Tag Team

March 29, 2011

Stuff! New comic for you at last. New one at Cracked last week also, for those interested.

be well,



158 Responses to “Tag Team”

  1. Solis Says:

    Awesome comic as always, man. I love that she has an Atmosphere ringtone as well. Really well done, thanks for the amazing comics you put out.

    • Highsox Says:

      I totally agree! Great comic as always man! I love that you represented some quality music! Anyway, keep up the awesome work, your excellent artwork and insightful messages are always great and motivating!

  2. Geiger Says:

    Can you make the green guy a recurring character? I absolutely loved him.

  3. fishboy Says:

    “Bald hair stylist marries swim champ with afro”. Snrk πŸ™‚

    Nice comic, as usual WR – it hit the mark. Ouch.

  4. Jeremy Osner Says:

    At first I had the idea the green monster’s caption was going to say “Oh God What Have I Done” and was wondering what the pinkhead had on her conscience…

    • Steve Says:

      This πŸ˜€

      I loved this one, will share it with a few friends who’re currently wondering why the UK’s economy hates them.

    • Fernando Says:

      Me too, I thought she had regretted recoloring her hair.

    • Pratt Says:

      That’s exactly what I too though it said.

  5. Irmansul Says:

    Your drawing is the most expressive I’ve seen in the little world of webcomics.

  6. Yamara Says:

    Now I want Greek alphabet refrigerator magnets.

  7. Beny Says:

    Wonderful comic, as always. Definately one of my favorite creations online these days.
    Quick correction to Yamara: the magnets are of Cyrillic (i.e., Russian) characters.
    And to the artist: well done for attention to details. πŸ™‚

  8. Leak Says:

    In before “Oh god I have no idea what to comment…”…

  9. Meghana Says:

    Its true that there exists this tag team… if only they were more inspiring rather than making us feel this way.
    On second thoughts, maybe it’s up to us to inspire ourselves from them, since we created them.

  10. Ayla Says:

    That song! My friend sent it to me a while ago and told me how much it reminded him of this comic! And now it’s in the comic! Awesome!

  11. Protagonist/Awful was *fantastic*.

  12. bullestock Says:

    I totally recognize that row of Scrabble letters.

  13. Njam! Says:

    Hahahah! I love it! This is so awes- Hey, is that the Sphynx on that picture there?

  14. james Says:

    the end reminds me of that “down and out in paris and london” book, when the author explains that hunger obliterated any thoughts of the future.

    plus he had a strange instinct to conceal his lack of money at all costs, which would mean still having to go out with friends if he couldn’t think of an excuse.

  15. Killjoy Supreme Says:

    If there was a way to make it with no money, I would not work another day in my life. Unfortunately, that is not the case

    • Belphegor Says:

      It might become a reality soon. Where I live, a political motion will soon be started to implement an unconditional base income for every citizen. The amount would be roughly half of what a regular job (mechanic, electrician, etc.) pays. To realize this, all social institutions currently provided by the state (funds for the unemployed and invalid and old people) would be shut down.

      Unfortunately, the populace of this country is very conservative, so it will probably have no chance. But you never know…

    • Belphegor: Where do you live? That sounds crazy/radical/intriguing…

    • Joe Says:

      Well that can’t possibly be in the U.S. or Glenn Beck would already be leading a mob with torches and pitchforks down the street.

  16. Steve Says:

    Hah, I just noticed “The pink haired girl’s named is ha just kidding”…we never will find out her name will we?

    • Quothz Says:

      Are you serious? Her name is E. It’s easy enough to spot if you’re observant.

    • Quothz Says:

      Whoops, stupid stripped-out formatting. That was supposed to be “E*coughmumblemumble*”. Her name -starts- with ‘E’, it isn’t ‘E’.

  17. Marc Says:

    Welp, this is me right now.

  18. Edwin Says:

    Oh god i have no love… i guess is implied in oh god i’m wasting my life? I don’t think the green guy is much a problem, money can’t give what i really want.

    • Joe Says:

      Eh, money isn’t everything, until you don’t have any. Then it’s a problem. I like to think someday we can have a Star Trek style utopia where you don’t need money. Sadly we’re nowhere close to that yet. In the meantime you have to find some kind of balance between not wasting your life and not starving.

  19. Sutowato Says:

    Very true, except I find there is also a third monster (who must be Blue) called “I have no time for anything”. He takes over for Green but either way, Red makes an appearance often.
    Why has no one has mentioned the lack of text! Are you sick Mr Rowntree?

    • James G Says:

      Yeah, the ‘no-time’ monster was my first thought on reading this as well. Very closely related to the no-money monster, as he induces guilt for doing fun stuff. Obviously the no-time monster becomes more dominant when I have a lot of ‘serious’ stuff on my plate. Doesn’t stop me wasting time procrastinating though.

    • Yeah, i definitely had considered the I Have No Time monster as well. And as for the lack of walls of text, don’t worry, they’ll be back!

    • Joe Says:


  20. Ben Says:

    I’m so glad you updated… I’ve been sick all day and work has been dragging my soul into the depths of the netherworld…. but the one panel of the green monster sitting across from PHG while she was working on her laptop genuinely made me giggle. Thanks WR. ^_^

  21. Will Says:

    WOO! Atmosphere! This comic is now even better!

  22. Andreas Fuchs Says:

    Ouch. On the positive side, I would pay for that WIИ shirt, money or no (-:

  23. YEM Says:

    You’re truly the best

  24. Zac C. Says:

    As usual your dedication to background details is both commendable and unusual. =]
    I like the punchline, too. Laugh aloud, I did.

    So, idea: Job Hunting. Maggie (magenta hair girl?) there and… the Sphinx! They’re about equally employable and it’s an excuse to have wackiness ensue and to examine the plight of the unqualified talented.

    It occurs to me the Sphinx makes an interesting allegory for the predatory perspective of the person increasingly separated from society and it’s benefits. I was thinking on what the deal would be if she stopped eating people, and the first thing that came to mind was Money.
    People are free eats. Other white meats, less so.
    Financial straits in my city of residence are pretty damn dire, and there’s been a spate of bank robberies. That’s sort of like the Sphinx’s dining habits; surprisingly safe because most banks have their employees drilled to give up the well-insured money quickly and quietly, but ultimately a gamble because Life Happens at 1500 feet-per-second sometimes.
    Anyway, just my inspired rambling. I rather adore Subnormality when it’s not about the state of the music industry, and lawdy lawdy I know Maggie’s blues.

  25. Sheedy Says:

    By gum, sir. Excellent. For me it’s the red monster, and a bright magenta one called “I never have any time”. This is one of those urls I shall save to favourites.

  26. Erdosain Says:

    I imagined the last “come on!” in an Arrested Development tone. It made the comix even better. You’re great!

  27. ben Says:

    Props for repping achewood. Even though chris is taking a break i still find there’s endless novelty in rerererereading the vast archives

  28. BigSoph Says:

    Please stop spying on me just so you can make great comic strips…

  29. Luis Says:

    I’ve seen a very similar korean(I think) comic recently. The monster represented suicide though.

  30. Not only was the monster brilliant (and it still took me til the three successive panels to get the message, ’cause I’m a bimbo) but you even threw in the Eltingville club

    Our babies would be geeky and artistic.

    Just saying.

  31. Eddie Wardo Says:

    These two monsters and the one from two comics ago really piss me off. Especially the later one,that condescending prick. Anyway I wanted to say that Subnormality is my favorite webcomic, and don’t you ever, EVER stop!

    Also, was that Golgo 13 in the first panel? I never imagined you as a fan of the Duke.

  32. ori_b Says:

    if i turn around and look the monster will be there

  33. Rex Says:

    tight work. i disagree with some minor points on the videogames comic- but i might just be in too deep.

  34. DoubleW Says:

    That’s it, I’m naming her Phigg.

    Normal names means normal expectations.

  35. Paul Says:

    This comic…speaks to me.

  36. Nester64 Says:

    This is one of your most artistically pleasing comics to date.

    all it takes is practice to get the level of realism that your characters and objects show

    it takes talent to add the right details to that level of _realism_ that this comic shows.

    I really liked the “clutter” in your scenes that make this look _real_, gol durn it. I cant stress this enough. It looks like you took photo’s of these events,copied them, and added the monsters and colors to fit a comic book format. just, just awesome.

  37. Esn Says:

    Russian letters on the fridge? This, combined with your intimate knowledge of the Moscow Metro in the “Tetris” comic, makes me suspect that you may be a fellow Russian Γ©migrΓ© Torontonian.

    Also, really nice comic…

  38. James Says:

    In completion of what Leak Says,

    Oh god I have no idea what to comment…

  39. Stefan Says:

    I guess we all have some of these monsters – scarily accurate representation what it feels like to be haunted by them.

  40. Otter. Says:

    Where did all the love go?
    I don’t know, I don’t know.

    Bonus point for referring one of my favourite band πŸ™‚

  41. The Old Wolf Says:

    I wish I could read all the “clutter” – some of it is just too small for my poor weak eyes to make out. All of it has significance somewhere, and adds so much to the overall effect. Nice work this week!

  42. James Says:


  43. Questo's Dad Says:

    How did “Fire” get into my head? HA! Didn’t even notice that I noticed the Kasabian shirt. The power of subnormality is clearly unquenchable.

  44. Jon Says:

    This pretty much sums up my situation at the moment, like, right this second even as I’m home for the week to save money but missing out on going out with friends. It does feel like a tag-team beatdown, I feel like I’m gonna end up skint or end up bored out of my mind or a poor compromise between the two. The lack of resolution kinda hammers it home too, came away feeling way more depressed than I think maybe I should have. Normally you find a perspective that makes everything seem right in the world, maybe there is no resolution to this one (except earn more money maybe?). Keep them coming though, update-day is always a highlight of my week,

  45. Stef Be Says:

    Ah, been there. So many times. You captured the feeling perfectly.

  46. GerryB Says:

    There’s often something on my mind, and now they’re going to be big, hairy dayglo somethings. Lovely piece, which for some reason leaves me with the Sesame Street theme tune ringing my earbells.

  47. GerryB Says:

    Also – lovely thought leaving the Something’s text unavoidably legible in the mirror at the beginning.

  48. Matthew Abel Says:

    This comic represents my life much of the time. Well, the two thoughts do anyway.

  49. apotheosis Says:

    I would like the “WIN” shirt, please.

  50. NoVan Says:

    Hey, Cyrillic refrigerator magnets! When I took Russian some years ago, they totally had those! Memories.

  51. Chuck Says:

    How did she get the strap of her bag looped around the chair frame like that?

  52. Weston Says:

    Congratulations, this is now my new favorite site on the web. Bookmarked, saved, and soon to be talked about with my friends.

  53. Radishes are nice Says:

    your work lately has been great, seems you are getting more attention too which must be good for money..?
    but yeah you’re one of the reasons i’m an internet junkie D:

  54. jdub Says:

    man 62 kool was the shit

  55. Random Person Says:

    Just got to say that your art/drawing style is incredible. Details at the movie theater, kitchen (window with curtain holders but no curtains), breadbox, handbag on floor, clothes etc. are excelent. Love it! Story and humor is spot-on.

    As they say… Keep up the good work! πŸ™‚

  56. JesterRaiin Says:


  57. benS. Says:

    Very nice WR!
    Back on track from last weeks’ > -type tutorial (I liked the pole dancer, for some reason).

    Do we all need a couple of medium size phobias to keep on struggling? One at a time, changing guard now and then for maximum effect.

    SHOULD THERE BE even worse monsters in your own fucking doll box, try the following words of wisdom:

    Concentrate and avoid mystakes.

    Win the future.

    War is peace.

    Not yet certified Svejk.

  58. Illuminatus Says:

    This pretty much sums up my life cycles. It. Is. Brilliant.

  59. Christian Says:

    Dammit. I mean, this is me right now. There’s not even… How the hell did you do that?

  60. Sebastian. Says:

    Oh, look, a comic about my female equivalent.


  61. Adam Says:

    Feels exactly like my life right now. Hooray.

  62. I don’t want you to think that I missed the point of the comic, but I want Greek alphabet fridge magnets.

  63. Innogen Says:

    Yup, the “Oh God I’m Wasting My Life” monster keeps following me around.

  64. Christopher Norton Says:

    Dagnabbit, I’ve got those guys following me around too. And they keep avoiding the pit traps I dig for them…clever bastards.

  65. government spy Says:

    Now I want to have a WIN tshirt.

  66. That last panel is hillarious!

    Funniest stuff I’ve read in weeks man!

    Oh and yeah, I can imagine a whole team of those guys πŸ™‚

  67. The Leopard Says:

    Hey Winston,

    I’ve been a big fan of your comic for a few years, but never really had anything to say until now. First I want to say how much I love everything about your work – your art, your too-many-words, your (relevant!) ideas/perspectives. Your comic epitomizes for me everything great about webcomics. I can honestly say that Subnormality isn’t just my favourite current webcomic, but a highlight to my day.

    Now that I’ve finished gushing praise all over you (sorry ’bout your shoes…) I want to mention what everyone’s missed: you drew the band your sister’s in, “Ladies of the Canyon”, into the 7th panel! (That’s an “LOTC” on the stage curtain, right?) From ladiesofthecanyon.com/photos/6-london-january-2011, first pic. Hard to believe nobody else got it…

    Anyway, keep up the stellar work. (And I would totally buy the Ab/Sub-normality comics if you printed them.)

    • Yeah, LOTC is it, glad someone noticed! And thanks so much for the ultra-kind words, which were in fact the highlight of MY day.

    • Ben Zyl Says:

      I just spotted it and came here to check, only took me five odd years and a dozen re-readings, got there eventually though!

  68. Brittney Says:

    Are you stalking me?

  69. Sten Says:

    Nice one Winston,

    As one who has found himself long-term unemployed on more than one occasion, I can but nod in understanding of the predicament in which our pink-haired heroine is trapped.

    Great strip, as per usual.

  70. guilherme Says:

    GOD! Are you living my life???

  71. Richter Says:

    He he… nice one. Uncomplicated, but stuffed with little details.

    The big blonde girl to the far left in the movie theater = pure hotness. She looks awesome, love her. And the two guys next to her look like the dudes from the hockey comic. Maybe they locked Brian up in the closet again? πŸ™‚

    Can someone explain the ending to me? I don’t understand it. Red Monster says “Yes! Woo!” I don’t get it. What’s the idea?

    • Dan Plaat Says:

      when young and pennieless, one was the freedom to go out when one wants, do anything and have the time to pursue what makes you happy, movies, scrabble, etc, then you realize you need money and get a job that drains your time, energy and drive. And the re guy is more of a nag then the green guy. The moral is to not fall into the trap of doing a job you don’t like. The restaurant job our heroine took for example.

  72. Anna Ruddick Says:


  73. Dan Plaat Says:

    Another year and I’m out of college, I am so afraid of this. not love, but this, My hope is I get a job that makes some money but is also not a waste of my life. I know some people who have so, I have some hope, but the punch line is awesome

  74. Richter Says:

    Mr Rowntree, side-thanks for making me discover a great band. I just listened to their songs and they’re awesome (and from my hometown too!). I’m a budding bass player and that contrabass chick made me all kinds of admirative/flustered/in awe. Gonna go buy their CD.

  75. pG Says:

    Stop recording our lives Wince!
    They don’t seem to be running a Tag Team on me. They ganged up about 3 jobs in. Must be the move from Finance to Mining that did it. At least now the explosions scare them off πŸ™‚
    On a aside – You can now add that WIN t-shirt to my list of must have’s.

  76. Olivier Says:

    woo-hoo… I found the Nine Inch Nails reference, on the T-shirt!
    Winston, this comic is a treasure, full of little surprises. What a joy…

  77. Maury Says:

    Hi – I just stumbled across your work because of a link on a . . . well, here:


    And let me say, this is good stuff! Funny! Quality . . . I’ve already linked two to friends.

    Thanks, thanks very much for sharing your cleverness with us.

    Maury, 43, NYC teacher. (Thought you’d want to know your demographic.)

  78. Deckhouse5 Says:

    Dear WR,
    I’ve been reading for 2 years (best thing on the net, by the way) and only now have I ever seen another Virus Comix under Search results
    I saw the art and devil girls and thought it might be another project, but then I saw the girls’ anatomy and fanservice and changed my mind.
    Is the name just a coincidence, or are you affiliated with these guys somehow? (PS sorry for the annoying questions)

  79. Paul Says:

    Oh GOD! I want both of them as a plushie! Perfect for the kids!

  80. Tomas Says:

    Get out of my head, Winston!

    You should apply for a MacArthur Genius Grant.

  81. Rebecca Says:

    She and I have way too much in common.

  82. Thomas Says:

    While I hate to see PHG suffer, this comic is pure win.

  83. Kyle Says:

    Ha! Pink Haired Girl is watching Welcome to Eltingville, don’t know if that was done on purpose or not. Either way awesome.

  84. Jay Says:

    How fortunate that not all work is a waste of time…

  85. Gask Says:

    That was quite good.

  86. green Says:

    this rocked so hard. I just busted out laughing at work, so forgive me if I don’t thank you.


  87. W74 Says:

    I really want to see zoomed in versions of your comics because I feel like there are tiny jokes hidden in there. Like the book titles in this one, I can’t quite make out what they say.

  88. TentacledBeast Says:

    Let’s hope my new job doesn’t give me that feeling…

  89. Everdark Says:

    The “no money” dude looks cute πŸ˜‰

  90. Ashcrexl Says:

    I love that there’s a shirt that simply says Achewood. Like, no other design or anything, just Achewood.

  91. J Says:

    Well I guess I’m not the only one then.

  92. PB Says:

    Wow she’s lucky there’s only one at a time. With me, they come in clusters. Good thing they like beer!

  93. ndnx Says:

    I liked her hair more when it was the other style. =P

  94. JTWIlson Says:


  95. Pratt Says:

    The T-shirt of the heavyset dude in the theater totally reminded me I should get more Kasabian. Great group!

  96. mintytwist Says:

    ‘you’ was playing on my itunes when I read this. I flipped out more than a little ^^.

  97. ThatAssholeOverThere Says:

    Pink Hair Girl’s face in the last panel is priceless.
    You, my good sir, make me jealous of your skill to no end. I will give you fair warning and say that I’m going to eat you to gain your power. Bathe in steak sauce tonight.

  98. Bavette Says:

    Why so self conscious?
    I’ve got a “just anything job” and it ain’t no hard shit. I just feel glad to have money and being able to be part of society.

  99. Andrey Says:

    I know how this feels… sadpotatoes

  100. Brent Says:

    90 percent of the people I knew in high school had no idea what they wanted to do with their lives. I didn’t relate to them at all.

  101. Ethan Says:

    These comics are so addicting, plus I love that song.

  102. Anonymous Says:

    This girl needs a hobby. Particularly one that will earn her a sense of purpose.

  103. Edt Says:

    Loved the strip. It was both funny and something that i could relate to:))

  104. Robin James Says:

    So much funnier, cleverer, and more appealing than the one after it. I actually laughed out loud at the punchline.

  105. mike Says:

    oh hella mothafuckin ya, atmosphere reference FTW

  106. Bondo Says:

    Nice! Eltingville on the TV! I love your stuff!

  107. Max Says:

    I find myself very curious as to the nature of Pink Haired Girl’s family or lack thereof.

  108. Robert Says:

    Oh gawd, this is so effin accurate, it frightens me. I even listen to fucking Atmoshpere.

  109. Mariana.Zaharia Says:

    verry verry nice πŸ™‚ !!!

  110. Carl Williams Says:

    Been a while since I looked in, and now there are several new comix to look at. Made my day!

  111. Cody Says:

    im diggin the atmosphere lyrics.
    subliminally adds to the depressing urban-truth-vibe of subnormality. haha.
    i like these comics cause were all actually bitches. hahahaa.
    winston you’re the bomb.

    you’re slug in comic form.

    alright time for work….

  112. Dylan Says:

    I love how in the sixth (…third?) panel, the bankrupt monster is on the roof of a distant building, like, “Hullooooo!!”

  113. Terry Banks Says:

    I would never in a million years have expected to see Atmosphere lyrics in Subnormality! I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, Atmosphere tends to touch on a lot of the same themes as this strip does. Still, it made my day. Thanks!

  114. Zette Says:

    Hey! How did you get those two to leave my house for awhile? They’re like, always hanging around, you know?

  115. Joseph Says:

    Perfect ring tone for the frazzled ex-waitress. I love all the details that make the world outside of your comic’s panels alive.

  116. ninenumbers Says:

    hey that’s “you” by atmosphere… love him

  117. Anita Says:

    hmmm, if only our fears and frustrations would just be floating outside of us and not eating us alive from within..how much easier life would be

  118. Kelly Says:


  119. BuddhaS Says:

    This is frighteningly my life. The monster at the end is accurate as hell.

  120. AndyPandy Says:

    I love the Atmosphere song reference. That song, specifically, is my favorite.

  121. joshua Says:

    Arghhhhhhhhhhhhh! This is me! Right now! Replying to ads on gumtree seem to be broken or something? Oohhh look a job on the horizOH GOD I’VE WASTED OVER A DECADE OF EDUCATION.

  122. Gerald Fnord Says:

    Were the guys doing the political ads from Eltingville?

  123. Mystyr Nile Says:

    Poor Pinkie! 😦

  124. Sofu Says:

    Sometimes I feel like I’m being watched…and now it’s been confirmed.

  125. Jack Says:

    Wait, this is unusual; where’s the wall of text and very overt lesson?

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