May 22, 2013



Heya, new comic is up. I honestly took a lot of time trying to not make this just utterly trite, but i dunno, it’s tough.


Just a reminder of the new facebook page, where you can find some bonus comix that will hopefully fill things in a bit between the main comix (you don’t need to log in or anything to see them). It’s instantly kind of useful place to announce/link to stuff too, so keep an eye out over there. And thanks for reading!


93 Responses to “birds”

  1. Nathan Says:


  2. Alissa Says:

    All I can think about is when can I get a print of this.

  3. Joe Trudell Says:

    Yep, I think this needs to be on my wall

  4. Anthony Says:

    Love it 😀 This does make me feel better, and I love the birds. And is that Actual Advice Mallard at the top?

  5. Josh Says:


  6. Laszlo R. Says:

    Holy crap, what beautiful art. Thank you for this, it’s most definitely worth the wait (as always).

  7. Esn Says:

    Wow, the art in this is beautiful. Especially those geese in #4!

    I did feel like this one was a bit of a “rest” for you (a change of pace), but nothing wrong with that.

    My favourite point was #3 (and it reminded me of reading Scott Adams – he wrote at one point that he was so “successful” because he was always unsatisfied).

  8. pajh Says:

    “Don’t be sad that it’s over. Smile because it happened”.

    Panel #6 in particular is beautiful. I would buy a poster of this.

  9. Mashivan Says:

    I agree, this beautiful comic will make a wonderful poster

  10. Morgan Says:

    This is really beautiful

  11. Epsz Says:

    Winston: you make the world a better place.

  12. r10pez10 Says:

    Putting the wing work to wicked use, no? 😛

  13. Dr. Omanyte Says:

    Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but you’ve posted this at EXACTLY the right moment, Winston. It’s almost scary :v
    (and these things are kinda impossible to judge objectively, but for me, personally, this definitely is not trite)

  14. The background transitions in #1 are fantastic. I had a little trouble getting the text in the right order, but I think the tradeoff is worth it. 🙂

    Eagerly awaiting the print.

    • A.R. Says:

      I liked that the text was staggered like that. It forces you to not rush through. In fact I had to read the comic a second, and then a third time, to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. Each reading gave me more understanding about the whole message and the deeper meaning that the message had for me, That personal understanding is the result of a truly stunning piece of art.

  15. Hrtk Says:

    Meaningful and beautiful…
    Many thanks.

  16. Kamaria Says:

    So, I’ve been having an awful time lately and feeling like I need a change in attitude, but not really knowing how or where to start. Like so many times before, this was exactly what I needed. I sometimes wonder how I made it through life before this comic. Thanks, Winston.

  17. shunyata Says:

    Beautiful. I’m crying.

  18. Anarcissie Says:

    We don’t have to explore the stars. We are the stars. ‘We are made of stardust.’

  19. sketchboy01 Says:

    Fantastic. In all meanings of the word.
    Well done~

  20. Grimm Says:

    I’m pushing 40, single and overweight. That comic made me feel a tiny bit less worse. Time to hit the gym!

  21. GlitterBerri Says:

    Like others are saying, I really needed this right now! Thank you. 🙂 Very pretty art with the geese, too. Reminds me that you’re Canadian as well.

  22. mina Says:

    That is so lovely, Mr Rowntree 🙂 🙂

  23. Falkor the Luck Dragon Says:

    Thanks Rowntree. I really needed this, today.

  24. Jason Says:

    I like it too, but, is it just me or is the color overly dark on this one? It’s hard to see the details. I’m not even sure there’s a bird in #6.

    • Jason Says:

      I guess I was alone on that one. But now I’m looking at it again (on a different computer I think) and I see the birds clearly now.

  25. Anonymous Says:

    First two made me feel worse; three didn’t affect me whatsoever; four, while true, is irrelevant; five makes things sound easier than they actually are; six I disagree with on both points; and seven once again makes me feel bad.

    The art was nice, but I don’t think this was as well-though out as your usual comics.

    • Or maybe you’re just an incurable grump.

    • SuckMyComment Says:

      Agree. This comic was not designed with the congenitally emotionally resistant in mind.

    • That’s perfectly valid, i certainly don’t expect everything i write to resonate with everyone. I honestly just write to try and change my own mind using tactics that work on me, and i’ve just been pleasantly surprised over the years that others have enjoyed my work to any extent.

  26. A.R. Says:

    Some things just force you to smile. This comic is one of them. Beautiful as always Winston. The art complements the message really nicely, as I’m sure you’re already aware. I don’t know where you came up with the bird connection, it just works so well.

    Oh and after finishing the comic with a smile on my face, I read the alt text and burst out laughing. After a tiring shitty week, this is just what I needed.

  27. A.R. Says:

    Oh and I hope you don’t mind me linking this here, but I didn’t see you post the comic you had up over at Cracked a couple of weeks ago:

    It got very good feedback in the comments, plus it has like 500,000 views which is insane. Do I even need to mention that it’s hilarious and smart? That part is a given

  28. Brian Says:

    Spent today missing a friend who died three years ago today.

    I needed to see this today.

    Thank you.

  29. Hafwit Says:

    That was beautifully done. I have a bleak view on most things, and it cheered me up a little.

    (the individual frames would look good as postcards).

  30. moose Says:

    Thank you for this. I was having a horribly bleak and pessimistic day, and this made me realise maybe things aren’t so bad. And you did it in such a beautiful way, too. This is wonderful.

  31. toaster Says:

    wooooooaw. this is some reallly nice artwork! great to see u trying a different style.

    I like it a lot!

  32. Nate Says:

    I thought I was looking at zenpencils for a minute.

  33. Lars Says:

    Good stuff.

  34. Mike Harris Says:

    From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

  35. Rob Says:

    What a nice comic.

    Very nice.

    It’s nice to read nice things like that.

  36. spideycow Says:

    My heart is so full of love right now and I’m diverting some of those love rays towards you and your comix, WR. Thanks for making beautiful work like this.

  37. SuckMyComment Says:

    Fuck birds. With their meaningful lives. Jerks.

  38. Blaise Says:

    I actually teared up a little toward the end. Well done.

  39. lenavis Says:

    This is surprisingly sweet for you, Winston, though uplifting as usual. I very much like the art style that you’ve used here too.

  40. Magnanimous Says:

    This comic is not the least bit trite. As other have said, this is absolutely beautiful. I got goosebumps at the end. Maybe even a little dust in the eyes.

    When this becomes available as a print for purchase, I will be buying it. OP will deliver on this one.

  41. E.R. Says:

    I’d like to dispute #6. Between a, possibly, fast approaching singularity and advances in Gerontology, we very well might live long enough to explore the stars.

    At least, I hope I do.

    • Anarcissie Says:

      Well, consider the physics of lifting one human, and all that that human will need to maintain life and sanity in outer space, off the surface of the earth and onto a trajectory with the necessary acceleration to bring him or her to the nearest star within a lifetime. Now multiply that by 7 billion. I think most of us are stuck with the Earth. We’d better start taking care of it….

  42. Presence Eternal Says:

    I did find this extremely trite, but since I love your work I wanted to think carefully about why that was before opening my trap.

    What I find best about those of your comix which have a message is the use of conversation, metaphor, and the simple fact that most of them are indeed a story. Questioning what’s going on and what’s being said is tremendously enjoyable. Those times when I disagree with the message, I still am glad I invested myself in the journey. You do often unapologetically make it a journey, which is fantastic. I read a lot of comics, I like a lot of comics, but this is one of only about three I look forward to.

    Statements that just talk about the world being nice just don’t much for me. Keep experimenting with different methods, but I want you to know your strip “choose your own adventure” beats out every self-actualizing famous person quote I have ever read.

    The problem with stating some inspiring idea outright, or even worse, quoting some damn famous person, is it’s basically agree-or-disagree. There’s no thinking, no persuasion, and oftentimes nothing that can’t be gotten from a crappy sitcom. Those are pretty much the reasons I don’t read zenpencils.

    I love your work, will donate gas money sometime, but please frame your answers in the form of a question.

    Oh, and I’m not saying I disliked the goats comic and its brethren. Caricature is inherently playful and I like it.

    • Anarcissie Says:

      But people really love reciting trite sayings. They must get something out of it. ‘Today is the first day of the rest of your life’ — of course, but so what? Yet it’s on innumerable plaques, bumper-stickers and greeting cards with pictures of babies or kittens.

      I take it the repetition of ‘truths’ is an important truth in itself.

  43. pG Says:

    Nice one. It took me 38 years to realize all that. I found myself checking on my sleeping son in his cot last week and stood there, looking at him and thought ‘This is not where I wanted to be, but it is exactly where I need to be’.
    The concept of death does not scare me anymore – rushing into oblivion is a good driver to excel. I’m going to one day go – not angry that it is ending, but sad at what I’ll miss out on. Probably cursing a mean streak as I go.

    The bit about not exploring outer space still bites though.

  44. Alvin Says:

    this is beautiful. I need a print of this.

  45. EVVEE Says:


  46. Kyniska Says:

    This one did feel a BIT forced, but the art is beautiful and it seems the heart is in the right place. I feel like it’s not as intellectually challenging at the rest of your work, but not every comic has to be a zen koan all the time. At any rate, it beats all those other inspirational posters of hanging cats and whatnot.

  47. Josh Says:

    I suffer from depression and it has been a tough ride for both my wife and I. This poster would be a great anniversary gift. Can you please provide a link for purchase? I can’t find it anywhere. Thanks.

  48. James Says:

    Made me smile. Needed that: thank you.

  49. V.F. Says:

    Great messages to live by. Also, gorgeous birds… better wings for 2013! (:

  50. Corinne VB Says:

    Such beautiful illustrations.

  51. Wow. That was exactly what I needed… thank you.

  52. Francis Reed Says:

    This is awesome, thank you so much 🙂

  53. Of a super-human depth, which I can only hope for in my lifetime. Masterfully done.

  54. Benjy Says:

    Incredible. I’d love a print of this.

  55. DM Says:

    Awesome. I second the print request. (Also, completely agree with the first point, I’ve thought about it often)

    • Ross Presser Says:

      Prints are already available — I already bought and received one! Go here and scroll down!

  56. Chuck F Says:

    Quietly comforting. Thanks

  57. Jolly Roger Says:

    Yeah. No. um… huge fan, same as everyone else, but no.

    A few days ago I watched a group of people snap the neck of three baby birds they found. There was nothing wrong with them beyond being probably less than a week too young to fly. Nobody else seemed to care. These were all legally adult people including a Person of Authority.

    My country is full of psychopaths. There is nothing to feel good about in my country. none at all.

  58. Steve Says:


  59. Adrian Says:

    Number one made me feel better. Over the past several months, I’ve had the pleasure of having a nice agonizing existential crisis. I’m only 21 but the thought of dying scares the shit out of me. Thanks for that man.

  60. Ben Says:

    Totally nailed it, thanks for your comix, I’m now a fan

  61. Poor Decision Says:

    I forgot to back up my bookmarks. I couldn’t remember the name, so I started googling to find the site. I used the phrase, “webcomic huge overly wordy”. It was the 2nd result.

    Keep up the good work

  62. kathrin Says:

    This is so beautiful

  63. Mystyr Nile Says:


  64. Fred Says:

    Mr. Rowntree, you are a beautiful person armed with an impressive way with words. Thank you so much for sharing your art with us.

  65. Kaya Says:

    Profound and lovely, thanks for making this.

  66. You are my new favorite 🙂 Keep’em coming, especially abnormality 🙂

  67. Dani Says:

    Beautiful. Thank you so much for these comics. They have a positive impact on my life 🙂

  68. AOC Says:

    Your comics are fantastic and full of truth and wisdom and humour. They make me happy to share the earth with someone like their creator. Please keep making them and become tremendously successful and publish books if that’s what you’re into but obviously don’t if you’re not and I hope you never lose the spark that inspires these.

  69. luke Says:

    i can’t picture you writing these anywhere except on a mountaintop, because you are the wisest person i don’t know.

  70. Genix Vigo Says:

    Your art work is phenomenal. This one in particular, and the amazing race, are my favorite ones. I hope to have this on my wall on day, but just looking at this via my laptop will have to suffice.

  71. MSM Says:

    Won my heart!

  72. ed Says:

    nice site. beautiful. thoughtful.

  73. Alexandra Pratt Says:

    I still want this as a print…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: