Floor Plan

October 12, 2012


Okay, aaand we’re back. This ain’t perfect obviously, but i, uh, ran out of pixels. Like it says on the home page, i’ve also set up an experimental Thing where you can peruse a larger and zoom-in-able version of the comic. Just use your mouse and mousewheel to navigate around with ease. I know a lot of people wish my tiny, horrible writing was otherwise, so this is one way of addressing that whole thing (as i said i would. PROMISE KEPT). Won’t be necessary for every comic, but some of them for sure. Let me know what you think in the comments!

thanks for reading,



128 Responses to “Floor Plan”

  1. itsathought2 Says:

    I hope you plan to make this into a poster, because it’s on my Xmas list if you do. 🙂

  2. I haven’t even looked at it yet (still at work y’know) but am very happy to hear about the zoomability. Look forward to checking it out this evening.

  3. Alex Romo Says:

    Well this takes multiple personality disorder into the realm of Inverted hive mind, which i think totally reflects how our mind operates, and i would even dare to comment about how this is also how organizations actually work (although they don’t have their departments so well defined).

    This is totally what we’re made of, and on a personal level i totally loved some of the smaller concepts such as the krugger-dunner slide or the whole l(heart)st (“love”+”lust”, and maybe even “lost”).

    I think it would be a pretty cool excercise to create a blank footprint of this map that could be filled with my own personal information, and for that matter the “superconvenient nonreligious conffesional” could be turned into a pretty cool app.

  4. Amazing. Just amazing…
    This is the elevation, I’ve enjoyed watching you progress…
    thank you!

  5. Aeron Says:

    Swastikas are not evil.

    • Alex Romo Says:

      Swastikas are not evil, but this is a map of the mind where the connotation symbols have are relative to how the owner of the mind feels about them. Independently from the origin of the symbol, our western culture relates the swastika to nazis and nazis to evil so that’s how we perceive that symbol.

    • Yeah, and it’s in the context of my previous work, where swastikas have exclusively appeared in the context of nazism, that’s all.

  6. Harry Says:




    • Harry Says:










      I love how everyone’s gathered around the big chamber filled with hope (and getting inspired just from looking at it GOD DAMN THAT IS COOL), but it has a meter, as though it’ll run out if enough shitty stuff happens.

      I love your comics
      This is probably my favourite obscenely-huge-mega-comic, tbh. XKCD’s one times a thousand isn’t as good as this (and I know you were there before him, definitely not accusing copying or anything ioerahaegiljkkfgagalm/.’

      you’re perfect
      highest level of compliment

    • Echo Says:

      I like that one gremlin has taken refuge in the empathy unit, and is trying to parley. I think he left a bomb near the left exit, and the empathy unit will be shut down for some time.

    • Ha, thanks. People noticing details is secretly my favorite kind of feedback.

    • Spideycow Says:

      Haha! Oh my god I just saw the keys now! I’ve got to say WR, these updates (especially the maps of various concepts [Goats, Musical Wheres, Halloween Party, etc., etc.]) make my day. The intricacy keeps me coming back and smiling a ridiculous smile and making people in the library stare at me funny.

  7. RAIV Says:

    That was frakking amazing. A magnum opus of creativity and imagination. One of my favs if not THE fav (though Sphinxy doesn’t appear… 😦 ).

  8. Anthony Says:

    Oh my God 😀 DNA Fonzie is some kind of masterpiece. What part of the brain comes up with that?

  9. Elias Garcia Says:

    at the beginning I thought you werent going to pull such a thing off but you kept surprising me in every section and how everything is connected, filtered emotions and the present mind represented through little guys going around the place… Wooow man, please keep going 🙂

  10. Ana R Cisi Says:

    This one is terrific, especially the zoomable-floatable version. It’s true the Sphinx is missing, and some other babes as well — maybe they moved to my mind, where they seem to be running around pretty consistently!

  11. Nathan Says:

    is that a chip on careerism’s shoulder?

  12. Anders Says:

    Did anyone else notice that the painting of the flower in “Creativity” is the same as the one in “Memory->Pride”?
    Anyways, fantastic comic yet again Winston!

  13. Spyder Z Says:

    Heh, I love this. But then again, I’ve enjoyed the majority of your work. The Zoom Feature was awesome for this one, and a definite + any time you want to do one of these “Map” comics. ;P I’m kind of interested in a Blow up of that “Outline”, and wonder if you archive those somewhere? (I love the “Creative Process”.)

  14. Loved it, kept me entertained for an hour, will inspire me for for longer. 🙂

    I like how the red Lusters were trying to take over and had field offices all over trying to “convert” everybody, haha!

    Do you think this is a man’s mind, or a woman’s mind, or it could be either?

    • Echo Says:

      The exaggerated class ass (start of the inaccurate section) and the regret panel point to attracted-to-females. Also, with PHG in blue in the inaccurate section, and the creativity+pride pairing, I’m guessing this is mostly Rowntree’s.

  15. John Loo Says:

    This comic is so good! I think you should update most of your comics in that zoom-able version. Your comics are usually large anyway, so it really helps. Oh, and how’s your page stats? I try sharing on Facebook your comics that I think a more mainstream audience would like sometimes, but there’s no thumbnail or anything so I think it’s not very attractive. Maybe you’d want to do something about that? But love your work as always man!

  16. Francis Reed Says:

    Wow, it is wonderful, specially when i saw the outline, i couldn’t believe that you had made something so huge with an outline relatively siimple… the love on the opposite corner of hate, the hate stoppping the mind with those balls and looking for something i which to anchor the mind, all of those little details, the inaccuracy in the phrase: “No, Luke, I am your father” from a Cracked article, the only regret, all of it is truly impressive

  17. SRdH Says:

    I really liked the “You’ll Get Used To It” spoof of “Keep Calm and Carry On” with the brain instead of the crown. It’s very true,

  18. chackie chan Says:

    great job! i feel like the ‘confidence boost’ button in the randomizer might be a reference to a recently released song……..??

  19. notquiteabdmafe Says:

    I seriously hope this goes on print.

  20. I think I would rather like this on my wall, will have to place it in the computer room though ,installed in the hallway I imagine I would find myself and others staring into its hypnotic depths and blocking the front door.

  21. Joe Trudell Says:


  22. forrester Says:

    Absolutely mindblowing. When you update, I always run through my other feeds, then arrange a minimum of 10 minutes for reading and exploring your comic. This one easily kept me down for half an hour (or was it more?!) God, sooo many details and little telltale clues.

    Thank you again for your amazing work, man!

  23. John Loo Says:

    I noticed there’s no recurring romantic couple in your comics. Are you… bad at romance?

  24. kroati Says:

    Even after at least 20 minutes of checking every part of the comic, I’m still not sure if I’ve caught all details. It’s amazing how you pay attention to even the smallest things, which in turn makes your comics even better, perhaps even best.

    I’d pay for this stuff in pure gold if i had to. It’s worth it.

    • I just had a dream about gold! Nicolas Cage followed me off the bus because he wanted to steal my two briefcases full of gold, so when he wasn’t looking i switched out the gold for bricks to screw him over. YOU’RE ALREADY RICH STOP STEALING GOLD.

      Sorry, that has nothing to do with your comment, i just thought it was funny. Ah, dreams…

  25. Dhatz Says:

    Theism isn’t religion(this also connects with previous comic), and actually the hidden INFLUENCES behind society are built on an ancient religion/ideology(these terms are effectively the same) called the Mysteries(or Mystery traditions) mainly focused on influencing thoughts, as seen in their APPLICATION in establishment-culture full of OBFUSCATING news, uncreative stereotyping films and music, absurd alluring ideologies, religions(Nazis knew that lies have to be big, simple and repeated) and memes and sealed with sea of disinformation propaganda that makes it all believable because of its integrity(also confuses the true sources of knowledge). Inconsequentiality is never a choice since thought has to be induced and there is very little nature to the human neocortex. If you made it this far you have recognized the world is being shaped against the will of nature which many inevitably call (God’s) Natural Laws. There are two basic opposite conditions of deficient mind: psychopathy and fanatic zeal. It is psychopaths that took control of these schools of knowledge because their condition makes them unable to empathize(and forces them to falsify emotions and operate in secrecy) they fixated themselves on acquiring knowledge (to be used as weapon against the ignorant) of which the Sun is the worshiped symbol. There is no mystery other than lack of knowledge and no secret other than lack of publicity. Those who rely on what they are a told know nothing. The best possibility I found of figuring out what and why is going on and what can we do is by knowing, KNOWING [WhatOnEarthIsHappening com]. To believe ANY of the structures of hierarchical compartmentalized control are there for you is childishly naive. Or if you believe there is hope, that word is an obfuscation and distraction in itself because those who remain inconsequential have no hope.

  26. Alex Says:

    Reading these comics is honestly one of the best parts of my weekend.

  27. Manda Says:

    My favorite ones are Creativity’s hopeful tray of snacks, the happy little dude at the Misinformation Booth, the battered but still vigilant Conscience, and that the Memory gallery has “hours”.

    Every time I read one of your comics, I end up liking being human even more.

    • “Every time I read one of your comics, I end up liking being human even more.” Dude…. When i eventually put out a book, that quote’s totally going on the back. Definitely glad to have had that effect!

    • Manda Says:

      Hooray! I’ll look forward to purchasing that book!

      Also: ilikechips.jpg. Nice.

  28. James Says:

    Man, love this.

    Need to fit in, and need to stand out are both being driven by Instinct.

    Honesty is the only thing holding up the barbed roof of Damocles, and it takes courage to get there.

    Gremlins have mounted a ‘perfect image’ in front of Envy.

    Love the tiny details, it’s all wonderful.

  29. CellarRat Says:

    Another excellent comic! Expectation of a raging madman is my favorite.

  30. Peter Says:


    That is all.

  31. blah Says:

    Nationalism, really? Sometimes, Winston, just sometimes….

    • Joe Trudell Says:

      Would you care to expand on that?

    • dethtoll Says:

      Think of it this way — patriotism is a love for your country, nationalism is a hatred for everyone else’s.

    • ^ that is well-phrased

    • Joe Trudell Says:

      I prefer to think of patriotism as the belief that people born on your side of an imaginary line are inherently better than all people born on the other side of that imaginary line.

    • Ana R Cisi Says:

      Well, it’s a refuge.

    • Patriotism is love of country. If you love what makes your country special, you should want to export those things to other countries and make them better (freedom of speech, a free market, a less intrusive government, etc.). I would love it if more countries adopted the freedoms we have in America. That way, when inevitably someone screws my country up, I have somewhere else to escape to. If we repeat the same mistakes other countries have made, where will we run to, then?

    • Joe, there are good people in every country in the world. It’s not their fault that they were born in a country where their government sucks. We owe it to them to show them what free countries have, so they will demand it for themselves.

  32. standgale Says:

    holy moley. I am at work so haven’t read it yet, was just checking in to see if there is anything new. That’s massive. You must not eat or sleep, only make comics.
    Did you know, every time a new comic comes out, I wait until no ones home so I can have peace and quiet, make sure I have some nice wine or beer available, pour myself a glass and go and and sit and just read the comic with full attention and enjoyment, like the whole experience was a ritual or a treasure to be savoured.

    • stryde22 Says:

      i am on the exact same boat. Subnormality viewing is a truly personal experience that needs to be savoured each time. I have actually wondered several times if Winston realises just how much these comics can affect a person. Just to be able to truly move and inspire people you will never meet, that’s got to be incredibly comforting in at least some aspect. I mean, its not like i’m blindly worshipping every word he says as gospel, but its just that he’s always hitting those nails right on the freaking head! truly incredible stuff :). this will be my favourite birthday present when it comes out as a print haha.

    • Well i’m certainly honored to be part of any such rituals, i’ll say that. I’m honestly just blown away by people’s feedback a lot of the time, so thanks very much indeed for making me feel like this whole art thing is worth it. I could honestly just sit here and make comics for the rest of my life (and i will, finances permitting. Aye, there’s the rub…), and that’s because i know there are people out there who genuinely appreciate my work and don’t see it as disposable or worse than other mediums. So cheers! More comix on the way. Shit, if i could just clone myself a couple of times you’d be drowning in comix (this lack of clones is frustrating sometimes. If you are a mad scientist from the future, PLEASE EMAIL ME).

      PS: the fact that you’re not blindly worshiping every word is the best part, believe me.

  33. arrrr Says:

    Incredible detail. And depression holds the main power switch, which must cripple the hope, security, and lust departments when turned off.

  34. TheDave Says:

    I get excited whenever I find there’s a new comic. Occasionally I end up holding back on reading it because I don’t have time to do the whole thing all at once. Today’s one of those days. All it means is I get to be excited about it until I get home tomorrow.

  35. dethtoll Says:

    Solid. These are the comics I come back for. This really should be a poster.

  36. Edwin Says:

    Fantastic work! What’s the difference between the green and the brown guys?

  37. Miguel Says:

    Has Martin Handford influenced in this comic or is just my imagination? as nice as always Rowntree, is always a pleasure to visit your web for remembering the old times.

  38. Grimm Says:

    I love how there’s Lust Girls and Dudes everywhere. And they’re pink, of course.

    Awesome job on the coloring Winston, it really helps with the readability.

  39. This might honestly be the best thing ever. well worth the 25 plus minutes it took me to navigate it. Bravo

  40. Harry Says:


    reponse appreciated

  41. Lorrr Says:

    This is actually amazing. And so are all the comics you make. Without fail. Full stops make these emphasised. Self-awareness permits me to write this. Self-awareness self awareness takes away that privilege.

  42. Jessica Osio Says:

    Must. Buy. This. Poster~!

  43. Vlad Says:

    Thank you!

  44. Eli Heath Says:

    You are literally the craziest, most intelligent artist/writer I’ve ever had the pleasure to observe the work of. Everything you make just makes me think. I love it.

  45. Kalle Says:

    Bloody hell. Simple enough concept to grasp, but when you start mapping it out it must spiral out of control really fast. Would love to see some sketches from along the way, seeing as I don’t really think you just sat down with a 4A0-sheet and started doodling! XD Favourite part: The depression lever. Wouldn’t have thought of that one myself.

  46. ChronoSamurai Says:

    Loved it. Thankyou.

  47. pG Says:

    Not enoug lust and sex. And you need a entire section connected to Procastination for Internet Porn.
    Otherwise – you read my mind. No wonder I have a headache.

  48. I just reread this, and found so much new stuff! My favorite discovery has to be the backwards text for Flaws in the self awareness dept.

  49. Josh Says:

    Just absolutely amazing, breathtaking and undeniably true. Never stop what it is you do, because it needs to be done.

  50. Caleb Says:

    Simply unbelievable, I don’t know how you manage to capture and illustrate all our stupid/crazy/wonderful idiosyncrasies in your comics. That you’re able to do it with such regularity just floors me. Truly genius work. I wear my Subnormality t-shirt with pride. My hat is off to you good sir.

  51. I’m curious as to what the shameful memory was that incurred the brown-haired lady to yell “Excuse me!” at you. Or maybe you’re a girl after all! Whattt! Mind – blown.

  52. Bobby Says:

    Dear Winston…

    YES! What a great comic. I’ve been a fan ever since I saw the “Maturity Climb” on stumbleupon.com, in lecture, on the girl’s computer sitting in front of me. I google searched for it and finally ended up on your site.

    The experimental layout is awesome – I like the panning feature. Some of your strips are very detailed, which I like, but sometimes I don’t get to see all the little things you write out in small print (yes, I look… haha).

    Thanks again for a wonderful piece of talent, it surely eased my mind after a long day/week. I hope to get a poster of this soon, whenever it’s available if it’s not now.

    Keep up the good work!

  53. Wyvern Says:

    Brilliant as usual.

  54. Aiarashi Says:

    Though I kind of prefer comics that deal with one theme at a time, I gotta say that this one’s really, really interesting. *nods*
    What I like about this one in general is tall the different ways in which they can fall to the basement, and makes me think just how so many people get trapped there, even if not completely depending on each case. And also how the Will/Volition building is the most chaotic of the whole place. XD
    In particular I like the Self-control guy working on the instults coming, while the Peer pressure guys keep freaking out. And also I like the overthinking room, I think it only needs a little bit of tidying up and it would be a great place. ^^
    And well, personally I don’t think perspective is too hard to reach; especially when there’s comcis like subnormality to help us gain it. ;D

  55. brashieel Says:

    I’ll admit it. I was intimidated by this one, and procrastinated on checking it out. So… huge. And I knew it would be totally loaded with detail.

    Having finally forced my internet addled mind to settle down and READ this thing for 30 minutes… wow. This one really works. Good job, and thanks for all the obvious effort you put into this stuff,

  56. I said it before, I’ll say it again: you are an amazing artist, thinker and (probably) person. I cannot stress enough how much I like your stuff. Keep up the good work!

  57. Colin Says:

    I slowly went through all the comics after reading the Abnormalities comic (linked from a reddit comment I happened to read, what fortune!). After reading through 20-30 in the first day and keeping up a heavy pace through the first 100 comics or so, I realized that I had to slow down because these comics really work if you slowly read and think about them.

    So consider me a devoted reader, Winston, because all of your comics, including this one, are amazing in so many deep ways.

  58. MSpreij Says:

    I could spend hours looking at this and not be done.. and it makes me want a 3500 x 2700 (or so) screen.. this will be a poster, right? One day I’ll have surplus $ again to buy it.
    The ignorance section is labelled “Ingorance” – on purpose?

  59. Amna Says:

    Hi there. Been reading your comics for a long long time, i don’t even remember how I got to know about them in the first place 😛 Anyways, this comic was just amazingly intricate and so much fun to read through. The reason I am posting my first comment ever is that asides from the artwork and the perspectives you let the readers enjoy, your comics really bring a whole other cultural dimension into the life of a barely-out-of-her-teens girl like me.

    I belong to a southeast asian country, very religious, very conservative society. And the problem with me is I read too much, I think too much and eventually it all leads to a huge disconnect between me and my peers. Your comics are one of those few sources of non traditional mediums which make me feel connected and relatable to other people 🙂 Even if I don’t always agree with some of your basic ideas, they introduce other points of view and can lead to those sudden bouts of clarity at times- totally worth the long reading required for your comics.

    My favorite comic is definitely the Race of life one, so many different layers of meaning to that one. But this one just sucked me in with it’s depth. I really wish more people could be self aware enough to understand and control their own minds. A lot of the mess that goes in the world would be stopped…

    I hope you continue to be successful in your venture as an artists 🙂

  60. Nate Says:

    Awesome. One of my favorites. Just bought a print!

  61. This is one of your best I think. So much details, it is an achievement I said.

    I like how there are many ways to fall into the basement and how your conscience is the last barrier. And how the only way out is through courage to step out.

    You spend a long time making your comics, but I`d say they are worth the wait.

  62. DrNoOne Says:

    I’ve been checking your art periodically for quite some time and always enjoyed it, but this one blew me out of the water, it’s a truly amazing work, I bought a print of it at once.
    My sincerest congratulations for an outstanding and thought provoking piece of art.

  63. Boy Fem Says:

    Why can I buy one them Cycle of Revenge bicycles with spikes for tires?

    • Ana R Cisi Says:

      He that chops his own wood is twice warmed; he that builds his own cycle of revenge bicycle is twice avenged. Anyway, if you look around your attic or cellar you will probably find one.

  64. goldmale@gmail.com Says:

    Besides the sheer amount of work and talent doing a piece like this takes, the courage and honesty it was really gets me. You are only inside your head, but you show how the inside of everybody’s head works. One of your best for sure!

  65. JR Says:

    This was the best and truest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Thank you.

    And I’d buy the poster, too.

  66. WCityMike Says:

    If you zoom in, how do you pull back/zoom out?

  67. Dusty668 Says:

    So love the zoomability! It makes all the nice details you drop in much more enjoyable!!

  68. Heather Says:

    This is brilliant. Thanks for including factory farms.

  69. dj Says:

    I discovered Subnormality, three days ago and just finished reading the entire back catalog. Thank you, you work is exceptional. I bought a tee-shirt!

  70. The Old Wolf Says:

    Am now back to my 4ourth time reading this one. ” ♫So much to do so much to see
    So what’s wrong with taking the back streets ♫”
    I’m sure I’ll be back again. Just saw “ingorance” too, like the one commenter upstairs, and also wondered if it was on porpoise. I’d vote for “yes.”

  71. kat Says:

    Just checking, did you intentionally spell “ignorance” as “ingorance” in the comic? I hate to be *that* guy

  72. William Says:

    Well. Someone read The Phantom Tollbooth as a child. No seriously, I never buy your prints. Now I may have to. Just as soon as I pay off these other bills.

  73. Ray Says:

    Someone’s been looking at some Marc Bell I see.

  74. Face Says:

    This drawing is amazing. It’s like four Where’s Waldo pictures packed into one!

  75. Complete brilliance awesome perfect amazing insert hyperbole here genius!

  76. Brennan Barrington Says:

    Here’s an idea, since you’ve done all these ones with Nazis: such a “map”, labeled “Early in 1919”, with most of the orange guys in the basement and/or evil, and the basement creatures overrunning the upper levels, killing the security and some of the lust people. The security chief is shown talking to a subordinate: “…but we have to consider the needs of other minds. The enemy’ll probably destroy the empathy and love sections themselves, but we can’t let them have knowledge. You are to destroy as much of that as you can.” His subordinate hurries off. The next panel zooms on two things: the chief telling his men, preparing for a last stand by the doors, “it’s been an honor serving with you”; and a security guy starting a fire in knowledge as the monsters try to break in, throwing books clearly labeled “Napoleon’s Invasion of Russia” and “A Military History of the United States” into the flames. The last panel zooms away from the “map” to show it all happening, in the head of Adolf Hitler, as he enters Munich.

  77. Vic Says:

    The depression one really got me… 😦

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