Saturday, March 29, 2008

Oh you think I'm always so funny? Well BAM how's that for creepy and serious?

These are the comics which aren't comical at all. Don't even try. Some are creepy, some are stupid, some are just random but they all have the effect of basically smacking you in the face and saying "Huh? Huh? Weren't expecting THAT, huh?"

Note - I'm not going to count the very early ones that were just notebook sketches. Those weren't meant to be jokes when written.

104 my god this one pisses me off
All the red spiders

If there's anything else I need to add, tell me.


  1. Wow.

    I was about to start this blog - but you've pretty much covered everything already.

    Honestly, I can tolerate the non-funny mentions of computer science / math terms... they're just stupid... what really make me wonder why I'm not a famous web comic artist are the ones that have anything, at all, to do with relationships. No need to point fingers, you've done so in this post. My salutations...
    the ums

  2. Sweet. I spent about 15 minutes looking online for something like this blog (under the assumption that if X exists online, there will be at least 3 websites mocking X) but got lazy and a few months later here I am.

    If you have anything you were going to put on this blog-that-no-longer-needs-to-exist you can send it to me and I can post it perhaps -

    Thanks for the encouragement.

  3. Good blog man! Though Mr Munroe is talented and sometimes funny, anyone who says their webcomic is about "romance, sarcasm, math and language" is a pompous twat.

    This comic is made for Linux geeks who read it and force out a snorty laugh to show that they're clever enough to get the screamingly unfunny joke.

    And for the record, I'm a maths student, but I certainly don't recite the Fibonacci sequence in bed, for fuck's sake.

    Anyway, thanks again for the blog.

  4. P.S., did you ever see this blog?

    It's pretty funny too, though the tone is rather different from yours.

  5. I have seen it but I've never been able to get into it, probably because they never talk about the comics I read (probably because if they were bad and I should feel bad, I wouldn't read them...)

    Every few months I try again. Who knows what future attempts will bring.

  6. I don't understand why you people don't get why there are math/science references in the comic, after its slogan is XKCD: A webcomic of romance,
    sarcasm, math, and language.

    TLDR: Get over yourselves.

  7. Nothing wrong with math and science. It's when instead of a joke, all you get is a math/science reference. In other words, it's when he forgets the "webcomic" part of the slogan that we have a problem.

  8. I'm not a mindreader, but I don't think he does that on purpose as in "Huh?! HUH?!". I personally like his comics which make me feel the early twilight feelings. for reference.

  9. 102's inclusion on this list seems unwarranted or perhaps accidental because if you read it, you can clearly see there is a joke there.

  10. There is a very, very dark joke there, so I see where you are coming from. But the feeling is still the same. Vaguely light-hearted comic and then BAM 9/11 and the guy's dad died.

  11. The romance in xkcd is one of the main reasons I read it. It's beautiful in a very simple way.

    The humour is very simple.

    I don't think Munroe really believes he deserves all the fame, and who honestly would turn down money that is offered for something you would do anyways?

    All humour can be analyzed and picked apart to the point it stops being funny. So just take a moment to enjoy it, before you get angry. It obviously has some value to it that you continue to go back to it.

  12. Honestly, do you people not see the Frequently Asked Annoying Questions? I put them there for a reason. I guess you assume your point about "oh hey well looky here if you analyze humor it makes it stop being funny" can't possibly be frequently asked because it's so damn insightful and also hey, randall munroe isn't running a business he's just a simple artist so shut up NO LOOK ALL THIS IS EXPLAINED IN THE FAQ. all of the philosophy behind this site, all the complex feelings about the comic are there and we've been over this.

  13. I agree with some of what's on this blog, it can be somewhat annoying when Randall lets his ronery hijack the strip and post waah waah so sad she's gone or whatever crap (48?). But other than that, I really don't get your constant critique that the joke is wrong or not funny enough or not a joke.

    I mean, yeah, when someone obviously tries to make a joke and fails that's rather annoying (if it's subtle enough to pretend there wasn't supposed to be a joke anyway it's usually not a problem- you can't mess up a joke you didn't try to tell). But xkcd isn't all jokes.

    A lot of it is "hey look at this cool science-y thing I found/thought of" like 52, 98, the python jokes, the egg drop and the like. Sometimes the cool thing isn't really that cool and you end up going "riiight..." like the recent temperature poster thing, though the suck in that was more on par with, rather than genocide, maybe "just" molesting dead old ladies. Oh, the spiders. The spiders ARE genocide, or is there some obscure story in an entomologist's diary about an absolutely hilarious confusion between spiders and spider mimics that it referred to?

    Some are just "a unique perspective I had on this familiar topic" things. Of course this relies on the unique idea actually being unique, but Randall seems to be reasonably inventive so few of them are teeth gnashingly bad. Some are, yes.

    When there are jokes, they're often the kind that builds up to something wishy washy and happy and ends with a sudden jerk in the exact opposite direction. 46, 102, 104 are like that... 334 could be but he ruined it by forgetting he was supposed to be joking halfway through.

    Some are just moments of looking on the dark side of something generally accepted as happy, like 223, though admittedly there are better ones than that.

    But why do you insist on getting your joke every single time? Not just that,
    you insist on the joke being done "right", and since Randall's jokes are for the most part original (I guess) you're seeing them done for the first time and they can only be wrong by not conforming to some "accepted humor conventions", which you seem to demand they should. Even when he's decided to make a strip about something other than a joke, you still complain "yeah yeah but DUDE WHERES MAH FUNNAY!?". You even think for a second and add "...Standardised funnay!" What gives?

    This isn't really a flame (inb4 flame), in fact I think it got a bit too tame lately, not enough misanthropy and violence for me. I'd say it jumped the shark at five part 1337 series (a webcomic about Cory fucking Doctorow? Come on!) only it didn't instantly start sucking hard after that, it just got somewhat worse.

  14. I think the comics that we disagree on are those that I sometimes think of as the "Randall Munroe's Illustrated Blog" comics. With these, I just feel like they are being phoned in sometimes. "Instead of trying to make something funny today, the way a real comedian would do, I'm just going to share an idea I had. Anyone else posting this online would get zero attention at all but sometimes i make a funny so people will read this and love it."

    A webcomic should be comical, or not call itself a webcomic. That's pretty basic right there.

    As to jokes being done "right": There aren't too many that I actually have what you might call corrections on. Usually that's because the whole thing is bad beyond repair. But some (443 and 398 for example) I feel like he just almost made a great joke and then...didn't.

    I firmly believe that there are concrete concepts that determine what is funny and what isn't. They aren't identical for everyone but we have more in common that people sometimes think. And look, on a whole damn lot of the old ones, Randall hit it spot on - but somehow he seems to have lost it. I should add that I don't fault him for this - you can take the first 300 or so xkcds and have a whole lot he should be very proud of. I fault him for not stopping when he ran out of steam.

    Anyway, we do seem to agree on about when the comic went downhill, so that's something. Thanks for writing, and not being an idiot like some people.

  15. Can you tell me about the red spiders? I've never understood that at all.

  16. What is there to know? They're just creepy pictures of red spiders. And...that's all. Unless I'm missing something. I doubt it though.

  17. as far as I know, yeah. it's almost like the webcomic actually sucks.

  18. 502 is funny. That is all.

  19. A webcomic HAS to be funny? Really?

  20. You're new here, aren't you?

  21. Some dick traveling the tubesApril 28, 2009 at 7:07 PM

    I like xkcd and Carl reminds me of stupid people. And, no, I'm very old here.

  22. Go fuck yourself, Carl.

  23. You commented on Red Spiders, when indeed you said yourself that it was not intended to be fnny at the time of drawing. You also seem to have a misconception of creepy.

  24. I agree with the man with no identity

  25. Yeah, I feel like the red spiders (the start of the series at least) count as "just notebook sketches."

  26. I have no idea what is up with You Can't Take Responsibility for Someone Else's Happiness. I've never heard a good explanation and I am quite frankly dying to know. It's such a crazy weird strip.

  27. It would be amazing if Randall brought back the Red Spiders out of nowhere.

  28. I think I've figured this one. You see, there are depressed people in this world. They're often unhappy, due to biologic and/or extreme events they've went through life.

    What can you do for them to make them less miserable?

    You can be there and do all the nice things Randall likes to write about, like going kite flying or hugging or just being there. But you can only do so much. Sometimes your efforts are not enough. Sometimes professional mental care is called for.

    It's one of the non-funnies. I don't care if xkcd isn't funny 100% of the strips. I want quality. I consider this one to have reasonable level of quality. The art is above present-day xkcd's avarage, so I guess that's a good thing and the content is pretty nice, it made me feel something. The only annoying thing is the img's title attribute because it reduces the impact of the whole thing with a really weak comical relief.

  29. Yeah, when Randy posted that one, he got the image title screwed up. It gave the impression that something really terrible had happened to someone Randy cared about. It was just so unexpectedly bleak, and the alt text lent it this cracked, forced, morbid humor.

  30. Landon: I'm afraid that has happened and it was not awesome.

    Rob: Can you elaborate? What was screwed up?

  31. it was originally called, on the webpage, "Helping.png" instead of just "Helping"

  32. oh. Wait, why does that imply anything?

  33. oh, that wasn't all of it. it just felt like he uploaded in a hurry or while distracted, which added to the effect of the comic

  34. huh. weeeeird. Did anyone ever establish if it was based on real life? You are the person who would know...

  35. No idea. I think that one happened while I was still on the west coast. But it is how I read it. This one is so much more serious than all of the others. It is bleak and hopeless. It provoked a huge reaction on the forums. He went straight back into jokes. It seemed so weirdly out of place.

  36. there's actually one more red spiders i think and IMO it was really funny. They were just in a hot air balloon, the guy says something about red spiders I think and they get swarmed by red spiders. Also in the current ones, they don't really do romance any more, there still are some math and science ones though.