mini-golf hell

May 12, 2012

Heyy, comix return, possibly somewhat less serious than last time. And you thought the ones with walls of text took a long time to get through…

(source for Regrets of the Dying)

Things i should have mentioned weeks ago

Updated the ol’ t-shirt shop with some new designs finally, for anyone interested in that. A bunch of the designs now use a better quality of printing, so they should last longer than the average made-to-order internet shirt.

And: a few new prints are available in the prints store as well– including the 5th anniversary comic, which you can see a picture of right here (it’s fancied up a bit from the version on the site, so you can at least see what it looks like here):

Just a huge Thanks, by the way, to anyone who’s supported This Here Comix Thing by buying some of the aforementioned Stuff. It’s a Big Deal to me to sell any merchandise at all, so thanks indeed for pitching in. You with the donations as well– holy flurking shnit, your generosity is quite vastly appreciated. Huge, huge thanks in your direction for sure.


I was Busier Than Usual the past month or so, and would like to apologize to anyone who emailed me and didn’t get a reply. I’ve generally been on top of the ol’ personal correspondence, but not lately, so apologies to anyone who didn’t get a reply or a thank you from me, and i’ll say Thanks now to you and anyone else who writes in because i most assuredly get some obscenely kind emails and am really rather very extremely grateful for that indeed.

Lastly and so not Leastly

Without going on and on about it as we’ve all read the news articles at this point, i do want to at least acknowledge  the horrid and untimely death of Adam Yauch, a really fine artist who was most definitely an influence on me. He showed How It’s Done: how you can start your artistic career as one thing and then evolve into something far more sophisticated without actually losing your sense of humor, and he said things about the world that needed to be heard, and he was remembered above all as just a good human being, and that’s always been something to aspire to, if not the only thing. So cheers, MCA. I would have worked a proper tribute to you into the comic, but it takes place in hell, and if there were a hell you would be a million miles from it.

“I want to say a little something that’s long overdue/

The disrespect to women has got to be through/

To all the mothers and the sisters and the wives and friends/

I offer my love and respect to the end.”

56 Responses to “mini-golf hell”

  1. Bill W Says:

    This was pretty cool. I just don’t understand the hollywood one. A little help?

  2. I think I understand some of this, which is more than I thought I would.

    -Comically Brief Lifespan: There’s all these awesome things you can do in your life, but you’re going to punch your ticket before you get all of them.

    -Cronyism: If you’re an outsider, you go through all these contortions and perfectly timed shots, get to the end through skill and blind luck, and you’ll be blocked by a glass wall.
    Meanwhile, the insiders have the same goal and much less required effort. And hell, if they fudge a few things, it’s a’ight. They’re one of the boys.

    -False Duality: The “Ideal” roles of each gender, completely unattainable. A Subnormality classic.
    Query what the players looked like before they took the shot.

    -Self-Doubt: The more you doubt yourself, the harder it is. And it’s a feedback loop. In five more seconds, that windmill is going to rip free of its foundation and tear through the the Deliberate VS Random course.

    -DvsR: You can make all the plans you like, but there’s a bunch of random crap in life that you can’t account for. I see bad weather, car accidents, plane crashes, and a (Squints) …a broken rubber?

    -Hollywood: Seemingly the easiest course, it is simply impossible for a ball to retain its original motion, direction, and verve as it passes between the Hollywood executives. And if it does pass through, it was probably soulless to begin with.

    -Regrets of the Dying: That picnic represents the ideal, what that woman wishes she could have done, but her lifestyle and mindset (Workaholic?) made it impossible until it was too late.
    As someone who rather enjoys the corporate atmosphere, can’t quite connect with this one as much as the others.
    And no, I’m not a jack-booted corporate thug. Company dress code restricts us to armbands.

    -But I Saw It On A TV Show: A course reserved for idiots who died while doing something they saw on TV, like believing that proper gun safety is keeping your finger on the trigger, or that it is perfectly safe and acceptable to stick a handgun in your waistband without flipping the safety.

    Currently out of order, as Management realized that smashing TVs with rubber balls or golf clubs is actually a stress reliever.

    -The Summary: The only course that can be ‘won’, one simply putts the ball into funnel, at which point a college education and a well-planned career carry you comfortably through life until you expire, at which point you are buried and… um… reincarnation happens and… right back at it?

    Overall, one of my favorites, expect to see it as a poster in the near future. And as there is, sadly, a dearth of pages and paragraphs of text, I have felt the call to address that oversight.

    • gegenschein Says:

      I interpreted the “But I Saw It On A TV Show” course as people saying “Well I never went on that adventure/lived my dream, but I saw someone else do it on a screen.” The fact that the hole only exists in a TV means that you can’t really win that way,It’s physicly impossible to put a ball in the picture of a screen as it is impossible to live through a screen.

    • Yeah, that’s probably the meaning that Winston was going for, but it wouldn’t have been as funny (To me, at least).

    • OldBrit Says:

      Thanks rasquirelaskar for that summary. I also saw Love, Money, and Religion as obstacles on the DvsR course, ant the output from Hollywood (weird shapes) bears no resemblence to the input (spheres).

      Thanks Winston for yet another amazing piece of art, with so many levels of meaning I could be studying it until your next installment is released.

  3. Esn Says:

    Thank ye kindly, rasquirelaskar. There were a few there that I didn’t understand, and your post certainly helped fill in the gap.

    Seeing the photo of that poster made me really realize something – the format of this comic really is not very book-friendly. Which is a real shame, as I would absolutely love to have a collected copy of it in book format some day.

  4. ayadew Says:

    Only way to win is to not play.

  5. AdInfinitumSpero Says:

    Is it odd that the dying regrets one actually made me feel a lot better about being a directionless wastrel ? Cause it really did somehow…

  6. Joe Trudell Says:

    It seems like your single-frame comics always manage to be favorites.
    I believe that I absolutely must have a print of this.
    Thank you for your awesome work!

  7. Cait Says:

    I love you.

  8. Edwin Says:

    Great work, yor depictions of hell are so unique and interesting.

  9. Tobu Says:

    I laughed at the TV one: it’s so simple and straightforward, it’s just that there is an impenetrable barrier between the map and the territory.

    There is a small typo: Greet a Spynx / Sphynx.

    Deliberate vs random: the little squirels of fate don’t care for all your careful planning.

  10. Marty Says:

    As a citizen of Malmö, I don’t really get what Malmö is supposed to represent…? Overall, sweet as always though!

    • Sheedy Says:

      It’s meant to be positive – wouldn’t it be great to say one has visited Malmo? It’s an interesting-sounding name.

    • Marty Says:

      Hm. No…still doesn’t make any sense. Malmö is currently known for two things only outside of Sweden, and that is the segregation between muslims and jews (jews fleeing the county and prefering Israel to the threating conditions for jews in Malmö these past few years) and the extremely high crime rates in general and murder rates in particular.

      Don’t get me wrong, I adore Malmö in a lot of ways, but it’d hardly fit on anyone’s “to do”-list, unless they’re really serious about falafel and halloumi.

    • Joe Trudell Says:

      I think the point of it being on the list is that it’s something you would have to do if you wanted to be able to say you “saw it all”

    • Marty Says:

      Ah, didn’t notice the positioning of the “saw it all!”-sign until now. Well, I suppose I should feel a little patriotic about that then.

    • Yeah, c’mon, it’s overall a pretty lovely city is it not? To one who grew up in Saskatchewan, its old buildings are majestic, its food is wondrous, its castle is Awesome, its Turning Torso is way cool, and its bike/pedestrian-focused downtown is a model that canadian cities are unfortunately too stupid to copy. I dunno, i like it, is all.

    • Marty Says:

      Well I do agree that Malmö gets more slag in the worldwide media in general and swedish media in particular than it deserves. It has it’s upsides and downsides I guess; I’ve found myself pondering what my true feelings of what has now been my new home town for the past five years really are, and whereas they used to lean towards the more negative side, I’ve lately grown rather fond of it.

      And you’re right about the food! I suppose it’s because Copenhagen, centre of the culinary world right now, is right across the Öresundsbridge just twenty minutes away; somehow the creativity and ambition has spirited across the strait.

      Well, pardon my ramblings, I suppose it was just a kick that one of the few drawers of comics I’ve come to appreciate fondly not only mentioned Malmö but actually has visited.

      Keep up the good work etc etc, and I hope summer finds you well!

  11. schuenator Says:

    Holy cow this was incredible.

  12. Jerry Says:

    The Beastie Boys reference (with the crashing 727 in the corner) is great! These comics are always so full of tiny little details. I could spend hours poring over them.

  13. TentacledBeast Says:

    Now there’s a poster I would buy.

  14. Paul Says:

    The Hollywood one is disturbingly true. An idea goes in as one thing but never makes it out the same shape it originally started as everyone starts putting their fingers through it changing it.

  15. Sarah Says:

    I am pumped on life that you included a Moose Jaw sign… I like an hour and a half from there! Great comic, as always.

  16. Richter Says:

    Cheers on the Aerosmith reference! 🙂

  17. spadesghost Says:

    i saw qui jin and i was satisfied without ever even reading anything. because in my mind, that equals VTMB. now, on to the actual perusal of said comic, which of course is genius as always 🙂

  18. The Old Wolf Says:

    I always learn something when I read your “too many words.” Never knew who Qiu Jin was… Awesome work, as usual.

  19. Leo W. Says:

    I didn’t love this, i kinda felt that the various messages in this are not very well delivered, and is stuff that Rowntree’s already covered in much better comics, but the sheer fucking scope of it is bloody incredible!

    So Winston, what’s it like for your arm to fall off?

    • Do you mind elaborating on what you thought was poorly-delivered? I don’t really get as much constructive criticism as i’d like (watch the floodgates open now…), so if you wanted to go into more detail i’d be appreciative. I have no interest from not learning from my failures.

    • Leo W. Says:

      i don’t know, i guess just that the execution wasn’t very subtle. Usually when you have something to say you build up to it over one long comic, which i personally find much more satisfying. This just felt a little too simple, i guess? kinda felt like the comic equivalent of you just simply saying the statements that you were conveying. also i didn’t really get what these mini-golf courses were doing in hell, kinda like the people are being punished for having misinformed expectations about life rather than actually being bad people, although that’s a small complaint.

      and again, the sheer scale of this is awesome, god-damn your comics are so much fun just to look at.

    • Leo W. Says:

      actually, i just read what Suckmycomment said, and that pretty much sums up what i was trying to say.

    • Rafi Says:

      Hmm, I feel like what Leo says is true in that this is much simpler and more blatant than your build-to-a-moment-of-catharsis comics, but at the same time, I like that you don’t only do comix that are mega emotionally involving. I haven’t caught up with your comix since February, I’ve been going through the ones since your Valentines one all in a row tonight, and reading them all next to each other in time I was a bit overwhelmed by the emotional magnitude of the past few. I LOVE that emotional magnitude! But I also am relieved that you have shit which is less gut-rending-heart-wrenching.

      The ancient Greek Dionysia cycles had three tragedies and one comedy. I’m fucking down with that.

      Oh, but even your less emotionally investing comix these days are often very intricate! This one certainly is marvelously detailed; I feel like your planning and layout are improving as you experiment. I like how you play with the general transit of up-left-to-down-right a lot.

      You know, I didn’t think of it until I noticed I’d referenced Greek drama twice in this post, but something about your work definitely strikes me as having, like, this spark of similarity to the old dramatists. I don’t know quite how to explain it; if you asked me to derive a list of your influences just from reading your work, though, I’d put Sophocles way up there.

  20. Niels Says:

    Someone visited the Öresund area recently? 😀 Hope you liked it!

    • My mom’s from Malmo, and yeah i most definitely like it there. They have bike infrastructure instead of bike helmets, and there’s a tangible feeling of greater gender equality than what we have in north america, and i really, really like that feeling.

  21. SuckMyComment Says:

    It felt like a shotgun blast of pompousness. Tone it down; focus less on ironic ideas (true though they are) and more on how they affect people. The best thing about your comic isn’t the message, it’s the characters. They have a wonderful subtlety about them, as if they’re getting as much out of the comic as we are, even as we read it! Take each of those mini golf courses for example, they could have been completely brilliant comics in their own right. Especially the hollywood and self-doubt ones. This shotgunning of ironies is perfect for a poster type comic, but i’m really missing the more personal type comics of which you’ve done a lot and with great success.

    There, that’s my constructive criticism. Really hard to write actually because i really really love your comics. Every single one.

    • Cheers, eh– that is some extremely valuable feedback and i very much appreciate you taking the time. And you say it was hard to write, but believe me when i say no-one should be afraid to offer such criticism when it’s exactly what an artist needs sometimes. All i have to go on is my instincts otherwise, and they’re a bit, uh, mercurial at times.

  22. benS. Says:


    Maybe.. soo I’ll concentrate on the funny/special ones.

    with the eight self contended guys and the irritated gentleman-golfer. Perhaps he has ascended from the happy golf ball- cheeked toddler just above. Win!

    The green lady up to the left; well drawn.
    How about dressing/undressing (her)? Those thorns must be foldable, I guess.
    The fortress to the right of the caption: could it be part of Malmö Castle?

    The sex in the park- telescope, Sate Anne, the vas deferences- looking creek and sizzling Hell fire sort of fills my brain with questionable content.

    That’s good.


  23. Stunning Comic! Love it!

  24. That looks like my idea of mini-golf heaven! I want to try the self-doubt one and the oblivion.
    In serious-tone, though, WR, I kind of agree with some of the comments. It does feel as if there’s a tad too much going on and perhaps that makes some of the issues you cover look a little simplified? The only reason I didn’t find them overly confusing is because you’ve covered them all brilliantly already. Still, wonderous art, as per bloody usual you magnificent bastard.

  25. Iguins Says:

    That was a really interesting concept…
    Like all your work this made me think hahaha
    PS: Someone knows the software used to create this?

  26. reggie Says:

    Woah. That looks like the most fun minigolf I’ve ever seen!

  27. Line Noise Says:

    Well this seem like a “to review in brief” poster of some of your well loved messages. The only problem i have with a comic designed to be a wall hanging is that there are so few poster shops left and a poster delivered by THE POST (speaking as an employ here) is a pain to deliver and a crushed cardboard tube to receive. Perhaps you might print them on beach towels, or for the more discerning consumer have your comics painstakingly stitched into a quilt by exploited 3rd world sweat shop kids. The irony or swaddling oneself in your uplifting message while being oblivious to the medium would be amusing.

  28. James Says:

    This is porn to you, isn’t it?

  29. pfff Says:

    Sorry, I will be unable to offer you any constructive criticism or praise. In fact, me leaving a comment at all is absolutely pretentious on my part, as it isn’t going to offer you anything. Actually I’m writing this down for myself because I need to somehow react to what I’ve seen. Consider me another random internet parasite.

    I have rarely seen so much brilliance in one place. It’s ALWAYS… truthfull while being funny in a very sad and uplifting kind of way. I cannot even accurately describe your work as it looks like a whole new form of art to me (yeah, I know, “Comix with too many words since 2007”). Have been reading your stuff for hours now.

    Imagine, if you will, Adolf Hitler never rising to political power and instead spending his short and uneventful life as a fourth-class painter hardly making any sales and thus surviving mostly on a meager heritage, painfully aware that he was born with just one testicle. His brain is an incoherent stew as he struggles to understand anything but realizes he is doomed to be either ignorant, neurotic and boring or ignorant, pyschotic and very harmful to other people. Since he is living in isolation and his life is really slow-paced, he has found at least some time to think and somewhat outgrow certain feaverish certitudes, so that he is now floating in a realm of generalized, undirected anxiety and self-loathing. And for some reason the internet has been invented a lot earlier in this timeline so one day he comes across a cartoon much like yours, and after a few hours of reading he’s somewhat feeling like me.

    • Joe Trudell Says:

      Well that’s all well and good. But I feel compelled to point out that Hitler was not born with one testicle. He was born with two like everyone else and lost one in World War I

  30. Patsy Says:

    Your work is the artistic and literary equivalent of an orgasm. This is fact.

  31. benS. Says:

    .DELIBERATE vs RANDOM -section.

    Listen up y’all !;

    I bet, at least one of three of my favorite -non wingnut-blogs is referencing this comic by metaphores or otherwise:

    “The Rollercoaster is Over the Top”
    (Question Everything)

    -and, a bit twisted-
    “Welcome to the Wormhole”
    (Clusterfuck Nation)

    The Despair of Doing Nothing: A Thought Experiment

    (this sleazy, apathetic green (wo)man* doing nothing but spreading golf balls randomly, might be doing at least – as well as/not worse than – that super focused guy).

    * Why not “oman” ? not to be mixed up with “Oman”

    no rights reserved


  32. Rafi Says:

    Omg my very favorite was “But I saw it on a tv show!” Noticed that last and just cracked up.

  33. Brown Chozo Says:

    Can’t figure out how to email you so I’ll put this here – just a request. If you’re up for it, put your T-shirts on Topatoco, I’d be more willing to buy them then.. I can see you have your prints there already.

  34. Mystyr Nile Says:

    This appears to confirm my guess that the green demon lady was one of many, yet each one distinct.
    As opposed to 76+ clones of one person.

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