Unpopular Halloween Costumes

November 2, 2009


Yeh, it’s a comic. And i know it’s not halloween anymore, but this isn’t the 2009 halloween comic, this is the 2010 comic delivered 364 days early. Either that or i just don’t care, i forget which.




Something’s been bugging me for like 10 years, so i must poll the masses here on a subject. D’yer remember that Calvin & Hobbes storyline where they get back from vacation and the house has been broken into and such? Yeah, you remember it, it’s in Revenge of the Baby Sat and it’s one of the more memorable “serious” storylines that Watterson did (take a moment to sigh and bask in pleasant memories of C&H at this point). Anyway, i swear to god i was reading the paper in about the year 2000 (between 1998-2001, let’s say) and over the course of a few days i saw another comic strip completely rip off this storyline! Just full-on plagiarism; they get home, the house has been burgled, they lay awake in bed thinking about the situation, etc, no doubt that it was a total ripoff (but i’m not gonna mention the name of the comic i’m talking about without evidence sitting in front of me, so don’t ask). I distinctly remember this happening, but i can’t find anything about it online anywhere, which means either of two things has happened: either a cartoonist totally got away with one 10 years ago, or my memory is just completely wrong. And i’m not looking to prove one situation rather than the other, i’m just wondering if anyone else out there knows what the hell i’m talking about. So… am i crazy? Anybody? Send me an email if you know of which i speak, i’m mega-curious and starting to think i just imagined the whole thing somehow.

Cheers muchly,


78 Responses to “Unpopular Halloween Costumes”

  1. Hooray! Unpopular Hallowe’en Costumes are among my favorites of the non-wordy subset of Subnormality strips.

  2. Josh the Comics Curmudgeon would probably be able to help you find that if it happened. http://joshreads.com/

  3. Mark Says:

    The fact that sexy Teddy Roosevelt is unpopular is a crying shame.

  4. Eric Says:

    Sexy Teddy Roosevelt, LOL.

    Awesome comic, as usual.

  5. Lauren Says:

    I would totally watch a show called “a weird little dude and his lesbian pals.”

    sexy teddy roosevelt made my day.

  6. Matt Says:

    Can’t tell you how delighted I was at the Teddy Roosevelt joke. It’s an old joke between some friends and I that if anyone mentions the venerable president’s name, we all grin that yakshit, over-the-top grin that he displays so proudly in that photo.

    Anyway, excellent as always.

  7. Michael Ezra Says:

    Ditto what everyone said about Sexy Teddy Roosevelt.

    From the Terrible Canadian Music Hydra I recognize Chad Kroeger and Celine Dion but no one else. Can anyone help a brother Canuck out?

    Finally, the aged Jim Morrison costume is totally believable because he was heading quickly in that direction anyway. Once he switched from being an acid-head to a walking whiskey still, his best days were behind him as a writer an performer. (Not that being an acid-head is good for you either, but…) And I say that as a huge Doors fan.

  8. Regarding the C&H ripoff; there are a few possibilities no doubt you considered.

    -It wasnt a ripoff, just a serendipity, maybe inspired by the news.

    -Either the C&H strip or the other one were a rerun or your paper didnt carry them in the proper date, making the coincidence just circunstantial.

    -It was a blatant ripoff but no one really payed attention because the other strip wasnt in enough people’s radar. For all I care, Marmaduke could be running a storyline ripping Don Quixote and I would never find out.

    But these things happen… I have a friend who did a strip for a college weekly magazine in in Madrid. Over 10 years later I found out some moron was redrawing each of his strips for another magazine in Valencia. The guy had been doing it for months with great success and was even beign considered for a TPB. Luckily I knew people in that mag board.

  9. Dawn Says:

    @ Michael Ezra, I recognize Alanis Morisette next to Chad Kroeger, still working on the others… could that be Bryan Adams next to her? He certainly should be.

  10. Questo's Dad Says:

    Double plus good.

    That’s clearly Avril in the bottom left corner, but I just don’t know my bad bands well enough to guess the others. I think it’s a credit to me that I don’t know what any of the band members of, oh, let’s say Sum41, look like.

    P.S. Jim Morrison is still alive.

  11. George Says:

    How dare you, Winston! Everyone knows Teddy Roosevelt was the second sexiest president ever. (Kennedy was first.) Dressing up as sexy Teddy Roosevelt would be like dressing up as sexy John Lennon. It’s so obvious, it doesn’t need any further addition.

    Now to guess the faces on the hydra.

    The two blondes are Chad “The Human Rectal Abscess” Kroeger, and Avril Lavigne, and the brunettes next to each of them are Celine Dion and Alison Morisette.

    I don’t know who the rest are, but I’m pretty sure the drooling guy’s from Simple Plan, dog collar boy’s from Sum 41, and there’s a chance the douche in the hat’s Bryan Adams, but I can’t find a picture of Bryan Adams in a hat.

    I’m sorry so many musical atrocities have come from your nation, Winston, but don’t worry too much, for every Canadian like Chad Kroeger, there are 10 Americans like Scott Stapp.

  12. The water cycle costume is inspired! Why the hell would it be unpopular?

    Notre Dame de Mal is genius, as is Sexy Teddy.
    As a fan of Alanis Morisette and Celine Dion, their inclusion alongside the like of Chad Kroeger and Avril Lavigne makes me sad.

    But apart from that, once again, an excellent comic.
    Hope you had a fun halloweenie.
    I made some zombies.

  13. Netcob Says:

    I don’t know how many cartoonists do this, but Scott Adams (Dilbert) has a “buffer” of several weeks or months. At least one time he got criticized for being insensitive when a cartoon he drew months ago made it to the papers at the same time when some catastrophe happened – making it look like he was making fun of the victims.

    So even if this happened, it may have been completely by accident. Or both artists were “inspired” by a third source – like something in the news.

  14. This Guy Says:

    @Netcob: I think that that practice is pretty standard for syndicated newspaper cartoonists. Since none of their jokes are topical and most just replay one or two gags over and over again they build up long lead times so that they can do five strips one day and then swim in pools of money for the next four.

  15. bachterman Says:

    yeah, i remember that burglary.
    and teddy r. is sexy. 😀

  16. rick Says:

    I liked this a lot.

  17. Victoria Says:

    I’ve been a loyal reader of yours for a long time and this is the first comic that compels me to leave a comment.

    I would LOVE to be a sexy Teddy Roosevelt. Fuck. yes. (Then again, he already is sexy).

  18. JoeR Says:

    Awesome artwork on this one. Reverse gender Seinfeld will give me nightmares for weeks to come. Good times.

  19. Melvazord Says:

    Ive never understood peoples obsession with Calvin and Hobbes, I always found it pretty dull to be honest.

  20. NoVan Says:

    Ha! Alt-text was inspired; I was just about to post something to that effect!

  21. dvilla Says:

    Great work as always, but please give us more pink-haired-girl and huge walls of text.

  22. Dusty668 Says:

    Next year, the SEXAY photosynthesis process, I called it! Dibs!

  23. George Says:

    Melvazord, that’s just the black lump of coal where your soul used to be talking.

  24. Anonymous Says:

    I love the Horn of Fuck all. I’m totally going as that next year.

  25. Erik N. Says:

    In case you’ve missed it, I invite you to click on my name and experience the wonder that is “Girl’s Costume Warehouse.” Teddy would fit right in.

  26. Kin Says:

    I’ve never been one to comment often, but I can’t in good conscience leave a costume as incalculably brilliant as Sexy Teddy Roosevelt without personal praise!

    The nod to the vast difference in quality between Watterson’s work and virtually every other modern newspaper comic strip also made me smile (come back Bill!).

    Keep up the good work!

  27. Melvazord Says:

    What is this “sow-al” that people keep telling me aboot?

  28. LaZodiac Says:

    I don’t care how “unpopular” these costumes are. Anythings better then the myriad of vampires, werewolfs, and Twilight Inspired Vampfailures that were running around. So common place and so boring. Wheres the excitement.

    On that note, Gender Flip Sienfield is probably the best idea for a sitcom since…well, Sienfield.

    Also, that second last one isn’t a costume, its a poor soul traped in a curse of hell that was mistakenly pulled into this list. You can tell from his expresion. If he WANTED to be dressed like that, he’d be atlest smirking at his cleverness.

  29. Mouse Says:

    I like most of them, but I don’t get what’d be unpopular about a genderflipped sitcom (though you’d need some cooperative friends to help out).

  30. Jae Classic Says:

    Sexy Teddy Roosevelt costume is redundant.

  31. Even if the Notre Dame de Mal would be unpopular, it would still be awesome.

  32. curlpop Says:

    HAHA you are amazing. I wish the politically correct masterpiece had someone in a wheelchair as well!

  33. Alex Says:

    I had actually told my wife that she should go as sexy Howard Taft. I like the execution on sexy Teddy Roosevelt, though. I also thought sexy Margaret Thatcher would make a good one.

  34. Evan Says:

    That’s sort of a neat not-too-related-but-still-related-coincidence: This friend of mine from work went as sexy Nixon this year.

  35. Heh, I can see straight up that lady’s river mouth, huh huh. Heh heh.

  36. George Says:

    Alex, there ain’t enough of anything in the world to make the Iron Lady sexy.

  37. Ireland Says:

    Reverse Gender Seinfeld KILLS ME. “One Hirsute Man and his Lesbian Friends” could become a major TV hit.

  38. OjnoTheRed Says:

    I stumbled on Subnormality recently (“the Queue”) and I’ve loved browsing through the back catalog. First time commenter. I’m a huge Seinfeld fan, so loved that one. Totally believable reverse-gender characterisations, by the way, how do you DO that!? Here in Australia, Halloween is kind-of catching on. It’s really about drunken 20-somethings agreeing to come in costume to a drunken barbecue with a lot of drugs, but, hey another interpretation. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But next year, I’m totally going as living Jim Morrison. I can’t fathom why I can’t take my eyes away form sexy Teddy Roosevelt. She’s hypnotic.

  39. simon Says:

    Margaret Thatcher is just SOOO sexy, especially now she’s dead, I would like totally do her.

  40. Filipe Says:

    I love that the guy from nickelback has horns =]

  41. Kalvyn Hawbes Says:

    I think my head burst with euphoria at sexy Teddy Roosevelt…bahaha…

  42. none Says:

    winston rowntree loves nickelback doesn’t he?
    or perhaps everybody needs his own personal ultimate satan

  43. simon Says:

    Winston, do you update Teh Comix on the rest of your website at all or is it pretty much all about the Subnormality these days? I ask because I read everything I could find on your site as soon as I discovered you, but unlike your weekly strip there’s no update notifications for the other stuff. Could I please ask for you to post a message of some sort either on the home page (hot lineart cat babe grrrrrwwooww), the comments here or something else that makes sense to you when you’ve done something that isn’t Subnormal?

  44. simon: Hey, thanks for asking. I’ve had zero time for non-Subnormality comics the past couple years, so the Other Comix section is pretty much a historical archive at this point. My schedule the next two years should be a lot more open though, so if I find the time for any side projects you can be sure I’ll announce them here in the blog.

  45. Leak Says:

    Oh shi… I just found out Nickelback will be playing less than 500 metres from me on the 24th – what do I do?

    Leave the country for a day, or start digging a tunnel under the stadium so I can rig it with explosive?

    Decisions, decisions…

    np: Public Image Ltd – Flowers of Romance (Instrumental) (Flowers Of Romance)

  46. Leak Says:

    (Make that “explosive*s*”, of course…)

  47. “i know, i know, he was sexy to begin with” YES. You understand the deepest truths of United States history and sexiness. And also of my brain. Thank you for this comic, and for too many words, generally. It’s never too many words for me, baby.

  48. Nentuaby Says:


    That’s an interesting take on it. Why did you decide that they’re lesbians? The three dudes weren’t gay, after all…

  49. Yeah, but the three dudes dug chicks (by which I do not mean that they were into necropedobestialism). Why did you decide that reversing their sex would also reverse their sexuality?

    (Not that I think it would matter much—I think any reverse gender Seinfeld would rock, and that the concept needs to be brought to Larry David’s attention ASAP.)

  50. …not that there’s anything wrong with that?

  51. Brittany Says:

    I stayed up way past my bed time and read as far back as my eyes could handle it. If I knew how to work an RSS(??) feed I would follow it.

    To sum up my feelings: Ouch.

    To expound on my feelings: You comics describe the feelings I push down into my stomach until that little, greasy knot develops and I just want to lay in bed all day and watch some feel-good Spongebob Squarepants.

    I actually stopped reading at the life calender page. I hope I get Alzheimers, so as my body fades away all I care about is my stuffed kitty-cat collection and when I get more cinnamon apple sauce. Thanks.

  52. Michael Says:

    Let me tell you I wouldn’t mind her[sexy TR] seizing my south pacific colonial holdings.

  53. Charlotte Says:

    ^ Best. Line. Ever.

  54. Andrew Says:

    I don’t laugh out loud at alot of things but “Sexy Teddy Roosevelt” set me howling. Brilliant!

  55. blargh Says:

    Someone shares your distaste for Nickelback

  56. Azaroth Says:

    Still loving last years “reverse davy croquet” costume. 🙂

  57. Scary Says:

    I love the water cycle and would make it.

    But I’m British and over here Halloween costumes have to be scary. It’s a rule, or an old charter, or something.

    Maybe for another costume event.. or an environmental protest! yes!

  58. Sean Archer Says:

    Fuck! Sexy Teddy Roosevelt almost got me fired for laughing too loud!

    mmmm. Sexy Teddy Roosevelt. Tickle me with your lady-whiskers.

  59. Alex Says:

    whoa, now i gotta get people to do the reverse seinfeld with me, althou its gonna be hard finding girls to play the characters,

  60. Kieran Says:

    is james labrie part of the canadian music hydra? is he the one with the horns?

  61. aziz Says:

    I love how the the Nickelback singer always looks in your comics 😀

  62. mjj Says:

    this isssss

  63. sheikhjahbooty Says:

    Since Sexy Teddy Roosevelt is a hot chick, Sexy Maggy Thatcher has to be a buff dude.

  64. Sexy Teddy gave me the hee-bee jeebies! lol….Blech!

  65. I am happy to be one of the commentor here in Virus Comix News, everything is weird but powerfull and elegant art creation of so many subscriber^ ^;…

  66. Monocle Says:

    Teddy Roosevelt was ALREADY sexy. What I would give to LICK that luxurious moustache of his.

  67. Ben Says:

    I would marry a girl if she wore a sexy Teddy Roosevelt costume… if only for the fact that it meant she probably reads subnormality.

  68. Weird Says:

    I am a weird person, and this is my favourite site on the internet.

  69. Fillip Says:

    Implications that Dilbert isn’t amazing? GRRR

  70. My classmates just figured out I wasn’t paying attention in class because I burst out laughing at the Reverse Gender Seinfeld.

  71. Nicholas Says:

    Why is Dilbert a bad comic? 😦

  72. Another person with opinions Says:

    Sexy Theodore Roosevelt would be a perfectly classy costume in its own right, if it lost the mustache.
    On the other hand, the mustache isn’t all bad…

  73. Some Random Loser Says:

    Sexy Teddy Roosevelt is an amazing costume.

    Also, I like Dilbert… And Scott Adams has some good books as well.

    • Adrian Griffin Says:

      Right? Straight up, I almost went as that for Halloween. And that’s not even that ridiculous! Have you ever seen sexy Ebola Nurse? How about King Dong (King Kong’s dick)?

  74. Lee Says:

    It baffles me that you’d have so much love for Calvin and Hobbes, yet so much hate for Dilbert and Pearls Before Swine. I mean, okay, no they’re not as good as Pearls, but they’re hardly hellish by comparison. I actually figured you would like Pearls because it’s so cynical and misanthropic. Is it the drawings you don’t like?

  75. Adrian Griffin Says:

    So, this was totally just an excuse for you to draw the “reverse pandora’s box of comic strips”, right? I’m not judging, I think you’re mostly right, but is it?

  76. All these years later, and I’m still wondering why “sexy Teddy Roosevelt” wasn’t just a picture of Teddy Roosevelt.

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