Happy New Year

January 7, 2017


HELLO and happy new year, comic-style.

Apologies for 2016, let’s say it was a rebuilding year (and i did do a lot of building…). 2017 will make up for it by seeing the release of all the stuff i was working on last year (including this new comic), so stay tuned, and thanks sincerely for waiting– i’ll try and make it worth your while…


65 Responses to “Happy New Year”

  1. jayfurr Says:

    We got a print of Floor Plan of the Mind and framed it. My wife loves to stand there peering at it.

    • Thanks for buying one, totally appreciate it!

    • jayfurr Says:

      I wish you had a greater presence in the world’s view. (I’m sure you would as well.) The Floor Plan of the Mind should hang on the wall of every psychiatrist, psychologist, counselor, and small animal trainer in the United States.

  2. I’m so excited, I’m commenting before even reading to say how psyched I am!

  3. bill fowler Says:


    Very melancholy, yet still somehow quite hopeful.

    Well played, sir.

  4. cldfsn Says:

    Wow around 45 minutes in the cold!

    Glad to hear that more is in the pipeline.

  5. Ross Presser Says:


    And possibly the least dialogue in any Subnormality comic that you’ve ever done. 🙂

  6. clsellinger Says:

    This was so lovely. Look forward to seeing more this year. 🙂

  7. rijulb Says:

    I loved the way you weaved the passage of time with the sense of isolation that the protagonist experiences.

    Just beautiful.

    Makes me wonder though, with such talent around, can we ever consistently consider maintain melancholia?

  8. Leopold Slany Says:

    Considering everything I’ve caught on the first read, I wonder how much I’ve missed.

    Incredible man.

  9. Castamir Says:

    I like the new wall-of-text/comic ratio!

  10. Dave T. Says:

    Wouldn’t have called you a master of understatement, but you’ve said a lot with very little. Love it, as always.

  11. Woot100 Says:

    This is DELIGHTFUL and I missed Ms. Sphinx a lot, glad to see she’s doing well

  12. itmakessenses Says:

    Is she passing the scenes of previous comics out there in the snow?

  13. Keulan Says:

    That was beautiful, and this has to be the least amount of words in a Subnormality comic in a long time.

  14. I also have a floor plan of the mind ~ don’t thank me, I thank you, Winston.

    Oh yes, they do change, don’t they.

    I just want to make this one remark as one Canadian to another, in a world where right now the temperature is a nice -29 C. That shot of her waiting at the red walk light is so the nature of this people.

    Thank you for everything. I check for a new comic from you about twice a week, never less, sometimes more. I am always thrilled to see a new one.

  15. Sammi Says:

    thank you

  16. Anonymous Poster Says:

    We missed you, man. Welcome back. And thank you.

  17. Xminus1 Says:

    Happy new year to you as well. Glad to see you back again I though you were gone forever.

  18. Terence Plumb Says:

    Thank you for this.

  19. Sigurther Says:

    Jolly good, old bean.

  20. Ashlander Says:

    This meant a lot to me, thank you.

  21. So glad that this ended just sad…

  22. Sean Says:

    This comic was just beautiful; I was crying a quarter of the way in, all the anticipation and the art and the emotion. Thank you for another brilliant comic.

  23. Adrian Says:

    Wonderful. Just wonderful.

  24. icarusmiles Says:

    Hey, welcome back, and thanks for the new comic!
    Admittedly, Freedom ’90 hit me a bit… I used to listen to it (and that whole album) A LOT when finished with a semester, or a long project at work, or whatever.
    Thank you for your continued presence. My checking daily for changes has paid off! You do NOT go into the defunct bookmark folder!

  25. Njam Says:

    Iyessss tough to kill comix are BACK. I’m so happy!

  26. Jason Says:

    Ethel has got to meet the Sphinx sometime. I want to see that. Thanks for the comic and welcome back! (After a year I was expecting a Great Wall of Text comparable to the Great Wall of China, but quite the opposite!)

  27. Lootwijk Says:

    This is actually Canada, is it not? At least a little bit? No wonder it made me think of John K Samson songs.

    Also, thank you so much, mr. Rowntree. For everything.

  28. thank you so much for your comics, they are a blessing.

  29. Liisa Says:

    Thank you!

  30. Thank you for a wonderful comic, and another year of making my thinky parts work harder. When I make my daily visit, if there’s no new comic, I wander back into the random past. Thank you again.

  31. Mike Love Says:

    What is (the significance of) the red box on the wall?

  32. Leo W. Says:

    Been a really long time since I’ve read or commented but I’m glad this is the comic I happened to return to.

    Looking forward to catching up with your work that I’ve missed. Yours continues to be my favourite comic!

  33. Creon sells cartoon balloons in town…
    His family business thrives…

    Stay subnormal, Winston. Normality is no place to be today.

  34. Doug Says:

    Interesting to see Ethel partying. And I like her sweater.

  35. Where I grew up, there were redwoods. Redwoods, and mountains. You could sit and see no sky, barely even able to comprehend the scale of everything around you, because you couldn’t even see it all. Just green.
    But the thing was, no matter how much I got older, the trees stayed the same. Mountains and trees never get any less big.
    I feel like that’s how the Sphinx is. She is exactly what she is, as big as she is, and as old as she is, and no matter what happens, she will remain* the Sphinx. And there is an indescribable comfort, in being around something like that.
    Whatever comes to pass, there’s the Sphinx.

    (*Once, mind, a redwood fell in a storm- an amazing, shocking sight. But inside a year things grew on it, and it began to look like it had always been there. So a sphinx might once treasure a human, but it might as well always have been that way. Trees are still tall.)

  36. trudyscousin Says:

    That was so worth the wait. Every second of it.

  37. KDR Says:

    Hmm…are bangs on Sphynx naturally occuring like male pattern baldness, or does she finagle a helping hand? Question of the year.

  38. saodhar Says:

    Simply beautiful. I was really hoping to see the Sphynx again after such a long absence. And good to see friendships hold.

  39. Akap* Says:

    Hi Winston, Great to see u back.
    Not sure why – maybe old adages absence/heart/fonder, maybe on the prelude of change? but Really excited to see your work this year.
    Don’t leave us for so long next time.
    Happy New Year!
    PS I think I wont be the only one dissapointed to find viru2c0m17.com address could not be found lol

  40. Nishido Says:

    Whoa… Even without words you can rock a comic page.

  41. Nat Says:

    For the first time I’m really put off by something in your comic. Have you ever been out in the snow in a short skirt, bare legs and high heels? It’s not OK. It hurts. It made Formerly-pink-haired-girl look like a Barbie you trotted out into the snow instead of a real person. A real person would have at least pulled on her warm boots before going out the door. My disbelief was desuspended.

    • I know, I wanted it to look like it hurt, that was very deliberate– the fact that she wants to freeze on a hill with a giant monster rather than be inside with warmth and people hopefully conveys something about how she feels inside.

    • Ina Says:

      Nat’s right, though, it’s not just going to hurt. With bare legs and high heels, I’m pretty sure that jaunt would put her in the ICU if it lasted very long. Frostbite or a frozen ankle, who knows.
      I really do like this comic, though. It’s making me feel FEELINGS. I’m happy for Ethel because she seems to be having a great time with lots of people and as a fellow introvert it’s just nice to see, but I’m now sad and worried about Pink Haired Girl (will she ever get a name, btw?) and also glad to see the Sphinx again because I really like her. I’m very confused (in a good way).

  42. Geli Says:

    I love how Pink Haired GIrl and Sphinx react. It’s been awhile since I read and I didn’t realize how much I missed the two of them until today.

  43. gauchoGagster Says:

    Checking your phone at a party to see that only a minute has passed struck a chord with me. Thank you.

  44. Hayley Says:

    beautifully drawn, first comic I’ve read start to finish I assume because the images actually engaged me. Keep up the great work!

  45. Joseph Says:

    Thank you for your work. Recently I have been trying to go to more social events, but even with people I am familiar with I feel isolated and depressed. It’s nice to know someone gets it.

  46. michael Says:

    Again great work!

  47. Thomas Says:

    I would have sent this in an email if I knew how.

    Huge fan of your work and love your new cracked.com series. I use RSS to keep track of your new comics. I imagine many other readers do too. And so I expect many are not aware of the cracked.com series because it is not showing up in their RSS feed!

    Maybe you should just do one post on this site to announce the series so that people who follow you via RSS get the update? Just a suggestion.

  48. Corey Daniels-Jones Says:

    I stumbled across an episode of PeopleWatching, (Dating with depression) during one of my own “episodes”.

    Your work is great.
    (sorry, I would’ve said more but everything sounded wrong)

  49. Scott Perry Says:

    Yes, we are each internally consumed with the knowledge that somehow we are charged with two things: escaping the illusion of what passes for reality, and returning to the “real” reality, whatever that may be. Ahh, the “real” reality. The great mystery of the ages. I do not claim to have fully found that, but I do feel fully confident that you, I, and all of the rest of us lonely folks here, have a reserved seat waiting for us in “reality,” and there is no surer thing for any of us, than we will each one day find ourselves “there.”

  50. Scott Perry Says:

    PS: And there’s plenty of room for “all” of us there.

  51. Scott Perry Says:

    (Including slightly mischievious sphinx’s.)

  52. Leopold Slany Says:

    Hey Winston,

    how come every prolific day-in-the-life writer has a certain profession they write about in meticulous detail? You’ve got Waiters and Waitresses (also wondering if the atmosphere song was a conscious choice or just subliminal influence), Gaiman’s got his morticians. Have you read Sandman by the way?


    all the best,


  53. Dawn Ophelia Alyson Says:

    Just got caught up from where I stopped reading about a year back. I’ve always loved your artwork, how relateable your characters are, the attention to detail in every sense of the phrase. Given the tone of the comics of late and the fact that this one was apparently done for New Year’s 2017 (Damn straight R.I.P. 2016… christ. 2017’s not shaping up much better, hey?) I have to admit I was a little worried. Found your Cracked series, though, so hell yeah, kudos and congrats. Look forward to bingeing that, because I know I will, just like it’s impossible to not binge your comics.

    I also feel the need to comment, I guess would be the word to use, about how your way of telling stories, your perspectives, I guess, seem to bring on this open-minded, quietly thoughtful, mull-it-over sort of feeling in the way I look at things, too, and I gotta say, I kinda love it. Your work means a lot to me, is what I’m trying to say, so thank you. Thank you for doing what you do.

  54. Priyansha Gupta Says:

    I knew it! 😀
    Great one Winston 🙂

  55. Jordan Says:

    I just want to say, as someone who had JUST moved provinces when this comic came out, and had two or three other major transitions happening in my life at the same time… I’ve come back to this strip every few weeks this year, just for a sort of metaphorical grounding. Sometimes it’s every week, sometimes it’s been like, six. But I keep coming back to it.

    There’s something about running to find a known comfort that fits how my 2017 has gone, and while things have smoothed out a lot since January, this strip’s still important to me.

    So I wanted to say thank you.

  56. Lessica Says:

    I barely even remember reading this the first time, but I came across it again today, and man. The whole saying good riddance to an unusually shitty year really hits different right now, huh?

    There are some of your comics that I think about often, and then I occasionally go looking for them and that’s how I end up rereading various stuff from the archive in the dead of night instead of sleeping. The first time I recognized the type of bus in one of your comics and realized that we’re from the same city, it completely blew my mind – like maybe that’s part of why it hits so close to home sometimes. But I don’t think that’s quite it, it’s not just the setting, it’s the emotions that are channelled.

    Trying not to get too “adoring fan/loyal subject”, but thank you for making these things. Really.

  57. Unity9 Says:

    How nice. I remember when thinking 2016 was a bad year. Now I know better.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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: