Mr. Parsons

August 5, 2009


Here’s a comic, and i’m sorry it’s late, and guess what: it has a lot of words in it. Keep scrolling so you don’t miss the end bit. News of typos to the usual address.


Oh god, it’s Annual Mental Vacation time now, and thus I announce no comics for the next two mondays. I’m gonna fill a plastic bag with a pleasant assortment of fruit and run screaming into the woods or something similar, and i’ll be back in good time should i be able to wheedle sanity out from its cave with a handful of figs. Let’s say the 24th of August. I shall return, bearing huge walls of text and possibly some raspberries. Be good, take it easy, give fear the finger, and I’ll see you later.

back in a minute,


86 Responses to “Mr. Parsons”

  1. Chutney Says:

    I like those boats.

  2. Anna Says:

    Awesome comic as always. Enjoy your vacation and keep doing what you do, WR.

  3. Greatness. It’s always the best result when you draw how you really want.


    I like the “100 – 100 = Mr. Parsons”.

    Amazing work, as usual.

  5. Hristo Says:

    awesome comic. i just wish all teachers would come to this conclusion instead of messing us up. and i wish that i could ride that awesome boat in a bottle across the atlanic.

  6. Michael Ezra Says:

    …Dear God. The panel with the “I broooke into the abandoned Sears(TM) warehouse” is the most terrifying thing I’ve seen since the Joker’s birth in Batman: The Killing Joke. Well done sir. I shall forward to you the receipt for the sedatives I shall require to sleep nights.

    Also, enjoy your vacation!

  7. Hypnos Says:

    What does that have to do with Ford Tauruses?

  8. Mike Says:

    Teachers have sweet jobs when they don’t fulfill their ethical responsibilities. 180 days or so of work, summer off, killer union, great retirement package and the ability to work after retirement. The actual teaching part takes some effort, some ingenuity and then some more effort. Glad I’m not a teacher.

  9. M. Komar Says:

    Great comic this week! Keep up the good work dude, and have an awesome and relaxing vacation.

    Also, I think I saw Damon Albarn as a high schooler wearing a “Pop Scene” shirt. Do I sense a Blur fan here?

  10. b. patrick Says:

    Kick ass! Man I love these comics. I think most people who half-ass anything, even bullshit jobs worthy of hate, just hate work in general. The 24th can’t come soon enough.

  11. Michael Ezra Says:

    Oh! I also liked how quickly Mr. Parsons comes down from his trip when Tammy yells at him. Maybe she has a future as a drug rehab professional. “Hey you, stop being coked up! And you on PCP, stop beating up the orderlies!” –“Yes ma’am!” “Sorry ma’am.”

  12. winston rowntree 2 Says:

    LSD is not usually injected…

    but ya know.. no worries, ignorance prevails.

    aside from that fact the comic is great, it’s strangely descriptive of a man with adversity if routine, meaning (me)

  13. bullestock Says:


  14. Blatant Coward Says:

    I AM a pirate!

  15. Bjorn Says:

    Pure gold!
    I do love a happy ending. A sea change can work wonders for most people.
    That said, the swirling vortex of Mr Parson’s mind will hold me untill you return from your holiday.

  16. theletterstheyspeakwithvoicelessmaws Says:

    yeah, I’m pretty sure LSD could be injected, but you’d probably die. usually consumed with blotting paper or in tabs.
    but this is probably the coolest thing thats been spat at me by my RSS feed in the past month, so props to you, my dear webcomic writer

  17. Graham Says:

    Stands up. Hi my name is Graham and i hate work in general to.

    Great comic.

  18. Camille Says:

    Oh man, you’re crazy. I love it.
    Have a nice holiday!

  19. Deimos Says:

    I’ve been following your stuff for quite some months Winston,and your work is one of the things I anticipate every week.Well done,this one has to be one of your best,I mean the way you give life and personality to your characters is amazing.You should probably write a novel,we could use an author like you.Cheers from Greece and keep up the good work ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Qoperniqus Says:

    I love it, when you draw how you like to draw.

  21. Sili Says:


    I’ve just applied for a teaching position. I have little doubt that I’ll be mr Parsons before long.

  22. Tibi Says:

    y’all take care now, mr. WR ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. BKred Says:

    Dammit, I’m an algebra teacher who drives a Ford Taurus. But I don’t shoot LSD into my eyeballs.

  24. Paul Philbrick Says:

    Hi Winston,

    I’m from Maine. During the summer months there is a festival called “Whatever Week.” They used to have a water race where you could pilot “what ever” would float – the only rule was you had to stay in your boat for the duration if you wanted a prize. Sadly, they have not done the race in a few years – but the last panel in comic reminds me of the races I saw as a kid (not that I saw any split cranium boats… ). Anyway, great comic and have a great vacation!

  25. Amanda Says:

    Crazzzy, which isn’t to say I didn’t love it. Have a great vacation!

  26. Christopher M Norton Says:

    “Turns out I just hate work in general.”

    Oh man I’m glad I wasn’t drinking anything when I read that, I would’ve choked to death laughing.

  27. GameFreeek Says:

    This reminds me of Dan Dunne from Half Nelson. Awesome comic, as always, Mr WR. =)

  28. andrew Says:

    This one didn’t do it for me because I didn’t recognize the style you were going for with the first section
    (and it certainly seemed different enough that it was supposed to be a reference to something.)
    And the middle section, umm okay, no opinion really.
    The last part I was at least pleased by realizing “Oh this is a reference to that guy umm hell what’s his name The Garden of Earthly Delights, yeah Bosch”

  29. GerryB Says:

    Cartoon gold (and red and yellow and pink and blue… ); I may have caught the crazies from that hallucinatory episode mid-strip, but what a chord-progression way to explode into visual song: walls of text shepherded obediently into columns of a sudden? What next– more surprises yet?

    Winston, have a wonderful *dreamboat* vacation.

  30. bachterman Says:

    i hate paying the bills. i think i’ll gonna be a boat salesman.

  31. Max Chaplin Says:

    Whoa, Rowntree has had some horrible teachers.
    Or terrible hatred for math.

  32. vanetz Says:

    Work… My sentiments exactly.

    Also something I just thought of – I’m surprised there are lot less “TL;DR” comments than I thought here would be ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. vanetz Says:

    Ah, yes. Pre-moderation, U-DUUH.

  34. Stiles Says:

    Holy shit, this is my new favorite Subnormality! installment.

    I was starting to wonder where you were going to take this at the end, but the last panel was the perfect finale; well played, sir.

    Great work, and way to go out on a high note before vacation! Enjoy your sabbatical, and we’ll be here when you return.

  35. Jeremy Says:

    Fuck. That was awesome.

    I didn’t quite get the ending but nonetheless a thrill ride. I am really really impressed. Every week I deeply enjoy your comic, sir Winston. Have fun on your holiday, I need to take one….I take one every 3 years…

  36. Tobias Says:

    I’ve got to say, you just keep getting better and better. Your comics get more imaginative, insightful and, well, vibrant each time.

    You’re taking risks, and it’s working.

  37. LightHorseman Says:

    Awesome. Worth the wait.

  38. M. Komar: I was definitely a Blur fan in high school, i’ll say that. I continue to enjoy their music, though others have surpassed them in my Top 3 of Bands.

    Qoperniqus: I love it too. From now on, every comic will be about the fun-to-draw psychedelic travails of Steve Parsons! Sorry, Sphynx fans…

    Paul Philbrick: I like the name “Whatever Week,” i think i’m having one of those right now…

    vanetz: Actually your first comment was just automatically flagged for that “tl,dr.” Big Brother is hopeless with context, and he apologizes.


    So what you’re tl,dr saying is that tl,dr this comment tl,dr will be tl,dr flagged for the tl,dr?


    And I got nothing useful to say, so it might as well be flagged.

  40. Michael Ezra Says:

    From now on, every comic will be about the fun-to-draw psychedelic travails of Steve Parsons!

    Hey, you could do worse. If only this were the sixties; then you could’ve made a fortune with underground comix ร  la Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, not to mention psychedelic album and poster art.

  41. Ganon Says:

    Oh man, that was great. I have been reading your comics ever since I first saw the 4 Horsemen one on (Everyone go there…now!!!). This one was great as usual. I love the boats too. It took me a second to realize they weren’t part of another drug induced hallucination of his. Enjoy your vacation. I guess I’ll have to rely on my other web comics to fill the gap.

  42. Wonderful!

    I loved the punchline. Great work sir, as always.

  43. Nameless Wonder of the North-West Says:

    Hot damn, this one is definitely my new favorite.

  44. Asher Says:

    For the record, all fords are shit.

    I am wondering what is in the envelope under the desk made of wood?

  45. Melvazord Says:

    Teachers: A Breakdown

    1/10: Insirational
    6/10: Phoning it in
    2/10: Activly hate children
    1/10: Wears human skin as a hat on the weekends

  46. Melvazord Says:

    Of course that should be InsPirational. Mah teechurs dun tawt me goode, yus surreee!

  47. Oh man that was funny as hell.

    One of the best depictions of tripping I’ve seen in print too.

    Thanks for sharing, have a good rest.

  48. Wunderbear Says:

    Well, I’m glad that the people who phone it in are around. As sad as it is, there just aren’t enough of the Inspirational teachers to go around. Never have been, never will be.

  49. Caleb Says:

    I like how he is a depressed blond headed guy who plays volleyball.

    Swedish? (Depression is a problem over there)

  50. Jack Says:

    I am Jack’s raging bile duct.

  51. Canuck-Errant Says:

    My god. I keep stumbling across then forgetting about Subnormality. I’m not sure why I keep forgetting.

    Maybe it’s because it makes me want to work back-of-house again. Unemployment – especially STUDENT unemployment – is a bitch. 21% this summer, they say, students winding up with no income to pay for their tuition, having to take out student loans or borrow from family or, god forbid, skip a year of classes to work – assuming they can find a job in the fall in the first place. Fuck, life’s hard without money – well, there’s charities and everything for the homeless and the destitute, but if you turn up in your BA Commerce suit and shirt and tie, your black wingtips, attachรฉ case in hand, they’d laugh in your face or ask you if you were there to donate. Not that I’m in a better boat, I’m majoring in English.

    …oh, that’s the second reason I keep forgetting about Subnormality.

  52. Canuck-Errant: Hey, I’m not even allowed IN the house at my day job. But yeah, i read that report too on, the student unemployment thing. People with massive debts sending out 50 resumes and getting nothing. And then people in the comments section saying like “suck it up, welcome to the real world, etc.” like the real world was some celestial theme park that we all have to obey the rules of or else. We MAKE the real world, and we make the rules, and when we’ve made a system where young people have to go 20k in debt only to find every job wants 3-5 years of experience then we’ve fucked up royally and we need to make A NEW SYSTEM!! Nobody should be accepting of this. We get used to and put up with way too much here in Canada sometimes.

    Of course my personal Strategy of Dissent is to make comics and then die alone and penniless at the age of 31 of some 17th century-style illness (scurvy!), so maybe the lesson here is to just go into the trades. Become a plumber, since someone has to maintain the pipes that transport the rivers of bullshit to and fro across our great nation. Or, y’know, fix the sink.

    Oh god, my and my optimism… I apologize for using my vacation time to walk around with a sandwich board with “the end is nigh” written on it…

  53. Canuck-Errant Says:

    Mr. Rowntree: Hah! I heard it on the radio. But you’re right – and there’ve been studies, too, showing that even the people who wind up employed during a recession are worse off – lower lifetime incomes than people in the same career who start even a year before, or who start after a recovery – even adjusted for inflation.

    Equally rough is the realization that I won’t be able to leave where I am (SK) for a long while, and that I honestly don’t like living here. I mean, there isn’t anything wrong with Saskatchewan, it’s just… I need to be somewhere more urban than fucking Saskatoon, you know? I want to be somewhere like Montreal – hell, even Quebec City, I love Quebec City – where there’s actually things to do and a sense of culture and fewer country music stations.

    Though I think I started post-secondary with the wrong role models for employment. I want to get into radio, which is slowly dying – though not as rapidly as newspapers, haha – and Mike Holmes only emerged after I was already a good halfway through this four-year degree.

    I guess it beats trying to be a professional writer. And I can always fall back on washing dishes.

    …I hope to god I don’t have to fall back on washing dishes.

  54. Wow! I wish I were creative. I wish I could draw. That way I could be Steve Parsons too!

  55. Canuck-Errant: Being originally from Regina, I can sympathize. I’d say “at least the rent is cheap in Saskatchewan,” but Montreal, for example, is just as cheap. I don’t hate Saskatchewan either, but the mayor of Regina is a vicious little nazi gnome who’s singlehandedly running the city into the ground, and you’d better believe I hate HIM.

  56. Olivier Says:

    Winston, thank you very much. I prefer your handwriting to the awful generic type in the comic, but your work is outstanding. It’s a great joy to discover it as you create it, week by week.

  57. Paul Says:

    Winston, you are very intelligent, and that is hard to come by on the internet these days. I’ve never subscribed to an RSS feed up until now. I look forward to continuing to read your material, and I will gladly purchase your t-shirts and any publications you come out with, that is, whenever I come across some extra spending money…

  58. Nico Says:

    Love the work and i think you should go into directing. I was wondering thou about one thing, in panel seven there is a envelope marked SP that is taped to the under side of the upturned desk. I just have to ask what does it mean?

  59. pG Says:

    One question. Do you think Mr. Parsons is hiring?

  60. Rohan Says:

    Dude, you are fucking awesome.

  61. Pinkhair Says:

    Is it weird that the first thing I thought was that hearing aids use zinc-air batteries instead of lithiums?

  62. .... Says:

    SssSSsSSSSseeevveeeennnnnnn daaayyyyyyyssssss………

  63. leo Says:

    this comic makes my boat building heart joyful. I think I want it as a poster. I wish I were a math teacher, or took acid.

  64. Joel Says:

    This was absolutely hilarious!! Like the art a lot.

  65. Nataly Says:

    I don’t know, I keep getting this impression that you’re a woman.

    If you’re not, I apologize.

    Doesn’t stop me from imagining your voice as a sultry female librarian though. :/

  66. Writer Says:

    Awesome comic once more Mr Rowntree.

    Let the penniless writer add another layer : I owned a Taurus, and they indeed suck.

    Also, Montreal has cheap rents? Tell me where cause my landlord is gouging me here. :-p

  67. Leak Says:

    In case you didn’t know – a new Abnormality comic went up on in the meantime:

    np: Tosca – Ping (Session 10) (Dehli9 (Disc 2))

  68. Arielle Says:

    I found this comic “Mr. Paron’s and the needles” randomly because of a link on that a friend of mine posted from….. fucking love your work. ๐Ÿ˜€ and I like all the walls of words…..

  69. John Doe Says:

    Aw, it’s the 24th and no comic is up yet… ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  70. No Hablo Ingles Says:

    Where’s the comic!!?? I need my fix!!! WHERE’S THE COMIC!???

  71. Nick Nack Says:

    This isn’t the same Steve Parsons as the cannibal chef or the dude who likes to drill into Fort Knox, is it?

  72. Nick Nack: Nope, it’s a different steve parsons.

  73. Nick Nack Says:

    Any significance to the repeated name use?

  74. Sean Says:

    What!! You’re from Regina? I grew up in Moose Jaw! And here I thought the only thing extremely awesome to come from Saskatchewan was the term “bunnyhug”. Thanks for brightening our days with your unreal comix – please note that you are now the second item in the “extremely awesome things that came from Saskatchewan” category. The certificate is in the mail.

  75. Samuel Says:

    This comic has a strangely happy ending. An unfortunate gentleman goes from a job he hates that is doing mental harm to children to a job he tolerates and is entertaining strangers.

  76. Matt Says:

    This is the greatest thing I have ever seen in my entire life.

  77. Gabriel Says:

    I just realized that this is the same Mr. Parsons who offered the former pink-haired lady the opprotunity to allow herself to be slaughtered for a restaraunt for cannabals.

  78. Reese Says:

    Holy crap, that was trippy for a while in the middle. But the best part was Tammy yelling some damn sense into him.

  79. Wow, I re-read this comic after the first time and I only now noticed all the small details in the psychedelic panels. Phantastic man!

  80. Vonthako Says:

    I once had a teacher named Steve Parsons…
    But he wasn’t an algebra teacher or a cannibal chef; he taught Phys-Ed.

    Somewhat psychedelic, but I have to agree with Tammy’s point – if the teachers can’t teach, then they need to GTFO and find a new profession.

  81. Otter Says:

    I have a teacher like that (but he doesn’t do drugs). If I would be braver, I would yell at him like that…

    What should I do…?

  82. Pedro Says:

    Great comics, but I just have one question? Who the hell injects LSD in a syringe? It makes it seem like heroine or something like that when in fact it is one of the most harmless and awesome drugs ever.

    • Jon Says:

      Actually, back when LSD was still legally produced by the Sandoz company, it came as a liquid to be injected via syringe.

  83. Jennifer Says:

    I’ve never had a teacher who didn’t seem really happy with his or her job, and my mom’s a teacher. There was Mr. Deeney of tenth-grade history who once said “I couldn’t think of anything else to do, so I figured I’d might as well teach,” but he’s one of the most enthusiastic guys I’ve ever met, and the most awesome.

  84. Nacht Says:

    I like how the random-ass highschool student has blinding insight into the teacher’s career. Kids are smart these days.

  85. Dillon Says:

    I laughed so hard at this. Later I’m gonna check to see if you sell prints of this one. Thank you. I’m not sure if you even make these comics still as its been a few years since I’ve been here

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