August 4, 2011

New comic has arrived!


There’s a guy in London (the UK one) doing some kind of dance production this month which is based on my comic “The Last Stand” and a piece by Dinosaur Comics man Ryan North. I don’t know a lot about the show to be honest (only that i’m honored to have inspired such a thing), but anyone in London who feels like going i’d be very curious to see how it pans out. There’s more info to be had on this amusing-spelling-mistake-havin’ page right here.



182 Responses to “Summer”

  1. Joe Trudell Says:

    As usual I find myself at a loss for words. just because I don’t know what praise I can give you that I haven’t several times already. I am quite envious of your ability to express your views, which are often so similar to my own.

    Oh, and I ordered a print of the This Apartment Earth comic. One of my all time favorites. Looks good over my bookshelf

    • I’m just glad to know there are people who actually kinda share some of my views. That’s been the best part of doing these comix, just knowing that i might not actually be insane after all. PS: thanks for buying a print!!

    • Joe Trudell Says:

      You’re welcome! And thanks for making me feel a little less alone in the world. I totally relate on that whole insanity issue

    • SaschaM Says:

      I’ve started and finished reading through all of the pages earlier this year, I was working at a shitty office with a very depressing atmosphere. All that kept me going was these comics.

      I had quite a few embarassing, poorly supressed, chuckles at work in that time, it was kind of a relief to see someone sharing my maybe a bit twisted views on Life.

      For nearly a year I check for new comics most days of the week.

      Heads up from Germany. πŸ™‚

      P.S.: If you ever worry the Nazi stuff could offend any germans, fear not, it’s hilarious.

  2. Roger Says:

    Pleeeease put the big picture on a T-shirt or something. I would buy it so hard.

  3. Dominic Says:

    Oh god, all the words D: I only woke up about an hour ago, will probably come back to this later so I can actually read it – but I already love the diagrams, and the bits of text that I did read!

  4. thursdaypostal Says:

    These two are probably my favorite.

  5. Aidan Says:


  6. Elle Perigot Says:

    Okay, lets see some hands. Who else would love to be friends with the Sphinx? Someone to talk to about sociology all afternoon… that would be heaven.

    Also, I’m ashamed to admit it, but if I was walking past a television and “Beauty and the Bees” was on, I would pause. I’d probably grab a snack and watch.

  7. stryde22 Says:

    that final panel perfected it for me. these two characters are still the greatest webcomic characters ever created. never been able to connect so well with fictional characters. you have a way with words, sir.

  8. Esn Says:

    Gee… you’re really good at showing conversations. I feel like I’m there.

  9. Mo Says:

    Stop Normality!
    (Before Normality Stops You.)

    What a great name for a comic – I wonder if good ol’ Bryan came up with that one.

  10. James Says:

    I love the Calvin and Hobbes thing these guys have going. (If Hobbes ate Suzie Derkins and if Calvin had pink hair…).
    As always your dialogue and art make my day. Rock on.
    (Oh and please please please make the large shot ofnthe Spinx and the girl sitting cross legged into a print)

    • Steve Says:

      Totally agree with the C&H comparison. And I feel like the way Winston takes advantage of the “infinite canvas” is something Bill Watterson would totally approve of. He was always fighting to get more space in the papers.

    • Bill W. is pretty much The reason i’m doing what i do in life, and, like you say, he had to fight tooth and nail for just a few extra inches of page space, so i definitely try to be appreciative of this here infinite canvas i have to work with. We internet people are very lucky indeed.

  11. Sean Locke Says:

    I really like how the Assyrian guy appears in the city. ^_^

  12. Miika H Says:

    You, sir, are full of delicious win.

  13. bachterman Says:

    maybe this duo worth a long standalone comic.
    also, monster sighting.

  14. Robert Reece Says:

    Their friendship is definitely the most interesting I’ve experienced in literally any fiction genre.

    Does anyone else image Phylicia Rashad’s voice when reading for the Sphinx?

  15. zarquon Says:

    PHG ff136b!

  16. Mahk Says:

    Fantastic. As always.

  17. Mahk Says:

    …and BTW, I *really* hope you make this one into a poster!

  18. *applause*

    The side strips that punctuate the ideas are clever – like the “people watching in rural Assyria”. This is such a massive work, though, that I’m not sure where to really begin or end a comment, so I’ll just stop here.

  19. Mike Says:

    Thank you so very much for a wonderful read this morning. Subormality is a godsend.

  20. jack Says:

    love it as always. you have a real talent. keep up the good work!

  21. slashdotdot Says:

    I have read all of your strips and this is definetly one of the best. Those characters really work well together.

  22. Phil C. Says:

    This was TOTALLY worth the wait, Winston. As usual, anybody who speeds through it reading JUST the word bubbles is going to miss out on a lot of fun stuff in the background. My favorite “blink and you’ll miss ’em” bits:

    1. Explodey-Hot Girl *finally* meeting somebody who can relate to her in panel three! Yay!

    2. The bank, or whatever it is, putting up a “Please Use Other Doors” sign on the inside so nobody gets eaten by the Sphynx;

    3. “Monster Sighting” on the TV crawl;

    4. “Sketchy Cube Van” in the last panel.

    I am so happy to see these two getting along famously. I think both of them need a friend and it’s great to see them relating so well. Weird friendship, but it looks like it’s getting to be a good one. “High-five!” “That is TOTALLY how you say it.”

    Also, the bit with PHG sipping nervously at her drink and the Sphynx finally admitting “…….Okay, even MORE so.” “….I didn’t say anything!” is hilarious.

    Thanks for another great comic!


  23. rasmodeus Says:

    This was a really fun comic to read, it really brightened up the day. I like the blue windows in the background–they made me think of an aquarium.

    I laughed at the Assyrian dude walking by in the present.

    Oh by the way, her definition of “slutty” isn’t really slutty. I mean, it’s a little slutty, but not Demon-slutty. ;-P

  24. Kevin Doyle Says:

    Excellent. High-five!

  25. Edwin Says:

    Outstanding work!
    Things are really getting interesting for Sphinx and PHG. I wonder what will happen on the next monster poker night.

  26. Njam! Says:

    “High five” is indeed totally how you say it! Man, Viruscomix is always worth the wait. I especially love the little things happening in the background.
    Oh, and what does it say on that girl’s shirt in the first panel? Is it “decide on deicide”? I zoomed in real close but I still can’t tell.

  27. The Old Wolf Says:

    One of your most awesome and massive works to date!

    • Leak Says:

      I do wonder what this here Sphinx and a certain other Sphinx would have to talk about… πŸ˜€

    • Yamara Says:

      I’ve imagined Sphynx and Phix (the name just means “sphinx” in ) competing on Jeopardy!

      Sphynx would have the deductive advantage outside Phix’s Library, but Phix would literally have the upper hand in the final round, since she would not have to write with paws.

      But both Shelly and Sphynx are sphinxes that are driving their comics’ plots via personality growth, and that does make for an interesting comparison.

    • Yamara Says:

      [Phix and Bix are ancient Greek dialectical variants for “sphinx”.] -AHD

  28. Dafydd Says:

    It’s nice to see the return of the Sphinx and pink haired girl (chick, woman etc), and I loved the Assyrian and Hittite references too. Those poor Hittites never get a look in.

    On a totally unrelated (and quite bizarre) note, Viruscomix sounds like a Gallic character from Asterix – so let’s hope you don’t cross paths with Albert Uderzo at some future comicon, or he might sue you! πŸ˜‰

  29. Ludor Says:

    I love you for this.

  30. Alexander Erben Says:

    If I could marry webcomics, this’d be the one.

  31. Drgals Says:

    “Drink Beer… or be STARED at!”

  32. Definitely outdid yourself in this one. Love it, and I noticed the rural villager actually passing by (was he synthesized by the Sphynx mind)

  33. yoche Says:

    love it

  34. Absolutely gorgeous! It totally captures that feel of what makes certain conversations really nice. Kudos!

  35. Godel Fishbreath Says:

    Thank you.
    Wonderful comic.

  36. Toronto Says:


  37. DoubleW Says:

    High Five! Down Low! To Slo- hey no fair, your hand’s , like, tennis racket sized!

  38. Andrew Says:

    This is good stuff, sir. As always, but this one especially.

  39. Missed the Sphinx. Glad to see her, and the return of Pink Haired Girl.

    Love how she can question her confidence and power whilst conversing with “the monster”. How she talks a mile a minute, and then falters on one word, only to pick right back up again.

    Feel like I could smell the city’s hot, dirty pavement, despite being in an air-conditioned basement. Want a slushy.

  40. Carlos Arellano Says:

    Delightful, as usual. πŸ™‚

  41. Raphael Says:

    Your comics are so worth waiting for. πŸ™‚ I’m always so happy when a few weeks have gone by and something brings me to this site again, usually I’m linking a comic to a friend (your comics make for WONDERFUL punctuation in online discussions!), and I’m all prepared to look at the last comic again, whatever it is, cause it feels good in my head, and hey–a NEW comic is up! Ahhhh.

  42. soapy5 Says:

    Aarrggaahaaghha not the bees! not the bee!

  43. Michelle Says:

    It took me soooo long to read this strip. XD I kept having to pause for breaks. Loved it as always, though. Your stuff is always worth the extra time.

  44. Juliusz Says:

    Awsum comic, couldnt sleep so i figured i might aswell read it (firsttimer). Now im so happy and inspired i wont be able to go to sleep for a few hours more. Will have to do some drawing myself…or painting…or photo, or everything! Thanks

  45. Thank Wr, we can’t have sociological conversations with a Sphinx in these summer afternoons, sadly. But reading one is probably as entertaining.
    Thanks and keep up the good work.

  46. etnabeer Says:

    brilliant as always! I always look forward to the new strip, thanks for doing this

  47. Benji Says:


  48. Ghost Says:


  49. Robert Dorr Says:

    Thank you! This is my favorite comic, so far. (although I look forward to, and enjoy, every one)

  50. harrymason Says:

    I love this comic.

  51. Questo and Quistis' Dad Says:

    That wasn’t just a wall of text, it was like a whole house worth. Great stuff.

    STV!!!! Woooo!

  52. Deckhouse5 Says:

    Hey, I live in that city! If I end up seeing it I’ll mail you about how it went. Also I liked the dialogue in this one, especially on fashion for monsters, and the Amy Winehouse T shirt (RIP)

  53. Jeff P Says:

    If you want to randomly find topics for sociological examination, fashion is a great place. Contrary to Pink Haired Girl’s statement, those rules do come from places. And looking into those rules and where they come from is incredibly revealing. At least menswear, which as a male I’m more familiar with. Class distinctions, pollution in cities resulting in distinctions in propriety of color, formal shoes only meant to be worn indoors to show how pampered you could be, strips of fabric worn around the neck to replace giant ruffled lace, jackets design becoming ever more practical (tailored coats are quite comfortable if fitted right and made well, and last forever with those same conditions).

    So on and so forth. What we wear today has a long and rich history, and it’s worth at least exploring casually. Our first impression when meeting somebody is visual (well, not always, since that Bell guy came along), so how we present ourselves visually has always been important. As an aside, yes, even now. You slobs are sending a message. The message isn’t ‘get to know me on my merits’, it’s more of a ‘I don’t understand what messages I’m broadcasting with my presence’.

    The human mind has evolved to make snap judgments about things based on trends in our experience. That’s how we survive. If our ancestors decided that they would try and get to know that lion before it judged them, we wouldn’t exactly be here. That also means that once they’ve seen or been taught that lions kill people, they can extend that to, say, a jaguar based on similarities.

    Dark night. You’re alone on a street in some city. A black man in ghetto thug apparel is walking towards you. What are you thinking? What emotions are you feeling? Nervous?

    Now take that same man and put him in a nice, obviously high end suit with a well coordinated shirt, somewhat wrinkled, and tie. Carrying a briefcase.

    Now what thoughts and emotions are going through your mind?

    How you present yourself matters.

    Now where the hell was I? I’m just gonna end this before I get too far down the rabbit hole.

  54. Chris Says:

    This has been one of my favorite’s of yours to read, WR. Thank you a TON for the thoughtful reading.

  55. One of the best, I think. Great read!

  56. TentacledBeast Says:

    Wow, you’ve outdone yourself! That’s a massive comic, and as thought-provoking as ever. Congrats! πŸ™‚

    Clothing really is complicated for me. Far too often I fall into the “catastrophically ill-fitting” or “how the hell” categories. Fortunately, though, I rarely make the “too prudish”/”too slutty” mistake, which has more serious consequences on one’s PR. Giving off the impression that you’re slobbish or incompetent isn’t that bad… but lending to character judgements about your sexuality can come back to bite you long-term.

  57. Parker May Says:

    I’ve missed these two. Great comic!

  58. Anonymous Says:

    I love the sphinx comics, but I can’t help but feel that if I were in the pink-haired gal’s (You forget that one in the spectrum, btw ^.<) situation, most of my conversations with the sphinx would be over the morality of eating sentient beings when – especially in modern times – there are livestock instead.

  59. Gregory Says:

    I hope you do more comics featuring Sphinx and PHG. They are my favorite. Also the last panel melted my cold, cold heart.

  60. Aenea Says:

    I love this commic in particular, mostly because I find myself restricted by the same clothing standards. Oh how many times I would like to just wear something but it’s not acceptable and if I’d go on and wear what I want I’d be ridiculed and maybe even fired and all the other concecuences.

    And so we wear what we are told to, and what is acceptable. And in the end the rules don’t even make any sense. Who the hell made us think that certain shoes look ridiculous, and so on? Such a sad programming.

  61. Marrock Says:

    Gods but I love that sphinx…

  62. BigSoph Says:

    As a drone in search of a new hive, this series of strips has been enlightening (and yes, I do understand that the drone is never truly welcome after he’s done his job)
    You capture the essence, frustration and tribulations of job searching
    I lost my last job (12 years in total in 5 year and 7 year chunks) partially because I dressed too casual when the company began to shift to a more formal style
    I wore shorts and a t-shirt (always clean, fresh, non-cutoffs) because, being comfortable made me a better worker
    I guess that did not matter as much as wearing a collar…
    When I apply to many places and I see that damned ‘declare your race’ “survey” I just feel like crying. I have never known a truly good paying job, known many poor but somehow, by the virtue of my light, cancer prone skin and 3.5″ (flaccid) dangly bits, I am not welcome anywhere.

    • “I went to get a loan and they asked my race/
      I wrote down ‘human’ inside the space “

    • Rob Says:

      The race question is usually mandated by govt as part of theoretical effort to detect bias in lending through analyzing statistics gathered from answer to race question– not because lenders want it there.

  63. angelica Says:

    I love how Sphinx and the pink haired girl bond together. If they were here, I would totally want to be friends with them. πŸ™‚

  64. natnie Says:

    The job thing, and the clothes thing… I really identified with. I got fired from my last job for something that didn’t affect my work but affected how others saw me, and since then – a month ago – I’ve been half-heartedly looking for a new one. But there is a good chunk of me that doesn’t want another job, at least not for a while. It’s frustrating, because I do need money… it’s just losing my job has damaged my self-esteem to the point where I’ve just lost the will to find another.
    Good to know that others feel the same way sometimes.

  65. DaveB Says:

    This strip really made me happy, WR. Pink Haired Girl and the Sphinx in an extended rap on the oddities of human society. Heaven. Outstanding illustrations and brilliant commentary. Thank you.

  66. John Loo Says:

    Damn… I’m a guy but I totally think and feel like Pink Haired Girl. Great comic by the way, better than the previous one. Not saying the previous one wasn’t good, but it just wasn’t up to Winston Rowntree standards, you know?

  67. Jeff t Says:

    i love the last panel!! ” “high five” is that how you say it? That is totally how you say it.”

  68. TF Says:

    Truly a great piece of work, Winston πŸ™‚
    Thoroughly enjoyed it, great to see these two characters (my favourites) again!

  69. Robert Says:

    And an appearance of the sexy nerd girl (wearing the AC/DC shirt). Is she with the older guy in the same shirt, or are they just randomly crossing paths?

  70. Korie Says:

    Again, this comic get’s me through the longer parts of the day as well as giving me something to chew on in my minds craw for the remainder of the day. Wonderful,wonderful wonderful.

  71. Llyander Says:

    Love this one. For the record, I simply adore the strips of the two of them talking, they’re such a fascinating pair.

  72. Steve Says:

    *Accidentally goes to VirusComix home page instead of Vimeo, checks to see if a new comic is up. Delight that there is. Winds up reading THE MOST EPIC, THEMATICALLY SPRAWLING AND WELL-WRITTEN SUBNORMALITY SINCE CHRISTMAS EVE IN THE FUTURE.*
    Though this definitely beats XMas Eve in the end. I would say I’d have no problem with you devoting the rest of Subnormality to this pair, but as some of the panels here show, they are so much just part of this huge, weird, awesome world you’ve created at this point, and the standalone comics are often just as good, that it would be a shame to lose any of it, no matter how awesome the Sphinx and Pink-Haired Girl Show would be.

  73. Thomas Says:

    Wow, this comic is awesome, even by this site’s high standards! I want to print this one and stick it on my door at the office…

  74. Christina Says:

    Wonderful πŸ™‚

  75. orion1836 Says:

    Absolutely wonderful! Always nice to stumble onto a good LONG comic. Thanks for all the extra time and effort it required!

  76. Nick Says:

    Never stop making comics. Ever.

  77. A Says:

    This seriously made my night after a shitty and stressful day. I’m gonna sleep better now. You improve lives WR πŸ˜‰

  78. Andrew Says:

    PHG and the Sphinx are the driving engines of Subnormality. Don’t get me wrong, all of the characters have something to say, and with such a broad universe I know you can’t (and I really wouldst want you to anyway) focus on just to characters. Still, I’m glad we got to check in with them. I always smile a bit as soon as I see it’s going to be a PHG/Sphinx strip. Keep up the good work!

  79. fishboy Says:

    This is superb and a delight. Your characters’ conversations are entirely enthralling and you get every nuance right. Well done WR πŸ™‚

    But I’m still sad about Amy Winehouse.

  80. Storm Boy Says:

    Truly a comic for our age… I’ve been looking forward to the next PHG and this one was a deep delight!

  81. Rolland Bell Says:

    This page is definitely one of my all time favourites of yours. I’m so happy that you’re still around and have the time to delight us all with Subnormality every so often. I hope you never tire of it. I’ve grown very fond of your style and humour.

    Thank you.

  82. Mark O'Leary Says:

    Fantastic (as usual). Is it boring when you always hit home runs? By the way, this one seems longer than many other entries. Is that so? I appreciate it.

  83. HMason Says:

    Love it. Best one in a while, I’d say. Not that they ever suck.

  84. Hippie Says:

    I wish I had a sexy, 10-foot tall, people-eating monster as a friend.
    We’d be so chill, man.

  85. Luke Says:

    I love the depth that this comic went into. It’s been a while since we’ve had familiar characters just going into detailed conversation like this, and on the note of conversation I’d like to mention that I realized halfway through this comic what a talent for natural-feeling yet incredibly interesting dialogue you have.

    Aside from that I was very pleased with the length, every time I felt like the comic was about to tragically end it kept going.

  86. Lionet Says:

    That was very heartwarming. I smiled. Thank you.

  87. Pleasant conversation and/or a listening to some old records. I’m unsure why I’m commenting on this particular story, but it has that equal balance of self destructive/constructive I have been looking for in my current life. Especially in the (almost) last 3 years, my younger self would become equally confused as well as relieved with how much self discovery was made. But at what cost of that gain, when it too brings further wreckage and harm. Can’t build something, without filling the previous problem with another new problem. Something liveable enough.

    Thank you very much.

  88. benS. Says:

    Amazing Sphinx!

    3000 years of unhealthy red meat diet, and still not a sign of senility. Is she taking acupuncture or voodoo or something?

    About that clothing puzzle: I could as well throw darts about the whole thing, to be honest. And then I don’t even live in a landlocked country. Or state. Huh.

    One more doughnut, please.

    ben, amateur spellcaster
    AA+? – Nuke them!

  89. Bernhard Says:

    Great one!

  90. Otter Says:

    A good talking about everything that comes to mind. Man, I love those moments (if I have a good partner) πŸ™‚

    I just had the slight idea that maybe Winston isn’t a male as the pseudonym would imply. But as with the author of Oglaf we probably will never know.

    • As far as i know Trudy Cooper is all woman

    • Paul Says:

      I’ve had the same feeling (not from this particular comic, but from others past). Maybe WR is just particularly good at seeing things from a woman’s perspective.

      Or perhaps WR is actually a collective of writers and illustrators working to produce these massive comics under the guise of a one-man show. Because when I see comics like this, I am so very impressed with how much thought and hard work went into it.

    • radiant Says:

      Otter> I just had the slight idea that maybe Winston isn’t a male as the pseudonym would imply.

      Hint: to find out Mr. Rowntree’s true name, donate monies.

      Paul> Or perhaps WR is actually a collective of writers and illustrators…

      No way. Two words: art evolution. You don’t get this with a collective.

      Also: “monster sighting” = awesome.

    • Paul Says:

      @radiant I have a couple times and I still have doubts. And my comment about WR being a collective was a joke about the effort put into these comics πŸ™‚

  91. helen Says:

    that was really lovely… i love reflecting on society.

    i also just wanted to say–i really liked the single large panel with just the two of them; it was really beautiful.

    well done.

  92. Martin Says:

    Y’know, I’m sure I’m far from the first person to suggest this — but very soon you’ll be able to do a book featuring the Sphinx and her fuchsia-haired friend. And it would rock the Solar System, Wr, it truly would.

    When I started typing I was going to suggest you do a graphic novel, but hell, our multimorphic miss’s adventures and dialogues are already it — and have artistic and literary merit at a stratospheric level, absolutely. Just a thought for you. That and — please don’t ever retire. Not even if you amass the riches you deserve.

  93. The Steel Climber Says:

    Starting off I wanted to say (kinda of corny) but I really like your comics. Also (corny) I really feel for the pink haired character in your comic! Have always been a big fan just never have had the courage to write it down.

  94. Finnegan Says:

    One of your best, sure enough. πŸ˜€

  95. Liz Says:

    Hey your comics, they are just fucking incandescent.

  96. cbobgo Says:

    Wow so much to love in this one. Totally enjoyed the story/text but laughed out loud at the stuff going on in the background – the people not wanting to come out the door and the guy putting up the sign to use other doors, the biker running into the pedestrian, the rural Assyrian walking through town, it was all really great! Thanks!

  97. Libertariandude Says:

    Society is certainly complicated. But I prefer to see it as evidence of the unbelievable richness of the human spirit. Actually, when I think about it, I’m even more surprised society is not even more complicated. Each person over the planet is a universe in itself (it’s corny, but I’m feeling kind of corny today). That’s why collectivism will never work (I didn’t mean to get political, my train of thought just got me there). And after all, it only affects you if you choose to care. Unless some idiotic employer (like, most of them) frowns upon your pink hair. And that (d**n it) takes us again to your right to personal freedom and individualism…

    I used to think I would ask PHG out in a heartbeat if I were to run into her, but now, I’m kind of hesitant. Would her new friend eat me if I’m late, or something?

  98. badnewsbrown Says:

    I’ve only been reading this comic for a short while, but I am in love. thanks

  99. brian Says:

    This one was very excellent, Mr Rowntree…

    It did take me a minute to realize that those number things on the bottom of the billboard things was a stock ticker. Now _there’s_ a concept that I hope looks really fucking loony to people in like 700 years, the ‘value’/’worth’ of the pieces of our corporate overlords as the central organizing principle in our existence.

  100. Kelly Says:

    super awesomely awesome! I love the alien/monster. Way cool dude.

  101. Gabriel Lez Says:

    Absurdly excellent! So good that I felt sad when reaching the ending of this strip.

  102. Yamara Says:

    “Nobody’s twenty.”
    –Jack Lemmon as failed garment manufacturer Harry Stoner, Save the Tiger (1974)

    Wow. What to unpack, indeed.

    There is something I’ve wanted to mention for some time, but it is in the nature of webcomics that foreshadowing risks spoilers, or worse, influences the artist to try to say something else, or add unnecessarily to what they were going to say. So I’ve kept my keyboard quiet (or at least cryptic) for many months now.

    And after a couple of days of ruminating in Notepad, I’ve decided it’s still not the right moment to say it. Suffice to say that a character has already voiced my observation, and I am enjoying the working of Sphynx’s mind too much to interrupt her line of inquiry. But there are a couple important elements presented in the current strip that I can point out.

    The two panels following the timelines are perhaps the most pivotal of Subnormality. The number of shout-outs to previous–especially seminal–episodes is blinding. There are several throughout this strip, but the ones packed masterfully among the jokes in these two panels are are a reference royal flush.

    The only one I’m going to point out in specific is this one…

    Please Use Other Doors: The figure slinking away inside seems very reminiscent of the character in “Take the Tightrope (The Circle of Life)”– the tightrope being the path of courageous. The figure is looking at Pink, not at Sphynx, because she is doing something amazingly brave, as her body bakes untouched in the town square.

    Well, I’ve gotten hours, even days of enjoyment out of this episode, Winston. Thank you. And “Stay Beautiful”.

  103. Radwaste Says:

    Winston, in addition to the others, please read my plea for a t-shirt with the Sphynx which says, “You taste exactly the same, for what it’s worth.”

  104. pG Says:

    Whoa! A Time-Travelling Assyrian. Cool!

  105. Tuco Says:

    A long read, but it was worth it! I noticed in the big no-borders panel, the body positioning of PHG was drawn very well. You’re getting better, although your old nemesis of hands gave you some trouble in a couple of the panels.

    Also, the details were extra funny, especially the monster sighting, the acdc shirts, and the bike crash

  106. Courtney Says:

    I love how many words you use, don’t ever stop! πŸ™‚

    I always look forward for the next update, the sphynx is definitely my favourite character from any comic so far.

  107. Massive Attack Says:

    Hey there. Hope the World has been treating you well.

    I’m around East London at the moment and would love to go see that show. If you have any questions or things you need me to do then I’d be happy to participate. I am your vessel!

    All the best!

  108. Richter Says:

    I’m offended by the Sphynx’s comments. As a young canadian male, I taste of Alexander Keith’s pale ale and bacon with a pleasant aftertaste of poutine. She doesn’t know what she’s missing.

  109. Sarah Says:

    Pages like this with endless speculation about society are why I follow this comic. Keep it coming!

  110. Julien Brightside Says:

    A good read as usual. Just love the comics with the sphynx in it.

  111. I’v been reading for a while Winston but this is the first time I’ve posted. I just want to say how amazing both the story and art in this strip was some of your best yet.

  112. Jake Says:


  113. Kathleen Says:

    Holy shit, this was a good one.

  114. Benji Says:

    Is that an Amy Winehouse shirt she’s wearing?

  115. Magnanimous Says:

    What a great ending. Awesome comic, Winston.

  116. Merce Says:

    It’s awesome how you take things that lots of people have surely thought of at some point of their lives, and make them look like a revelation. Perspective, they call it?

  117. JCBS Says:

    That’s another great read right there.

  118. johnny Says:

    i can’t even begin to give this work the praise and reflection it deserves, so let me just say this: i fucking love their bromance.

  119. Leo W. Says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Subnormality is the best thing on the entire internet.

  120. randomcommenter#2892113001 Says:

    Interesting stuff.

  121. Robert T Says:

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Sphinx and Pink-haired Girl as a wallpaper. That center panel look pretty cool.

    Thanks for all your hard work. Great comic!

  122. jesterraiin Says:

    Impressive length. πŸ˜‰

    Wielkie dziΔ™ki.

  123. ishintouch Says:

    I went to The Yard last night, to the contemporary dance performance. It wasn’t so far from my place. There must have been other fans of your work around? People in London always compliment my subnormality T-shirt… it’s the kind of image people think they know from somewhere.

    I’ve been going to some contemporary dance here and there and starting to get a feel for it though I’m not really qualified to judge. I enjoyed it – the show was split into two half hour segments each based on a respective comic. The Last Stand was staged in red light with three performers. One person would lead with a monologue and a movement and the other two would follow slightly behind in a kind of round-robin. At some point it became quite trance-like and I wondered what kind of context other members in the audience were creating for the piece. The Middle East? Relationship metaphor? Probably not far flung intergalactic war. I thought relying on the themes and hinting at the source material was definitely a strength, and I found it pretty inspiring that people would attempt something like this. I would recommend it to anyone able to go to tonight’s performance, and The Yard ended up being a pretty nice venue too.

  124. Eric Reid Says:

    It’s like you snuck up and listened in on the conversations me and my twin brother have. We’re always surprised that people don’t question why society is shaped the way it is, or how many people totally accept artificial rules and definitions as if they came from some abstract, 100% true objective source. Not that I can’t see why people like having pre-made definitions to simplify their world, or enjoy tradition for the sake of tradition, just that the lack of introspection some people show is really alien to me.

  125. Eric Reid Says:

    Oh, and I’ll say that while I don’t comment often (ever?, I can’t remember if I have before), Subnormality is great! I can’t even see it as a webcomic in the traditional sense, it’s more like some glorious fusion of short story and painting that blurs the line between mediums. (Is that the right word? I mean I know comics and novels are both part of the print medium, but how to you describe the separate sub-categories within “print media?”) It’s one of the most funny and enjoyable sites I frequent.

  126. ricky Says:

    subnormality is seriously the best comic and im glad it found me!

  127. William Says:

    Definitely going to use that “passing phase” line in the near future. Don’t worry. You’ll receive full credit. (And I agree that Jack Lemmon was completely wasted in that role.)

  128. Dusty668 Says:

    Just gonna leave this here:

    Sphinxie ❀

  129. Godel Fishbreath Says:

    Ok, the monster and the girl have been seen talking together, it made the news.
    So interview her, Mr/Mz Anchorperson.
    See how she can co-exist without being eaten.
    Is she salvation or a species traitor?
    Does she influence the choice of victims? Is that murder by proxy?
    If you do not interview her, your next assignment is to get the monster’s angle on this.

    Anyway that is how it could go.
    She is now (in)famous. Any job interview will factor this in.
    She might get offers that would not have happened w/o fame.

  130. Teratarchy Says:

    Does anyone else see this kind of societal introspection as kind of Vonnegut-ish? More verbose, obviously, but the whole “things you couldn’t explain without laughing nervously” is exactly the kind of vibe I get from old Kurt.

    Also, nice cameo by the Improbably Geeky Bombshell in the third panel there. Always nice to see her.

  131. Magna Musica Says:

    Dear Mr. Rowntree.

    A really rainy day in a murky autumn-threatening Sweden just got the critical piece of wonder each day deserves.

    As many others, I am at a loss when trying to find words to express my gratitude and awe at your way of communicating views and portraying humanity and society.

    Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

    Please keep up the excellent work, and please heed the call from those above me clamouring for a t-shirt or print made of this, at least parts of it.

    I’m trying to make a selection for a larger shipment order, and this one would be one of the kickers.


  132. M Says:

    I’d say the leggings one and the “catastrophically ill fitting” one are both fine. Then again, there is no reason in the world to consult me on fashion norms.

  133. Charlie Says:

    WOW!!! I just found your comic and… WOW!! I’m not alone afterall..

  134. Johny Says:

    Love. This. Comic.

  135. Lee K-U Says:

    Never did I think that a comic could contain so many truths about society. Keep it up! I don’t know what I would do without Subnormality to point out the quirks of society every now and then!

  136. Grenville Says:


  137. James Third Says:

    I totally love this, I found it to be quite touching when the monster was talking about being blamed for stuff.

  138. Jack Says:

    crazily long…
    and silly

  139. Benjy Says:

    I would pay many dollars to have a shirt of Sphinx and PHG from that middle panel on the front and PHG doing the awkward “sip” on the back. It would be super awesome. πŸ˜€

  140. I don’t know you but I some how came here today and found your strips to be both entertaining and thought provoking on many different levels. I appreciate the uniqueness of your panels and the depth of character you achieve by not limiting yourself to single sentences and horribly proper speech patterns. I really appreciate your work and will hopefully stumble across your page in the future. Thanks for the entertaining day!


  141. Max Bass Says:

    Keep up the good work! Gotta say, I love comics, and normally webcomics just don’t do it for me, but this is really substancial. Keep up the good work!

  142. Shane Gifford Says:

    I agree with Benjy higher up in the comments, a print or t-shirt of the middle panel would be beyond awesome. This comic is one of the most inspiring, thought-provoking things I’ve read, period. Thank you a dozen times over for what you’ve done.

  143. Mystyr Nile Says:

    *raises glass*
    To friendship!

  144. Eric Schissel Says:

    I know it’s 11-years on, but there is so much right with having the Sphinx as a character in these comics…

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