Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Comic 482: Height Spite


This isn't a comic. It's a science classroom poster. Seriously, what's here besides a log scale and a bunch of internet jokes, including, I'll note, a healthy dose of his own (sorry Randall, but xkcd really should not, by any reasonable standard, have at least as many references as futurama and HHGG combined).

I mean, why not just print out the front page of digg and paste the pictures on this:

I will give him this - I can't possibly say he didn't put effort into this one. But did Mr. Hat have to be standing at the top? Why was that needed? Why not just include him when he'll be funny?

Anyway, in conclusion, there is nothing in this "comic" that is both new and funny.

update: Well that didn't take long - there is now a poster of this "comic" that you can buy to put on the wall of your freshman college dorm room and hope people of the opposite gender like it! Wow, thanks again randall for helping us out there.

It really bothers me that the poster was clearly all ready to go before the comic came out - making the comic little more than an ad for the newest product in the xkcd store. LAME.


  1. lol. I have been checking back here since that comic went up because I was so excited to see your response.

    Boo. So ends my love affair with xkcd... until Randall can prove that he can be funny again.

    Too bad the xkcd LJ forum found this to be "15 different kinds of awesome" and /begged/ for a poster printout. Siiiiigh.

  2. I'm convinced Randall drew this just to make it into some merchandise he could sell... he announced the poster incredibly quickly after the comic was uploaded.

  3. Carl, when I first saw this comic I wanted to warn you that it would take some sort of SuperFriends-scale effort to tackle the many dim shooting stars of humor in this universal gag.

    But, like the greatest scientists, you have reduced the work of a monumental problem by looking at it differently, more simply: "This isn't a comic. It's a science classroom poster." On top of that, if readers like something so doable so much, why not make their own? Anyone can come up with better space references than "Duh."

  4. Thomas- what the fuck are you talking about?

  5. Vlad - The first part is about how 482 has so many jokes in it that it would seem to require a number of people shooting down its many attempts at funny.

    The second part uses a simile to express how Carl's taken a shortcut and just summarized all of 482 as "not a comic." The last part about the readers has to do with the poster you and Amanda mentioned.

    Are there any fucks missing that I talked about?

  6. I think... I think Randall is trying to make XKCD into a long-form comic. Like, with consistent characters. Not just like he used to, you know, with the occasional recurring element. Now he is trying to make it so there is Beret Boy, Hat Guy, Hat Girl, Megan, and Guy Who Is Not Any Of Those Four. WACKY HIGH JINKS ENSUES. Hence putting hat guy on the top.

    Or, more likely, it has stopped being a webcomic and started being Randall blatantly pandering to his legion of deranged fans.

    And there's a poster already?

    So, maybe this is weird of me--when I buy merchandise from webcomics I do not do so just because I like the comic, or even to express my comic loyalty. I buy shirts because I want to wear that shirt, posters because I think that poster would make my room look good--not because 'RANDALL MADE THIS IT IS GENIUS.'

    I fondly remember days when XKCD was something I looked forward to on its own. Now I mostly look forward to it because I know xkcdsucks.blogspot.com is out there.

  7. Amanda - I am glad I have converted you to our side on the great xkcd debate.

    Vlad - this is a very good point and I agree with it 100%. It bothers me a lot. It feels very commercial.

    Thomas - I got what you meant, and all your space puns/references. Honestly though it was more that it was late when I posted this and didn't feel like talking about too many of the references. Still not sure what I would say about them if I did (oh hey look, a cat on a keyboard in space, woo hoo)

    Rob - this is possible. But I'm not sure that adding Mr. Hat to the top of this poster-comic has anything to do with it. I mean, it doesn't advance a story or anything. I certainly think he's trying to turn Mr. Beret (from now on his official name, as far as I am concerned) into a recurring character.

    I have never, amazingly, bought a webcomic product (though I will buy The Great Outdoor Fight in the near future and I once owned a Strong Bad shirt) but I think ones I would own and wear one that is generally awesome on it but there would also be a degree of "oh man I hope people who read this comic compliment me on my shirt..."

    And once again, I very much appreciate your readership, commenting and complimenting.

  8. If there is ever a web comic shirt i would buy, it's this:

  9. Isn't it funny how it became a poster 'due to popular request' so quickly.
    Oh! And I see he's done another one today.

    Not that he's out to make a quick buck or anything.....

  10. In Randall's defense, it has been nearly 13 hours since the Depth comic was posted and he doesn't yet seem to have a poster version you can buy. Can he go 24 hours????

  11. Anon 1- True, there may be more lousy aci-fi published than good stuff is, but there are far more copies of Lord of the Rings printed than, say, Lord Xenax and the Champions of Ulte: Battle For The Selulon Arach or something. I don't know if this is relevant, but it seems worth pointing out. I mean, it's not like you go into a bookstore and most of what's there is crappy. It's not like it's so difficult to find good sci-fi and fantasy out there because you are drowning in this ocean of terrible stuff.

    Jay/Anon 2 - I suspect sci-fi and fantasy make up more words than say, romance novels. Not that it makes them worse, of course.

    Anon 3 - very funny. Takes a second, but very funny.

    Anon 4 - you have brought up a good point, one I've thought about a lot. But it's not like I think there's a total lack of good webcomics. If people don't want to suffer through xkcd, I recommend Dinosaur Comics Achewood, and one I'm currently enjoying a lot, Daisy Owl. I can recommend another 15 or so if you'd like.

    AltWorlder - thank you. Exactly.

    Jay - I guess there is enough to say about the new comic that I will probably skip whatever I was going to say about the in-browser Flash games one. Yeah it's pretty dumb.