April 19, 2010

Comic for you. Fuckin’ finally.


Also, I obviously regret the preceding month-long gap in comix, but I can’t really apologize this time ’cause a lot of stuff happened all at once and a lot of stuff needed to be thought about and done and cities needed to be flown to and to summarize it’s been a bad month to be a guy with a weekly comic strip, but I think that I’m back. And as much as y’alls out there hate it when there’s no comix, none of you could possibly hate it more than I do. This is What I Do, and when i’m not doing it i’m not Me. So i’m glad to be back, from wherever i was. Let’s get this thing back on the rails, open the dining car, and otherwise stretch the metaphor or somesuch. I return, and i’ll see you again next week. Thanks for keeping it both civil and intelligent and open-minded in the comments with the last comic. I don’t know if Subnormality deserves readers this good, but it’s got ’em.


PS: Sorry for the vagueness.

61 Responses to “Airport”

  1. Kael Says:

    I know how it’s hard to keep up with compromises and personal projects (glad to see you’re still participating in Cracked) Keep with the hard work!

  2. Kayley Says:

    Amazing! As a writer (of poetry, not comix) I am so envious of how diverse and thought provoking your ideas always are, and highly entertaining despite all that. Bravo, good on you!

  3. Christopher Norton Says:

    Is the curtain to first class intentionally shaped like a vulva or is that just me?

  4. Christopher: An artist never draws something genitalia-shaped by *accident*, no matter how much they may insist to the contrary. 😛

  5. Richter Says:

    WR, what the hell is this? You’re back after a probably exhausting trip, you could have phoned it in and tossed us a lame “here-you-are-goddamn-whiners” five panel rush job. But noooooo! You had to come back with a bang and give us a pure Subnormality gem? SHAME on you!

    PS : sarcasm off, welcome back. You have been terribly missed.

  6. Nice use of “slither”.

  7. Alejandro Says:

    I don’t mean to be cynical, but the last comic did not seem particularly creative. Although the unnecessarily long build-up panel was well written and gave an amusing parody of a modern intellectual’s paradise, the ending punchline basically said “how about them stuck up first class passengers.”

    I found a funnier self-depreciating take on the same joke by typing “first class stand up” on youtube.

  8. lolling back in drowsy ecstacy on the final “hi ho the derry oh”

    gave me a good, long laugh. And that’s before I’m even halfway to the punch line!

  9. Nice metaphors. Last panel says “Take That, ha”

  10. Michael Ezra Says:

    Welcome back, Winston! Glad to see you’re still on your game and then some, judging from this latest.

    One question: in the central panel, is the brunette’s sexual partner a redhead, or is her hair on fire? 😀

  11. frankwolftown Says:

    When you write a novel I will be first in line to buy that book.

  12. stan Says:


    PS “conceals”

  13. Steven Says:

    “Sting Interviews Himself”

    Best part.

  14. Alex Says:

    THANK YOU FOR FINALLY POSTING A NEW COMIC! Your comics have made a profound impact on my life. More so than I’d like to admit… Keep em coming please!

    I am also in agreeance with frankwolftown.

  15. J Says:

    This is quintessence of what being a talented writer is all about. Art’s not too shabby either 😉

  16. Gary Watson Says:

    Definitely one of your best, WR. Great work!

  17. Sebastian Says:

    I must second Alex’s comment. Your comics truly are amazing. This is embarrassing, but I found that I mentally put VirusComix in my daily-check-list, even knowing it’s not updated daily. Userfriendly (even if it’s been unfunny for at least 5 years, and Illiad has been away for months, and is doing reruns),, xkcd (3 times a week), slashdot, fark, digg … and VirusComix. I find myself coming here every day, seeing there is no new comic, and staying to go through the archives. Like that, I went through each and every comic in the Archive. The drawings are amazing, the huge walls of text (TM) are both funny and insightful, you can truly relate to the characters.

    Long live Subnormality!

  18. GerryB Says:

    “Healing fog of tactile delights” : WANT.

    Welcome back Winston; things fit again, and this comic is sheer mischief in colour, lovely.

  19. grawk1 Says:

    One word explanation/excuse of Winston’s delay on the way back from Sweden. Volcano. ’nuff said, and we forgive you 🙂

  20. Cartoir Says:

    I’ve been a fan for a long time, and it’s great to have you back. Guess I should say thanks at last.

    Tell me, did you deliberately go for an aeroplane-themed comic at the moment European airspace seems an ashy no-fly zone?

  21. GerryB Says:

    Why, when I look at the main panel does my mind say ‘Flaps Up’?

    These no-fly zones are getting to me.

  22. Ethereal Says:

    In other news: A psychopat Nickelback fanboy has taken hostages at the local airport, demanding that internet cartoonist Winston Rowntree makes a comic presenting his favorite band in a more positive way…

  23. luff Says:

    The protagonist’s t-shirt says “ta det tillbaka”, meaning “take it back” in Swedish. Now you know.

  24. Angus Says:

    So you’ve seen the Costner Ad for Turkish airlines? I think I had the same reaction to it. Were you in Northern Europe? We’re all lucky you didn’t get stuck there.

  25. GerryB Says:

    Costner ad:

    Hilarious: still wondering what star he was supposed to be meeting.

  26. Channing Says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s seen those Costner ads.

  27. simon Says:

    Oh that’s good, that’s VERY good. Never thought FPHG was that vindictive. Now appease us regulars, is that somehow relevant to your own recent northern european ventures?

  28. Robert Says:

    Great comic today, one of your best. I’m a long time fan – since sometime around the strip where the two guys are guarding Hitler and wonder about all these people from the future trying to kill him. And I donated pretty early on too!

    Ok, that said… your long apologies when your strip isn’t ready in time seem, uh, … excessive. It’s not like we’re sitting there reloading over and over again for weeks at a time. We check for the comic; it’s not there; we feel sad; we come back; it’s there; it makes us happy. Fine with us! Can it maybe one day be enough for you too?

    Sorry – not trying to be too much of a downer – it’s just a little constructive criticism. Your strip is superb.

  29. Matt Z Says:

    Damn you! You come back out of nowhere and give us this? Everything else just seems so shabby, so poorly thought through, so intellectually lazy. You’re too damn clever for the internet.

  30. James G Says:

    Travelled first class by rail a couple of times, once when it was actually the cheapest ticket (Don’t ask. British ticket pricing is weird) and once when I had some vouchers after a previous journey was delayed by four hours.

    First time I pretty much had the carriage to myself, which was nice. Second time they opened the carriage up to standard ticket holders, as disruption on the line meant the train was over capacity. Still, the free coffee was appreciated, especially given the prices they usually charge.

    Does anyone ever buy a first class air ticket when they’re paying? Or is it only ever something people go for when someone else is footing the bill?

  31. Fernando Says:

    Oh admit it, you created that first class description just because you wanted to draw an orgy.

  32. Tim McCormack: You may be right..

    Alejandro: It’s okay to mean to be cynical.

    Michael Ezra: It’s either hair that looks like fire or fire that looks like hair, the choice is yours.

    grawk1: Naw, it wasn’t the volcano, i would definitely have mentioned any volcano-related excuse, because, well, that would be like the best excuse ever.

    Angus: Arriving at Manchester airport only to find it festooned with billboard-sized pictures of kevin costner was, as they say, a bit much.

    GerryB: That tv ad actually sort of works, at least conceptually. It’s the looming billboard ads that are just kind of ridiculous. FLY WITH US BECAUSE KEVIN COSTNER!!!

    simon: Not FPHG actually, just some other girl. And only related to my trip in that i have never flown first class and never will. You can get all the leg room in the world in economy class though, you just have to request the seats at the front of the row by the emergency exit. It’s only like 40 bucks extra or something.

    Robert: You’re not a downer, don’t worry (and thanks again for donating!). And yeah i know i’m overly apologetic, but half of it’s directed at myself and the other half is me wanting y’alls to know that i don’t take you for granted. And let’s face it, half the appeal of a comic strip is the regular updates, and it really sucks when those updates stop for like a month.

    James G: That’s a really good point actually, I too wonder if people who can afford it will out of their own pocket throw down like nine thousand bucks for a plane ride? I’m also expecting some kind of rebuttal about how first class seats are necessary because they subsidize the cheaper seats or whathaveyou, so there’s that too…

    Fernando: No, no, the orgy came later on (no pun intended).

  33. banditalamode Says:

    Love it. I was actually just thinking this morning, when will I get my subnormality fix?! (not in a demanding way, I swear).
    I was upgraded to 1st class just last week on a flight to Chicago – I don’t fly much or anything they just screwed up my information or something and I was nice and there was room. I really don’t see whats worth paying the extra $1000-$2000 bucks for. A comfy chair is worth, like, $50 max to me…. unless I’m flying to New Zealand or something which will never happen.
    and as nice as the fictional first class sounds, I would just get the big weird and have some body issues and wish i was in coach… 🙂

    Wonderful as always…

  34. EthZee Says:

    I don’t think I’d want to put down a stupid amount of cash for 1st-class, even if it was the weird orgy thing described in the comic. I’m with bandit in this one.
    Plus, the last few times I’ve been flying in economy the seats have had little touch-screens on the backs, and you can play solitaire on them, among other activities, and I think I’d prefer that over the orgy thing. Also, I like to read when I’m on a flight, and I don’t think it would be very easy to read in that situation.

    I’m not sure about first-class on trains; usually, I’ve noticed (when walking through the doors of a first-class compartment) that the chairs have a bit more legroom and there are plug sockets so you can use laptop chargers. Which is nice, but not worth paying more.

    Still, good comic, welcome back Winston.

  35. hmason Says:

    This was well worth the wait. Good show, ol’ chap.

  36. Leo .W Says:

    this was spot on. and hilarious to.

    one of the funniest comics you’ve done in a while, welcome back winston.

  37. Apachama Says:

    Welcome back, I didn’t notice you were gone. Way I see it, Subnormality comics are an extra little thing that make a week a little better, not something to expect on schedule.

    Keep well, dude.

  38. Simon W Says:

    *giggle* So now we understand why the airlines try not to let 1st / Business Class mix with the rest of us…

  39. simon Says:

    I have that issue of Q magazine, back in the 80s, an another one where Sting and Bob Geldof interviewed each other which was particularly memorable.

    Welcome back anyway, and I really hope things are OK in your world, if there’s anything someone in Western Australia can do to help out please let me know.

  40. OjnoTheRed Says:

    Winston, I’m just grateful that you ever write anything. I’m never disappointed (although I don’t comment on every one).

    I thought the description of paradise was pure poetry – intoxicating. Mmmmmmm. Pheromone drenched happy birthday.

    I love your perspective on things – your honest grungy beauty.

  41. Wade Says:

    Not sure what i can add to the 41 previous comments, but glad you’re back, your work is awesome 🙂

  42. My mind was just crossed by the image of Marilyn Monroe singing “The Farmer in the Dell” to President Kennedy. I blame Viruscomix.

  43. Emrys Says:

    I recently stumbled upon Subnormality during my misguided peregrinations around this wide, wonderful, often disturbing internet of ours. I adore what I’ve seen and plan on returning to take in more of this delicious daiquiri which you have squeezed from your cranial blender.

  44. Dusty668 Says:

    Welcome back, and I nominate you for having best use of black velvet in a webcomic for 2010! Get the Eisner committee in here, you are a shoo in! A SHOO IN!

  45. Robin Says:

    I’d actually rather just fly with Kevin Costner.

  46. gridsleep Says:

    You know, I think you are the spiritual successor to Walt Kelly.

  47. Jesse Says:

    Take your time. Your comics are *always* fantastic. They’re worth the wait!

  48. V. Says:

    I like it how you sometimes don’t capitalize the “I”‘s. It’s charming.

  49. Nachum Says:

    That was great.

    Is that a Maquis symbol on her shoulder?

  50. milikin Says:

    I always fly business =/

  51. No Hablo Ingles Says:

    Hurr Durr he’s like kurt cobain but a comic artist

  52. fultron Says:

    Wardair. Awesome.

  53. Sam Says:

    …I don’t understand the premise. Why are we supposed to cheer for the person being so pretentious to a complete stranger based on the fact that the stranger is flying first class? I can understand if the person flying first class was a snooty rich twit, but man…give your head a shake.

    I am getting the feeling that intellectualism = holier-than-thou, especially after reading this fanboy comment section.

  54. TentacledBeast Says:

    I don’t think that we’re supposed to cheer for her, or that we’re supposed to dislike the lady flying first class. I saw it more as a light-hearted tease, rather than someone “getting one over” some unsympathetic “rich twit”.

  55. Omar Says:

    Nice!!! 🙂

  56. Suntiger Says:

    I’m with TentacledBeast. I think this is more of a mischievous tease rather than an antagonistic ‘take that, bitch’.
    At least the impression I get from the comic is more humorous than vitriolic.

  57. Kaynime Says:

    I just wanted to let you know that yoyur comics have inspired me and opened my mind to so many things. I am 17, and I hope to someday be a manga cartoonist.
    Your work is so clever and deep, and I love how there is a story on every page. Its amazing.

  58. Max Says:

    You are absolutely the best there is on the internet. Well, piracy aside.

    Too bad you are only human and there can not be a piece of essence of sense like this “Airport” everyday.

  59. Paul Says:

    No matter how good it seems, it can always be better. Hee hee!

  60. SotiCoto Says:

    Heh. Bugger that.
    I’m like the world’s nastiest pessimist prick on the ground… but put me in an aeroplane between a fat guy and a mewling brat, and I’m just thinking: “Holy shit, I’m flying! =D”

    … Ok, so the novelty sorta wears thin pretty quickly, but only when I forget that I’m flying. If I can stop myself thinking of it as just a sleeping tank full of meatbags and remind myself that I’m in an aluminium flying machine hurtling across the ocean at high altitude, it becomes awesome again.

    Lesson here: When life gives you lemons… YAY FREE LEMONS!

  61. Daniel Horne Says:

    If first class isnt like that, might as well fly couch. I felt like I learned something here today. Always go first-class or cabin on a train though. You get your own bed and toliet, oulets.

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