Year 5 Beginneth

February 27, 2011

New comic finally. Yeah… this one just kind of gradually became way, way more challenging than i’d anticipated, hence the delay (and any horrible, pretentious lackings in the comic itself). And i realize that the comix haven’t exactly been a laugh riot of late, but i swear i’m not trying to phase out the comedy or anything. I dunno, it was just that kind of month i guess. But hey, it’s over.


Speaking of february, this marks Four Years of this here comic strip, which is certainly not something i’d ever anticipated i’d be typing one day, so i’m pretty happy to be able to type it. I really just wanna thank You for everything (and a belated congrats on that Time magazine person of the year award in 2006, by the way). Thanks for reading, and for sticking with the comix as they transitioned from three panels to, like, way too many, and for all the comments and the emails, all of which i’m just really grateful for because knowing how You feel about the comix and about Stuff In General is the best part of my sketchy little online gig here.

Huge Thanks to anyone who’s sent a donation as well (oh my god are You generous, i can’t even believe it sometimes), as well as everyone who’s been buying the posters or plans to in the future (You are gonna buy one, right?). In the increasing effort to make some kind of a living out of this comix thing (getting there…), your support has obviously been Everything, so thanks to everyone who’s provided that support.

My goal is just to be able to type all this backward-lookin’ congeniality every february, so cheers indeed for the four opportunities so far, and i’ll get working towards this time next year. Year five (!): let’s do this.

handshakes all around,


205 Responses to “Year 5 Beginneth”

  1. Hal Says:

    Congrats on the anniversary, and incredible comic as usual.

  2. Sto Odin Says:

    Speechless. This is so sublime.

    Happy 4th anniversary by the way! Hope for many years of this.

  3. Margatroid Says:

    Absolutely beautiful.

  4. Rems Says:

    Congrats – keep up the great work!

  5. Victor Says:

    Your comics are always amazing, but this one left me speechless.

  6. Scott Hall Says:

    . . .

  7. Jonathan Says:



  8. Mikey Says:

    damn. That was good, really really good.

    It gave me a few flashbacks to when my squad and I, a small recon patrol, were caught in a similar position in Kandahar in Afganistan, far behind enemy lines, about to be overrun.

    It does feel kinda like that.

  9. Daniel Says:

    Wow. Your work continues to overwhelm me four years in. Congratulations and keep it up! I look forward to every update.

  10. Andreas Fuchs Says:

    Wow, 4 years already? It’s been delightful reading every one of your comics, and I hope you will make many more (and this newest one is just wonderful).

    Hand and milkshakes.

  11. Anna Says:

    It’s been a pleasure to read your comix for four years, sir. Thank you and happy birthday.

  12. Radwaste Says:

    You might not be a Browncoat, but you get it.

    How sad it is that as breathtaking as some of your work is, we must look at fiction to see what is right and proper.

  13. YEM Says:

    Congratulations, dear genius. You are the best.

  14. Joe Says:

    Happy Anniversary and heres to another five years at least.

    As usual, your comics are worth whatever wait is required

  15. Thomas Says:

    This is excellent stuff. For me, it recaptures the feeling that I got from ’50s and ’60s sci-fi, Frank Herbert’s older short stories, and (more recently but still a long time ago) Dick Matena’s “Amen”. It messes with my head and I love it. 🙂

    Happy anniversary, and many happy returns!

  16. Mike Says:

    … Wow.

  17. The darkly fallen Says:

    ” Language is the heart’s lament, a way to circumvent the loneliness inherent in the search for permanence. Like all the future ghosts who scratch their names in wet cement, demeaning meaning as they shout out at the emptiness. Abstraction is the stake between anima and animus. Deflesh the written word, the scourge of human destiny.
    Behold the world in other people, life is clarity.”

    Your comics are always amazing, and it reminded me of this.

    thanks for the touching comic.

    and cheers to the dawn of your fifth year!

  18. DoubleW Says:

    The cynicism you began Subnormality with, like so many comics on the internet, let me chuckle a bit. But it’s easy to hate people.
    In the end, in this fourth year of panel layouts that probably wouldn’t work in a printed book, it’s the hope and respect you have for people that keeps me coming back.
    You are fantastic.

  19. Sheedy Says:

    Well done, good sir.

  20. Davie Says:

    I love your sci-fi comics. It’s always amazing to me how you can inject such profundity into a genre often derided for its shallowness. This made me think of Warhammer 40000 with some emotional depth, if such a thing is possible. Well done.

  21. Dan Plaat Says:

    I’d like to see a full comic about this, perhaps it’s lack of context that makes it work.. It seems I could say that about many of the strips here.

  22. Drgals Says:

    Wow… Excellent work again…

    Congratulations on the fourth year… and may the world be delighted at least a couple years more!

  23. J Says:

    good stuff. needs more robots.

  24. William Fletcher Says:

    Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a comic this moving. Perfect.

  25. Buldwren Says:

    Congratulations on the 4’th anniversary! I hope to keep seeing your work far into the future 😀

  26. Livvispatula Says:

    Perfect. Just perfect.

  27. DH Says:

    You’ve always got such an impressive insight into human nature. I suppose that’s part of what’s kept me reading the comix.

    As for the latest comic, I was moved to tears and I loved it. It’s absolutely brilliant.

    As always, keep up the good work.

  28. Steve Says:

    Just brilliant: thank you

  29. Omar Says:

    Glad to see another comic posted and happy for your 4th anniversary. Congrats and may the good fortune and great comics keep coming.

  30. Sam Says:

    You got it beatifully! When you go through something like that, people around you that share the experience become more than a family. Att least with those of whom the “best was brought out”.

  31. Kalina Says:

    Surrendermonkeys? I didn’t even see that coming. *laughs

  32. fishboy Says:

    Thank you Winston, for this comic and for all the preceding ones – may there be many many more.

  33. bullestock Says:

    Yet another moving and beautiful comic.

    Congratulations on the anniversary.

  34. JesterRaiin Says:


  35. Malcolm Reynolds Says:

    Take my love, take my land
    Take me where I cannot stand
    I don’t care, I’m still free
    You can’t take the sky from me
    Take me out to the black
    Tell them I ain’t comin’ back
    Burn the land and boil the sea
    You can’t take the sky from me
    There’s no place I can be
    Since I found Serenity
    But you can’t take the sky from me…

  36. Hafwit Says:

    That was utterly beautiful. Thanks, Winston.

  37. V.A. Says:

    …Wow. I was just reading How It Is by Beckett, and then I read this. I’m just, I mean fuck. You’ve done everything right with this one…

  38. XenoVega Says:


  39. Chris Says:

    Nice one. As well as the humanity, there’s something in the rhythm, poetry of the prose, repetition, juxtapositions of short and long, that make it live.

    “It’s strange that my life should end in such a terrible place, but for three years I had roses and I apologized to nobody.”

    • Hollis Says:

      I love the V for Vendetta quote, that film makes me feel the same way I do about this comic. It makes me feel like a small but utterly perfect part of humanity

  40. Squidsong Says:

    Some art catches me because it says just what I was thinking, but not this. I never was thinking this, and now I am. Thank you.

  41. Pickering Says:

    Never commented before, though I’ve read your comix for a while. Incredible. Simply incredible.

  42. Wolviecat Says:


    This makes me sad and strangely happy in the same time. And well, its reminds me Firefly.

    Tleskám. Všechno nejlepší k Tvému výročí

  43. Arik Grant Says:

    Wow, that’s awesome. Well done. You always reveal some new depth with each strip…

  44. Drew Says:

    Congrats to 4 years!!! I’ve enjoyed 3 of them and look forward to many more!

  45. David W. Says:

    Wow. I came across your work through a friend’s referral. Powerful. Magnificent. Edgy. Painful. Funny. All these things and more. I read the whole of the archive in less than two days. It was worth every second. Thank you.

  46. Daisy Marton Says:

    This comic gave me chills. It was one of my favorite things you have ever writen.

  47. Michelle Says:

    Happy Anniversary! Several of my favorite strips I’ve ever read are from your comic!

  48. apotheosis Says:

    I don’t even know what to say.

    That was amazing. Thank you.

  49. Nooney Says:

    Your work is inspiring, whenever I have writers block I come here and look through your old comics and hope for a new one to grace my sight and make me feel better about the world.

  50. Ben Says:

    You have a knack for the science fiction Rowntree. I’d love to see you work on another graphic novel like Captain Estar… think I’ll go re-read that now actually.

    Happy 4th by the way. ❤

  51. Rob Says:

    I’ve read every single one of your comics and this is by far my favorite. Right next to “A Christmas Eve in the Future”. There’s something about the futurish space ones that I love. Congrats on the 4th Anniversary.

  52. Chris Says:

    Wow! This was above and beyond!

  53. William Frazier Says:


    • William Frazier Says:

      Seriously, this has to be the most moving and beautiful comic you’ve ever made. Damn near brought me to tears. Phenomenal work.

  54. sfury Says:

    Congratulations for the anniversary man and thanks for all the wonderful comics!

    Your last work is simply amazing, one of my most favorite so far 🙂

    I’m sure more people would be buying posters if you put more of the strips (like this) for offer. Doesn’t matter they’re not traditional poster material, I’d love to put this on my wall.

    …or just publish “The Subnormality Book”. 😉

    • mtvgohome Says:

      Oh Please to god publish the subnormality book

    • Ben Says:

      It needs to happen. Especially with this many awesome comics under the belt? Maybe he’s waiting for 5 years…

    • Emanresu Says:

      How would many comics fit in a book? There’s a decent amount of infinite canvas going on, which makes for great posters, but not regular books…

  55. Sop Says:

    Congrats! I actually prefer this type of comic as opposed to the funny ones, as there are many of those already.

  56. Dennis Egan Says:

    All I can say is Wow!…Just Wow

  57. Hollis Says:

    This may well be my favorite comic out of them all. Thnak you for something so beautiful

  58. Tzenker Says:

    Not sure what to say. I feel better about the world right now.

  59. daniel Says:

    This reminds me of the stories my grandfather told me about the time when he was a German Wehrmacht soldier in Stalingrad.

    I detested him back then, and I still cannot understand his emotions, but today I just feel sorry for him.

  60. DaveB Says:

    Very, very well done. Whew. Damn. Words to that effect.

  61. masayume Says:

    I’d like to see a movie from your comics one day, but there’s no way it would render justice to the depth of your work.


  62. doc medican Says:

    i really loved your last comic. really hit home.

  63. Spicy Says:

    this made me cry

  64. I’m speechless, but silence won’t do either.

  65. georgie l Says:

    Woah, possibly the most moving one you have ever done…

  66. JTWilson Says:

    Wow. Damning and redeeming at the same time.
    As a human race, I don’t think we’re too far off from all of this, so this really hits home.
    Also, many congratulations on getting rewarded for your art!!

  67. chris Says:

    That’s beautiful, Mr Rowntree.

    I hope you have some powerful human connections in your life.

  68. Dheginsea Says:

    Damn fine way to start off the fifth year. You have brought a tear to my eye. Here’s to the future.

  69. TF Says:

    4 years of wonderful work after wonderful work, Rowntree.

    Thank you, master sensei, for sharing them with us.

    eck-chay uor-yay mail-eyay

  70. Richter Says:

    I was horribly depressed all the way… and then her hand touched my face.

    Seriously, I was catatonic while reading and when that panel hit, I actually felt her hand on my face too. Powerful. Such a beautiful image.

    Thanks Mr Rowntree, here’s to another four years. Hope you’re sleeping on a pile of money with beautiful women on top.

  71. Whyallthehate Says:

    You told a story in under 20 panels that I wanted to look up on tvtropes. I am still sad that I can’t.

    Don’t you dare stop now.

  72. Megan Says:


  73. Kat Says:

    This is just.. FUCK. Beautiful. I don’t have words for it, except to say this is the first comic which had stirred me out of perpetual lurking both here and on cracked, stirred me into actually saying this is AMAZING.

    I love your work and, like many others surely, I never mind waiting weeks for your art because it is always sublime.

  74. anonymous Says:

    Keep co;ix like this coming and you will be here by 2050.

  75. Sean Says:

    Are you, or were you, military? A lot of these military-themed strips remind me of someone very used to the bureaucracy and idiocy inherent in the big green machine.

    Congrats on 4 years of comix with too many words.

  76. Rodrigo Says:

    Well, that last comic has to go somewhere in your top 10…

    I liked the way it was way more coherent than other comics you made in a similar thematical fashion, it´s hard to explain but it feels more like you created a story that is something in itself, rather than trying to get you to some concrete message or point.

    I don´t know if I explained myself properly. Anyway, yoy have a fan in Spain 😉

  77. Nice Work Says:

    I was reminded of Serge Bozon’s film “La France”.

  78. Mike Says:


    I think the blue tank is inspired by the french “B 1” tank from WW II?

  79. Dave Says:


  80. Jonathas Says:

    I’ve been reading your comics for some time now, but never actually posted any comments.
    I think, however, that this one deserved some proper congratulations.
    Not many times I’ve seen a story that transmitted so precisely the fact that it’s not what surround us, but the people that surround us, what makes life so special.

  81. benS. Says:

    Painfully beautiful piece of art.

    Some of the guys are still able to smile. Maybe they’re joking about cigarette filters or whether the agonizing haze being anthropic or not.



  82. Gabriel Lez Says:

    Amazing. One of the best ’til now!

  83. steve parsons Says:

    the first panel of the latest comic and this one
    are suspiciously similar. the comics overall are similar, is this maybe a sequel?

  84. migue Says:

    fuck. this was great.

    And thank You for this four years. This is one of the greatests comics I’ve found on the internet, and maybe, off the internet too.
    Good luck with this fifth year beginning. I’m gonna be just here, as always. =)

  85. Sibyl Says:

    Hey: would you be willing to sign up for one of those webcomic transcription services? I know you have a lot of walls-o-text, but I think people would be willing to transcribe them anyway. I know I would do it for a few of the longest comics, if I got the ability to text search in return.

    • I’ll have to pass for now, i’m really not looking to add any code to the site for that or any other purpose. I appreciate your mentioning it though, and your Heroic willingness to transcribe what we all know are some rather wordy comix.

  86. Keith Says:

    Amazing – as usual.

  87. MrsBug Says:

    Wow. That was profoundly moving.

  88. Basia Says:

    Powerful, powerful stuff, Winston. Every time you release a new comic, I’m glad I found you (thanks for being on Cracked, lol). Sometimes it feels like you hitched a ride on my train of thought.

  89. David Says:

    I don’t know how you continue to make such impactful art on such a wide variety of topics, but it’s regularly amazing.

  90. James Says:

    A story worthy of Harlan Ellison. Worthy of every war lost by us or them. Congratulations, Winston. It’s a masterpiece.

  91. Drew Says:

    I don’t know what sort of award you deserve for this masterpiece, but it should come with at least a million dollar prize. This is absolutely beautiful.

  92. TentacledBeast Says:

    This article is from just an hour ago:

    That must be how they feel…

    Thessaloniki is my hometown 😦

  93. Niels Bohr Says:

    Once again I’m reminded how little time I have for drawing and how much I want to do it. 😦 Congrats to five years!

  94. Dave Says:

    Thank You. This is beautiful.

  95. Olaf Says:

    I have to say, that is one of the most poignant short stories I have ever read.

  96. Sean Says:

    Yep… breathtaking.
    Thanks Winston for being stellar awesome.

  97. Kevin Says:

    I enjoy your comic, and more importantly, your writing style, and, most importantly, you, since that’s where it comes out of. and since this is free, i thought i would pay you with my thanks. thank you.

  98. Raphael Says:

    Last time I commented I was Rafi, the name I’ve gone by since I was a child.
    This time it’s Raphael, my full name, which in Hebrew means “god has healed.”
    I am not Raphael all the time; still, I am Raphael. More, more, more.

    Your comics tell the story of your own healing, and I think it is the story of all of our healing. I love them; they feel like they love me. How wonderful.

    The world feels like it’s changing. I’ll be there with you when the time comes for the shattering of every death, the comingling of every life, and I believe you will be there with me.

  99. Red Wolf Says:

    Thank you.

  100. Steinhauser Says:

    Terran is so OP.

  101. Clockwork Says:

    I couldn’t help thinking of City at the End of Time by Greg Bear, when the heroes are make a quixotic trek out into the domain of the Typhon. The panel near the end, showing a “healthy” enemy tank gave me a twist, because of the airplane; for a second my brain interpreted it as a wreck that was somehow flying, a truly horrifying idea (which may have been the intention).

  102. Ben Caldwell Says:

    Truly wonderful. The drawings are so fitting. It seems a shame to say this, but it made me think of Toy Story 3’s incinerator scene fleshed out to a story of its own, made more human and made truer because the end did come.

  103. dude Says:

    wow, this comic was awesome. it was really intimate. kinda reminded me of v for vendetta.

  104. Darkiush Says:

    this saddens me
    but in a nice, warm and comfortable way

  105. Darkiush Says:

    ops, sorry for the typo

  106. James Says:

    Um. I am reminded of Stephen Crane. Of the poetry of Robert Bly. I am very moved by quick glimpses and the power of the implied. Thanks.

  107. Adachi Says:

    Whatever you do, don´t stop writing.

    This is really, really good literature.

  108. Radwaste Says:

    Off-topic: the Sphynx appears here.

  109. mark tapley Says:

    For four years now, every week (and sometimes in between, because I’m patient like that) I’ve been checking Subnormality for an update, and (when there actually was one) I’ve never been disappointed. But although some of them have been more remarkable than others, this is the first one that’s prompted me to leave a comment. Bravo sir. And congrats on four years of excellence. Here’s to another four.

  110. Quirel Says:

    Ah, dear Winston, I have a small question. It is something that I believe nobody has picked up on yet.

    On the wrecked tank in one of the first panels, there is a heart with ‘2170’ in it. Is there any significance to that number?

  111. toronto Says:

    Really really really loved this one. Keep it up.

    How about putting all (er… some) of these comics into a book format? Might sell some copies.

  112. Magnanimous Says:

    I think every comment I’ve left has said something to the effect of “this is your best work yet.”

    That being said…

    This might just be my favourite (I might have said that already, too). Your work is incredible. These comix usually become the best part of my day.

    Congratulations on the anniversary. Never stop.

  113. Abel Says:

    Best one yet.

  114. Meghana Says:

    We never realise what we have till its too late.
    You are a very talented storyteller. ‘no words’, ‘words’ or ‘too many words’ just don’t matter. Just keep on doing all the nice things just the way you want to! Hoping for many more years of subnormality.

  115. Enfermero Torero Says:

    Beautiful story and cool artwork. The scene reminds me of the war in “Firefly”. Congrats on the 4 years.

  116. Olivier Says:

    “Sublime” is the right word.
    I am shocked and moved and happy. Thank you.

  117. Dusty668 Says:

    You keep drawing I’ll keep looking, cause I love you guy!
    *wipes off manly tear of manliness*
    Now c’mon you lug!

  118. Carlos Arellano Says:

    Beautiful comic, as usual.

    Congrats and cheers from Mexico.

  119. Golux Says:

    Cheers and thanks for four years,
    Looking forward to the years to come!

  120. Davey Says:

    I guess where I could see where you were coming from calling it pretentious, but I liked it. Felt like a Leonard Cohen song. Sisters of Mercy or Last Years Man, specifically.

  121. Amanda Says:

    Thank you for your art. It is a blessing to read, for years now!

  122. Andrew So Says:

    you got some sexy tanks 😀 good work

  123. Nathan Says:

    Wow, speechless as well. I’m about to go to Afghanistan in less than a month. I’ll be part of a Hospital, but still…

  124. Ludwig Says:

    The Last Stand was about the most beautiful, frightening and sad comic I’ve read in a long time. Effing excellent, sir. Come to think of it, we played this scenario as kids. Many times. So what I feel most, is surprised recognition. Thank you, Winston.

  125. Ackapus Says:

    Almost sounds personal. You or a family member ever served?

    You do a good job illustrating a prime fault to intelligent life. While conflict and aggression are intractible facets of existence for all life, intelligence gives us the capacity for terror, hate, and wanton excess. However, I think the cruelest addition that intelligence brings to the reality of conflict is the illusion, or hope of, universal peace.

  126. JTWilson Says:

    Incredible……even just browsing the panels after I read it gave an amazing sense.

  127. Jesse Norris Says:

    I want to say something witty, something snarky, maybe even a bit mean.
    But my usual, single trick of making a joke out of everything fails me here.

    As i finished this, I could only say, “Damn.”
    Good stuff, Winny. This is just one American boy’s opinion, but you are undoubtedly one of the best writers on the Internet.

    But I’m no art critic, so take that for what it’s worth.

  128. spriteless Says:

    You can really write a clean short story. I guess having something to say helps. If you had transcripts of these comics I’d recommend it to blind friends, too.

  129. dugg Says:

    brilliant. beautiful. thank-you…

  130. cfonner Says:

    thank you :’)

  131. The Old Wolf Says:

    Congratulations on 4 years. I have, over the same period of time, encountered various strips you’ve done, without ever knowing where they were from until fairly recently.

    Who the hell are you? Where do you get the incredible insight into humanity that you seem to possess? Where are the rest of the people in the world like you? Your strips keep getting better and better; this last installment was terribly poignant and so spot on… “they take and they acquire and they annex and yet they have nothing”; how many people truly understand this?

    Keep it up, friend, and my thanks.

  132. Jose Says:

    Well, i’d like to say i realli enjoy your comic, even though it has too many words (A complaint you surely get and ignore all the time)i especially liked the goats and the Raiders Of Atheist Apocalypse strip, and i like to ask you to post a drawing of the Sphinx (I just really like how she looks) you know, as filler art or something….

  133. Will Says:


    The soldiers are society.
    The chain of command is the government.
    The enemy is corporate greed/manipulation.

    Re-read and tell me I’m wrong.

  134. Jose Says:

    I just have to say one thing. You are fucking awesome.

  135. Xanna Says:

    wow man, what happened??! I kept waiting for the punchline and it never occurred…this is so sad!!

    i like it a lot though, i was just surprised

  136. josh Says:

    that comic was so awesome i almost shat myself

  137. john Says:

    i’ve read them all: you are certifiably awesome. i read a lot of webcomics and these are definitely among the best i’ve ever read. 5/5

  138. ravenstealsthelight Says:

    i liked that, the one teetering point before the end.

  139. A. O. Moss Says:

    Perfection. Thank you.

  140. enactogen Says:

    incredibly powerful winston.

  141. Greg Says:

    There is a world of life here in these words and drawings, and I don’t know what to say. I am happy to hold hands, and I miss my friends. Thank you for you hard work and shared feelings.

  142. Arvald Says:


  143. joe Says:

    am i the only one who thought that the hands at the end looked like kirk and spock’s?
    also you are fuckin amazing man period dont let anybody ever tell you different

  144. Jenna Says:

    I am literally crying.

  145. Exx0dus Says:

    It’s almost as if you can draw ink from the well of my own soul, or perhaps it’s some kind of quantum entanglement of our intangible selves. There is an often lost but immutable quality of humanity — a particular shade of honesty (and thus, beauty) present in your work.

    I am touched and I wept. Thank you.

  146. Nik Says:

    I’ve worked for several female commanders and each one treated us like her own children [or grandchildren]. When I read the line “Time grinds to a halt” I just start crying and crying, for the end of the world and missed chances and unfinished sentences. So brave, so pitiful.

  147. texas Says:

    I am figuratively crying.

  148. momo Says:

    that was really well done, and totally unexpected. kind of Niven-y.

  149. Tomas Says:

    Ok, I have two comments, one directed to the fans, and one directed to Winston.

    To the fans: If you liked this story and want to read more like them, you absolutely *MUST* read the “Battlefields” series of graphic novels written by Garth Ennis. They are a series of war stories written from the perspective of a war history geek and bleeding heart pacifist, and they are *AMAZING*.

    To Winston: I see what you did there.

    The friendly tank has a heart on it. The enemy tank is hot pink. The sky is red. Your every use of the word “armor” practically screamed “metaphor”. And it was posted in February, just under the wire.

    This is your Valentines Day comic.

  150. Dman Says:

    When I read This I was speechless.
    It was probably one of the most beautiful ,thought-provoking things I have ever had the pleasure to read

  151. August Says:


  152. Katie Says:

    This made me feel.

  153. SavCam Says:

    This is beautiful and brilliant. Inspired and inspiring (as is most of your work). I just wonder, though… is there something here that i am missing, and by that i mean, is this an allusion or a reference to a film or book or game? It just seems as though there is a greater back-story or canon i am not privy to. I love it, ir-regardless, it is emotion.

  154. Perryn Says:

    Holy shit, am I crying?
    Why am I crying? Oh my God, I’m crying
    Crap, the tears won’t stop…
    Where the hell did these tears come from!

  155. aROMAN Says:

    You are a genius and an inspiration. Your comic is easily the highest quality form of entertainment available freely on the internet, I think you’re doing a great thing, respect, thug nigga

  156. Suo Says:


  157. Hexa Says:

    This is just too beautiful. I’m touched.

    Thank you

  158. Walrus Man Says:

    Heart wrenchingly beautiful.

    Never stop drawing.

  159. Daryl Says:

    Dude you’re fucking genius, you need to be doing something more important…president maybe?

  160. Kremble Says:

    Wow. And wow. And wow.

    Your art is beautiful, because of the language. You achieve poetical levels of expression with one frame and caption which take some others pages and pages of text.

    My personal favorite is:

    “We are going to lose this war. History will jeer. We never stood a chance. Our tactics are naïve. Our armour is not thick enough. It was not made for this. We have found out who we are when it really matters most. Never have I been less ashamed of anything.”

    Dignity personified. Great work, really great.

    Congratulations on producing something beautiful and resonant. In a world where people are shouting ever louder and louder to be heard the existence of artists like yourself is a kind of wonder.

  161. Sean Says:

    Why am i tearing up?
    How the fuck does a web comic make you tear up?

  162. yriax Says:

    Oh my. This really touched me. Thank you? you are awesome.

  163. michael Says:

    Absolutely perfect. When the Recording Angel does his thousand-year round-up for God’s review, I bet he’ll flag this one up.

  164. fishboy Says:

    I keep coming back to this one. And every time it gets me. Thank you WR, thank you so much.

  165. Blade Says:

    I love your work- been reading this for a long time, and just recently went back and re-read the archives. This is the first one that actually made me cry. This is beautiful.

  166. gueibor Says:

    Man, if your work had no text I’d still be coming back to it, but this… this is sublime. I’m currently bingin on your archives, but I had to stop and say this.

  167. clearstrike Says:

    I cried. This is magic, this is like reading the Grapes of Wrath for the first time. Thank you.

  168. Bill Evans Says:


  169. Lee K-U Says:

    Many times I have questioned this, but I am indeed proud to be a human being! Your comics will forever have a place in my heart, and they will always influence me to question things that need to be questioned and realize facts that have stared me in the eyes since the moment I was born. Society is a strange fucking concept, and you the best job I have ever seen displaying it in rational terms. I fucking love you Winston, you make me feel warm and tingly inside, in this harsh and seemingly unforgiving world. Never stop creating these comics, I have read every single one and will continue to until the day that you or I die.

    Much love,
    Lee K-U

  170. jon Says:

    Amazing and moving, everything else was drowned out, the narration commanding silence and causing an introspective surge of emotion.

  171. Peter O'Toole Says:

    Unbelievably tender and moving. So poetic.Best graphic short story I’ve ever read. Your strip is what literature is becoming.



  172. Seth Says:

    This is among one of the sweetest and most profound things I’ve ever seen. For me it captures everything wonderful and simultaneously depressing about having lost a fight. The sweetness of the General to the group all come together in a final embrace, this is truly art. I have had yet to find a webcomic that brought me to tears until now. This is just amazingly wonderful.

  173. fwaf Says:

    Just amazing. You deserve great things, whatever you are

  174. Joshlyn Says:


  175. kitkatter Says:

    I know there are a few details to prove otherwise…but part of me wants to believe that the general was the brick brickhouse that was sergeant nichols. I’m kind of surprised no one mentioned her in the comments actually. (Both these particularly comix are among my favorites btw.) (Also, I am just discovering subnormality, so please, no spoilers if you respond to this por favs..)

  176. Rai Says:

    The general looks like the ‘Man-Wanter’ from that comic with the distracting maces. (With video screens)

  177. Rai Says:

    Oh, and absolutely incredible comic. My god, you are a genius.

  178. Paul LJ Catlow Says:

    There’s a soundtrack to this… Blue Öyster Cult/Michael Moorcock “Veteran of the Psychic War”. listen here:

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