Comic #228

June 7, 2019


Comix return, finally– thanks as always for your patience. Not super long, but it’s meant to be read twice, so hey, double the value..? Thanks as always to everyone on Patreon for making this all possible, and anyone else who reads and shares and comments for also being the reason the comix exist– love to all in 2019, and i’m working on more!


47 Responses to “Comic #228”

  1. Minor Heretic Says:

    Hey, she follows The Generals. That’s a right-swipe right there.

    But yeah, being on the internet dating scene I have to say that it is just life with the contrast dial turned up. We are all performative, but the filter of the internet and the intensely goal oriented nature of internet dating make the fabrication of the persona even more obvious.

    Internet dating also points up who is image aware and who isn’t. Some people present their everyday persona. Some people carefully craft their online persona with understanding of the medium. Some people just don’t get what they are doing and let slip all sorts of unintended detail. A few seem like they are trying to scare away 99.99% of people. Sometimes it seems intentional.

    Pro tip: Get a friend with an appreciation of portrait photography to review your photos. The ones you like of yourself are not the ones that other people will like.

  2. ilvos01 Says:

    Oh man, just yesterday I was thinking “when’s Subnormality gonna update again?” Not that you’re ever in any way OBLIGATED to update your incredible comic, art is a process et cetera, but if Waiting Room was the last comic you ever made, it would possibly send an unpleasant message.
    Still, I was more excited for a new comic than I’ve been for any episode of game of thrones.

    • Hib Says:

      Me too! I was no lie just yesterday thinking “Ah, Subnormality, when will you blow my mind again?” And like magic …

      Thank you Winston!!

  3. I like that it tags well both ways.

    These comics make me feel everytime and have definitely made it into my life philosophy.

    Thank you

  4. J Says:

    Beautiful story, as always. I would never fit in if I lived in Subnormality’s city (Some pan dimensional Ottawa-Toronto hybrid?) but damn, I’d like to visit.

  5. Jason Says:

    Well it seems the browser ate my response, so I’ll write something shorter this time. Just wanted to say I love the comic! Caught the wordplay! And if that’s ol’ Zoe Muggs then, wow, she looks different! I didn’t recognize her (in either getup) on my first read-through.

  6. As someone who has had a chance encounter with a special someone two years ago, and that has changed me forever, I can see points in time as continuum, as if I still live those times and those moments as if today, because since that story has not progressed, it has stayed still in time frozen, the only thing I can to is replay and relive it in my had, as vividly as I can recall, and pretend that happiness is also a continuum.
    So in that way, I have found love, forever. And not just for a couple of nights.

    • William Osterkamp Says:

      Hey me from the past, its me from the now present. You have fallen in love again. It only took 3 years for you to allow yourself to be vulnerable again.
      Again it only lasted two nights, and again you are left completely hopeless and wishing you didn’t exist.
      Congratu-fucking-lations, you worthless piece of shit.
      You can’t seem to understand that in the most likely, no one you love will ever love you back.
      Wallow in depression and self-pity as always pretending you matter.

      Nothing you do will ever make you feel whole.
      You will never be loved.
      You will never experience happiness.

      Happy Fucking Birthday.

  7. Don Cheadle Says:

    Had a suspicition there’d be an update since Patreon had a post (I really should subscribe at some point, your comics are heckin’ amazing and I’ve been reading ’em for years).

    Delivered on every angle. Gonna be re-reading this all over until the next one.

  8. Rogér Says:

    Thanks for the great work as always!

    Its great to see a new post. and once again a truth to the gut punch.
    People just live designing and wearing masks. even when you meet someone you never really meet the entirity of that human. but people just forget that and brand as they seem fare. and worst of it sometimes we brand ourselfes into inferior life forms just to fit in the crack that society aknowledges.

  9. Ryan Meredith-Pullen Says:

    Worth the wait; thank you.

  10. Keulan Says:

    Holy crap new comic, and it’s good. I’m gonna have to re-read it so I can figure out the timing of the texts and stuff.

    • Keulan Says:

      Now I’m reading it bottom to top and it makes sense this way as well! Nice!

    • Richard A Spain Says:

      When I saw your comment that it read from bottom to top I had to go back and see. Thank you.

    • Yeah, for anyone who didn’t pick up on those two things: the comic reads both forwards and backwards, and there are Many anagrams (including all the *people* in the bus stop panel)– both of which are intended to tie into the theme.

  11. Joshua LaCour Says:

    Yhis was awesome, keep it up.

  12. I really, really missed “Comics with too many words.” I enjoy the acted-out comics, but I am happy you decided to create another comic masterpiece.

  13. Großer Maik Says:

    It made me smile to see a new comic, but then I read it (twice) and it made me sad and feel lucky at the same time. Thanks Winston.

  14. Sean Says:

    Awesome work as always and beautiful art! Thank you for the new comic!

  15. Phil C. Says:

    I am so happy to see Zoe making a connection with someone. It always breaks my heart when she reaches out to people and they judge her. Nothing was ever as soul-shattering as the time she met herself in the Alternate History Museum, though, and she judged HERSELF. That was…..bad. I would seriously like to see her get to be happy for a while.

    Thanks for the new comic, Winston! We missed our Comix With Too Many Words.

  16. Miles Says:

    To me, only so far as appearances go, the “real” hair is more appealing to me.
    The rest of it, it relies on the linear timeline/experience line.
    Not that I’m the best.
    I’m very admittedly a bad guy (albeit a charming type of bad guy) working toward becoming better.

    I also admit to keeping this page in my browser tabs (it’s in my open every day “Other Comics” bookmark series) for more than a week before reading it.
    Mostly because work shortens my attention span, and I finally (after 12 days) have a whole day off. Also because I get a bit lazy in my own totally free time… though I’ve still done some minor cleaning and laundry today.
    I’m sorry. I’m somewhat lazy for some things.
    Thanks again for adding a new entry though. I am appreciative.

  17. Luis Says:

    You are very lucky of being able to express your inner stuff here and even have some bucks back for your hard work, I left some comments like 10 years ago or something when you were just starting and I was living in Madrid, i loved your comic at that time, a lot, it was helping me to overcome some bad times, ts nice to check how you do now and to see I have material for several hours, life goes by super fast man. Greetings from Paris.

  18. Richard A Spain Says:

    So many anagrams…
    Rebel City / Celebrity
    Arline Linear
    Bus Stop Post Spot

    I’m sure there is more…!

    • Patrick Says:

      “Ordinary” / “Rad Irony”

      There’s also a very subtle one:
      “Veg Area” / “Average”
      (the anagram is implied by the ‘x-bar’ symbol)

      The central panel with the restaurant is amazing:
      “super star-dom” / “art-proud mess”
      “handsome” / “ah demons”
      “symmetrical” / “mystic realm”
      “radiant” / “at nadir”
      “history fan” / “try fashion”
      “saw rites” / “waitress”

      (be sure to compare each anagram-ed pair of characters!)

      Also, the restaurant is apparently named ‘Palindrome’.

      “If you could spread a person out over a continuum it would make sense if you read it from any direction.”

      Have you tried reading the comic from bottom to top yet?

  19. Alexander Schremser Says:

    Finally! But always worth the wait. Don’t even know how I ended up here again. 😉

    Read the whole story going forth and back and forth again, feeling that there’s something off in the “timing”. But had to read the comments to get it *howdumbcanonebe?*.

    Nice reference to Estar btw.

  20. BD Says:

    I honestly don’t get this one at all…

  21. Nathan (Wilson) Says:

    Cool. I liked this, it was a little confusing though. Mostly because of the transitions. It’s actually a little clearer to read backwards than forwards, a lot of the transitions leave you thinking “wait, what?” and “that was a sudden change of subject!” But I love the backgrounds and advertisements. You’re great at making the environment feel like a real city.

    And because this comic is meant to be read backwards and forwards, I like the implication that it actually happened both ways, that the guy still thought of Zoe fondly when it was over, even though it may have been surreal, and will probably hook up with her again, and that she had a good time connecting with somebody, and might have another friend she can call on.

    Though, I definitely have the feeling Zoe usually ends up isolating herself, I’m hoping meeting herself in that earlier comic was a great salve to that particular type of issue, and that this date was another positive step in the right direction.

  22. Lonesomeranger Says:

    Someone is lonely.

  23. Xminus1 Says:

    Welcome back after a long break . I never lost hope yet for your return . I hope the rest of the year goes well for you.

  24. John Says:

    Wow. Wow, this is really something. These comics are some of the best things on the internet. They have something to say, what they say is meaningful and important across many different levels, the message will impact both your day and your life, they say what they do eloquently and deftly and with care and subtly, and holy shit, with such skill and talent. They brim over with a sincere compassion for humanity that’s leveling and contagious.

  25. Staffan Says:

    I wonder, did Zoe and the bearded guy really get to know each other even a little bit? I think it’s pretty hard to get to know anybody unless you live together for a decennium or so. Even so, I’d like to know: Who is Winston Rowntree?

  26. Miinh Says:

    Really awesome strip, really cleverly done, how the conversations can be read both ways and still make sense. I’d say it’s not double, but quadruple the value.

  27. Ihsan Abdul Aziz Says:

    I am glad to see you back. I have been waiting. I see some new character with distinctive characteristics. They are colorful. But it is sad that I doubt how long would it be if they are just views on the background in front of the characters who actually talk to ecah other. How can they feel comfortable. Is there no trust issue. So people do care even in the high level of super ficial of their appearance. Thanks, Winston.

  28. Keith Says:

    Ironically there’s only one way to read the comic, top to bottom to top again, and it’s got a really nice arc to it when read that way. Very clever with Zoe’s filler words and disconnected speech coming across clearly in either direction with very different tones. Your art also does good work here, people’s movements can be visualized in either direction.

    Reading it top-bottom-top really creates the feeling that the date is a story Zoe is telling, in real time, rather than an authentic experience. The picture and outfit are just images she creates as part of the character. And that, once you reach the top again, the date doesn’t represent progress for her, only the appearance of it before she’s back with the same bad thoughts and self-doubt. It’s a great representation of how we see our lives through the story arc format, and how it prevents authentic connections. I hope Zoe takes the leap and tries revealing herself, iirc this is the husband of her museum counterpart which would suggest a happy ending.

  29. X Says:

    It has been a while since anyone posted , but I hope all is well with you and you are alive and well.

    • Yup, both alive & well, just been working on A Thing that’s taken over my life to a degree, can’t say more just yet. Have been working on a new comic regardless though, will be done… when it’s done i guess… -Wr

  30. Matt Damon Says:

    Wow haven’t been on in years, way to get preachy and go ‘woke’. This is utter garbage.

  31. Lucas Says:

    Read this again for the third time, and wanted to affirm that this really IS ART. re: the above comment, I don’t think this is a preachy about being “woke” to injustice, but rather a a story about wanting to be normal, accepted, cared for, and not poor, which everybody can relate to.

  32. Richard Says:

    Phenomenal, this really resonated personally with me in a way I haven’t felt in a really long time.
    Thanks. I needed this.

  33. void Says:

    Are you alive?

    • Yup, long story, hoping to be able to tell it at some point. Definitely have a comic in the works too, it was just the exact wrong year to write about Current Life… So many rewrites… -Wr

  34. Jorpho Says:

    As 2020 drags on, I’m starting to feel less like “I Can Hear You” ( ) and more like “Choose Your Own Adventure” ( ).

    Also those time travelers from are starting to seem real quaint.

  35. Benzyl Says:

    I like going to websites I haven’t visited for years and finding they’re not placeholders/dead. It’d been so long since I’d stopped dropping in here on the off chance but here’s one strip I hadn’t read yet which was nice!

  36. John Says:

    I’m embarrassed how many times I read this confused before I read it bottom to top. Brilliant work, brilliant art. As always

  37. Drew Kime Says:

    Your peoplewatching site seems to be down.

  38. Al Says:

    Don’t worry, there’s an audience here whenever you find you have something to say. I check back every week, and sometimes go look at the old ones.

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