down at the celestial megapalace

September 17, 2011

Okay, so i’m back with some more Non-Brevity (TM) for y’all, so please find it here. Hurrah? Hurrah.

-The Most Interesting Link in the World-

I don’t always read comix, but when i do i prefer Akimbo Comix. Friggin’ great stuff, i reckon.

Until next time,



102 Responses to “down at the celestial megapalace”

  1. DoneBlock Says:

    Why must Pink Haired Wifey be Sod’s law’s plaything? and how am I sympathising with someone who isn’t real? damn you’re good.

  2. Harry Says:

    SO. MANY. REFERENCES. *Headexplodes*

    • SuckMyComment Says:

      yeah, I’ve never seen Estar the bounty hunter chick ever referenced in Subnormality before. loved it. think i might re-read estar goes to heaven now.

  3. SuckMyComment Says:

    O’ Rowntree, how you make me lol.

  4. Jo-ou Says:

    I was digging the cameos (certain bounty hunter especially) until the friggin Ultrasmurfs.

    I expected better, Rowntree.

    • Benjy Says:

      I thought about that… this comic was about the emperor of the universe… 40K’s leader is the God Emperor…? Lol. Awesomeness. Should have been a Blood Angel though. šŸ˜€

    • I dunno, i really liked that “Chaos Gate” game, so i used the blue ones.

    • Benjy Says:

      Hey Winston, we should play video games one day. Any chance you have a xbox and or a gamer tag you’d be willing to share?

  5. XenoVega Says:

    Hi all šŸ™‚

    I loved this strip because the whole ideal of th Emperor of the Universe is so sci-fi… and if all kinds of weird things must happen to the pink-haired lady, all the better for it!

    Could you guys please write all the references you see? The only thing I can recognize, sort of, is the reference to the film Flash Gordon on the very first frame (planet Earth as acquired target). What are all the others?

  6. There are references to characters of this very strip. Example: The green girl from hell.

  7. Elaborate Says:

    Wow. That was awesome šŸ˜€

  8. Joe Trudell Says:

    Yeah, pretty sure that’s my boss too. Probably the one fucking with my keyboard too. Excellent work sir!

  9. Alexander Erben Says:


  10. The Old Wolf Says:

    For everyone who has ever worked in retail, or a restaurant, or for any boss at all, or with any segment of the public, or who has ever lived on earth. Quoted for supreme, incontrovertible truth. He is out there.

  11. monsterzero Says:

    Nice use of interrobang in panel six.

  12. Dear Winston,
    I have not laughed as long and hard at a cartoon in ages.
    The Modesto Kid

  13. TF Says:

    Flash Gordon refer–

    I was wondering why he looked (and yelled) so much like Brian Blessed šŸ™‚

    Most excellent.

  14. kurdt Says:

    I think this is one of the best Subnormalitys so far! And also…Captain Estar!

    If you guys have not read that yet, go now!:

  15. Njam! Says:

    Oh god, that was so depressing. And wonderful. And Waiter T-Rex. And I’m pretty sure that’s Sphinx there. But seriously, now I’m kinda bummed out. I think I’ll re-read it when I’m in a better mood.

    • Wulf Says:

      Oh, THERE’S the Sphinx.
      First time I saw that panel I thought the guy was in a planet of…animate chef hats or flying/flaying muffins.

  16. oomu Says:

    I love your comics and your characters (as the pinky haired girl, the sphinx, the daemons girls and so on). They have a lot of depth and silliness in them, like people.

    yes, sometimes your stories are depressing but in the end wonderful. I think it’s a good thing.

  17. Luke Says:

    The Captain Estar cameo made me smile.

  18. Benjy Says:

    Also, hot dayum it’s been too long since I’ve had internet access. It was lovely catching up on the comics I’ve missed the past month and a half. And I see what you’re doing with this whole “prints” business… you refuse to release a book and thus leave me with no option but to buy all the posters (this: ) and put it in a giant portfolio to read forever.

    Or you could make a book. šŸ˜€ Please?! ^_^

    Lots of love. Let us know when the video of the theatrical performance of Subnormality gets posted somewhere. ā¤

  19. Edwin Says:

    Fantastic comic! I was hoping Sphinx would jump in out of nowhere and save PHG bit it seems she saved herself by dooming all of her former comrades.

  20. Otter Says:

    I feel like Winston just really, REALLY wanted to draw a mindlessly yelling Pavarotti šŸ˜€

    Great comic, really enjoyed it.

  21. mike Says:

    I’m always a little reluctant to look at the comments when that girl is featured because so many readers have serious hard-ons for her for whatever reason…

    I liked the pleasant-looking three-eyed pink fellow with the flowers and the garden-trowel-looking thing.

  22. Jon Says:

    The ones and zeros in the file name translate to “Pavarotii.”

    There, I just saved you 20 minutes.

    Great comic as always, W!

    • Antonymous Says:

      Here is the rest to save some typing (valid YAML):

      # dammit why did you crash
      01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000
      01110000 01101001 01101110 01101011
      00100000 01101000 01100001 01101001
      01110010 01100101 01100100 00100000
      01100111 01101001 01110010 01101100
      00100111 01110011 00100000 01101110
      01100001 01101101 01100101 00100000
      01101001 01110011
      # has CRLF
      counting on fingers: 00111111 00001101 00001010
      # another CRLF
      01110100 01101111 01101111 00100000
      01101101 01100001 01101110 01111001
      00100000 01110111 01101111 01110010
      01100100 01110011 00001101 00001010

    • Antonymous Says:

        (not yaml anymore, lost the indentation)
  23. Leo W. Says:

    Oh my god, this is one of your best yet. Keep it up, reading your comic is like, the best part of my week.

  24. The last panel was priceless!

  25. snap1415 Says:

    “Oh my god, why does my life have to be like this?” A question I ask myself every freaking day. BTW, it’s nice to see demon girl again even if only in a walk-on.

  26. Doom Says:

    Okay, this is great. Definitely better than “if the news were a person” and is on par with “choose your own adventure”. I enjoyed reading it.

  27. i think you know Says:

    Goddamn it, Winston, I adore you.

  28. Sam Says:

    That was hilarious. Easily the funniest thing I’ve ever read in a long time. Especially his “manager rant” at the end.

    • Hello. Says:

      It isn’t hilarious when you work at a restaurant and your boss is exactly like that, except a small female with an obnoxious New York accent that she desperately clings to despite having lived in Virginia for years.
      It’s relieving to see the business exposed for exactly how it is. Run. Run and never look back.

  29. matt Says:

    I love it. I just love it.

  30. Marc Mielke Says:

    “After dinner, we should…blow up the galaxy.”


  31. gfertt Says:

    captain ester poster, ahhhhh!
    this may have been the absolutely most awesome comic ever. IT ALL MAKES SENSE NOW!

  32. Sdray Says:

    Billy Corgan?

  33. DH Says:

    Oh my god, this one was great.

    I love the super-poignant comix that make points about human nature and whatnot, but it’s also nice that you go back to being outright hilarious every now and then.

  34. Crap, someone called out Billy Corgan. Ava Adore, the song from the music video just after to walked up off the bench during the very first few seconds of the music video.

    Why was that relevant? Because I’m still upset and distraught over the decision of Jimmy Chamberlain and D`arcy Wretzky both eventually leaving the band (Jimmy temp) because of drug issues.

    And thank you, I really needed a line about the easily loss of life that quickly turns to exsisting for the sole reason to slowly crush the spirit of man. Thank you ā¤

  35. Canuck Says:

    Perhaps I’m one of the lucky ones, or perhaps the relationship is different for kitchen staff. I have never had bad experiences with management when I worked in kitchens, from dishwasher to line cook (never got above that though). Still, love the comic!

  36. r10pez10 Says:

    01101000 01101001 01100100 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01110011 01110100 01110101 01100110 01100110 00100000 01101001 01101110 00100000 01110000 01101100 01100001 01101001 01101110 00100000 01110011 01101001 01100111 01101000 01110100 00100000 01100101 01101000 00111111 ( šŸ˜› )

    • 01001001 00100000 01100011 01101111 01101110 01110011 01101001 01100100 01100101 01110010 01100101 01100100 00100000 01100100 01101111 01101001 01101110 01100111 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100101 00100000 01110111 01101000 01101111 01101100 01100101 00100000 01100010 01101100 01101111 01100111 00100000 01110000 01101111 01110011 01110100 00100000 01101001 01101110 00100000 01100010 01101001 01101110 01100001 01110010 01111001 00100000 01100001 01110011 00100000 01110111 01100101 01101100 01101100 00101100 00100000 01100010 01110101 01110100 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100001 01110100 00100000 01110000 01110010 01101111 01100010 01100001 01100010 01101100 01111001 00100000 01110111 01101111 01110101 01101100 01100100 00100000 01101000 01100001 01110110 01100101 00100000 01100010 01100101 01100101 01101110 00100000 01100001 00100000 01100010 01101001 01110100 00100000 01101101 01110101 01100011 01101000 00101110 00101110 00101110

  37. I was a waiter for a jewish retirement home. Not the funnest job in the world, but man, this guy makes it seem like being a waiter is the cruelest and suckiest job in any galaxy.

  38. Hey! Captain Estar!


    Actually, I think it might have been nice if any of the sadists I’ve worked under were that self-aware and articulate. I mean, the end result would have been the same except I wouldn’t have felt obliged to pity them on top of everything else.

  39. Mainge Says:

    Tough day at work huh Rowntree?

    • Sutowato Says:

      Was just going to ask the same thing! I had a boss who was actually like that once, the one thing that sticks in my memory the most was a one sided conversation that went “I’ve been stealing from head office but I told them it was you who had made a mistake which is why the books look wrong, it also means if you tell them about it, it will just look like you are being petty plus I know how badly you need this job so you can’t quit! I have it all worked out!”. Worst working day of my life, she also decided to roster me on for all the Christmas and New years holidays since I couldn’t complain because it was the only job I could get that worked around my uni time. Bleh!

  40. Golux Says:

    I’m gonna’ have nightmares about this one. Brrr!

  41. Taurich Says:

    I had scrolled down a bit before actually starting to read it and I wondered why the master of the universe looked so much like Pavarotti, didn’t think to hard about it, and started reading through and sure enough, it was by design.

  42. Jonathan Says:

    I work in retail. It eventually boils down to what’s described. But nothing as interesting as meeting the emperor of the universe ever happens. Good job.

  43. erdosain Says:

    OMG, this was an amazing experience i just had.

    “Chaos Gate”, a very good game! Too bad the recent CGI flick about them wasn’t very good.

  44. pG Says:

    I’m pretty sure I saw myself on one of the screens.


  45. JJKM Says:

    It’s pretty hard to imagine humanitarian and pacifist such as Pavarotti as huge dork, but when the comic clicks and sort of imagine the rants being sung it makes sense.

  46. Hahahaha! Winston, you are brilliant. I would have your babies would that they would not be subject to toil in soul-crushing despair throughout eternity at an Applebee’s beneath the heel of the emperor of the universe.

  47. Njam! Says:

    I’m back, finally.

    “I don’t even talk to my nextdoor neighbors!”

    I laughed this time šŸ™‚

  48. dodoman1 Says:

    Can we have the Emperor of the Universe played by Brian Blessed in the Subnormality movie?

  49. I never comment on comics, but I had to make an exception in this case. This one was so funny, masterful, intelligent… wow. Wonderful.

    “Can we have the Emperor of the Universe played by Brian Blessed in the Subnormality movie?”

    Oh so seconded.

  50. Quirel Says:

    The Comic’s name translates to ‘pavoratti’, converting binary to ASC II!

    Wonder if some of the binary in the comic itself has any easter eggs…

    • Quirel Says:

      4c 61 74 65 20 74 6f 20 74 68 65 20 70 61 72 74 79 20 61 73 20 75 73 75 61 6c 2e 20 49 20 64 6f 6e 27 74 20 65 76 65 6e 20 64 65 73 65 72 76 65 20 74 6f 20 70 6f 73 74 20 69 6e 20 62 69 6e 61 72 79 2e

    • Antonymous Says:

      bf 250 279 183 250 131 39b 20 1dd 26f 6f 73 20 28e 6e 71 20 250 75 75 250 28d 20 2d9 2d9 2d9 70 131 29e 20 2d9 2d9 2d9 287 73 73 500

  51. Sisiutil Says:

    PHG saved the galaxy and doomed it, all in the same comic. While drunk! Impressive.

  52. Libertariandude Says:

    Oh, Rowntree, you magnificent bastard…

    This was a MASTERFUL way of pointing out one of the biggest, most obnoxious problems of the world: people seeking power just for the sake of power. That is, about 5% of regular people, 50% of high-ranking businesspeople and 99% of politicians.

  53. Joe Says:

    Was that Billy Corgan in one of the backgrounds?

  54. jeffrey Says:

    Love the Ava Adore reference. damn.

  55. Alan Smithee Says:

    OMG! HE’S EXTRACTING THE INFINITE DESPAIR OF…hey, there’s a toaster oven for sale!

  56. DZL Says:

    Looks like a certain comic author has experience with the service industry…

  57. Finn Says:

    Eric Cantona certainly does not deserve the honour of cameo-ing in a Subnormality comic! (Liverpool FC fan speaking)

  58. Nishido Satsunoyama Says:

    Hmm… Yes… Think universally, act locally… It may work!

    Wait… Whas that Billy Corgan? Weeeeiiiiird…

  59. Julien Brightside Says:

    That last panel made my day.

  60. benS. Says:

    Green guy’s binary code tells us:
    PHG’s name is “ERROR”.

    A creative “tongue-in-cheek” translation of this error gives us 3/7 of her name. The other part is … no, wait. Sorry! I just spotted the Omnipad in the galactic CIA Drone Center.
    A quick calculation (to forestall bad astronomers) gives the distance of this center = 2.8 billion light years.
    ( Earth 13 mm on-screen dia. -300 mm away from my best eye. Zoom factor 10^17 for Earth.)

    Those inglorious bastards.
    I’m now trying to calculate their exact coordinates.

    stay cool

  61. Davie Says:

    Clever, humorous and generally wonderful, as usual. Also, SPACE MARINE!

  62. EthZee Says:

    So, happy ending for The Emperor of the Universe, then! That’s good, I guess!

  63. It really works if you read the Emperor’s dialogue in Brian Blessed’s voice.

  64. stonehawk Says:

    Oh my god. This explains so much. Every obnoxious person in existence is actually an instance of the emperor of the universe, deliberately trying to make our lives miserable o_o

  65. Ayla Says:

    Wait… is that… do I see Billy Corgan in the mind-link panel?

    • Ayla Says:

      OH DANG OTHER PEOPLE SAW IT, TOO. I should have checked before posting. Now, if only other people also saw the Billy Corgans hiding under my bed and in my closet…

    • Sisiutil Says:

      Yeah, but is it outer space Billy Corgan? And did somebody leave the bay doors open?

  66. Richter Says:

    Damn, another pure gold offering. I was chuckling right from the start, and when I thought why the emperor looks like Pavarotti *at the same time I read that panel*, I burst outloud. His facial expressions are also priceless. The Oh Gregory bit… slayed me. You can see the sadistic glee in his face. Loved the whole thing.

    Hey, when the Emperor is pointing at PHG and it’s visually flush with the rocket exploding, I assume that was a deliberate choice? Happy accident if not, looks damn cool either way.

    Mr Rowntree, I hope you sleep on top of a pile of money with many beautiful women.

  67. And my parents wonder why I seem so dead inside. Another mind-explodingly good read, Winston. Was pleasantly surprised you picked my favorite box from the last comic to focus on this time around.

  68. Sisiutil Says:

    At the risk of winning some sort of “Subnormality Ultimate Trainspotter” award… PHG’s date looks an awful lot like the guy she met in #128…

  69. Michael Says:

    After reading this one, I just had to comment to say that it has to be one of the most hilarious and amazing comedic strips you’ve made (and I assure you this is a very high standard). I had a lot of trouble containing my laughter. The appearance and diction of the Emperor and the relative rationality/normality of the rest of the characters are a great combination, not to mention all the smaller things. Please never stop being awesome.

  70. benS. Says:

    benS. said:

    “Iā€™m now trying to calculate their exact coordinates”

    Phew! The annihilators’s cosmic coordinates found at last:
    40Ā°N 105.3Ā°W .
    Utterly strange. Are they Kamikaze pilots? I have to check the speed of light, or something, again.

    A terrific nightmare generator, this episode.


  71. Killjoy Supreme Says:

    Ultramarine in one of the backgrounds!

  72. Mr. Mirage Says:

    My only complaint about this comic is that there isn’t enough of it.

    Ah, well: I will wait for quality, and it is always worth it…

  73. Snake Says:

    This comic is fucking awesome. Keep up the good work, I’m looking forward to future additions to the site.

  74. Dusty668 Says:

    I’ve always hated those ‘Piano’ ties. Even knew a guy that wired one up to be playable. Thanks for another great comic, I’ll be over here crying.

  75. He looks and sounds like Brian Blessed to me. šŸ˜€

  76. Alex Says:

    Absolutely hilarious and thought provoking, as usual. I have recently discovered these comics and have spent several hours looking through them. This one in particular really stood out.

  77. Neferius Says:

    Interesting… the binary translates into “the pink haired girl’s name i;”
    Major kudos on using actual binary instead of random gibberish =D

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