June 5, 2012



176 Responses to ““…””

  1. Edwin Says:

    Fantastic work! Very relaxing!

  2. Gabriel Says:

    “Solidarité” and red squares; a hill in the middle of the city. Has this always taken place in Montréal and I just never noticed it before?

    • Ada Says:

      I always thought it was meant to be Toronto… the streetcars resemble those from the TTC.

    • Esn Says:

      Surely it’s Toronto. There was also an earlier comic set in the subway which had TTC subway stops. Perhaps Rowntree has also visited Montreal, though.

      I must say that it feels very nice to have such a fantastic comic be made in my home city, with the atmosphere that I find so familiar. This one perfectly captures the feel of taking a break on one of Toronto’s few green lawns, which I’ve done at times, though never for a whole day.

      I might be projecting a little here, but I suspect that Winston Rowntree is the pen name of someone who lives in Toronto, probably has some Russian roots (due to the occasional accurate depictions of Moscow and Russian text in the comic), and may or may not be female.

    • Radox Says:

      I always though he was British. There seems to be a lot of British in-joke quirks in his comics (though admittedly, none come to mind, off t he top of my head). Plus, there’s the ‘Winston Rowntree’ name. Anybody growing up in Britain in the 90’s gets that reference.

    • fishboy Says:

      Hey, it’s a bit rude to speculate on the identity of the artist on the artists own comic imo. Why not just ask and see what reply you get?

    • I’m half English, as it happens, and the city i would say is half Toronto (or maybe two-thirds) combined with a few other canadian cities (regina, montreal, a bit of victoria). Something like that, anyway.

    • His about page says, “he resides in Toronto, Canada, where downtown smells like a sewer and the clouds of smog roll by.”

    • Thomas Says:

      @Radox What reference? Winston makes me think Churchill and Rowntree makes me think Smarties, but I’m guessing you’re referring to something else…

    • @Thomas: i’m guessing the reference would be either Rowntree’s Candy or Dave Rowntree (the drummer from Blur). One or both of which is probably where i got the name from (i can’t remember now, it was a while ago).

    • Esn Says:

      Thanks for the response, Winston. I guess I didn’t ask directly because I wasn’t expecting a reply; you’ve been a bit secretive (no photos of you can be found, you’ve never visited TCAF though you’d surely be one of the star guests), which is why I assumed that you were probably using a pen name. And most of your recurring characters are female, which is why I assumed that you might be female as well (I really can’t tell, though). Didn’t mean to give offence.

  3. carlos Says:

    Didn’t expect this at all. No walls of text.

  4. Decamper Says:

    The panel with pink-haired-girl’s sunglasses reflecting the skyline – I need that. A wall paper, print, I don’t know, but I need that as something.

    • forrester Says:

      I second that. Beautiful.

      Man, no words (no pun intended). Such an awesome touching piece. Thank you, WR.

    • Sisiutil Says:

      Yeah, definitely one of Winston’s best. I love the expressions on their faces.

    • Marucla Says:

      That’s EXACTLY what I was thinking when I saw that panel. I’m gonna try and get in touch with Mr. Winston about that.
      This one would be pretty cool as well: http://i.imgur.com/ZKUjd.png

    • buffer Says:

      Agree! Amazing panel, wonderful comic.

    • Weaver Says:

      Sixthed – I just sat at work looking at that panel with a big dumb smile on my face for 10 mins, until I had to explain myself to someone (they didn’t get it).

      I love your stuff Winston. Funny, sad, reflective, whatever; you never know what you’re going to get when you click in, but it’s always worth it.

    • GlitterBerri Says:

      The prettiest thing you’ve ever drawn. 🙂

  5. yamara Says:

    Happy Transit of Venus Day, Winston.

  6. Thanks so much for this Winston, It was exactly what i needed today.

  7. Wonderfully mellow. Thanks.

    Your 200th is next.
    The nicest way to celebrate (for the readers anyway) is to do an extra panel that has the celebration, and still do a comic to celebrate.
    Each one is much effort. And you have been consistent. And thanks for all of that.
    Love your stuff.

  8. monsterzero Says:

    I really like the time-lapse effect in the panel with all the people showing up two or three times.

    • Anonymous Says:

      I love this too!! It took me a few seconds to realise, but when I did, the effect was awesome.

      I have a question, though, for anyone who’d care to answer:
      Do we know why the two girls from all the other comics (By the way, does anyone know what their names are?) are getting onto two separate buses? I’m talking about the girl with the blonde curly hair and black tips and the other one with the black hair and the yellow shirt and hot pink pants.

    • Joe Trudell Says:

      look again. They’re getting on the same bus

    • Anonymous Says:

      That’s trippy! I didn’t even realise the tram was in on it too! I thought it was only the people and the kite and the aeroplane. THE TRAM IS IN CAHOOTS I SAY

    • M.V. Says:

      I think the two girls are getting on both buses. I assumed this meant that they “go both ways”, if you know what I mean. 😉

    • Leak Says:

      @M.V.: Nah, it’s actually a time-lapse of the tram – the left one is the tram on the right shortly after it has departed, with the girls having taken a seat and the panicked woman chasing after it – that’s what you get for staring at a tablet instead of noticing the tram arriving… 🙂

    • feetfish Says:

      There’s always something I fail to see… Thanks for spotting it!

  9. Leak Says:


    The Serious Sam T-shirt was a nice touch, though the sphinx in the games is of the stone block variety… 🙂

  10. Jo-ou Says:

    All dose references.

    “Long term friendship.”
    Just make out already.

    • sixpowerup Says:

      nice wat to be disrespectful to a perfect comment
      and do u even no how friendzones work?

    • sixpowerup Says:

      way* and by perfect comment, i messed up, i meant to say perfect comic

  11. WCityMike Says:

    I’ve rarely seen atmosphere conveyed so perfectly …

  12. Joe Trudell Says:

    Very nice. Reminds me that I need to spend more time outside not doing shit.

  13. Yasmin Says:

    I miss my friends! This was beautiful.

  14. It’s nice to see support from outside Québec!

  15. NZfishboy Says:

    That’s your sweetest one yet. Thank you, I needed it 🙂

  16. Jeff Says:

    This piece of art is absolutely incredible

  17. Charlie Says:

    I’ve always liked the art, but I never noticed I liked the art, but now I consciously think that is some nice art. I screwed up bad at work today and this makes me feel better.

  18. mnemennth Says:

    It’s about time things looked up for Sphinx.

    Well done. Again.

    It’s the wings, man.

  19. Chris Says:

    Man, so I discovered you about a day or two ago and I did what I do with all webcomics… I hit the “first” button and read 5 pages before making up my mind. 199 comics later, I finally realize that this is the greatest thing on the interwebs. You are excellent man, truly.

    P.S.: Jack Kirby is there in spirit I’m sure.

  20. Bob Says:

    Fantastically done! (and loved that it had depeche mode in it 🙂

  21. LeHack Says:

    That was really nice 🙂 I feel as relaxed as if I’d spent the day there with them… and a book, not having to care for anything…
    Thank you 🙂

  22. The Old Wolf Says:

    Looks really awesome, can’t get a high-rez version for some reason. 😦

  23. The Old Wolf Says:

    Ok, now that I can see it on my desktop, I was right. It was awesome. I love all the little details you throw into your artwork, it’s like a treasure hunt.

  24. Wizardy Says:

    Very relaxing. I could use some spare time like this. Thank you for the experience, you never disappoint.

  25. Radox Says:

    Oh man, every time read these comics all I can think is how I wish they were true. So many words are left unsaid, because people talk too much. *sigh* This world.

  26. Kulteshev Says:

    I’ve been following the adventures of the Sphinx for a while now, and it’s quite heartwarming to see that she’s found a friend in this era.

    BTW, I may have missed something, but how is it that the majority of muggles don’t freak out or try to hunt her or something? I remember a SWAT team showing up in the background of the Jeopardy comic, but that was about it.

  27. Inigo Montoya Says:

    Thank you so much for this comic.

  28. Bill W Says:

    I’ve heard this a few times before, the whole “deep friendships mean you don’t have to talk as much” but I’m not sure I agree with that. It’s fun to just talk rubbish, or shoot the breeze, to use a cliché, especially with close friends, because with close friends you can talk about any dumb thing without feeling awkward. But if 2 close friends are just sitting around saying nothing, it’s a bit boring. Wasn’t it the great philosopher Mel Brooks who said, “If you’re quiet, you’re not living. You’ve got to be noisy and colorful and lively.” 😀

    • Jason Says:

      The point is that a long silence between two people who don’t know each other well can be uncomfortable (inside you’re thinking “Oh I have to say something or this social interaction is failing”), whereas with a good friend, a long silence can feel perfectly fine (if not exactly exciting).

    • Yeah, it’s just the notion that every relationship has its silences but when you’re friends it’s not awkward silence it’s just silence. Walls of text are also essential to a friendship, i reckon.

  29. RAIV Says:

    Love it. That panel with the close-up on their faces is simply beautiful. Poor schnauzer, though: he didn’t deserve Sphinxy’s angry face.

  30. Really beautiful piece, WR. So good to see the Sphynx and Formerly-Pink-Haired Girl’s blossoming friendship.

    P.S: Although it is true that Kirby was cheated out of the rights to the characters he helped create, he is credited in the film. Not much, but something considering Hollywood nowadays. Despite this controversy, I love The Avengers film with all of my comic book fanboy heart. Not as sexist or mindless as some people might have you think.

  31. Gregory Says:

    Really nice comic. i like the Spinx and PHG. their friendship is what i want in real life

  32. OldBrit Says:

    Great work as usual, Winston.

    I like the eating place that changes it’s name to match the time of day.

  33. Dave Phillips Says:

    Well done.

  34. Daniel Says:

    I really loved this one. I especially love the art! Well done, indeed.

  35. BingoBangoBongo Says:

    “Enjoy the Silence”! Nice!!

  36. Francis Reed Says:

    Excellent, i love this comix, they are truly beautiful and like i said before, the comix about PH Girl and The Sphinx’s friendship are my favorite 🙂 . The idea that when you found someone with whom you can be silent without being uncomfortable then you have found a true friend is a truly beautiful one. i like that you put a lot of details in your comix as long as all those details surround one great main story, as in this, not when there is no story that connects them, as the last one, i believe that you are getting better in time, and thank you for keeping on surprising us 🙂

  37. Jason Says:

    I notice that you have a hidden reference to “199” later in the comic, and this is indeed #199, but you also plant a reference to “200” in an earlier frame. Foreshadowing the next strip or what??

    • Yamara Says:

      Of the Aeschylus’ Theban cycle, only Seven Against Thebes and fragments remain.

      The cycle’s “satyr play” The Sphinx has only two clear surviving lines [Herbert Weir Smyth, trans., via Wikipedia]:

      For the stranger a garland, an ancient crown, the best of bonds, as Prometheus said.


      The Sphinx, the Watch-dog that presideth over evil days.

  38. buffer Says:

    Riker is indeed number 1 🙂

  39. Melanie Says:

    I really enjoyed that one, thanks.

  40. Richter Says:

    Beautiful comic. Thanks for the red square solidarity, too. Never thought I could get beaten up, cuffed and hauled away for peacefully assembling in my own city but there you have it.

    Say, we could sure use the Sphynx to scare the cops away a little. I wonder how much she charges for bodyguard services. 😉

  41. Some Guy Says:

    I would like to register a complaint.
    This comic did not have too many words.

  42. glassglass Says:

    More like this! Showcase your art. Make us look.

  43. sdf Says:

    That’s really nice. You have a gift with your craft, congrats.

  44. Alex Says:

    Her phone is using Widget locker in the last frame… I love the small touches.

  45. teo Says:

    Just thanks.

    That was wonderful

  46. Thomas Says:

    It reminds me a little of some of the Calvin and Hobbes comics dealing with lazy summer days, at least in spirit.

  47. Samantha Says:

    Liaaar! There’s no *way* you can see that many stars from Toronto.

  48. I found this comic pretty heartwarming.

  49. Jamie Says:

    Absolutely delightful. Great work as usual.

  50. kernfel Says:


    Immensely beautiful and evocative piece of art, as usual. Loved it – thank you so much for sharing.

  51. Adam Says:

    Man i can’t wait to see the new Jason Statham movie, i hear he is awesome in “SOD-OFF SHOTGUN”.

  52. Some Chick Says:

    can i just say i burst into tears at the end of this because i have a friend like this. and i always move around a lot, and i rarely get to keep friends for longer than a few years, and it just made me so happy to realize. thank you for this :,)

  53. Leif Czerny Says:

    Even more beautiful than usual-

  54. Faka Says:

    I have to say this. I LOVE YOUR WEBCOMICS!
    you update once a month maybe, nut when i look at your artwork… it is amazing, the details, the colors. The ideas, the way you explain yourself, sometimes with lots of words, sometimes with no words at all.
    PLEASE keep the good work. It is really apreciated 🙂

    Only One Fan (out of many) =)

  55. Anthrax451 Says:


  56. Zack Says:

    Aw… Sphynx has no tapetum lucidum. Guess she’s all woman from the neck up, huh?

    Beautiful comic as per usual, cheers.

    • Honestly I don’t usually shade her eyes for a subtly monsterish effect, but in the dark the glowing eyes looked way too distracting so i had to give in and shade them a little bit.

  57. Henry Turner Says:

    If the Sphinx didn’t exit it would be necessary to invent her.

  58. Phil Carter Says:

    Man, Winston, you are one of the few artists I know of who can say equally as much with a wordless (or near-wordless) comic as with a wall-o-text comic.

    This one just had me grinning all the way through. I *love* these two together.


  59. JimTheFish Says:

    “sod off shotgun!” that was too perfect! copyright it! before it inevitably comes out. 🙂

  60. benS. Says:

    You’ve done it again, WR. A bit kitschy, here and there, but nothing disturbing.

    Favorite panel: the big one in the middle. It’s got plenty of most everything.

    The peacefully moving cloud, calmly integrating.
    The roaring, disturbing airplane.
    The kite, annoyingly trapped.
    The, death defying, gambling squirrel.
    The woman, desperately running after the tram.

    We may also have pain here. Can you see Zoe Muggs on the park bench? On her right side sits a girl with nice sunglasses. On HER very right side stands a guy.
    He may have scoliosis.


  61. Ryan Says:


  62. toaster_pimp Says:

    nice. Always glad to see u mixing up the text heavy, emotionally depressing ones with something a bit more up like this!

    keepin it interestin

  63. Jack_Cookie Says:

    I know it’s cliche to point out “someone else understands how I feel!” But a classy reminder once in a while goes a long ways.

    Thanks for being good at what you do.


  64. Rafi Says:

    Oh my gooood, the passage of TIME! You did this beautifully. I love how you experimented with spacing and time here, I LOVE how you divided the space in the big panel without making it separate panels, oh gosh, I can’t even tell you how long I lingered on this comic, especially that big panel. Like everyone seems to be saying, relaxing.

    Since I’ve seen you say you like constructive criticism, I’ll mention: too many caterpillars! I love the juxtaposition between motion and stillness that permeates this whole comic, but I think 18 caterpillars somewhat offset the remarkably well-achieved balance you had been maintaining between the two. Actually, I have to say the same about the motion of the planes in the Enjoy The Silence ringtone panels and the big panel. Planes don’t move that slowly compared to both how long that song snippet takes to play and how long people/buses move, and it grated on me a little awkwardly. I guess you were in a bit of a spot, cause I really LIKE the inclusion of the planes and I feel the comic wouldn’t have been the same without them, but those fuckers move so fast that I guess you had to distort time a bit to do them presentational justice. Perhaps if, like the caterpillars, you simply had fewer of them, and spaced them a bit further apart, it would have been more effective? I love how your style has this element of “lots of shit in a very small space,” like life is bursting at the seams (I REALLY like that, actually), but sometimes in certain places I do think you could stand to rein it in some, when it occasionally distracts from the flow and balance of your work. Though for most of this comic, the astonishing amount of detail and crowding worked magnificently! So it’s a tricky balance that I imagine is an almighty royal bitch for you to get perfect. I wouldn’t even say anything, but in the comments to your last comic you were like “I don’t get as much constructive criticism as I would like,” and I am so grateful for your lovely creations that I wanted to say something if it could be at all helpful to you in some way! As someone who also does creative things, I know how annoying criticism can be, usually bobbling mercurially either to “way too harsh and irrelevantly vitriolic” or “I was brought up thinking that if you like something you are not allowed to say or even think anything bad about it so your work is PERFECT!!!”, so I hope my comments have been of some use to you.

    Were you trying to reference the “The Mission” comic with the square shapes on the roof in the panels where the sun is setting? I wonder a lot how much of what you do is deliberate, and how much is subconscious, and how much is me creating my own meanings.

    • Thanks, i really appreciate the feedback you can be sure– definitely of use. And i just generally appreciate that there are people out there who are so enthusiastic about stylistic elements of comix, that’s just really heartening to know that people care. I take this medium Very seriously, and it’s clear that you do too so Cheers, it means a lot to me.

      As for the square shapes on the building, that was just kind of random. I always draw such goddamn boring buildings, that was just a conscious effort to do something different.

  65. Rafi Says:

    Oh yeah actually about the overcrowding like with the planes and caterpillars, the same applies for the stars in the last panel–but only, I’d say, for that cluster in the upper left corner. I was trying for the longest time to figure out if it was an image of something, because it looks very arranged, but the best guess I could come up with was a shoe. If it isn’t an image, it’s a little confusing and, again, overcrowded, but if it IS an image, then I take that back and is there any way I could convince you to tell me what it’s meant to be?

    • Yeah, i originally tried to make an image of something using stars, but it just didn’t work so now it’s just a shapeless cluster. I should probably have cleaned that up to be honest, but i must have forgotten..

  66. Rafi Says:

    The sole of a shoe, I mean.

  67. Missed you, Winston. Hope Spring is treating you well; hope you’re getting out to stretch those crotchety old bones of yours.

    I especially loved the “gliding” streetcar. It’s amazing how something so awesome in concept is such a royal pain in the ass in reality – the novelty of the streetcar, for example.

  68. Miguel Says:

    I’ve been not here for some years and I’m really impressed of how you have improved your drawing. Plots are as good as always (more mature or is it just my imagination?) I’ve totally felt part of this silent complicity. It’s obvius that you enjoy with this stuff and that you put your ilusion on it due to the quality of the result. I need to came here more often. Un abrazo desde España.

  69. Abel Says:

    Dig how time “passes” in each frame.

  70. erdosain Says:

    Great, now i’m depressed because i don’t have a friend like that. Other than this, i loved it!

  71. Beregond Says:

    Just felt the need to say that that panel where they’re watching the sun going down and you can see it in Pink’s sunglasses is my favorite panel you have ever done. Their expressions, the way you did Pink’s hair… loved it. Any chance of a desktop worthy resolution of that frame?

  72. Aw this one was just plain beautiful. Both the art and the general sentiment, beautiful. Those friendships are the best friendships. Also: whenever you draw squirrels, they are always up to shenanigans. Always love those squirrels.

  73. page 4, why is the blonde girl on the bench wearing a skirt if she didn’t shave her legs?

    also, the sun’s ray are almost parallel, so a plane’s shadow is the same size as the plane.

    • Rafi Says:

      Yeah I KNOW, women totally aren’t allowed to wear skirts if they don’t shave their legs! It’s like, against nature. If God intended women to have hairy legs, he wouldn’t have created razors. I appreciate you calling out this egregious breach of what a woman should be like. We need more police like you. Next time you see a woman who is doing something you don’t think a woman should do, please give her a smack from me.

    • eh eh just meant to be provocative here, just wanted to check if anyone else noticed, or if it was body hair at all. this is my favorite panel and I checked every pixel of it.

    • NZfishboy Says:

      You should look up the word ‘provocative’ and compare to ‘trolling’ and see which applies more accurately to your comment.

      But on the off chance you’re being genuine – try looking at some of the other comments here and on the other comics. We read everything and eat up every detail 🙂

  74. Infanttyrone Says:

    This couldn’t have been done as well in any other medium The clutter has always been one of my favorite parts of Subnormality. Only in comics can you linger over every line and not lose the flow. Especially in this one, where the passing of time is nice and slow.

    I have to agree that the sunset-in-sunglasses panel is one of my favorites. Only a couple of webcomics have put a lump in my throat, and most of them are yours. I’ve got friends who would love what you’re doing but have trouble looking at screens for too long. I’m curious what a book by Winston Rowntree would look like, though. Is that idea floating around somewhere?

  75. Fultronic Says:

    So…are they like, doing it now? 🙂

  76. I miss her pink hair…

  77. Sheedy Says:

    You know how you occasionally make a post about not having done a comic in a while, and we all say you shouldn’t worry? Next time you think it’s been too long, just look at this comic again – your fans feel that way about your work. Quality over quantity every time.

    • I agree, I’m in Australia and last I just randomly check this Artist out now and again because the work is of such a high standard for the internet, but now and again he pulls out pure unadulterated perfection in a strip, a good mate of mine died a few weeks ago ( it’s cool, I got to say goodbye) and he said something that fits this strip perfectly “ you can’t buy class”, this strip is pure class, I may even buy a T shirt one day,

  78. Henry Turner Says:

    FPHG ruined it by talking at the end. Therefore Winston ruined it by having FPHG talking at the end. If you have to explain the punchline to your joke you haven’t told it right (or you’re telling it to idiots, but hey, this IS the internet).

    • NZfishboy Says:

      You thought this was a *joke*?

    • Henry Turner Says:

      Sorry, I said “ruined”, that was way harsh, it was an excellent strip and enjoyable to read, it just would have been better if Winston and FPHG had resisted temptation and held his/her tongue at the end.

    • Henry Turner Says:

      NZFishboy, no it’s not a joke, I was making an allusion. Joke/tale/shaggy dog story, I was referring to telling a tale in a public forum, but this strip shares a similarity to a joke in that it has a punchline.

    • Anonyme Says:

      I would venture that even a comic with so few words is a “Comix with too many words”, then.

    • dross Says:

      Some of us have too large an imagination. It wasn’t necesarilly that until they specified.

  79. Justin C. Says:

    Dude, I fucking love you, you are the greatest thing on the internet, a Bill Watterson/Berkley Breathed of the internet generation

  80. Anonymous Says:

    Wicked. It’s always nice to know that people outside of Quebec know about what is going on here with protests.

    Keep up the good work!

  81. Nick Says:

    This one quickly jumped right up into my all time favorites.

  82. Alexromo Says:

    Just so you know winston,you’ve reached a point in your comics where you can go all Joss Whedon on us and kill one of your characters making, in the process, a very profound statement about death or the futility of life. I don’t know if i should ask you to do it, or beg you not to.

  83. Doyle Says:

    oh dear, im late this time. beutiful work on this one. scanned rather quickly through it then went back and studdied it in greater detail after. its realy great to know i can get a big comic like this every month. something i look forward to.

  84. Mark Says:


  85. Reading through the comments, a lot of what I wanted to say was already said. It is beautiful, yes, especially the panel with the sunset reflected in fphg’s glasses. Too many caterpillars, yes, very nice crowd panel, Riker is number one for sure. So thank you. Your work in comics is great.
    There is one thing though, already slightly reflected in a comment made – about the end not needing words. I don’t completely agree on that, that is, the words did not bother me (I think because I did not see the objective of the comic in showing mainly how the relationship between the sphinx and the girl grows, but to show the passage of time from the point of view of two resting onlookers – and the act of resting (ha!) itself.)
    However, your comics have a tendency to overexplain themselves – this is not meant as a comment in the spirit of “tl;dnr”, the walls of text never bothered me. Have you ever read “A Clockwork Orange”? At every turn, a character reminds us what message what we just saw is supposed to convey, the prison chaplin for example, or the good doctor’s assistant when explaining Nadsat. In the end, it’s Alex himself explaining how he has grown up, and what it meant that he cut out the picture of the little baby (honestly? In case of this novel, I think removing the last chapter from the American version was a good move that would’ve improved the book, had the author decided to do so). It perfectly works in your christmas comic about the returning soldier in the automated brothel – no tacked on note about how the use of fossile resources is wrong, just a short reference back to the beginning of the soldier’s story. Beautiful, after all the harrowing story.
    Hm, now that I tried finding a negative example, I realise I need to re-read some of your newer work before I can do so. I shall do so the next time I am not on a slow connection. Your work is great and it’s free, and the least I can do is put a little work into the feedback I give. So, thank you, and I hope this feedback will be useful.

  86. Dzre Says:

    What’s the cafe called during the day? What’s it called in the last panel? Can’t sleep until I know.

  87. madeleine Says:

    so beautiful! so beautiful. so. beautiful.

    was that you with the portfolio, winston?

  88. Artwork improving, comics declining…

  89. Arkonbey Says:

    Wow. A non-depressing and non-allegorical/metaphorical Subnormality! Refreshing! Still well drawn, as usual. I especially like the subtle shift of the restaurant from Sunset Grill (old enough to know it was Don Henley) to Moonlight Cafe

  90. pG Says:

    I had a day like that last sunday. Except – instead of the Sphinx I had my son and daughter with me (18 months and 5 years respectively).

    Man, I love days like that.
    Good one Wince.

  91. Line Noise Says:

    some times words or text can be a wall between friends

    Yes WR comic tends to hammer home the message
    but the message is usually a buried truth from a by-gone
    generation, foreign and strange to modern mankind. Kudos to him for reintroducing these insights to a fresh generation.

  92. Bill W Says:

    Hey Winston, you remember the Monstrous discrepancies comic you did over a year ago. Someone just posted it on 9gag yesterday, getting quite a lot of views. You should check it out http://9gag.com/gag/4552451

  93. Jenny Says:

    I am sure that if a monster appeared on the grass of the annexe of a park in the centre of any busy Western city – As long as it kept preternaturally still; Most people would consider it to be some sort of performance art, under the control of the civil authorities, and continue on their way unworried and unmindful.

    This is all perfectly natural, staying still for extended periods is normal predator behaviour. Not only that staying still preserves energy making the need to devour prey less pressing and the time between kills much longer.

    Never the less, sooner or later…..

    Will our heroine get to witness this event?

    What will be her reaction?

    Will it affect her friendship?

    Will it be a relationship breaker?

    Will we get to witness a messy breakup similar to a divorce?

    Will the Sphinx comiserate with others of its type?

    With the best of intentions, will they try to set it up with a replacement human?

    Will it be funny?

  94. Paul Says:

    The frame where they’re watching the sun setting… love it!

  95. I love this piece and I have come back to it a number of times. It has a visual rhythm and evokes a distinct emotional state. I can almost smell the grass and the fumes when the mower goes by.

    That said, I want to express a stylistic quibble. The frame where the sphinx makes the face at the dog is out of context with the rest of the images. It’s not the aggression. That makes a good punctuation mark in the otherwise dreamy sequence. It’s the distorted expression. The rest of the portrayals in the piece are in a semi-realistic style. Cartoons, yes, but obeying the laws of facial physics, as it were. The sphinx’s face in that panel is jarring because it goes outside the bounds of the universe you’ve created for her and into a cartoonish universe.

    And that said, I join the multitudes who would like to spend a day sitting on the grass with the sphinx and the fphg, watching the world go by.

  96. Beachfox Says:

    Simply fucking beautiful. Words (fitting) fail…

  97. dross Says:

    Fucking beautiful. O hai beachfox.

  98. Benjy Says:

    Once again, I love you WR. You’re the best.

  99. waehry Says:

    I used to consider a month’s wait between two comics a mild annoyance. (It is strange how self entitled one can become regarding free entertainment and art on the internet.) Now when I see the same comic as I did three weeks ago I smile (though not aloud) because something great’s in the pipeline.

    Loved this one and can’t wait for the next, thanks M. Rowntree.

    • Something Huge is in the pipeline, i’ll say that (though i can’t promise it’ll be great). Thanks for the patience as well, it means a lot that you’re willing to wait because i know the waiting has been excessive of late (even though it’s been for positive reasons– big comix, and lots of side work).

    • Joe Trudell Says:

      I have never read a Subnormality comic and said to myself, “Well that wasn’t worth the wait at all”

  100. qwertyisms Says:

    Sometimes I get burnt out reading through the comic, but that much forces me to evaluate what I’m reading a comic for, what I intend to get out of it . . . sadly the answer is sometimes just a checkmark of sorts.

    I read subnormality sporadically, a result of the slower update time than most webcomics, but every fourth comic or so means a great deal to me — forces me to reconsider what life is, how singular my views aren’t and how alone I am not.

    I’m not one for sentiment, or for admitting that I need or am inspired by others, or for saying much of anything in the way of suggesting anything other than rustic self-reliance, but Thank You. This comic means a great deal to me. I find it to be inspiring and healing.

  101. desert_jin Says:

    Awesome. Thank you for that comic.

  102. sixpowerup Says:

    every day
    i am waiting for the new one!
    but it’s not there…
    winston, because your comics take so long to make, can you update frequently or something? like, give n estimate on the complete time? sorry if this is little disrespectful, but i have the worst case of ADHD and i’m not patient

    • It’s alright, you couldn’t possibly be more impatient than i am. I did post a progress update on the blog a few days back, but estimates just aren’t possible– it’ll take as long as it takes unfortunately. My workload is like this: either i have nothing going on for two weeks, or i decide to do a huge comic and then get a ton of side work on the same day, so, uh, murphy’s law or whathaveyou.

      I know the waiting sucks, but this comic’s unusually large and the concurrent amount of side work is as well, so after this little Worst-Case-Scheduling-Scenario (and that’s what it is) clears up this week, i envision a future with fewer such delays. Honestly i’ve got a lot of new stuff on my plate and am still getting used to the time management aspect of it, so thanks for waiting, i really do appreciate it.

  103. Charlie Says:

    Can anybody here enlighten me as to what *Quebec is Killing Me* (the book that PHG is reading) is about? The title is intriguing but I’d like to know if it’s up my alley before I make the Amazon purchase.

  104. Jake Says:

    People probably give you a hard time for taking such a long time to release new comics. Honestly man, I’m so used to the wait by now it’s pretty much irrelevant. It doesn’t hurt that waiting for the latest subnormality is almost always justified in the end.
    So- regarding the note on the main comics page: please don’t rush it. This stuff is Art.

  105. mishyana Says:

    I like how he says the 200th comic is going to be “long”; as compared to what, exactly? Should I arrange for a vacation day from work to read this beast? =)

  106. sixpowerup Says:

    😀 yay! i like ur words
    maybe i should take more time to type mine out…
    Colon – the letter “D” I like your words!

  107. Otter Says:

    “If young people hate you that means you suck” 😀
    I love these hidden details. And the band name sale sign next to it.

  108. Jonathan Says:

    Hi Winston, I just wanted to ask if you have read any novels by Sheri S. Tepper? To me, your work and hers seem to have the same spirit behind them. I really enjoy both.

    Damn this old man behind me typing on his keyboard as if it were a typewritter! I can’t concentrate on what I am writing!

  109. Seth Harper Says:

    Dude, you amaze me. Such beautiful and thoughtful art along with beautiful and thoughtful words. I can’t say enough. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this comic.

  110. RIch Says:

    I haven’t laughed this hard in a while. Keep it coming.

  111. Mike Says:


  112. Harro Says:

    Damn, subnormality keeps getting better and better made. The subtlety here and the constant experimentation is hugely inspiring.

    Thanks for making this comic! 😀

  113. I only just read this one and I feel as if I just spent a day exactly like that with my best friend. Thank you.

  114. Mystyr Nile Says:

  115. Leonard Says:

    like the way this one is done

  116. Mad Cormorant Says:

    So… a Witcher fan, I take it?

    (In any case, thanks much for the desktop-size sunset panel.)

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