June 18, 2010

Heyyyy, it’s a comic. Sorry for the thursday (?!?) update, but this took like 30 times longer than i thought it would because i unfortunately have no sense of reality. Plus i’m heading out of town for a week on monday so no comic next week sadly. In other news… new lewis black album!! Hurrah! Life is occasionally exciting.


My sister’s in a band, and they are hugely, genuinely good, and they just put out their first album, which is awesome. This is the only time i will ever talk about or recommend country music, but recommend it i shall.  Best country music ever. If you live in a country and like music then it might just be for you.  Seriously!

see yer towards the end of the month,


86 Responses to “Monsters”

  1. Dear Winston, what a great comic this one is. It makes me wonder, have you ever thought about the idea of illustrating Borges’ story Ragnarök? (text here: Because your monsters always make me think about that story.

  2. Here, I copied the text — a little easier to read without that annoying background:

  3. GeoX Says:

    Whee! Character development on Sphynx’s part! Very nice.

    I want to take the opportunity here to do the obligatory thing that people do where I note that I just discovered this comic recently and plowed through the entire archive in a few days and am super-ultra-impressed. Most webcomics provide, at most, vague, fleeting amusement. This one has meat on its bones. I’m thinking about how I could use some of them in a future composition class. You should put out a book; I would TOTALLY force fifty apathetic freshmen to each buy a copy.

  4. WickedWolfie Says:

    Is the original art for the first panel large enough to make into a wallpaper?

    Thats one very impressive panel.

  5. DoubleW Says:

    The minotaur is busy dealing cards to the monsters without thumbs.

  6. scruss Says:

    bloody ‘ell, so that was your sister who played bass with Robyn Hitchcock last week at the Drake? Small tiny world, yup!

  7. DataPacRat Says:

    Arg, I can /almost/ make out the conversation in the teaser panel here – maybe a third of the words – and I can’t see any enlarged version. The one speech balloon I can make out in full is the first one:

    I dunno, I don’t really
    feel like heading out
    and killing anything
    right now. What do you
    guys do when you
    want to eat in?

    Can anyone else make out the rest?

  8. LafinJack Says:

    Re alt text: Or did you forget to add him? 😉

    Also seconding the wallpaper request.

  9. Draugrist Says:

    The first panel would also make a killer poster! 🙂

  10. dodoman1 Says:

    I don’t get the joke with how the cockatrice talks.

  11. dodoman1 Says:

    Oh. Wait. I just got it immediately after I posted. Never mind.

  12. Danjanon Says:

    The book and the poster are both great ideas.

    I think this is my first comment on any of the comics here so… I love your stuff, I think you’re great, I want more t-shirts for the Australian market, I respect the lack of ads. Keep up the good work 😀

  13. Vole Says:

    Is the orca evil for killing the seal?

    Maybe it is.

  14. Melvazod Says:

    Agreed, the poster be de making of the thing with haste.

    Cockatrice! Who ever knows about cockatrice! If I were gay I’d totally want to make man-babies with you. I’m not and even then its borderline.

    Did that just cross the creepy line? I think that just crossed the creepy line.


  15. Melvazord Says:

    Spelt my own nick wrong. Am I the dumbest human alive?
    *Looks at a picture of some creationists*

    …no. No I am not.

  16. Offendi Says:

    The Minotaur is a man (monster) of silence and good taste.

  17. Dusty668 Says:

    Well it’s not like Sphinxie can play poker online….

    PS Sphinxie squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

  18. pG Says:

    ‘Jittery, hairless, masturbating things’…
    Hey! I resent that! I am not jittery.

  19. Leak Says:

    @DataPacRat: That’s just a cropped and scaled down version of Sphynx III

  20. Infanttyrone Says:

    The minotaur has nothing to say because it is hard for him to speak. (Ever read “The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break?” Excellent novel.)

    And I also thought ‘wallpaper’ or ‘poster’ when I saw that first panel.

  21. Matt Z Says:

    Going with the rest of the comments on here right now. Make a poster of that first panel for us to buy. Or at the very least a nice wallpaper for the laptop…

  22. An alternate last line from Sphynx might be “Us.”

  23. ano Says:

    You should do a comic about all the sociopaths, like the one you did in your comic “guide to life”

  24. @scruss: Whoa. Worlds collide…

  25. I couldn’t help notice that the Minotaur didn’t have anything to say about it.

  26. BTW which one is “Bignose”? They all have pretty big noses except for Sphynx and Medusa…

  27. George Says:

    Is this why you’re a vegetarian?

  28. jm Says:

    stupid question :
    why is the rooster speaking french and german ?

  29. Area Man Says:

    Awww, so people aren’t so bad after all! Heh, this is a good one!

  30. Sophie Says:

    As a monster, this comic is quite relevant to my interests.

  31. valy Says:

    is sphynx starting to question her way of livin’? x| but i guess it’s a great thing, you only start believing after question everything to the core…

    another great comic ^_^

  32. valy Says:

    oh…and i’m voting to for an enlarged version of the first panel…pleaseeeeeee

  33. Gwyn Says:

    I’ve been waiting for another house party forever! Thank you, Mr. Rowntree.
    Which Gorgon is that? Also, it comes as no surprise that the Chimera is a tool.

  34. Yamara Says:

    your dreams are so quiet
    don’t you need them anymore
    someday we’ll be lions
    and we’ll sing out to them all

    one day when I’m older
    will I find out where you’ve gone
    we swore to no strangers
    now they’ve crowded up our hearts

    -Basia Bulat,
    Once More, For The Dollhouse

  35. Oh Says:

    Where’re the jokes! This needs more jokes.

  36. Diego Says:

    It does raise the question: Do evil people realize they are evil? Personally I don’t think they do, they must have a perfect rationalization for what they do, no matter how illogical or irrational their reasons are.

    Good comic, great coloring and characters.

  37. Nathan Says:

    Watch some of those prison documentaries where they interview the prisoners. You are right, very few of them think they are bad, they have justifications for everything they do. A couple though… are just really twisted and enjoy it.

  38. Leak Says:

    Took me a bit longer to get to read it, but: it’s great!!1!one 🙂

    Also, count me in for a wallpaper/poster version of the first panel…

    np: Kaito – The Breath Of Spring (Trust)

  39. GerryB Says:


  40. Vadim P Says:

    She’s going soft!

  41. Kevin Says:

    Tons o’ fun. I’d like to see the first panel on a t-shirt myself.

  42. Fen Says:

    I’m surprised no one really commented on the vegetarian thing- as in, humans, like these monsters, are higher up on the food chain than the animals we eat and does it make us evil to do so? But that’s the natural order of things, as pointed out in the comic. Really, I don’t think it’s either evil or morally right to kill and eat other living creatures, it just is.

    As for the handful of people who’re still confused by the Cocatrice’s speech after reading… Come on!

  43. Fen Says:

    Oh, and @ Infanttyrone: Really? I mean, yeah good concept- exceptional minotaur living very unexceptional life, none of the exciting drama you’d expect to surround such a ‘monster’- but I would only call it an excellent novel if you enjoy being bored to excellent tears.

  44. Richter Says:

    Awesome comic! Loved how the Sphynx wasn’t the dominant voice against us tender morsels for a change. Good character exposition from the whole monster crowd.

    @ Scruss : Robyn Hitchcock for the win! Love that guy.

  45. Richter Says:

    Bump… gonna ask something dumb but… who’s the lion smoking the pipe?

    There’s the Sphynx.
    Snake-haired girl is Medusa.
    Bull-horn monster that doesn’t talk is Minotaur.
    The wierd-talking lizard rooster is either the Cockatrice or Basilisk.
    The beaked bird is probably the Griffon.
    Bearded dude is Manticore.

    So the lion with a goat? Ehh… dunno.

  46. The lion also has a vestigial goat’s head; I’m betting he’s a chimæra.

  47. Stag Says:

    How come the Minotaur never says anything? Not even “Bullshit…I should know!”

  48. strangepunk Says:

    the minotaur may not say anything in the comic itself, but in the image here on you blog has a speech bubble above his head…i really want to know what he’s saying

  49. Richter Says:

    Chimera… *facepalm*

    Damn I’m thick.

  50. Huzzah! The poker-playing monsters have returned!

    Love their designs, particulalrly the manticore.

    I too am a monster who gave up eating people.

    Congratulations, Mr. Rowntree.
    You could also show your blurred out face over at the starship every now and again, though. Eeven just for shameless plugging…


    Nonetheless, congartulations (smiley face)

  51. Kathleen Says:

    Your monster comics are the best!

  52. @ strangepunk : The first pannel belongs to the first comic of the Party House. So if you check the first comic you would see what the
    Minotaur is saying.

    (I said “First” three times in a senteces and I’m still alive)

  53. benS. Says:

    This scoop is a typical insider job. Must be !
    The address 665, something, as seen in panel two, is close to 666, which SHOULD BE where the reporter’s point of sight dwells.

    Really nasty bastards !
    A king (or knight), a queen and a small ace of hearts is the closest to a nice, regular, nuclear family you could ever round-up in here.


  54. Jester Says:

    So, just out of curiosity, is there any chance that the first panel could have a wall paper version? Also, amazing comic. I really like comparing the art work with the first installment of monster poker. The darker lines and stronger angles are rather interesting, and some what more suited to the subject matter (monsters).

    So yea, about that wallpaper.


  55. thesorehead Says:

    Is it just me, or am I seeing an actual character arc here?? O_o

    Not that I’m complaining! Big ❤ for the Sphinx.

  56. Guner Says:

    This is totally awesome.

    Also, poster, comic book yadda yadda. I don’t buy things like that, but in this case, maybe i would.

  57. Renny Says:

    The chimera is smoking pot. He’s got stoner eyes.

  58. pond Says:

    it’s really cool to look back at the old monster comic and see how your drawing style has changed. i love how this one looks, though the panels kinda run together. still i was audibly grinning by the end of it.

  59. MediaGhost Says:

    Fucking brilliant! I would pay real actual non-monopoly money for a poster of the first panel. And, uh…

    How does one grin audibly?

  60. RT Says:

    The aqueduct!

  61. Torus2112 Says:

    I had a discussion once about creatures who attack people (real and fictional) who are mindless beasts and/or just doing what’s natural, and how they are probably not evil, and if not even are they worth killing (morally) if it can be avoided at all. I came to the conclusion that while you shouldn’t hate them on principle or take it personally (ideally) if they are natural predators to us/simply dangerous that makes us and them the definition of natural enemies. Therefore there is no moral problem with seeking to destroy them.

    No creature currently exists that is dangerous and common enough to warrant aggressively hunting, save for individual cases of predators who have become “maneaters” and are in fact put down. In theory, though, your group of monsters I think would be fair game for humans to at least work on trying to kill. They shouldn’t take it personally, it’s just nature at work.

  62. Richter Says:

    Add my vote for a wallpaper of the monsters playing poker. I’d pay good money for that.

  63. Line Noise Says:

    No monster is an island.

    As to eating lower life forms… i did not invent poker, pipes or bear.
    If it does not do science like a human and it does not create art like a human maybe it is just a duck.

  64. kuma Says:

    Just went back and read your old comic with the monsters playing poker, Sphynx 3, the artwork is like night and day.

  65. MediaGhost Says:

    Well, alright, but aside from the aqueduct, roads, schools, law and order and medicine, what have the Roman’s ever given us?

  66. CIbernadie Says:

    I wonder what’s the minotaur opinion on all of this

  67. KB_SBI Says:

    The Sphynx is probably my fav. Charcter in your Comic. I realy like how all the Monsters get more characterization, as far as eating Humans goes there are enough dumbasses out there to feed Sphynx & co till they are fat asses.
    I too would love to see the first panel as a Poster or Wallpaper.

  68. Jester Says:

    @ Media Ghost: Brought peace?

  69. Anon2 Says:

    omg the dream is the story of my life

  70. simon Says:

    Grats mate, easily the most enjoyable for a while.

  71. Melvazord Says:


    Oh peace?! Shut up.

  72. insignificant Says:

    Loving the artwork on this one. It was worth the effort.

  73. Jamie Says:


  74. Leo W. Says:

    i just realised something. i very rarely laugh at any of your comics. so why do i keep reading them?

    answer: ’cause they’re fucking BRILLIANT.

    when you’re comics are funny they’re hilarious, but frankly, i couldn’t care less of you had the worst sense of humour on the planet because you’re comics provide me with so much more than a quick chuckle.

    great comic this week winston. keep up the good work

  75. Alansmithee Says:


  76. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, POSTER consectetur adipisicing elit.

  77. jacksizzle Says:

    Monsetrs are people too….. well, except that giant retarded chicken. I liked this. really.

  78. Rick Says:

    Fun comic! And yes, poster or wallpaper of the Monsters Playing Poker first panel. Personally, a huge velvet wall covering of that first image would rock too!

  79. makadown Says:

    I highly respect those comix. They always give me something to think about. Peace!

  80. Misty Says:

    I love your comic! Two thoughts: I would LOVE to see something on the Sphynx on a date or dates.
    And what was she doing during the Holocaust?

    And FABULOUS artwork!

  81. kleer001 Says:

    I want to marry the Sphinx.

  82. Digitalmadman Says:

    Do you sell prints of the top (first) panel? If so where?

  83. Swamp Says:

    …Did you put a reference to white plume mountain in this one? If so; what the hell was a giant crab doing in the heart of a volcano anyway?

  84. stoicangel Says:

    Even after all these years, the cockatrice’s line “the fattest ones are fat! I am not evil” still makes me laugh till I cry

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