says:

    No worries – I liked it anyway.

  9. frankwolftown Says:

    That was better than most political cartoons I’ve seen.

  10. Presence Eternal Says:

    This hits really close to home for me.

  11. Brian Says:

    Damn. If only I even HAD one of those boxes lying around at home.

    But yeah, as in the comic, bodies and minds at rest tend to stay at rest.

  12. Selesen Says:

    …I thought it was hilarious. Should I feel bad?
    Seriously, though, I love the speaker sitting on the box of silence, and happiness being crushed by the TV screen.

  13. Jake Says:

    So true, so true

  14. golergka Says:

    I just moved in to a new apartment with my gf and spend all sunday unpacking and moving things around – but nevertheless I can’t say that this comic has nothing to do with me.
    Anyone has something they haven’t unpacked, in one sence or another.

  15. Damian Says:

    I love your comics, they’re all original and either hilarious, or enlightening.
    I recently read your untitled work, the one that was published, and I have to tell you, I teared up at the end.

    Keep writing your huge walls of text, I’ll keep reading them. :]

  16. Sean Says:

    Looks like they got the Peer Pressure out just fine!

    Terribly wonderful.

  17. Kurdt Says:

    What I love about your comics is the details. Even if there’s not a lot of words to read there’s still lots of things to pick out and mull over. It sort of reminds me of when I used to read Mad and would sit for a long time picking out all the craziness in Tom Bunk’s artwork.

    And this is funny, especially the TV.

  18. Max Chaplin Says:

    What does it have to do with capitalism?

  19. Chewbugga Says:

    Could we please get the TV-screen as a wallpaper?

    BTW: you rock so hard, it almost hurts πŸ˜‰

  20. Chez Says:

    Brilliant, perfectly executed! I particularly like the way the boxes are interacting and placed in the environment. You never cease to impress me

  21. Jeremy Says:

    Dear Winston, enough with the self deprecating. I really enjoyed the comic.

    I liked the little pizza cutter in the pizza box, they were perfectly able to unpack the ‘peer pressure’ but the happiness was crushed by the tv, the honesty was completely taped in and shoved inna corner, the image on the tv, you name it. I also really like the girl’s outfit.

    And that situation really rings true..hehe…we’ve been here or almost 3 months and only this weekend did we make a significant dent in our unpacking. As in, my office was FULL of stuff: 2 tables, 7 chairs, mattress, boxes of shite, the living room was full too. We’d eat pizza and watch HBO amidst the messs. I was even getting used to it, how sick is that? My gf is the one with the ants in her pants (i swear, I’m clean) so she made us do a yard sale.
    So yes: I DID think this comic was funny and I did read it last night and thought it was last week’s so I was all excited this morning for a new one perhaps.

    That’s whatcha get when you adhere to your publishing schedule πŸ˜‰

    All in all, a totally worthy addition to your cannon.

  22. Gerry Says:

    A canon filled with enough power to fill a cannon to punch joy and chin-stroking into the world indeed; I may grow a beard specifically to give my chin-stroking more texture.

    Winston (WiRo– I do like that), I’m as ever in awe. The ‘honesty’ box taped like a mummy is a beauty, as is it all. And isn’t it a truism that one of the best coping mechanisms for tragedy is humour?

    Congratulations then on another truly true TragiComic…

  23. Sue Says:

    It’s the little things… the “Sunshyne” lamp factory blotting out the sun, or the giant speaker resting on a box marked “silence”…

    Love it.

  24. I particularly liked ‘courage’ hiding under the table.

    Well done.
    One of your all time best, in my my opinion.

    now please, for the love of Isis, comment on my last anti-bullshit.
    I’ve been dying without you.

  25. Oh and yes, I have that ikea chair in my bedroom.
    Only it’s black and unfortunately doesn’t have a girlfriend sitting in it.

  26. happydj Says:

    Yah, I’d much rather have the government wiping my butt and blowing my nose for me… telling me what I can or can’t do. DON’T BLAME BAD TIME MANAGEMENT ON CAPITALISM.

  27. david Says:

    Naturally thinks of Pandora. I never quite understood how if she let all the evils out of the jar, this was bad because the evils could go ummm evilling everywhere, but hope stayed in the jar and this was somehow good because it was…’saved’ I guess by still being in the jar. I don’t know.

  28. Suntiger Says:

    A bit overly cynic perhaps but it is definitely an allegory that resonates with you.

    Love the little details of how things are placed. I also recognize the type of headlines in the National Post paper from my own country. Apparently it’s pretty universal. Logical in one way I suppose but sad too.

    Oh, and at least to me this strip isn’t a critique on capitalism, more an observation about people in, particularly, western developed countries.
    Just blaming or lauding capitalism, or indeed, any other system as the cause of everything wrong/right with the world is simplifying things to the point of distortion.
    i.e. it’s inaccurate. πŸ˜‰

  29. internet person Says:

    While I disagree with most of the political messages in the comic (the issues really are a LOT more complicated and interlinked), the drawing really is nice.

    So, in sum, kudos.

  30. mr. purple cat esq. Says:

    greaty great great man!! actually kind of ties in with todays SMBC!
    we just gotta keep whining about how shitty everything is! its our morale duty! ..uhm theres some quote that expresses that sentiment nicely…
    though its not all bad! if you take the global picture from the past say 1000 years things have improved drasticly! oh exept for global warming were screwed there!

  31. mr. purple cat esq. Says:

    also, subnormality isnt “funny” anymore. I still look forward to it with great anticipation! Its become an intelligent webcomic that expresses various socio/philiosophical points elegantly and with humour..
    still, dunno why but “if hollywood was a person” had me (unsuccessfully) trying to supress hysterical laughter in my soul destroying office for a whole day!
    thats not criticism, just thinkin’ out loud (on my keyboard) anyway keep up the awesome work!

  32. Questo’s Dad : Well, it’s two letters away from “Weirdo,” so i guess that works…

    Chewbugga: I like that idea, actually. If i ever get around to making some wallpapers, that’ll totally be one of them…

    Tom F.: I have that chair too, it’s right there ten feet away from me, and yet i still bungled the drawing of it. Ugh.


  33. Rob Retter Says:

    “Pizza Building”!

    I do like how continuity continues at Subnormality.

  34. fy Says:

    nice one. i have to admit though, the thing that actually had me laughing about this was the subnormality logo next to the title of the comic in my firefox tab-browser, as it describes perfectly how i feel a lot of the time. 😦 Thanks, capitalism!

    happydj: “Yah, I’d much rather have the government wiping my butt and blowing my nose for me… telling me what I can or can’t do. DON’T BLAME BAD TIME MANAGEMENT ON CAPITALISM.”
    you say that as if capitalism and governments were two contradictory forces working against each other, and as if we had to choose one or the other. D:

  35. Chilla Says:

    Brilliant! I loved the upside-down environment box, the label “non-suicidal common sense fuckin’ eating”, the lighbulb factory, the initiative circle of doom. What does the box beneath the woman’s chair say?

  36. Meghana K Says:

    This is really thought provoking! And it is funny … how about another unopened box – ‘ability to laugh at ourselves!’

  37. Christopher M Norton Says:

    It’s funny. Funny because it’s true.

  38. nonnymus Says:

    There are people who do this stuff, who go above and beyond the normal stupid human shit. They’re the people who go down in history, usually. We all act like it’s some integral gift, like it’s something impossible for a “normal person” to achieve… but really, it’s just a decision. Isn’t it?

  39. Leak Says:

    Actually, I have that “Logic” box standing under my router here so it’s antenna goes over the monitor’s edge and has better reception.

    Still no thanks to Apple for pulling the plug on the Windows version.

    Wait – it’s *that* Logic, right? πŸ˜›

    np: Moritz Von Oswald Trio – Patterns 1 (Vertical Ascent)

  40. Caleb Says:

    “Pizza Building”

    That made me chuckle.

  41. wow. Do I relate to this one or what? just moved into a new house… good job

  42. Tim Says:

    What’s the box under the girl’s chair say?

  43. Josh Says:

    Gotta love how the huge speaker is sitting on “Silence.” Like Sue said, it’s those little details that makes this comic so much fun to read.

  44. Roadtoad Says:

    It’s hard not to laugh. The fact of the matter is, it’s all true!

    Reading the boxes, then seeing the TV crushing what dreams could be, and I laugh simply because that’s where I am, too. It takes a serious set of cojones to make that kind of point. (I’m just waiting for the trolls to start in.)

  45. erik Says:

    you should re-title this white people dilemmas.

  46. erik Says:

    (i liked all the goofy things like the television though)

  47. Bart Says:

    thank you for the cartoon!

    Been a fan since i found a link to ‘perspective man’ that day it came out.

    I just thought humanity already unpacked the hanging mirror at the wall… πŸ˜‰

  48. Meghana K: Well said. Taken to extremes, it’s like Lewis Black says: a terrorist is a person who has lost their sense of humor. Scale it down and an asshole is a person who can laugh at everyone except themselves.

    nonnymus: I know what you mean, and I agree.

    Tim: Ah, the mysteries of life…

    Roadtoad: No trolls this week so far. I’d say they were on summer vacation, but a vacation from what exactly?

    erik: I know what you’re getting at, though i think you really mean “western society” as opposed to, er, “white people.” I assume you’re pointing out that it’s about people in a certain socioeconomic class, anyway, and yeah, it is about life in a particular kind of society, which is not coincidentally the one that many/most people reading the comic are likely to be a part of, myself included.


    Thanks in general to everyone for the comments! I really appreciate everyone who takes the time to say something here, positive or otherwise.

  49. pG Says:

    Ha ha ha! ‘Horton beers a who’

  50. slashdotdot Says:

    I like the Simpsons refrence whit the phony brand also:
    funny comic < good comic

  51. Writer Says:

    Awesome comic. Love the crushed boxes. And the TV cracked me up.

    Mr Rowntree, if you ever do wallpapers, would it be possible to have one with many people? A 16:9 Subnormality “cast” or “all-star” lineup with your most recurring characters? Knowing you, it would look like a twisted, nightmarish, crowded picture of Where’s Waldo, except with more Sphinx. Hiding Nickelback or Stephen Harper in there, the pink-haired waitress, the two nazis, the Hell girls, etc.

    I’d pay good money for a big Subnormality widescreen desktop with many characters. I’m sure others would too.

  52. No Hablo Ingles Says:

    It is true enough that some of us have peeked at the treasures inside of each.

  53. GerryB Says:

    @Writer: I’ll second your motion for a Subnormality roll-call as wallpaper. In whichever mood you woke your computer, there’d be a little face mirror-grinning back: great idea!

    And, um, not to jinx this entire experience, but Winston I’d just like to say that your dips into this forum are a verisimilitude of having my favourite band on speakerphone when I’m most wishing I could play beautiful guitar.

  54. Zombo Says:

    Dude, if it’s true, it doesn’t have to be funny to be a masterpiece. LOVE your work, man!

  55. Blatant Coward Says:

    Love it! The way they feel reminds me I still got unpacked boxes too, after 3 years. *sob*

  56. ShavoMcgee Says:

    Brilliant. You never disappoint. Seriously.

  57. Line Noise Says:

    The box cutters and the cardboard recycling bin are in the box labelled “publicly supported cultural and educational institutions”.

  58. Amanda Says:

    You sir, are quite the entertainer and philosopher. Your comics never disappoint.

  59. Hocus Pocus Focus Says:

    I loved the Irony in the hole comic.



  61. bilson Says:

    I love it when people make wonderful things.

  62. Bandit a la mode Says:

    I just got the ‘pizza building’ on the box joke. Haha.

  63. Bouddhabuzz Says:

    Refreshing comic

  64. S.A.C Says:

    Another delicous slice of Hogarthian metaphysical pie.

  65. Steven Says:

    Really like your stuff…keep up the great work i’m having fun reading them πŸ™‚

  66. greg Says:

    i absolutely love the metaphors and abstract representation in this comic its great

  67. austin Says:

    Incredibly well done. I especially like the not-yet unpacked mirror…

  68. Tomas Catz Says:

    man it looks like they unpacked all the wrong things ><;

  69. some dude Says:

    I have a pig managing the proxy which is blocking this image, I can’t imagine why… can anyone upload it to a link so i can read it? Only if this didn’t breaks any copyright law(l).

  70. mross Says:

    the greatest comic ever made, easily.

    one of the greatest things ever made.

  71. Curiouser Says:

    Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful.

  72. linden Says:

    in my opinion, your comic is in the same league and deserves the same level of respect as calvin and hobbes, the far side, and xkcd. stellar work.

  73. Ghosty Says:

    Amazing. I love the perspective.

  74. Rev Says:

    Why indeed? Why? Why? WHY? WHYYYY?!?!?!
    Some subjects perfectly warrant the ol’ “wall-o’-text”, but the approach becomes just plain hamfisted when you’re trying to apply it to what started out as a single, concise metaphor. When it’s diluted down to such a minimalistic setup, the overwrought dialogue is like a livid bruise on the setup. The situation just feels so “overtold” it comes across like self-parody. Not that it’s a bad concept or that you’re a bad writer, but the difference between a lecture and sage advice is in length alone.

  75. Patrick French Says:

    Love love love ❀

  76. Anon Says:

    “One Canadian killed”
    Justin Bieber?

  77. Nishido Says:

    I have moved 37 times in 33 years; therefore I consider myself an expert on the art of moving. I have reach such a point of perfection in the craft, that I can tell cardboard boxes apart by quality levels.

    But the real awe inducer about my technique, is the developed ability to arrange all my belongings the very same night after the moving. Yes, people come the morning after to see if they can help me unpack, and find out everything is on its place already.

    I can’t say how much I enjoy their looks of fearful respect, by the way.

  78. Madeleine Says:

    Love it (as I do all of these comics) and the state of the residents of apartment earth make me feel very accomplished in my personal development.

    And in general: Thank you for the small galaxy of introspective consideration this is wonderful.

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