Learn the true meaning of monster gift-giving with Subnormality's "The 12 Days of Sphynxmas"

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Being a millennia-old Sphynx isn't always easy. Sure, people don't generally bother you because they're too busy running away in terror. But what if you actually want to buy a Christmas gift for a friend, but you don't know much about the newfangled holiday or modern trends in gift-giving? In the new Subnormality, the Sphynx explains how she found the perfect Christmas present in just 12 days.

One of the recurring story lines in Winston Rowntree's Subnormality is the growing friendship between the earnest, constantly searching Pink-Haired Girl (although her hair is, at the moment, brown) and the Sphynx. The Sphynx is an ancient being for whom modern society seems to be a series of short-lived trends, and she has little interaction with humans beyond her basic day-to-day needs (and the occasional squirming meal). But aimless girl and settled-in-her-ways beast find they have a similar passion for picking apart the details of human behavior, and form an easy and increasingly warm relationship.


When the Sphynx gives the Pink-Haired Girl a Christmas gift (an already thoughtful gesture from someone who regards Christianity as a mere historical blip), it turns out to be the perfect gift, prompting the Pink-Haired Girl to demand how in the name of Buddy the Elf the Sphynx knew exactly what to get her. What follows is 12 days' worth of exposition (for those not familiar with Subnormality, it's a particularly text-heavy comic), in which the Sphynx studies yuletide traditions, is confronted with the mystery of holiday gift guides, and inspires terror in shop clerks, librarians, and flight attendants alike. It's a strangely heartwarming examination gift-giving from an alien (or in this case, a mythically monstrous) perspective.

The 12 Days of Sphynxmas [Subnormality]