The Climb

October 28, 2010

New comic for you. And here, some evidence of the author’s hand. I don’t know, maybe this is just a load of old, uh, goats, but oh well, too late now.


250 Responses to “The Climb”

  1. Shaina! Says:

    For some reason it hasn’t appeared on the homepage yet!

    But I love it, as always. (: Good reminder of things to work on, things to appreciate.

  2. Chorles Says:

    Very nice. I especially liked how they all had counterparts. Favorite probably is knows everything/nothing or tell/ask/listen.

    Good stuff.


  3. katie Says:


    Can this one be a poster? It would really help me if I looked at this, in giant form, on my wall. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Rafael Says:

      I completely agree! I’ve been saving my money for a poster from virus comics that truly and completely speaks to me, and this is it!

    • Jason Says:

      I also want a poster of this one… so good.

    • I don’t know, i’m not sure how i feel about this one just yet, plus it’s too late in the year to bring out new merchandise. The requests are appreciated though, i mean i’ll definitely consider it.

    • Asamov Says:

      Please make this a poster! It’s perfect for my classroom and says most everything about maturity that I want them to understand. Another masterpiece!

  4. Leo W. Says:

    This made me really sad. I know the traits of immaturity and I know the ones that apply to myself and I try to be better but I just can’t seem to overcome my obstacles.

    Great comic though. You should do a poster for it.

    • Leo W. Says:

      Oh, and another thing. I particularly liked the subtlechanges in body language. Like the differences between the “knows his limits” goat and the “sees no flaws” goat.

    • Jason Says:

      ” I try to be better but I just canโ€™t seem to overcome my obstacles.”

      Recognising your obstacles is part of the process for overcoming them. Some people never get that far.

    • basiamc Says:

      I think that life and humanity is in the climb. It’s how you grow ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Christer E Says:

    Great, with one exception: I don’t thin the “Blames self for world”-goat belongs on the mature top plateau. Seems rather ignorant and selfdestructive.

    • OjnoTheRed Says:

      That one confused me as well. I think it contrasts with blames world for problems goat. I think either isn’t balanced. That’s one I struggle with – I tend to take everything on as a personal failure, and for me part of climbing to maturity is understanding what really isn’t in my control, and accepting that.

      But yeah, yet another profound statement – I very much enjoyed exploring that one all over. I liked the goats on the climb as well because some of them were interacting with the ones on the bottom.

      P.S. I do not claim to be completely mature!

    • TentacledBeast Says:

      Personally, I don’t think that blaming the world for your problems is immature at all.

      You were a prisoner, slave to the will of others, for 18 years of your life. School and parents had almost complete control over you; you had very little choice how to spend your time, what to learn, and to an extent even who to hang out with. And suddenly at age 18 you’re supposed to be all responsible for your shortcomings?

      No. It’s society’s fault, not yours. All the more true the younger you are.

    • Melvazord Says:

      I think the point of that particular goat was more along the lines of “takes responsibilty for his actions/life-goat”

      Of course I could be wrong.

    • Yeah, my intent there was just kind of a personal responsibility thing, shaping the world one lives in and such. One is of course only so responsible for one’s world, but you gotta at least try. I reckon. And when i say “you,” i mean me, because i’m very much a slacker in this area, sadly.

    • John Says:

      I’m with the goat (He’s actually my favorite). A world for which we do not take personal responsibility stays screwed up forever. Taking responsibility is a good way to motivate ourselves to do some good, as long as we don’t let the inevitable depression get the best of us.
      And anyway, living a “normal life” in the West usually implies considerable direct contributions to the world’s problems.

  6. Jerome Says:

    On certain days,I hit ’em all.
    Long way to go,but I’ll get there!

  7. AliceHatt Says:

    How is asking immature? Or he is there simply because he’s the counterpart of telling? I’m thinking he is because he’s white.

    Love the colors and the rock detail.
    It’s supa supa nice.

    • Ben Says:

      I think the asking goat is in the immature plateau because this comic is a snapshot that caught him at the exact point when he realizes it’s time to make the climb. All of the other goats in the immature area are pink, but he’s not. You can see by his facial expressions that he has some problems with the point of view being expressed, and so he’s changing color, “Pleasantville”-style, and his next step will be to start climbing.

    • Kalina Says:

      Further to that, it looks like the Asker got some sort of crap answer but may not have had the skills at the time to reason effectively with a blowhard (If it’s even possible). Asker went on to being Obessed with Questioning, and learned critical thinking skills needed to move on to being Obsessed with Facts.

  8. George Says:


  9. DoubleW Says:

    Absolutely fantastic.

    I’ve somehow managed to land right in between “Assumes Worst of Others” and “Assumes Nothing”. I try to be as sympathetic as possible (probably too much, really) and generally assume that people’s motivations are not their own, that they are propelled by neurosis and defense mechanisms so powerful that free will doesn’t exist for them. So even if they do horrible and immature things, there’s a perfectly good reason that they’ve resorted to these actions, right?
    This probably files me under “Afraid”.

  10. Bryan D. Says:

    This one really hit home with me. As someone who’s writing a novel, I really strive to be the “Isn’t afraid to fail” goat, but I feel like I’m still some combination of traits from the lower tier.

    Amazing work as always Winston, really though provoking. You have the only webcomic I read, and it’ll probably stay that way. ๐Ÿ˜›

  11. This is really cool. You are awesome! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Danni Says:

    Whoop de doo, another lecture from Mr. Rowntree.

    • Torint Says:

      Would be better without the signs that say “this way to being a better person.” You don’t have to label everything, trust us more to get the message.

    • Danni: It’s only a lecture if you just sit there and don’t say anything beyond “whoop de doo.”

      Torint: So noted. Not respecting others’ intelligence as much as i could is one of the things that keeps me off the lofty green of maturity, i reckon. That and my paralyzing fear of failure…

  13. dead Says:

    A shame you’re still lingering at the bottom of the hill.

  14. John Loo Says:

    Finally! A simple and clear no-nonsense, no speaking in riddles guide to being mature! Love ya mate!

    Though, I have to admit, I am guilty of some things in the pink zone. Guess that puts me somewhere in the middle, in the climb.

  15. bharath Says:

    Wow.You are a wise man.Insightful comic ever.Thanks for creating this.

  16. It’s funny, I like the message and the drawing but it is not really working for me as a comic… too busy or something. I think it would make a good poster though.

  17. James Hall Says:

    I want to frame this and hang it up for my kids to look at. Okay, and I probably need to reminding myself.

  18. Adam Says:

    Wow, I would love to get this as a poster! It would be a great reference to some of lifes better and worse things to focus on

  19. Benedikt Says:

    This! As a poster!

  20. Guhin Says:

    I would also really love this as a poster!

  21. John Loo Says:

    But why is asking considered immature?

  22. Ian McDowall Says:

    Nice, it would be good to get a poster of this.

  23. Jamie Says:

    So many goats..

  24. toronto Says:

    poster, PLEASE !!!

  25. E. Dejeva Says:

    Definitely a poster.

  26. Iongantas Says:

    While a number of the red ones are obviously non-adaptive/non-useful and some of the ones in green are adaptive/useful, several in both are just attitudes, which may or may not be called for, depending on the persons life experiences and situation, and some of them are just tastes. To assert otherwise is to assume that all persons must want the same things out of life, which is stupid and naive. Obviously there are certain core things that are useful and desirable for pretty much everyone but not all examples speak to these.

    Additionally, when judging another, one should always be aware that an apparent external attitude may not jive with the actually held attitude.

    • DoubleW Says:

      On the other hand, having any number of the green traits will make someone that much less of an insufferable asshole, even if they have a bunch of pink.

  27. Iongantas Says:

    The next thing I looked at was strangely relevant.

    • I’ve definitely heard her discuss her book a couple of times, and i most assuredly agree with her realism, her anti-“The Secret” attitude, basically everything she says. So i guess i’d hate to think i was putting across a disturbing-levels-of-optimism, change-the-world-with-your-thoughts kind of attitude. What i was going for i think was the suggestion that maturity can be a deliberate process as opposed to something that’s just inevitable. I’m not gonna pretend the comic is perfect though; it was basically the best i could do right now, and i could see myself completely rewriting it five years from now. Thanks for linking to this video, by the way, totally enjoyed it!

    • monica Says:

      Have you seen ‘Zeitgeist’? it’s just the same idea ! it looks less dangerous by drawing

  28. mechagodzilla Says:

    Needs a second axis for (external) Abuse, scaling (on the negative side) from minor irritation to oppression and torture, (and encouragement and enfranchisement on the positive side). There are discontinuities and holes you can fall into and can’t escape. Maybe there are solutions.

  29. Al Says:

    As usual good job Winston. I just have one question, mostly about your descriptions of objectivity and subjectivity. I always thought it was our subjectivity that made us human, and helped us understand others. Definitely knowing all the facts about something before you act is a must for insightful decision making, I’m not arguing that, but I guess turning everything into data is like seeing 27% oak and 73% maple instead of the proverbial forest. I know its just a little thing but I’d like to know your take on it, for my own learning if anything.

    • You’re right to ask, because i always kind of use subjectivity in a purely negative sense, when you quite correctly state that it’s a positive thing when you look at it in another way. I would say i was defining it as “acting on personal bias,” whereas it can of course mean “having a particular perspective, often necessarily.” I should have been more careful, i think.

      What say you, those reading this? What do you think of when you think of subjectivity?

    • Laura Says:

      In response to the query about subjectivity.
      To me it is more an state of keeping things in perspective. Although seeing other perspectives through the use of objectivity is necessary, it’s also vitally important to keep a grasp of reality. I’m not sure if this has much to do with the move to maturity. (Perhaps by learning to find a balance of the two?) That’s my two cents…

    • TentacledBeast Says:

      There’s opinion and there’s fact, and we all make decisions based on both. Sometimes it’s even necessary; if you can’t get all the facts, all you have is your preconceptions, so that’s what you use.

      I think the trouble starts when we forget (or, more often, “forget”) whether we based a decision on fact or bias. So when new info arrives, our ears are stubbornly closed, even though we had no reason to be so sure in the first place.

    • Abel Stearns Says:

      I think we don’t have enough time to analyze situations to be awesomely objective. Speaking for myself the best I can do is to refine my inherently subjective filter with an even-keeled awareness of my limitations. (EX: I DO-NOT know everything)

      I try to find a balance between jumping to conclusions about others prematurely/incorrectly while realizing that I can never possibly tie up all loose ends in a purely objective way. If I waited for A-L-L of the facts, I’d have hesitated too long to act. . . for better or for worse. . . Being able to act at the risk of being wrong trumps hesitation. Just gotta learn from the bad calls/plays.

    • DoubleW Says:

      If you have to jump to a conclusion, it might be best to land such that you can move again (Knows Nothing, Assumes Nothing).

  30. Aidos Says:

    The “is built for climbing” one cracked me up.

  31. Tim Says:

    Thought provoking. I think that believing that any one of those traits equates to maturity is a little shortsighted – one can be “focused on friends” out of narcissism and insecurity rather than maturity, etc. Likewise, the “immature” behaviors by themselves are not necessarily indicative of psychological immaturity either.

    The dividing line between the two conditions might work better with your depiction of sexuality in “monstrous discrepancies:” I’d argue that anyone who thinks they hold the monopoly on the truth and sees everything in black and white is immature… similar to labeling someone as “immature” based solely upon the fact that you find their demeanor inconvenient (as some of your other readers seem to believe in their comments…).

    • ForestFire0 Says:

      I think you have to accept it as a metaphor. Thus, the motivations of all the characters are truly pure and obvious. If you start trying to analyze the motivations of every goat, then obviously the metaphor breaks down.

  32. William Says:

    Is it normal to ascend and descend the climb, depending on the day?

  33. JP Says:

    After going through the whole archive, I’m really glad I discovered your comics. They are absolutely impressive and insightful.

    On this one though I’m wondering why is the goat who died to win battles immature and the goat who won the war mature? One may win battles for right, justice and etc., yet lose because all is not within his/her own grasp.

    Or the devil is in the details?

    • YoSaff Says:

      I reckon it’s not the actual role they played in the war, but their own perception of it. The bottom guy clearly let the whole thing get to him and can’t percieve it on any level other than the one that he was directly involved in. The top guy realized the role he played in the whole thing and I think it’s that awareness of his role in something much greater that puts him up top.

    • Tim Says:

      I saw the gravestones as being a sort of summation of the two worldviews. So immature goats might win a few minor victories (probably by being the loudest person in the argument, causing everyone else to give up, lol), but the mature goats “win the war” by living a much more fulfilling life and dying happy.

  34. Discoman Says:

    Wow…just wow. amazing and insightful as always. keep up the good work.
    I probably missed something, but some of these comics I would want to actually buy and hang them up to provoke thought and encourage self-improvement

  35. Sean Says:

    Dear sir, you are awesome. : ) That is all!

  36. Red Wolf Says:

    When I first saw this, I thought that the ‘Knows nothing’ goat was referring to someone who spends their whole life in books, never experiencing life directly and thus, never truly knowing anything.

    After seeing the goat on the lower plateau I realised that wasn’t the case.

  37. William Von Caster Says:

    great has always… and has always very true… keep up the good work d(^_^)b

  38. Chazz Says:

    someone’s a little obsessed about a certain rapper’s recent fanciful fancies.

  39. Chazz Says:

    sorry, i meant upset, not obsessed. that was an odd typo.

  40. Robert Says:

    Thanks for posting the comic without the tedious apologies for lateness!

  41. Dusty668 Says:

    Sheep go to heaven! Goats go to Hell!

    This comic goes on awesome, thanks Winston!

  42. Andy Brown Says:

    Are you holding out on us? Your maturity spectrum only has the “RoyG” part. Where’s “Biv”? Do the goats that aren’t content with maturity transcend to the blue or find the clarity of indigo? Personally, I like the idea of a kind of maturity overshoot up the mountain a bit. I have a feeling you could do a pretty interesting critique of “transcendence”. As usual, thanks for an entertaining and thought-provoking comic!

  43. TF Says:

    Ooh, very interesting.

    I have been called mature for my age, but I do tend to get into depressive ruts (blaming the world, feeling scared, thinking I know everything, etc.) Luckily I’m a pretty good climber (to use the comix analogy) and I have my better moments, I think.
    This comic really does help in understanding one’s personality. I’m against labelling people, but the large variety of different traits shown means one person can identify with more than one… er, goat.

    I like goats.

    Well done, Winston. ๐Ÿ™‚

  44. Abel Stearns Says:

    I feel like the goat that “does it anyway.”

  45. Dom Says:

    Thanks for the great comics Winston, they’ve really become my goat to place for a bit of introspection and thinking. (Apologies in advance bad pun).

  46. Leo W. Says:

    Can I just take a moment to say how amazing virus comix is. And one of the things that really makes it amazing is not that the comics are so awesome (they are), but the huge emphasis on audience participation. Reading these comments brings so much more to the experience. Also, the incredible amount of talent that goes into the comics might have something to do with it as well.

  47. bfwebster Says:

    Just linked to this on Facebook with the comment, ‘I think that webcomics are the fora of our new philosophers.’ Well done. ..bruce..

  48. Tzenker Says:

    I wasn’t terribly impressed with this one. It would have been way, way better without all the labels, for one thing.

    • I actually thought about doing that, but in the end i wanted to emphasize the contrasting-things, this-as-opposed-to-that aspect of it, thus necessitating words. Suggesting that respecting others’ intelligence is the opposite of being dishonest, etc. That’s my rationalization, anyway.

    • DoubleW Says:

      This one’s too visually busy to work without the tiny labels. Otherwise, contrasting goats would have to be much closer together for the sequence to be noticeable, which would have been too much like Monster Discrepancies. It fits with the whole concepts-are-the-landscape surreality Winston has going here anyway.
      The only tiny change I’d make is maybe replacing the ‘subjectivity’ on the sign with ‘delusion’, since the crime is reflexively defending one’s own ignorance and frailty rather than just having a different perspective.

  49. Andrew so Says:

    ive been wanting to send this comment for a long as time. but would you marry me? i want you to have my babies. jokes aside kinda, i like how the comics are more simplified. It makes it faster for me to read and understand, but its also cuz im too lazy to read alot of text. also nice goats =]

    • I’m guessing you’re alluding to certain recent webcomic events with the will-you-marry-me/babies thing. The unwelcome comments that I get are the ROWNTREE YOU LIBERAL FEMINAZI I HOPE YOU DIE IN A FIRE AND ALL YOUR READERS TOO YOU ARE THE WORST PEOPLE ON EARTH ones, as opposed to sexual advances. You get used to it, whether you should have to or not; takes about three years.

  50. Blee Says:

    This is freaking brilliant, Winston. Well-drawn, thought-provoking, funny and clever. I’m going to bookmark this as a reference for maturity =P

  51. monica Says:

    completely agree, sometimes i’d forgot it, thanks to remind me i’m climbing the montain!!

  52. lisa Says:

    A hill with things you don’t like about people, and a hill with things you do like about people. How deep. Truly I just needed a venn diagram with circles labeled ‘mature’ and ‘immature’ to figure out what was good and bad.

    Wait, no. Sorry for being sarcastic, but I disagree that things are that simple. For instance, ‘Focuses on differences’ is in the immature circle and I think the differences in people are why we need other people. It comes off as preachy, not really helpful.

    • DoubleW Says:

      That particular dichotomy is about accepting people (despite or maybe because of their flaws) instead of making a fuss over someone’s nose hairs or political views.

      I also want to go on the record as saying that goats are more entertaining than Venn diagrams.

  53. benS. Says:

    Here we have two parallel landscapes. A really nice green one (A) with nice wise guys and gals. Think Eden!

    The other, brown one (B), is more like the backyard of a shabby motel. Well, …perhaps minus a 30 year old rusting Trabant.

    To get from B to A before confronted with the final divine string-music: take the wormhole – and don’t forget your new, blank slate*.

    * Tabula rasa thesis


  54. basiamc Says:

    I am so glad I stumbled upon your site. It’s not often that a comic makes you cry, but that’s how profoundly you affect people. Me, at least.

    I just wanted to let you know that your insight, presented simply, with a little humour and color, speaks strongly to me.

  55. Syngen Duncan Says:

    Just bloody brilliant. I could not agree more. I’ve preached these sort of virtues for ages haha. Showed this comic to a few friends that ought to make the climb and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the realization dawn on their faces. I’ve read all of the Subnormality Comics and I only just realized I have never before left a comment. Please accept this blanket note of praise. Damn near every single comic has been enjoyable, well-thought out, and beautifully drawn. I look forward to each and every comic to come. Please, if there are more works of yours that I may ogle at, let me know ๐Ÿ™‚

  56. Harry Says:

    I don’t need to listen to this- I’m the most modest guy there is. More fuckin modest than the rest of you.

  57. Richter Says:

    That was full of win on so many levels. The job on the colors, the crispness of the details, the goats’ facial expressions and body language. The readability of this one through the roof. Absolutely beautiful. +1 vote for poster material.

    Side note : was happy to see 90% of my goats are on the mature side. Glad I kickstarted my climb a few years back. I can already die happy.

    Side note 2 : Winston, about the labels and signposts; I didn’t feel it’s all about trusting the reader’s intelligence. Parts of it, yes, but with the kind of material you do, it’s a difficult thing to balance. What will be too much info, what will be not enough? Etc…

    Take those 1-panel political cartoons or caricatures. They’ll draw, say, Harper as a monkey, but they’ll also write “conservative” on his tie, or writing “capitalism” on a pig’s tuxedo. Now that is babysitting the reader, taking him by the hand, etc. You have more content in your images, so you probably have a tougher act to balance.

    Also, having many little signs everywhere gives the comic a “Where’s Waldo” feeling. I enjoy having a million little details to look at and those signposts and labels add to the pleasant visual overload.

  58. Eth-Zee Says:

    This comic made me feel guilty, like so many others of yours; I am pretty much living in the pink at the moment.


  59. Jon Says:

    Loved it for the one dichotomy alone:

    “Blames world for self…/….blames self for world”

  60. justino Says:


  61. afxx Says:


  62. Dom Says:

    “I think the differences in people are why we need other people”. How deep.

  63. Tyco Says:

    I just have to say:


    I just got done blowing through your archives and wonder why I never found this earlier. Witty, uplifting, snarky and intelligent, this here comic be. It isn’t enough that it’s smart, but can cheer you right back up, like this goat comic today.

    Do you accept awed, subservient groveling at your feet or do you allow us to partake in your talented wit and glory like a benevolent deity?

  64. Joe Says:

    I’m pretty sure you have the best comic on the internet at this point. I especially like ones like this that give me a fresh new perspective on things, particularly myself.

    My favorite dichotomy in this comic is Entitled/Grateful.

  65. Endymion Says:

    Only one thing I disliked. Blaming yourself for the state of the world is no more mature than blaming the world for yourself. They’re both unrealistic and immature views. I see where you’re coming from, but I disagree.

  66. Dan Says:

    I saw myself in every one of those goats.

  67. Graham Says:

    I would like a poster of this one please. Can I send Canada money in an envelope?

  68. John Says:

    i believe subjectivity is the basis for individuality and humanity. biases are simply a method of evaluating and ordering our entropic universe, giving ourselves an identity and purpose in a world of 6 billion+ opinions.

  69. jes Says:

    With all sincerity, I like to count how many i resemble on both sides. then, the winning side reveals itself due to a number of goats; therefore i see how i am feeling at the moment. I find out where i am at in life. Good or bad. It all depends on my number of goats that represent opposite states of mind. I must leave now, for i have to go purchase some alfalfa and grains. Thank you to the artist, for this was an interesting and….fun. ๐Ÿ˜€

  70. Trubloff Says:

    I wish I could say I’m entirely at the top, but I am missing some important goats..
    Superb, needs to be a poster!

  71. Harry Says:

    AH. The thing I just realised it’s missing is “Thinks it’s about being serious all the time” and “Knows how to have fun”. There’s nothing more immature than some lifeless, bitter asshole who calls everyone who tries to enjoy themselves “immature”.

  72. George Says:

    Well said and well represented:)

  73. Chris Says:

    Definitely one of my favourites of yours, Mr Rowntree. Thankyou ๐Ÿ™‚

  74. pG Says:

    Once again – introspective, brilliant and jsut what I needed. I have to say the most interesting moment in my life was when I realised I know nothing. It opens so many doors in the mind.

  75. pG Says:

    Almost forgot. This is so brilliant it should be one of yours, Winston. from Sascha Geddert on Vimeo.

  76. Ben Says:

    Winston, I seriously think you’re the fucking best. I might like you better than I like Gaiman.

    Side note, have you been working on any other side projects or graphic novels? I loved Captain Estar….

  77. Eric Says:

    I think it’s not about balancing saying more versus saying less. It’s about creating a rich experience for the reader and leaving space for the reader to think their own thoughts. In this case, I think the explicit labeling of all the goats makes for a richer reader experience, since it allows me to really ponder each goat as a symbol of something in my life, rather than as a picture of a goat. Labeling the axis was good too, since it helps me ponder what all the green goats have in common, and what all the red goats have in common.

    In response to “Blames self for world”, I think it was cool but I see why some people don’t. I would phrase it differently. Basically, the world is what we make it, so we all have to think about what we want to make it into. We can’t blame ourselves for the whole thing, but we do have a duty to work on some small corner of it. It might be more accurate to say “Blames self and everyone else for the world”, but that sounds too much like the corresponding red goat. “Holds self responsible for a corner of the world” is probably closest.

    • basiamc Says:

      You put that perfectly. If people don’t get it, it’s because they’re not thinking about it, they’re not recreating it in their own mind and thinking “Now, what does THAT mean?”. Instead, they take simple labels and accept them at that, instead of the ramifications of what they actually meant. See, this comic is actually supposed to make you think, unlike other comics. People aren’t used to that.

  78. Caitlin H Says:

    This is another one I want as a poster! Beautiful!

  79. James Says:

    just finished reading through your comics so far and i gotta say, love them all, most of them made me laugh and all of them made me think, your a true artist keep up the good work *thumbs up*

  80. brea Says:

    soo true its like adolescence to early adult hood, i’m going to show this to my brother now haha

  81. Sergio Says:

    Yo may already be aware of this, but I think the viruscomix site is down.

  82. Abel Stearns Says:

    How many artists contribute to subnormality? I know Winston Rountree is an alias, and I can’t help but notice a few different styles over the comix series. Just curious :). Love almost all of the comix.

  83. Sylvia Says:

    I love this one.

  84. Madalyn Says:

    Wow, Well I guess this is the last one. I have officially read every comic on this site. I really love your sense of humor.

  85. Fen V. Says:

    Nice glasses ‘look at me’ goat. They suit you. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Although to be fair, I think he’s gotten better about it…

  86. MCab Says:

    This strip is now my favorite. Not only does it use the basis of my family name (“Cabrera”) but also it highlights the struggle that I have personally gone through.

  87. Saudaaji Says:

    I’ve liked most of your comics so far, and even when I thought you were moralizing a little, I didn’t really mind it because your presentation was entertaining and interesting. Unfortunately, this comic is all moralizing and no entertainment. To be honest, I would have preferred it if you had just had two columns of bullet points, one of them labeled “IMMATURE TRAITS” and one of them “MATURE TRAITS”, because at least then I wouldn’t be reminded of those stereotypical “THOSE FUCKERS, OUR SHIT” political cartoons. I’m not even going to get into the philosophical/ethical merits of this comic, because whether or not I agree with you does not matter so much to me as whether there is any reason to read Subnormality other than to find out about your latest musings.

  88. Bill Says:

    I liked it. But I disagree with your “asks”. While people that ask too much are annoying, I think that asking questions is really important. You can listen all you want, but you need to ask questions in general and to people more knowledgeable than yourself.

  89. Terri Says:

    Inspired as always, Winston.

  90. Nathan Paul Says:

    If the brilliant social awareness behind your work could be distilled into liquid form, I would work for two years for a shot of it.

  91. Stephie Says:

    Hey! Just found your site on stubleupon and love it! Please keep up the great inspirational work!

  92. Anders Says:

    Sooo … we are goats?

  93. AlanSmithee Says:

    Poster pls kthanxbye!

  94. Shannon Says:

    I LOVE this! Recently I have been having alot of conversations about maturity so this is totally perfect timing. And I work on a goat farm! Totally win all around for me ๐Ÿ˜€

  95. Zahrah Says:

    This is great. You seem to be quite reflective in your latest comics, so the lateness is forgiveable ๐Ÿ˜› (I’m always happy to see an update, however rare!) And for me personally, the timing is suitable; I’ve been struggling with the fact that I have to grow up, and I feel exactly like the yellow goats, hesitating as I look back. I’d like this as a poster.

  96. Warren B. Says:

    That one in the bottom left, most to the bottom left, that’s you that is.

    Also: people who feel fear are immature? That’s big warning flag right there that you don’t take life lessons from preachy webcomics.

  97. dauch Says:

    holy shit, I almost completely missed the asking *white* goat… o0

    whoever expects from a comic his salvation should rather learn how to read comics

    whoever expects from a comic no salvation
    should rather learn how to read comics

  98. ARSK Says:

    you ever watch Archer? Lana Kane looks like your work.

  99. Josfrey Says:

    If this one is made into a poster, I will gladly buy it!

  100. Richter Says:

    [Rainier Wolfcastle]

    The website! It does nothing!

    [Rainier Wolfcastle]

  101. Ashley Says:

    Work at an elementary school, this is something I will hang in my 5th grade classroom or give to all of them! Great work, love to see more!

  102. Human Unit #3265343 Says:

    I agree with the goatrait, this one is brilliant.

  103. James C. Says:

    This is so well done. Excellent work. I’ve shared it with my office already. Keep up the good work.

  104. benS. Says:


    This weekly super-comix, mostly updated every fortnight, relentlessly spreading all over the globe like rings on clusterfucked waters, may very well do it again…

    Nohurry ben.

  105. Anthony Says:

    Hi! I’ve just recently discovered this site a couple of months ago. I was linked directly to the Monstrous Discrepancies comic, your comics make quite a bit of sense to me, and I’m happy to be able to find a comic that can help me discover or rediscover the world and how it really works. For that, thank you. I, am, hooked.

    Anyways, to the point. I was wondering if you would make a poster for the Maturity Climb. And if so, would I be able to get a deal if I bought both Monstrous Discrepancies and The Maturity Climb.

    Thanks for your time ๐Ÿ˜€

    Oh, one last thing, would you mind explaining the last panel of Choose Your Own Adventure. Why are you referencing the three monkeys, I feel I’m missing something big.

  106. Hey, I’m the guy who quit reading Subnormality when you deleted his comment about how Captain Estar is NOT the Book of Mormon. However, having downed an entire bottle of Bailey’s (on sale at Sainsbury’s, his place of employment) he is unable to stop himself from indulging in sheer indulgence. He has to admit, the recent comick is Really Good(TM).

  107. jonathan Says:

    loved this comic!

  108. Ben Says:

    I like your stuff a lot. It really hits me sometimes harder than I would like but never the less I thank you for your comics.

  109. Jan Says:

    This is wonderful. Most people I assume, including myself, can identify with a lot of the goats on more than one level. Thanks for the insights.

  110. Your website is awesome….

  111. aka:P Says:

    love it

  112. Kate Says:

    Want to put tthis up in classroom at school for the students to think about!

  113. Sandeep Says:

    Hey Winston,
    I just wanted to ask if you would be ok if I reprinted this comic for myself?

  114. Kim Says:

    I’ve always deferred to the wisdom of goats.

  115. joy Says:

    Really intriguing…

  116. Dali Says:


  117. Dominic Says:

    Ha! I didn’t even see this one until I just went through some unchecked RSS feeds. Great to have something like this posted on my birthday ๐Ÿ˜€ I can really see my own growth over the past years there, too. Make a poster of this and I will buy it.

  118. I. Vlad Says:


    Can you please make this into a poster?

    I will buy one for home and one for work!

    Thank you!

    Signed: Pink goat with a slight streak of green

  119. Dominic Says:

    Focusing a bit more on the content, now, I find that I don’t agree with everything on The Climb. Shocking, I know! I think it may be not so much disagreement as pedantry on word choice and the like. “Blames self for the world” is pointlessly negative. I think I see what you’re trying to express, but I’d rather see that as “Takes responsibility for the world” or somesuch – a much more active phrase, too! One very important thing to note, I believe, is that the attitudes and behaviours on the red end don’t necessarily make anyone a bad person. “Can’t admit responsibility” is a weakness rather than an error in your ways.

    I don’t claim to be perfectly mature and know all about it – just my two cents going by how I’ve seen stuff happen over the years ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Oh, and my favorite set of goats: “Scorns others’ efforts” -> “Scorns indolence” -> “Wants to help”.

    • smothness Says:

      I am with you, I kept looking at the image trying to understand the reason for him. Blaming yourself for the problems in the world not not mature. It is egotistical.

      I would say something like “realizes the world doesn’t revolve around him.” Would have been the counter balance.

  120. Ema Says:

    Gotta say I don’t think that blaming self for the world is exactly a sign of maturity…
    Maybe I am reading it wrong but I don’t think that is a good mindset to be in and to be honest I think by being in that mind set people can make some pretty immature decisions.

    Other then that I think its a great poster. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Me Says:

      I think it’s more like they’re accepting that they have a part in what happens in the world, if they want to change it then they need to start with themselves not others, taking responsibility for actions, ya know?
      It just came out weird cuz it’s supposed to be a mirror image of the ‘blames world for problems’ thing

  121. William L Kincade Says:

    Is the Maturity comic with the goats available in poster form? I really need this for my office, both for myself and others.

    Very clever

  122. Stef Says:


    I hope you don’t mind me posting this link on facebook. I’m a big fan of your work. If you do mind, though, let me know and I’ll take it down.


  123. awesome!!

    i wish more people were making art that helped change the way people are- for the better!

  124. Fares Boulos Says:

    this is awesome!

  125. Tam Says:

    Awesome,i like it a lot

  126. shane Says:

    excellent. humbling, inspirational. funny.

  127. None Says:


  128. ZorbatheGreek Says:

    Well done!

  129. Jerico Says:

    Wow, how true. Looking at this comics, I feel that I wasn’t very mature this past ten years and I feel that I still have got a lot to do to make myself a mature person.

  130. Nepenthe Says:

    I would also really like this comic as a poster. Then I wouldn’t have to keep looking it up every few days. I love it.

  131. Chal Says:

    This comic should be made available as a poster.

  132. bh021552 Says:

    All good,except ‘blames self for world’. That belongs on the bottom tier.

  133. The Old Wolf Says:

    Not enough words in the thesaurus with more than four letters to say how much I like this…

  134. Jeremy C. Says:

    This should be on the wall of every teenager’s room.

  135. preeyasha Says:

    Fantastic ……

  136. Gus Says:

    Hey, you’ve made this into a poster! Cool!

    If you makeit into a T-shirt, can you sell it as a goat-tee? Free idea, take it.

  137. Luiz Says:

    Thank you so much for this, dude.

  138. Tasorius Says:

    I blame the world for some of my problems, The world is an evil place!!!
    What’s wrong with asking…? Nothing!!!
    Responsibility is nothing!!!
    When I “have to be right” I AM right!!!!
    ALL RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I AM immature

  139. J_T_S Says:

    This is GREAT!!!! Covers just about everybody.

  140. dan Says:

    i just had to comment on this!!


  141. junkfred Says:

    How can you die happy there? Am I the only one who wants to climb to the top of the mountain? If maturity isn’t on top, what is on top?

    • Tasorius Says:

      the top…? maturity…? No… maturity is worthless…! That often mean getting boring…. and I have no reason to mature… I… am already dead inside… The only light comes from…….. her, my only friend, whom I love… But she… does not love me that way…. No, I hate maturity……….

    • Wilfred James Says:

      Mankinds ideals, maybe God if you’re into that sort of thing

  142. Wilfred James Says:

    I love this dearly

  143. dan Says:

    Yeah. This should be a poster.

  144. PirateJack Says:

    I believe the “Obsessed with facts” goat should have been placed somewhere else or just simply removed.

    More often than not being obsessed with facts closes your mind to many things.

  145. Eduardo Enriquez Says:

    Because immature people don’t read much and need visual aids. Brilliant.

    • Tasorius Says:

      Tsk… I am highly immature… However, I read very much…. visual aids…. wahahahaha hahahahaha whahahahaha… that’s all….

  146. Bryan Chong Says:


  147. Ms Josefina Says:

    looooooove it!!!

  148. I would love this as a poster

  149. Cassandra Says:

    I don’t you have this in a fit tee size medium?

  150. Tyler Says:

    Please! Please. Please? Make the full “Maturity Climb” poster a comic!.?

    I will purchase it. I went in search of the “TAKE MY MONEY” button but can’t find it.

  151. jeroen clarysse Says:

    can you PLEASE give us a poster version WITHOUT the text ? I reaaaaaaaly want to translate this to dutch for my kids !

  152. Paul Friedman Says:

    The goat marked “Tells” ought to be labeled “Talks AT others”. The goat marked “Asks” ought to be labeled “Hears but doesn’t listen” (and be colored pink).

  153. nabahanasyr Says:

    I don’t actually get it! Can someone please explain the entire poster to me? I know that it’s about maturity but I don’t actually get the whole thing? SO Pleaseee explain it to me! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • It’s saying that the green goats are more mature due to the traits that they have: Empathy, self-control, objectivity, and prevention
      The pink goats are immature due to their: complacence, subjectivity, and revenge.

  154. Zartyzzo Says:

    How is “obsessed with facts” mature…?

  155. Emanuel Says:


  156. Just a note to say that I bought this as a poster, and it’s hanging on the inside of the toilet door. I’ve got two girls and a wife, and the time they spend in there hopefully will trickle in the wisdom of this fantastic poster! Thanks, Virus!

  157. siddharth Says:

    true … cant comment further …

  158. Jason Lilly Says:

    I am a high school teacher, and I plan on purchasing this as a poster (unless you want to contribute to the educational world by sending me a free one.) I already shared it with my colleagues and one of my classes and they loved it. Thank you.

  159. SongCoyote Says:

    To Paul Friedman, who said: “The goat marked โ€œAsksโ€ ought to be labeled โ€œHears but doesnโ€™t listenโ€ (and be colored pink).”

    That goat is yellow because it’s starting to be ready to climb the hill; it is not just absorbing what it’s told, but questioning even things that are presented as “fact”. The first day you stop simply accepting what you hear at face value is one of the first steps to true individuality and maturity.

    And in case it wasn’t clear from how much I thought about the content of this poster, I adore it. It brought tears to my eyes, and when I have a bit more funds I’ll be getting a poster of it and #133 (Weird). Thank you again (and again!) for sharing your weird, wise and wonderful ideas and images with the world through Subnormality!

    Light and laughter,

  160. Sophie T. Says:

    Amazing! I never thought goats could teach me to be more mature about myself!

  161. Carlos Says:


  162. Louke Says:

    That hurt…
    I recognize myself in many of the pink goats.
    You do great work. Keep going!

  163. John Says:

    I was sad that it ended so quickly. What is atop of the next plateau?

  164. Dan Says:

    I like this “Big-Time”!

  165. Julien Says:

    Whoever did this graphic, is a genius. It’s a complete life lesson in a nutshell. To those who discover that you are among the red goats: admitting it is half the battle. The key is to always want to improve yourself, to become a better person.

  166. Lilli Says:

    I grew up seeing this in my elementary school…
    Now that I’ve been introduced to your work I’m amazed that such a wonderful artist made something that turned out to be one of the influences of my childhood. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  167. Elira Says:

    I saw parts of myself in all of these guys! I aspire to reach for the top rung, though. Thanks…really profound. My 11 yr. old son thought it was cool, too. Keep up the creative spirit!

  168. Teci Says:

    This is great. My brother showed it to me and I reposted it (with the appropriate link of course) on Facebook. Keep it up and God bless u more ๐Ÿ™‚

  169. mike Says:

    how can i use this on my website, i tried to buy a poster, but it forces me to buy a lot of other posters, i don’t want, help, i’d like to provide proper attribution to help you

  170. feh Says:

    I’m not sure obsessed with facts is that good. I myself am quite focused on the facts, but there has to be some leeway.

  171. Aiarashi Says:

    Personally I think any kind of obsession is unhealthy, so I don’t think being “obsessed with facts” would really be so mature, maybe focusing on facts instead of obsessing over them would be a better use of words.
    Either way, I really like how you represened all this dicotomies, makes you think. *nods*

  172. Katie Says:

    am I the only one not sure where it started?????

  173. cliqbstr Says:

    …illustration for a 12-step program.

  174. Paul McGee Says:

    Why does the winner always die?

  175. Pamela Says:

    Brilliant. Thank you. Emotional intelligence and cultural competence in a nutshell, i.e., ways to live a full, rich, happy, responsible, compassionate life. Bravo!

  176. Morgon Grogg Says:

    How dare you? This really got my human!
    I will not be ‘goated’ into reacting.
    Then again, I should be a bit ‘ruminant’ about this.
    ‘Ewe’ take care ‘Kid’

  177. So awesome, I really like this!

  178. Samuel Says:

    This is great! The Divine Comedy, now with goats! Love your work!

  179. Mรณnica Ramรญrez Says:

    Excelente clasificaciรณn!!!

  180. I would like to translate this poster to reach many more people

  181. Jesse Says:

    I love this because it makes complete sense. And I`ve always viewed the world like this, the people who care about themselves to much and the people who have no self respect and only cares about others, there is so many definitions this art could have but I just wanted to point this out. I love it.

  182. geovid Says:

    This is my desktop background… This image eloquently describes the ‘climb’ to maturity… something I really hope I’m on.. Just wanted to give a big thank you to the creator(s) because this was a public service you performed ๐Ÿ™‚ and will probably help a lot of people (Including me!)

  183. Outstanding. A brilliant piece of art work. Congratulations.

  184. Tim Says:

    Hey, I just wanted to say thank you for making this. I used it as a discussion piece years ago in the classroom; I’m going back into teaching and I’ll probably use it again. I just wanted to say thanks for making this. I learned a lot.

  185. Michelle Says:

    This is great. I like it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: