Best Friends Forever

January 12, 2010

Hey, it’s weekly comic time.  I gotta run, i’m watching a documentary about evil sugar corporations…

until later,


54 Responses to “Best Friends Forever”

  1. LA Says:

    I’m a big fan, but with that being said, it could’ve been better, man.

  2. Michael Ezra Says:

    I liked this one, and not just because I’m a TV Tropes junkie.

    Warning to those fortunate souls who’ve never heard of it’s a major time-suck, so avoid perusing it when you have to get up early to catch a flight or something.

  3. Ben Says:

    Ow! My fourth wall!

  4. JamesK Says:

    TVTropes. It’s like a Rickroll that eats up the rest of your day.

    -I- enjoyed it. Who couldn’t enjoy something with giant shambling steampunk robots that are actually beautiful women in diving suits dancing to Macarena?

  5. MH Says:

    Oh my god is that the macarena.

  6. voleinhand Says:

    Is it really the Macarena if only like 2 of them can even move their arms?

  7. pG Says:

    TV tropes are the mainstay of modern entertainment.
    My first thought when imagining Salma Hayeck in a 19’th century diving suit was – ‘Not sexy’. Then I imagined Salma Hayeck trying to get into and out of a 19’th century diving suit…
    Who Hoo!

  8. golergka Says:

    You changed my mental image of Macarena. Forever.

  9. GerryB Says:

    I defy *anyone* to read that intro segue in 26 seconds; even with the fastest eyeballs on offer, that wall’s wordbricks’re a good minute of building.

    Sedate strip Winston, quietly nice though.

  10. Buldwren Says:

    Now you’re going to have to have Salma Hayek in a 19th century atmospheric diving suit rescue the guys stranded on an island from comic #81.

  11. Dusty668 Says:

    Looking hot Little Sister!

  12. simon Says:

    I must’ve bought my stupid at a 2 for 1 sale ‘cos I don’t get it.

    Anyway, Winston, I suspect you have turned your lettering into a font for easier wall-of-texting, is this true? Or are you still hand-lettering every one?

    Also can you possibly switch to a CSS or javascript image viewer that has a magnifying glass function?

    Man, I’m glad you’re popular and all these days but it’s a pain posting to a message board several hundred comments deep. Perhaps you should make people sign up to comment, with a captcha and all, probably would discourage the drunk/casual haters as well as the spam.

  13. Drunk_Hater Says:

    I hate drunks and I hate you! Actually I am drunk and I hate myself. Sorry!

  14. InsideOverlap Says:

    Hey now, I used to have a best friend I hated. It was a stressful time, but Middle School usually is.

  15. strange resonance with todays SMBC!

    also excellent as always, keep up the good work etc. etc. !! (I really mean that! especially the etceteras!!)

  16. Seth shaw Says:

    Hilarious! I love turn of the century diving suits!

  17. Mark Says:

    Totally awesome.

    I actually laughed out loud at:
    “1st Annual Beautiful Women in Unnecessarily Terrifying 19th Century Atmospheric Diving Suits Fashion Show”

  18. Daniel Brooks Says:

    I don’t know how you come up with this stuff, but you’ve kept a sustained stream of creative entertainment for me ever since you started Subnormality. Kudos to you sir!

  19. Q12 Says:

    My best friend of 5 years hates me and I hate him – we’re inseperable, and are constantly told either “you’re like an old married couple” or “you should be in a sitcom”.

  20. Jimmy the chimp Says:

    O’ Strange and wondrous Winston Roundtree, again you dazzle us with ….um, something somewhat unexpected. Thank you.

  21. Max Chaplin Says:

    Speaking of TV Tropes: two months after I threw a half-arsed page for Subnormality! there it has hardly grown. Either WikiMagic is slower than I thought or hardly anyone cares about the comic. Either way, feel free to give the thing a more dignified shape:

    (Warning: NSFW, but in a completely different way)

  22. George Says:

    Am I the only one whose noticed that the bearded dude’s basically your go-to generic guy. I’ve seen him do it with a devil, stranded on an island, all sorts of crazy shit.

    Has anyone else noticed Generic Bearded Guy but me?

  23. J Says:

    I like this one. It isn’t too heavy, but yet it manages to be quite satisfying, sort of like a good meringue. Thanks for a good comic.

    Oh, George, thanks for pointing out Generic Bearded Guy, I thought he looked familiar, but I wasn’t sure why. I love realizing new things about the comix after reading the comments.

  24. Line Noise Says:

    We should definitely have to log in, sign up and walk through those funky direct-to-You-Tube full-body scanners at airport security in order to leave a comment here, because if there ever was a comic designed to appeal to joiners, this is it!

  25. Line Noise Says:

    p.s. You Tube Scanner (TM) is a meam that should spread…

  26. Kloser Says:

    I’m new to your cartoon, but I’m Very impressed. The Christmas Eve of the future and the line are both standouts in an impressive series. I hope you keep this going, you’ve gained another fan.

  27. S. A. Ravenheart Says:

    Hahaha…. You’ve kept up a great mix of the depressing, the bizarre, the uplifting, the flagrantly opinionated and the simply hilarious. I love the premise of this one, and the kickback to the Unpopular Halloween Costumes and similarly lighthearted comics. Keep up the variety and the incredible talent!

  28. OjnoTheRed Says:

    This one gave me a huge belly laugh. It was when I checked that the banner actually stood for the “Annual Beautiful Women in Unnecessarily … ” etc. Bearded guy – would this be before he was sent to a planet inhabited by ghosts or after? I say before, he doesn’t have the dark circles under his eyes.

    Loved it, as I love all of your comics.

  29. Apachama Says:

    Good stuff. As an aside, I love how every comic has a very different feeling on its comments. The first one sums up Subnormality fans perfectly. I’ve never seen a group of people so willing to criticise. I wander what makes that happen.

  30. TheBrummell Says:

    I love the “Welcome to Nineteenth Century America” sign. I need to put a sign in front of my apartment building saying “Welcome to the Turn of the Millenium” or something, with a cell-phone tower/antenna/thing and a Wi-Fi hotspot attached. In Comic Sans, since that seems to be the font of our Era.

    And I’ll have to practice saying “I pwned a noob” so I fit the time-traveller’s expectations.

  31. NoVan Says:

    Ignore the haters, this comic’s a good’un.

    Well, I guess there aren’t that many haters. Nonetheless.

  32. The Last Melon Says:

    I really don’t know what to think of this one. Maybe it’s this slight cold that I’m suffering, but I can’t seem to get any of the above reactions. As usual, it’s well-drawn and, as someone above said, you are a font of creativity, but I really wonder whether you didn’t stretch yourself too far on this one. To be fair, this would be an incredibly hard comic to explain without the wall-o’-text, but I really have to wonder if, with this amount of explanation required, it was a joke really worth telling. If the joke is that situational – two people caught in some sort of fourth wall-breaking trope universe and were drinking on New Year’s Eve, etc., etc. – can you really compress all that into a single strip? I’m sure it could be absolutely hilarious as its own series, but this just feels rushed. The drawings are amusing as always, though, and I get the feeling that all I’m doing is earning the ire of the die-hard fans by yammering on against your trademark style.

  33. Rob Retter Says:

    Cute how the 19th century is all sepia-toned, like an old-time photo. And yeah, making magnification easier would be helpful. The walls of text are challenging enough without them being so damned hard to read *physically*.

  34. phoney Says:


  35. “Then I imagined Salma Hayeck trying to get into and out of a 19′th century diving suit….”

    Google Barbarella Intro. (The result may not be SFW, depending on where you work, and what you do.)

  36. LA: Yeah, i agree, but…uh… But nothing. I agree.

    Michael Ezra: Yeah, TVtropes is pretty much a black hole, consuming all that draws near. Dangerous stuff.

    pG: Goddamn it, now you’ve ruined the premise!

    simon: Nope, it’s not a font, just look closely and you can see the thousands of mistakes. As for it being hard to read, that’s come up a lot recently so maybe i’ll start making the jpegs a bit larger. That’s about as far as i can go unfortunately.

    George: Yeah, he’s in a surprising amount of comics, though the art style changes so he’s probably harder to notice than i think he is.

    Line Noise: Naw, no logins, no sign-ups. I haven’t noticed a problem with the comments here in the slightest. Quite the opposite in fact: there’s more great stuff being brought forth than i have time to respond to. And if the volume is in itself an issue for people, then i hope you can get past it ’cause i have no plans to limit comments.

    Apachama: I would hope that no-one would feel hesitant in offering criticism around here. I mean, if i’m honest with myself i know when a comic isn’t up to standard, but it’s nice to have it confirmed. And no i am not being sarcastic. Receiving and learning to deal with criticism has been one of the fantastic things about doing this comic. I couldn’t be happier about that side of things.

    The Last Melon: Yeah, it was kind of rushed to be honest. I mean, it still took a long time, but you’re right in that it most likely needed more time still due to the content. I don’t know, it’s definitely not my favorite comic, but there’s stuff in it that i like for sure. I think the potential for the ideas just wasn’t met, which is frustrating, but it’s not a total disaster. I’m not gonna cut it from the archives or anything, like i keep wanting to with that bus comic.

  37. GerryB Says:

    Winston, you can’t cut the bus! Uberfandom aside, surely it’s the imperfections in a canon that draw attention to its glories, or, erm, something.

  38. NavajoMX Says:

    Those diving ARE unnecessarily scary. I always had a fear of those as a small child.

    Kudos for connecting with your fandom at that level! You truly are psychic.

  39. biomatter Says:

    Ha ha, very nice, very nice!

  40. Andrew Says:

    Winston, as a long-time rider of city busses, the bus comic is one of my favorites. What in particular did you not like about it?

  41. Rob Retter Says:

    JPEGs? I’m by no means a web development expert, but I’m pretty sure the (much) preferable format for graphic content such as yours is PNG.

  42. Jake Says:

    In case anyone was wondering, the relevant tvtropes article is here.

    And no, you can’t stop the tabsplosion.

  43. Thomas Says:

    @Rob Retter: It depends on his use of color. In some strips there aren’t very many, and then you could take the original image, quantize it down to 256 colors, can convert it to PNG. The result of that conversion for the current strip looks like this: It looks pretty good but there are some noticeable differences. Using a better quantizer might give better results (I used pnmquant), or dithering would reduce the posterization effects, but would also spoil the PNG compression. Taking the JPEG and converting it straight to PNG results in an image that is actually larger than the original. Now, if I could experiment with one of Winston’s pre-JPEG originals…

  44. I can’t help having a bad reaction to the “forced” exposition in the second panel, *even though* it’s part of the joke. However, I’m one of those people who finds purposefully bad jokes annoying, while others enjoy them. (Have you seen The Muppet Show? I can’t stand the Fozzie segments, which employ that form of humor.)

    I must say that the breathless ramble was beautiful, though. I read it all in one continuous stream, and the wind-down (sloth, rice) was excellent.

    I guess you’ll always have some jokes that appeal to some people and annoy others. I suppose it’s your choice whether to pick an audience segment to try to please, or be all over the map style-wise and take flak for it. I’d support the latter, but I’m not the one who has to deal with the comments.

  45. phoney Says:

    i thought jacques cousteau invented the submarine

  46. pG Says:

    “pG: Goddamn it, now you’ve ruined the premise!” – Hey, I just call them like I see them.
    phoney – Cousteau invented the Aqualung or SCUBA gear, which made those hideously facinating suits look overengineered and a bit ridiculous. Like Paris Hilton’s face.

  47. Thesaya Says:

    I wish I could not see me and my best friend doing this in like ten years. It would not be THAT far from the weird things we end up doing today.

  48. Da Says:

    I like the diving suits, and the last panel is funny. The text wall… doesn’t work. It seems intentionally stretched out, and doesn’t flow at all. I can imagine it sounding funny spoken aloud, but in this form it’s just tedious.

  49. CY-EV Says:

    Another comic I could barely read all the way through because of laughter!

  50. SotiCoto Says:

    Nothing quite leaves me feeling “tl;dr” like your comic.
    I guess this is how other folk feel when I start ranting about stuff.
    Like I’m looking over the comic, and everything seems fine… and then OMGHUGEBLOCKOFTEXT. And my mind had enough of actually trying to read them hours ago, so it just skips that bit and hopes that I didn’t miss anything relevant (and generally I find that to be an accurate assessment).
    Then my paranoia pipes up and reminds me that I could possibly be missing something important or inspiring, or at the very least interesting in the midst of all that text… but it still doesn’t seem worth the effort.

    Then that deformed gremlin representing my introspective self-critical side or somesuch starts making uncomfortable observations.
    And he is all like “… You do that quite a lot too, y’know” … and “People probably can’t be bothered when you do it either”….
    Then everything ends with me sitting in the corner, stewing in self-loathing at my own reprehensible hypocrisy.

    Eventually reason pipes up though, and reminds me:
    “The validity of the criticism is independent of your participation in the criticised action. Likewise the hypocrisy.”

    And finally both my inner Taoist and Nihilist note:
    “This really isn’t worth thinking about. Just chill and do whatever. Be the hypocrite. Doesn’t matter anyway.”


  51. Neferius Says:

    those two are totally ♠ for each-other :I

  52. I come to this comic EVERY day, knowing there will likely not be a new “comic with too many words,” and if there’s not a new comic, then I click on the Sphinx in order to revisit a bunch of fine old comics! Great time-hole.

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