January 28, 2013


Comix return! I’ll be back…


50 Responses to “February”

  1. Greenwood Goat Says:

    I can honestly say that I would have no philosophical objections to not sleeping ever. The rising and setting of the sun, mealtimes, the TV schedule – we’d still find ways to divide up time. We could use futons, hammocks and the like if we ever needed a lie-down, and as for sex… there would be room for swings and all sorts of things, all of which could be folded or hoisted away when not in use. The only problem would be getting rid of the also-non-sleeping kids.

    I did like the Abbey Road take-off. Even if Paul *had* been meant to represent the deceased in a funeral procession, the “priest”, “undertaker” and “gravedigger” would all be equally doomed in the long term…

  2. maarvarq Says:

    Another beautiful comic, although I’ve never felt so much that I was missing hidden jokes in the artwork. What was the deal with all the Beatles references?

  3. The Old Wolf Says:

    Oh. My. Heck. It was “Mean Mr. Mustard” that made the penny drop for me, but I know I’m missing a whole slug of references, despite being a child of the 50’s and 60’s and like the Beatles are still my favorite group of all time and yes when CD’s turn into those little quarter-sized things I *will* buy the white album again just like Agent K and this is what happens to my mind when I lose some of my precious sleep getting up at 3AM to teach Engrish to people in Japan who have no idea what time it is here and thanks for keeping me entertained in the dead spots…

  4. Avonidas Says:

    I like this. At first, I was confused with the “Hallway People”, I thought they were in the street next to a building or something.

    Those price tags in minutes and seconds (is it “M” with a dollar slash?) remind me of “In Time”, a movie I also loved.

    I would never, ever give up sleep. There’s nothing philosophical about it.

  5. Lupo_13 Says:

    So I got “Sun King”, “Mean Mr. Mustard”, “Polythene Pam”, “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window” and “The End”. But I keep feeling that I’m not smart enough to get the references to “Golden Slumbers” and “Carry That Weight”, which must be hidden in there somewhere, right? RIGHT?

    Outstanding work, as always.

  6. ShinyJim Says:

    Great. Now I want some poutine, and I’m thousands of miles from Canada, and you just *can’t* get the cheese here….

  7. Jessie Brown Says:

    Oh I love Subnormality.

  8. KDR Says:

    Great stuff, as usual. Also, 100% envious of these ladies’ relationship…sigh. Also also, diggin’ the Sunny Day painting.

  9. jennibrock Says:

    I was distracted by trying to figure out which room is Valentine’s Day, whether to go across then down, or down then across.

  10. psuedonymous Says:

    I’m with Greenwood Goat here; it’s a bit of a leap of logic to go from ‘no sleep’ to ‘no marking of days’ (all sorts of stuff changes diurnally), and an even greater one to leap from ‘no days’ to ‘no quantification of time’.

  11. pG Says:

    Oh the irony – Time by Pink Floyd was playing as I read this.
    And a Peepshow booth? Really?

    Eh. Makes sense to me. (or is it a song reference I missed – I’m half asleep as I type this)
    I’m going to go listen to Shine on you Crazy Diamond on the couch and enjoy the fuzzy half asleep feeling. Suck it hallway people!

  12. Kalle Says:

    The ensuite-rumpus room argument is terrific. As per usual, taking one small step to the side, everything you take for granted is revealed to be absurd…

  13. c_eagle Says:

    Wow, you’ve got quite a great musical taste, kid. Seriously, plenty of great bands and Mike Oldfields referenced there.

  14. mavericknm Says:

    As sadly un-academically proven as it is, ISTJ here. Someone should do a psych study relating “too many words” with X. Or maybe its just ADD.

    Another great one!

    • Colin Says:

      INFP here, and I too loved this comic and was really surprised to see an MBTI reference! It made me bizarrely happy to see that in there.

  15. OhHelloThere Says:

    Awesome as always. So many references, most of which I sadly do not get.

    Hehe, Vladimir Poutine 😀

  16. 1969tasmanseries Says:

    I really liked this comic.
    The idea of loosely connecting a comic with an album is a way cool idea.
    And the character’s conversation on mortality and time was eye-opening – as is usual in this comic

    Is there a zoom-n version somewhere? I couldn’t find it,
    Anyways, wonderful work!

  17. John S. Says:

    Just curious, are the two women the same women as in #152?

  18. Sisiutil Says:

    A refreshing take on things. We get so preoccupied with time flying by, it’s good to remember that things are cyclical and that there are other opportunities and chances for us.

  19. r10pez10 Says:

    Nice to see the Sphynx make it onto the cover of Time Magazine…!

  20. Richard Says:

    Hit the Super Convenient Non Religious Confessional on Saturday! 🙂

  21. Joe Trudell Says:

    Winston your visual metaphors are lie crack for my mind.

  22. Old Brit Says:

    Wonderful artwork as always, and so many references, but i must be missing so many more. (Is the 28th “Here Comes the Sun”?)
    You have ASDA (formerly Associated Dairies) stores in Canada?
    But like Greenwood Goat, I don’t see the connection between sleep and dividing time into days, weeks, months, years. I last went to sleep on Monday, woke Tuesday afternoon, and it’s now two in the morning Wednesday – not regular perods at all, unlike the light/dark divisions of days.and night.

  23. Anthony Says:

    Awesome! So many references. Is that Arthur the Avocado Plant from MAD by the ‘Yesterday’ door?

  24. dusty668 Says:

    Smashing Comic! I wish I could put a new one in everyone of my day boxes, but the wait is worth it. Guess I just need to make my boxes bigger. ❤

  25. Keith Says:

    I will now go and listen to all the albums I could find referenced in this strip. It might make me forget the horror of the time you made me listen to Silver Side Up, but I doubt it.

  26. Stephen Says:

    Wow, I should always be reading these comments! So much stuff I missed.

    Is this the first time we’ve seen that these two are in a relationship, or was that already shown and it’s just something else I missed?

  27. Malady Says:

    I see sleep as the opposite. Instead of a break shielding you from perceiving the inevitable oblivion; I see it as a sneak preview. This wonderful, restful nothingness you get every night; well when you’re done life you get the same thing except forever. It’s comforting, the same effect but for different reasons; I’d fear mortality more if I had never experienced unconsciousness to compare it to death.
    I might see sleep differently if I ever remembered my dreams.
    I might not see death as less comforting if I didn’t suffer from crippling depression.

    On a related note there is a drug in the works that is supposed to replace sleep. Not a stimulant that keeps you up but one that actually makes you feel like your had a restful full night of sleep. I think the American Military is involved with it’s development. I’d definitely take that drug if offered, but I’d go off it once and a while for a “sleep vacation”. Maybe 24 hours solid sleep once a week.

  28. H3RM1T Says:

    I love the artwork and the food for thought conversation. I’d buy a print but im broke as a joke.

  29. Bill W Says:

    This is my kind of calendar.

    Just one thing: I can only afford a small screen netbook right now(which is fine), but man it’s seriously incredibly hard to read your comics and appreciate the artwork on a small screen.

    • Anders Says:

      If you hold ctrl and scroll with your mouse wheel (or the touchpad, if you don’t have a mouse), you can zoom in and out of the screen.

  30. Aiarashi Says:

    It’s always a delight to see your comics, Winston, my friend. =D
    This one was really entertaining after having a bit of a bothersome week. I specially like how it reminded me of Jean Paul Sartre’s play No Exit, in how not being able to sleep was part of a hellish nightmare. Though it also made me think, what if people didn’t need to sleep but could if they wanted to, kinda like Alphonse in the Fullmetal Alchemist anime and manga, or having it as an alternative way of recovering your energy, kinda like in videogames and especially RPGs, where there’s also potions and what not to achieve the same thing. I love the way your comics always make me think a lot, but in a very much heartwarming and cheerful way on probable serious issues unlike many other media that just critizises things.

    But anyway, thanks for the comic I’m eternally greatful for such great displays of artful thinking. *nods*

  31. BreadGod Says:

    Too many words. Give me fanservice.

  32. Another great comic. Thanks!

  33. Harry Says:

    I don’t normally do the whole tumblr post thing
    but i found this and it’s pretty relevant, eh?


  34. Oniönhead Says:

    Oh my god, how I love this. And I usually don’t write comments like these, but I’ve been wanting to give some candid praise to your work for quite a while now.
    Winston Rowntree, not only are you obviously trying to push the envelope and challenge yourself every time both graphically and lyrically, but you manage to equally challenge your audience as well. And you pull it off. Every. Single. Fucking. Time. Each and every one of your comics is always both humorous, inspiring, relevant and thought-provoking, and, not least of all, original to the point of uniqueness. You, good sir, are a goddamn artist. Please keep up the good work. Your work is nothing short of magnificent.

  35. toronto Says:

    Paul Mccartney had a dream where he heard the song yesterday. He then woke up and wrote it up.

  36. Leo W. Says:

    I wanna talk a bit about the layout of your comics, ’cause i feel like there’s room for improvement. I often wonder if you think about where one’s eye is drawn to when making your comics, because it doesn’t feel like you do when I read it. For example, the speech bubbles; due to the length and the placement of the speech bubbles i find that my eye is drawn away from all the artwork in the comic and towards the dialogue, and that I have to go out of my way to look at it all after i have finished reading it.

    I wish you would layout your comics in a way that one can get the full benefit of the writing and visuals in a more natural way, if that makes any kind of sense.

    Another thing as well, I feel like there is too much dialogue across too few panels in this, and a number of other Subnormalitys (for example,the otherwise excellent “Hallway” comic). What I mean is, the reader should see more body language over larger amounts of dialogue. In other words the larger the amount of text, the more panels there should be, giving the reader more visuals to look at (I find it quite visually boring to be reading too much text in a comic at one time.)

    I hope all/any of that made some kind of sense.

    Also, just wanna finish this rant of with a compliment so it doesn’t seem too negative; I love to see you continuing to experiment with the layout in your comics, it’s one of the things that I think makes Subnormality truly great, it’s always so refreshing to see you changing it up every so often. I guess you could say it’s a visual feast.

    Anyway, as always I am infinitely grateful to you for creating what is, without hyperbole, the greatest thing on the internet (though I guess there’s always room for improvement :P)

    • Nathan (Wilson) Says:

      I understand what you’re saying, to some extent, but I actually find a lot of charm in the dialog being separated from the visuals. I LIKE going back after I’ve read it and spending time looking at everything, and reanalyzing it, and seeing things I missed the first time. If it felt like it flowed naturally, I wouldn’t be quite as motivated to go back and look at things.

      I read maybe 40 webcomics on a weekly basis, and most of them just go way too fast, you know? You get your gag at the end, and because everything flows naturally into the next panel, you read past it all and then find yourself wishing it lasted a little longer.

      I might be annoyed at it if this comic updated daily, but on a weekly or bimonthly schedule, I feel like I’m getting the perfect amount of comic for my time.
      I like this style because it forces me to reevaluate what I’ve read, and then go back and reread and look at the tiny details and get more out of it later. These kinds of comics force you to schedule 15-30 minutes to read each one, which I like. It makes it last longer in my mind as well.

  37. “the reader should see more body language over larger amounts of dialogue. In other words the larger the amount of text, the more panels there should be”

    Oh, i agree 100%, believe me! You’re absolutely right, i mean there’s no question. The thing is, it seems there’s always a measure of compromise in producing anything artistic. You inevitbaly find yourself having to strike a balance between the script and the budget (the “budget” in my case being time as opposed to money), and that’s always gonna result in things being not-quite-as-good-as-they-could-be (i’m sure we all have favorite episodes of TV shows that aggravatingly feel like they should have been fleshed out into movies or otherwise held lost potential, i mean i can think of a bunch, but it’s just a reality of producing anything– particularly anything episodic). It just comes down to a choice between never telling a particular story because you don’t have the budget, or telling it as best you can with your resources, and most people are always gonna choose the latter.

    Putting perhaps way too much text with not enough drawings is pretty much the main compromise i chose to make to ensure i could get out the stories i wanted to tell– as exemplified by the “Christmas Eve in the Future” comic from a few years back. It was literally a graphic novel idea i had, but i have no time to make a graphic novel so i finagled it into a short-story. Would it have worked better as a graphic novel? Quite possibly. But the point is moot because if i saved it for that it would likely have never been used. And frankly i’m happy with how it turned out, despite the compromise (i like the framing story, it would never have been in the graphic novel).

    So yeah, i definitely agree, but it’s often just a function of compromise. I honestly would love to flesh out dialogue scenes with more panels, facial expressions and hand gestures etc., that’s really something that’s missing, but it would mean the comix take wayyy to long to draw, and i’d rather publish something imperfect than nothing. It is the way of things, in a world of paltry 24-hour days and other such slim budgets. What’s most important to me is to get a particular story or set of ideas out of my head and into the world, so that’s always gonna dominate the resources i have. I can’t compromise on the ideas or the dialogue, so the art has to take a step back where necessary (this is not to overstate things, i mean i think i still get in a pretty good amount of visuals).

    PS: Oh, and thanks for the kind words and the equally kind critique– it means a lot that you like the comix, and like them enough to want them to be at their best.

  38. John Loo Says:

    This should have been in that Silverlight zoomable format. So, moral of the story, “live your life one day at a time”?

  39. Hanshishiro Says:

    Your work is wonderful.

  40. Doyle Says:

    I MISSED THIS FOR A MONTH!?! I step outside for a breather, and got kinda sidetracked along the way. Once I wanted to come back I actualy felt embarassed for having been gone for a month or so, and put it off more. 3 A.M. being one of the best times to check out your artwork because the house is quiet I grit my teeth and “come in from the cold.”, as it were…. So glad I did.

  41. It’s like picking apart magnolia.

  42. Ben Zyl Says:

    Just spotted the cock sauce, I keep re-reading these and there’s ALWAYS something else.

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